Best Moving Companies in California

By Sean Donnelly Updated May 28, 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.

The moving experience is stressful enough. Add in traffic around Los Angeles or San Francisco, and it just might drive you mad. Why not let a professional mover such as International Van Lines handle the strain? Whether your California move is to a neighboring town or cross-country, a professional moving service can help make the process simpler and stress-free.

We researched and ranked the best moving companies by simulating quote processes, speaking to company representatives, and conducting analysis of hundreds of customer reviews. International Van Lines provides the best overall moving experience for Californians. If you have high-value items to relocate, you may want to consider American Van Lines. If California condo or homeowners associations will cause an issue for your move, we suggest Safeway Moving Inc. for its experience dealing with those situations.

Did You Know?

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


California’s Top Moving Companies of 2024

Through rigorous research, we’ve identified the following seven companies as the top moving companies in California and created this guide to help you select the best provider based on service options and reputation.


Side-By-Side Comparison: Best Movers in California

Here is how the top California movers compare:

Star Rating BBB Rating Link
International Van Lines International Van Lines
B GET ESTIMATE
American Van Lines American Van Lines
A GET ESTIMATE
Safeway Safeway Moving Inc.
A+ GET ESTIMATE
IMRG Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
B GET ESTIMATE
Moving APT Moving APT
B GET ESTIMATE
North American North American Van Lines
A+ GET ESTIMATE
JK Moving JK Moving Services
A+ GET ESTIMATE
International Van Lines
Logo International Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
GET ESTIMATE
American Van Lines
Logo American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A
GET ESTIMATE
Safeway
Logo Safeway Moving Inc.
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
GET ESTIMATE
IMRG
Logo Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
GET ESTIMATE
Moving APT
Logo Moving APT
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
GET ESTIMATE
North American
Logo North American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
GET ESTIMATE
JK Moving
Logo JK Moving Services
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
GET ESTIMATE

International Van Lines

Our Top Pick

4.7

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Available
Vehicle Shipping: Available
USDOT #: 2293832

International Van Lines (IVL) was founded as an international logistics company in 2000 and continues to specialize in global relocation services. While many moving companies outsource international moves, IVL acts as the single point of contact and direct carrier. It provides in-house assistance with full-service options such as packing and loading. Though IVL specializes in international moves, it offers domestic moving services for local and interstate moves throughout the Golden State.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers quick ballpark quotes on its website
  • Provides valuation coverage for high-value goods
  • Supplies one of the most comprehensive selections of interstate services

Cons

  • Appears to outsource most of its local moves
  • Has reports of poor communication after booking
  • Has annoying pop-up menus on its website

Services offered by International Van Lines

IVL offers a complete list of standard moving services, as well as a variety of add-on services, including the following:

  • 30 days of free storage with long-distance moves
  • Antique services
  • Crating
  • Packing
  • Piano moving
  • Storage
  • Valuation coverage
  • Vehicle Shipping

Insurance Options

IVL provides comprehensive all-risk coverage with a third-party insurer. This policy reimburses you for the full value you claim on damaged or lost belongings at 4% of the declared value. This can be an attractive option if you’re moving high-end items.

Cost and Payment Options

We used IVL’s moving calculator tool to obtain a ballpark quote to move a three-bedroom home from Los Angeles, CA, to San Diego, CA. That same move would cost between $6,000 and $8,700 for a four-bedroom house and $7,200 to $11,250 for a five-bedroom home. Since the contents of homes vary widely, so do these ballpark prices. IVL can provide a more precise binding estimate once you complete an online quote form and in-home or virtual survey with a customer service representative.

