Shipping a car from Minnesota to California

Shipping a car from Minnesota to California Guide


Learn how to ship a vehicle from Minnesota to California! Request your quote online or call to speak with our logistics experts!

California’s notorious traffic jams and high cost of living don’t prevent Minnesotans from making their way to the Golden State. California lures snowbirds with the promise of white sandy shores of SoCal, generous palm tree shades, and what seems to be a never-ending supply of sunshine. Silicon Valley – an international wealth and technology symbol – attracts tech talent looking for better career opportunities. Hollywood draws thousands of people looking to pursue a dream of making a name for themselves and bask in the rays of glory. Reasons for moving to the Golden State are abound. But there is one thing that unites new transplants and California natives  – a car.

Car culture is quite big in the Golden State. The state has been the fount of auto innovation, and Californians are the world’s leading trendsetters in the automotive taste. Foreign automakers have been using California as the proving ground for new models. Prius achieved a star status thanks to Hollywood celebrities. And Tesla and the autonomous-car fever have their origin in California as well. Today, there are over 30 million vehicles registered in the state; the number includes cars, motorcycles, trailers, and commercial trucks. It’s quite clear that California and cars are intrinsic to each other. And you’ll be much better off with a vehicle there. So let’s talk about shipping a car from Minnesota to California.

What are your options to ship a car?

When you need to move a vehicle from point A to point B, the most logical option would be to hop in and drive off. But with 1800 miles (give or take) that separate Minnesota and California, driving may not seem like the brightest idea. Unless your plan is a cross-country road trip.

Should you ask someone to drive your vehicle all the way to the Golden State? Let’s be realistic. Chances are most of your family and friends will be too busy with their lives to just be able to take off and drive almost 2000 miles across the country. Besides, would you be able to stay completely calm and composed knowing your car is out there, somewhere, driven by someone, who is not you? You can hire a drive-away service and request a professional driver to operate your vehicle. Still, besides (often) a hefty fee, you’ll end up with hidden costs of wear and tear. In the end, hiring a professional auto transport company may be your only stress-free alternative.

How to find a reliable auto transporter?

Your car is a valuable possession, so you’d only want the good guys to handle its delivery. Research! Ask around for first-hand recommendations. Read online reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. Consult the FMCSA about companies’ insurance and compliance information.

Pick up your phone and call. Ask questions. Employ your intuition. The good companies will be transparent about their process. They know that auto transport is a business built on trust, and they’ll do their best to earn yours. Request a few car shipping quotes. But don’t choose based only on a price you receive. What may seem like an attractive number at first may not be the exact price you will be asked to pay.

How much should you pay for car shipping?

Car shipping is a competitive business, hence you’ll get widely varying quotes. The cheapest quote, with very few exceptions, means a long wait.

Here’s why. Both brokers and truckers use the same third-party database, which shows vehicles that are awaiting shipment, what customers are willing to pay to ship their cars, and what’s been paid for the same route in the past. As you may have guessed, after checking the database, truckers pick the higher paying vehicles first. So if you are in a hurry, you’ll have to pay more.

In general, a car shipping quote depends on a few factors such as the distance, pick up/drop off locations, car’s make, model and modifications; it’s operability, as well as seasonal fluctuations and the type of service you select – open or enclosed carrier. To get the ballpark idea of what you should pay to ship a car from Minnesota to California, request at least three auto transport quotes.

At Corsia Logistics, we don’t employ software to calculate car shipping quotes because the cost to transport a vehicle is a combination of fluid factors that require manual tracking for better accuracy. To help you get the best value for your money, Corsia Logistics’ agents carefully track daily vehicle shipping rate fluctuations. Our quotes are also all-inclusive, which means there will be no hidden costs.

How long will it take to ship your vehicle?

Total transportation time is split into two parts: pick-up window and delivery window. The unpredictable nature of the auto transport industry makes it hard to pinpoint the exact date. There are just too many factors involved that can cause delays in your delivery.

On average, it takes about 1 to five days for a carrier to pick up your vehicle. How about delivery window? When you place an order to ship a car, the auto transport company will estimate the delivery time according to normal driving time. Therefore, if there are no deviations: traffic, adverse weather conditions, accidents, mechanical problems, the delivery should take between 5 and 7 days following the pickup of your vehicle. A more precise window depends on exact pick-up and drop off locations in Minnesota and California.

What if you need your vehicle delivered on or by the exact date? It can be arranged for an extra fee. Expedited delivery is a good option for those shipping their cars to one of California’s numerous car shows. When you book with Corsia Logistics, we will keep you updated on your vehicle’s movements. You will receive a call before pick-up and prior to the delivery of your car. We will also provide you with your trucker’s phone number, in case you need to get in touch with him.

How to prepare a car for shipping?

Once you’ve made all the necessary arrangements with the car transporter, it’s time to prepare your vehicle for shipping.

Before sending your car on its way to California you may want to take it to a mechanic’s to make sure there are no fluid leaks and brakes are working properly. Treat your car to a good wash. This way it will be easier to spot any damage. Take detailed photos to document what your car looked like before shipment. Secure or remove any aftermarket accessories, such as bike and ski racks, spoilers, and other detachable elements. Make sure convertible or soft-top and windows are properly secured and closed.

Let the shipper know of any peculiarities with your car before shipping, it includes anything that might interfere with safe loading, transport, and unloading of your vehicle. Now, what about personal items in your car? Should you remove them? This is something you should discuss with your shipper when you request a quote. Although it’s possible to transport personal items in your vehicle, many carriers prefer not to because it may cause unnecessary delays and fines. Corsia Logistics allows the inclusion of up to 100 lbs of personal items. If you need to load more than that, an extra fee will apply. And any damages to your car’s interior or your personal belongings will be your full responsibility.

What happens at pick up and delivery?

At pick up, before loading your car the carrier performs an inspection to document its condition. And then you get to sit back, relax, and wait for your ride to be delivered. You’ve done your share of work by performing a thorough research before entrusting your precious car in the hands of the auto transporter. So you totally deserve a glass of beverage of your choice and some you-time before your car reaches its destination.

When the carrier delivers your car, another inspection is due. All you have to do is confirm that the vehicle has arrived intact, sign the Bill of Lading, and pay the remaining balance. If the delivery happens to be at night, make sure to inspect your car under bright lights. It will be your only opportunities to inspect your vehicle and report damages.

In the unlikely event your car arrives damaged, note all the visible irregularities on the Bill of Lading and have the trucker sign it and give you a copy of the document. Take pictures of the damages and contact your car shipping company, so they help you file a claim.

When in California…

If your vehicle will be staying in California on a permanent basis, you will need to register it with California Department of Motor Vehicles. To avoid long lines, you can schedule an appointment with the California DMV online.

You will have 20 days from establishing your California residency to register your car. You will be asked for a smog/emissions inspection unless your vehicle model is 1975 or older. And as a new Golden State resident, you will have 10 days to get your CA driver’s license.

Whether you are moving to the Golden State for good or just a few months to weather out Minnesota’s winter chill, let Corsia Logistic’s team arrange auto transport for your vehicle. Are you taking your classic beauty to her next California show? We’ll be happy to coordinate the delivery in a very safe enclosed carrier. Do you own an RV or a motorcycle? We’ve got you covered.

Our logistics experts are ready to walk you through the ins and outs of the vehicle shipping process. We encourage you to ask questions, so you can make educated choices. Request your free, no-obligation quote today! Call us at (818) 850-5258 or fill out a simple online quote request.