Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Originally Published: Aug 22, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 27, 2023 20 min read

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Best Overall
Best for Specialty MovesBest Full-Service PackingBest Local-Branch-Based MoverBest DIY Mover
Bekins Van Lines Logo
North American Van Lines, Inc. Logo
JK Moving Logo
Two Men and a Truck Logo
U-Pack Logo
Bekins Van LinesAmerican Van LinesJK Moving ServicesTwo Men and a TruckU-Pack
BBB Rating

A+

A

A+

Varies by location

A+

Can Pack For You

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Deposit

None

10-50%

$250

Varies

None

State Availability

50 states

48 states

50 states

46 states

50 states

Best Overall
Bekins Van Lines
Get an Estimate
BBB Rating

A+

Can Pack For You

Yes

Deposit

None

State Availability

50 states

Best for Specialty Moves
American Van Lines
Get an Estimate
BBB Rating

A

Can Pack For You

Yes

Deposit

10-50%

State Availability

48 states

Best Full-Service Packing
JK Moving Services
Get an Estimate
BBB Rating

A+

Can Pack For You

Yes

Deposit

$250

State Availability

50 states

Best Local-Branch-Based Mover
Two Men and a Truck
Get an Estimate
BBB Rating

Varies by location

Can Pack For You

Yes

Deposit

Varies

State Availability

46 states

Best DIY Mover
U-Pack
Get an Estimate
BBB Rating

A+

Can Pack For You

No

Deposit

None

State Availability

50 states

Finding the best moving companies in California is no easy task. That’s why we’ve analyzed dozens of companies to determine the top movers in your area.

Best Moving Companies in California for 2024

  • Bekins Van Lines - Best Overall
  • JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  • North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  • United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection
  • Two Men and a Truck - Best Local-Branch-Based Mover
  • American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  • Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  • Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker
  • U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  • PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Congratulations on your new home! Now, let a Moving Company do the heavy lifting.
Move into your new home with zero hassle by hiring a Moving Company. They'll make sure everything gets there safely. Click on your state and get the ball rolling today.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
Get an Estimate

Compare Top Moving Companies In California

Why we chose it

Bekins Van Lines, established in 1891, upholds its ethos of "value and respect" as demonstrated by its 4.6/5 Google Reviews rating and consistent positive track record. Customers laud careful handling and professionalism, while varied services include local, long-distance, military, and senior moves, accommodating even big, antique, or delicate items. A highlight is the Priority Relocation Service, akin to a white-glove experience where you can leave all the details to the company. A true full-service, fast, and end-to-end experience. However, the company’s standard service garnered some complaints for minor damage and delays. Opt for full-value protection, though issues are infrequent. For any move, from local to cross-country, Bekins stands as a trustworthy choice for California households.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #2256609)

Learn More: Bekins Van Lines Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Optional on-time guarantee
  • High-value item packing
  • Available full-replacement value protection
  • Optional "white glove" priority service moving
Cons
  • Occasional complaints about damage
  • Local moves not eligible for online estimates

How much does Bekins Van Lines cost?

Our findings indicate a 1,500-mile, 3-bedroom move could range from $8,500 to $10,500, but could vary a lot based on services such as protection, packing, and loading. For a 500-mile move, expect $6,000 to $7,000. Costs vary greatly – minimalist 1-bedroom moves might be $3,500 for 1,500 miles, while comprehensive 5-bedroom ones could reach $15,000.

Services

  • In-state and interstate long-distance moves
  • Local moves
  • Senior moving
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Relocating IT equipment
  • Storage optional

Why we chose it

JK Moving Services goes the extra mile for California moving customers. The company trains staff in a fully furnished house at its headquarters, ensuring top-notch handling of your items, be it everyday belongings or precious pieces like sculptures and antiques. Their meticulous approach reflects in high BBB and Google Reviews ratings. They even assist in financing the move, partnering with Enhancify for swift quotes and potential 0% financing for qualifying customers. While cash payment is ideal, same-as-cash financing offers flexibility. You can even get pre-approved without affecting your credit score. However, they're not local move experts. For that, we recommend Two Men And A Truck. Also, rates might be higher than other companies.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: $250
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #1065394)

Learn More: JK Moving Services Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Trained packing staff
  • 0% APR financing potential
  • GPS tracking
Cons
  • No CA local moves
  • Less competitive pricing

How much does JK Moving Services cost?

JK Moving's premium services, such as highly-trained staff, impact its costs. As per customer reviews, a 1,000-mile move might range from $7,000 to $15,000. This estimate hinges on factors like full-service vs. self-packing, insurance, distance, bedrooms, items, and timing. Prices could differ based on your needs.

Services

  • Long-distance moving
  • Vehicle shipping
  • Storage available
  • Corporate relocation
  • Superior packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Affordable financing

Why we chose it

North American Van Lines (NAVL) stands out as a hybrid mover: it is both a broker and licensed carrier. Over 500 partners offer comprehensive moving solutions. But it has its own staff, too. With 1,400 drivers covering 30 million miles in 2021, experience shines. It offers binding estimates to eliminate pricing surprises. Choose from the following binding price options: Bottom Line Pricing, Not-To-Exceed Pricing, or Customized Pricing for added flexibility. NAVL is a good choice to avoid unexpected, last-minute bills for your California move.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: Up to 50%
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #70851)

Learn More: North American Van Lines Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Binding estimates
  • Large owned fleet
  • Easy claims process
Cons
  • Doesn't offer storage everywhere
  • Brokers moves in some areas

How much does North American Van Lines cost?

Our research revealed NAVL average price was $3,758 based on data collected by the company over the past 12 months. Further investigation showed it costs around $5,000 for a 1,000-mile move.

Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • Car shipping
  • Storage options
  • Corporate services
  • Packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading
  • Moving calculators and checklists

Why we chose it

Moving, whether on your own or through a company, carries the risk of damaged items. Yet, United Van Lines (UVL) minimizes this risk with some of the best property protection in the industry. Unlike others at $0.60 per pound, UVL protects at $6 perpound. For instance, a 100-pound table would be covered at $600 compared to $60 for other companies. You can even declare high-value items where a weight doesn’t match value. For instance, jewelry, fine china, or even a wine collection.

However, UVL has drawbacks. Some customers complain about third-party contractors, which is very typical for the industry. Despite this, UVL’s complaints are few compared to its experience travelling 100 million miles per year, according to the FMCSA.

  • Service Area: 46 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT #77949)

Learn More: United Van Lines Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Industry-leading property protection
  • Custom packaging
  • 24/7 tracking
  • Online claim process
Cons
  • Needs to screen third-party contractors
  • Mixed customer reviews
  • Somewhat higher prices

How much does United Van Lines cost?

Based on our findings, United Van Lines charges $6,000 to self-pack and $12,000 for full-service packing in a 1,000-mile, 3-bedroom summer move with a month's notice. Costs are influenced by factors like moving day, distance, weight, bedrooms, packing, services, and protection.

Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • Interstate moving
  • Car shipping
  • Optional storage
  • Small moves
  • Military moves
  • Packing and loading

Why we chose it

Two Men and a Truck stands out with its casual branding but takes moving seriously. It's a major mover with 9 million moves and 350 franchises across the U.S. The local touch via neighborhood franchises offers door-to-door service for local and cross-country moves. Choices include Value Flex for budget-conscious moves and Expedited for larger ones. About 96% of customers would refer the service, though some independent locations might vary in quality. While not available everywhere, if you want a national company with local charm, Two Men and a Truck is worth considering for your move within, to, or out of California.

Learn More: Two Men And A Truck Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • 350+ local franchise locations
  • Local and long-distance mover
  • Container option for small moves
Cons
  • Customer service varies by location
  • Not available for moves to AK, HI, WV

How much does Two Men And A Truck cost?

Local moves begin around $150 per hour. Our research shows prices vary based on location and needs. For longer moves, a 500-mile, one-bedroom move might cost $2,000, while a 2,000-mile full-service move could be closer to $20,000. A 1,500-mile, two-bedroom move falls between $10,000 and $15,000.

Services

  • Full-service long-distance moves
  • Container long-distance moves
  • Local moves
  • Packing and loading
  • Moving supplies
  • Home staging

Why we chose it

Since 1995, American Van Lines (AVL) has grown into a major U.S. mover and is a top moving company in the Golden State. Its emphasis on quality means it can handle routine and specialized moves, like pianos, art, or wine collections. This dedication is reflected in its A BBB rating and 3.44 out of 5 stars. AVL won Newsweek's Best Customer Service Award as well. However, improvements could be made in its bidding process to avoid last-minute price hikes. Some complaints concern its use of third-party contractors. Still, AVL remains a reliable option for both regular and unique moves.

  • Service Area: 48 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: 10-50%
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT 125563)

Learn More: American Van Lines Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Antiques, pianos, and other high-value moves
  • Offers storage options
  • Provides military moves
Cons
  • May require a large deposit
  • Uses third parties for some moves
  • Not available for moves to AK or HI

How much does American Van Lines cost?

American Van Lines' website is particularly useful for gauging moving costs. It offers various scenarios with associated prices. Here are a few examples:

Distance One bedroom est. cost Three bedroom est. cost
700 miles $2,880 $5,870
1,300 miles $3,643 $7,739
2,700 miles $5,227 $11,327

Remember, these are rough estimates. Your cost depends on factors like distance, weight, special items, and storage needs. To get a quote, a virtual walk-through is needed, more reliable than online quotes. Opt for a binding estimate but ensure your inventory list is thorough.

