How to Ship a Car From California to Virginia 

How to Ship a Car From California to Virginia

If you’re preparing to ship a car from California to Virginia, you may have questions about what to expect. If you’re not prepared to spend over 40 hours driving, scheduling auto transport is the best option when moving to or from Virginia. Do you know that shipping your vehicle will also save time and money when you’re planning to transport a car cross country?

To help you prepare for your upcoming move, here is e verything you need to know when you ship a car from California to Virginia.

Basic Tips to Ship a Car from California to Virginia

When planning to ship a car from California to Virginia, the following tips will prevent your car from taking unexpected turns of events.

1. Schedule Your Car Ahead for Shipment

To successfully ship a car from California to Virginia this season, scheduling your car shipment ahead is best. It will make all the difference in preventing delays and ensuring a smooth transport experience.

2. Select Your Car Shipping Method

Open trailers are commonly used for auto shipping. However, this option may not suit all vehicles, especially luxury, classic and exotic cars. The enclosed carrier auto-shipping method would be the most suitable option when avoiding debris and harsh weather conditions due to its added protection.

3. Use a Reliable Transport Company

Most times, the success you obtain when you ship a car from California to Virginia depends on the service and experience of the car shipping company. MI Car Shipping has top-notch expertise in providing the best car shipping services to suit your lifestyle. If you are embarking on car shipping from Virginia to California or vice-versa, MI Car Shipping will help you.

How to Prepare my Car for California to Virginia Car Shipping

Before preparing to ship a car from California to Virginia, you should do a few things. Preparing your car for the shipping journey will make the process easy for you and the car shipping company. Follow these steps to prepare your car for shipment:

  1. Remove all personal items from your car
  2. Inform your auto transport company you’re employing on time if your car is inoperable
  3. Conduct a car inspection
  4. Ensure your car is filled with enough gas or fully charged to load and unload.
  5. Be involved in the pre-shipping inspection process
  6. Do not cancel insurance
  7. Make sure your auto transport driver has a copy of the car keys.

California to Virginia Cheap Car Shipping Services

Choose early the shipping method of your choice during your USA car shipping – enclosed or open transport car shipping. Ensure you choose one that is suitable or best suits your need. For instance, if you plan to ship a luxury car, your option should be enclosed shipping, but the cost will be slightly higher.

Most shipping companies may offer you either terminal-to-terminal shipping or door-to-door shipping. Consider the one that best suits you to know which method to opt for, but here’s the difference between the two:

1. Terminal to Terminal Car Shipping

Terminals are in large cities and metropolitan areas across the United States. So car shipping carriers prefer terminal-to-terminal shipping because terminals are easier to find than remote areas and require less labor.

Auto transporters can ship up to ten cars to economize fuel and oil. However, when opting for terminal-to-terminal shipping, ensure you have designated someone ahead for pickup and/or drop-off.

2. Door-to-Door Shipping

The auto carrier will bring the truck very close to your house to your location to pick up your car with this shipping method. Since it will be difficult to maneuver a truck carrying up to 9 cars to your doorstep, placing your car on a common highway is advisable.

This shipping method would be faster since the car doesn’t have to pass through or wait at terminals. Likewise, it is also the cheapest if there are storage fees for terminal-to-terminal shipping.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car from California to Virginia?

On average, cross-country car shipping from California to Virginia takes 7-10 days. The estimate car shipping distance is approximately a 2,700 – 3,000 miles trip depending on the final destination within Virginia. The average auto carrier travels 500 miles daily depending on their scheduled stops and road conditions. Plan car shipping to California from Virginia or vice-versa as far in advance as possible to make sure that your vehicle arrives on time and to guarantee the best price possible!

Some determining factors influence how long it will take to ship a car from California to Virginia. Here are some factors that affect the shipping delivery time:

  • Location

Picking up a car from the top 18 counties in the U. S. or a metropolitan area saves more time. Auto carriers will find it easier and quicker to pick up cars around the major interstate highway.

  • Distance

The distance between the pickup area in California to the destination in Virginia determines how long it will take to ship your car.

  • Road issues

The auto transport carriers might encounter delays due to heavy traffic or road construction. Likewise, this can affect the time of delivery.

