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5 Best Long Distance Movers In California

Whether you’re moving from San Francisco to San Diego or from Los Angeles to New York City, packing up and relocating far away can be stressful. To help make your move as efficient, stress-free and affordable as possible, consider working with one of the best long-distance movers in California. Read our reviews and request quotes from multiple companies to find the right mover for your needs.

Best for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

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

Best for Protection Insurance

JK Moving Services

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

Top Long-Distance Moving Companies in California

Every long-distance moving company is unique, specializing in different services and serving different areas. It’s also important to know that some movers act as a carrier in certain areas but as a broker in others, contracting work through local partner companies.

It’s important to get a quote from multiple movers to ensure you get the best deal for your needs. Having backup plans and exploring all your options can help ensure that you have the right moving team with no unpleasant surprises on moving day.

Here’s a quick overview of the best long-distance moving companies in California. Request a free quote for each that you’re interested in working with:

Provider Quote Superlative Average Cost (Local) Average Cost (Long-Distance) Service Model
International Van Lines Free Quote Best Full-Service Mover $600 – $1,200 $1,900 – $4,900 Carrier, broker
American Van Lines Free Quote Best Moving Add-Ons $500 – $1,000 $2,300 – $5,300 Carrier
Safeway Moving System Free Quote Best for Military Moves N/A (long-distance only) $2,100 – $5,100 Broker
JK Moving Services Free Quote Most Customizable Moves Call for a quote $2,500 – $5,500 Carrier, broker
U-Pack Free Quote Most Competitive Pricing N/A (long-distance only) $1,200 – $2,200 Moving container service

* Long-distance average cost is based on aggregate data from customer reviews for a two-bedroom home, moving 500 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

International Van Lines (IVL) is one of the country’s top-rated moving companies. Though they provide local moving services, they really shine when it comes to international and long-distance moves. IVL has over 20 years of experience moving to 180 different countries and has consistently high customer reviews. A full-service mover offering a wealth services to make your move as convenient as possible, IVL is our top choice for long-distance moving in California—and throughout the country.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of a la carte moving services
  • More than 20 years of experience in the moving industry
  • Provides ballpark estimates online and in-person finalized estimates

Cons

  • Cannot complete booking without making a phone call with a representative

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

A full-service moving company, IVL currently offers the following list of services:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating
  • Specialized packing services for fragile items
  • Short-term and long-term storage services
  • Packing supplies
  • Auto transportation services
  • Military moving services
  • Corporate relocation services

Cost

Using IVL’s Moving Cost Calculator, we were able to get the following estimates for different home sizes moving from Sacramento to Los Angeles, CA. These estimates include loading and transportation services.

<250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,700 – $4,700 $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

2. American Van Lines: Best Moving Service Add-Ons

With more than 25 years of experience in the moving industry, American Van Lines is one of the best long-distance movers in California. AVL offers a complete range of full-service moving options, including military and international moving services. The company also offers a price-match policy that can help you get the best quote possible on your move.

Pros

  • Provides background-verified movers
  • Offers a price-matching policy that can reduce the cost of your move
  • Never outsources your move to a third party company
  • Offers binding estimates

Cons

  • Requires a down payment as high as 50% of the total cost of your move
  • Estimates were higher than with competing companies

Best Moving Add-ons

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

Services

In addition to loading and transportation services, American Van Lines offers the following services:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Storage unit arrangement
  • Specialty packing services for items like pianos and antiques
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating for large items (like pianos)
  • Moving supplies
  • Corporate moves
  • Military moves
  • International moves
  • Commercial moves

Cost

American Van Lines strives to provide the most accurate pricing possible for each of its clients, so it does not offer online estimates currently. You can fill out a quote form online, but you will need to speak to a representative to complete your estimate. We requested a few estimates from the company, moving from Los Angeles, CA for different distances and home sizes. Here’s what we were quoted to give you an example of AVL’s pricing:

<250 mi 500 mi 1,000 mi 2,000 mi
2 BR $1,400 – $4,400 $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

3. Safeway Moving Systems: Best for Military Moves

Unlike some of the other movers on our list, Safeway Moving Systems is a broker, not a carrier. As a broker, Safeway helps you pay less for your move by contacting trusted companies in your area and negotiating the best price.

