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Originally Published: Jun 30, 2023
Originally Published: Jun 30, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 27, 2023 14 min read

The best long-distance moving companies can lift the stress of moving off your shoulders, ensuring your items are handled carefully and delivered promptly without breaking the bank.

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Long-Distance and International Moving

  • FREE Moving quotes
  • Personal Account Manager
  • Featured in USA Today
  • Top rated across the web
    *Does NOT Provide Local Moving Services
    *Does NOT Provide Auto Transport Services
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Arranges interstate moves

  • GPS-tracked trucks and tractors
  • Barcode scanned and tracked inventory of your possessions
  • Highly trained movers and drivers
  • Dedicated move coordinator assigned to each client
  • Matches or beats competitive quotes
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
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  • Family Owned National Carrier
  • Specialists in large and delicate moves
  • Operates it's own fleet of trucks and semi trailers
  • Free 30 days of secured storage and free pickup date changes
  • Premium white glove service for personalized moves
  • USDOT: 3443886

 

We analyzed customer support, availability, services, and costs to find the best long-distance moving companies to determine that International Van Lines is our top pick.

Our Top Picks for Long-Distance Moving Companies 2024

  1. International Van Lines - Best Overall
  2. North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  3. JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  4. American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  5. Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  6. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Moving Broker
  7. U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  8. PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  9. Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  10. United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection
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How To Choose a Long-Distance Moving Company

Whether you choose a company from our list above or a different mover, the following tips can help you decide on the best company for your move:

  • Establish a budget: Get a ballpark estimate of how much a move might cost and land on a personal budget.
  • Take stock: Take inventory of your belongings and note whether any items require specialty services. Work with a moving company that allows you to schedule an in-home moving estimate to get an accurate snapshot of how much your move might cost. Otherwise, the movers could charge more than their quote once they arrive on the day of the move.
  • Choose a type of move: Next, decide what type you want. You can do a complete DIY move, go the hybrid route with moving containers, or opt for a full-service move where the company packs and loads for you.
  • Look for reviews: When you find a moving company you like, check customer reviews, BBB ratings, and the company’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration profile to verify its licensing.
  • Compare quotes: Find a few moving companies with promising reviews and get free quotes from them. This step only takes a few minutes, but it could lead to significant savings.

Compare Long-Distance Moving Companies

Company Money Rating BBB Rating State Availability Cost of 1,000-2,000 mi move Get Started
International Van Lines Best Overall B 50 states $2,500-$4,500 Get An Estimate
North American Van Lines Most Predictable Pricing A+ 50 states $5,000 Get An Estimate
JK Moving Services Best Full-Service Packing A+ 50 states $7,000-$15,000 Get An Estimate
American Van Lines Best for Specialty Moves A 48 states $5,870-$11,327 Get An Estimate
Moving APT Most Transparent Broker B 50 states $2,300-$7,950 Get An Estimate
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Most Experienced Moving Broker B 50 states $3,900-$7,000 Get An Estimate
U-Pack Best DIY Mover A+ 50 states $5,900 Get An Estimate
PODS Most Flexible Container Mover A+ 46 states $3,061-$4,400 Get An Estimate
Bekins Van Lines Best White-Glove Service Option A+ 50 states $8,500-$10,500 Get An Estimate
United Van Lines Best Full-Value Protection A+ 46 states $12,000 Get An Estimate
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Factors that Impact Moving Costs

Here’s a look at what actually goes into the cost of a professional move:

Distance

The distance you’re moving gives companies an idea of the time and mileage needed to carry out the move. Naturally, the longer the distance, the more you can expect to pay in most cases.

Amount

How much you’re moving is just as important as how far you’re moving. Most moving companies measure your move in terms of weight. That’s why quotes for one-bedroom apartments tend to be lower than 4-bedroom houses.

The more you own, the more weight you put on the moving truck — and the longer it will take to haul your stuff in and out. However, some companies, like U-Pack, measure according to the space you need to fit all your belongings rather than their weight.

Specialty services

If you hire a full-service moving company, you’ll have access to many more services, like packing, custom crating, storage, and auto transport. Remember that these types of services can come with higher costs.

Insurance

Moving companies typically offer released value protection, which assumes liability for up to $0.60 per pound per article. If you purchase additional full-value coverage, either directly through the company or from a third-party insurer, it will increase the cost of your move.

Timing

Another cost factor that some people overlook is the timing of a move. The moving industry’s peak season lasts from April through September.

Because most people move during these months, prices tend to be higher. Some long-distance moving companies may also charge more for moves scheduled on the weekend since there’s a higher demand than on weekdays.

With that in mind, you can cut down on moving costs by scheduling a move on a weekday in October through March.

