Shipping a car from Texas to California

Shipping a car from Texas to California Guide


Shipping a car from Texas to California is simple with Corsia Logistics! Learn how auto transport works. Request your free, no-obligation quote today!

What are my options when shipping a car from Texas to California?

There are two main ways of getting your vehicle from Texas to California:

  • driving it to its destination in the Golden State
  • shipping it with a professional auto transporter

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. So, carefully weigh all the pros and cons and choose what best fits your particular situation.

Driving a car from Texas to California would be a great choice if you are not pressed for time, enjoy being on the road, and want to see as much of the country as possible. But driving long distances is not for everybody. Cross country roads can be dangerous for the untrained eye, and what was supposed to be a fun road trip can turn into an unfortunate adventure. When the distance is more than 200-300 miles, we always recommend shipping instead of driving.

To hire an auto transport company means to free yourself from the responsibility of moving your vehicle. It makes life easier when you are busy or simply do not wish to embark on a road trip. Moreover, shipping a car saves it from wear and tear, unfavorable weather conditions, possible flat tires, accidents and other unplanned for issues. Professional car shippers have thousands of miles of driving experience, know the safest routes, and know how to manage all kinds of situations that may occur on the open road.

Also, shipping a car from Texas to California with a car shipping company is also often cheaper than driving it yourself once you consider all the expenses a long distance trip entails.

What if you have more than one vehicle and not enough drivers? Do you own a collectible classic car or an expensive luxury vehicle that you wouldn’t want to expose to adverse road conditions? Your car doesn’t run under its own power? If any of these circumstances apply to you, then hiring a professional auto transport company would be your most affordable and convenient option.

All you need to do is find a reliable auto transporter and make sure your vehicle is ready for shipping.

What to look for in an auto transport company?

On your quest for a vehicle shipping company you will come across the following entities: carriers, brokers, car shipping lead generator websites, and auction websites. We recommend you stay away from the last two. And whether you choose to work with a broker or carrier, make sure it’s a reputable one.

Look at your potential shipper’s consumer ratings and read online reviews to learn about other customers’ experience. Although, don’t choose solely based on what people say. Check FMCSA for the shipper’s licensing and background information as well as safety ratings. Pick up the phone and call. Ask questions. The good companies will be transparent with you about their process.

What services do auto transporters offer?

Standard auto transport services vary from company to company. In general, you will have a choice between open or enclosed transport and standard or expedited shipping.

Corsia Logistics offers both an open car carrier and enclosed auto transport. All our deliveries are door-to-door. Very rarely we ship cars from and to a terminal. Most individuals and businesses from across the country prefer door-to-door deliveries. Also, whether you choose the open or enclosed carrier, you can request a top-load for your vehicle. For an extra fee, your car will travel on a top-deck of a trailer, which ensures against possible leaks from other vehicles.

The other options you need to consider is whether to pick a standard service or an expedited delivery. The distinction between the two is the time of delivery. A standard car shipping service usually means that a carrier will pick up your vehicle within five business days and deliver it within a specified time-frame. However, please keep in mind that all dates and times are only estimates.

Expedited delivery could guarantee that your car is picked up or delivered on or by a specified date and time. This, however, requires the whole schedule of the truck to play around your schedule, which naturally increases the price.

How much does it cost to ship a car from Texas to California?

In today’s economy, every penny counts. So, it is only natural you would want to get the most for your money when shipping a car. But the cheapest price is not always the best deal, just like the highest quote doesn’t always guarantee the best service. It is important to understand the economics of the car shipping quote, so you can make educated choices. Several factors play into the final cost:

Vehicle make and model

This is the first important factor that affects your car shipping rate. Whether your vehicle is a small sedan or an SUV matters for the car carrier. Vehicle’s weight and dimensions usually define the base price for transporting it.

Vehicle condition and modifications

If your vehicle has any modifications, such as being lowered or raised, it often means we would need a specialized truck to transport it. It could also simply mean that it will take up more space or weight on the truck, which increases the rate. If your car is not running, it often adds about $150 to the cost or shipping.

Type of service

The type of service you choose will certainly affect your rate. An open carrier is the standard service and it is widely available. Enclosed carriers are more expensive because they offer higher protection and extras such as hydraulic lift gate to hold a vehicle horizontal while loading.