Some people believe that working with a moving broker will involve dozens of hidden fees after getting an initially low quote. While there are dishonest brokers out there, you can rest easy when you work with Safeway Moving. Safeway provides a binding rate with no hidden fees and a 100% guarantee of a safe and timely delivery for your move.

Pros

  • Offers binding estimates
  • Moves are 100% guaranteed
  • May help you get a lower-priced move by using connections with local moving teams

Cons

  • Services provided can vary depending on local teams you’re linked with
  • Acts as a broker, not a full-service moving company itself

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

Services

As a broker, Safeway Moving Systems does not provide moving services itself, but it can help to coordinate the following services on your behalf:

  • Long-distance moving services
  • Local moving services
  • Storage services

Cost

It is difficult to gauge pricing with Safeway Moving Systems, because the local moving companies they work with all have their own unique pricing structures. The best way to determine what your move will cost is to request a free quote from the company online.

<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 $3,700 – $6,700 $4,500 – $7,500 $7,800 – $10,800

4. JK Moving Services: Best for Protection Insurance

If you’re searching for a truly stress-free moving experience, JK Moving Services should be at the top of your list. As one of the best long-distance moving companies in California, JK offers a complete range of a la carte moving services. With their flexible service and pricing options, it’s easy to customize your move to your exact needs.

Pros

  • Wide range of customizable services
  • GPS tracking for your shipment
  • Provides free in-home estimates
  • Offers a mobile app experience
  • Employees trained annually to ensure consistency

Cons

  • Storage services are outsourced to third-part companies

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

Services

JK Moving offers one of the widest selections of moving services we’ve seen from long-distance movers in California, including the following:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Long-term and short-term storage unit arrangement
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Freighting
  • Crating
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly services
  • Specialty services for items like antiques and pianos
  • Specialized moving services for law firms, hospitals, and other specialized workplaces
  • Corporate relocation services
  • Government moving services
  • Archive services
  • Auto relocation services

Cost

Like Safeway Moving Services, JK Moving’s team prefers to issue its estimates after you have the chance to speak with a representative. This helps to ensure the most accurate pricing for your needs. Comparing more than 21,000 individual customer reviews, the average homeowner moving long-distance with JK Moving Services paid about $4,500. You can get a free quote from JK Moving here:

5. U-Pack: Most Competitive Pricing

If you’re searching for a more affordable way to move and don’t mind doing a little bit of work yourself, U-Pack can be a fantastic solution. U-Pack is a moving container company that provides you with a secure container that you’ll use to load your belongings. Once you’re finished loading the container, U-Pack will transport your pod to your new home, where you’ll unpack. Simple and cost-effective, U-Pack is a fantastic alternative to moving truck rentals and full-service movers.

Pros

  • Cost-effective alternative to renting a moving truck
  • Variety of container sizes available
  • Can claim a written estimate online

Cons

  • Loading and unloading services not available
  • 3-day loading and unloading time is less generous than competitors

Most Competitive Pricing

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

Services

U-Pack is a moving container service that accommodates the following moving needs:

  • Long-distance moving services
  • Storage services

U-Pack also accommodates special types of moves, like small moves and military moves.

Cost

You can get a quote for most moves from U-Pack entirely online. The price of your move will vary depending on the size of your home and the distance you’re traveling. When we requested a quote for a move from Sacramento, CA to Dallas, TX, we received an estimated price of $3,372. We were able to request a few more estimates moving from Los Angeles, CA for different distances and home sizes:

<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 more accurate estimate for your move by filling out a request form on their site:

Comparing Long Distance Movers in California

The best California long-distance movers vary in the specific services that they offer. Even between full-service moving companies, some movers provide better service than others in select areas. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular moving services and whether you can find them through our recommended providers.