Long-Distance Moving Tips

With any moving company, the following tips can make the process easier:

  • Make a moving checklist: Whether you’re letting a moving company handle all the logistics of your move or you’re planning every step yourself, create a checklist with all of your moving tasks and timeline. This will keep you on track and ensure nothing slips through the cracks when the big day comes. Your list could include everything from paying your moving company to setting up utilities at your new home.
  • Update your documents: If you’re moving to another state, you may need to update your license and registration or other documents. Do your research beforehand and note the deadlines for these changes to save yourself from a headache down the road.
  • Map out your new home: Take inventory of your new belongings, then consider where you will put them in your new home. Make sure large pieces of furniture will fit into your new floorspace before you pay to move them across the country.
  • Declutter your home: When you take inventory of your belongings, consider parting ways with some of them. If there are clothes you no longer wear or dishes you never use, donate them to charity, consign them, or sell them at a yard sale. You could save money on moving costs and space at your new home.
  • Pack with a purpose: Pack the essentials, like towels, toiletries, and some clothes, in a box or suitcase and keep it with you. That way, you won’t be stuck without these staples while you wait for your mover to drop off your stuff.
  • Know what to expect: Track your movers’ location, familiarize yourself with the company’s payment policy, and see what the delivery window could be. That way, you won’t be misinformed or blindsided by anything when the movers arrive.

Should You Use A Moving Broker?

Moving brokers can be a big help to your moving process, but they also come with downsides.

Moving brokers partner with licensed carriers to offer widespread moving services to customers rather than using their trucks and personnel to make moves. People can use brokers to coordinate their moves with a suitable moving company in their area.

Moving brokers are similar to mortgage or insurance brokers: instead of going directly to a company, these firms can shop around with dozens of companies to find the service provider that best fits your situation. For instance, moving a few items and an antique piano to a new apartment across town differs from moving from a 5-bedroom home in Los Angeles to a 4-bedroom in New York.

A moving broker can pinpoint the right company for each scenario.

The downside to this flexibility, though, is that you lose a bit of control over the eventual mover. Costs can vary from the initial quote, too, since each eventual company may charge fees for different services. But perhaps the biggest risk is that moving brokers are not responsible for damage to your household goods, says the FMCSA. The eventual carrier may compensate for broken items, but the claims process could be more complex since you booked through a third party.

If you want to do more of the legwork yourself to avoid these risks, feel free to find a moving carrier directly. However, remember that most carriers are licensed as brokers, so that you may end up with another company anyway. Talk to the rep at your carrier to ensure they handle the entire move if that’s important to you. Also, make sure you are dealing with an actual carrier, not a broker posing as one, on FMCSA’s website.

How Do Moving Scams Work and How Can I Avoid Them?

Most moving scams involve bait-and-switch combined with a “hostage situation.” You’re quoted a lowball estimate only to have the price inflated once the “company” has your stuff.

You guessed it: to get your things back, you must pay up.

You can avoid this situation by following some simple checks throughout the process.

  • Look for a physical street address on the company’s website
  • Check their USDOT number on the FMCSA website
  • No insurance coverage information on the website
  • No written quote
  • Check for third-party reviews, BBB ratings, and scam reports
  • Suspiciously low moving quotes given sight-unseen
  • An unmarked truck shows up on moving day
  • The driver requires large upfront cash payments
  • Listen to your gut if something doesn’t feel right

As moving scammers get more sophisticated, they will look more and more like real companies. Cross-check everything, and remain cautious until all your things are unloaded into your new place and all final payments and paperwork are completed.

Long-Distance Movers FAQ

How many miles is a long-distance move?

Any move that is 400 miles or longer can be defined as a long-distance move. Any shorter move that crosses state lines is typically considered an interstate move.

Are long-distance movers worth it?

Long-distance movers cost a lot, but this service can be a game changer when you’re uprooting your life and moving hundreds of miles away. Moving companies can provide expert packing, transportation, and loading services, giving you peace of mind and saving you time and effort.

Is it better to use pods or a moving company?

Renting a moving container or a pod instead of hiring a full-service moving company, can save money. Plus, renting a container lets you move on your schedule rather than the moving company’s schedule.

But when you don’t hire a full-service company, you’re responsible for all the hard work. Moving companies offer services like packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading. If you — or your friends and family — can do all this work yourself, renting a container or a pod is a great way to save money. If not, you’ll probably need to hire a company.

What’s the difference between binding and non-binding estimates?

Binding estimates lock in the rate for your move, ensuring you know the full price you’ll be paying for your services. A non-binding estimate won’t legally hold the moving company to the price they quote you, so the amount you owe may change when the time for your move comes.

Learn More

Best Moving Companies

Best Interstate Moving Companies

How We Chose the Best Long Distance Movers

At Money.com, we prioritize providing our readers with thorough, trustworthy reviews.

To give you the best recommendations for moving companies, we’ve reviewed more than a dozen movers using these metrics:

  • Services: We analyze each moving company based on the types of services and features they offer, comparing them to other providers in the industry.
  • Availability: We also factor in each company’s state availability, highlighting the areas where they’re licensed to serve.
  • Pricing: In our analysis, we also zero in on pricing and compare quotes across multiple moving companies. That includes evaluating how transparent a company is about its cost structure, additional fees, and cancellation policy.
  • Reputation: We pay close attention to each moving company’s brand reputation by reading third-party reviews and checking for proper licensing and accreditation through the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database.
  • Customer experience: We act as secret shoppers by walking through the quote process and using each company’s online tools to gauge user experience. We reviewed dozens of negative reviews from real customers for each moving company. We incorporated comments into our ratings and addressed common themes in each review.

Summary of Money’s Best Long-Distance Movers of 2024

  1. International Van Lines - Best Overall
  2. North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  3. JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  4. American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  5. Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  6. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Moving Broker
  7. U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  8. PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  9. Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  10. United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection