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Moving From California To Tennessee: Benefits, Cost & More

Moving from California to Tennessee is a major change. It’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of moving across the country to a new state. We’ve done all of the necessary research to help you decide if this move is right for you.

    Best Movers from California to Tennessee

    If you’ve already made up your mind and are ready to move to Tennessee, here are the best companies to work with today. Each company listed here has a strong reputation in the industry and is fully licensed for interstate operations. Be sure to compare quotes so you can get the best rate before booking:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

    • 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

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

    Best Customer Service

    North American Van Lines

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support
    Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
    International Van Lines
    Best Full-Service Mover Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,400 – $5,400 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $4,200 – $7,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $2,100 – $3,100 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 2,000 mile two-bedroom move. 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.

    Should You Move from California to Tennessee?

    There are many great reasons to move to Tennessee. A thriving music scene, mild winters, and beautiful scenery are just a few reasons why it is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Here we’ll compare the two states in terms of home costs, general cost of living, job opportunities, culture and more:

    Housing Costs

    Housing is far more affordable in Tennessee than in California. If your income level stays the same after your move, then you’ll be able to afford a far more comfortable life by moving. Here’s a quick breakdown of average housing costs between these states:

    California Tennessee CA to TN
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $683,996 $248,950 -$435,046 (-63.6%)
    Avg. Rent (source) $2,542 $1,190 -$1,352 (-53.2%)
    Utilities (source) $401 $397 -$4 (-1%)


    • Home Cost. Tennessee’s average home price is below the national average at $248,950. This is 63% less than what you would pay in California. You could either enjoy a much bigger home than where you currently live or pocket the substantial difference.
    • Rent. Rent is also much more affordable in Tennessee. While rates are of course higher in more urban areas, on average you can reduce your rent by nearly half by moving to the Volunteer State.
    • Utilities. Savings on monthly utility bills will be negligible, but the savings on rent or mortgage payments can more than make up for this.

    Cost of Living

    The overall cost of living in Tennessee is nearly 13% lower than national average costs and 18% less than California. Here’s a quick look at cost differences for common necessities and amenities:

    Expense CA to TN
    Groceries -18.3%
    Restaurants -12.6%
    Transportation -22.2%
    Childcare -27.6%
    Entertainment -26.2%
    Clothes -5.4%
    Average Savings -18.7%


    • Food. Both groceries and dining out are typically less expensive in Tennessee. A fast food combo meal in California, for example, is $8.29—10% more expensive than Tennessee’s $7.41. As another example, a loaf of bread in CA will run you about $3.30 but only $2.25 in TN.
    • Childcare. If you have children or would like to start a family soon, you can keep more money in your pocket by making the move outside of California. For things like preschool, private school, or daycare, you can save an average of 27%.
    • Sales Tax. Both states have high sales taxes, with California at 7.25% and Tennessee at 7%. This is higher than the national average of 5.09%.

    Weather & Climate

    The weather may not seem like a major factor to consider when moving, but it can make a difference in quality of life. Here’s how the two states compare:

    California Tennessee CA to TN
    Average Temp July 87.1 85.7 -1.4
    Comfort Index Summer 8.7/10 7.1/10 -1.8
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 44.8 -8.7
    Comfort Index Winter 7.5/10 6.2/10 -0.8
    Average Sunny Days 69% 57% -13%
    Average Daily Rainfall (in) 1.69 3.55 1.86


    As a large coastal state, California’s climate ranges from desert to alpine. From summer highs in the upper 80’s winter lows in the upper 30’s, California is temperate. It has a reputation for exceptional weather, with many beautiful sunny days throughout the year.

    Tennessee’s weather is not as nice as California, but it is still fairly mild. Tennessee’s climate is also far more uniform than California, due to its location and smaller size. You can expect warm, more humid summers and mild winters. There is also much more precipitation and less sunny days.

    Job Opportunities

    At 3.6%, Tennessee’s unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the national average. It is also lower than California’s unemployment rate of 6.9%. Here’s a quick look at salary expectations, income taxes, and more:

    • Major Industries. Throughout the course of 2021, the state has seen rapid growth in non-agricultural employment. This signals an improving situation for employers and employees alike. Employment opportunities in healthcare, the music and entertainment industry, transportation, banking, and finance are readily available.
    • Average Salary. The average annual salary in Tennessee is $56,888. This is 8% lower than California, where the average annual salary is $62,356. If you can keep your Californian salary and move to Tennessee, great! If not, however, you can still save more money due to the much lower cost of living.
    • Income Taxes. Tennessee is one of only a few states that does not have individual income taxes. This means more of your money can remain in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam’s. California, however, has a bracketed tax system with rates ranging from 1-13.3%.

    Things to Do

    California is home to some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions and national parks. Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Hollywood, and Big Sur are all open for exploration and entertainment.

    Tennessee has plenty of activities to enjoy as well. The music hubs of Nashville and Memphis are full of venues and nightlife—and, let’s not forget Graceland. Outside of the cities, you’ll find beautiful landscapes and hiking trails throughout the Smoky Mountains. Tennessee is also home to more than 1,300 lakes and reservoirs, along with numerous waterways for boating and fishing.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    California tends to lean more liberal than the rest of the country. This is especially true in its larger cities, where there is usually a faster pace of life. For many, the allure of Tennessee lies in the potential for a less hectic lifestyle. The Volunteer State is also famous for its barbecue and whiskey, which are well worth acquainting yourself with when you move here.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to Tennessee?

