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9 Best Long Distance Moving Companies [2022 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
  • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
  • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

Best for Extended Storage

Allied Van Lines

4.6
  • Local, National, & International Moving
  • Extensive Add-On Service Options
  • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

Best Customer Service

North American Van Lines

4.6
  • Personalized Approach To Moving
  • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
  • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

The Best Long-Distance Movers

  1. Best Full-Service MoverInternational Van Lines
  2. Best for Extended StorageAllied Van Lines
  3. Best Customer ServiceNorth American Van Lines
  4. Best Add-On ServicesAmerican Van Lines
  5. Best for Military Moves: Safeway Moving Systems
  6. Best Insurance Options: JK Moving Services
  7. Most Competitive Pricing: U-Pack
  8. Best for Self-Service: PODS
  9. Most Container Options: 1-800-PACK-RAT

Quick Overview

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.

We’ve organized our recommendations by full-service and self-service, so you can quickly find what you need. Be sure to request a quote from multiple providers so you can find the best rate for your needs.

Full-Service Movers

Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
International Van Lines
Best Full-Service Mover Carrier, Broker Local: $600 – $1200

Long-Distance: $1,400 – $4,400

★★★★☆ 4.8/5
Allied Van Lines
Best for Extended Storage Carrier, Broker Local: $750 – $1350

Long-Distance: $1,800 – $4,500

★★★★☆ 4.6/5
North American Van Lines
Best Customer Service Carrier, Broker Local: $750 – $1350

Long-Distance: $1,800 – $4,500

★★★★☆ 4.6/5
American Van Lines
Best Moving Add-Ons Carrier Local: $500 – $1,000

Long-Distance: $1,700 – $4,700

★★★★☆ 4.5/5
Safeway Moving Systems
Best for Military Moves Broker Long-Distance: $1,900 – $4,900 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
JK Moving Services
Best Insurance Options Carrier, Broker Long-Distance: $1,850 – $4,500 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

 

Self-Service Movers

Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
U-Pack
Most Competitive Pricing Moving Container Service Long-Distance: $600 – $1,600 ★★★★☆ 4.7/5
PODS
Best for Self-Service Moving Container Service Local: $400- $800

Long-Distance: $700 – $1,700

★★★★☆ 4.6/5
1-800-PACK-RAT
Most Container Options Moving Container Service Local: $400 – $700

Long-Distance: $800 – $2,000

★★★★☆ 4.5/5

* Average long-distance moving cost is based on aggregate data from customer reviews for a two-bedroom home, moving 250 miles. Cost can vary significantly based on move weight and distance. Be sure to request a free quote to get an accurate estimate for your move.

1. International Van Lines

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
  • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

Over its 20 years of experience, International Van Lines (IVL) has become one of the best long-distance movers in the country. Every year, they handle more than 20,000 moves. Though they handle local moving, long-distance and interstate moves are their specialty. They can also assist with international moves, serving 150 countries worldwide. With an extensive array of service options and award-winning customer service, no task is too big or small for this industry-leading carrier to handle.

IVL Services

As both a broker and a carrier, International Van Lines can manage virtually any moving services you can think of. 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, long-distance, and international moving
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Storage (short-term and long-term)
  • Custom crating
  • Debris removal
  • Auto transport
  • Piano moving
  • Air and ocean freight
  • Shipment tracking
  • And more

IVL Cost

We were able to track down a preliminary quote from IVL using their online quote tool. For an average-sized move between New York City and Des Moines, Iowa (1,100 miles), you can expect to pay between $2,015 and $3,445. By speaking with a representative and requesting a formal quote, you can get a more accurate estimate for your unique move. 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 Sample Pricing

<250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,400 – $4,400 $1,900 – $4,900 $2,100 – $5,100 $2,400 – $5,400
4 BR $3,200 – $6,200 $5,100 – $8,100 $5,700 – $8,700 $6,200 – $9,200

 

Get a Free Quote From IVL

IVL Availability

As one of the largest movers in the country, IVL is available for both local and long-distance moving services nationwide. They can help you move to and from all 50 states. They are also available for international relocations to 150+ countries.

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, and they assign at least two experienced movers to each move. Their team communicates well and allows you to track your shipment in real time, so you won’t have to be nervous of when your belongings will arrive.

2. Allied Van Lines

Best for Extended Storage

4.6
  • Local, National, & International Moving
  • Extensive Add-On Service Options
  • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

Over the past 15 years, Allied Van Lines (AVL) has completed over 750,000 moves—though their company history extends all the way back to 1933. Allied can assist with local and long-distance moves throughout the entire U.S. as well as international moves around the world. Beyond their basic services, custom crating, storage, and fragile item packing are just a few of the add-on services you can select to enhance your moving experience. With an A+ BBB rating and 96% client satisfaction rate, you can rest assured that your belongings will be in good hands with AVL.