  • Weather

The weather also plays another major role in the journey time. Bad weather does affect the speed rate of the delivery.

At MI Car Shipping, we keep you updated about everything you need to know about when you should expect your car to reach your destination before and during the shipment. We also deal in car shipping for military families moving from California to Virginia.

Do I Need to do any Pre-trip Inspection When Shipping a Car from California to Virginia?

You must complete your inspection when you’re preparing to ship a car from California to Virginia. You should do the inspection when your car is being picked up and when it arrives at its final destination. Take photos of your vehicle before it’s shipped, and use MI Car Shipping’s car shipping checklist to prepare your vehicle beforehand. If your car arrives in Virginia with damage, file a claim directly with the carrier.

How Much Does Car Shipping Cost from California to Virginia?

It’s much more affordable than you may think to ship a car from California to Virginia. Find the best car shipping price based on your budget, and allow some flexibility in the pickup/drop-off dates. California to Virginia, car shipping costs will depend on many factors, which include:

1. Season

The time of the year will determine your car shipping estimates cost. The carriers will have difficulty transporting your car in winter because of the road condition. Hence, most carriers find it easier to ship cars during Summer Season.

2. Distance

The distance between your pickup and delivery location also plays a major role in California to Virginia auto shipping prices. The price tends to be higher when transporting your car from/to a long distance. The average distance to ship a car from California to Virginia is 2,700 miles.

3. Location

Picking up or delivering cars to rural areas will be more costly than in metropolitan areas. Carriers find it difficult to transport cars from rural areas since trucks are hard to maneuver in rural areas. So, you should ship your car to Virginia from California with pickup and delivery locations in metropolitan areas.

4. Auto Shipping Type

There are two major methods of shipping your car domestically – enclosed carrier and open carrier auto shipping. Given your choice, the cost of shipping may vary. Nevertheless, the open carrier is the most cost-effective as it shares a trailer with about nine cars. However, the enclosed carrier offers maximum protection to your vehicle against arid weather conditions and debris.

5. Vehicle Condition

An operable car will be less costly compared to an inoperable car. The car carrier finds loading a working car easier than a non-running car. An inoperable car will need the expertise to load and unload.

6. Vehicle Type, Size, and Weight

Luxury or classic car shipping will cost more than a regular vehicle because of its specialty. It will also require more expertise, especially during loading and unloading. This can also contribute to car shipping rates from California to Virginia.

7. Shipping Time Frame

Another factor influencing California to Virginia car shipping costs is how fast you want your car shipped. Car shipping brokers can adequately plan your shipment when you are not in haste. However, you will pay more when trying to rush your shipment. Always contact the vehicle transport broker early to schedule your auto shipment.

When you contact us at MI Car Shipping, you can use our car shipping estimator to know how much you need to about domestic and overseas car shipping cost. Also, we will update you about available discounts when you contact us.

Top Things to Consider When picking the Best Car Shipping Company to Ship a Car from California to Virginia


When choosing the best car shipping company to ship a car from California to Virginia, thoroughly research top car shipping companies. When you are surfing for “car shipping companies near me,” you will find many self-named “best car shipping companies;” however, you need to be careful. The following are the top things to consider when picking a California to Virginia car shipping company:

1. Experience

Check for the number of years that the company has been in the business. Also, research their previously done projects on their site and through testimonials from previous customers. Don’t lose the focus of allowing experts to handle your car while looking for the cheapest car shipping company.

2. Reputation

Staying in the car shipping business for years doesn’t guarantee a good reputation. Aside from what is posted on their website, check for general reviews from different platforms. This will guide you to know a reputable company.

3. Service Offered

Not all car shipping companies in California can handle luxury or inoperable cars. Also, you should note that not all car shipping companies in Florida are into military car shipping. So, check what you need to what the company offers to avoid bad situations when shipping your car to Virginia.

4. Price

A good company should be able to provide more than one price quote to a client. To secure the best shipping quote from a reputable auto shipping company, you can compare 3 to 4 price quotes. To decide your best choice, compare the different available shipping services, which include open, closed, terminal-to-terminal, and door-to-door.