    Moving from California to Tennessee is going to be expensive. You’ll be traveling between 2,000 and 2,500 miles to reach your new home. With that in mind, we’ve surveyed the nation’s top moving companies to provide you with estimates to help you budget. You should get quotes prior to booking with any mover. Personalized estimates are the best way to get accurate and competitive rates for your move.

    Average Moving Costs

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $2,400 – $5,400 $6,200 – $9,200 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $4,400 – $7,400 $10,900 – $13,900 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,700 – $5,700 $7,800 – $10,800 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $2,100 – $3,100 $4,100 – $5,100 Free Quote
    PODS $2,200 – $3,200 $4,200 – $5,200 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $2,000 – $2,700 $2,300 – $3,000 Free Quote


    Cost Factors

    There are several factors that will affect your bottom line during a move. The following deserve your immediate consideration when planning your relocation:

    • Move Distance & Shipment Weight: These are the primary factors that determine your move cost for long-distance relocations. Hourly labor charges will not be a factor when you book such a move with a full-service provider.
    • Season: Peak moving season is between May and September. Moving during this time can be more expensive due to increased demand. You should book well in advance if you plan to move during the spring or summer.
    • Advance Booking: If you book your move within the last week prior to your move date, then you will likely be charged increased rates for short notice. Booking ahead of time can help to reduce costs and your stress.
    • Service Requirements: Add-on services like packing or crating can substantially inflate your final move cost. These should be discussed with your coordinator during any estimates you receive.

    Best Places to Live in Tennessee

    If you’re still looking for a place to live in The Volunteer State, then the following communities are worth your consideration. Each offers some of the best aspects of Tennessee living:

    Brentwood, TN

    This Nashville suburb of 45,000 consistently ranks among the best places to live in Tennessee and in the nation. The town has excellent schools with a high rate of high school graduation. Numerous parks and a high safety rating make it a great place to raise a family. However, you’ll pay handsomely to live here. Median home costs are among the highest in the state.

    Find the Best Brentwood, TN Movers

    Franklin, TN

    Located conveniently near Nashville, Franklin is a large town that offers many of the same amenities as Brentwood at a lower price point. The town is home to historical sites and a bustling downtown area with numerous restaurants to choose from.

    Find the Best Franklin, TN Movers

    Collierville, TN

    Collierville is a Memphis suburb located about 30 miles outside the center of the city. The cost of living here is reasonable, considering its in-demand status and high resident income. Its historic downtown area provides plenty of amenities to all who live here.

    Find the Best Collierville, TN Movers

    Murfreesboro, TN

    Murfreesboro is home to 152,000 residents and has grown 40% since the last census. It is a relatively small city that still has plenty of open spaces, including 12 miles of trails. Housing costs are still reasonable here.

    Find the Best Murfreesboro, TN Movers

    Spring Hill, TN

    Spring Hill is another fast-growing municipality. Its population of 50,000 is up 72% in the last decade, fueled mainly by the presence of major employers. These include General Motors, Kroger, APEX Turbine Technologies, and many more. Good schools mean this place is ideal whether you’re starting a career or a family.

    Find the Best Spring Hill, TN Movers

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    You should fully vet and evaluate any moving company you consider for your move. The following are some leading factors to consider prior to booking:

    • Service Profile: All moving companies offer varied ranges of service at different price points. When you take inventory of your home, you should make a list of any services you need. Discuss your needs during moving estimates to rule out companies that can’t meet your requirements or budget.
    • Agreeable Pricing: Getting quotes from several moving providers is the best way to book at the most competitive rate.
    • Well-Reviewed: All moving companies depend on positive customer reviews to land more clients. Look into such feedback for all movers you consider. Social media, Google, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau are all valid sources to consult.
    • FMCSA Registration: All moving companies conducting interstate business must be registered with the FMCSA. This governing body requires that such movers carry active USDOT and MC numbers. These can be used to research a given mover’s registration status and complaint history through this link.
    • Workers’ Compensation: All moving companies must carry this form of insurance. It protects you in the event of a work-related injury during your move. Without such coverage, you could be held liable for damages.
    • Released Liability Coverage: This provides for a baseline level of reimbursement in case of loss or damage to your goods during a move. At $0.60 per pound, per item, it won’t cover the value of most items. However, you can purchase valuation coverage through most movers if you choose.

    Start Planning Your Move Today

    You should begin planning your move around eight weeks ahead of time. Begin taking inventory of your home and researching movers near you. Six weeks ahead of your move, you should have multiple moving estimates scheduled. After evaluating your options, you should aim to have your move booked a month in advance. Planning ahead can help to reduce your cost and stress levels. Here are some of the best companies available to help with a move from California to Tennessee:

    Best Full-Service Mover

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

    Best for Extended Storage

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

    Best Customer Service

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

    Most Reliable

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

    Most Competitive Pricing

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

    Moving from California to Tennessee FAQs

    What is the Tennessee Promise Program?

    The Tennessee Promise Program is a scholarship program that allows any graduate of a Tennessee high school to attend a community or technical college, free of charge. In a time when student loan debt is a problem facing many American families, this is a huge help for those with children who want to further their education.

    Are sports popular in Tennessee?

    While the state has very few professional sports franchises, sports and athletics are very much a part of the culture here. The NFL’s Tennessee Titans, NHL’s Nashville Predators, and NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies represent the major American sports. Support for local college teams in the SEC also rivals the fandoms of many major league teams.

    Is there more to the Tennessee music scene than gospel and country music?

    Aside from the notable country, gospel, and bluegrass scenes in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee hosts numerous major festivals each year. Bonnaroo, the Riverbend Music Festival, and Fire on the Water Music Festival are just a few of the notable events you can attend if you live here.