Distance and location

These two factors play an important role in price calculation. However, the distance is not the most important factor that defines the cost to ship a car. Generally, the further away the vehicle goes the higher the overall price. Still, the type of vehicle, and the other elements in the equation matter first, and then comes the distance. The exact location also affects the price. Shipping does not possess any challenges when pick up and drop off locations are in major cities.


When we calculate prices, after all the factors described above, comes current supply and demand situation that decides the final rate. All routes in the US are affected by seasonal peaks and drops in workload, such as when the snowbirds season starts and ends. During the peak seasons, the demand is high and prices increase. Fluctuations happen daily and thus only a current realistic market price can guarantee timely and professional service.

Our team provides manual tracking of daily supply and demand fluctuations. It enables us to quote a realistic current market price that will ship your vehicle in a professional and timely fashion.

What documents do I need when shipping a car?

We do not need any documents from you unless the car is going out of the country. You or someone on your behalf needs to release the vehicle, together with the keys, to the carrier at pick-up and sign the Bill of Lading (BOL). The BOL is a very important document. It is not only a receipt but also an inspection report. When the carrier inspects the car, check with him that all existing damages are marked down before you sign the document. Never sign a blank or incomplete inspections report and make sure to get your copy before the driver leaves the pick up site.

Can I ship personal items inside my car while on the carrier?

Yes, you can but a limited quantity. By law, carriers are not allowed to transport household (personal) items inside the vehicle. They are not licensed to move personal items, and their insurance does not cover any personal belongings inside the vehicle. However, most companies allow customers to have a box or a suitcase in the trunk of their vehicle.

Is my car insured during transport?

Yes, it is! The law requires every carrier to have cargo insurance. A car carrier cannot operate without an active insurance policy.

Starting a new life in the Golden State

Shipping a car to California from Michigan

Home to some of the most beautiful sunny beaches and landscapes, California is a state full of adventures. Get ready to fall in love with its nature, people, cuisine, diversity, and of course, weather. Compared to Texas’ dry heat and high temperatures, the state of California has a Mediterranean climate. Since you will be moving from the second largest state to the third-largest state in the US in terms of area, just like in Texas, the climate changes a lot from one part of the state to another. The climate in Northern and Southern California ranges from polar to subtropical.

As California is considered one of the best states to live in the US, it is no wonder why the population has been constantly increasing in the last decades. By 2020, the state’s population is expected to reach the 41 million mark.

Economy and Employment

This June, the state of California managed to become the fifth-largest economy in the world after the United States, China, Japan, and Germany. With a $2.75 trillion economy, mainly due to its boom in financial services and real estate, California offers plenty of job opportunities in IT, finance, real estate, farming, construction, the entertainment industry, government, scientific and technical business services. The state is also perfect for building your own startup company or open a family business.

Housing and Living Costs

After Hawaii, California has the second-most expensive cost of living in the States. Consequently, its housing costs are also one of the most expensive in the US. If we compare Santa Clara with Houston, for example, the living costs in Santa Clara are 146% more expensive, while the Median Home Cost is 703% more expensive than Houston.

But there are other cities in California such as the East Los Angeles, which is not as expensive as Santa Clara. Living costs in LA are 29% more expensive than Houston, while the Median Home Cost is 147% more expensive. It really depends on where in California you will relocate. But in general, expect your housing and living costs to be much more expensive than in Texas.

Things to do in California

Home to the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley Vineyards, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and national and state parks such as The Death Valley, Channel Islands, Kings Canyon, and Redwood parks, the Golden State offers so many beautiful sights and landscapes for all nature-lovers and adventure seekers. The weather will be on your side most of the time, whether you want to ski, surf, hike, swim, or simply go walking, or camping at your favorite spots in any city of your choice.

If you also are a food and wine lover, it is very likely that you will never want to leave the state of California. So breathe in all its positive vibes and enjoy the many festivals, events, and awesome opportunities the state offers.

Moving to California with a car

Having a car in California means that you will have to put up with traffic jams almost every day. Nevertheless, owning a car in the Golden State is a necessity, since the state is very spread out and it takes a lot of time to move from one place to another.

Once you move to California, you will have up to 20 days to register your car and 10 days to obtain your California driver’s license. Keep in mind that to register your car, you will need to have a valid car insurance. For more information on registering your car in California, go to the official website of California DMV.