Allied Services

Enhance your move with a wide variety of service options, including:

  • Local and long-distance moving
  • International moving
  • Packing (full-service or partial)
  • Unpacking
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Auto shipping
  • Storage
  • Debris removal
  • GPS shipment tracking
  • And more

Allied Cost

If you’re moving locally, you can expect to pay an hourly rate. The rate you will pay will depend on where you’re moving, ranging on average from $30 to $50 per hour. Long-distance moves with this company are on par with industry averages, with a typical two-bedroom 500-mile move averaging $2,400 to $5,400.

Allied Van Lines Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,800 – $4,500 $2,400 – $5,400 $2,700 – $5,700 $4,400 – $7,400
4 BR $3,300 – $6,000 $5,700 – $8,700 $7,500 – $10,500 $10,900 – $13,900

 

Get a Free Quote from AVL

Allied Availability

No matter how far you’re moving in the U.S., AVL can assist. They currently serve all US states with both local and long-distance moving services. They also can help you move to over 120 countries.

Why We Like Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines has one of the biggest fleets in the country. No matter your needs or budget, their experienced team is ready to provide exceptional service. You can count on Allied’s highly trained team to provide outstanding service throughout the entire process.

3. North American Van Lines

Best Customer Service

4.6
  • Personalized Approach To Moving
  • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
  • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

With operations dating all the way back to the 1930’s, North American Van Lines is regarded as a leader in the moving industry. While they’re most often booked for long-distance moves and international moves, they provide local moving services as well. When you work with NAVL, you will have a dedicated moving coordinator who will help to ensure your move is as easy as possible.

NAVL Services

NAVL offers a wide range of services, allowing you to select exactly what you need:

  • Local and long-distance moving
  • International moving
  • Packing and unpacking (full-service or partial)
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Debris removal
  • 24/7 shipment tracking
  • Appliance installation
  • Storage
  • Excellent insurance options
  • And more

NAVL Cost

As shown in our data set below, the further away you’re moving and the larger your home size, the more you can expect to pay. NAVL has competitive pricing in the industry, with an average two-bedroom 250 mile move costing from $1,800 to $4,500. Here is some more pricing data to help you plan your move:

NAVL Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,800 – $4,500 $2,400 – $5,400 $2,700 – $5,700 $4,400 – $7,400
4 BR $3,300 – $6,000 $5,700 – $8,700 $7,500 – $10,500 $10,900 – $13,900

 

Get a Free Quote From NAVL

NAVL Availability

North American has more than 500 service centers in the US, allowing them to provide both local and long-distance moving services across the entire country. The company is also an excellent option for international moving to over 100 countries worldwide.

Why We Like North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines has a rich service history with a strong reputation for exceptional service. With over 80 years of experience and many add-on options, it’s hard to go wrong when you book with NAVL. To help make your move even easier, the company provides a personal moving coordinator to each customer.

4. American Van Lines

Best Moving Add-ons

4.6
  • Local, Long-Distance & International Moves
  • Direct Carrier to All 48 Continental US States
  • Storage Options Available

With an expansive service menu, American Van Lines is equipped to handle all your moving needs. Founded in 1995, the company has over 25 years of experience in the industry. Over that time, they have established themselves as one of the top rated long-distance moving companies in the entire country. From short-distance apartment moves to coast-to-coast five-bedroom moves, they do it all.

AVL Services

AVL moving crews have an average of ten years of experience on the job. 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
  • Residential and commercial moving
  • Full-service or partial packing
  • Car shipping
  • Climate-controlled storage
  • Custom crating for fragile items
  • Antique moving
  • And more

AVL Cost

While you should call to get a quote before booking, 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 5,000 to 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 Sample Pricing

<250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,700 – $4,700 $2,300 – $5,300 $2,600 – $5,600 $4,200 – $7,200
4 BR $4,800 – $7,800 $5,600 – $8,600 $7,400 – $10,400 $10,800 – $13,800

 

Get a Free Quote from AVL

AVL Availability

American Van Lines is licensed and able to move clients anywhere to or from any of the 48 contiguous states. They also provide international services to virtually any port in the world.

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. You won’t have to worry about hidden fees or upcharges on moving day.

