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Long-distance moves come with unique challenges. You’ll need to consider things such as when to move, what to pack and leave behind, how to transport your vehicle, and whether you’ll need storage. Hiring one of the best moving companies can ease some of those headaches by streamlining that process.
We conducted in-depth research on moving and storage companies nationwide and selected International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Interstate Moving & Relocation Group as our top three choices.
In this article, we will discuss our list of top moving companies based on in-depth research. Keep reading to learn more about these movers and our other choices for the very best properly licensed and insured professional moving companies.
10 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Here are the best long-distance movers for a stress-free move:
- International Van Lines: Best Overall Mover
- American Van Lines: Best for High-Value Goods
- Safeway Moving Inc.: Best for Condos and HOAs
- Interstate Moving & Relocation Group: Best for Major Cities
- Allied Van Lines: Best Customer Experience
- Moving APT: Best for Coordinated Moves
- JK Moving Services: Best Mobile App
- North American Van Lines: Best Appliance Movers
- Mayflower Moving: Best for Expedited Moves
- United Van Lines: Best for Home Office Moves
Compare the Best Long-Distance Movers
|Star Rating||Sample Quote*||BBB Rating||Link|
|International Van Lines||$3,400||B||VISIT SITE|
|American Van Lines||$3,300||A||VISIT SITE|
|Safeway Moving Inc.||$6,900||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group||$3,400||B||VISIT SITE|
|Allied Van Lines||$5,100||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Moving APT||$4,300||B||VISIT SITE|
|JK Moving Services||$7,500||A+||VISIT SITE|
|North American Van Lines||$5,000||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Mayflower Moving||Contact for Pricing||A+||VISIT SITE|
|United Van Lines||$6,100||A+||VISIT SITE|
*Sample quotes above represent the average cost for a 2-bedroom move of 700 miles.
How to Pick a Long-Distance Moving Company
Selecting the right long-distance moving provider starts with vetting the company. “When moving across state lines, you will want a mover who has the appropriate licensing and insurance and is in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier [Safety] Administration,” says Derek Mills, Managing Partner of Square Cow Moovers. For intrastate moves, he adds that it’s important to ensure that the mover is in good standing with any state governing agency.
After verifying that the company is legitimate, you will want to add the following steps to your moving checklist:
- Take inventory. It’s important to take inventory of your household goods. You will need this list for companies such as JK Moving and North American Van Lines, who will use it to provide binding estimates.
- Consider specialty service options. You should also note whether you need special services, such as crating, electronics crating, fine art or antique moving, long-term storage, piano moving, valuation coverage, or vehicle shipping.
- Calculate the size of your move. Should you decide that your move is small enough to handle on your own, companies such as 1-800-PACK-RAT have online tools to help determine the size and number of moving containers you’ll need.
- Check availability. Ensure that the moving company serves your area.
Booking Your Long-Distance Move
We recommend getting multiple quotes when considering your long-distance moving options. Having multiple price points and pricing models to choose from will help ensure that you stay within your established budget and can eliminate the worry of added or hidden fees.
You should also consider local licensing, insurance options, and customer reviews.
- Basic and additional insurance: All moving companies have to provide released liability coverage with all moves. This protects your goods at a rate of $0.60 per pound per item. Most movers offer valuation insurance options, which will cover high-value items at an added cost.
- Customer reviews: Search for customer feedback from multiple sources before you book. Google, Yelp, Trustpilot, and social media are all good platforms to consult.
- Licensing: Interstate and long-distance moving companies must be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can look up registration status with a company’s U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers here. Many companies are registered in their home state or city. Proof of licensing should be available on a company’s website.
How to Plan a Long-Distance Move
The key to any successful move is early and diligent planning. Getting your long-distance moving process started early is the best way to ensure you aren’t stressed when the big day arrives. Here is a basic moving timeline to keep you on track:
8 Weeks Before
Conduct a full walkthrough of your home. Write down a detailed inventory list and break it down by room. Keep separate lists of all you plan to get rid of and what you plan to take with you.
Next, begin looking up moving companies in your area. Schedule in-home or virtual estimates with each provider you consider. Keep your inventory list on hand during estimate calls.
6 Weeks Before
You should be actively fielding quotes from different moving companies at this time. Disclose add-on service requirements such as packing and storage.
Begin packing your things. Aim to pack one or two boxes per day, starting with out-of-season or seldom-used items.
4 Weeks Before
You should have your move booked by the four-week mark. Keep copies of your moving estimate and move contract on hand in case of billing disputes.
Contact your utility providers in your current locale and destination to arrange for shut-off and turn-on dates for all services.
2 Weeks Before
Begin planning for moving day. You should be packing the last of your non-essential belongings at the two-week mark. Also, file a change-of-address form with your local post office. If needed, make arrangements for any child or pet care needs on moving day.
Plan out your meals for the week and pack away all kitchenware that isn’t necessary over the last few days before you move. Keep an open box so you can gradually pack these goods away as you use them for the final time in your current home.
Plan how much clothing you’ll need while you travel to your new home and pack for your upcoming road trip. Goods you’ll pack should include toiletries, necessary clothing, snacks, water, essential moving documents, and bank documents.
