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Moving from Michigan to California

Moving from Michigan to California

From Michigan to California: What to know

Considering the distance, the climate, and cultural differences, moving from Michigan to California is definitely not a small feat. Nevertheless, if you have the right information, you can make it an adventurous and interesting experience.

The climate

With a surface almost twice as big as Michigan and a population four times larger, California is characterized by various types of climates.

When you move from Detroit to Los Angeles, get ready to say goodbye to snowy, cold winters. Instead, you will say hello to more than 200 sunny days a year. How is that for a change now?

Despite the high climate variation in California, there is one rule of thumb. The CA seaside, as well as the Central Valley, reflect a Mediterranean climate, with warmer winters and cooler summers, influenced by the ocean. In addition, California is generally a dry state. Thus, do not get surprised when you see the high water utility bills or the frequent ads urging you to conserve water.

Culture and food

You may already be used to rich wildlife, beautiful lake landscapes, diverse music, and the automotive museums of Michigan. And it all sounds amazing. Fortunately, California offers much more diversity. And one major aspect of it is the population mix.

California represents a true cultural melting pot. Each of these cultures has brought their traditions, accompanied by a high liberal perspective and strong individualistic sense. If it helps you envision it, just think about the Silicon Valley startups or the highly selective art industry in LA.

In California, the diversity is also reflected in the colorful cuisine. The Mediterranean, Mexican, and Asian fares have naturally become everyday meals for millions of Californians. Of course, if you seek to find something familiar, you can always head to Wendy’s for a quick bite or Chili’s for a complete meal.

Economy and Employment

In general, California is more expensive than Michigan. In order to prepare yourself for this, you can do two things.
Firstly, try to have a financial cushion when you move to the Golden State in order to get a smooth start before your first paycheck. Secondly, do a thorough research of places to live, as California, depending on the region, is increasingly becoming more expensive.

According to our research, the most affordable places in CA today, are Bakersfield, Fontana, and Clovis. However, it all depends on where you manage to find a good job or where your university is located, in case you are moving in as a student.

The good news is that the unemployment rate in CA is only 3.9% as of October 2019, and the minimum wage is $12. This wage can be higher if you move to places such as San Francisco ($15.59). But with the wages, the cost of living also increases.

Bringing your car to CA


The traffic

As the population density in CA is higher, embrace yourself for frequent traffic jams, especially in cities such as LA. The public transportation in California is not so efficient generally, and this is why people choose to drive their own cars.

A large number of cars on California’s roads means that parking may be complicated. Gas is also more expensive than in Michigan, reaching an average price of $4.01 per gallon. Therefore, a piece of advice to you would be to bring a fuel-economical vehicle that will significantly reduce your gas bills.

Shipping your car

The distance from Michigan to California is around 2400 miles or at least 34 hours drive. Hence, driving your car to the West Coast may not be the soundest option, especially if you decide to move in the winter season. Shipping your car will prevent any potential damage or unnecessary wear and tear of your vehicle.

For such long distances, we recommend the enclosed carrier, since it can protect your car from weather conditions or a potentially rough road. Also, do not forget to inquire about car shipping insurance with your potential auto transporter.

We offer more advice on shipping your car from the Great Lakes State to the Golden State – visit our car shipping from Michigan to California guide.

Registering your car

Once you arrive in CA, you will have around 20 days to register your car at the local DMW to avoid any late fees. The documents you will need are:

  • The application form REG 343, which you can find at the DMW page.
  • The vehicle ownership certificate
  • The smog certificate if your car is older than 4 years
  • The proof of payment according to the vehicle registration fee calculator

Corsia Logistics wishes you a smooth move and integration in California. Our vehicle relocation experts are available to answer your car shipping questions about the cost to ship a car, delivery time, and preparing your vehicle for shipping among others.

Do not hesitate to contact us online or call our team now. We are always here to offer you advice and help you ship your car with peace of mind. Thank you!

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