7 Best Short-Distance Moving Companies (2023)

By Sean Donnelly

Jun 16, 2023
Moving truck is parked on the side of a building unloading boxes.

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Even short, local moves can be stressful. A self- or full-service moving company can expedite the process and facilitate a streamlined transition to your new home. The companies outlined here provide varying degrees of service to make any moving experience less stressful. Read our overview of each company to determine which is best for your short move.



The Best Moving Companies

Our picks for the best short-distance moving companies are industry leaders with exceptional service profiles and reputations.



Best Overall Mover: International Van Lines

Fast Facts:

What We Like

International Van Lines (IVL) has operated as a domestic moving company since 2004. While it’s primarily an international moving and logistics company, it partners with local and long-distance movers to provide services in all 50 U.S. states.

IVL has a physical presence in Arizona, California, Chicago, Florida, and New York. These locations offer direct local service in various areas. Beyond that, IVL brokers out local moves to other carriers. Its partners offer comprehensive services, including packing, furniture assembly and disassembly, storage, and more.


Your local moving rates will depend on your location and the season in which you move. When we visited IVL’s website, we found that it lists local moving costs to give you a rough idea of your move price. Three movers and a truck will cost you roughly $150 per hour. Adding full-service packing will increase the rate to $180 per hour before packing supply costs are factored in.

Based on these estimates, you can expect a medium-size local move to cost upwards of $900. IVL charges a 25% deposit up-front to book any move.

Services Offered

International Van Lines is one of the best providers for full-service moves. Its broker partners offer a range of services, including full-service packing, loading and unloading, crating for fine art and antiques, and more.

Read more: International Van Lines Review



Best for Antiques: American Van Lines

 Fast Facts:

What We Like

American Van Lines (AVL) is a moving carrier based in Florida. It advertises flat-rate pricing and some of the most experienced movers labor in the industry. While its specialty is long-distance moving between major cities, it can also provide local moving assistance to clients in certain areas.

Its branches directly serve Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, but AVL can help book local and short-distance moves in many other locales.


American Van Lines offers flat-rate pricing for all of its long-distance moves. Local moving, on the other hand, is priced hourly. Your costs will depend on the average hourly rates for moving help in your area. All moves require a 50% deposit to book.

Services Offered

AVL’s movers average a decade of experience on the job. This allows them to provide quality service for antiques and fragile items. AVL also provides storage, regular packing, crating, and more.

Read more: American Van Lines Review



Best for Major Cities: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Fast Facts:

What We Like

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a moving broker that partners with providers in all 50 states. Its partner companies offer full-service relocations and container services for shorter moves.

IMRG says it carefully vets all its partner companies. We found that it provides quick booking processes and moving guides on its site to improve the customer experience.



To begin the booking process, request a quote via the contact form on IMRG’s homepage. Then, an IMRG move coordinator will contact you to offer a customized estimate. Deposit amounts will depend on the partner company you book with. 

IMRG also lists approximate costs on its site. A one-bedroom move under 50 miles will cost between $300 and $650, while a two- to three-bedroom move of the same distance should cost between $750 and $1,300.

Services Offered

Service offerings will largely depend on which partner you book with. If you want a cheaper move option, you can book with a container provider. Full-service movers are available in most areas. If you’re moving within a major city, IMRG provides lists of the best movers in prominent locations so you can make a quick decision.

Read more: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Review



Best for Coordinated Moves: Moving APT

 Fast Facts:

What We Like

Moving APT is a nationwide moving broker that has been in business since 1999. It now partners with more than 2,500 individual carriers and provides service to all 50 states. Customers consistently mention this broker’s quality communication, fast quotes, and fair pricing in positive reviews.

When you book with this provider, you’ll have access to some of the top movers in the industry offering self- and full-service residential moving options.


Moving APT advertises price-matching capabilities. However, this will depend on the moving and tariff regulations in your area. Moving APT offers a cost calculator tool for quick preliminary pricing and a speedy quote process when you request custom pricing. We used the calculator tool for a two-bedroom move of less than 50 miles and got a range of $945 to $2,790. The wide range accounts for the possibility of full-service packing, crating, and other add-ons.

Services Offered

Moving APT’s service offerings depend on the company you book your move with. You can either schedule a move with a container service or book a full-service carrier that offers full-scale assistance. This can include packing, crating, storage, and more.

Read more: Moving APT Review



Best Appliance Movers: North American Van Lines

Fast Facts:

What We Like

North American Van Lines (NAVL) has been in business since 1933. It now operates a moving network of more than 500 locations in all 50 states. NAVL provides added peace of mind through bottom-line pricing via efficient moving estimates. Its trained moving crews and qualified partners can offer specialty services, such as appliance installation and packing for valuable items.


NAVL doesn’t require deposits to book its relocation services. Once you’ve submitted a quote request form on NAVL’s site, a moving coordinator will contact you to schedule a remote or in-person estimate. This mover offers bottom-line and “not-to-exceed” pricing options, which can help you to stay on budget.

