Home > Best Long Distance Movers in 2021

5 Best Long Distance Moving Companies [2021 Review]

The best long-distance moving companies can help to make your move safe, efficient, and stress-free. We’ve researched licensed and certified moving companies to find the most trusted, best performing, and highest-rated movers in the industry. Explore our long-distance moving company reviews to find the best mover for your unique needs.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • The top moving companies who specialize in long-distance moving services, both large and small.
  • How to choose the right moving company for you, based on services offered, track record, efficiency, and price.
  • How much your move should reasonably cost, based on move distance and the amount of property you need to move.

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

The Best Long-Distance Movers

  1. Best Full-Service Movers: International Van Lines
  2. Best Moving Add-Ons: American Van Lines
  3. Best for Military Moves: Safeway Moving Systems
  4. Best for Protection Insurance: JK Moving Services
  5. Most Competitive Pricing: U-Pack

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Best for Protection Insurance

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

Compare Long-Distance Mover Quotes

Moving is a complicated and daunting process, even in the best of times. If you haven’t hired movers before, you may not know where to start. No problem. We’ve worked to remove as much of the guesswork as possible for you. Explore average costs and service models for the top long-distance moving companies below. Be sure to request a quote from multiple providers so you can find the best rate for your needs!

Provider Quote Superlative Average Cost* Service Model
International Van Lines Get a free quote Best Full-Service Mover $2,015 – $3445 Full-service carrier and broker
American Van Lines Get a free quote Best Moving Add-Ons $3,900 Full-service carrier
Safeway Moving System Get a free quote Best for Military Moves Call for a quote Moving broker
JK Moving Services Get a free quote Best for Protection Insurance Call for a quote Operates primarily as a moving broker
U-Pack Get a free quote Most Competitive Pricing $2,600 – $3,300 Moving container and moving trailer provider (long-distance only)

*The costs listed above are based on the average pricing of moving a two-bedroom apartment between 1,100 and 1,300 miles from New York City. When you get a moving quote, you should always try to speak directly with a company representative, with an inventory list in-hand. In addition, many states require a visual survey for a moving quote to be valid and enforceable. The good news is that the survey can be done via FaceTime or another video calling method. Check your home state’s (and destination state’s) regulations and governing bodies for more information.

1. International Van Lines

Though they are a relatively recent entrant into the United States moving industry, International Van Lines has quickly become one of the best long-distance movers in the country. Every year, they handle more than 10,000 moves! Though they handle local moving, long-distance and interstate moves are their specialty. If your needs require international relocation, IVL’s global reach includes 150 countries worldwide.

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Services Offered

As both a broker and a carrier, International Van Lines is in a great position to either directly carry out or facilitate any moving services you should require. With their record of superior customer service, placing your move in their hands isn’t a difficult decision, regardless of your needs. IVL offers:

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • Full and partial packing services
  • Custom crating
  • Storage services (long-term if needed)
  • Debris removal
  • Auto shipping

Cost of Moving with International Van Lines

We were able to track down a preliminary quote from IVL using this convenient tool. For an average-sized move between New York City and Des Moines, Iowa (1100 miles), you can expect to pay between $2,015 and $3,445. By speaking with a representative and requesting a formal quote, you can narrow the cost down even further. If you add any special services, like full packing or crating, you can expect your move to cost around the higher end of this quote or more.

IVL’s Availability

This large carrier and broker focuses on the East Coast and Midwest, but they are available for both local and long-distance moving services nationwide.

Why We Like International Van Lines

In its rapid ascension to the top of the industry, International Van Lines has shown its commitment to superior customer service. They maintain an excellent staff of dedicated employees to just this area of their business, and they assign two experienced movers to each move. When booking with IVL, you are never fully out of touch with your move or your belongings, even as they are making their way across the country.

2. American Van Lines

Be it residential, commercial, or military—local or long-distance—American Van Lines is equipped to handle all of your moving needs. With more than a quarter of a century of experience in the industry, they have established themselves as one of the top rated long-distance moving companies.

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

American Van Lines Services

This massive carrier advertises that its workers have an average of ten years of experience in moving. This should put your mind at ease, no matter how fragile or valuable your items may be. AVL has the expertise to help you with any situation that could arise during your move. Here is a list of their most popular moving services:

  • Local, long-distance and international moving
  • Military and commercial moving
  • Climate-controlled, secure storage
  • Antique moving
  • Piano Moving
  • Full or partial packing
  • Custom crating for fragile items

Cost of Moving with AVL

While you should call to get a quote or schedule a full-estimate, we were able to pull a sample price from their website for a two-bedroom move totaling 1,100 miles. The $3,900 price assumed a small amount of packing, and a shipping weight of between 5,000 and 6,000 lbs. For a more accurate estimate, you should fill out a full inventory list and call to speak to a company representative.

AVL’s Availability

American Van Lines has three central hubs: Pompano Beach, FL, Dallas, TX, and Greensboro, NC. Aside from that, they are licensed and able to move clients anywhere to or from any of the 48 contiguous states.

Why We Like American Van Lines

American Van Lines offers a full breadth of services, and their experienced moving crews really set them apart from most long-distance movers. Additionally, their flat rate pricing system offers a bottom line number that clients can be confident in.

3. Safeway Moving Systems

As a moving broker, Safeway is committed to providing thorough service to all of its residential and commercial clients. While the company specializes in moving military personnel, they are a great option for non-military moving needs as well. Read our review to see why Safeway is one of the best long-distance moving services available today!

Best for Military Moves

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Safeway Moving Systems Services

Safeway operates with 100% transparent flat-rate pricing. As a moving broker, they also act through partner companies, which are held to a high standard. Here are the services they provide:

  • Long-distance moving (both residential and commercial)
  • Military relocations
  • Full and partial packing
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Basic furniture assembly and disassembly

Cost of Moving with Safeway

Safeway offers little in the way of pricing data on their website. If you want to know exactly you’re your move will cost, getting a quote from them is free. All prices offered by Safeway are guaranteed unless services or inventory are added onto the move.

Safeway Moving Systems’ Availability

Though based out of Chicago, Safeway can handle long-distance moves anywhere in the country. As a moving broker, they partner with smaller companies in each state for relocation services. Their standards for partner companies are high, with each partner required to carry a $1 million insurance policy. This ranks higher than the nationally required $750,000 and puts them in compliance with most condo and apartment complex standards.

Why We Like Safeway

The importance of transparency in moving cannot be overstated. Most moving clients don’t realize this until (unfortunately) it is too late. Even if a move goes off without a hitch, feeling out of touch during the process can add more anxiety to an already stressful experience. Safeway offers clear pricing upfront and stresses integrity as a cornerstone of their business.

4. JK Moving Services

With more than half a million moves completed, and 100% background-checked employees, JK Moving Services is one of the best long-distance moving companies in the US. With 40 years of experience in the industry, they have become a national and global leader for all things moving.

Best for Protection Insurance

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

JK Moving Services

JK provides one of the most customizable moving experiences of any of the large carriers. With services offered on an “a la carte” basis, you can build a moving package that matches your exact needs and expectations. JK offers the following:

  • Local moving within the Washington DC metropolitan area
  • Long-distance moving to all points in the United States
  • Commercial moving
  • GPS shipment tracking
  • Full packing services
  • Climate-controlled storage
  • Financing for payment of your move bill
  • Valuation coverage options

Cost of Moving with JK Moving Services

JK does not provide sample pricing, but they have done everything possible to make getting a quote easy and reliable for their clients. This includes 24/7 live customer support and an AI-assisted virtual survey for all clients who want to assess and compare pricing options.

JK Moving’s Availability

JK Moving Services handles local moves in the Washington DC area, including Virginia and Maryland. Beyond that, their long-distance residential and commercial moving services are available to clients across the country. Beyond the above-mentioned states and our nation’s capital, however, JK serves as a moving broker. This means that they contract out work to moving companies in other states with regularity.

Why We Like JK

JK Moving Services provides exceptional customer service comes, thanks to their experienced and highly trained employees. With a fully background-checked and continually trained staff, the company is able to offer a wide range of services while remaining flexible.

5. U-Pack

U-Pack is among the best moving container companies available in the US, and it is perhaps the best option for those who want a little bit of autonomy when conducting long-distance moves. Through their shipping partner ABF, U-Pack drops off containers or a moving trailer at your home. After a few days, during which you are expected to pack the container(s), they pick the vessels up and begin driving them to your destination. Clients then have a few days to unload the container(s). While you must arrange for your own moving labor (or do it yourself), U-Pack offers one of the best long-distance moving services, because it is very convenient and affordable.

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

U-Pack Services

U-Pack offers long-distance moving only. They are ideal for smaller to medium-sized moves or when a client feels capable of loading on their own.

Cost of Moving with U-Pack

We were able to obtain a quote from U-Pack for an 1,100-mile move from New York City. For two bedrooms-worth of goods, it was estimated that 13 feet of space in an ABF trailer would be needed (they are 8’ x 9’ x 28’). This would involve a transit time of 5-7 days and would cost $3,375. This price is all-inclusive.

When using a moving trailer, you only pay for what you use: final fees are reduced by $75 per unused foot of trailer space. So, if you end up using less space than you’d originally planned, you will save some money. Similarly, if you end up needing more room, it is available to you in the form of more trailer space or additional ReloCube units. To determine exactly what your move might cost, be sure to request a free quote!

U-Pack’s Availability

U-Pack has 240 locations across the United States, providing top-rated long-distance moving services to all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. If you’re lucky enough to be relocating between two locations with U-Pack locations nearby, then it could ultimately save you money. Similarly, loading or unloading a ReloCube or trailer at a U-Pack facility comes with a financial incentive.

Why We Like U-Pack

U-Pack’s “pay for what you need” model provides highly competitive pricing compared to the other best long-distance movers we’ve mentioned here. Low base prices also provide clients with wiggle room to hire moving labor of their choosing if they should need it. In short, U-Pack provides the flexibility of a moving truck rental without all of the associated liability.

Get A Quote

When selecting the best long-distance moving company for your upcoming relocation, remember that fielding quotes from multiple providers is the best way to find the most affordable option for your needs. Shipping weight and move distance are the main determining factors for your final price. When booking, honesty on the part of a client is just as important as the honesty of the moving company representatives you may speak to. The estimates they give are only as reliable as the information you give them, no matter what their bottom line guarantees may be.

To get started, click the “Get a Free Quote” button for each moving company you’re interested in working with below:

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Best for Protection Insurance

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

How to Find the Best Long-Distance Mover for Your Needs

Before simply typing “best long-distance movers near me” into your Google search bar, it is important to first take inventory of all that you plan on moving. Go through each room of your living space and write down all that you plan on taking with you. If you have any specialty items, like a piano, large gun safe, or even an automobile that has to be moved, this could influence which moving companies you can use. Only certain carriers will move these items, and it could affect the pricing of the job. Taking stock like this will minimize any surprises on moving day and will lead to a far smoother experience for all parties involved.

The next step should be to get an exact mileage figure for the distance between your current and your new home. When calling around for a moving estimate, all carrier representatives will ask for this, as distance factors into the final price of the move. Of course, they can find this information themselves. However, it makes for a far smoother process if you have a number handy.

As is the case when dealing with any service industry, it is best to consider what your exact needs are. With the prevalence of full-service moving companies now, you will be able to find a provider whose offerings exactly match your move.

Since you are booking a long-distance move (over 400 miles), it would serve you well to exclusively shop around with the larger firms. Every area will have great local movers to choose from, but rarely do they have a lengthy track record for completing longer jobs. This could lead to you paying a premium price, relative to the more experienced operators.

Preparing for your move? Check out our Long-Distance Moving Checklist to help you stay organized.

Scheduling Your Long-Distance Moving Estimate

Once you have looked through long-distance moving company reviews, you should make a list of a few companies that you would like to work. Starting with your top choice, call around to schedule a moving estimate. Most companies today will also offer virtual or online estimates, but you should always opt to get one done in-person if possible. This is still the most accurate method and the best way to ensure that no extra costs get added on after the fact. Both virtual and in-home estimates are typically done for free.

After the estimate is completed, the representative will give a quote and offer to send a contract to you to sign. This is where you need to be cautious. Read the language of the contract carefully, and do not sign if they have not explicitly offered a “binding estimate.” Without that provision, it is easy for a company to tack on extra costs at will. Any professional moving company should have little to no problem with this stipulation. If this becomes a point of contention, you would do well to move on to your next option for your move.

Evaluating Your Long-Distance Moving Options

There are many options for the type of moving company you can use. The best fit for you will come down to the size and distance of your move. If you’re going to be doing an international move, you should find a company that explicitly advertises this service. Licensing and certifications can get complicated when crossing international borders, and the premium you will pay for this is well worth it.

For larger to intermediately sized moves within the same country, a full-service van line would provide the most comprehensive service. If you feel up to the task of loading and unloading yourself, but don’t want to do any of the driving, a moving container company would work well for you. It would also save you money in labor costs. On the lowest end of the cost-spectrum are DIY moving trucks. Though their cost isn’t significantly lower than that of a moving container, they offer you the most control over your move by far.

What to Look for in Professional Movers

When evaluating best-rated long-distance moving companies, be sure to look for the following:

Fully Licensed & Insured

All moving companies, local and long-distance, must be fully licensed and insured. Any reputable company will have a U.S. DOT number listed on their website, which you can then use to check that they are registered with the FMCSA. That is, they are licensed to transport their clients’ household goods. Moving insurance is slightly less black and white, as all licensed moving companies must include “released value protection” within the cost of the move itself. This means that your possessions will be covered at a rate of $0.30 per pound, per item for intrastate moves, and $0.60 per pound, per item for interstate moves. You should feel free to ask for proof of insurance during the quote process to be sure of your moving company’s coverage. Under federal law, moving companies are required to provide full valuation insurance as well. This could be applicable if you are moving valuable antiques or other expensive items. Be sure to ask your moving provider about this option if that is the case.

Reliability

As with most of the items on this list, you can find out all that you need to know about a moving company’s reliability through customer reviews. It may seem shocking, but with certain smaller companies, it isn’t a given that your movers will be there for pick up at the agreed-upon time. If a quick look through the reviews isn’t enough, then you can check the FMCSA database for a complaint history of your prospective moving company.

Price

The importance of shopping around for the best price cannot be overstated. Get as many free quotes from as many vendors as you possibly can before deciding on a moving company. For a long-distance move, reputable moving companies will often offer a fixed estimate. When shopping around, look for straightforward wording during the estimate and while reviewing the moving contract.

While flat rates are ideal, many companies will bill by the mile, by the pound, or a combination of the two. If they bill solely by the mile, you shouldn’t be alarmed when the customer representative giving you a quote can only give you a ballpark estimate. Moving trucks have to avoid certain roads, like parkways and bridges with weight or height limits. Depending on your new location, this may result in your movers having to find an alternate route, increasing the mileage and time of the job. If you are moving cross country with a larger provider, there is a solid chance that your move will be packed into a large trailer with someone else’s goods (properly partitioned, of course). This would affect the timetable of your move far more than the price, but it is worth mentioning.

If your moving company factors weight into the bill, they will take their truck to a scale to weigh it after loading. You should make a point of overseeing the process if this is the case – this entails also finding out the truck’s empty weight before moving day.

Again, if the company you’re planning to hire primarily handles local moves, you will likely be up-charged for the premium service of moving your goods a long way or across state lines. Local moving companies’ business models and practices are usually predicated on hourly rates, which will affect the bottom line.

Learn more about cost factors and average pricing in our Long-Distance Moving Cost Guide.

Efficiency

Any company offering relocation services of any kind will likely boast about the speed of their work. Once again, customer reviews will be your friend here. It’s normal that your movers should take breaks intermittently throughout your move. Frankly, it is to be expected. However, employees of top moving companies with a track record of excellent customer service will aim to keep these to a minimum.

When perusing customer reviews, you may want to sort by “worst,” even when looking at a highly rated company. If more than one review points to their workers being lazy or slow, it could point to a poor culture in their workplace, which you may end up paying for.

Degree of Care With Your Possessions

For moving companies, a prime facet of optimizing the customer experience is ensuring that their clients’ goods make it to their new home in the same condition in which they departed. Be it a full-service move, or a packing or labor-only job, the best movers should be trained in how to properly pack boxes and trucks, and prepare furniture for optimal transportation.

Be sure to look for pictures of your moving company on their website, on Google, and on social media, aside from going through customer reviews. You should find plenty of pictures of your potential movers loading and unloading their trucks. If you see any pictures of furniture without moving blankets on them, you should rethink working with that company. Anything less for a long-distance or cross-country move should not be allowed to go unchecked.

Once again, long-distance moves may necessitate that you purchase extra insurance, beyond what is typically offered.

Moving Method

There are several long-distance moving options to consider, including full-service movers, moving containers or trailers, and DIY moving trucks. Here’s what you should know about each, so you can decide which is best for your needs:

Full-Service Moving Company

Hiring a full-service moving company will require the least amount of the actual work yourself, but your cost will be higher. For long-distance moves (anything over 400 miles), these companies will charge anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000. Costs on the higher end or exceeding this mark are rare but do happen when clients add on optional services, such as assembly.

