Moving Review Methodology

By Sean Donnelly | March 25, 2024

White moving van full of boxes unloading near a new house.

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Our team aims to provide accurate, helpful, and transparent information to those planning a full- or self-service move. We researched dozens of moving companies and, with the data collected, created in-depth review standards to rate moving companies on key factors.

 


 

How We Research Moving Companies

We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a rating system based on several factors, including packing options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on our 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 packing 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 all companies 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).

 


 

Key Factors We Considered to Review Companies

We determined seven key factors to compare moving companies. Each factor has an assigned point value that adds up to a total of 100 points. Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale. All of the providers we review receive a 5-star rating based on the following criteria: 

Distance Covered (15 Points)

Service range was a primary consideration when we rated moving companies. Providers that offer local, long-distance, and international moving services scored full points in this category. The definition of a long-distance move varies depending on the provider and local regulations, which can affect how long-distance moves are billed.

Package Options (27 Points)

Service options make up our most heavily weighted rating category. Moving companies that provide true full-service relocations rate highly on our scale. We broke service options down into nine subcategories:

Extra Benefits (18 Points)

Some moving companies offer benefits outside of their direct moving services. If offered, most movers provide the following options for free with any moving package. The providers that offer these additional benefits gained high marks on our rating scale. 

Quote Type (8 Points)

Pricing transparency is a key component of a positive moving experience. Easy-to-understand estimates help clients make informed decisions on which mover to book. 

Coverage Offered (7 Points)

Moving companies are required to provide released liability coverage (60 cents per pound per item) for lost or damaged goods. Most companies offer a form of valuation coverage beyond this that will cover the full value of your goods. The additional cost of this valuation plan is typically between 3% and 6% of the total value of your goods. For example, $10,000 of coverage would cost between $300 and $600 and would last the duration of your move. Moving providers that offer fully customizable moving coverage received full points. Providers that offer coverage with imposed coverage caps received fewer points in this category. 

Availability (5 Points)

We rated our top moving companies based on state availability. State availability is a primary factor for clients planning long-distance or cross-country relocations. Moving companies that cover 40 states or more earned full points in this category. 

Customer Service (20 Points)

General customer service ratings can be difficult to define by a few metrics. We used each company’s BBB rating as a key component in this category. BBB rating considers a provider’s complaint response rate, making it a valuable consideration.

Moving companies can only offer quality service if their vehicles are in working condition. We utilized data from each moving company’s profile with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to see which providers were at or below the national average for out-of-service percentage. Companies that had more trucks on the road (by percentage) received our top rating in this category.

 


 

Final Thoughts

This methodology guides our rating process. We aim to compare every aspect of a moving company based on the factors our readers find most important, such as packing options, customer service, and more.

Your moving needs and budget determine the best moving provider for you. Our team recommends pulling three quotes from different providers to compare service offerings and pricing. Read our list of the best moving companies nationwide to start planning your move.