Services Offered

NAVL’s movers can facilitate both cross-country and local moves. It can assist with basic relocations and those requiring special treatment for high-value items and appliances. If you disclose your added service needs when you get your quote, you’ll get an accurate price.

Read more: North American Van Lines Review



Best Customer Experience: Allied Van Lines

 Fast Facts:

What We Like

Allied Van Lines has been in business since 1928 and operates in all 50 states. When you book with Allied, you’ll be assigned a personal move coordinator who will handle your relocation from start to finish.

Allied offers full-service moving assistance and help loading moving trucks and mobile storage units. Its personalized move plans, qualified teams, and network of 500 locations make moving accessible in any locale.


Allied Van Lines’ quotes include loading, unloading, and basic released liability insurance coverage. Added services, such as valuation coverage, packing, unpacking, and long-term storage, will cost extra. Allied doesn’t list deposit requirements for booking, but this can vary from region to region. Local moves are billed hourly, and rates will depend largely on your location.

Services Offered

Allied Van Lines offers the typical range of services that you’d expect from a professional moving company. This includes packing, crating, storage services, vehicle transportation, and more. Aside from your overall move size, your add-on service requirements will affect your move’s cost. Be sure to disclose service needs when you get a quote to ensure that your local Allied partner can provide you with adequate service.

Read more: Allied Van Lines Review



Best for Self-Service Moves: 1-800-PACK-RAT

 Fast Facts:

What We Like

A container moving company, 1-800-PACK-RAT provides mobile storage units in multiple sizes for DIY moving needs. This may be a good option for you if you’re comfortable handling the heavy lifting.

The company’s all-steel moving containers come in 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot sizes, which makes single-container moves for most two-bedroom homes and smaller residences feasible. It has a more limited range than PODS, but unlike its larger competitor, 1-800-PACK-RAT offers local and long-distance moving with all of its container sizes.


This provider doesn’t charge deposits for booking. Depending on the location that handles your move, 1-800-PACK-RAT could be ideal for last-minute service. We got a preliminary quote for a single-container move in Boston. We were quoted $308 due at delivery for a 16-foot vessel, with as much as $208 due at the final pickup for transportation. All containers come with a 30-day rental. Additional months cost $209 for this sizing option.

Services Offered

Marketing itself as a DIY moving solution, 1-800-PACK-RAT allows you to rent these all-steel, weatherproof containers for a few different purposes: local and long-distance moving, on-site storage, or long-term storage at a 1-00-PACK-RAT facility. This company partners with HireAHelper to provide moving labor, so you won’t have to handle all of the heavy lifting if you don’t want to. 

Read more: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review



How to Pick a Short-Distance Moving Company

Choosing a moving company is a key step in the planning process for any local or long-distance move. Here, we’ve listed some considerations to keep in mind when making your decision.

Proper Licensing

When hiring a short-distance or local moving company, confirm that they are licensed to operate in your state. Most states have a regulatory body that ensures the registration and safe conduct of all moving companies. This list of state agencies on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website will assist you in your vetting process.

Solid Customer Reviews

Customer feedback is the most important resource available to you when evaluating moving companies. Looking at both positive and negative reviews can help inform you about trends in service and prepare you for what your move with a given company could look like.

Clear Pricing

Movers that offer easy-to-understand pricing for all services should be at the top of your list when shopping around. Local movers won’t typically offer binding estimates or flat-rate pricing. Instead, these movers offer hourly rates. Such rates should be disclosed at the time you obtain a moving quote.



What Factors Influence a Short-Distance Move’s Cost?

When you hire professional movers, it can be difficult to decipher why your relocation costs what it does. Even if you have a hard copy of your moving quote, which we always recommend, you may not be clear on what influenced your final price. Here are some factors to be aware of when you get any moving quote:



Our Recommendation

Regardless of how you envision handling things on moving day, we recommend getting at least three quotes from movers near you. Getting quotes from both full-service movers and moving container providers will give you a full range of pricing options. This should help you choose the best short-distance moving option for your needs.

International Van Lines has a full portfolio of add-on services and can service your moving needs in almost any locale. American Van Lines’ trained crews can offer crating for antiques and fragile items. If you’re moving within a large urban area, Interstate Moving & Relocation Group and its broker partners can provide quality moving options that account for city conditions.



Short-Distance Moving Companies FAQ

What is a short-distance move?

Generally, a short-distance or local move can be completed in a single day. Most moving companies define this as any move of 50 miles or less.

Why is full-service packing so expensive?

When you pay for full-service packing and unpacking from any moving company, you’ll have to pay a set hourly rate for your movers’ time and will likely have to pay for moving supplies. Moving companies allow you to purchase your own packing materials, but many clients opt to purchase from their movers. Such products will come with markups when you buy them from these companies.

What are minimum charges?

Minimum charges are applied to local moves and moving labor requests. Such charges imply that no matter how long your movers work at your home, you’ll have to pay at least a set minimum charge. For moving labor, this is typically equal to two hours at your agreed-upon hourly rate. For full-service moves, minimum charges usually amount to three hours.



How We Chose the Top Short-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 of the companies and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. To determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as their overall score on Yelp.