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Published: Dec 09, 2022 41 min read
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Company Highlight
Our Partner
  • $400 discount for interstate moves
  • Call now for a free quote
  • Specialized in long-distance moving services
  • 30 days of free storage with free re-delivery
  • 10% early reservation discounts (30 days advance notice)
  • Discounts available for AARP, AAA, military and students
Our Partner
  • $500 Off + $200 discount for military & first responder
  • Storage available & 24/7 customer service
  • Specialize in moving antiques, grandfather clocks and pianos
  • Proud donor to the Wounded Warrior Project 
Our Partner
  • $350 Discount for all Consumers Advocate readers 
  • 24/7 customer service available throughout your entire move 
  • Free storage available upon request 
  • Veteran and family owned and operated
  • Auto relocation services available  
Our Partner
  • Find the best moving company and price
  • Local, long-distance, residential, and commercial moves
  • Offers storage services including 30 days of free storage
  • 24/7 customer support
Our Partner
  • Commercial and residential moves available
  • 100% binding estimates
  • 24/7 expert customer care
  • Request a quote on the phone or through the website
  • Also offers packing services
Our Partner
  • Up to $500 off for ConsumersAdvocate readers
  • Services include packing/unpacking and piano and fine art moving
  • 10% discount for first responders and military members 
  • 30-days free storage and redelivery (conditions apply)
Our Partner
  • $400 discount for interstate moves
  • Helps you find the best value and services for your needs.
  • Works with hundreds of commercial and residential moving partners
  • Local, long-distance, and international moves managed
  • Packing, unpacking, storage, and auto relocations services offered

Anyone with a truck can help you move, but when you need professional assistance, it's best to pick trusted companies to get the job done.

The best moving companies are those that will handle your goods with care, be on time, be reasonably affordable and not charge hidden fees.

Read on for our list of the best moving companies of 2023, to help you choose the right mover for you.

Our Top Picks for Best Moving Companies

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Best Moving Companies Reviews

  • Over 94 years of experience in the moving industry
  • Offers cross-country, interstate, long-distance, international and corporate relocation services
  • Lets you request a quote and track shipment online
  • Lack of specific information on their website, such as cancellation policy
  • Limited customer service hours
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: We chose Allied Van Lines as the best full-service mover because of its vast experience and comprehensive moving services.

Allied Van Lines is a full-service relocation company with over 94 years of experience and one of the largest moving networks in the country.

Allied offers all types of moving services, ranging from local moves to interstate and international moving. It also provides corporate relocation, storage (including portable containers), packing services and moving supplies.

We liked that Allied is partnered with charitable and non-profit organizations to which you can donate unwanted belongings and food items. Its partners include The Salvation Army and Move For Hunger. So, instead of throwing those away, you can set your donations aside in designated boxes and schedule a pickup with Allied.

Like most other companies in our list, Allied lets you request a free quote online. However, it doesn’t offer a final estimate until they conduct an in-home visit.

Overall, Allied’s website has plenty of information about its services and provides a variety of moving resources, such as checklists, packing tips and relocation guides. You can also track your shipment and file claims. However, it lacks some specific information such as its cancellation policy.

  • Customizable service options
  • Quotes available in minutes
  • Shipment tracking services offered
  • ProMover certified
  • 24/7 shipment tracking
  • Considerably pricier
  • Unfriendly website
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: We picked North American Van Lines as the best long-distance moving company because it has over 500 agent locations to help customers move to wherever they need in North America.

With almost 90 years in the business, North American Van Lines is a well-established, top-rated moving company that can service all types of moves, from local to international. However, the company specializes in long-distance moves and corporate relocations.

It also offers additional services, such as packing, loading and unloading, storage, shipping materials, and installation and assembly services.

North American Van Lines has over 500 agent locations nationwide (including Alaska) and representatives in more than 175 countries.

The company has been an industry leader throughout the years. For instance, it was one of the first moving companies to use WorldTrac, a satellite system that tracks drivers and shipments on the move. It also was one of the first to use interactive driving simulators to train drivers.

North American Van Lines’ website may not be the most intuitive and user-friendly. However, it has options for checking your shipments status, filing claims and looking for moving companies near you.

Do note that while the quoting process can be started online, an in-home estimate is required for a final quote.

  • Flat-rate pricing on long-distance moves
  • Binding estimates
  • Special offers available for predetermined routes
  • Online quotes are not instant
  • Weight limits may apply
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: American Van Lines is our choice for best antique movers because it has trained experts to handle anything from fine arts to pianos and family heirlooms.

American Van Lines is a nationwide moving company that offers local, long-distance and international services. The company also specializes in piano and antique moving, making them a great choice if you have more than a few fragile items and valuables.

As a carrier, American Van Lines handles all moves itself, instead of outsourcing to other companies.

One of its perks is that it lets you customize your moving services. You can choose between self-service and full-service moving or any combination of add-on services in between. This is notable, given that many cross-country moving companies only offer full-service moving, which can dramatically increase the final price tag.

American Van Lines movers are trained to handle a wide variety of special items and antiques, such as pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, antique furniture, fine art and museum collections. The company also provides dismantling services for all types of pianos, including digital, vertical and grand pianos.

American Van Lines requires an upfront deposit with your booking, though the amount varies depending on the details of the move. Terms and conditions are clearly presented on its webpage and the claims filing process is similarly simple to initiate.

In addition to offering free quotes by email or over the phone, American Van Lines also features promotional pricing on predetermined routes. For example, moves from Dallas, TX to Denver, CO are advertised at $3,022, for a one-bedroom home. Pricing for larger homes is also available, which helps you get a better idea of what to expect on your bill.

  • Services all 50 states and over 150 countries
  • Offers specialty services such as house cleaning and debris removal available
  • Air and sea transportation available for international moves
  • Long- and short-term storage options available
  • Requires a 25% deposit
  • Pricier than many competitors
  • Common complaints mention movers arriving late
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: The combination of domestic and international availability for most of their services — including storage options and air or sea transportation for international moves — makes International Van Lines the best company for international moves.

International Van Lines is a full-service moving company that can handle cross-country moves, as well as international. Being both a carrier and a broker, International Van Lines can move your belongings using its own fleet if you live in its service area — Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California — or delegate the work to its partners if you don’t.

The company is also licensed as a Non-Vessel Owning Common Carrier by the Federal Maritime Commission, which allows it to ship goods overseas.

IVL’s services are versatile — it can transport everything from common household goods to cars, boats and specialty items. The company even provide add-on services such as custom crating, house cleaning, and debris removal, making them truly full-service.

While IVL requests personal information before providing a quote, it is one of the most transparent companies in terms of pricing.

Its quotes include an itemized breakdown of the cost of each item and extra service, such as the cost of individual stair steps. Virtual and in-person walkthroughs are offered, though as always, the in-person option will produce the most accurate estimate possible.

Likely due to their full-service offerings, IVL’s prices are higher than their competitors’, though they have an overall positive customer satisfaction record.

Another detail to keep in mind is the fact that they charge a 25% deposit up front, which is unusual among top moving companies.

  • Over 20 years in service
  • Car shipping and commercial moves
  • Packing services
  • Doesn't own a fleet
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: We chose Moving APT as the best moving broker because it’s partnered with top-rated moving carriers, offers 24/7 customer support and has fewer complaints with the FMCSA than most other competitors.

Moving APT is an experienced moving broker (with over 20 years in business) that arranges local, interstate and long-distance moves for both individuals and corporations. With headquarters in Florida, the company also helps coordinate car shipping, packing and storage services with licensed interstate movers.

Some of its partners include top rated moving companies such as United Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, PODS and North American Van Lines.

Moving APT offers 24/7 customer service over the phone. This is particularly useful because many moving companies often have limited service schedules during both weekdays and weekends.

A common complaint from customers when it comes to brokers like Moving APT is that final charges sometimes differ from the original estimate. Moving APT is not the exception. Some of the complaints we found had to do with estimates and final charges.

However, the company mostly has positive reviews on the BBB site and a rating of B. In addition, in the last year it has only received 24 complaints, all of which have been responded to and closed by the company.

  • Varied container sizes available
  • Short- and long-term storage options
  • No complaints reported to the FMCSA in the last 4 years
  • Minimum weight limit required for large containers
  • No packing services
  • No international moving service
USDOT Number
BBB rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: PODS’ wide variety of moving container services makes it a great option when it comes to short distances and short- or long-term storage.

PODS is a moving container company that operates throughout most of the continental U.S. — except for six states: Arkansas, North Dakota, Montana, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

PODS offers storage containers in different sizes which are delivered to your home and transported to your new destination after you’re done loading them up (however long that might take).

Unlike most moving companies, PODS doesn’t require you to provide your contact information and household details before generating an estimate.

Because you’re renting a container of a predetermined size, all PODS needs from you is your starting location, destination, move date and the size container you plan on using.

Containers come in three sizes: small, medium and large, which range from 8’x7’x8’ to 16’x8’x8’.

In the event that you rent more containers that you need, the company may offer refunds for unused containers. (Note that refunds are only offered on a per-case basis, according to the terms of service.)

According to its website, the average cost of a local move with PODS is between $349 and $549, while a long-distance move can range anywhere between $999 and $2,999.

It’s worth pointing out that they do not provide quick quotes for long-distance moves, which means that you need to either call or fill out an online form so they can contact you via email.

PODS also offers insurance coverage options for both your container and belongings up to a value of $300,000. Packing supplies are also available, though packing and loading assistance is subcontracted to local companies that are unaffiliated with PODS.

If you find yourself in a location that PODS cannot service, the website will redirect you to U-Pack, a competing moving containers company with slightly broader coverage (but with some distance limitations).

Should you need to cancel for any reason, PODS offers free cancellations up to one day prior to delivery.

  • Online quotes available instantly
  • You only pay for the space you use on moving trailers
  • Flexible container size options
  • No local moving services
  • No car moving services
  • No full-service options
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving
Canada only

Why we chose it: U-Pack is our top pick for the best low-cost moving containers service because it offers much of the same services as PODS for a generally lower price.

Moving containers are a popular and relatively low-cost alternative to traditional moving services. U-Pack is one of the better known companies in the business and one of the few moving container companies to service all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The company also offers some of the lowest prices for moving container services, though they only handle long-distance moves — over 100 miles, in most cases.

What makes U-Pack able to keep costs low is that they only charge you for what you use. If you order three containers, but only use two, you don’t get charged for the third, even if it was already delivered. Similarly, if you choose to use a commercial trailer, but don’t fill it up, you only get charged for the space you used. U-Pack uses the leftover space to service commercial deliveries on the way to your destination.

Except in cases where moving distances are too short, U-Pack offers instant online quotes. As an example, we requested two quotes for a two-bedroom home: one from Hackensack, NJ to San Diego, CA and one from Hackensack to Chicago, IL. Their respective prices amounted to $7,105 and $2,409.

Our estimated prices only reflected the cost of two ReloCubes (what they call their moving containers) and does not include loading/unloading services or the cost of packing supplies, which U-Pack does not provide.

Cancellations are free up to seven days before delivery and you don’t get charged until the container or trailer arrives at your home. U-Pack does not offer car transportation services.

  • Long-distance, international and commercial moving
  • Services tailored to multiple industries
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers
  • Residential moves available only in Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland
  • No online estimates
USDOT Number
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Interstate Moving
International Moving

Why we chose it: JK Moving Company is our choice for best for customer service because it has plenty of good reviews regarding its moving services, communication and customer service.

When it comes to moving companies and customer satisfaction, not a lot of companies receive positive feedback online. That’s not the case with JK Moving Company, though.

Not only does it have good customer reviews online, it also has very few complaints on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) portal — between two and three complaints per year in the last four years.

