Shipping a Car from California to Texas

Shipping a Car from California to Texas: Easy Step-by-Step Process


Shipping a car from California to Texas sounds easy. All you need to do is find a car shipping service, and they take care of the rest. Easy, isn’t it? Well, it is a quite straightforward process, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Many factors play a part in shipping a car from California to Texas, and you need to understand them so that you can do it in the best possible way. This blog post will talk about everything you need to know about it, including the cost to ship a car from California to Texas. Let’s get going!

Modes of Car Shipping

Texas has been one of the fastest-growing states in terms of population. The Lone Star State witnessed the third-highest population growth in the last decade, just behind Utah and Idaho as per the 2020 census. One study reveals that almost 700,000 Californians have relocated to Texas since 2010.

Many of these people moving to Texas are also looking to ship their cars. However, most of them are moving to another state for the first time and aren’t aware that there are two modes through which they can ship their car from California to Texas. Apart from the shipping service you choose, the type of shipping method is a critical factor that determines the cost of shipping.

There are two modes of shipping your car from California to Texas or any state to another: Open Car Shipping and Enclosed Car Shipping.

Open Car Shipping

As the name suggests, open shipping is a method of shipping in which your car is loaded onto an open shipping truck with several different rows of vehicles. The truck exposes your car to outside elements such as rain and snow as the truck is open. It is an economical shipping method as it allows more cars to be shipped in a single truck.

Open Car Shipping

Enclosed Car Shipping

This mode of shipping protects your car from the outside elements as it’s kept inside an enclosed container. Like the open cars, your car is also loaded on a rack of cars, but the container protects it. Naturally, it costs more as it provides greater security than open shipping. If you want to ship a luxury car, this is the option you should choose as you want to steer clear of potential risks.

How Much does it Cost to Ship my Car from California to Texas?

If you’re looking for a one-figure answer to the above question, you need to wait a bit as it depends on various factors. If you’re in a hurry, you can get an instant quote from us, but we suggest you spare a few minutes to educate yourself and find out the cost of shipping a car from California to Texas.

Let’s have a look at the things you need to consider.

Shipping Distance

Distance is one of the prime factors that determine the overall cost. The greater the distance, the more you will have to pay for the shipping. One thing to note here is that ‘distance’ means the distance between two states and between the pickup point and delivery point.

If you want the shipping service to pick up and deliver your vehicle, it will add to the cost. If you live in an area that is far from the main areas of the city or state, you should be prepared to pay more.

Size and Weight of Your Vehicle

All cars are not the same and so aren’t their shipping costs. The size and weight of your car impact the amount you will need to pay for shipping. The large the vehicle, the more it will cost. For instance, shipping SUVs will cost more than hatchbacks, even if the distance is the same for both. That’s because they occupy more space and put more load on the shipping truck.

Size of the Shipping Vehicle

Though many shipping services won’t tell you, the size of the shipping truck is also a factor here. You will have to spend less if your car is loaded on a larger vehicle as the expenses will get divided across the cars. So, make sure to know about this from the shipping services you inquire about.

Expedited Shipping

Due to their jobs or any other reason, many want their cars to be shipped on an urgent basis. If you are one of those people, you will need to shell out extra bucks as expedited shipping costs more than regular shipping. It doesn’t involve a waiting period and ships your car in the transport vehicle leaving immediately.

Car Shipping Services

Last but not least, the shipping company you choose will also influence the cost of shipping. Big companies tend to charge less as they have higher demands and resources than smaller ones.

That being said, the more important benefit of choosing an experienced company is the reliability you get. Isn’t it good to know that the company you’ve chosen to take care of your car has been doing it for years? Like we at SAKAEM Logistics have been shipping cars as they were our own for years.

As we saw, there are many variables in the cost of shipping a car from one state to another. However, we would like to give you a rough idea to know what you’re in for. Here’s what it looks like:

DistanceAverage costOpen transportEnclosed transport
150 miles$470$350$590
550 miles$750$550$950
1,000 miles$1,150$900$1,400
1,050 miles$985$720$1,250
2,750 miles$1,300$1,050$1,550  

Note: The costs shown in the above table are not absolute as they depend on various factors. The purpose is to give you an idea for better clarity.

How Long it Takes to Ship a Car from California to Texas

The shipping time from California to Texas or from any state to another depends on the distance, weather, and mode of shipping.

The distance between California and Texas is around 1600 miles, and it takes around 5-7 days for your car to get shipped. In the case of a door-to-door car shipping service, it could take more time as it will also depend on your car’s pickup and delivery location.

The second factor that will impact the shipping duration is the season. Typically, it will take more time during the Summer and Winter than during Spring or Fall.

The third crucial variable influencing shipping time is the mode of shipping. Your car will be shipped quicker if you choose open shipping as its trucks tend to move quicker than enclosed shipping. It is a smart choice if the weather is clear and you want your car to be transported faster.

How to Choose a Car Shipping Company

Everyone wants their car to get shipped as safely as possible and a lot of it depends on the car shipping company. Here’s what you should look in a company even more than the shipping costs:

  • License & Insurance: The company must be licensed and insured to inter-state shipping services. One way to verify their license is to visit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator’s website and verify its US DOT number.
  • BBB Rating: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating accredits companies and helps people know whether a company is approved or not.
  • Customer Testimonials: You should look for online company reviews from Google and other neutral platforms. This will help you know how trustworthy a company is.
  • Experience: It’s always advisable to provide car shipping services backed by practical experience. It might cost you a bit more, but you can rest assured of the reliability as you know the company has been doing it for many years.

Get Your Car Transport Ready

Get Your Car Transport Ready

Before you decide to ship your car from California to Texas, you need to get your car transport-ready. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove all documents and items from your car
  • Leave only one-fourth tank of gas in your car
  • Make sure your car battery is charged and working
  • Ensure your tires are in good shape
  • Remove the batteries (only if the shipping service asks you to)

Apart from these points, you must ensure that your car is protected under an insurance plan. To do so, we suggest you call your insurance company or broker and let them know about the shipping. They will let you know if there’s anything to be done.

What Documents Do I Need?

The process of shipping a car from California to Texas is a straightforward one and doesn’t require much paperwork. You only need to fill out two documents, and your car is on its way!

The first thing you or someone acting on your behalf will need to do is fill out the paperwork that releases your vehicle to the car shipping agent, who will pick up your vehicle and take it to the transport terminal. 

The second document you need to fill in is the Bill of Lading (BOL). It acts as a receipt for the vehicle and a record for any damages the car has before getting shipped.

Alternative Shipping Methods

Although going with a car shipping company is the most convenient option, you might want to find an alternative. Let’s have a look at two alternate methods to ship your car from one state to another.

Hitching Your Car to a Moving Truck

Hitching your car can be a good option if you’re moving your stuff through a moving truck. This is done by attaching tow dollies to the moving truck. Although it involves the risk of accidents and damage from outside elements, it can be useful for shorter distances.

One thing to note here is that all moving trucks don’t support tow dollies. Thus, you must make sure the truck you’re renting comes with it.

Hiring a Driver

If you don’t want your car to go through loading and unloading, then hiring a driver is the easiest way to go about it. Such services will pick up your car from your doorstep and deliver it to the new location by driving it. It is an expensive method as you will have to pay for the service and the fuel.

Final Words

Shipping your car from California to Texas isn’t rocket science. You need to take care of basic things, and you are set to get your car transported. First, you need to find a good car shipping company, prepare the relevant documents and then get your car transport-ready.

Getting your car thoroughly ready is quite important as the transport company performs standardized security checks once it reaches the shipment hub. They will not allow for anything inside the car which might constitute potential danger or liability. As per the law, you cannot store firearms, hazardous materials, illegal contraband, or even household goods in cars being shipped. Violation of this might lead to thousands of dollars of fines.

Another thing we suggest you do is to take high-resolution images of your car from all angles (inside and outside). Once you receive the car, you can verify the car’s condition using these images. Make sure you thoroughly check your car to ensure no damages were caused along the way.

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