Moving from California to Arizona

Moving from California to Arizona: Everything You Need to Know

If you are thinking about moving to Arizona from California but you are not sure if becoming a resident of the Grand Canyon State is the correct decision for you and your family, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we have covered everything you need to know before packing up your boxes and moving from California to Arizona, the state of beautiful mountains and vast deserts. Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the United States.

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Why Are Californians Moving to Arizona?

People from saturated or high-cost cities like those in California prefer to find an inexpensive, less populated, and better life in Arizona. The people of California are moving to Arizona due to the latter’s affordable living and a better quality of life. Here we have listed some most common and valid reasons why people are moving from California to Arizona:

Low cost of living in Arizona

The main reason that made people move from California to Arizona is the cost of living. The real estate and taxes in California are quite higher than in Arizona. Not only that the household essentials like food, clothes, and childcare are also reachable in Arizona as compared to California. 

(*Moving Estimates, SMARTBOX & Cheap Cheeky)

Job opportunities in engineering, electronics, aerospace and manufacturing sectors

Another important reason for the swapping is good job opportunities. If you hold a degree in engineering, electronics, aerospace, or manufacturing and you are considering moving to Arizona, know that finding a job will be easy as soon as you get there. 

Less traffic

When it comes to the U.S. traffic, California is among the most congested cities. The frustrating commute and endless traffic jams make you spend a long time in your cars. Whereas, the situation in Arizona is the opposite. Driving in Arizona is much easier, more enjoyable and parking and traffic are rarely problems.

Fewer natural disasters

Both North and South California suffers Natural Disasters. Earthquakes and forest fires are the most common in comparison to hurricanes and tornadoes. In comparison, the occurrence of natural disasters in Arizona is much less thus making it a safer place to live. 

How Many People Move to Arizona Every Day?

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that on average 291 people move to Arizona (metropolitan area) every day. 

Los Angeles VS Phoenix

Phoenix the capital of Arizona is the most populated city with the busiest hub in the American Southwest. Located in the Sonoran Desert, it has only two climate seasons: hot summers and mild winters. On the other hand, Los Angeles, California is one of the most famous cities in the United States. The city has a population of more than 17 million people making it the second most populated city in the country. 

(*Cheap Cheeky)

Cost of Living in Phoenix, Arizona vs Los Angeles, California

The average cost of living in Phoenix, Arizona for a couple is $2300 per month whereas the average cost in Los Angeles, California is $3930


Phoenix, AZ

Los Angeles, CA

Rent – Housing



Average cost of utilities 









Other (transportation, material goods)






    (*Numbeo 2, Numbeo 2, Insurify, ValuepenguinEhealthinsurance)

How Much is a House in Arizona?

A house in Arizona typically costs around $355 540.

How Much is Rent in Arizona?

A 2-bedroom apartment in Arizona typically rents for $1500.

What is the Sales Tax in Arizona vs California?

The sales tax in Arizona is 5.6% whereas in California it is 7.25%.

How Much is the Property Tax in Arizona?

The property tax in Arizona averages at 0.62% whereas in California it is 0.73%.

(*Fool, HomeSnacks, Azdor,  CDTFA, SmartAsset Az & SmartAsset CA)

California vs Arizona Weather

Both California and Arizona are the perfect places for admirers of warm weather and sunshine. Although the ocean breeze of California helps in cooling the temperature during the day.

But the summers of Arizona are brutally hot. The temperature in summer may rise to 105 degrees. Even in winters, the temperature reaches 70°F. On average, there are 286 sunny days per year in Arizona. The highest temperature in Summers is 99 degrees and the Winter low in January is 34 degrees. Arizona averages 12 inches of rain every year.

How much does local transportation cost (Phoenix VS Los Angeles)

On average, the transportation cost (for monthly bus pass) in Phoenix is $64 per month, whereas the cost of transportation in LA is $75 per month.

(* U.S. Department of Transportation)

Transportation from Los Angeles to Phoenix

The total driving time from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona is 5 hours and 49 minutes

How far is Phoenix from Los Angeles?

Phoenix is 373 miles away from Los Angeles, with a time difference of 1 hour (Arizona is 1 hour ahead).

What is the cost to drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix?

In 2022, $62.57 is the cost to drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The fuel cost per gallon is estimated to be $4.19.


What is the most efficient route to drive from California to Arizona?