Your movers should call you before they arrive. Plan to meet them when they get to your home and give them a walkthrough of everything that has to be moved. Review your moving contract with your crew chief. As your movers are clearing boxes, you can load your car with your essentials if you haven’t already.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
How Much Does a Long-Distance Move Cost?
If you are moving long-distance, you should plan to save around $5,000 for your move, but costs can range from $3,300 to $7,500 depending on different factors. Long-distance moving quotes typically include line-haul fees in your bottom-line price that factor in mileage traveled. Movers may include the cost of tolls in your flat rate or may bill you separately for toll charges. The following factors can influence the cost of your long-distance move:
- Distance of your move
- Size of your move (measured in total weight of items)
- Size of your moving crew
- Special handling of large and/or fragile items
- Time of year you are moving
- Toll charges (if applicable)
- Your home’s layout and any difficult access points (narrow hallways, steep staircases, etc.)
You should also factor in the cost of tipping the movers who help you with your long-distance move. To determine how much to tip, you should estimate about $5 to $10 each mover per hour, or $20 to $40 per person for a half-day move (four hours) or $40 to $80 per mover for a full day of work (eight hours). For more details on tipping movers, visit our guide on How Much to Tip Professional Movers.
How Can I Save Money on a Long-Distance Move?
To save money on your long-distance move, consider factors such as timing, the amount of items you plan to move, or how you plan to move your items. Below are some methods you can try in order to reduce the cost of your move:
- Downsize: Reduce the weight of your belongings and the time it takes to move by recycling, donating, or selling unwanted items. This can help cut down hourly or weight-based moving costs.
- Plan to move outside of peak months: The best time to move is usually between October and April, as rates for moves in the late spring and summer are often higher due to a high demand. Additionally, moving rates are usually lower on weekdays vs. weekends.
- Try a self-service option: Some providers such as 1-800-PACK-RAT and uShip offer lower costs for individuals who want to DIY their moving process.
- Check for price-matching policies: If a moving company has a price-matching policy, obtaining quotes from multiple providers gives you a competitive edge in negotiating moving costs
Is a Long-Distance Moving Company Worth It?
Hiring movers for a long-distance move may cost more than a DIY option, but we find it to be worth the cost. Moving companies can take the physical stress out of moving by assisting with loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, and disassembling and reassembling large items. This allows you to get to your new destination at your own pace and convenience.
In our consumer survey of 1,000 individuals who had moved in the last five years, we found that transporting artwork and mirrors was the top concern. Professional movers are trained to handle fragile items and can properly wrap, pad, and load these pieces to try to prevent any damage en route.
Our survey also found that over 90% of respondents were satisfied with their experience using a professional moving company.
Carriers vs. Brokers
Be mindful of the type of moving company you choose when booking your move. Moving brokers and moving carriers operate differently. While broker or carrier status is not immediately indicative of quality, you should consider their key differences and which type better suits your needs.
Consumers are likely thinking of moving carriers when they search for movers. Carriers book and provide service directly via their own moving crews. These providers are self-insured and typically easier to reach for customer service needs.
Moving brokers book moving services through partnerships with other carriers. The quality of these services can vary because partner companies are contracted and sometimes have limited contact with the broker itself.
International Van Lines is Best Overall Mover for long-distance moves due to its comprehensive services and competitive pricing. The company promotes a higher standard of service and offers comprehensive contents coverage to give customers peace of mind during transit.
American Van Lines is an interstate moving company operating as an exclusive carrier, a fact that sets it apart from most other providers. American hires experienced crews and provides hands-on training to ensure that its staff uses safe and effective moving techniques. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group is another top pick, coordinating out-of-state moves through a network of partners to ensure swift moves from any city.
We recommend you request quotes from at least three top moving companies to better understand the services you will receive for the price.
Long-Distance Moving FAQ
How do I find a good long-distance mover?
To find a good long-distance mover, you should visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website and search for a moving company to confirm that it is properly licensed and insured to move your belongings. You can confirm if the moving company is a moving broker or carrier and obtain their USDOT number.
What is moving insurance?
Moving insurance will pay for you to repair or replace your property if damage occurs while your hired moving company transports it. While you are not legally obligated to purchase moving insurance, if you are moving high-value items, such as antiques, pianos, or precious heirlooms, it could be worthwhile to purchase a policy.
What is a moving broker?
According to the FMCSA, a moving broker is a company that arranges for the transportation of your cargo, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Moving brokers are sales teams that book your move and sell it to an actual moving company.
What is the best rated long-distance moving company?
Based on our thorough assessment of numerous providers, we chose International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Interstate Moving & Relocation Group as the best rated long-distance moving companies.
How can I find out if a company has a good reputation?
To find out if a moving company has a good reputation, look at customer reviews from sources outside the company. This includes sources such as Yelp, Google Reviews, Trustpilot, and the Better Business Bureau.
How We Chose the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies
We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on a number of factors, including package options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on customer-review analysis, proprietary consumer surveys, and interviews with former and current moving professionals.
Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined the number of package options available, the coverage provided, the types of moves available (long-distance, local, and international) and any extra perks offered, such as mobile apps, moving checklists, and 24/7 customer service.
We also gathered pricing data from each company and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. Finally, to determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and their overall score on Google Reviews.