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Vehicle Shipping From Phoenix to San Francisco: A Desert Trek

If you plan to ship your car from Phoenix to San Francisco, there is more to it than meets the eye. Direct Express Auto Transport has been shipping cars for over 20 years across the country with extraordinary success. We know what we are doing and will share our considerable experience of vehicle shipping from Phoenix to San Francisco in this blog article. 

Our auto transport services are an excellent solution for safely, quickly, and conveniently shipping your car from Phoenix to San Francisco. You want to get the best deal possible without compromising quality and reliability. We get that. That is where we come in. In this article, we will provide expert advice on what it takes to transport your vehicle. 

We examine the vehicle shipping cost from Phoenix to San Francisco, customer service, preparing your car, insurance coverage, and delivery time. Whether you’re moving for a job, are a college student, bought a car online, are a snowbird auto shipper, or have other reasons to transport your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place. So, let’s hit the road and figure out how best to get your car shipped from Phoenix to San Francisco as soon as possible. 

Why choose a vehicle shipping service from Phoenix to San Francisco?

Driving your car from Phoenix to San Francisco is a pain in the you-know-what. You have better things to do unless you are looking for something to do. Sometimes a grandpa like mine would use any excuse to get out of the house and go hunting or fishing. But a trip from Phoenix to San Francisco just to get out? No, we can do better. 

What is more, driving your car from Phoenix to San Francisco can put unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle, increasing the risk of a breakdown and a trip to the mechanic. That is why most people choose to ship a car instead of driving it. You save on gas, hotel, and food expenses that would have hit your credit card on the road. Ouch!

What Affects The Direct Express Auto Transport Cost Calculator from Phoenix to San Francisco

Several factors can affect the cost of auto transport from Phoenix to San Francisco. 

Distance From Phoenix to San Francisco

Distance is the primary factor for our car shipping cost calculator. While the cost per mile inches downward as the distance increases, the overall cost goes up never-the-less the farther we need to transport your vehicle. That makes plenty of sense. The vehicle shipping route from Phoenix to San Francisco is roughly 750 miles, which puts it in the short-run category. 

The Size of the Vehicle Being Shipped

The next most important factor is the vehicle size you are shipping. An auto transport carrier is usually a 3-car, 5-car, 7-car, or 10-car hauler. We mean by “cars” sedans, like a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Ford Mustang. Those are cars, folks. If a vehicle is significantly longer, higher, or heavier, it may mean that the car transport carrier can fit or haul fewer cars. Whichever vehicle causes any of those things intrudes on the total number to be carried, and therefore should compensate the auto shipping company. So, what makes a vehicle considered longer, higher, or heavier?

Length of the Vehicle Matters

The average sedan is 180 to 198 inches long and fits perfectly on most auto transport carriers. Every auto shipping load is a mathematical puzzle; once a vehicle is 200 inches or longer, it becomes more challenging to ship. The transporter might lose a spot by taking that longer vehicle at a certain point, which can vary with each amalgamated load. We often see that with vehicles over 215 inches. Think Lincoln Continental or Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. So vehicles over 200 inches long tend to incrementally cost more to transport, anywhere from 10% to as much as nearly double, depending on how much longer it is. 

Height of the Vehicle

People forget about height, but it is vital to an auto transport company. Think of the highway bridges that all trucks must get under. Those overpass bridges are about 13.6 feet high. Once a vehicle is about 75 inches tall, it becomes a concern for the vehicle shipping service. When a vehicle is 80 inches or higher, it is a problem because most auto transporters lose a spot on their rig. That vehicle, or its owner, should pay more for the intrusion. Think Chevy Suburban. 

Weight of the Vehicle

Every truck driver must abide by the overall weight restrictions to pass inspection on the highway scales, including auto transport companies. In the simplest terms, in round numbers, here are the average weights per type of vehicle:

Sedans = 4,000 lbs average

SUVs = 5,000 lbs average

Pickup Trucks = 6,000 lbs average

Vans = 4,500 lbs average

There are wide variations for each. As you can see, keeping in mind the weight scales, an auto transport carrier who aims to keep the overall weight of his combined vehicles at less than 45,000 lbs would take out his calculator and figure something like this:

Auto Transport Amalgamated Load Examples:

11 Sedans = 44,000 lbs

10 Vans = 45,000 lbs

9 SUVs = 45,000 lbs

7 Pickup Trucks = 42,000 lbs

10 Sedans + 1 SUV = 45,000 lbs

9 Sedans + 1 Pickup Truck = 42,000 lbs

8 Sedans + 1 SUV + 1 Pickup Truck = 43,000 lbs

7 Sedans + 1 SUV + 1 Pickup Truck + 1 Van = 43,500 lbs

6 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 1 Pickup Truck = 45,000 lbs

5 Sedans + 2 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks = 42,000 lbs

4 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks = 43,000 lbs

3 Pickup Trucks + 4 Sedans + 2 SUVs = 44,000 lbs

4 Sedans + 2 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks + 1 Van = 42,500 lbs

3 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 2 Pickup Trucks + 1 Van = 43,500 lbs

3 Sedans + 3 SUVs + 3 Pickup Trucks = 45,000 lbs

As you can see, there are many combinations for the auto transport dispatch team to consider. The truck driver cannot haul as many SUVs, pickup trucks, or vans as he can sedans. So those heavier vehicles must be priced differently, as in more. 

That also explains why carriers are concerned about customers packing their vehicles with extra personal items. They are rightfully worried about overall weight and getting through the highway scales without penalty or problems. 

Auto Transport Seasonal Fluctuations

The time of year and the direction you are shipping your car affects the price. It has everything to do with Supply & Demand. In other words, Economics 101. Using Florida as an example, in late December or early January of any year, there may be ten times as many cars shipping to Florida than are leaving. That tends to drive up the price to Florida, usually about 33%, and drive down the cost of car shipping from Florida, again about 33%. 

That scenario reverses every April and May as the so-called snowbirds return home. 

Auto Transport Service from Phoenix to San Francisco

The distance between Phoenix to San Francisco is approximately 750 miles, a very long and arduous drive. I don’t know about you, but I get stiff sitting in one spot for that long. Driving from Phoenix to San Francisco would take about 15 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. But an auto transport truck driver is required by federal regulations to take many rest breaks. Count me out. It is time-consuming, stressful, expensive, and more. 

It makes more sense to safely and securely ship a car from Phoenix to San Francisco.

What is the best route from Phoenix, AZ to San Francisco for vehicle shipping services?

In order to ensure the safest and most efficient method for shipping a car between Phoenix and San Francisco, it’s important to look at various factors such as distance, travel time, and road conditions. A feasible choice is following the I-10 West to the I-5 North. This route is approximately 750 miles long and normally takes about 12 hours of driving time making it the best option for auto transport services.
Alternatively, one could take US-93 North followed by I-80 West; this way is slightly longer at around 800 miles yet provides a more scenic drive with stops along Hoover Dam, Lake Tahoe, or Sierra Nevada mountain range. Ultimately, it all comes down to weighing efficiency against scenery in decisions like these.

Planning a successful journey for your car requires taking into account a variety of external factors. Road conditions, traffic levels, and unexpected closures can all have an impact on travel times and routes. As such, keeping up to date with the current weather or road situation is highly recommended. Furthermore, enlisting the services of an experienced vehicle shipping service that is familiar with these routes should ensure a much smoother operation overall.

The Most Ideal Auto Transport Along The Way

When traveling from Phoenix to San Francisco in a vehicle, there are several important cities along the way that provide an excellent chance for customers to receive pick-up and drop-off services, likewise allowing carriers to make the most of their time by utilizing multi-vehicle transports. Notable metropolitan hubs found on either the I-10 West or I-5 North links consist of:

As the second and largest cities in California, respectively, both Bakersfield and L.A are renowned as major auto transport services hubs. The former is located in the heart of Central Valley and sits along the I-5 corridor between Phoenix and SF; this central location makes it an ideal stopover point for carriers.

Meanwhile, L.A’s expansive freeway system plus its proximity to the Port of LA make it a popular destination for domestic and international car shipments alike. Additionally, Fresno situated along I-5 North also serves as an important car shipping hub – given its strong agricultural industry and ever increasing population – with demand rising steadily over time.