Customer reviews typically praise the company for its efficiency, punctuality, continuous communication throughout the moving process and service quality.

Aside from local, long-distance and international moves, JK Moving offers specialized commercial moving services to a wide range of industries, such as hospitals, museums and data centers.

Some specialized services include moving of laboratory and medical equipment, climate-controlled valuables, IT equipment and even sustainable decommission of data servers.

JK Moving offers 24/7 live customer service over the phone. In addition, you can track your services, access documentation and make payments using JK Moving’s mobile app.

The drawback is that local moves are only available in locations near Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The company also doesn’t offer estimates online, although you can request a quote on its website.

  • Over 600 nationwide partners
  • Instant online quotes
  • Comprehensive inventory system makes the quote process quick and simple
  • Limited customer service hours
  • Many users have reported poor customer service overall
USDOT Number
Not Applicable (aggregator service)
BBB Rating
Local Moving
Not Applicable (aggregator service)
Interstate Moving
Not Applicable (aggregator service)
International Moving
Not Applicable (aggregator service)

Why we chose it: Unpakt’s large number of partner companies and its comprehensive inventory system for creating estimates make it our choice for best price comparison.

Unpakt is a marketplace that lets you compare moving rates from different carriers and brokers.

Unlike pages that ask for your personal information before providing a quote, Unpakt requires minimal personal information. Their inventory system lets you specify the types of items you’ll be moving so it can obtain realistic quotes from their partners.

Unpakt also has a large network of partners. These 600 affiliated companies allow it to cover 95% of the country.

Payments are handled upfront, meaning that you pay Unpakt in advance and it pays the moving company once services have been rendered. This system helps simplify any dispute processes, since you only have to deal with Unpakt, instead of directly with the moving company.

Despite the overall convenience and efficiency of the website, Unpakt’s customer service record is less than stellar. The most common complaints mention generally unhelpful representatives and the occasional pricing dispute.

Unpakt’s operating schedule is fairly limited as well, as they are only open from 9am - 6pm EST on weekdays and 9am - 3pm EST on weekends. Considering that weekends are popular moving days, this leaves little room to report any issues that may come up during the move.

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Other companies we considered


  • Full value insurance pricing included with quotes
  • Debris removal services offered
  • Customizable moving packages
  • Cumbersome quote process
  • Customer experience varies greatly depending on your state

Mayflower offers most moving services, from small and local moves to long-distance and international moves. It also helps with military moves, corporate relocations and car transportation.

Additional services, such as packing, storage and debris removal, can be added to any service package when requesting an estimate. Quotes can be requested online, however you must wait for a Mayflower representative to reach out to you. In most cases, an in-home visit is also required.

College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving

  • Offers junk removal, donation pickups and hourly labor services
  • Donates unwanted belongings to local non-profit organizations
  • No international moves
  • Locations in only 38 states and in Southern Canada

College Hunks offers local and long-distance moving services. Yet it stands out from most competitors for offering hauling and junk removal services.

You can also hire its professionally trained team members, if you need help moving furniture, packing, unloading, staging your home or removing debris.

Do note, however, that College Hunks doesn’t offer international moving services. In addition, it only has locations in 38 states and in Canada.

United Van Lines

  • Provides trash and debris removal
  • Quotes include basic full-value protection
  • Can be pricier than other competitors
  • Mixed reviews

Owned by UniGroup, the same company that owns Mayflower, United Van Lines is another major carrier that offers full-service moving options. Its services include local, long-distance and international moves, storage, car shipping and military moves.

Similar to Mayflower, United Van Lines quotes include Full-Value Protection, which covers repairs and replacement of loss or damaged items up to the declared amount.

United also operates as a moving broker, meaning it can outsource some moves to partnered companies.

Atlas Van Lines

  • Over 70 years of service
  • Online portal for filing claims
  • Offers AAA discounts
  • Long process for requesting a quote

Atlas Van Lines provides all types of moving services to all 50 states and arranges international moves.

Atlas features a customer portal where you can track your shipment, make payments, access moving documents and even file claims.

Although you can request a quote online, you won’t get an estimate in real time. You must wait for Atlas’ customer service to reach out to you. However, you can choose between a virtual or in-home estimate. In addition, if you’re a pet owner and need help transporting them, Atlas can help you find a transport provider.

Colonial Van Lines

  • You can order moving supplies and virtual walkthroughs for an instant quote through mobile app
  • Comprehensive informational resources and calculators
  • Last-minute moves can be accommodated
  • Long-distance and corporate moves only

Colonial Van Lines stands out for its moving service application which makes getting an estimate easy.

Through the app you can upload videos and pictures of your belongings, create a virtual inventory, contact a moving specialist and get a more accurate estimate. You can also order packing supplies and keep track of your preparations using a moving checklist.

Trinity Relocation Group

  • Works with carriers that provide binding estimates, avoiding last-minute price changes
  • Fully licensed, insured and bonded
  • Free 30-day storage after delivery
  • No instant online quotes
  • Local moving services not offered

Trinity Relocation Group is an established moving broker with over 15 years of experience. The company works as a middle person between you and one of its moving partners.

Through Trinity, you can arrange interstate and international moves, packing and unpacking, storage and car transport.

Trinity doesn’t offer instant online quotes, instead you must fill out a form so that a representative can contact you.

Moving Companies Guide

As with many life’s big decisions, picking a moving company requires careful consideration of several factors. The type of moving services you need, your available budget and any special requests you may have, just to name a few.

This brief guide will go over some of the more common and important things to keep in mind when looking for a moving company.

Types of moving companies

There are many reasons and circumstances under which people decide to move, so it makes sense that there are just as many types of moving services. A moving company may offer one or more of the following:

Self service movers

Unlike full-service movers, self-service movers provide the bare minimum of moving assistance, typically limited to a truck driver to carry your belongings from one home to the next. Everything else — including packing, unpacking, loading, unloading, etc. — is left up to the customer.

Some self-service movers will also offer moving container services as part of the self-service option.

Full service movers

Full-service movers handle every part of your move on your behalf. This includes providing storage supplies, packing, furniture disassembly/reassembly, and everything else up until the move is completed.

Because of the number of factors involved in moving (home size, move distance, whether there are stairs involved, etc.), prices can vary wildly. For a full-service move, you can generally expect to pay no less than $1,000 for a local move — usually under 100 miles — and upwards of $7,000 for international moves.

Local movers

Local movers help you with moves of up to 100 miles from your old home. Because these are relatively short distances that don’t cross state lines often, these companies are unregulated in some states, which can raise concerns about their service quality.

If you live in one of these states, look for companies that voluntarily undergo a licensing process to ensure the quality of their work.

Long distance movers

Long-distance moving companies will handle moves of distances greater than 100 miles. This covers moves within the same state and between different states.

Note, however, that this doesn’t necessarily mean that long distance movers are the same as interstate movers, which require registration with the Department of Transportation to operate their business.

Interstate movers

Interstate movers specialize in moves across state lines and are ideal for cross-country moves. Because each state has different regulations for moving services (or sometimes none at all), interstate movers are required to register with the Department of Transportation in order to comply with Federal guidelines.

Registering with the DoT benefits the consumer, since it gives the company a DoT and Motor Carrier number, which can be used to look up the company’s service record on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. This adds a layer of quality control that you don’t usually get with unlicensed, unregulated local moving services.

Many (though not all) interstate moving companies have storage facilities across the country where your belongings can be put away for a period of time while you sort out your new housing arrangements.

International movers

Simply put, these are moving services that take your belongings from one country to another. Whether you’re moving south (or north) of the border, or overseas, an international mover will make sure the goods get there in one piece, and will often hold them in storage while you finish the process of moving into the new country (paperwork, house hunting, etc.)

These services are commonly included as part of broader relocation services, which can help you with additional processes like obtaining a new driver’s license or even reaching out to real estate brokers on your behalf.

Specialty movers

Uncommon items such as pianos, pool tables, and even playground sets fall under the “special items” description. Due to the extra care required when moving these kinds of items, moving companies will charge extra for them.

Special item moves typically involve recruiting experts to make sure your items are handled with the utmost care possible. An example of this is dismantling a pool table for transportation, followed by reassembly at the new home.

Car shipping companies

If you can’t (or don’t want to) drive your car to your new location, you can have a moving company transport it for you. The cost will largely depend on the type of transportation involved, that is, whether it’s by land or overseas. Take note that if you’re moving to another country or even a U.S. territory, you might have to pay local customs, which are typically calculated based on the car’s value.

Moving containers

Unlike regular self-service moving services, moving containers are a slightly more flexible option that double as storage solutions. The moving company will provide you with a container that will remain in front of your home while you fill it up over the course of a few days.

On moving day, a professional driver will pick up the container and transport it to your new home, where the container will stay until you’ve emptied it out.

It’s important to note that moving container companies don’t directly offer corporate relocation services, due to their generally self-service nature. However, if your business is small enough, they can still be an affordable (if less secure) alternative to dedicated commercial moving companies.

How much do movers cost?

Because the cost of moving services depends on so many factors, it can be hard to get a quick estimate of the final price tag. In this section we cover some scenarios that can provide a general idea of the cost of professional moving services.

Average pricing

While there are many factors that go into calculating the cost of a move, there is a ballpark range you can rely on to estimate the final price tag of your move. Here are some examples to give you an idea:

Example 1 - Local Movers

Local movers are the easiest to estimate, with costs ranging from $25 to $50 per mover, per hour.

  • 2-bedroom home without stairs - 2 to 4 hours with at least two movers. Estimated cost: around $600 (accounting for both movers and associated service charges).
  • If you choose a full-service moving option, that price tag can easily go over $1,000.

Example 2 - Long-distance (over 100 miles)

Long-distance moves are a little trickier, since it varies depending on the total weight of items moved and the distance to be traveled.

  • 2-bedroom home - $2,500 to $6,500 for loading, transportation and unloading.
  • A full-service option could easily push the price tag over $10,000, depending on the distance traveled.

Example 3 - Self-service

  • Truck rental for a local move - $28 to $80, depending on the size of your home.
  • Storage containers - ~$130 and can fit the contents of homes up to three bedrooms in size. The flip side is that you’ll still need to rent a truck or hire a professional driver to transport the container to your new home.

Additional fees and expenses

Besides the standard costs associated with moving, there are a number of additional fees that may apply during your move and that you should be aware of:

Special items

Large items such as pianos and pool tables are considered add-on services due to the special care they require during transportation. Depending on whether the move is local or long-distance, you can expect an additional fee of $150 for an upright piano (local move) to upwards of $3,000 for a pool table (long-distance).


If your home has one or more staircases, you can expect to pay an additional fee for moving services. Because of the risks associated with moving heavy items up and down stairs, moving companies will charge you extra if their employees have to navigate them — sometimes on a per-step basis.

Moving insurance

Even if you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, it might not cover your belongings during a move.Federal law requires interstate movers to offer two different types of moving insurance: released value protection and full value protection.

Released value protection is the most basic of the two and makes the moving company liable for only 60 cents per pound per item. This means that an expensive, but lightweight item like an iPad will only be reimbursed for less than $3 if it is broken.

Full value protection carries an additional cost, but requires the mover to either repair, replace, or reimburse you for the current market value of the damaged item. Moving companies are allowed to set their own limitations on coverage, so make sure to thoroughly read through their policies before making a decision.

Local movers have no clearly defined insurance requirements, which makes it important to ask them if they offer any insurance options. You can also purchase moving insurance directly from an insurance company, if you prefer.

Additional services

Depending on the details of your move, you may need additional services from your moving company. For example, if the movers have to haul furniture across an especially long driveway, you may be charged extra for long haul services.

If the moving truck is too large to get close enough to your home’s entrance, the moving company may need to use smaller trucks which are charged as “shuttle services.” Other services that are normally covered by full-service movers can also be charged separately, such as packing supplies, furniture assembly and disassembly, among others.

Always make sure to fully disclose the details of your move to the moving company so you can receive the most accurate estimate possible.

How to find the best moving companies

Once you have a rough idea of what your moving budget is and what type of service you need, it’s time to start looking for a moving company. Here are a few tips to make sure you pick the best movers for you.

Look up DOT number and reputation

Licensing and accreditation requirements vary from state to state, which can make looking for local movers tricky. Some states have movers associations that keep databases of member companies, but most states rely on their Department of Transportation or Public Service Commission to track license numbers and complaint information.

Beyond local licenses, the American Moving and Storage Association offered a ProMover certification which requires moving companies to comply with rigorous safety and service standards. This means that moving companies with a ProMover seal are likely to be reputable.

AMSA has since dissolved; however, many of its former members have joined the American Trucking Association’s Moving and Storage Conference, which is in the process of developing its own ProMover certification.

If you plan to cross state lines, make sure that the moving company you’re looking into has both a Motor Carrier (MC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) license number. These two numbers ensure that the carrier is legally authorized to operate and transport cargo. DOT numbers are also a unique identifier to monitor whether a company is in compliance with safety measures.

To check whether a company’s MC and DOT numbers are current, you can use the FMCSA’s website to look them up. The same page can be used to check if there are any complaints on file or whether the company is properly insured.

Get multiple estimates

Once you’re satisfied with your research and have a solid list of companies to contact, start asking for moving estimates. Comparison shopping is important for a number of reasons. The first is that estimates can vary widely between companies and, of course, you want to make sure that you’re being charged a reasonable rate.

Comparison shopping is also useful when looking at additional services that companies provide. Your top picks could offer similar pricing for a self-service move, but have wildly different prices when it comes to special item handling, for example. It also helps to compare insurance policies between companies, especially if you’re looking into the more expensive full value protection policy.

Do bear in mind that traditionally, most moving companies prefer to do a home walkthrough so they can provide the most accurate moving estimate possible. Due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns, however, many companies have begun offering virtual walkthroughs as an alternative. Whenever possible, an in-person walkthrough is preferable so the pricing on your moving quote is as accurate as possible.

Talk directly with the moving company

While it is important to do as much independent research as possible, directly asking the moving company for information is always preferable. A reputable moving company should readily disclose any relevant license numbers, accreditations and other information that you might request from them.

The best way to tell whether a company is up to the task of transporting your belongings is by looking at their track record. If you have their registry information, you can look into any complaints they may have on record. Consider also asking realtors and other professionals who may have worked with them before.

How to avoid moving company scams

Each year, the Better Business Bureau receives an estimated 13,000 complaints related to moving companies. Some of these involve unresolved issues such as damaged or missing items, but others are far more concerning, including price gouging and holding property for ransom.

Because moving requires you to trust someone else to transport valuable home belongings, moving services can be fertile ground for scams.

The basic details are simple: shady individuals are creating fake company pages online — sometimes with seemingly legitimate credentials — to cheat people out of their money and/or belongings during a move.

Check the moving company’s credentials

The best line of defense against fraudulent movers is to check their credentials and reputation. An unlicensed company is less likely to be legitimate or trustworthy.

In the case of local movers in states that don’t regulate moving companies, such as Alaska or South Dakota, word of mouth is a good alternative. Ask people you trust and local professionals if they’ve ever used the company’s services to get a better idea of the company’s practices.

If you think you’ve found a company with seemingly valid credentials, but want to make absolutely sure, there are a few tools you can use.

  • You can look up the moving companies' DOT and MC numbers on the FMCSA’s website to make sure their licenses are up to date. You could also find any complaint the company may have on file.
  • You can also check the BBB’s registry of companies, where you can read customer reviews and complaints, and check out the company’s BBB rating, which ranges from A+ to F.

