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How Much To Ship A Car From California To Tennessee?

How Much To Ship A Car From California To Tennessee?
September 15, 2023
10 min

We know your car is dear to you, and moving it across states could give you sleepless nights. But fear not; Easy Auto Ship is here to sail your ship of worries into the sunset. We will answer your burning question: “How Much To Ship A Car From California To Tennessee?” Well, folks, it’s less terrifying than you might think. When doing car shipping, many factors are at play - the size and weight of your vehicle, the season, the type of carrier you choose, and the distance.

Shipping from California to Tennessee could be cheaper or costlier, depending on the factors above. But that’s where we step in! We’ve got you covered whether you’re shipping a sleek sports car or a sturdy SUV. And remember, while cost is a significant factor, the safety of your automobile is paramount.

You want to take your car cross country but want to drive only some of the way. You’re afraid for your vehicle’s safety and have a tight budget. But that’s why we’re here to help, making car shipping from California to Tennessee a breeze. So, let’s dive into how much to ship a car from California to Tennessee.

12 Factors Affecting the Cost of Shipping From California to Tennessee

Type of Transport’s Impact on Shipping prices

Choosing the proper method of transport is crucial when calculating the cost to ship a car from California to Tennessee. If you opt for an open carrier transport, you choose the more budget-friendly option.

Open car shipping carriers are the most common types of transport on the road and are often seen carrying multiple cars at once. However, they expose your vehicle to the elements, so consider the alternative if you have a classic or luxury model.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Shipping From California to Tennessee

Enclosed trailer transport, while a tad pricier, offers more protection for your vehicle. It shields your car from weather conditions and road debris, giving you peace of mind knowing your prized possession is safe and sound.

For example, if you have a vintage 1965 Ford Mustang that you’ve lovingly restored, opting for an enclosed trailer to protect it from potential damage could be worth the extra expense.

Vehicle Type and Size’s Effect on Car Shipping Cost

The vehicle’s type and size play a significant role when determining how much to ship a car from California to Tennessee.

Large, heavy vehicles like SUVs and trucks take up more space on the carrier and add to its overall weight. This may require special accommodations, such as larger or specialized carriers, which can increase the shipping cost.

For instance, shipping a hefty Ford F-150 will cost you more than shipping a compact Honda Civic due to the difference in their sizes and weights.

Route and Distance Variation

Your vehicle’s specific path during shipping from California to Tennessee can also impact the cost. Some routes may involve challenging terrains, toll roads, or longer distances, leading to increased fuel and time-related prices.

For example, a carrier might choose a route that avoids the Rocky Mountains to save on fuel, but this could mean a longer distance, potentially increasing the time it takes. Similarly, a carrier may prefer a slightly longer route that bypasses significant cities and thus avoids heavy traffic, potentially saving you money.

Weather Conditions and Cost Implications

Weather conditions along the route, especially during winter months, can impact car shipping schedules and prices.

For instance, if a snowstorm is expected on the planned route, carriers might need to take precautions such as using chains or delaying shipments. This could increase the cost of shipping a car from California to Tennessee.

Fuel Stops and Prices

The availability and price of fuel stops along the route can drastically influence the shipping prices. Some routes have sparse fueling options, leading to potential cost adjustments. Similarly, variations in fuel prices across different states can also impact the overall expenses.

For instance, if fuel prices are considerably higher in Arizona than New Mexico, a carrier that takes a route through New Mexico might offer a more affordable quote.

Urban Congestion

Major cities like Los Angeles and Nashville might have significant traffic congestion along the route. This could lead to delays and impact the overall cost due to extended travel times.

If a carrier needs to navigate through the busy streets of Las Vegas during rush hour, it will take more time than initially estimated, which could add to the cost of shipping your car.

Interstate Regulations

Different states have varying regulations and requirements for shipping carriers, such as tolls, weight restrictions, and specific permits. These factors can contribute to cost differences when shipping a car from California to Tennessee.

For example, a route through a state with high tolls might result in a higher cost than a route through a state with lower or no tolls.

Demand Fluctuations

Depending on the time of year, there might be changes in demand for shipping services along this route.

For instance, summer months might surge demand due to vacationers and people relocating, potentially affecting pricing.

If you decide to ship your car in July, you might find it more expensive than if you had chosen to do so in February.

Transit Time

The estimated time for delivery can affect the cost. Faster delivery options might come at a premium, while longer transit times could be more budget-friendly.

If you need your car shipped from California to Tennessee quickly, you might have to shell out more for expedited shipping.

Special Events or Holidays:

Events, holidays, or road closures along the route might affect scheduling and lead to adjustments in shipping prices.

Carrier Availability:

The availability of carriers explicitly operating on the California-to-Tennessee route could impact pricing. Limited carrier availability might result in slightly higher prices.

Detours or Route Changes:

Unexpected detours due to road closures, accidents, or construction can lead to longer travel times and potentially affect prices.

Car Shipping Cost Breakdown from California to Tennessee

Let’s break down the “how much to ship a car from California to Tennessee” mystery. The cost of shipping a car is calculated on a per-mile basis.

For shorter distances, say under 500 miles, the cost is around $1 per mile.

To illustrate, if you’re moving your car within a 300-mile radius, you’re looking at a cost of around $300. Simple math, right? Now, let’s talk about longer distances.

For distances over 1,000 miles, the cost drops to about $0.6 per mile. Why the drop, you ask? It’s all about economies of scale.

The longer the distance, the more efficient the process becomes, and those savings are passed along to you!

So, if you’re planning to ship car from California to Tennessee - a distance of approximately 2,200 miles - you could be looking at a cost of around $1,320 for open car shipping carrier. If you ship using an enclosed carrier, add 25-40% more to the cost.

Range of prices and Distances for Major Cities

Now, let’s delve deeper into the prices and distances for some major cities in California and Tennessee.

Remember, these are just estimates - the actual cost to ship a car from California to Tennessee could vary based on factors like the size and weight of your car, the time of year, and the current demand for car shipping services.

  • San Francisco to Nashville - Open transport: $1,054; Enclosed: $1,315
  • Los Angeles to Memphis - Open vehicle shipping: $1,080; Enclosed: $1,350
  • San Diego to Knoxville - Open shipping: $1,140; Enclosed: $1,425
  • Sacramento to Chattanooga - Open transport: $1,125; Enclosed: $1,406
  • Fresno to Clarksville - Open car shipping: $1,095; Enclosed: $1,369
  • San Jose to Murfreesboro - Open shipping: $1,130; Enclosed: $1,413
  • Long Beach to Franklin - Open transport: $1,100; Enclosed: $1,375
  • Oakland to Jackson - Open car shipping: $1,115; Enclosed: $1,394
  • Bakersfield to Johnson City - Open shipping: $1,120; Enclosed: $1,400
  • Anaheim to Bartlett - Open transport: $1,090; Enclosed: $1,363

Please note that enclosed shipping, which provides additional protection for your car, typically prices about 25-40% more than open shipping. The prices provided above for

Saving Money on California to Tennessee Car Shipping

When aiming to save money on the cost to ship a car from California to Tennessee, there are several key factors to keep in mind.

Compare Quotes:

It’s wise to compare quotes from different auto transport companies, like shopping for a new phone or laptop.

Some might offer lower rates for the same quality of service. Don’t rush into a deal without doing your homework first!


Shipping rates can fluctuate depending on the season. For instance, shipping during winter might be costlier due to harsh weather conditions and fewer drivers being available.

So, schedule your move during off-peak seasons for better prices.

Type of Car:

The weight and dimensions of your vehicle can influence the shipping cost. A compact car, for instance, will be cheaper to ship than a large SUV or a vintage vehicle that requires special handling.

Pickup and Delivery Locations:

Shipping from and to major cities might be cheaper due to the better availability of transport carriers.

If your locations are remote, consider driving your car to a nearby city for pickup or delivery.


Insurance provides peace of mind but also adds to the overall cost. Check if your current auto insurance covers car shipping.

If it does, you could save some money by not opting for additional insurance from the shipping company.


Preparing your car for shipping can also help save prices. This entails emptying the car of personal belongings, keeping the fuel level low, and ensuring the car is in good running condition to avoid additional charges.

Mode of Transport:

Choosing a suitable mode of transport can significantly impact the cost. Open car shipping is generally cheaper than enclosed transport but offers less protection. Weigh the good and bad before making your decision.

Let’s look at open-air transport, the budget-friendly hero of car shipping. It’s like taking your car on a road trip without the added miles or wear and tear.

Open-air carriers are the most common and cost-effective car shipping method from California to Tennessee. They can carry more vehicles simultaneously compared to enclosed carriers, which means the cost is split among more customers, leading to lower prices.

However, remember while your car will be well-secured, it won’t be immune to weather conditions or road debris. This is the way to go if your car is a regular-use vehicle. Consider enclosed transport for that vintage beauty or luxury sedan.

Advance Booking for Better Rates

If you’re the type who loves grabbing early bird discounts at your favorite restaurant, then listen up! Booking your car shipping from California to Tennessee in advance can also fetch you some sweet deals.

Like airfares, auto transport rates can rise as the shipping date approaches. By booking a few weeks or months in advance, you’re more likely to secure a lower rate. Plus, you get a wider choice of pickup and delivery dates. It’s a win-win!

Easy Auto Ship’s Commitment to Competitive Pricing

At Easy Auto Ship, we’re not just about moving cars but about creating happy customers. How do we do this? By offering competitive quotes without compromising on the quality of service.

When you ask “how much to ship a car from California to Tennessee,” we understand that you’re looking for an affordable and trustworthy answer.

That’s why we offer the best price, backed by discounts for students, seniors, military personnel, and more.

Plus, our flexible solutions are designed to meet your budget, no matter how tight it might be. If you’re in a bind, our team will work with you to find a cost-effective solution that keeps the bank intact. After all, shipping your car should be a breeze, not a financial burden.

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