5. Safeway Moving Systems

Best for Military Moves

4.5
  • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
  • Long-Distance Moving Only
  • Packing & One Month Storage Included

As a moving broker, Safeway Moving Systems is committed to providing thorough service to all of its residential and commercial clients. Veteran owned and operated, they claim to operate with military efficiency and integrity. Read our review to see why Safeway is one of the best long-distance moving companies available today:

Safeway Services

Safeway operates with 100% transparent flat-rate pricing. As a moving broker, they match clients with trusted 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 (included for free)
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Storage (up to one month free)
  • Basic furniture assembly and disassembly

Safeway Cost

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. Even though they don’t offer sample pricing online, we were able to get ballpark estimates by pulling data from hundreds of real customer reviews:

Safeway Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,900 – $4,900 $2,100 – $5,100 $2,200 – $5,200 $2,700 – $5,700
4 BR $3,200 – $6,200 $4,700 – $6,700 $5,500 – $7,500 $7,800 – $10,800

 

Get a Free Quote From Safeway

Safeway Availability

Safeway serves all 50 states and 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. Standing behind the quality of their partner companies, they offer a 100% shipment guarantee for every move.

6. JK Moving Services

Best Insurance Options

4.5
  • Local, Interstate, Local, & International Moving
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App
  • Low-Interest Financing Available

With more than half a million moves completed, JK Moving Services is one of the best long-distance moving companies in the US. With 40 years of experience in the industry and 100% background-checked employees, they have become a national leader for all things moving. Here’s everything you need to know to decide if they’re the right choice for you:

JK Moving Services

JK provides one of the most customizable moving experiences today. 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 in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
  • Long-distance moves to and from all 50 states
  • International moving
  • Residential and commercial services
  • Packing (full-service or fragile-only)
  • Climate-controlled storage
  • Furniture wrapping
  • GPS shipment tracking
  • Financing assistance
  • And more

JK Cost

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 even virtual home surveys through a user-friendly mobile app. Looking at past customer reviews, a ballpark estimate for a typical two-bedroom, 500 mile move would be somewhere between $2,300 and $5,500. This is slightly more expensive than industry average, but JK’s deep experience and strong customer service can make them worth the extra cost.

JK Availability

JK Moving Services handles local moves in the Washington DC area, Virginia and Maryland. Beyond that, their long-distance residential and commercial moving services are available to clients across the country. Their team can also help you to move to over 130 countries around the world.

Why We Like JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services provides exceptional customer service, thanks to their experienced and highly trained employees. With fully background-checked and continually trained staff, the company offers a wide range of services while ensuring top quality and safety. Other unique perks include a helpful mobile app where you can track your shipment, financing options to make affording your bill easier, and 24/7 customer service availability.

7. U-Pack

Most Competitive Pricing

4.7
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
  • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

U-Pack is one of the best moving container companies available in the US. They offer a great solution for those who want to enjoy a more affordable move. Through their shipping partner ABF, U-Pack drops off a container at your home. After giving you a few days to pack the container, they will pick it up and drive it to your destination. You’ll then have a few more days to unload it. While you must arrange for your own moving labor (or do it yourself), U-Pack is one of the best long-distance movers, because it is very convenient and affordable.

U-Pack Services

U-Pack offers long-distance moving only. They are only available for moves greater than 150 miles that cross state lines. They are ideal for smaller to medium-sized moves or when a client feels capable of loading on their own. Here’s what’s available:

  • Containers: Two container sizes are available (8 ft and 27 ft), and you can rent multiple containers.
  • Storage: You can store your container at a U-Pack location for as long as you need
  • Labor: The basic service does not include labor. You are free to hire help as needed.

U-Pack Cost

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 a trailer would be needed. This would involve a transit time of 5-7 days and would cost $3,375. This price is all-inclusive.

When using U-Pack’s 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 units. To determine exactly what your move might cost, be sure to request a free quote!

U-Pack Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $600 – $1,600 $1,200 – $2,200 $1,600 – $2,600 $2,100 – $3,100
4 BR $800 – $1,800 $1,800 – $2,800 $2,800 – $3,800 $4,100 – $5,100

 

Get a Free Quote From U-Pack

U-Pack’s Availability

U-Pack has 240 locations across the United States, providing top-rated long-distance moving services to all 50 states. They even serve Alaska and Hawaii. Just keep in mind that they have a minimum travel requirement of 150 miles.

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.

8. PODS

Most Convenient Service

4.6
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
  • Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')

PODS is one of the longest operating self-service moving and storage companies available today. Their pods are available for both local and long-distance moves, with wide availability across the country. With three size options and 30-day rental periods, they have flexible booking options to meet any home size or schedule. If you’re willing to do the loading and unloading yourself, you can enjoy a more relaxed and more affordable move.

PODS Services

PODS is a self-service option like U-Pack. They will deliver your containers to your home, allow you to load them at your own pace, then ship them to your new home for you. Here’s what you can select:

  • Containers: Three container sizes are available, including 7 ft, 12 ft (local only), and 16 ft. You can rent as many different containers as you need.
  • Storage: You can store your container at a PODS location or on your own property.
  • Labor: The basic service does not include labor. You can hire one of PODS partners, do it yourself, or work with another company.

