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Originally Published: Sep 26, 2023
Originally Published: Sep 26, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 27, 2023 21 min read

To find the best movers in Iowa, we scoured dozens of companies to determine that the top mover in The Hawkeye State is U-Pack. Peruse the entire top 10 list to see if another mover’s features, prices, and services suit you better.

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  • USDOT: 3443886

 

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Best Moving Companies in Iowa for 2024

  1. U-Pack - Best Overall
  2. PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  3. American Van Lines - Best High-Value Item Mover
  4. Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  5. Mayflower - Best Technology
  6. JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  7. Two Men and a Truck - Best Local Branches
  8. International Van Lines - Most Flexible Full-Service Mover
  9. Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  10. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker
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Why we chose it

U-Pack offers an excellent solution for partial DIY moves, standing out as a cost-effective and flexible choice. Their four Iowa locations (Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Dubuque, and Ankeny) mean there could be a branch near you. Their ReloCubes® and trailer options provide a customizable approach, allowing you to pay only for the space you use. This flexibility extends to your level of control, making it ideal for those who prefer to handle packing and loading themselves.

U-Pack boasts a strong reputation with an impressive BBB rating of 4.05 out of 5 stars, indicative of their reliability. Licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), U-Pack assures customers of its legitimacy. It's a smart alternative for individuals seeking cost-efficient, self-driven cross-country moves.

  • 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 only for what you use
  • No one has access to your items during shipment
Cons
  • No local moves
  • Does not deliver everywhere

How much does U-Pack cost?

U-Pack impresses with its cost-effective approach, making it an enticing choice for DIY movers. The company estimates approximately $2,500 for a ReloCube move, with each cube offering 308 cubic feet of space. For a 1,700-mile move, U-Pack's rates, when compared to traditional full-service movers, appear notably budget-friendly.

Home Size/Transport Option Cost for a 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 or trailer option
  • Long-distance and interstate moving
  • Offers local packing and unpacking company referrals

Why we chose it

PODS stands out for its impressive flexibility among container moving options. It offers a unique advantage over competitors like U-Pack, thanks to the ability to store items in your driveway for any duration. Unlike U-Pack's three-day limit, PODS allows you to declutter your space for months before your move gradually. With a monthly starting storage fee of $149, you can have an eight, 12, or 16-foot container conveniently placed in your driveway.

When it's time to move, just schedule the pick-up and drop-off. Pricing is straightforward, based on container size, rental duration, and the distance of your move. While some negative reviews cite missed delivery dates and challenging communication, PODS remains an excellent choice for those who value packing and unpacking at their own pace or need temporary driveway storage during renovations.

  • 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 want to load
  • Lower cost than full-service movers
  • Contactless moving
  • Offers driveway storage solution
Cons
  • Not available in AK, MT, ND, WY
  • Packing service not available

How much does PODS Moving Company cost?

Here are sample PODS prices for a 2-3 bedroom home (up to 1,200 sq. ft.), but remember that actual costs can significantly differ depending on location, timing, and home size.

Miles PODS (1-month storage + transport) Full-Service Mover (includes loading/unloading) Truck Rental (not including fuel)
2,790 $4,893-$6,524 $4,677-$9,390 $2,182-$3,155
1,080 $3,061-$4,400 $3,020-$7,250 $923-$1,424
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

Why we chose it

Since its establishment in 1995, American Van Lines (AVL) has grown to become one of the nation's largest moving companies, driven by its unwavering commitment to quality service. AVL excels in handling standard household moves and boasts expert teams trained to transport precious items like pianos, antiques, family heirlooms, and even entire art or wine collections.

AVL's dedication to quality extends to its online reputation, with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau and recognition as the recipient of Newsweek and Statista's Best Customer Service Award for moving companies. While AVL isn't without flaws, primarily in its bidding process and occasional price disputes, it remains a dependable choice for both everyday and specialty 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
  • Moves antiques, pianos, and other valuables
  • Storage available
  • Expert military moves
Cons
  • May require a large deposit
  • Uses third parties for some moves
  • Not available in AK or HI

How much does American Van Lines cost?

The American Van Lines website stands out for its comprehensive moving cost estimates, offering various scenarios and corresponding prices. Here are some sample estimates featured on the site.

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

Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • International moves
  • Antique and piano moving
  • Moves fine art collections
  • Disassembly and reassembly of furniture or large valuables
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Optional storage
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Moving supplies

Why we chose it

Bekins Van Lines, founded in 1891, is the oldest continuously operating moving company in the United States. Its enduring commitment to customer value and respect is evident through its stellar 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews and consistently positive feedback on other review platforms.

Notably, like a white-glove option, Bekins' Priority Relocation Service stands out as a premium offering. While it comes at a higher cost, this service ensures a fast, full-service move with meticulous attention to detail and timely delivery, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a stress-free relocation experience. This service includes last-minute service requests, packing and unpacking, unshared truck space, guaranteed on-time delivery (with a $100-per-day late payment policy), and availability during peak moving seasons.