The Northern Route

As you travel along the US-93 North and I-80 West route, there are several major cities that require the attention of auto transport services. The most popular destination is Las Vegas, NV – better known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. With its immense popularity comes a great need for carriers to transport vehicles to and from this location along their way between Phoenix and San Francisco. Secondly, Reno, NV stands out as an important hub due to being Northern Nevada’s largest city with convenient access to Lake Tahoe and the California border; it’s become a common request among drivers for both domestic and international car shipments.

Top Things To Do In Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area

Whether you are departing from Phoenix or making your way to San Francisco, make sure to take a little extra time to discover the wonders these two stunning cities can offer. From cultural attractions and exciting activities, there is something for everyone in these vibrant destinations.

Phoenix Area:

1. Nature lovers will be wowed by the exquisite Desert Botanical Garden! This special garden features an array of exotic plants and wildlife native to the Sonoran Desert, giving explorers a chance to appreciate nature in all its glory.

2. A remarkable way to experience the city is by taking a hike up Camelback Mountain. A favorite of many, this mountain offers an exciting and energetic climb that is sure to leave you feeling energized. As you ascend, the breathtaking sights will keep your heart racing all the way until the top.

3. For an unparalleled experience of Native American art and culture, be sure to visit the world-renowned Heard Museum. With its exciting displays, performances, and events, you can take a journey through time to explore the customs of America’s Indigenous peoples. You’re sure to come away with newfound appreciation and knowledge about these ancient traditions.

4. Experience a slice of Arizona history at the State Capitol: Take a guided tour of the capitol building to learn more about the state’s political past. Step back in time and get an appreciation for all that our great state has gone through.

5. A trip to the Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks should be on every avid baseball fan’s list. This stadium is an amazing destination to take in a thrilling game and make lasting memories.

San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Experience Alcatraz Island – Step back in time and explore the iconic prison once home to some of the most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and Robert Stroud.
  • For those who wish to take in the sights of San Francisco, taking a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge is an absolute must. This world-famous bridge offers visitors magnificent views of the Bay area and makes for a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Treat yourself to an incredible getaway and visit Napa Valley, which is renowned all over the world. Sample some of the finest wines while you’re there and truly have an unforgettable experience.
  • The Exploratorium is a must-visit destination for all ages. From science to art and technology, the museum showcases various interactive exhibits that are certain to spark curiosity and learning in both young ones and adults alike.
  • The city of San Francisco is home to a beautiful park that must be visited – Golden Gate Park. Home to magnificent gardens, awe-inspiring museums, and serene lakes, it provides a unique experience unlike anywhere else.

College Student Auto Transport Near Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area

College students in Phoenix and San Francisco Bay are blessed with plenty of educational institutions to choose from, so it’s no surprise that finding car shipping services is a popular request. Instead of a grueling road trip between these two metropolitan areas, many young adults opt for transportation services to get their vehicle from one city to another quickly and efficiently.

Families seeking a higher education have many options for their students across Arizona and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Phoenix area boasts Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Grand Canyon University. Alternatively, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to renowned institutions like the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and San Francisco State University.

For college students in need of auto transport services, there are several companies offering discounts that can help keep the process within budget. When researching car shipping options, it is important to ask about any special rates available for students as well as the procedures for transporting a vehicle to or from a college campus.

Median Income & Housing Prices in Phoenix & San Francisco metro areas

When transitioning from Phoenix to San Francisco, it is important to keep in mind the contrast in cost of living between these two urban landscapes. The median household income for the metropolitan area of Phoenix is close to 107,000 dollars.

Comparing home prices and rental costs, a stark contrast can be seen between Phoenix and the rest of the country. Specifically, when it comes to median home price, Phoenix residents are shelling out an estimated 1.4 million on average. Renters are facing similarly hefty bills with an expected 3,600 monthly rent fee for those living in Phoenix.

When selecting a car shipping service for your relocation, one must consider the cost of living in order to maintain their budget and lifestyle. Factors such as the chosen route, distance to be traveled, type of auto being transported, and local pricing variations can all influence the overall price of delivery. Keeping these details in mind is key when planning your move.

