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New York to California

Shipping Your Car from New York to California

Maybe you have found a better paying job across the country. If so, congratulations! If you have never shipped a car before, chances are that you are petrified about what might happen to your baby in transit. Once you go online and shop around for the best price, you might start to be bombarded with calls from brokers, too, which will not help to settle your nerves.


Your best bet is a referral. Ask your moving company if they can recommend a car carrier that they trust, and that owns their own trucks.


Should You Use A Broker?


At any given time, there are 50-100 cars that need shipped from New York to California. Those numbers are similar for New Jersey, and for any other highly populated metropolitan area in the northeast. Most of these cars are contracted with a broker, and that broker is advertising them to the cheapest bidder on load boards such as Central Dispatch and Uship. If you are lucky and happen to be working with a broker who understands the current market rates and demand in this popular lane, your car will be priced right and the car will move quickly. After all any driver shopping around for loads to put on his truck will obviously take the higher paying ones first.  Sadly, many brokers are not aware of the types of sudden changes that the auto transport world is known for and will end up misquoting you, leaving your car sitting on the boards for weeks. Sometimes, the outcome is even worse: the broker could settle and assign the load to a sub-par carrier with outdated and ill-maintained equipment or insufficient insurance coverage.


Who Can Guarantee A Pickup Date?


You will want to make sure that your chosen carrier can guarantee a pickup date in New York so that you can plan your move in peace and keep your car as long as possible while you are still in the state. Many carriers claim to offer door-to-door service, even though their 80-foot-long truck will never get into your neighborhood. If a broker using a 7-10 car carrier guarantees a pickup date in advance, they are lying to win your deposit. The only time a company can guarantee a pickup date will be if they have a local small truck making daily pickups and deliveries, then storing the vehicles in a safe lot alongside other cars being shipped to California. Since we are based in New York and have multiple small trucks running around every day, it is easy for us to guarantee door service pickup on any day you choose. It costs a little bit extra for us to maintain this service, given the price of the storage yard, maintenance on the truck, and paying the driver, but we have found that the peace of mind allowed for by guaranteed pickup dates is worth it for most people.


Updates, Tracking and Customer Service


It can be cheap to work with an owner-operator who runs his one truck all across the country. If you are lucky enough to find one on the internet, you will usually be unlucky in your efforts to communicate with them. They drive at night and sleep during the day, so they are hard to get in touch with; that’s frustrating when you want to know how your car is doing. Try and find a carrier who has enough trucks to keep a full-time staff around to answer your phone calls. They will probably also have a happy customer service representative in their office who has access to the GPS location of the truck, and who is holding the driver accountable to achieve the desired ETA for delivery. If the carrier has enough trucks and cares about their customer’s experience, they can afford to pay staff and keep the rates fair. These carriers won’t ever be the cheapest quote you get, but they will most likely deliver on their promises.




  • Look for a company who owns their own trucks
  • Ask if they can guarantee door service in New York
  • Make sure you have access to full time customer service staff
  • Remember: you get what you pay for