We recommend the following route for moving from California to Arizona:

Start your trip from Los Angeles, drive for 4 hours to Palm Springs. Rest for an hour and then leave for Ehrenberg. Drive for 2 hours and reach Phoenix. Rest for 1-2 hours. Then drive for a further 2.5 hours to reach Arizona.

What is the best scenic route to drive from California to Arizona?

We recommend the following best scenic route to drive from California to Arizona



Approximate Mileage


Los Angeles to Kingman, AZ

334 miles (5 hours, 28 minutes)


Kingman to Grand Canyon

170 miles (2 hours, 47 minutes)


Grand Canyon to Horseshoe Bend

133 miles (2 hours, 32 minutes)


Horseshoe Bend to Monument Valley

127 miles (2 hours, 10 minutes)


Monument Valley to Sedona

207 miles (4 hours, 2 minutes)

How long is a flight from California to Arizona?

The average in-air flight time from California to Arizona is 1 hour and 21 minutes.

What is the cheapest time to fly to Arizona from California?

The month of August is the cheapest time to fly to Arizona from California.

How much is a plane ticket from California to Arizona?

The plane ticket from California to Arizona is around $151.

If you’re taking a flight for your move from California to Arizona and don’t know how to transport your belongings, check out the best long-distance moving companies below. 

(*trippy, Cheapflights, Megan Starr, Forbes, DistanceFromTo)

The Best Long Distance Moving Companies to Arizona

The best long-distance moving companies to Arizona will have good reviews, insurance, great customer service, and a straightforward booking procedure. Here are the 5 best long-distance moving companies for your move from California to Arizona.

  • Allied Van Lines
  • Adams Van Lines
  • North American Van Lines
  • Atlas Van Lines
  • American Van Lines


Cost of Car and Boat Shipping from California to Arizona

There are many different options for shipping a car or a boat from one city to another. These options include freight train, shipping container, ship, or airplane. But the most common and popular option to transport a car or a boat is through a car transporter. 

Below is the cost of car and boat shipping from California to Arizona through a car transporter: 

Cost to Ship a Boat from California to Arizona

The average cost to ship a boat from California to Arizona ranges between $600 – $1000.

Cost to Ship Car from California to Arizona

The average cost to ship a car from California to Arizona ranges between $530 – $840 with an estimated transit time of 3-4 days. The cost may vary depending on the size of your car, dropping off the vehicle at the closest terminal, and the weather.

The Best Places to Live in Arizona

  • Green Valley

Green Valley is an ideal place for active retired adults. The area includes fine dining, senior entertainment, shopping, and conveniently located healthcare facilities.

  • Scottsdale

The famous city of retirees, Scottsdale, provides various senior-friendly outdoor activities including golf courses. Scottsdale has a warm and comforting environment for active seniors.

  • Prescott

Prescott is an ideal place for retirees that enjoy outdoor activities. The city is full of beautiful waterfalls and several amazing spots for hiking. Other facilities include quality restaurants and shops.

  • Tucson

Tucson is a combination of outdoor activities, fun, art, music, and literature. Tucson has top-rated healthcare services as well as various options for dining and shopping.

  • Phoenix

The capital city of Arizona, Phoenix, offers warmth, culture, arts, outdoor attractions, and entertainment to highly active senior adults.

(* & Bellhop)

Best School District in Arizona

  • Great Hearts Academies
    Great Hearts Academies are a non-profit charter school management organization operating a network of primary, middle, and high schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They efficiently prepare the student for college. The graduation rate of this school district is 95%. 

  • Vail Unified School District
    Vail Unified School District is a highly rated, public school district located in Vail, Arizona. This school district has 13,792 students in grades PK, K-12 with. According to state test scores, 71% of students are at least proficient in math and 68% in reading.

  • Catalina Foothills Unified School District

With academics, scholastic results, food, and teachers the school district has secured straight A’s.

  • Amphitheater Unified School District
    The school district has earned A’s and B’s in academics, educational results, and student discipline. The graduation rate is 86%.

  • Chandler Unified District #80
    The school district has earned A+ in educational outcomes with a graduation rate of 92%.