What Are The Major Sports in Phoenix & San Francisco Bay Area?

Sports fans have a great variety of professional teams to cheer on in both the city of Phoenix and San Francisco. In Phoenix, enthusiasts can watch the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL) fight it out on the field or court.

Sports enthusiasts in San Francisco Bay Area have a range of professional teams to cheer on, including Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors, National Football League’s San Francisco 49ers, and National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks.

Whether you’re a fan of professional or college sports, Phoenix and San Francisco have something to offer. On the collegiate level, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Stanford University, and the University of California Berkeley are some of the schools boasting competitive teams. With plenty of sporting activities to choose from, you can find an exciting game to watch no matter which city you choose.

Where Are The Auto Auctions near Phoenix & San Francisco?

For those who are hoping to buy or sell a car, as well as those in the business of car shipping, an advantageous option could be to attend an automobile auction. In the regions around Phoenix and San Francisco, various facilities exist that provide a broad selection of cars and services.

The greater Phoenix area is full of auto auctions – three of the most impressive being Manheim Phoenix, Copart Phoenix, and IAA Phoenix. All three of these venues provide a mixture of events that are open to both licensed dealers and to those who don’t have a dealer’s license. Thus, there are ample opportunities for all prospective buyers to participate.

The San Francisco Bay Area has several notable car auction locations, such as Manheim San Francisco Bay, Copart San Francisco, and IAA East Bay. At these sites, a mix of dealer-exclusive and public events occur regularly to suit the needs of buyers and sellers alike.

Military Bases Nearby Phoenix & Bay Area For Car Shipping

Two popular locations for military bases in America are Phoenix and San Francisco Bay. With these installations, there is a greater need for auto transport services. This is important when service members must move their vehicles during relocations or deployments. Luke Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma are two of Phoenix’s main military sites that require auto transport services.

Located relatively close to a number of large cities, the San Francisco Bay Area is host to two significant military installations: Travis Air Force Base and Coast Guard Island. These bases can be convenient locations for car shipping services to pick up or drop off vehicles.

For military personnel who are in need of transporting a vehicle, selecting the right car shipping service is vital. Companies that offer special discounts for those in the armed forces along with a solid record of success should be considered. Make sure to research companies to ensure they have sufficient experience working with the military and can accommodate the exclusive needs of service members.

When sending a military vehicle, there are certain measures to take into consideration. Extra regulations and procedures might apply, such as requiring special permits or inspections. To make the process hassle-free, be sure to inform your car shipping company on any specific requirements beforehand. That way, you can rest assured knowing everything is taken care of properly.

Auto Transport Company Reputation and Experience

Research the reputation and experience of the car shipping companies on your shortlist from Phoenix to San Francisco. Of course, the best car shipping company, hands down, is Direct Express Auto Transport. With over twenty years of experience and the absolute expert in car shipping cost calculations, you cannot do better than us because we originated the instant quote concept. 

You always want to look for reviews and ratings from previous customers on trusted websites like the Better Business Bureau, Google, or TrustPilot. Check if the company has complaints or legal issues and how they resolve them. There again, we shine as an auto transport service with thousands of five-star reviews across the board.  

Types of car shipping services from Phoenix to San Francisco

Car shipping services offer several shipping options to meet different needs and budgets. 

Open-Air or Enclosed Auto Transport Service

Open-Air transport

There are really two main choices every car shipping customer needs to make regarding the type of transport carrier they prefer. Each has pros and cons, and the cost is a significant consideration. 

Open transport is the most popular and affordable type of vehicle shipping service. It involves loading your car onto an open-air carrier that can transport up to 10 cars at a time. Your car will be exposed to the elements and road debris during transit, but it is generally a safe way to ship. About 97% of all vehicle shipments are open-air. Why? Because it is roughly 33% cheaper auto transport than enclosed.

You see car manufacturers delivering cars to dealerships on open-air carriers. Why? Because it is both cheap and safe. Damages are rare. Open-air transport is suitable for most types of cars, including sedans, SUVs, and trucks. Your vehicle will arrive dirty from the road, but that washes off easily. 

