Best Long-Distance Moving Companies | 2024 Guide

Written By Sean Donnelly & Reviewed By Megan Harless Updated May 14, 2024

All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Hiring a professional long-distance mover can relieve stress and ensure a seamless move across state lines. Reputable companies handle tasks such as gathering permits, coordinating transportation, packing, storage needs, and much more. With their expertise, companies such as International Van Lines and American Van Lines streamline the moving process, helping you avoid common headaches and potential mishaps associated with long-distance moves.

We conducted in-depth research on moving and storage companies nationwide, talking to dozens of movers, and selected International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Safeway Moving Inc. as our top three choices. Keep reading to learn more about these movers and our other choices for the very best properly licensed and insured professional moving companies.

Did You Know?

388 movers requested and received a free no-obligation quote from one of the above companies in the last 30 days.


Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2024

We spent over 100 hours researching the moving industry and crafted a detailed ranking system. We also interviewed industry experts and analyzed every mover’s website, insurance coverage, and service offerings to rank them against each other. Here are the best long-distance movers according to our rating methodology:


Compare the Best Long-Distance Movers

We rated movers on their service offerings, insurance coverage plans, reputation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and extra benefits such as online resources and quote tools. Then, we ranked each mover on a 100-point scale and converted those points into a star rating.

Company Star Rating Best For Service Model BBB Rating Link
4.7
Overall Moving Carrier and broker B VISIT SITE
4.4
High-Value Goods Carrier and broker A VISIT SITE
3.5
Condos and HOAs Carrier A+ VISIT SITE
4.2
Major Cities Broker B VISIT SITE
4.7
Customer Experience Carrier A+ VISIT SITE
4.5
Coordinated Moves Broker B VISIT SITE
4.8
Appliance Moving Carrier A+ VISIT SITE
4.9
Mobile App Carrier and broker A+ VISIT SITE
4.7
Expedited Moves N/A A+ VISIT SITE
4.8
Home Office Moves N/A A+ VISIT SITE

*Sample quotes above represent the average cost for a 2-bedroom move of 700 miles.

Our methodology revealed the following to be the best long-distance movers available.

International Van Lines

Our Top Pick

4.7

Our Rating

International Van Lines (IVL) began as an international logistics company and continues to specialize in global relocation services. IVL services 180 countries—more than any other provider in our review—and is our top pick for international relocations. The company also provides one of the most comprehensive and robust service selections for long-distance moving. It has brick-and-mortar locations in five states and operates primarily as a broker. Many of its partner companies are highly rated and provide quality services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has experience solving logistical challenges for moves of any distance
  • Allows cancellations with full refunds up to 48 hours before your move date
  • Offers one month of free storage

Cons

  • Charges a 25% deposit for booking a move
  • Charges extra fees for bulky items that aren’t stackable ($150) and motorcycles ($350)
  • Operates almost exclusively as a broker

Cost Details

International Van Lines will provide you with a more detailed estimate once you complete an online quote form or contact a representative by phone. For your convenience, you can opt to conduct a virtual survey of your home’s inventory rather than an in-home consultation. We used International Van Lines’ online moving calculator to get the sample quote below.

Sample Quote: $4,200 to $6,150 (3-bedroom move from Nashville, TN to Orlando, FL in early May)

Deposit: 25% of your total moving cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from International Van Lines

Moving Services Offered

IVL offers full-pack and partial-pack moving services with the following add-on options: 

  • Custom crating
  • Debris Removal
  • Insurance coverage
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

American Van Lines

Best for Antiques

4.4

Our Rating

American Van Lines is worth exploring, especially if you have a collection of antiques, fine art, or other high-value items to move. The company hires and retains experienced moving crews that can expertly pack, load, and transport items requiring special handling. Its full-time crew members have an average of 10 years of moving industry experience and must complete ongoing education and training. According to the company’s website, this includes coaching for moving bulky items such as pianos, fitness equipment, and one-of-a-kind art pieces.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Trains its movers in safe handling techniques for fragile and high-value items
  • Doesn’t recruit third-party contractors to perform moving services
  • Offers a partial-packing service for customers who prefer DIY packing but need help for certain items

Cons

  • Charges a 50% deposit for booking a move, a higher up-front cost than most reputable competitors
  • Doesn’t give quotes online or by phone
  • Limits its customer service on weekends

Cost Details

American Van Lines does not give instant moving quotes online or by phone, but does offer price matching. The company will provide a binding estimate only after thoroughly reviewing your home and its contents.
We got the sample quote below from American Van Lines’ website, but recommend getting a personalized quote. 