(*Movoto & Niche)

Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Driver’s License & Vehicle Registration When Moving to Arizona (DMV/MVD)

Procedure for New Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration in Arizona

When moving from California to Arizona, you’ll need to get an AZ driver’s license right away to begin driving legally in the state. You must fill out the application form on the website. According to the State law, you are required to register your vehicle with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) immediately after establishing residency. To register your vehicle, you will have to visit any AZ MVD office in person. If you live in Tucson or Phoenix, your car must clear emissions inspections throughout the years it’s registered in Arizona.

Documents Needed for Arizona Driver License and Vehicle Registration

  • Application for Change of Address Form
  • Your new and old address
  • Credit card for payments
  • License plate number
  • Last four digits of your VIN and SSN
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or, if you are not U.S. Citizen evidence of lawful presence.
  • SSN and I.D.
  • Proof of Arizona residency
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Proof of liability insurance 
  • Proof of inspection
  • Proof of ownership
  • Application for Arizona Title and/or Registration



Home Services in Arizona

Electricity, Water, and Gas in Arizona

For electricity supply, you can either contact or visit the website of Arizona Public Service or Salt River Project, both options are reliable. Many homes and most apartments are all-electric and do not use gas at all. If you are still required to set up gas at your new home, you can contact Southwest Gas. When it comes to setting up water in Arizona, visit the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Internet and Cell Phone in Arizona

Arizona has good internet services at reasonable rates. There are a lot of options available such as fiber-optic, cable net, fixed wireless, and satellite. Satellite is the best option if you are living in a remote area without any other options available for high-speed internet. To save money on the internet and your cell phone plan, it’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. The best internet providers in Arizona will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

Insurance in Arizona

Health Insurance in Arizona

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the U.S. Therefore, the state of Arizona provides a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Arizona as your state and create an account.

Consider getting home insurance in Arizona

When obtaining a property insurance plan, the main thing that you need to check is coverage for natural disasters. Luckily, Arizona has a low rate of natural disasters as compared to other Gulf states. This has resulted in lower rates of home insurance. However, some areas in Arizona are prone to floods. So if you’re moving to Arizona, you should make sure to get your property covered.

Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona


  • On average, there are more sunny days a year in Arizona than California.
  • The cost of living is affordable.
  • Arizona has a good job market.
  • Arizona has many beautiful landscapes including the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Lake Mead, Havasu Falls, the Hoover Dam, Blue Canyon, and much more.
  • There are many outdoor activities for the residents as well as tours such as hiking.
  • Due to less traffic, driving is less stressful  in Arizona.
  • Low crime rate average.


  • Summers are really warm (but with low humidity)
  • Lower-than-average salaries
  • The public transport system in Arizona is less established than California, so a car is essential.
  • Huge influx of snowbirds during winter

Why Some People Regret Moving to Arizona?

While it is a great state for its breathtaking sights and affordable life, still, some people regret moving to Arizona for the following reasons.

Regret #1

Driving outside of the cities becomes boring for those who are not fans of the desert landscape.

Regret #2

Some people regret moving to Arizona because they always have to keep an eye out for snakes and large insects, such as scorpions. They also occasionally see them.

Regret #3

With the lack of seasons in Arizona, the four-season  lovers miss “white Christmas”, as well as skiing or other winter activities.

(*Embrace Someplace)

Fun Facts About Arizona

Below are some fun facts about Arizona:

Fun Fact #1

Skydive Arizona is the world’s largest skydiving center.

Fun fact #2

Arizona doesn’t observe daylight saving time.

Fun Fact #3

Arizona is the only city in the United States that produces the largest amount of copper which is almost sixty percent of production in the country.


Don’t Forget to Change Your Address Before Moving to Arizona!

Changing your address is a crucial step when moving to a new place. The process of mail forwarding to the post office is simple and easy. You can either change your address before moving to Arizona online or in person. Besides, you will need to change your address with many other organizations (SSA, DMV, home services, etc.). To make sure you don’t forget a place to notify, check out this complete change of address checklist that includes every single place where you need to change your address when moving. 

Special Mention!

Moving is often synonymous of stress, long administrative tasks and a significant waste of time and money. MovingWaldo helps you solve all these problems in just a few clicks! After some shameless self-promotion, we invite you to discover our free moving tools available to all.

  • Discover Top-Rated Movers
  • Update accounts
  • Connect Internet, TV and Phone.
  • Secure home and auto insurance
  • Find resources, checklists and more.

We bring together more than 1,000 organizations across the country with a single and simplified form.

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