Services

  • Local, long-distance, and international moves
  • Antique and piano moving
  • Moves fine art collections
  • Disassembly and reassembly of furniture
  • Online tracking
  • Storage
  • Packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading
  • Moving supplies

Why we chose it

Moving APT doesn't handle moves directly but matches you with licensed and reputable moving companies in California.

Known as a reputable broker, it holds a 4.3/5 Google rating from 367 reviews. BBB gives it a B rating with just 14 complaints, all responded to, in 12 months. Being FMCSA-registered, it uses licensed carriers and discloses partnerships, like Allied, United, PODS, and North American Van Lines.

While a broker offers pros like expertise in choosing movers, cons include less control over your chosen company. Availability and location affect your options and costs. Nonetheless, Moving APT stands out with its transparent approach and 24/7 customer support for addressing concerns.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit required: Yes, amount varies
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #2247863)

Learn More: Moving APT Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Shops carriers for you
  • Wider range of services compared to a carrier
  • Price matching
  • 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Is a broker, not a carrier
  • Not responsible for damage/loss
  • Rates can vary from those quoted

How much does Moving APT cost?

Pricing varies greatly based on factors like weight, bedrooms, and insurance. Yet, Moving APT offers clear online estimates. The following table shows moving cost ranges.

Distance 1 Bedrooms 2-3 Bedrooms 4-5 Bedrooms
250 $1,200-$2,300 $1,600-$3950 $2,050-$5,200
1,000 $1,600-$2,950 $2,300-$7,950 $5,900-$8,100
2,500 $1,900-$3,950 $3,800-$9,400 $9,100-$18,500+

Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • Full-service packing and unpacking
  • Supplies
  • Furniture moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Storage options

Why we chose it

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is your expert California moving broker, finding top movers. With 25 years' experience, it's highly rated and reviewed. You don't need to worry about choosing movers, as IMRG helps you make the right choice based on your needs. Be aware, IMRG's cancellation policy is strict – cancel within 72 hours of booking if you no longer need their services.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: Varies
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #3034100)

Learn More: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Negotiates prices
  • Finds the best mover for your situation
  • Pre-screens moving companies
Cons
  • As a broker, not responsible for damage
  • Needs a better refund policy

How much does Interstate Moving & Relocation Group cost?

To estimate your move, IMRG offers an online calculator, though they caution that these are rough estimates. For accuracy, reach out to them directly. The calculator provides general pricing, but to get a precise quote that reflects your unique situation, a call with IMRG is necessary.

From To Miles 2 Bedroom 4 Bedroom
NYC Orlando, FL 1,080 $3,900-$7,000 $8,500+

Services

Why we chose it

U-Pack is the go-to choice for those seeking a mix of DIY and assistance. It’s budget-friendly but offers just the right amount of help. For instance, they provide "ReloCubes®" - containers to fill with your items, lock, and have transported to your new home.

Alternatively, you can opt for a trailer. Both options follow a pay-for-usage model. If you order three cubes but use two, you pay for two. Trailers are charged based on the trailer's footage. Secure items with a divider.

With a BBB rating of 4.05/5 and hardly any negative reviews, U-Pack stands out. If you're into hands-on packing but not long-haul driving, U-Pack could be perfect.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: No
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Freight forwarder/broker (USDOT #914011)

Learn More: U-Pack Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Transparent pricing
  • Pay for only used space
  • No company access to your items
Cons
  • The company doesn't offer local moves
  • Does not deliver to remote locations

How much does U-Pack cost?

U-Pack excels in affordability – a cornerstone of DIY moving. A customer reported saving $10,000 on a 2,500-mile move, favoring U-Pack over full-service options. That piqued our interest. Each ReloCube, measuring 308 cubic feet (5’ 10” x 6’ 10” x 7’ 9” inside), costs around $2,500 for door-to-door moving. Typically, you'd require one cube per room.

Home Size/Transport Option Cost for 1,700-mile move
One Bedroom/ReloCube $2,300
One Bedroom/Trailer $2,700
Three Bedroom/ReloCube $5,900
Three Bedroom/Trailer $5,300

Services

  • Partial DIY moves
  • Container and trailer options
  • Long-distance and interstate moving
  • Offers local packing and unpacking company referrals

Why we chose it

PODS offers the utmost flexibility in container moving, giving it an edge in certain moves over U-Pack, another contender on our list.

What sets it apart is the liberty to store your belongings in your driveway for any duration. While U-Pack allows three days for packing, PODS lets you declutter over months before the move.

With a starting storage fee of $149 per month, choose from eight, 12, or 16-foot containers. When ready, schedule pick-up and drop-off. It's perfect for a gradual move or staging before you sell your home.

Pricing is straightforward based on POD size, duration, and distance. Additionally, PODS is handy for non-moving situations like renovations. Despite some missed deliveries, 69% of Consumer Affairs reviews are positive.

  • Service Area: 46 states
  • Can Pack For You: No
  • Deposit: 1-month storage fee
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #1397252)

Learn More: PODS Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Take as long as you need to load
  • Lower cost compared to full-service
  • Contactless moving
  • Driveway storage solution
Cons
  • Not available for moves to AK, MT, ND, WY
  • Packing service not available

How much does PODS Moving Company cost?

See example prices provided by PODS for a 2-3 bedroom household of up to 1,200 square feet. Prices can vary dramatically based on location, timing, and size of home.

From To Miles PODS (1-month storage + transport) Full-Service Mover (includes loading/unloading) Truck Rental (not including fuel)
NYC Los Angeles 2,790 $4,893-$6,524 $4,677-$9,390 $2,182-$3,155
NYC Orlando, FL 1,080 $3,061-$4,400 $3,020-$7,250 $923-$1,424
Los Angeles Phoenix, AZ 370 $2,073-$2,850 $1,830-$5,300 $328-$505

Services

  • Local and long-distance moving
  • Temporary driveway storage options
  • Moving supplies
  • Packing and loading company referrals
  • Car shipping

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Your move should be easy and stress-free, no matter the distance or size.
Receive a custom quote from a Moving Company today that's designed to meet your needs and budget by clicking below.
Get an Estimate

How To Select A Moving Company In California

Set a budget: Determine your moving expenses; consider container movers for budget-conscious moves.

Take inventory: List items, especially those needing special handling; unexpected extra items could lead to higher costs.

Choose move type: Opt for container-based, DIY, or full-service options in today's moving landscape.

Read reviews: Seek honest feedback; remember, negative experiences are often highlighted; check the mover's scale and reach.

Compare quotes: Gather multiple quotes; even if time-consuming, it could save thousands; in-person or virtual home walkthroughs ensure accuracy.

Factors That Affect Moving Costs in California

Getting an accurate online quote is nearly impossible with any mover. That’s because there are potentially dozens of factors that go into an estimate.

  • Distance: Longer move, more expenses (driver time, fuel, licensing).
  • Item quantity matters; heavy items, like oak tables, impact cost.
  • Specialty services (piano, art) cost more due to unique needs.
  • Base insurance (usually $0.60/lb) is inadequate; consider extra protection.
  • Timing matters; January is cheaper than June; non-peak times save money.

How to Prepare for a Move in California

Moving can be quite a journey, so let's make it smoother. Here are some tips:

  1. Make a checklist: Jot down all tasks and timelines to stay organized. Many moving websites offer handy checklists and even apps for step-by-step guidance.
  2. Update documents: Moving across states? Check what documents you need to update, like vehicle registration. Research your new state's requirements to stay on track.
  3. Plan your new home: Label boxes with their destination rooms. This way, when the movers arrive, they can place things right where they belong, making unpacking a breeze.
  4. Declutter wisely: Donate or sell items you don't need. Sometimes, it's cheaper to let go and replace later than to haul around stuff you rarely use.
  5. Essentials on hand: Pack a bag with things you'll need immediately. Items might be in storage for a while, so keep must-haves with you for easy access.
  6. Be prepared: Research your moving company's history and policies. If possible, get a binding estimate and guaranteed delivery time for peace of mind.

California Moving Company FAQ

Why are California moving companies so expensive?

Moving in California can get pricey due to factors like high demand, fuel costs, and sometimes navigating through traffic-congested areas. Plus, California's overall cost of living can impact moving rates.

How do I know my moving company is reputable?

Look for proper licensing, positive customer reviews, and affiliations with trusted organizations like the Better Business Bureau. Don't hesitate to ask for references or check online forums for insights from people who've used the company.

What is the cheapest month to move?

If you're looking to save some money, consider moving in the off-peak months. Typically, the winter season, especially January, tends to be cheaper because fewer people are moving. This might be a great option if you're flexible with your move date.

Learn more

How We Chose the Best Moving Companies in California

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

In order to give you the best recommendations for moving companies, we’ve reviewed more than a dozen companies 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 in which 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 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 Moving Companies in California

  • Bekins Van Lines - Best Overall
  • JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  • North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  • United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection
  • Two Men and a Truck - Best Local-Branch-Based Mover
  • American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  • Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  • Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker
  • U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  • PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover