Shipping a car from Chicago to San Diego Guide

shipping a car across country

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Whatever your reason is for moving a car between Chicago and San Diego, the vehicle relocation experience shouldn’t be a hassle. The two cities are situated considerably far apart – practically on the opposite sides of the North American continent. Embarking on a journey of this kind is definitely not for the faint of heart. How do you approach it? What would be your best plan of action? There must be a great deal of questions rushing through your head right now.

In this guide, we’ve compiled our expertise to explain everything you need to know about auto transport, so your car reaches its destination safe and sound!

What are my options when shipping a car from Chicago to San Diego?

To move a vehicle between Chicago and San Diego you have two main options – driving it to the final destination or shipping your car with a professional auto transport company.

DRIVING
Driving may be a good cost-effective option, if the distance is not greater than 300 miles, your car is in an excellent driving condition, and you don’t mind embarking on a short road trip. When the distance is longer, other factors come into the equation. Over 2000 miles of state and interstate roads separate Chicago and San Diego. Not a trip you would do on a whim. A journey like this requires a fair amount of planning and preparation. You need to make sure that both you and your car are prepared to handle the endurance demands of a cross-country road trip.
SHIPPING
Private customers and businesses alike contract vehicle shipping companies daily. When you hire an auto transport company you free yourself from the responsibility of moving your vehicle. It makes life easier when you are busy or simply do not wish to embark on a road trip. Moreover, it spares your car additional hundreds of miles of unnecessary wear and tear and untimely visits to a mechanic. You won’t have to deal with aggressive drivers or traffic jams. Shipping a car from Chicago to San Diego with an auto transport company is also often easier on your wallet than driving. Just invest some time in finding a reliable car shipper and prepare your vehicle for shipping.

What services do auto transport companies offer?

You’ll have a choice based on the level of protection you want for your vehicle, the delivery time-frame, and pick up/drop off locations. Corsia logistics offers the following services:

  • Open and enclosed carrier
  • Standard and expedited delivery

All Corsia Logistics deliveries are door-to-door unless you specifically request a terminal or near your home delivery.

OPEN OR ENCLOSED CARRIER
Open carriers are suitable for all types of vehicles, whether it’s an everyday sedan or luxury automobile. However, owners of classic, luxury, and sports cars often choose in favor of enclosed auto transport. The fully covered carrier protects the car from destructive weather and road elements. Due to the extra layer of protection it offers, enclosed auto transport is a pricier option.
STANDARD OR EXPEDITED SHIPPING
When you choose standard delivery service, expect a carrier to pick up your vehicle within 1 to few days. The transit time will depend mainly on distance. Delivery from Chicago to San Diego would take around 7-10 days. However, keep in mind that all dates and times are estimates. Carriers drive all over the country picking up and dropping off vehicles, hence delays may happen. It’s important to stay in touch with your carrier at all times. If you need your vehicle delivered on or by a specified date and time, request expedited delivery. Carrier will rearrange the entire truck’s itinerary around your schedule, which makes this service a pricier option.

How much does it cost to ship a car from Chicago to San Diego?

When it comes to auto transport, going for the cheapest bid isn’t always your best bet. Just like the most expensive quote won’t guarantee the best quality of service. Request multiple shipping quotes and take some time to understand how vehicle shipping price is calculated. There’s a number of factors that affect the cost to ship a car. Vehicle make and model together with the distance set the base price for shipping. Then the choice of carrier type enters into the equation.

Shipping a non-running car drives the price up due to additional equipment and driver’s skill. Picking up and delivering a vehicle from and to a rural area is a logistical challenge that usually costs more. However, the deciding factor of all is the current supply and demand situation on a given route.

Corsia Logistics agents manually track daily supply and demand fluctuations, so we can offer you realistic rates, with the utmost transparency.

VEHICLE MAKE & MODEL
Whether your vehicle is a small sedan or an SUV matters for the car carrier. Vehicle’s weight and dimensions usually define the base price for transporting it. The bigger and heavier your vehicle is, the more it’ll cost to transport it. Carriers must observe legal weight restrictions when accepting vehicles for shipping. Therefore, the make and model of your car, as well as any added modifications and items stored inside, will all contribute to the total weight of the load. Also, certain vehicle modifications, such as lower vehicle clearance or 4X4 lift kit will require additional assistance or special preparations that may add to the cost of shipping.
TRANSPORT TYPE
There are two general types of carriers: open and enclosed. 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. Whether you choose in favor of an open or enclosed carrier, you’ll be able to request a top load for your car.
DISTANCE
On the one hand, the further the vehicle travels, the higher the overall price. On the other hand, the longer the distance, the less it costs per mile. The distance is never the decisive factor in the final cost. Shorter distances still consume gas and require the same amount of work, but in the end, it is fewer miles traveled. Hence, shorter distances often cost as much as shipping a car across the country.
LOCATION/POPULATION
It’s 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 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 as well as longer pick-up and delivery times.
VEHICLE CONDITION
If your vehicle can not move under its own power, the carrier will need to engage some extra help (a winch or a forklift); therefore, you’ll have to pay extra.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Supply and demand fluctuations dictate prices on most routes. When the demand peaks, prices usually go up, which 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 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 fickle nature of supply and demand in the auto transport industry, it’s extremely important to track daily price fluctuations on national dispatch boards.
Is my car insured during transport?

Yes, it is. DOT requires all carriers to have cargo insurance which protects your vehicle against damages during loading, unloading, and transit and covers anything from theft, dents, and scratches to a total loss of a car. Liability limits, though, will vary from carrier to carrier.

Welcome to Sunny California

Shipping a car to California from Michigan

San Diego — the Birthplace of California, is one of the major cities in California. Spanish for Saint Didacus, San Diego has an estimated population of over 1.4M people as of July 1, 2017. Due to its perfect weather and endless opportunities it offers, the population of the city has been constantly growing during the last decades. San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and the second-largest in California.

Compared to Chicago’s humid continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters, San Diego has a perfect climate year-round. In fact, the city has one of the most perfect climates in the entire country with temperatures that range from 57°F during the winter seasons, which are usually characterized by a mild and warm climate, to 72°F during the summer season which is mostly dry.

Housing and living costs

Overall, the housing and living costs in San Diego are higher compared to Chicago. San Diego’s cost of living is 50% more expensive, while the median home cost in San Diego is 176% more expensive. If you have decided to buy a home in San Diego, expect the prices to be much lower than some other cities in California such as San Jose and San Francisco. A one-bedroom home costs around $255,000, two bedrooms would run about $399,000, while overall, the average property price in San Diego is $490,000. In case you’re looking to rent instead of buying a house, the average rent prices are $1,465 for a studio and $1,547 for a one-bedroom in the city.

San Diego Neighborhoods

There are over 100 Neighborhoods in the City of San Diego. According to Redfin Corporations, among the top ten neighborhoods in San Diego are Little Italy, Carmel Valley, Mission Hills, North Park, Balboa Park, Hillcrest, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Mission Valley, and Pacific Beach.

Economy and Job Opportunities

With a diverse economy, San Diego offers plenty of job opportunities in various areas. The city is known as a  healthcare and biotechnology development/research center. Other lucrative economic sectors in San Diego are tourism, military and defense-related activities, manufacturing, and international trade. In 2014, Forbes named San Diego as one of the best cities in the US for launching a startup or opening a small business. According to the City’s 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, among  the top employers in San Diego are the United States Navy, University of California, San Diego, Sharp HealthCare, County of San Diego, San Diego Unified School District, Qualcomm, Inc, Scripps Health, Kaiser Permanente, and San Diego Community College District.

Things to see and do in San Diego

Are you a fan of mountain views, intriguing caves, and sunny beaches? San Diego is the perfect place if you love kayaking, swimming, hiking, surfing, and any other activities that bring you closer to nature and fresh air. The local Farmers Markets are also a must visit once you move to San Diego. They offer fresh produce and high-quality fruits and vegetables. As the city is very close to Mexico, it offers a great opportunity for weekend getaways whenever you need a change of scenery.

Moving to San Diego with a car

When moving to San Diego with a car, all new residents have up to 20 days to register their vehicle and 10 days to obtain a California driver’s license. In order to register your car, you will also need to hold valid car insurance.

The state of California has very strict rules when it comes to registering an out-of-state vehicle, so we highly recommend you to familiarize yourself with all the rules on the official State of California Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Shipping a car from Chicago to San Diego is simple with Corsia: we serve this route on a regular basis. Our vehicle relocation experts will go above and beyond to provide you and your vehicle with superb shipping experience. We encourage you to ask questions because no question is too small, and we’ll be happy to help you learn how car shipping works. Thanks for choosing Corsia Logistics!