Shipping a Car from California to Boston (and vice-versa): It Has Never Been Easier

Shipping a Car from California to Boston

Ankit shah

03 Apr 2022 2 years ago

If you’re thinking of moving from California to Boston (or vice-versa), then you must be going through a stressful time. The process is taxing as you have to fight on many fronts, including shipping your car from California to Boston (or vice-versa). Well, we can’t take it all away but can surely help you understand the car shipping process in the easiest possible way. We know you’re running out of time, so let’s get straight to the crux of the matter.

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Five different ways to ship a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa) – Which one is better?

Not one or two, but there are FIVE different ways to ship your car. Let’s get under the hood of each transport method to help your car reach its destination.

1. Drive yourself

“I have my car, why can’t I just drive it myself?” You must have told this to yourself on many occasions, and it might even make sense. But it has a catch, and it is more than 2400 miles long. If you decide to drive yourself from California to Boston, it will take more than 40 hours of drive. Thus, it will take you 6-8 days if you drive 6-8 hours a day. That’s a lot of driving!

In addition to the time, you will also need to spend money on fuel, food, and accommodation. And, of course, your car will go through some wear and tear. 

Considering it all, this option makes sense only if you’re willing to go on a week-long adventure. If not, it’s better to look at the upcoming options.

2. Hire a driver

What to do if you cannot drive it yourself? Well, you can hire someone. It sounds like a straightforward option, but it comes with its own set of pitfalls.

Firstly, finding a reliable driver is quite a challenge. After all, you’re trusting a complete stranger to drive your vehicle for thousands of miles. Like the previous one, the second disadvantage is that it puts unnecessary wear and tear on the engine, brakes, and tires. 

Most of the companies and individuals offering such services are students or retirees. If you choose to go with this option, you must be absolutely sure about their trustworthiness as a person and driver.

3. Ask a friend or family member to drive

If you’re not comfortable giving your car keys to a stranger, then you could ask a friend or family member who might be willing to drive it for you. Knowing a person behind the steering wheel is bound to give you peace of mind. Plus, you can put your extra luggage and ride along in the car.

If you manage to find someone willing to drive your car from California to Boston (and vice-versa), then you must be sure of their driving ability as it’s not going to be an easy ride.

4. Ship it by a plane

Another ‘out of the sky’ (pun intended) option is to ship your car by plane. Most people go with this option when they want to move their vehicle internationally but you can go for it if you want to ship your vehicle super-fast. This option will cost you a lot, mostly more than the value of your vehicle.

5.  Hire an auto transport company 

ire an auto transport company for shipping car from California to Boston

The most obvious and sensible option to ship your car is to hire a car shipping company. They’re reliable, offer you door-to-door service, and get your car delivered in a reasonable timeframe.

The car shipping companies are pretty trustworthy as they need to be licensed by the government and offer you insurance coverage in case of damages. Additionally, your car won’t need to go through wear and tear. 

You will hardly need to move as these companies provide end-to-end services to ship your car from California to Boston (and vice-versa). This includes all the paperwork, driving your car to the shipping truck, and delivering at your specified location. The money you will spend to hire an auto shipping company is well spent.

Different types of car shipping services

If you’re going to hire a car shipping company to move your car from California to Boston (and vice-versa), you will be tasked to choose between open car shipping and enclosed car shipping. Let’s see what both have to offer.

Open car shipping

open shipping car from California to Boston

If you decide to go with open car shipping, your car will be loaded onto an open truck. Therefore, the vehicle and cargo will be exposed to the weather. However, it won’t affect much as the car shipping companies take all the necessary provisions. 

Open car shipping allows car shipping companies to ship more cars at once and thus prove to be an economical option for the end customers. Most car manufacturing companies use this method to ship their vehicles to car showrooms. 

Enclosed car shipping

enclosed shipping car from California to Boston

As you can guess by its name, the car shipping companies will keep your car inside an enclosed truck with this shipping method. Thus, your car remains damage-free from outside elements such as wind, rain, and snow. 

Thanks to the added security, you will need to spend around 30-40% more than open car shipping. It’s a viable option for the owners of antique, rare, and expensive cars.

How much does it cost to ship a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa)

One of the central decision-making factors for car shipping is cost, and rightly so. Unfortunately, we can’t give you a ball-park figure as the cost to ship a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa) depends on various factors. However, we have broken down these factors to understand how it works. 


The highest costs for a car shipping company are driver wages and fuel costs. They both depend a lot on distance, and therefore, it is the most influencing factor when it comes to determining the shipping cost.

The distance refers to the distance between the pickup and delivery points as the car shipping company will need to pick up and deliver your car. You will need to pay more if you live in a remote area.

Shipping type

You choose the type of car shipping: open car shipping or enclosed car shipping.


Government regulations permit car shipping companies to carry a certain amount of weight. That’s why the cost will vary based on the make, model, manufacturing year, etc. For example, shipping an SUV will cost you more than a hatchback.

Condition of car

If your car is not in good running order, you will have to pay more as your car will need to be attached to a truck so that it can be taken to the shipping truck.


Your car shipping company will charge you less if it ships your vehicle on popular routes and vice-versa.

Gas price

Fluctuations in fuel prices can also have a huge impact on shipping a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa).

The Year and the Time

Car shipping costs fall when there’s more demand. You will pay less for shipping in summer since most people move during the summer.

Still curious about the exact cost to ship a car from California to Boston? Well, you need not worry as we, at Sakaem Logistics, provide you with a blazing-fast quote calculator that gives you prices in seconds. And you can always drop us an email so that our team can answer all your queries and get the car moving.

Let’s have a look at some tips that will help you save some money along the way:

  • Book well in advance
  • Ask shipping company for discounts
  • Pick the right time of the year to ship
  • Try to ship multiple cars together
  • Go with correct shipping method (open or close)

How long does it take to ship a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa)

There are two parts to the shipping of a car between California and Boston. The first is the time it takes to pick up the vehicle, while the second is the time it takes for the truck to ship it between both places. As per the industry standard, it will take anywhere from one to five working days to pick up your vehicle.

The second factor that affects the car shipping time, is how long it takes for the truck driver to drive from California to Boston (or vice-versa). As truck drivers cannot drive more than certain hours, it will take approximately 8-10 days for your vehicle to be shipped from California to Boston (or vice-versa).

The above two are a primary factors but the below-listed small factors can also affect shipping times: 

  • The number of stops made each day by the carrier
  • The traffic flow
  • Weather conditions
  • Detours
  • Road construction
  • Heavy traffic
  • Pickup/Delivery Locations

How does the process of shipping a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa) work?

We’ve seen many people having apprehensions when it comes to the process of shipping a car. They think it will involve a ton of paperwork and tiring steps. Well, let us tell you that it’s nothing like that. The process of shipping a car from California to Boston is much easier and it takes just four simple steps. Let’s get into it.

Step 1 – Request a quote

Once you have narrowed down your list of car shipping companies, it is time to request quotes from them so that you can compare. It’s easy because most companies offer instant quotes via their websites. You will need to enter your zip code, car details, and the shipping method. 

We suggest that you compare quotes from at least three companies and then select the one that fits your budget. Be sure to verify that there aren’t hidden costs, such as insurance fees or weather surcharges.

Step 2 – Order the shipping

It is time to place an order to confirm the shipment after you have chosen a company that will transport your car from California to Boston (or vice-versa). Many companies tend to add hidden fees, later on, so make sure you leave no scope for any such thing.

Step 3 – Car pick up

car pick-up

Once you’ve ordered the shipping, you will need to wait until a driver arrives to pick your car up. Your car shipping company will contact you a few days before the pickup to make sure your vehicle is ready. When the driver arrives to pick up your car, take their help to inspect your car well so that there are no qualms later.

Step 4 Delivery

Once your car gets close to the delivery area, you will receive a call to confirm your availability at your home. Make sure you inspect the car well and let the company know if any damage has been caused along the way. The company will ask you to sign the Bill of Lading to acknowledge the delivery of your shipment.

How to get a quote to ship a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa)

They might say that the first step is the most difficult one but not when it comes to shipping your car. It’s a super-easy process that you can do within minutes and on your smartphone or computer. 

As we discussed above, you need to get at least three quotes from different companies to arrive at a well-informed decision. Each quote will be different, so you need to be attentive while you fill in the details. Not only will you need to verify every information but also make sure that companies don’t try to add additional fees.

These quotes can be generated instantly from the websites of moving companies. Below are the details you will need to give to receive a quote:

  • Pickup and Delivery Locations (zip code)
  • Shipping method (open/enclosed).
  • Details about the vehicle (such as model, manufacturer year, and company)
  • First available pickup date
  • Email address and phone number

Once you have entered the details above, the website will generate a personalized quote for you and you will also receive it at your email address.

Standard transport quotes will include:

  • Shipping costs
  • Your vehicle details
  • The delivery address and pickup location
  • Car condition
  • Type of service: Open or Closed
  • First shipping date
  • Distance to be covered
  • Timeframe for delivery

How to find the best auto transport company to ship my car from California to Boston (and vice-versa)

Finding the right shipping company is going to affect many things and that’s why you must not take it lightly. This will take some time but you can be at peace if you do it well enough. Below are the various considerations you must make in order to choose the best car shipping company:

License & insurance

Car shipping companies must hold a license in order to provide interstate shipping services. You can verify your US DOT # by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator site. Plus, you must also ask them about the insurance you will be provided with.

BBB Rating

Checking the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is a good way to confirm a company’s credibility. BBB accredits companies to let people know how reliable they are.

Customer testimonials

Customers love to be heard, especially the ones who are unhappy. Thus, you shouldn’t leave a single stone unturned to know what kind of experience they’ve had with a particular car shipping service. If possible, try to interact with them and see what made their experience good or bad. Google, Facebook, and other websites can help you see customer testimonials.

Service experience

After you have narrowed down companies, it is a good idea to talk with them by phone and get to know their processes. Try to be a novice as you can and ask a lot of questions. This will tell you a lot about how their service is going to be going forward. Try to see how responsive and cooperative they are.