Ask for a binding estimate

Another often-cited scam involving moving companies are hostage loads, that is, when the moving company refuses to unload your items unless you pay them a much higher amount than what was on the estimate. While it’s not uncommon for the final price of a move to be somewhat higher than estimated, hostage load scenarios involve several thousand dollars over the asking price.

A good tactic to avoid falling prey to these types of scams is to ask for a binding estimate from the moving company. A binding estimate can be slightly more expensive than normal, but it guarantees that you won’t pay more than the agreed-upon amount (except in extraordinary circumstances).

What to do if you’ve been the victim of a scam

Should you fall victim to one of these scams, there are some actions you can take to resolve the issue, though they will take some time. The first step should always be to notify law enforcement of the situation. Hostage load scenarios are in breach of federal law and can carry fines of $10,000 per day, as well as license suspensions for the offender.

It’s also important to file complaints with the FMCSA and BBB. Though neither entity has enforcement powers, FMCSA complaints can trigger federal investigations into the company. Lastly, try reaching out to your state’s consumer protection agency for additional assistance.

Moving during Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way many companies do business. Here are a few tips to make your move as seamless as possible during Covid:

Ask the moving company about their protocols

It may seem like common sense, but it’s an often overlooked step. When contracting the moving company for their services, make sure to ask if they have any sanitation protocols in place that you should be aware of. This helps you determine what, if any, precautions the company is taking. It also helps to have everything ready for the movers on moving day.

Ask for virtual home walkthroughs

If you don’t yet feel comfortable having strangers in your home, you can ask the company whether it offers virtual home walkthroughs for their estimates. Keep in mind that these are slightly less accurate than an in-person walkthrough, and can end up making the final price different from the original estimate.

Disinfect while packing

While cleaning is a normal part of packing for a move, you should probably go the extra mile during pandemic times. Try wiping down items with disinfectant as you pack them, and make sure boxes are properly sealed. It’s also a good idea to do another round of disinfecting 24 hours before the movers arrive, since that’s how long the virus can last on cardboard surfaces.

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Best Moving Companies FAQ

How much should you tip movers?


Depending on how long it takes to complete your move, it's recommended that you tip anywhere from $20 to $40 per day, per mover. If it's an especially small move — that is, a move involving just a few items and smaller pieces of furniture — it's acceptable to tip $5 per hour, per mover.

Some companies might put it in writing not to tip their employees, in which case, it is better to avoid doing so.

Who regulates moving companies?


Local or intrastate moving company regulations vary by state. Some states such as Alaska have no regulations in place, which makes it a good idea to choose a moving company that works across several states.

Interstate moving companies, on the other hand, are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which hosts a directory of currently licensed companies, as well as any complaints filed against them.

How do moving companies work?

Moving companies provide a variety of services, depending on your moving needs. These can be as simple as providing a professional driver to transport your belongings or as comprehensive as an entire crew of movers to handle the packing, furniture dismantling, and loading/unloading processes.

Is it cheaper to buy new furniture or move it?

If you're only moving a short distance away, it might be cheaper to keep your furniture, since local movers tend to charge by the hour, rather than weight and distance. If you plan on moving further than 50 miles or across state lines, you might want to consider buying new furniture to save on moving costs.

How We Chose the Best Moving Companies

Unless you are absolutely sure that you can DIY your move, hiring a professional moving company is generally the better option for guaranteeing a hassle- and stress-free moving experience.

We used the following criteria to pick out the best moving companies of 2022:

  • Nationwide availability. It makes little sense to recommend an outstanding company that’s only available in one specific part of the country, so we favored companies that operate in most or all states.
  • Up front pricing. We also favored moving companies that offered transparent pricing up front. Given the large number of factors involved in pricing a move, having a good idea of what to expect before committing is always appreciated.
  • Overall positive reviews and a low number of official complaints. Considering how common moving company scams are at the local level, we favored companies with a broader service area and an established track record with years of experience, as well as a minimal number of complaints with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and the FMCSA.

Summary of Money's Best Moving Companies of January 2023