Sample Quote: $4,200 to $6,150 (three-bedroom move between Los Angeles and San Diego)

Deposit: 25% of your total moving cost

Payment Options: Cash, credit card, check, or money order

Get a Quick Quote: Visit International Van Lines’ site

American Van Lines

Best for Antiques

4.4

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Not available
Vehicle Shipping: Available
USDOT #: 614506


American Van Lines (AVL) is a great option if you’re looking to transport difficult items such as musical instruments, recreational equipment, and valuable artwork. AVL focuses on hiring and retaining full-time, experienced moving crews that can expertly pack, load, and transport items that require special handling. The company claims its movers have an average of 10 years of experience, which it enhances through ongoing training at company-owned facilities. This training includes instruction on safely moving fine art, priceless antiques, or other high-value items.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has adopted a flat-rate pricing system for less frustration during move planning
  • Has moving crews with 10 years of experience on average
  • Trains movers in the proper handling techniques for fine artwork and antiques

Cons

  • Includes a high deposit requirement
  • Isn’t available on Sundays
  • Requires a phone call for accurate pricing

Services offered by American Van Lines

AVL provides the following services for Californians:

  • Antique moving
  • Climate-controlled storage (location dependent) 
  • Crating
  • Fine art moving
  • Packing
  • Storage
  • Vehicle shipping

Insurance Options

AVL doesn’t provide information about its insurance or valuation options on its website. To understand the protection the company offers for your items, ask about insurance during the quote process.

Cost and Payment Options

AVL works only with binding estimates for flat-rate, accurate pricing. The company requires you to conduct an in-person or virtual survey of your home and inventory to provide this pricing. However, the company’s online moving cost page can provide estimates for moving certain home sizes in major cities throughout California, such as Los Angeles.

Sample Quote: $7,739 (three-bedroom move between Austin, TX, to Los Angeles, CA)

Deposit: Up to 50% of your total cost

Payment Options: Cash, credit card, and check

Get a Quick Quote: Visit American Van Lines’ site

Safeway Moving Inc.

Best for Condos and HOAs

3.5

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Location dependent
Vehicle Shipping: Location dependent
USDOT #: 237129


Safeway Moving Inc. conducts most services with its own trucks and crews. It does outsource to vetted partners when necessary during busier times of the year and for some locations. Moving to a neighborhood under the authority of a condo or homeowners association requires adherence to specific rules, and it’s important to choose a mover that will comply. Safeway has substantial experience with these types of moves to help ensure your peace of mind when booking moving services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Handles moves for homes under homeowners and condo association authority
  • Includes a 100% service guarantee
  • Specializes in long-distance moving services in CA

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide online pricing
  • Features mixed reviews
  • Limits its specialty services

Services offered by Safeway Moving Inc.

Safeway offers standard full-pack and partial-pack services for California moves, but it also advertises a few add-on services, including the following:

  • Crating
  • Packing
  • Storage

Insurance Options

To cover high-value goods, you can purchase full valuation packages through Safeway’s partners.

Cost and Payment Options

To receive your binding estimate through Safeway, you can complete an inventory sheet, request a video survey, or have an in-home consultation. We went through this process with Safeway for a mock move between Boise, ID, and Los Angeles, CA. We found our overall experience to be pleasant and efficient.

Sample Quote: $9,586 (three-bedroom move between Boise and Los Angeles)

Deposit: Up to 40% of your total cost

Payment Options: Cash, certified check, money order, and credit card

Get a Quick Quote: Visit Safeway Moving Inc.’s site

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Best for Major Cities

4.2

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Location dependent
Vehicle Shipping: Available
USDOT #: 3034100


Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) partners with self- and full-service moving companies. As a broker, IMRG can’t legally conduct moving services, but it will negotiate among professional movers in your area to find the right fit for planning your move. This service model has some natural drawbacks due to varying levels of reliability and customer service among moving companies. However, booking through a broker can yield a wider selection of specialty services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers price matching
  • Prescreens the moving companies in its network
  • Provides various online resources to help prep your move

Cons

  • Doesn’t remain responsible for missing or damaged items due to broker status
  • Features a 72-hour cancellation policy
  • Only acts as a broker

Services offered by Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

IMRG coordinates most full-service or self-service moving services, such as packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

IMRG also offers the following:

  • Commercial moving
  • Crating
  • Vehicle shipping

Insurance Options

IMRG partners with numerous independent carriers whose insurance offerings vary greatly. Your valuation coverage options depend on which provider you book for your move.

