Shipping a car from Chicago to Los Angeles Guide

shipping a car

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Shipping a car is not like shipping a package. Auto transport industry has its own rules. For a smooth auto transport experience take some time to review the basics steps and understand the process.

What are my options when shipping a car from Chicago to Los Angeles?

You have two options – driving and shipping. Driving might be a good, cost-effective alternative, if the distance is not greater than 300 miles, your car is in excellent driving condition, and you don’t mind embarking on a cross-country road trip. But going on a longer than 2000 miles road adventure is not something you do on a whim. You may want to consider other alternatives.

And what if you have more than one vehicle to move? 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 on its own power? Or maybe you don’t feel like driving at all.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, then hiring a professional auto transport company would be your most affordable and convenient option. In fact, private customers and businesses alike contract vehicle transport companies like Corsia Logistics daily.

What services do auto transport companies offer?

Typical services will vary by company. Usually, you’ll have a choice based on the type of carrier and the time-frame of delivery. Corsia Logistics offers the following car shipping services:

  • by carrier type: open or enclosed
  • by time-frame: standard or expedited delivery

All Corsia Logistics 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. Whether you choose an open or enclosed carrier, you can request a top load for your vehicle.

The other option you’ll 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, in this case from Chicago to Los Angeles within 7 to 10 days. However, please keep in mind that all dates and times are only estimates. Delays happen on the road often due to weather, traffic or other customers’ postponements.

Expedited delivery could guarantee that your car is picked up or delivered on or by a specified date and time. However, the carrier will have to arrange the whole schedule of the truck around your specific dates. In some cases, when specific dates are requested, we need to involve a second or third company, a local carrier, to pick-up or deliver the vehicle on the specified date. So, expedited auto transport service is always more expensive.

If you are not sure which service to pick, share your concerns with our logistics experts who will be happy to help, so you make the choice that suits you and your car best.

How much does it cost to ship my vehicle from Chicago to Los Angeles?

It’s important to understand the economics of a vehicle shipping quote. The cost to ship a car depends on a few factors: vehicle’s make and model, any added modifications, the operability of your vehicle, distance and pick up/drop off locations, type of transport, and supply and demand fluctuations.

Make, model, and modifications

The bigger and heavier your vehicle is, the more it’ll cost to transport it. Also, don’t forget to mention any modifications done to your vehicle. In some cases, modifications mean change in vehicle’s dimensions and weight.

Vehicle condition

If your vehicle can not move on its own power, the carrier will need to engage some extra help (a winch or a forklift), which certainly costs extra.

Distance and pick up/drop off locations

The longer the distance the more expensive it’ll be to transport your vehicle. However, it’s also important to consider how far off the interstate and state highways the pick-up and delivery points are. If it’s somewhere off the main routes – in a rural or hard to get to area – where not that many people are looking to ship their vehicles, you will need to make it worth the trucker’s time, effort, and extra gas expense. It means a higher price.

Type of transport

The most popular method of transporting vehicles is via open trailers. This type of transport is considered standard and more economical as well.
If you are shipping a luxury, classic, or collectible automobile we always recommend an enclosed trailer. It’s more expensive, but in return offers extra protection from road elements and hazards as well as inclement weather effects.

Supply and demand fluctuations

Supply and demand fluctuations dictate prices on most routes. When the demand peaks, prices usually go up and this can often happen in a matter of hours.

Seasonal fluctuations also have an effect on vehicle shipping costs. For example, between May and September, the most popular months for moving and traveling, as well as during the snowbirds season, prepare to pay a higher price due to an increased demand. Car shipping may also get a bit complicated during winter holidays (end of December through the beginning of January) when a lot of transporters take time off. The supply of trucks on the market decreases, and as a result, car shipping rates go up.

Due to the volatile nature of supply and demand in the auto transport industry, it’s extremely important to track daily price fluctuations on national dispatch boards.

Additional factors that may affect your vehicle transport cost include expedited shipping, top load for your vehicle, and terminal-to-terminal delivery.

What documents do I need when shipping a car?

Domestic transport is easy and simple. You or someone on your behalf will need to release the vehicle to the carrier at pick-up, hand over the car keys, and sign the Bill of Lading (BOL). The BOL is not only a receipt but also an inspection report. When the carrier inspects the car it’s important to make sure that all existing damages are marked down before signing the document.

Is my car insured during transport?

Yes, it is. By law, every car carrier in operation must have cargo insurance. A car carrier cannot operate without an active insurance policy.

 

Moving to the City of Angels

Los Angeles beach

Moving from the Windy City to become an Angelino comes with a lot of challenges and perks. Los Angeles lifestyle is laid back and gives you the freedom to find a job that you really enjoy and have a few gigs on the side whenever you have some time to spare. The city defines the West Coast. Its climate consists mainly of warm days all year-round, with cool nights, and occasional rain. Forget Chicago’s cold and snowy winters.

With around 4 million people, LA is the second-most populous city in the US. The city is also well known for the worst traffic jams in the nation, and arguably in the world.

Economy and employment

The entertainment industry, technology, aerospace, tourism, international trade, law, fashion, finance, healthcare, telecommunications, and transportation are some of the key industries that keep LA’s economy running strong. As the largest manufacturing center in the United States, LA also offers a great number of job vacancies in this area. But don’t limit yourself to these top industries only. LA has much more to offer and is the perfect place to thrive as an entrepreneur.

According to the Global Financial Centres Index, in 2017, Los Angeles became the sixth most competitive financial center right behind New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. It is home to Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, as well as six Fortune 500 companies.

Housing and Living Costs

No matter where you relocate, you still need to pick a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle. That is why, before you decide to rent or buy a house in LA, get to know its neighborhoods first. Among the best neighborhoods are Atwater Village, Beverly Grove, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Downtown, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Westwood, Beverlywood, Cheviot Hills, and Carthay.

In general, Los Angeles is more expensive than Chicago, 19% more to be exact. Median home costs are much more expensive as well. In East Los Angeles, it can go up to 84% more expensive than Chicago according to Best Places. If you want to learn more about living costs in LA this Payscale calculator will help you compare them to your living costs in Chicago.

Things to see and do in LA

Once in Los Angeles, you will soon adjust to its great weather that allows its inhabitants to do much more outdoor activities than in Chicago. Enjoy its rich and diverse culture, cuisine, and people whenever you have a chance. Disneyland, Runyon Canyon Park, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood sign, Museum of Art, Dolby Theatre, Griffith Park, and Madame Tussauds Hollywood are just a few places you need to visit as soon as you can.

Go camping, cycling, rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, surfing, or take a stroll down the city whenever you can. And if you also have a dog, you’re in luck. LA is a great city for dogs, so you will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the city and walk your dog at the same time.

Moving to Los Angeles with a car

As soon as you relocate to Los Angeles with a car, you will have 20 days to register your car and only 10 days to apply for a California driver’s license. As the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has very strict rules for all newcomers, we highly recommend you to read carefully all the requirements for Car Registration in California, driver’s license, title transfer, and more. Make sure you also hold a valid car insurance in order to register your car.