  • 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
  • On-time guarantee
  • Specialty packing
  • Full-replacement value protection available
  • Optional priority service moving
Cons
  • Some complaints about damage
  • No online estimates for local moves

How much does Bekins Van Lines cost?

Based on our findings, a 1,500-mile relocation for a 3-bedroom residence typically costs $8,500 to $10,500. The final cost is influenced by various factors such as added protection, packing, and loading services. For a shorter 500-mile move, you can expect to pay approximately $6,000 to $7,000. The price spectrum is broad, hinging on individual preferences. A basic one-bedroom or studio move may cost as low as $3,500, while a comprehensive 5-bedroom relocation covering 1,500 miles could escalate to over $15,000.

Services

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

Why we chose it

Mayflower Transit, LLC provides excellent online tools for a seamless move. Their iOS and Android apps enable comprehensive organization, including checklists, contact management, and scheduling for pickups, drop-offs, and utility setup at your new location. Moreover, you can track your shipment 24/7 via their online system, ensuring peace of mind throughout the moving process.

Regarding reputation, the company boasts a commendable rating on Consumer Affairs, with 63% of reviews being 4- or 5-stars, and only 12% falling into the 1-star category. Although there are occasional complaints about third-party involvement leading to damage or delivery issues, Mayflower's A+ BBB rating underscores its dedication to addressing and resolving customer concerns.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit required: None
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT 125563)

Learn More: Mayflower Transit Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy-to-use online moving portal
  • Virtual quotes available
  • Binding estimates
Cons
  • Limited local moves
  • May use third-party companies

How much does Mayflower Transit cost?

Mayflower's website lacks price transparency, but it's worth noting that the company is owned by Unigroup, which also owns United Van Lines. United provides more pricing details, offering insights into Mayflower's potential costs. Based on this, a 1,000-mile, 3-bedroom house move during the summer, with one month's notice, could range from $6,000 for self-packing to $12,000 for full-service packing.

Services

  • Local, long-distance, and international moves
  • Small moves
  • Debris pickup and move-out cleaning
  • PC network and home theatre moving
  • App-based moving portal

Why we chose it

JK Moving Services is devoted to packing your possessions meticulously, offering trained staff who pack everything from everyday items to valuable sculptures, antiques, and wine collections with the utmost care. This dedication to detail reflects its exceptional customer service ratings from the BBB and Google Reviews.

The company offers financing options in partnership with Enhancify, allowing quick quotes in 60 seconds and the potential for 0% financing based on your profile. While financing can ease the financial burden of moving, it's essential to compare costs, as some find JK Moving's rates higher, especially for local moves. To make an informed choice, obtain a quote and compare it with others you receive.

  • 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
  • Expertly trained packing crews
  • 0% financing for qualified customers
  • GPS shipment tracking
Cons
  • Local moves limited to VA, MD, DC
  • Less competitive pricing

How much does JK Moving Services cost?

JK Moving is renowned for its top-tier service and rigorous staff training, but this quality is reflected in its pricing. Based on real customer reviews, a 1,000-mile move can range from $7,000 to over $15,000. Prices vary depending on packing options, insurance coverage, distance, home size, specialty items, and the time of year.

Services

  • Vehicle shipping
  • Storage
  • Employee relocation
  • Commercial moves
  • Superior packing and unpacking
  • Affordable financing

Why we chose it

Two Men and a Truck may have an informal vibe, but it's a major player in the moving industry, boasting 9 million successful moves and 350+ local franchises nationwide, including five in Iowa. This blend of national reach and local presence offers unique advantages. Local franchises understand your community, ensuring stellar door-to-door service, whether it's a local or cross-country move. Their flexible options include Value Flex for smaller budgets and Expedited service for larger moves. While customer reviews are mostly positive, service quality can vary by location. Nevertheless, Two Men and a Truck is a solid choice if you want a national mover with a local touch.

Learn More: Two Men And A Truck Moving Company Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • 5 Iowa locations
  • Experienced long-distance mover
  • Local move specialist
Cons
  • Customer service varies by franchise
  • Not available in AK, HI, WV

How much does Two Men And A Truck cost?

Local moves begin at approximately $150 per hour. Pricing varies significantly depending on factors like location and requirements. For instance, a 500-mile, one-bedroom move might cost about $2,000, while a 2,000-mile multi-bedroom move with full-service packing and loading could approach $20,000. A middle-ground scenario, like a two-bedroom move spanning 1,500 miles, typically falls in the $10,000-$15,000 range.

Services

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

Why we chose it

International Van Lines (IVL) is a top choice for long-distance moves, thanks to positive customer feedback and tailored moving solutions. IVL covers all types of moves, from local to international, offering services like full-service packing, fragile item transportation, storage, and more.

As a licensed interstate mover with the Department of Transportation, IVL ensures reliability and safety. Although its regional focus is primarily on the East and West Coasts and parts of the Midwest, IVL's virtual walk-through process makes it accessible to customers nationwide. With 24/7 customer support and a decent response rate to complaints, IVL earns a BBB B rating for added assurance.

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: 25%
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT# 2293832)

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Deposit refundable up to 48 hours before moving
  • No cost for the first month of storage
  • Stay on track with online tracking
  • Get quotes via a virtual walk-through
Cons
  • Relies on third-party movers beyond core areas
  • Cash or a check is needed for final payment

How much does International Van Lines cost?

IVL's cost estimator suggests prices of $2,500-$4,500 for a 1,100-mile, 2-bedroom move, while a 2,500-mile move of the same size home would cost $7,500-$10,000. Local moves are hourly, starting at $150 per hour, varying with the number of staff required.

Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • International moves
  • Corporate relocations
  • Custom crating
  • Storage
  • Car shipping

Why we chose it

Moving APT acts as a brokerage, comparing your move needs with numerous moving companies to find the best fit. It boasts a solid reputation with a 4.3/5 rating on Google Reviews and a B rating on BBB, supported by just 14 complaints in the past year, all resolved. Registered with the FMCSA, it partners with respected carriers like Allied Van Lines, United Van Lines, PODS, and North American Van Lines. While using a broker offers help in selecting the right mover, it may limit your control over the chosen company due to availability and cost variations. Nevertheless, Moving APT provides transparent service with 24/7 customer support.

  • 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
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 250+ free moving advice articles on its site
Cons
  • Not responsible for damage/loss
  • Rates can vary from those quoted
  • May receive too many calls after requesting a quote

How much does Moving APT cost?

Like most moving companies and brokers, your final pricing with Moving APT depends on factors such as weight, bedrooms, specialty items, and insurance. Yet, Moving APT stands out for offering clear, ballpark estimates on its website. Below is a table from Moving APT showing potential costs for using their service.

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
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Moving supplies
  • Furniture moving
  • Car shipping
  • Storage

Why we chose it

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a seasoned moving broker with 25 years of experience in the industry. They excel at their role, simplifying the often complex task of selecting a mover. Customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with 80% of 312 reviews on Consumer Affairs receiving 4 or 5 stars. IMRG's expertise and ability to match your specific needs with the right moving company can significantly ease the decision-making process. However, potential customers should be aware of IMRG's strict cancellation policy, requiring cancellations within 72 hours of booking.

  • 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 on your behalf
  • Finds the best mover for you
  • Pre-screens moving companies
Cons
  • Not ultimately responsible for damage
  • Could improve its refund policy

How much does Interstate Moving & Relocation Group cost?

IMRG provides ballpark estimates through their online calculator, but for precise pricing, it's best to reach out to the company directly.

Miles 2 Bedroom 4 Bedroom
1,080 $3,900-$7,000 $8,500+

Services

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How To Select A Moving Company In Iowa

  • Set a budget: Determine your moving budget, considering options like container movers for cost savings.
  • Inventory your items: Create an accurate inventory, especially for special items, to prevent surprise costs on moving day.
  • Choose your move type: Select from container-based, DIY, or full-service moving options available today.
  • Check reviews: Find authentic customer reviews, noting the balance between positive and negative feedback.
  • Compare quotes: Gather multiple moving quotes, even though it might require home assessments, to potentially save significant amounts.

Factors That Affect Moving Costs in Iowa

Distance: Longer moves increase costs due to time, fuel, and licenses.

Item quantity and weight: Heavy items like furniture can raise fees.

Specialty services: Transporting valuable items often costs more with specialized crews.

Insurance: Base coverage may be insufficient, leading to added expenses.

Timing: Moving during non-peak months can save money.

How to Prepare for a Move in Iowa

  1. Get Organized: Create a moving checklist with tasks and timelines. Many moving companies offer checklists and apps to keep you on track.
  2. Update Documents: Moving to another state? Research the requirements for vehicle registration and other important documents in your new location.
  3. Home Layout: Label boxes with their intended rooms in your new home. It'll make unpacking a breeze for you and your movers.
  4. Declutter: Before you pack, donate, sell, or downsize. It might be cheaper to replace some items in your new location, especially if they haven't been used in over a year.
  5. Essentials Bag: Keep important items accessible. Once on the moving truck, they might not be reachable for weeks.
  6. Research Movers: Learn about your moving company's policies, track record, and costs. Consider a binding estimate and guaranteed arrival time for peace of mind. Happy moving!

Iowa Moving Company FAQ

Why are Iowa moving companies so expensive?

Iowa moving companies may be relatively expensive due to several factors, including labor costs, demand fluctuations, and the distance of the move. Labor costs can vary based on local economic conditions, while peak moving seasons can lead to higher demand and subsequently higher prices.

How do I know my Iowa moving company is reputable?

Check licensing with the FMCSA and Iowa DOT's Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, as well as online review sites like the BBB and Yelp.

What is the cheapest month to move in Iowa?

Moving in Iowa is usually least expensive during the fall and winter when demand is lower and inclement weather discourages many people from moving.

Learn more

How We Chose the Best Moving Companies in Iowa

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 Iowa

  1. U-Pack - Best Overall
  2. PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  3. American Van Lines - Best High-Value Item Mover
  4. Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  5. Mayflower - Best Technology
  6. JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  7. Two Men and a Truck - Best Local Branches
  8. International Van Lines - Most Flexible Full-Service Mover
  9. Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  10. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker