Shipping a car from Michigan to California is popular for good reasons. For one, Detroit, MI is home to the "Big Three" car manufacturers Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Second, California is the largest state in the country. You combine those two things and you should be surprised that there is a lot of demand to ship cars from Michigan to California.
While this is a popular car shipping route, you'll want to avoid shipping a car from Michigan to California when the new model year vehicles come out in late summer and early fall. During that time, car carriers are swamped getting vehicles delivered to dealerships throughout California. They don't have the room on their trailers (or the interest) to haul an individual's car.
Anytime outside that time of year is a good time to ship a car from Michigan to California. If you ship a vehicle in the winter months, however, you need to prepare for potential delays in your transport due to the harsh winter weather that can hit the Midwestern states a car carrier has to travel through when shipping cars from Michigan to California. Those Midwest states include Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.
The distance between these two states varies depending on the pick up and delivery locations. A popular route when shipping a car from Michigan to California is from Detroit, MI to Los Angeles, CA. The distance on that route is about 2,300 miles. A car carrier can travel that route in about 5-6 days. That means if your car is picked up in Detroit on a Monday, for example, you can usually expect it to be delivered in Los Angeles no later than Sunday.
We've been shipping vehicles from Michigan to California for dealers and private vehicle owners for over 20 years. Our rates are priced to move, and your satisfaction is guaranteed! We adhere to the highest insurance standards, and we provide our customers with regular updates.
As a door-to-door auto transporter, we can pick up your vehicle at any residential or business location in Michigan and get it shipped promptly and safely to any residential or business location in California. We also offer open or enclosed shipping options. See how much it will cost to ship a car from Michigan to California by getting an instant quote today!
Carriers can travel around 500 miles per day. If you take the total distance of your route and divide by 500, you'll get the approximate number of days it will take to ship a car from Michigan to California.
Example: The total distance from Detroit, MI to Los Angeles, CA is 2,286 miles. If you divide that by 500, you get 4.6, or approximately 5 days for delivery.
We provide the estimated delivery times for your specific Michigan to California route when you get an instant quote.
It will depend on the specific pick up location in Michigan and the delivery location in California. It will also depend on the size of the vehicle, whether it runs, and whether it will be shipped on an open or enclosed trailer.
You can see how much it will cost to ship a car from Michigan to California by getting an instant quote on our website, or by calling us at (800) 656-7638. Further down on this page we also display the most recent quotes we've provided for transports from Michigan to California to give you an idea of what it will cost.
Book your order on-line and we'll do the rest
Based on recent dispatch reports, the carrier availability rating from Michigan to California is 9/10.
The center of each state is used to approximate mileage between locations.
Estimated transit times are based on carriers traveling up to 500 miles per day.
Shipping your car has never been easier
Get an instant quote or call our transportation specialists.
When ready, book your order. We will call you to confirm the details.
Our truck will pick up your vehicle at an agreed upon date location. After a vehicle inspection, we take care of the rest.
Our drivers will call you when they are a day out to let you know their approximate ETA.
J&S Transportation Car Shipping Reviews
|$1926||March 26||Rochester Hills, MI||Mentone, CA||Car|
|$1868||March 21||Kalamazoo, MI||Temple City, CA||Car|
|$2096||March 09||Detroit, MI||Santa Ana, CA||Cargo Van / XL Truck (450, 4500)|
|$1415||March 08||Detroit, MI||Los Angeles, CA||Small or Midsize SUV / Crossover / Minivan|
|$2088||February 20||Grand Rapids, MI||Oakland, CA||Car|
|$1931||February 19||Caledonia, MI||San Diego, CA||Car|
|$1470||February 17||Canton, MI||Westchester, CA||Small or Midsize SUV / Crossover / Minivan|
|$2124||February 15||South Haven, MI||Isla Vista, CA||Small or Midsize SUV / Crossover / Minivan|
|$2565||February 09||Caledonia, MI||Altadena, CA||Truck / Large SUV|
|$2333||February 07||Traverse City, MI||Garden Grove, CA||Car|
Michigan auto transports are always in high demand. That shouldn’t be a surprise given the “Big Three” (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) are still headquartered in the state.
Shipping cars to and from Michigan has some interesting challenges but before we dive into those, let’s highlight the best car shipping locations in the state. Any location along, or close to, I-94, I-96, and I-69 are good options. Solid car shipping locations along I-94 include Kalamazoo, Marshall, and Ann Arbor. Grand Rapids and Lansing are great options along I-96, and Flint along I-75/I-69 is also a great option.
The most obvious car shipping location in the state is Detroit. It is, in fact, the best car shipping location in the state with an important caveat. Shipping an individual car from Detroit when the new model year vehicles come out can be challenging. For example, when Ford starts shipping out their new model year vehicles from Detroit, car carriers don’t want to deal with a single unit leaving Detroit simply because they don’t have any room on their trailers for one. Their trailers are plum full of new model year vehicles from Ford. This typically happens in late summer/early fall. If you need an individual car shipped from Detroit during this time, you will pay a premium and you’ll need a little patience as it may take a little longer to find a car carrier that has a spot available.
There is a positive to this “Detroit challenge,” and that is when car carriers head to Detroit to pick up those new model year vehicles, their trailers are usually empty, or at least they have plenty of open spots available. Car carriers will be thrilled to ship your car to Detroit during this time because a car carrier always wants a full load to maximize their profits. As a result, shipping rates to Detroit during this time are usually cheapest as car carriers are willing to take less to fill up their trailers with vehicles.
If you look at a map of Michigan and draw a line from Grand Rapids in the west to Flint in the east, anything above that line in Michigan is going to be difficult to ship a car to or from. By difficult I mean, your auto transport may take a little longer and/or require more money to complete. In fact, the more north you go from that line, the more difficult the car shipment will be because as you go north, there is less population. Car carriers just aren’t going into those areas of Michigan on a regular basis.
A final challenge to Michigan auto transports is the weather. Like any midwestern state, winters can be harsh in Michigan, especially as you go further north in Michigan. Shipping cars to or from Michigan during the winter months may take a little longer to complete. Car carriers like to avoid northern states in the winter so there aren’t as many of them serving the state in the winter. Another reason transports may take longer in the winter is simply due to delays because of snowstorms.
If you want to know how much it will cost to ship a car to or from Michigan, and how long it will take to complete, get an instant quote online or call us at (800) 656-7638.
When shipping a car to or from California, I-5 is your friend. That is the main trucking artery in the state. The bulk of all auto transports are up and down the I-5. The closer your pick up and delivery locations are to I-5, the quicker and cheaper your transport will be. The friendliest shipping locations in the state are Sacramento in the north and Los Angeles in the south and any location along the I-5 in between those two cities. San Diego isn’t bad either but given its extreme southern location on I-5, it can sometimes make for a slightly more expensive and longer transport time than those cities further north along I-5.
Other friendly car shipping locations in California include those cities along CA-99, which runs parallel to I-5 and is east of I-5. Those cities would include Chico in the north, down to Yuba City, Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield in the south.
Finally, San Jose and the cities along US-101 down to Los Angeles round out the friendly car shipping locations in California.
Now let’s look at the challenging car shipping locations in California. These are locations that will most certainly cost more to ship cars to and from, and where auto transports will take more time to complete.
First up is San Francisco. This isn’t the most challenging location, but it’s certainly not one of the easiest cities to ship cars to or from in California. San Francisco is very time consuming and expensive for car carriers to service. Toll bridges to and from the city are expensive and San Francisco has the highest gas prices in the country. There are also many streets in the city that are restricted to smaller vehicles. All of this makes San Francisco the most unfriendly metro areas west of the Mississippi for car carriers. Be prepared to pay a premium to ship a car to or from San Francisco!
Speaking of the bay area, while San Francisco is challenging, the cities of Oakland, San Leandro, and Fremont aren’t too bad because car carriers don’t have to deal with toll bridges and road restrictions.
The most challenging car shipping locations are going to be those locations that hug the coastline along CA-1 or those locations along US-101 north of San Francisco, those locations in or near the vast forested and mountainous areas of California, and those locations north of Chico that aren’t along I-5 (far northern California).
While we are a door-to-door auto transport company, we have our limitations. There are just some locations trucks can’t get to. If you live in a remote area up in the mountains or deep in a forested area, or if you are shipping to or from one of those restricted streets in San Francisco, you’ll likely have to meet a driver somewhere along a major highway or interstate near your location.
The other challenging aspect of car shipping to or from California is the price of gas in the state. Even in the best economic times the price of gas in California is almost always the highest in the country. Carriers have to make a living so they don't eat those increased costs. They pass them along to you the consumer! As a result, all things being equal, auto transports in and out of California are going to be higher just because of the price of gas in the state so be prepared for that.
To find out what your California auto transport is going to cost and how long it's going to take, get an instant quote on our website or call us (800) 656-7638.
Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions
The first step is to get an instant quote on our website or by calling us at (800) 656-7638. The quote will give you a current price and the estimated time of delivery for your specific shipping route. From there you can book an order online or book an order with us over the phone.
Yes! By default, our instant quotes are for open transports, but on the quote page you will also see the cost to ship a car enclosed.
The instant quote is all inclusive. There are no sales tax, hidden fees, or additional charges of any kind. Insurance coverage is also included in the price you are given!
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