While there are thousands of moving companies in the US to choose from, knowing how to catch the red flags and check all right boxes can help you avoid scams and headaches. In this guide, we’ll help you find the best moving company so you can focus on settling into your new home with ease.
1. Know What You’re Looking For
Brokers vs. Carriers
Moving Container Companies
2. Start with Company Credentials
- Department of Transportation number
- Mover license numbers through the FMCSA
- Physical address and contact information
- Basic liability insurance
- Accreditation or reviews with the Better Business Bureau
- Membership with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)
- ProMover accreditation
- Top customer reviews
- Industry awards
- Customer testimonials
- Additional liability insurance options
- Proof of staff background checks
- Experience in your area
- Experience with complex or long-distance moves
- Extra services and access to supplies
- Designated moving coordinator
3. Consider Your Budget
Average Cost of a Move
Assess Your Costs
- Home inventory
- Distance of your move
- Moving date
- Size of your home
- Staircases, elevators, or other transport obstacles
- Special items or services
- Tipping and travel fees
Consider Cost Efficiency
4. Turn to the Community
- Customer communication
- Clear estimate and contact process
- Upfront costs
- Local or long-distance moving experience
- Damaged or lost property
- Large deposits
- Missed delivery window
- Rude staff
5. Request a Moving Estimate
- When your final payment or payments are due
- Terms of payment after deposit
- How you will receive your receipt after each payment
- Up to $0.60 per pound per item
- May have stipulations regarding carrier negligence
- Does not cover true cost of the item
- Replacement or repair of broken items
- Compensation for a larger portion of the item’s value
- Full coverage on all items
Cancellation and Other Policies
- When can I cancel my move and is there a cancellation fee?
- Will I be reimbursed if you miss your delivery window?
- Which factors will increase my final bill?
6. Trust Your Gut
FAQs About How to Choose a Moving Company
How Do I Know if a Moving Company is Legitimate?
Organizations like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allow you to search for a moving company’s credentials for free. Search their mover database to find information like a company’s license and USDOT numbers.
The company should also have a website, phone number, and physical mailing address. Finalize your search by checking with the Better Business Bureau and ProtectYourMove for past complaints.
What Questions Should I Ask a Moving Company?
Here are some important questions to ask moving companies:
- What is included in your basic moving contract?
- Do you offer add-on moving services?
- Can you provide customer testimonials?
- What are your payment and cancellation policies?
- What can I expect on moving day?
How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers?
There are many factors that go into the final cost of your move, but the average cost ranges between $550 and $7,500. Your move will depend on the following details:
- Whether it’s a local or long-distance move
- The number of rooms in your home
- The weight of your items
- Your moving date (summer prices tend to be higher than winter ones, for example)
- Extra services like packing, unpacking, and storages
- Tariffs, tolls, and parking fees
- The structure of your home (flights of stairs or elevators)
- Front door access and ease of parking
While most local movers base their estimates on an hourly rate, long-haul moves out greater consideration on distance and the number of things you need to be transported.
With the right team of professionals by your side, moving day should be a breeze. Take the time during your research process to find a moving company that has earned top customer reviews and a highly respected industry reputation.