Sample Quote: $8,178 (4-bedroom move from Dallas, TX to Denver, CO)

Deposit: Up to 50% of your total moving cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a moving quote from American Van Lines

Moving Services Offered

American Van Lines offers all standard full-service and partial-service moving options, as well as the following: 

  • Antique crating and shipping
  • Car shipping
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) options 
  • Electronics crating 
  • Fragile-only packing 
  • Storage services

Safeway Moving Inc.

Best for Condos and HOAs

3.5

Our Rating

Safeway Moving Inc. is a veteran-owned moving company with agents available nationwide to conduct long-distance moving services. Safeway trains its staff to adapt a moving plan to your needs and backs its services with a 100% guarantee for safe and on-time delivery. A standout feature of Safeway is its experience in navigating the requirements for moving in and out of condominiums and homeowners associations (HOAs). These types of moves often include regulations and requirements that other movers aren’t accustomed to handling.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Is knowledgeable about the regulatory process for condo associations and can assist with moving to a condo
  • Provides additional moving guidance for retirement-age customers
  • Has a vetting process for hired and contracted movers

Cons

  • Customer reviews mention challenges with communication
  • Brokers most of its moves to third parties
  • Doesn’t have a mobile app or extensive online resources

Cost Details

Safeway advertises flat-rate costs based on the distance of your move and the size of your inventory. An agent will provide a binding estimate that will not change as long as your reported inventory is accurate and you require no additional services after booking the move.

We requested an estimate from Safeway for a long-distance move to get the sample quote below.

Sample Quote: $9,586 (3-bedroom move from Atlanta, GA to Houston, TX)

Deposit: Up to 40% of your total moving cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a moving quote from Safeway Moving

Moving Services Offered

Safeway keeps its primary offerings simple with full-service and partial-service moving packages, but you can also opt for the following: 

  • Fragile-only packing/loading
  • Specialized moving guidance and aid for retirement-age customers
  • Specialized services for HOA and condo moves
  • Storage services

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Best for Major Cities

4.2

Our Rating

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) offers moving services anywhere in the country, working as a broker with a network of licensed and insured partners in all 50 states. For any city with nearby IMRG agents, you should expect prompt scheduling and delivery of moving services. IMRG offers a similar experience to Safeway but focuses on personalized customer service rather than purely efficiency.  IMRG also publishes articles for moving to nearly a dozen major cities, featuring moving tips and information about the cost of living.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has a large network of licensed and insured moving partners, enabling IMRG to conduct services nationwide
  • Shares informative articles on its website for moving to major cities
  • Can arrange specialty services such as military moves and vehicle shipping

Cons

  • Offers no direct service as a carrier
  • Doesn’t fully remain responsible for damage due to broker status
  • Has received a large number of FMCSA complaints for estimates not matching final charges

Cost Details

Choosing full-service packing and unpacking assistance through one of IMRG’s providers may drive costs up. A shipment that proves heavier than the estimated weight will result in additional charges. Depending on the moving company that performs your services, you can opt for a binding or non-binding estimate. Some companies may also offer not-to-exceed estimates that lock in a maximum final price.

We received the sample quote below from an IMRG representative. 

Sample Quote: $2,100–$6,900 (2 or 3 bedrooms moving 1,000 miles from your current location)

Deposit: IMRG may require a deposit depending on the mover selected.

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Interstate Moving & Relocation Group.

Moving Services Offered

IMRG provides the following add-ons with its standard full-service moving options: 

  • Cleaning services
  • Fragile packing and unpacking
  • Military moves
  • Vehicle shipping

Allied Van Lines

Best Customer Experience

4.7

Our Rating

In business since 1928, Allied Van Lines is one of the most experienced movers on our list. The company focuses on the overall customer experience more than other providers listed here, which can be reassuring when you trust it to transport your belongings hundreds or thousands of miles away. Allied assigns a moving coordinator to assist each customer personally. It also hosts helpful online resources, including an active blog that features tips and detailed guidance for tackling various challenges in the moving process.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers guaranteed delivery dates
  • Provides numerous online resources and a mobile app for its customers
  • Offers Allied Express as a specialty service, allowing customers to conduct small moves with container storage and professional moving assistance

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer customer support via phone or email on weekends
  • Uses third-party movers when its own staff is unavailable
  • Customer reviews mention technical issues with filing claims

Cost Details

Allied Van Lines will not provide an online or phone estimate for homes larger than three bedrooms. For a binding estimate, you can schedule an in-person or virtual home survey on Allied’s website. An assessment specialist will review the layout of your house and your moving inventory, then factor in the distance, size, and date of your move to determine the total cost you can expect to pay on moving day.