5. Customer Car Shipping Reviews

The reviews of previous customers are very important to know more about a company. You can know the ability of a shipping company from what others say about them. A reputable will provide customer reviews on their website or make them available on request. You can also request the phone number of the customers to speak with them directly.

6. Accreditation

Check the accreditation of the car shipping company handling your shipment process. A top choice is a BBB-rated car shipping company that provides quality customer service and great value for your money.

7. Reference

People should be able to refer to a reputable company involved in car shipping in USA. Reviews or phone calls can be one of the ways a good car shipping company can receive a reference. So, watch out to learn about any car shipping company.

Ship a Car from California to Virginia with MI Car Shipping

If you’re moving to Virginia, and you are in search for “car shipping near me” to schedule your auto transport from California, MI Car Shipping is here to help. We make it easy to ship a car from California to Virginia, and we also deal in international car shipping services.

MI Car Shipping is your reliable car shipping company with an A+ rating and excellent customer reviews. We are a four-time finalist with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a licensed and bonded car shipping broker with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. We provide excellent and satisfactory vehicle transport services.

At MI Car Shipping, we only work with carriers with a service rating of at least 95% for our customers. We will find you a reliable and affordable auto transport carrier that will take care of your vehicle during your upcoming move. You can also request our car shipping overseas cost and use our international car shipping cost calculator.

Call MI Car Shipping at 866-620-1776 today to schedule your auto transport, or request car shipping quotes online. Our car shipping calculator is always available to ease your journey. We look forward to helping you with your upcoming auto transport needs. For more information on Bexar County Auto Transport, visit our website at

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most major credit cards, postal money orders and cashiers checks are acceptable forms of payment.

As with most transport services, a deposit is generally required when placing an order. Deposits range from 10-25 % of the total shipping cost. The remaining balance will be due upon delivery.

Most auto transport companies accept cash, certified checks, and postal money orders.

Coast to coast trips usually takes between 10-14 days. Shorter trips ranges from 3-7 days, depending on the actual distance. Some factors may delay a trip, including traffic, weather, and truck breakdowns.

Yes, we request you, or a designated person, be present upon pick up of your vehicle. For your safety and your vehicle’s safety, an inspection is performed and a bill of lading must be signed that serves as proof of delivery.

The easiest way to ship an inoperable vehicle is to let us know when requesting a vehicle transport quote. There will be an additional charge, plus loading and unloading charges to your quote, if we are not informed of the vehicle’s condition prior to quoting.

Auto carriers are not licensed to carry house goods or personal items, these goods and items are not covered by the carriers insurance. Any damage to your vehicle due to household goods shifting or breaking is also not covered. Personal belongings left in the vehicle, are shipped strictly at the owners risk. Carriers will not inventory any belongings left in the vehicle and will assume no responsibility.

Your car is insured for the Blue Book value the entire time it is on the truck. Clearly listed on your Shipping Order, Agreement and Bill of Lading are occurrences not covered. At the time of pick up, a condition report is filled out and signed by both the person turning the car over and the truck driver and you are given a copy.

Upon delivery of your vehicle, this same report is presented. You should compare the condition of the vehicle to the report thoroughly at that time. If you feel damage has occurred to your vehicle during delivery, you must note it on the report before you sign it and the driver leaves. Damage done in transit does not relieve the shipper of paying for transport service performed. Claims will be handled by the vehicle carrier and insurance companies.

Metti International offers door-to-door auto transport service where possible. However, there are instances that we cannot collect/deliver directly to the door due to the size of our auto carrier’s trucks. The size of your street may prohibit direct delivery to your door. Also, some towns and cities do not allow trucks on their residential streets. If the carrier cannot get to your door, he will deliver your vehicle to the next most convenient accessible location, such as the nearest major crossing street, a shopping mall or supermarket.

Please have a no more than 1/4 tank of fuel, remove all personal items from your vehicle and have it washed and cleaned so that the ensuing inspection is easily performed. If it is a convertible, T-top, sunroof, etc. make sure all openings are closed and prepared for changing weather. You can find additional tips on how to prepare your car for transport here.