Enclosed transport

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, offers more protection for your car and involves transporting it in an enclosed trailer. Because fewer vehicles can fit inside an enclosed trailer, it tends to be more expensive. If you have an expensive car, consider it insurance. People with antique or classic collector cars also should strongly consider shipping enclosed. 

Low-ground clearance vehicles that are 4.5″ inches or lower should go enclosed too. Why? Because enclosed transport carriers can load those vehicles without scratching or damaging the vehicle’s undercarriage. 

Enclosed transport provides greater protection and security for your car during transit. It involves loading your car onto an enclosed carrier that can typically transport up to 6 cars at a time. Your car will be shielded from the elements and road debris, reducing the risk of damages or losses. 

Enclosed transport is ideal for luxury cars, classic cars, and high-value vehicles that require extra care and attention. If your vehicle is worth close to $100k or more, come on, protect it by going Enclosed. Think of it as added insurance. 

Door-to-Door or Terminal-to-Terminal Car Transport Service

There are two main types of delivery in the auto transport industry, and those are door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal. The overwhelming majority of customers choose door-to-door delivery.

Door-to-door delivery

Door-to-door delivery is the most convenient and hassle-free option that involves picking up your car from close to your door and delivering it to close to your destination address. The vehicle shipping company will coordinate with you to schedule the pickup and delivery times and ensure your car is safely loaded and unloaded. 

Door-to-door delivery usually means that an auto transport carrier will meet you within a couple miles of addresses. That’s very good and convenient. It is in the spirit of door-to-door car shipping. We highly recommend door-to-door auto transport service from Phoenix to San Francisco. 

Terminal-to-terminal delivery

Terminal-to-terminal delivery is a budget-friendly option that involves dropping off your car at a designated terminal and picking it up at the terminal near your new address. It is frankly a pain for most people. Terminal-to-terminal delivery is less convenient than door-to-door delivery but can save you money. However, it is out of your control once your vehicle is placed at a terminal. It can take many weeks to deliver your car. Many of our customers get frustrated with terminals. We say avoid terminals if at all possible. 

Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for Car Shipping from Phoenix to San Francisco

Before transporting your vehicle, there are several things you can do to prepare it for transport:

1. Be sure to clean your vehicle thoroughly, both inside and out. That will help you identify any pre-existing damage and ensure your vehicle is in good condition before transport.

2. Be sure to remove any personal items from your vehicle, as most auto transport companies do not allow personal items to be transported. They are mindful of the weight. 

3. Disable any alarms or anti-theft devices and remove external accessories like bike racks or spoilers. Height is a concern to auto shippers. 

4. Take plenty of photos documenting your vehicle’s condition before handing it over to the truck driver. A picture is worth a thousand words.

5. Reduce your gas tank to about 1/4 full, or no more than half a tank. Once again, weight is the concern, and gasoline is heavy.

6. Secure loose parts and accessories, such as antennas, spoilers, and mirrors, or remove them if possible.

7. Check the tires, brakes, and battery and ensure they are in good condition.

Insurance Coverage for Auto Transport from Phoenix to San Francisco

When transporting your vehicle, ensuring it is adequately insured is essential. Most auto transport companies offer insurance coverage for your car during transport. However, the amount of coverage may vary from company to company. Maintaining your insurance on your vehicle is an excellent idea. 

Comparing Direct Express Auto Transport Quotes from Phoenix to San Francisco

When choosing an auto transport company, comparing quotes from different companies is essential. That will help you understand how much you can expect to pay for transportation and what services are included in the price. Direct Express Auto Transport uniquely offers three levels, or tiers, of pricing and service.

Standard Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within several days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned to a carrier. It is the most basic market rate; we suggest using it if you are not in a hurry. 

Expedited Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within a few days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned to a carrier. We highly recommend using the expedited rate as our customers report high satisfaction with it.

Rush Tier, or rate, is usually assigned to a carrier within one or two days from the first date available. And then typically picked up one or two days after being assigned to a carrier. It is ideal for last-minute orders or for people who are in a huge hurry. 

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, and reliable auto transport cost calculator available anywhere online. We are the experts in vehicle shipping cost calculations anywhere in the USA, from Phoenix to San Francisco too!

auto transport tips, Vehicle Shipping Cost Calculator