We got the sample quote below using Allied Van Lines’ online moving calculator.

Sample Quote: $5,773–$6,368 (3-bedroom move from Boston, MA to Montpelier, VT in mid-July)

Deposit: None required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Allied Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Allied provides the following add-ons for its long-distance moves:

  • Fragile-only packing
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

Moving APT

Best for Coordinated Moves

4.5

Our Rating

Moving APT matches you with prescreened and background-checked local movers that can meet your specific moving needs. The benefit of working with Moving APT is that it can handle the legwork of researching and picking a mover based on your specifications. Then, all you have to do is give Moving APT your moving details and note any special services you need, and the company will take care of the rest. Even after matching you with one of its partners, Moving APT will remain your primary point of contact to ensure your relocation is going smoothly and according to schedule.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Is transparent about the providers it contracts for moving services, putting you in direct communication with the companies
  • Provides fast estimates for moving at the last minute
  • Vets its partners for active insurance, licensing records, and background

Cons

  • Doesn’t operate its own moving crews or truck fleets
  • Provides a misleading online chat tool
  • Has received complaints on Yelp about misrepresented costs

Cost Details

We received the sample quote below from Moving APT’s online calculator. You’ll need to contact Moving APT directly to schedule a virtual home walk-through and receive a binding estimate.

Sample Quote: $7,500 (4-bedroom move from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN)

Deposit: Moving APT charges an up-front deposit, the amount of which depends on the distance and size of your move and the company handling your relocation.

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Moving APT.

Moving Services Offered

Moving APT offers the following services for full-pack and partial-pack long-distance moves:

  • Crating
  • Exercise machine relocation
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Vehicle shipping

JK Moving Services

Best Mobile App

4.9

Our Rating

JK Moving Services is one of our top choices for long-distance moving services due to its customizable packages and personal moving coordinators. The company provides more high-end customer service for similar offerings that carriers such as IVL and American Van Lines offer. Your moving coordinator will ask about your service preferences and walk you through each step of move planning, arranging a virtual or in-home consultation to go over your home’s inventory.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has a convenient mobile app for reviewing your estimate and booking your move
  • Provides 24/7 customer service
  •  Screens its movers for criminal history before hiring

Cons

  • Charges more than other carriers on this list
  • Doesn’t offer online quotes
  • Doesn’t refund deposits for canceled moves

Cost Details

JK Moving will provide you with a binding estimate—the actual amount you can expect to pay on moving day—after a virtual or in-home walk-through. The company doesn’t provide instant quotes online or by phone. JK Moving offers in-house financing through its partnership with Enhancify. With Enhancify, you can receive rates as low as 0%, same-as-cash, subject to credit approval. It’s important to review your loan rates and terms carefully to avoid paying more in the long run.

We called a JK Moving representative to get the sample quote below. The estimate for a two-bedroom home included furniture disassembly, wrapping, and padding, loading and unloading all household items, and full-replacement valuation coverage.

Sample Quote: $7,500 (2-bedroom move from Chicago, IL to Atlanta, GA—approximately 750 miles—in mid-April)

Deposit: $250

Moving Services Offered

JK Moving provides the following additional services for all full-service long-distance relocations: 

  • Grandfather clock relocation
  • Piano moving
  • Vehicle shipping

North American Van Lines

Best for High-End Appliances

4.8

Our Rating

North American Van Lines (NAVL) accommodates long-distance moves of all sizes through a network of more than 500 local movers. As a carrier and a broker, NAVL will arrange for a partner moving company to help you if it cannot directly handle your move. NAVL will still coordinate and back your relocation, ensuring you can access the company’s full-service offerings, add-on options, and moving resources. One appealing add-on option we didn’t see with American Van Lines and other carriers is NAVL’s service for uninstalling and reinstalling appliances during a move, saving you an extra step as you adjust to your new living space.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers to assist with the removal and reinstallation of appliances
  • Has several customer support lines, including for filing claims
  • Uses a predictable pricing model

Cons

  • Has mixed storage availability depending on location
  • Outsources some services to third-party moving companies
  • Varies storage service options by location

Cost Details

NAVL will provide you with flat-rate pricing, or a binding estimate, after completing an in-person or virtual assessment of your home. As part of this process, you will need to itemize your moving shipment and identify any household items you aren’t planning to take with you when you move.

We got the sample quote below from North American Van Lines. Online quotes are not available for homes with four or more bedrooms, but we called NAVL and received a minimum estimate of $7,555 to move the contents of a four-bedroom home the same distance. That move would include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, shipment tracking, and basic carrier liability coverage at 60 cents per pound for each item.

Sample Quote: $6,709–$7,381 (3-bedroom home from New York, NY to Charleston, SC at the end of May)

Deposit: None required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from North American Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

In addition to regular full-services and partial-service moves, you can also get the following with NAVL:

  • Appliance removal and reinstallation services
  • Commercial moving services
  • Military moving services
  • Packing focused on fragile, expensive, or extremely large pieces
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

Mayflower Moving

Best for Expedited Moves

4.7

Our Rating

Mayflower Moving provides quality long-distance moving services. Its basic package includes furniture protection, basic labor, and full value protection options. If you want additional services, Mayflower offers packing services for basic household goods and antiques, long-term storage in secure facilities, vehicle shipping, and crating for artwork and antiques. For small relocations, Mayflower offers a Snapmoves service that includes assembly and disassembly, as well as reliable delivery windows for longer moves.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers binding estimates for all moves
  • Requires no deposit or down payment to book
  •  Includes full-value protection in all quotes

Cons

  • Offers no service in Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or West Virginia
  • Subcontracts some moving services out to third-party carriers
  • Features somewhat higher rates than competitors due to valuation coverage options

Cost Details

Mayflower offers quick ballpark quotes for service. Plan to have a full home walkthrough via video call if you want a binding rate for your move.

Sample Quote: $11,500–$13,000 (3-bedroom, 2,800-mile move)

Deposit: None required

Free Moving Estimate: Get a moving quote from Mayflower Moving

Moving Services Offered

Mayflower also offers the following extra services with its full-service options:

  • Antique services
  • Artwork crating
  • Storage services
  • Unique Snapmoves services

United Van Lines

Best for Home Office Moves

4.8

Our Rating

United Van Lines has been in business since 1928 and is one of the major companies under the UniGroup moving umbrella, just like Mayflower Moving. This co-op is one of the country’s largest moving networks, allowing for a diverse portfolio of long-distance moving services. One standout for long-distance relocation is United’s office relocation services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers full-value protection with all moves
  • Provides flat-rate pricing
  • Has tech disassembly and installation services

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer any upfront pricing
  • Features higher rates than its competitors
  • Has negative reviews that report spam calls after booking

Cost Details

United Van Lines provides binding estimates for all moves. Its quote process is similar to that of many full-service carriers, as it requires a phone call for booking and will often request a video survey or in-person walkthrough of a home. United offers full-value protection with every moving quote. However, it charges slightly higher rates than its competitors.

Sample Quote: Contact for pricing

Deposit: None required

Free Moving Estimate: Get a moving quote from United Van Lines

Moving Services Offered

United Van Lines offers these extra services: 

  • Crating services
  • Home theater, office, and tech item relocation 
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping


How to Choose the Best Long-Distance Moving Company

Selecting the right long-distance moving provider is crucial for ensuring a stress-free experience. The first step is to vet the company’s credentials. Derek Mills, managing partner of Square Cow Moovers, emphasizes that for interstate moves, you should ensure that the moving company has appropriate licensing and insurance and is in good standing with the FMCSA and state governing agencies.

Once you’ve verified the company’s legitimacy, follow these steps from our moving checklist for a seamless move:

  1. Take inventory: Create a detailed list of your household goods. Reputable movers such as JK Moving and NAVL use this inventory to provide accurate, binding estimates.
  2. Identify special needs: Note if you require specialty services such as crating for electronics, fine art, or antiques, long-term storage, piano moving, valuation coverage, or vehicle shipping.
  3. Determine your move size: If you’re handling a smaller move yourself, use online tools from companies such as 1-800-PACK-RAT to calculate the size and number of moving containers needed.
  4. Check availability: Ensure the moving company serves your area and can accommodate your desired moving dates.
  5. Get multiple quotes: Request quotes from at least three moving companies to compare prices and services.
  6. Review the contract: Carefully read and understand the company’s policies, terms, and conditions before signing any contracts.

Following these steps will help prepare you to select a reliable long-distance mover, ensuring a smooth and stress-free relocation experience.


How Much Does a Long-Distance Move Cost?

While you should plan to save around $5,000 for your move, costs can range from $3,300 to $7,500 or more. Long-distance moves can be more than you think, so it’s important to understand the key moving cost factors that impact your price. These include the following:

Additional services: Insurance coverage for lost or damaged items, specialty services (crating, piano moving, vehicle shipping), and long-term storage can add substantially to the overall cost.

Distance: The further you’re moving, the higher the cost. Long-distance moves generally refer to those more than 100 to 150 miles or crossing state lines. Cross-country moves from one coast to another can cost several thousand dollars more.

Line-haul fees: Long-distance moving quotes typically include line-haul fees, which factor in the mileage traveled. These fees can vary based on the distance and the moving company’s pricing structure.

Time of year: The peak moving season during the summer is the most expensive, as demand is high. Scheduling during off-peak times, such as winter, can save you money.

Tolls and miscellaneous charges: Some movers may include toll charges in their flat rate, while others may bill you separately for tolls and other miscellaneous charges.

Weight and size: The total weight of your belongings and the number of rooms or the size of your residence significantly impact the cost. More items and larger homes translate to higher costs.

It’s also important to factor in the cost of tipping the movers. A general guideline is to tip $5 to $10 per mover per hour or $20 to $40 per person for a half-day move and $40 to $80 per mover for a full day.

You should gather multiple quotes from reputable long-distance moving companies and thoroughly understand their pricing structure, including any additional fees or services that may impact the final cost, so you can budget accordingly.

Get a quick idea of long-distance movers’ costs based on the quotes we gathered for this guide.

ProviderCostMileageSize
International Van Lines$4,200–$6,1506873-Bedroom
American Van Lines$8,1787974-Bedroom
Safeway Moving Inc.$9,5867933-Bedroom
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group$2,100–$6,9001,0002–3 Bedrooms
Allied Van Lines$5,773–$6,3681803-Bedroom
Moving APT$7,5006874-Bedroom
JK Moving Services$7,5007502-Bedroom
North American Van Lines$6,709–$7,3817583-Bedroom
Mayflower Moving$11,500–$13,0002,8003-Bedroom
United Van LinesN/AN/AN/A

How to Plan a Long-Distance Move: Step-by-Step Guide 

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

To streamline your moving process, create two separate inventory lists: one for items to keep and move and another for items to sell, donate, or discard. Measure and photograph large furniture, appliances, and artwork for accurate moving estimates and specialized handling requirements. Research reputable companies by checking credentials, reading reviews, and requesting quotes from at least three movers. Schedule in-home or virtual estimates, providing detailed inventory, measurements, and photos. Inquire about additional services such as packing, crating, storage, and specialized handling for fragile or bulky items, which may incur extra costs.

6 Weeks Before

Actively seek quotes from reputable movers, providing detailed inventories with measurements and photos of your large items. Disclose requirements such as packing, crating, storage, or specialized handling. Start packing early, aiming for one to two boxes daily with out-of-season/seldom-used items first. Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape to protect your belongings. Label boxes with contents and destination rooms. Pack an essentials box with immediate necessities. Disassemble large furniture if possible to ease moving and prevent damage. Get rid of items to reduce weight/volume and potentially save money.

4 Weeks Before

Confirm your move at least four weeks before your move date. Make copies of your moving estimate, contract, and documents from the mover in case you need to reference them or resolve billing disputes. Contact utility providers in your current and new home to arrange dates for turning on and off electricity, gas, water, and internet. Prepare a list of who needs your new address, such as banks, employers, insurance and government agencies. Request copies of your family’s medical records and pets’ veterinary records from the respective providers if needed.

2 Weeks Before

As your move approaches, focus on packing nonessential items such as decor and out-of-season clothing. File a change of address with the United States Postal Service online or at your local post office. Arrange care for children or pets to ensure safety and minimize distractions on your moving day. Pack a separate bag with essentials such as toiletries and clothes. Properly prepare large appliances for the move by disconnecting them. Confirm details with your moving company, including pickup and delivery times and contact information.

1 Week Before

Plan your meals for the week and pack nonessential kitchenware. Keep an open box for gradual packing as you use items. Decide on the necessary clothing for your travel and pack toiletries, snacks, water, and essential documents accordingly.