Providers Packing Unpacking Disassemble/Reassemble Furniture Storage Clean-Up Packing Supplies
International Van Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
American Van Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Safeway Moving Yes Varies Varies Yes Varies Varies
JK Moving Yes Yes Yes Yes No Available with full-service packing
U-Pack No No No Yes No No

Some of the most requested services include:

  • Packing: You can hire full-service movers to pack your things on your behalf.
  • Unpacking: You can hire your movers to unpack your things at your new home and organize them for you after the transportation of your shipment is complete.
  • Furniture assembly: To reduce space as you pack your belongings, it can be beneficial to disassemble your furniture before. Some full-service companies will do this for you, and they’ll put your furniture back together once you arrive as well.
  • Storage services: If your move-in and move-out dates don’t exactly line up, you might need to put your things in temporary storage before you unload everything. Some movers may be able to arrange storage for you on your behalf.
  • Clean up: If you’re selling your home or moving out of a rented space, you don’t want to leave a mess behind for the next resident to clean up. Some moving companies provide clean-up services that ensure all of your trash, unused packing supplies, and discarded furniture is properly thrown away or recycled when you move out.
  • Packing supplies: If you don’t have the time to gather your own packing supplies, some moving companies will be able to get them for you. You might even be able to get a discount on these supplies when you buy them in bulk through your moving company.

What to Look for in a Long Distance Moving Company

Here are a few helpful resources when searching for the best California long-distance moving companies:

  • Licensed & Insured. You should always ensure your mover is licensed and insured. If they are not, they are not legally allowed to operate in the state, and you should not use them.
  • USDOT & MC Number. USDOT number is assigned to all companies that transport passengers or cargo in and out of states, including moving companies. An MC number gives a company authority to operate between states. Both of these numbers are company identifiers that legitimate companies will have. If your mover doesn’t have these, that’s a red flag.
  • Check FMCA Data. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal agency tasked with regulating and overseeing the safety of commercial motor vehicles, including moving trucks. The FMCSA requires moving companies to register with them. You can search the FMCSA Mover Database with a company’s USDOT number or MC number—or you can browse the FMCA’s list of registered moving companies in the state of California. Through these resources, you can find the company’s office location, contact information, complaints, and safety rating.
  • BBB Accreditation. You should also search for companies that are Better Business Bureau Companies with this accreditation are overseen by the BBB and abide by their code of ethics and safety regulations. The BBB site also offers a free quote service where you can and get and compare quotes from different companies in one place.

California Moving Regulations

Moving companies that operate between states are licensed and regulated at the federal level. Moving companies completing moves within the state of California are also subject to state-based licensing and regulations. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Licensing & Insurance. Movers in California are required to obtain licensing via the Bureau of Household Goods & Services (BHGS). California also mandates that movers provide insurance, with a minimum coverage level of $0.60 / pound.
  • Quote Process. California requires moving providers to conduct an in-person (or virtual) inspection prior to giving final quotes. Additionally, estimates must be written, not simply provided over the phone.
  • Pricing Caps. The CA Public Utilities Commission mandates maximum rates in the state. Additionally, movers in the state must notify you of a rate that will not be exceeded for a given level of service. Keep in mind that they can still change the rate if your service needs change.
  • CMSA Designation. Moving companies in California should have a CMSA The designation is given to those companies that follow the CMSA’s code of ethics, as well as cleanliness and safety measures.

The California Moving & Storage Association is a good resource when you’re looking for a moving company in California. The site offers tips for the entire moving process, from start to finish. You should also check out the Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods handbook, which holds a lot of useful information for people who are planning a move.

California Moving Trends

According to 2020 US Census data, California continues to be the most populated state in the US, but population growth has waned over the last ten years. In 2020, there were 436,464 moves into California and 647,777 moves out of California. That’s a net of 211,313 people leaving the state.

Here are some key California moving trends:

Where are Californians Moving To?

In a 2020 study, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute tracked California address changes. They identified the following states as the five most popular destinations for Californians to move to:

  • Texas (70,000 moves)
  • Arizona (58,000 moves)
  • Nevada (48,000 moves)
  • Washington (47,500 moves)
  • Oregon (38,000 moves)

Where are People Moving to California From?

State-to-state migration data from the US Census Bureau reveals popular moving destinations between states. Here are the states that the most people are moving to California from:

  • New York (37,567 moves)
  • Texas (37,063 moves)
  • Washington (31,882 moves)
  • Arizona (28,226 moves)
  • Nevada (26,433 moves)

Popular Moving Destinations in California

So, where exactly are people moving to in California? Pro Mover Reviews recently produced a study on the Fastest Growing Cities in California, highlighting the most popular destinations within the Golden State:

  • Vernon, CA (98.2% population growth)
  • Lathrop, CA (59.2% population growth)
  • Dublin, CA (57.7% population growth)
  • Irvine, CA (44.9% population growth)
  • Beaumont (43.8% population growth)

Best for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

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

Benefits of Using a Long Distance Moving Company

The right long-distance moving company can make your move easier and less stressful. But why should you consider working with professional movers? Some of the biggest benefits that come with working with a professional mover include:

  • Less damage: Most full-service moving companies provide professional-grade packing services and include supplies used by the pros too. Movers know how to pack each item to ensure that nothing is damaged.
  • Specialized packing services: Unless you have experience working for a professional moving company, you probably don’t have the knowledge or special tools needed to properly pack things like fragile antiques, paintings, and pianos. If you’re packing any of these items for your trip, we highly suggest hiring a professional moving company. Moving companies have professional equipment used to move these fragile items in order to prevent damage.
  • Save time: Moving can be time-consuming. Hiring a moving company to handle your moves from start to finish speeds up the moving process. Movers know the best ways to pack, load, and transport your things to help everything move along as efficiently as possible.
  • Prevent injuries: Injuries like strained muscles, heat exhaustion, and hernias are exceptionally common during a move, because moving typically involves lifting many heavy objects. This can be especially dangerous if you’re moving with children or you have an older family member helping you move. Hiring a team of movers lowers your risk of injury by taking care of the heavy lifting for you.

No matter why you want to hire a professional moving company, be sure that you know all of your options and explore before you decide which specific company will provide you with the easiest move possible.

Planning Your Move

While a long-distance move may sound like a stressful experience, it doesn’t need to be. If you take steps in advance to prepare, things can go smoothly on moving day. Here are a few steps that you can take to make your moving experience as easy as possible:

  • Create a moving plan that begins months in advance of the day you need to be in your new home
  • Start packing early or arrange for packing services from your moving company on the day of your move for an additional fee
  • Consider all of your moving needs before you choose a moving company and consider which services you’re willing to pay extra for
  • Get a free moving quote from more than one moving company, as pricing may vary drastically between service providers
  • Search for reviews on multiple third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp before you decide if a company is worth working with

Finally, be sure to get all of your estimates from moving companies in writing. This way, you’ll be able to notice if your moving company attempts to charge you additional fees on moving day. If a moving company refuses to provide you with a written estimate, you should consider your continuing your search with other providers.

Our Rating 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 different moving companies that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the top 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 for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

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

FAQs for Moving Companies in California

How can I move long-distance cheaply?

The cheapest way to move long distance is to use a moving truck to provide your own transportation and loading services. If you cannot drive to your new location, a moving container service like U-Pack would be the next most affordable option.

Where are the best places to move in California?

The state’s capital, Sacramento, is one of the top places to live in California, considering value, desirability, quality of life and the job market. Los Angeles, San Diego, Lake Tahoe and Santa Rosa follow Sacramento as some of the best places to live.

What is the average cost of a long distance move?

The average cost of a long-distance move of 1,000 miles from a 2-3 bedroom location is about $4,890. Pricing can vary, but you can expect a long-distance move to cost you upwards of $1,000 no matter what.