Truckin’ Movers is an international moving company based out of Durham North Carolina that specializes in cross-country moves from California to North Carolina.

Moving From California To North Carolina

How Do California and North Carolina Compare By The Numbers?

So you have decided to move from California to North Carolina, now what?  Moving cross-country is certainly life-changing, but moving from the west coast to a southern state might be giving you unnecessary stress. Please don’t envision moving to a state full of chain smokers who wear overalls and check your ID before they allow you in a public restroom.  North Carolina compares well to California in many ways. The more you know North Carolina, the more you might find living in NC provides a significant better lifestyle than most of California.

California and North Carolina are Diverse

It's hard to find more geographical diversity than both California and North Carolina.   Here are some interesting differences and similarities.

  • North Carolina moves ahead of California  Exactly three hours ahead. North Carolina is on Eastern Time and Californian is on Pacific.  That means that when you wake up, you are watching CBS This Morning and the Today Show live.  It also means your birthday comes three hours sooner. Everything is a trade-off.


  • Both California and North Carolina have the highest mountain peaks on their side of the Mississippi in the contiguous 48 states.  California has Mt Whitney at 14,505’  above sea level and North Carolina has Mt Mitchell at 6,684’. 


  • Both California and North Carolina have over 3,000 miles of coastline.  Because the Pacific coast is fairly straight and has few barrier islands, California has only 50 miles more coastline than North Carolina.


  • Length x Width, the states are fairly similar.   California is 770 miles at its longest while 250 at its widest.  North Carolina is the opposite: 300 miles at its longest and 650 miles at its widest.


  • Both states have palm trees.  Okay, California is better at it, but you won’t have to travel out of NC to see an outdoor palm tree. You aren’t going to see King Palm trees, but much of North Carolina is in planting zone 8, so Palmetto trees and Fan Palm trees can thrive. 


  • Both states have over 50 counties.  The similarity ends there.  North Carolina has 100 counties compared to California’s 58 counties. San Bernardino county, CA alone,  at over 20,000 square miles, is almost 40% the size of North Carolina.


  • California is, on average, 75% more expensive to live than North Carolina.  According to Sperling’s Best Places, North Carolina’s average cost of living is 96.2% of the US average, where California is 168.6%.  Keep in mind that rural North Carolina’s cost of living can differ greatly from living in a city like Raleigh, Durham or Charlotte.


  • Real estate costs less in North Carolina than in California.  The average home is North Carolina is $185,000.  The average California home costs 3 times as much, averaging $548,000.


  • Car insurance costs less in North Carolina than in California.  According to, the average auto insurance policy in California is $1,846 annually, compared to $1,095 annually for North Carolina.


  • Gasoline costs less in North Carolina than California:  The price of oil and fuel is always changing, but on average, North Carolina gasoline averages at least a dollar per gallon less than most places in California.  In June 2019, AAA found that the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.45 in North Carolina compared to $3.81 in California.


  • North Carolina “gets you” with personal property tax on your car.  Some Californians are surprised to find out that they are liable for a new tax:  annual personal property tax on their personal vehicles. The amount fluctuates by county, but it averages 1.5% of the vehicle’s value.  To find out how much you might pay, click here.


Summary:  It is always hard to leave friends, family and a place where you are grounded, but if you are moving from California to North Carolina, the numbers are strongly in your favor.  Set roots in North Carolina and it might be your last move!