Moving Day

Ensure your movers call ahead before arriving. Upon their arrival, greet them and provide a walkthrough of items to be moved. Review the moving contract with the crew chief for clarity. While they work on loading boxes, take the opportunity to pack your car with essential items if you haven’t already done so.


Our Recommendation

International Van Lines is our 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. Another feature that makes IVL stand out is its virtual inventory survey. During a recent interview we conducted with IVL founder Josh Morales, he explained how IVL’s virtual survey works:

“Visual surveys are a thing of the past these days. We have our own software that sends a link to the customer’s cell phone number. They can do a virtual tour and it uploads the inventory list as they’re walking through.”

– Josh Morales, Founder of International Van Lines

American Van Lines is an interstate moving company operating as an exclusive carrier, which sets it apart from most other providers. It hires experienced crews and provides hands-on training to ensure its staff uses safe and effective moving techniques. Safeway Moving Inc. is another top pick, coordinating out-of-state moves through a network of partners to ensure swift moves from any city.

We recommend that you request quotes from at least three top moving companies to better understand the services you will receive for the price.


Booking Your Long-Distance Move

We recommend getting multiple quotes from different moving companies when planning a long-distance move. This will help you choose the best option that fits your budget while ensuring you don’t have to worry about hidden fees.

It’s important to consider the following factors when selecting a moving company:

If you opt for a binding estimate from a moving company, it’s important to understand that adding more items to the moving list after receiving the estimate will affect the final cost of your move. In our interview with Morales, he explained how a binding estimate works:

“A binding estimate is saying we’re guaranteeing this price based on the information that we have. That’s where the confusion lies with customers, because when they hear the word binding, they hear the word guaranteed. It’s guaranteed based upon what we’re talking about in this contract — where you’re moving to, the item list that we have, the packing that we’re going to do. Assuming everything remains the same, we are guaranteeing that this price is not going to change.”

– Josh Morales, Founder of International Van Lines


Is a Long-Distance Moving Company Worth It?

​​Hiring the best movers for a long-distance move may cost more than a DIY option, but we find it worth the cost.

Moving companies can relieve the physical stress of moving by assisting with loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, and disassembling and reassembling large items. This allows you to reach 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 prevent any damage en route.

Our survey also found that over 90% of respondents who stated they hired a full-service moving company said they were satisfied with their experience using a professional moving company.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of using a professional, long-distance mover: 

Benefits

  • Knows how to handle your belongings safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of damage during transit
  • Streamlines the moving process, minimizing downtime and ensuring a faster transition to your new home
  • Saves you time and effort

Drawbacks

  • Can be expensive, especially for long-distance moves
  • Coordinating the move with a moving company's schedule may be challenging
  • You must relinquish some control over the moving process

Ways to Save Money on Your 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 to reduce the cost of your move.

Think About Downsizing

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.

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 high demand. Additionally, moving rates are usually lower on weekdays than on weekends.

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.

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.


Understanding 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.

Carriers

  • Book and provide service directly
  • Self-insured and easier to reach for customer service needs
  • Use their own moving crews
  • What consumers typically think of when looking for movers

Brokers

  • Book services through partnerships
  • Contractors can have a hard time contacting the broker itself
  • Quality of service can vary
  • Use other carriers for moving services

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 US DOT 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 FMCS, 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.

How can I find out if a moving 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 conducted extensive research on numerous full- and self-service moving companies to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of their offerings. Our methodology and rating system included analyzing various aspects such as package options, pricing structures, and reputation. We also scrutinized each company’s supplementary features, such as mobile applications, moving checklists, and customer support accessibility.

Our team engaged directly with representatives from each company to gain insights into the intricacies of their service offerings, clarifying aspects such as pricing models and quotes. Specifically, we wanted to know whether they provided ballpark estimates or binding quotes.

We analyzed customer feedback from various sources, including consumer surveys, customer reviews, and interviews with past and present moving professionals. This enabled us to identify prevalent customer pain points and provide invaluable context to our assessment.

Additionally, we reviewed each company’s reputation, considering factors such as their rating with esteemed institutions such as the BBB and their overall standing on platforms such as Google Reviews.

By using these various dimensions of analysis, we provided you with a comprehensive overview of each company’s strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for your unique moving needs. This analysis is also why companies such as International Van Lines and American Van Lines have topped this list.