Cost and Payment Options

When you request a quote from IMRG, the company will provide a binding estimate based on details about your inventory and the distance of your move. You must specify whether you need boxes for self-packing or if you intend to schedule a full-service move. We went through the quote process with IMRG and generated a quote to move a three-bedroom home from Los Angeles, CA, to Seattle, WA.

Sample Quote: $3,900 to $7,000 (three-bedroom move between Los Angeles and Seattle, WA)

Deposit: Up to 33%, depending on the partner provider

Payment Options: Credit card or electronic check. Payment options for moving costs will depend on the provider.

Get a Quick Quote: Visit International Moving & Relocation Group’s site

Moving APT

Best for Coordinated Moves

4.5

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Location dependent
Vehicle Shipping: Location dependent
USDOT #: 2247863


Moving APT is another authorized moving broker on our list, outsourcing services to a partner network of more than 2,000 agents. This perk is great for scheduling last-minute moves, providing alternative options when an individual moving carrier is unavailable in your area of the country. Moving brokers don’t perform moving services in-house and may work with partners with varying degrees of reputability. However, one quality of Moving APT that we find notable is that the company connects you to its partners directly. This approach means you’ll know which company will handle your services, allowing you to research, plan, and ask questions as necessary before booking.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Coordinates specialty moving services not offered by many major carriers
  • Features moving guides for California on its website
  • Vets each of its partners to ensure that each is insured properly

Cons

  • Deposits are nonrefundable within seven days of your moving date
  • Has negative reviews that mention spam calls
  • Operates as a moving broker

Services offered by Moving APT

Moving APT coordinates full packing and unpacking assistance from its partner network, and it also offers the following services:

  • Crating
  • Office moving
  • Packing
  • Price matching
  • Residential moving

Insurance Options

Many of Moving APT’s partners provide valuation coverage, but you’ll pay between 1% and 5% of the total value of covered goods, depending on what partner you receive.

Cost and Payment Options

We used Moving APT’s online calculator to get a rough estimate of moving from Los Angeles, CA, to Phoenix, AZ. Your actual binding estimate through Moving APT will factor in the services you request and other key details of your move, such as the mileage.

Sample Quote: $3,750 to $8,250 (three-bedroom move between Los Angeles and Phoenix)

Deposit: Up to 33%

Payment Options: Credit card, cash, and certified or personal check

Get a Quick Quote: Visit Moving APT’s site

JK Moving Services

Best Mobile App

4.9

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Available
Vehicle Shipping: Available
USDOT #: 1065394


JK Moving Services assigns each of its full-service moving customers a personal moving coordinator who provides a direct line of communication with the company. In addition to this personalized attention, JK Moving’s full-replacement coverage option offers financial peace of mind if you have high-value—but potentially lightweight—items. The company is an excellent pick for long-distance and interstate moves in California but doesn’t offer any local moving services.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Background-checks all employees
  • Features a customized full-value protection plan
  • Provides an easy-to-use website with numerous move preparation resources

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer local moves in California
  • May outsource services for interstate moves involving California
  • Requires a more time-consuming quote process than competitors

Services offered by JK Moving

Standard full-service offerings include packing, furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking all household items. Add-on services include the following:

  • Antique moving
  • Crating
  • Financing options
  • Fine art moving
  • Office moving
  • Storage
  • Vehicle shipping

Insurance Options

JK Moving offers optional, adjustable full-value protection, which means your plan will align with the approximate value of your belongings rather than a flat rate based on weight.

Cost and Payment Options

Working with a JK Moving representative, we got a ballpark moving quote to move the contents of a two-bedroom home 750 miles in mid-April. This is approximately the distance from Phoenix, AZ, to Sacramento, CA. This quote includes packing, furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading and unloading for all household items, and full replacement coverage.