Moving Container or Trailer

Renting a moving container allows for greater flexibility. You can load and unload at your leisure, over the course of a few days. You have the choice of either hiring movers for the labor at each end, or doing the heavy lifting yourself. Average costs for these methods typically fall between $2,000 and $4,000. If you’re unsure of where to put your things in your new home, many of these containers can double as a short to long-term storage option on property. This will come at an additional monthly rate, but it comes with a fair amount of added convenience.

DIY Moving Truck

This is by far your cheapest long-distance moving option, but the lower cost comes with a hefty amount of assumed liability. When you move with a truck rental from U-Haul, Penske, or any of the other big players in this area, you will have the most control over your move’s timetable. For some, that overrides the liability for the truck and their own goods. Despite somewhat higher mileage costs, the cost is low, at $1,000 to $2,500.

Average Cost Based On Distance

Most long-distance moving companies will charge about $0.75 to $1.00 per mile. Customer reviews for Mayflower Movers cited an average cost of about $1,500 for a 1,000-mile move of a studio apartment (1,500 – 2,000 pounds). Moving companies who bill primarily based on mileage will typically stress this point when giving you a moving quote during the estimate. Mileage rates will go down, the longer your move is.

Average Cost Based On Weight

Equally common is billing your moving cost based on weight. Most large-scale moving companies cite a rate of about $0.50 per pound. Despite how difficult your move’s weight can be to calculate just from looking at the inventory, this is an industry standard for long-distance relocation.

To reassure you, the U.S. DOT is responsible for weighing the truck after it is loaded: a third party. Additionally, if you receive a binding estimate based on your inventory list, and the list is adhered to on moving day, you will not be up-charged if the truck’s weight is more than expected. The same Mayflower review posted an upper-end price of $7,500 for moving a three-bedroom home (about 10,000 pounds) for 1,000 miles. Your final price will usually be calculated with some combination of mileage and weight in mind. Regardless, you should remember that binding estimates are just that – binding. If you stick to your original inventory list, you will have minimal surprises on moving day.

Stairs

It may seem like an afterthought to you since you’re in your home every day, but flights of stairs make a huge difference to movers. Stairs increase the amount of work they have to do, both in protecting your walls and protecting your furniture. If either your new home or old one is in an older building or house, stairwell width could come into play. Modern and Victorian-era furniture have a tendency to be poor matches for each other. A top item in your moving checklist should be to measure stairwells at each end precisely if at all possible.

If you are moving from one, one-floor ranch house to another, then this section is of minimal importance to you. However, if that does not apply to you, it would serve you to plan far ahead. If your new or old home is in an apartment building, in a large city, there is a chance that you will have to deal with either a ridiculous walkup or a freight elevator. If there is no way around a walkup, then you should hire pros, and measure the stairwells. Otherwise, you may end up looking like this.

If you are lucky enough to have access to a freight elevator at one, or both ends of the move, then you need to contact all building managers involved and reserve elevator(s) for a given date and time. Some buildings will set a hard and fast rule that no tenants may use such facilities until after working hours. Some others will strictly allow for use within working hours, with a building attendant operating the elevator. Either way, many building managers have strict guidelines in place for movers and moving tenants to follow, so you need to get on top of this as soon as you book your move.

Driveways & Parking

Most residences have either flat driveways or large parking lots, which are easy for the largest of moving vans to get in and out of. If your home is built on a steep incline or decline, or in the middle of a large city, your parking situation could lead to an extra, probably unnecessary headache for you.

If you’re moving in a densely populated, high-traffic area, you need to explore your options in advance. This goes equally for loading and unloading. If either location is in a smaller Brownstone-style house, or street-level apartment, then your only choice may be to block off an adequate parking space for the truck early in the morning, on moving day. If you wait until just before your movers are scheduled to arrive, your chances of doing this successfully are nearly zero.