FAQs regarding shipping a car from California to Boston (and vice-versa)

Let’s review some frequently asked questions concerning shipping cars from California to Boston (and vice-versa).

How do you prepare your car for shipping?

Before the driver can pick up your car, these are the steps you need to take:

  • You should remove documents and personal items from your car
  • One-fourth of your fuel should be kept in the tank
  • Make sure that your battery is fully charged.
  • Make sure that the tires are in good condition
  • Take photos from every angle to verify car condition on delivery
  • Keep track of any existing damages and inform the company

Am I required to be present at the Pick-up and Delivery Locations? 

To ship cars from California to Boston (or vice-versa), you don’t have to be there at the pickup or delivery locations. You must ensure that someone is there at the pickup and delivery points. To sign the documents on your behalf, the person must have a power of attorney. You can choose to have them sign on your behalf as a friend, family member, or other individuals.

Do I get insurance to protect my car when I move?

All car shipping firms are obligated to provide insurance to car owners. You can rest assured that your car will be protected by the insurance. However, you must confirm with the company once.

What is Bill Of Lading? Why is it used?

A bill or lading (BoL), contains details about the vehicle such as damage to date, make, model, and terms and conditions. You will be required to sign at the time of delivery for acknowledgment. It is essential to establish transparency between car owners and shipping firms.

How do I pay the auto transport company?

Many car shipping companies accept credit cards and debit cards. PayPal payments are also accepted by some companies.

What documents do you need to prepare to ship your car?

  • Information about vehicle registration
  • Insurance documents
  • Bill of sale/Bill of lading
  • Original vehicle title
  • Unexpired identification (i.e. driver’s licence or passport)

What is expedited shipping?

Express shipping allows you to ship your vehicle faster. It is an additional service offered by car shipping companies and will cost more. This service is ideal for those who need their vehicle transported quickly.

How long does a quote last?

The validity period of a quote can vary from one shipping company to the next. However, most quotes will only be valid for seven business days. This means that you will need a new quote within seven days. Prices may also change depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

What exactly is a top-load service?

If you choose the top load service, your car is placed at the top. This protects your vehicle from dirt, rocks, and other debris. Needless to say, this is going to cost you more as it provides additional security.

Pros and cons of moving to California

There are many reasons why California is the most populated state in the country. Let’s first have a look at what you’re going to love in the process of ‘Californication.’

Pleasant & warm weather

California is blessed with beautiful weather. It boasts 260+ sunny days per year. The temperature can reach 70 degrees in winter and 80-85 during the summer. You’re going to love the energy that California’s weather will infuse. 


Home to a young population, California welcomes people of all genders, orientations, ethnicities. They are known to be more open-minded and tolerant compared to other states in the south.

Potential economic growth

California’s vibrant economy is a result of its large cities and diverse industries. At $66,661, California has the fifth-highest per capita income in the nation.

Love of nature

California has it all, be it parks, mountains, forests, or beaches. California actually has nine national parks, the highest in the country.

Now that you know what are the perks of living in California, let’s have a look at things that you won’t like about the place.


California has been witness to the highest number of wildfires in the past few years. Summers always bring a sense of danger to all Californians as they’ve become a norm. 

High income tax

California is among the most taxed states in America. The highest income brackets are subject to a 12.3% tax.

Summer heat

Summers can be extremely hot if you live far from the coast. On some days, it can get as high as 95°C.

High living cost

The Living Costs Are Very High. You will pay more for housing, groceries, utilities, and other necessities here than in most parts of the US. It’s approximately 43% more expensive compared to the national average. 

Pros and cons of moving to Boston

Boston has played a huge role in the history of the US. It has a huge influence as far as technology and education are concerned. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of moving to the ‘City of Champions.’

Employment opportunities

Home to many industries such as technology, finance, and life sciences, Boston is an economically thriving place. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Pfizer, etc. have offices in the city. Many decide to move here due to massive job opportunities coming with it.


Be it schools or colleges, Boston doesn’t disappoint on any front as far as education is concerned. It has 125+ schools and offers proximity to world-class institutes such as MIT, Cambridge, and Harvard University. 

Public transport

The public transport system of Boston makes commuting much easier for you. It has a great network of buses, subway, and rail that get you anywhere in a short time.

Let’s have a look at the not-so-good side of living in Boston.

High living cost

With person average monthly cost of $2758, Boston is definitely an expensive city to live in. The average house price in Boston is $710,654.


Boston is not a huge city and that’s why you will have to bear with the traffic, especially in the downtown area. It becomes much worse when Red Sox has a game in the city.

Cold weather

Like most states in the northeastern part of the US, Boston has cold weather. On average, there are 200 yearly sunny days in Boston and it witnesses 48 inches of snow.

Get moving!

We know we provided you with a lot of information but now is the to get into action mode. The more you get into it, the more you’ll realize how it is. And stop worrying about the cost part as hiring a shipping company is going to relieve you of a big headache. Find a good shipping company and rest becomes a cakewalk!

Ankit shah