Sample Quote: $7,500 (two-bedroom move between Phoenix and Sacramento)

Deposit: $250

Payment Options: Credit card, cash, and check

North American Van Lines

Best for High-End Appliances

4.8

Our Rating

Shipment Tracking: Available
Vehicle Shipping: Available
USDOT #: 070851


North American Van Lines (NAVL) holds the proper licenses to handle your California move using its moving trucks and labor. Logistics may cause the company to outsource your move to one of its partners. In this case, NAVL will arrange for a local moving company to provide your needed services. Partner moves are coordinated and backed by NAVL, which means you’ll still have access to the company’s full-service offerings, add-ons, and online moving resources.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Features a dedicated team for domestic claims
  • Offers a vast array of services to customize your package
  • Provides online shipment tracking

Cons

  • Customer reviews mention difficult communication based on third-party providers
  • Doesn’t provide ballpark estimates
  • Might outsource a California move

Services offered by North American Van Lines

In addition to standard full-service options, NAVL offers the unique option to disconnect, transport, and reconnect your major appliances.

Here are all of NAVL’s service options:

  • Antique moving
  • Appliance installation and detachment
  • Crating
  • Storage
  • Vehicle shipping

Insurance Options

NAVL offers valuation coverage beyond the reimbursement level offered by released liability coverage. This plan typically costs between 5% and 6% of the total value of your goods.

Cost and Payment Options

We used NAVL’s online tool to generate a free quote to move a three-bedroom home from Seattle, WA, to San Francisco, CA, in late March. This ballpark (not binding) quote includes packing, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking, GPS tracking, and basic carrier liability coverage at 60 cents per pound per item.

If your home has four or more bedrooms, NAVL will provide a binding estimate once you complete an in-person or virtual home assessment.

Sample Quote: $7,197 to $7,950 (three-bedroom move between Seattle and San Francisco)

Deposit: None required 

Payment Options: Cash, credit card, and certified check

Get a Quick Quote: Visit North American Van Lines’ site


What Factors Affect Moving Costs in California?

If you’re undergoing a local move within roughly the same California city, your cost will depend on how many hours the movers work and how many movers your move requires. On the other hand, if your move exceeds 150 miles or goes across state lines, your cost is calculated based on numerous factors that go into a long-distance move.

Cost factors include the following: 


How Should You Prep for a California Move?

You should follow a standard time line for your California move. Whether it’s a local move within the Bay Area, or you’re moving from New York, Florida, or another East Coast home, here’s a time line to help you prepare for your California move:


Our Recommendation for California Residents

Our top recommended California mover is International Van Lines because of its full-service options for Golden State moves.

American Van Lines is another great choice for long-distance moves to and from California with its experience relocating most high-end items. We always suggest you request quotes from at least three moving companies to understand their services better and whether they’ll meet your needs.


FAQ about California Moving Companies

How are moving companies regulated in California?

Moving companies in California are licensed and regulated by the Bureau of Household Goods and Services. Reputable, authorized movers will have a licensing number that is easily searchable on that government website.

What factors affect the cost of a California move?

If you have an interstate move into or out of California, the bulk of your cost will be based on the size, distance, and weight of your move. Other factors include, size of your moving crew, hours worked by the moving crew, time of year you are moving, special handling of large and/or fragile items, your home’s layout and any difficult access points (narrow hallways, steep staircases, etc.), any applicable toll and fuel charges.If you’re moving within the state, the bulk of your cost will be based on the number of movers required and hours worked.

How should I prepare for my California move?

There are multiple steps to take to prepare for your California move:
• Prepare your inventory list, making note of fragile and high-value items that will need extra care.
• Research moving companies and obtain multiple estimates in writing to compare costs.
• Determine if you will also need storage solutions.
• If you are moving cross-country and planning to drive, have your vehicle serviced to prevent a breakdown along the
• Declutter your home.
• Donate items you can’t pack or sell.
• Arrange for junk hauling if necessary.
• Gather all important documents—such as birth certificates, passports, financial, legal, and medical records—and pack them in a safe place to carry on your person during your move.
• Update your voter registration, vehicle registration and insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and pet registration.
• Notify important organizations (including the U.S. Postal Service), friends, and family about your relocation.


How We Chose the Top Moving Companies in California

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.