PODS Cost

While PODS can be slightly more expensive than U-Pack for long-distance relocations, they are still far more affordable than a full-service move. Here’s what you can expect to pay for moves of varying home size and distance:

PODS Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $700 – $1,700 $1,300 – $2,300 $1,700 – $2,700 $2,200 – $3,200
4 BR $900 – $1,900 $1,900 – $2,900 $2,900 – $3,900 $4,200 – $5,200

 

Get a Free Quote From PODS

PODS Availability

PODS provides reliable local and long-distance services to 45 states. They do not currently serve Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, or Wyoming. They are also available in the following Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Why We Like PODS

PODS has a long history in the business. They have the infrastructure in place to ensure streamlined delivery and shipment of their containers. We also love that you can keep your pod at your own home, serving as a perfect temporary storage solution while you unpack, remodel a home, or more. You can save big on your move if you are willing to manage the loading process yourself.

9. 1-800-PACK-RAT

Best Long Distance Moving Container

4.5
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Company
  • Storage On Your Property or at PACK-RAT Facility
  • Three Container Sizes (8', 12' & 16')

1-800-PACK-RAT is another terrific self-service option, available for both local and long-distance moves. While they do not have as broad of a service area as PODS or U-Pack, they are still worth consideration if they operate near you. With three container options and one month rentals, they offer a flexible and affordable solution that’s ideal for small to midsize homes. Here’s everything you need to know:

Pack Rat Services

  • Containers: Choose from three container sizes ranging from 8 to 16 ft, ideal for anything from a studio apartment to a two bedroom home. If you have a larger home, you can rent more than one container.
  • Storage: You can store your container at a Pack Rat facility or on-site at your home.
  • Labor: You can save the most money with Pack Rat by doing the labor yourself. If needed, however, you can hire hourly labor through one of their partners.

Pack Rat Cost

In the table below, we’ve gathered data from real moves with Pack Rat. As you can see, they are a bit more expensive than U-Pack and PODS but still very budget friendly. They don’t offer a “pay for what you use” policy like U-Pack, but they have been known to match competitor quotes. Be sure to get estimates from multiple companies and ask your rep about their discount options.

Pack Rat Sample Pricing

  <250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $800 – $2,000 $1,400 – $2,400 $1,800 – $3,000 $2,300 – $3,500
4 BR $1,000 – $2,200 $2,200 – $3,200 $3,200 – $4,200 $4,500 – $5,400

 

Get a Free Quote From Pack Rat

Pack Rat Availability

Pack Rat has facilities in 30 states around the U.S., managing both local and long-distance relocations. They do NOT currently serve the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

Why We Like Pack Rat

Pack Rat claims to have the most weatherproof containers in the industry. If you have valuable items and don’t want to take any changes on water damage from rain, they are worth your consideration. All-steel construction helps to ensure the container is durable and secure while keeping the elements out. We also love the relaxed feel of a move with up to 30 days to load and unload your items.

Get A Free 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
  • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
  • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

Best for Extended Storage

4.6
  • Local, National, & International Moving
  • Extensive Add-On Service Options
  • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

Best Customer Service

4.6
  • Personalized Approach To Moving
  • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
  • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

Best Moving Add-ons

4.6
  • Local, Long-Distance & International Moves
  • Direct Carrier to All 48 Continental US States
  • Storage Options Available

Best for Military Moves

4.5
  • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
  • Long-Distance Moving Only
  • Packing & One Month Storage Included

Best Insurance Options

4.5
  • Local, Interstate, Local, & International Moving
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App
  • Low-Interest Financing Available

Most Competitive Pricing

4.7
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
  • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

Most Convenient Service

4.6
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Can Store PODS on Property or Storage Facility
  • Three Container Sizes (7', 12' & 16')

Best Long Distance Moving Container

4.5
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving Container Company
  • Storage On Your Property or at PACK-RAT Facility
  • Three Container Sizes (8', 12' & 16')

Browse Movers By State

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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 with. Starting with your top choice, call 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.

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.

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.

Ways to Move Long-Distance

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

Full-Service

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 Containers

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 Trucks

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 to Move Long-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 Add-On 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.

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
  • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

Best for Extended Storage

Allied Van Lines

4.6
  • Local, National, & International Moving
  • Extensive Add-On Service Options
  • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

Best Customer Service

North American Van Lines

4.6
  • Personalized Approach To Moving
  • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
  • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

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.

Long-Distance Moving 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. 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 the FMCSA website for the company’s DOT number. You can easily cross-reference their DOT number to find out if they are licensed and view their complaint history. All moving companies are issued a DOT number. If you don’t see the company listed in the FMCSA’s database, 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.