How to Ship a Car from Virginia to California

Ship a Car from Virginia to California

Shipping a car from one state to another can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before Ship a Car from Virginia to California. However, with the right research and preparation, transferring a vehicle across the country can be a relatively simple process.

This guide will outline the key steps and considerations for shipping a car from Virginia to California, the two locations on opposite sides of the United States.

Choose a Transport Method

The first decision to make is how you want your car transported – via an “open” carrier or an “enclosed” carrier.

  • An open carrier is an auto transport truck that has several decks with ramps for driving vehicles onto. Cars are not enclosed and can be exposed to weather conditions during transit.
  • An enclosed carrier fully contains the vehicles inside a closed container for protection. While enclosed transport provides more security, it also tends to be more expensive.

Most transport companies provide free online quotes based on your vehicle details, pick-up/drop-off locations and desired dates.

Get estimates from at least 3 reputable companies to compare rates and services before selecting one.

Ship a Car from Virginia to California – Inspect Your Vehicle

Before handing over your car, do a thorough inspection for any pre-existing dents, scratches or damages. Take detailed photos. This protects you in case any new issues arise during transit.

Also check fluid levels, tires and make any necessary repairs. Your vehicle must be in safe, roadworthy condition for the journey.

Prepare Shipping Documents

Your selected transport company will provide instructions for completing shipping paperwork like the Bill of Lading. This legal contract confirms pickup/delivery addresses, provides liability terms and is signed by both parties.

You’ll also need a copy of your vehicle’s title, registration and insurance docs. Make photocopies of all paperwork to keep for your records too.

Ship a Car from Virginia to California – Schedule Loading and Delivery Dates

Confirm your preferred pickup date in Virginia and estimated delivery date range for California. Most companies need at least 3-5 business days to complete an across-country haul.

Choose dates that allow adequate time but not longer than necessary to avoid storage fees. Opt for off-peak months (Oct-Dec) if possible for cheaper rates.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

  • Remove all personal belongings from interior and trunk
  • Ensure gas tank is less than 1/4 full forsafety
  • Confirm battery is fully charged
  • Deflate tires to the pressure stated on the door
  • Leave a set of keys with transport company

Properly preparing your car gets it transport-ready and complies with carrier regulations to avoid problems down the road.

Load Your Vehicle onto the Transport Truck

Have your car fully prepared to turn over to the driver on the agreed loading date. Inspect it closely as it’s driven onto the transport truck.

Note any new issues for the condition report. Get a copy of this document signed by the driver before they depart for the cross-country haul.

Arrange Delivery in California

Confirm your desired delivery address and instructions with the transport company such as parking preferences.

Have your proof of identity and completed shipping docs ready for signature upon arrival. Inspect the vehicle carefully as it’s unloaded before signing acceptance.

Ship a Car from Virginia to California – Parting Words:

Shipping a car across the long distance from Virginia to California requires proper planning and precautions to go smoothly.

By carefully following the steps outlined above of choosing a reputable carrier, thoroughly preparing your vehicle, using complete paperwork, inspecting at critical points and communicating clearly with the transport provider, you can have peace of mind your car makes the cross-country trip safely.