Moving in or out of a larger high-rise apartment building has its drawbacks – namely, the high foot traffic at all hours of the day. A positive in this scenario is that many of them are equipped with loading docks. Often, these entrances are fairly close to a freight elevator, if the building has one. Protocol for loading docks and elevators can be similar, in that you should always call ahead and reserve it with the building manager. Additionally, you need to cross-check any loading docks with the dimensions of your chosen movers’ trucks. Loading docks tend to be set back inside a garage to help shield them from the elements, which means clearance could be a problem. Most moving trucks have a clearance of around 13 feet and a width of 8.5 feet. If there is even a chance of trouble at a loading dock, it would be best to be upfront with your moving company representative. As a rule, they will always appreciate any leg work that you do to make their job less hectic.

Sharp inclines or declines, as well as winding driveways, can give larger trucks tons of trouble. If your truck can’t make it all the way to your house, then either you or your labor crew will have to park the truck on the street. The resulting walk from the truck to the house with each trip will double or triple the labor time. Even if your company is working on a flat rate, this will lead to a far worse moving experience for you.

Popular Optional Long-Distance Moving Services

The best long-distance movers offer a full range of services, but not all companies provide the same services. If you have specific needs, check to ensure that the company you’re considering working with offers the relevant service(s), like:

Assembly & Disassembly

The one constant among moving companies seems to be an aversion to assembling and disassembling furniture. IKEA and other brands create furniture that is time-consuming to assemble and often comes with particle board components that can easily break if mishandled. Unless otherwise stipulated in your contract, movers will not provide this kind of furniture assembly. Smaller moving subcontractors, like TaskRabbit, will happily handle this for you if needed.

Many moving companies and laborers will typically follow this rule: “If we took it apart, we’ll put it back together.” Having the same labor crew on assembly and disassembly minimizes the chances of parts going missing, or of furniture breaking.

Auto Shipping

International and interstate moving companies will usually provide a totally separate service for moving your car. When determining the cost of auto relocation, your moving method matters. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Shipping Company – Shipping your car with a dedicated shipping company will have the highest up-front cost, but may save you money in the long run. Typical costs for this will be about $1.00 per mile. For example, shipping your car from New York City to Miami, Florida (1,200 miles) will cost you a little under $1,000. As with other mileage-based moving expenses, the overall cost will decrease as distance increases.
  2. Tow Dolly – Renting a tow dolly with a large vendor like U-Haul will cost between $60 and $200, depending on the distance being used, and the number of days you will need it. Tow dollies are two-wheeled, meaning the front turning wheels of the vehicle being towed are secured to the dolly, while the rear wheels maintain contact with the road at all times. This could lead to uneven wear and tear on your tires, as well as overall, unnecessary wear on your car. This is the cheapest option if you’re towing it with another larger personal vehicle. However, if you have to rent a U-Haul truck to tow it, this will cost far more – in excess of $1,000 for the aforementioned 1,200-mile move. If this U-Haul truck is also doubling as your primary moving van for the rest of your goods, it could be worth the cost.
  3. Tow Trailer – If you want to tow your car on your own, a four-wheeled tow trailer is likely your best option. With a base price of $80 to $300 on its own, it is slightly more expensive. You will need a heavier duty truck or SUV to tow this trailer with a car on it, but this option is the DIY mover’s best choice for auto transportation. Just as with the tow dolly, the cost will greatly increase, by a similar margin if you have to rent an additional U-Haul van or truck to tow it.

Packing & Unpacking

Your moving company may offer to pack and unpack your things upon arriving at each destination. This is where you should be wary of the language in the contract. Packing services and supplies are rarely included in flat rates. If they are, then it’s likely that your flat rate is inflated far beyond what it should reasonably be. This is not a sneaky practice by a shady vendor. Rather, it is a fact of doing business. The further you get from the original distributor, the more a given item will be marked up.

If you have the money to pay for this convenience, then it is probably the right choice. If not, then you should shop around for supplies and pack your own belongings, beginning about two months out from your move date. You can easily find boxes for free at department, grocery, and liquor stores after they accept shipments of goods. However, the best moving supplies are those which are made specifically for moving. Aside from U-Haul, stores like Home Depot have entire dedicated moving sections to choose from. U-Haul offers the most variety within the moving sphere. They have boxes, packing paper, mattress bags, ratchet straps, dollies, and anything else you can name. They will also buy back all of your unused boxes at cost.

Storage Services

All large moving companies will offer storage services to their clients. Whether your move requires multiple full-sized moving trucks or only a couple of PODS, this is a service that you will be sold on during in-person or online quotes. If the moving company itself doesn’t own storage, then they are partnered with a storage facility, which could mean an inflated rate for the consumer. Many locations offer the first month for free, with a contract. Storage units can be an expensive long-term investment, so many would consider selling some of their less important items before renting one. There are plenty of junk removal companies available to dispose of anything that you can’t sell or afford to move.

Piano Moving

Dedicated piano moving companies exist but, for the sake of having fewer moving parts in your relocation, most moving companies will offer this service with a separate fee attached. It serves to do research here. Feel free to ask customer service representatives from different moving companies what kind of experience their workers have with pianos. Listen for any mention of a “piano board,” or the fact that the legs on grand pianos are numbered, and absolutely need to be put back in their proper slot. This will clue you in as to their competence level and could save you from making a costly, dangerous mistake. Pianos are incredibly valuable pieces, both financially and sentimentally speaking. If they aren’t taken care of properly, it can leave you with a terrible impression of the moving industry as a whole.

Understanding Long Distance Moving Company Contracts

For long-distance moves, full-service moving companies often have complex contracts. Your contract will often include details like:

  • Pricing
  • Payment terms
  • Schedule
  • Packing supplies
  • Extra moving services
  • Insurance information

Understanding your contract helps you communicate with your moving team and avoid scams. You should receive a detailed breakdown of services in your initial quote as well as what to expect on moving day.

Insurance

Most importantly, keep your insurance documents on hand if something should break during the move. Be sure to document the accident with photographs and the time it occurred.

Most moving companies include a limited amount of basic insurance in each plan with the option to upgrade to full-value protection. The Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration offers a guide on how to understand your liability insurance on moving day and what to do if something goes awry.

Bill of Lading

A long-distance moving company will provide a bill of lading to indicate when you should expect your items. This could take anywhere between a few days and a few weeks, depending on your original agreement.

Avoid asking your drivers to speed up the trip on moving day, since the schedule is typically out of their hands. In some cases, moving trucks may combine the items of several homes in one cross-country trek.

Long Distance Moving Tips

A long-distance move is a massive undertaking, even for a professional moving company. While working with the best rated long-distance movers may make the whole day look easy, you can ensure the process runs smoothly with a little insider knowledge. Here are some essential long distance moving tips to make your moving experience hassle-free:

Be Upfront During the Moving Estimate

To avoid last-minute surprises, outline the full inventory of your home when requesting your free quote. Some of the best moving companies offer virtual or in-person walk-throughs to help you with this step as well. Certain items can slow down the day if they’re not noted in the initial contract. You want to make sure the movers aren’t surprised by:

  • Overly fragile items
  • Bulky furniture
  • Pianos
  • Valuable artwork
  • Family heirlooms
  • Hazardous materials

In some cases, the moving company will simply add the unusual item to your final bill. In others, they may need to leave it behind altogether.

Pack Like a Professional

Long-distance packing takes a little extra time and energy. Fragile items, for example, should be protected with bubble wrap and extra padding before heading onto the truck. As for boxes, use strong cardboard and properly tape your box seams so they can make the long trip without breaking. If you’re concerned about this step, consider hiring a company for packing services as well. Some companies offer plastic reusable boxes for rent that provide extra stability.

A few extra items to pay special attention to include:

  • Mattresses: Wrap your mattress in a box or bag or request these special supplies from the company.
  • Artwork: Alert your company of valuable artwork or decor before moving day and take extra care to protect the items from high temperatures and frequent movement.
  • Televisions: Moving companies also offer special boxes for televisions, especially for long-distance moves. Be sure to keep all wires and accessories in a separate and well-marked box.

Label Your Items

Fasten clear labels on each box, noting its contents, location, and whether the contents are fragile or extra heavy. Not only will this help with your unpacking process, but also keeps them safe as they’re stacked in the truck.

Set Aside Personal Items

Certain items are best when brought in the car or left behind, particularly the things that made the off-limits list below. Keep these items and boxes in a separate closet or small room with clear instructions for the movers.

Check Out Customer Reviews

Once you’ve landed on the best long-distance mover, take a deeper look at customer reviews. Past clients may indicate what to expect on your day-of experience as far as helping, tipping, and general experience.

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Our Methodology

At Pro Mover Reviews, we are committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased information on each provider that we review. Our methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures we maintain your trust through transparency and data that is backed up through routine check-ins. Our staff has spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of local, long-distance, and international moving companies to bring you our recommendation for the best moving companies in the US. We then narrowed down our findings based on criteria that we find to be the most helpful for you to choose the best moving company for your needs.

Our Rating Categories:

  • Company Transparency
  • Pricing + Cost
  • Services Offered
  • Overall Reputation

While there are many sites out there that compare movers, we believe our rigorous standards give us more insights into company performance and better data to share with our community.  For each moving company we check for:

  • Confirmed Licensing with the DOT
  • Updated & Verified Business Registration
  • Real & Recent Consumer Reviews
  • Industry Ratings and BBB Complaints
  • Accuracy of Online Quotes
  • Services Provided & Total Service Area
  • Pricing & Services vs. Competitors

From here we created a comprehensive, 100 point, rating scale based on the following factors:

  • Moving services (25): Companies that offer more flexibility in their services are rated higher.
  • Coverage of services (5): The more items a moving company can handle, the higher the score.
  • Pricing (25): We compare this to the industry average when rating pricing.
  • Trustworthiness (25): We comb through hundreds of reviews and check on BBB ratings to determine the trustworthiness of a company.
  • State availability (5): Finding a moving company in your state can be a challenge depending on where you are located. The more states covered, the higher the score.
  • Customer service (10): Is this moving company responsive? Do they respond quickly to issues that are brought to their attention? Are they helpful in answering questions? All of these factors are considered when rating customer service.
  • Additional benefits (5): Moving companies can sometimes offer special promotions or deals when contracting them for a move. The companies with the most benefit scored higher.

Of the dozens of movers that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the best long-distance moving companies in your area. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability. This list is ever-changing, as companies will update policies and procedures, and we will change our information accordingly.

Best Long-Distance Movers FAQ

How much does it cost to move long-distances?

Most reputable sources give an average figure between $4,000 and $5,000 for long-distance moves. This varies with your moving method, weight of your goods, and the distance you plan on moving. A full-service move can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000, in extreme cases. Moving containers or trailer rentals will cost somewhere in the $2,000 to $4,000 range. A personal truck or van rental will be your cheapest option, at $1,000 to $2,500.

What is considered a long-distance move?

Most operators consider a move of 400 miles or more to be long-distance. A small minority will declare any interstate move, or any move of 100 miles or more to be long-distance, but this is not typical. Ultimately, all of this information should be on your prospective mover’s website. The “long-distance moving” label can come with a premium price tag, so it’s worth your time to look.

What won't my long-distance movers take with them?

Moving companies all have insurance policies and DOT regulations governing what they can’t take in their trucks. Cleaning materials, gasoline and oil, toxic chemicals, fertilizer can’t be transported in any moving van. Here is a comprehensive list of things movers absolutely will not take. Beyond this, every moving company has a list of prohibited items on their websites.

How do I know if my long-distance mover is a licensed, reputable operator?

You can check that out here, at the FMCSA website. You can easily cross-reference their DOT number to find out if they are licensed, and also view their complaint history. All moving companies are issued a DOT number and, if this is unavailable, you should steer clear.

Should I tip my long-distance movers?

Tipping is never required for moving. But if your movers conduct themselves in a professional manner and consistently treat your things with care, you should definitely consider it. If you’ve hired a full-service moving team that is dedicated to your move for a few days to a week, a general rule of thumb is $40 per day on the road and working, per mover. If hiring labor at each end, $5 per hour, per mover is sufficient.

Should I Stay At Home During My Move?

Yes. You should always stay on premises during your move, both during the loading and unloading process. Movers may need you for any last-minute questions, signatures, or payments.

What if my moving company is late?

Moving day can be stressful enough without unexpected schedule issues. Here are some things to note if your company doesn’t make its scheduled window:

  • Stay calm: If it’s only been a few minutes past the window, the driver may be stuck in traffic and right around the corner.
  • Start by calling the company: If you were given several phone numbers, call your moving company before contacting the driver. The office may be able to answer your questions more succinctly.
  • Check your contract: Look at your paperwork for notes about your final price if the delivery or pick is late.

After the drivers have pulled away from your home, you may be worried about the long ride ahead. Many companies provide a tracking device online so you can keep an eye on its progress. Keep your contract on hand in case the diver misses this window for drop-off as well.

Prepping for your moving day is not just about being a helpful customer. Even full-service moving companies need help from the homeowner to manage long-distance moves. Most importantly, be sure to select one of the best long-distance moving companies who will guide you through the process and ensure a stress-free day.