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Moving From Florida to California: Benefits, Cost & More

Are you thinking about moving from Florida to California? If you are, you should start preparing for your journey well in advance. Moving between Florida and California will have you traveling more than 2,700 miles—so thorough planning is required for a successful move.

    We’ve created a comprehensive guide for anyone considering moving from Florida to California. Read on to learn more about how costs between the two states vary, what you can expect to pay for moving services, a few reputable moving companies you can work with, and much more.

    Best Movers from Florida to California

    If you’re ready to move, here are the best options available to help you relocate between these states. We’ve included excellent options for both full-service and self-service moves:

    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 $2,100 – $5,100 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $2,600 – $5,600 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,200 – $5,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $1,600 – $2,600 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 1,000 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 Florida to California?

    Should you move from Florida to California? Suppose you’re looking to escape Florida’s infamously oppressing summer temperatures. In that case, California might be the right destination for you—many parts of the state see all four seasons, and the Golden State’s size means you can find a wider range of climates to choose from. California also boasts a unique culture, with a stark divide between the north and the south.

    The major downside of moving to California is the state’s cost of living. California’s housing prices are astronomically high, and renters don’t fare much better. You’ll also pay more for almost everything, including groceries, childcare, and fuel for your car.

    Let’s take a closer look at a few of the characteristics of both states that you may want to compare when thinking about moving from Florida to California.

    Housing Costs

    California has long been known for its hot, competitive real estate market. As a result, home prices in California are more expensive than in most other states. California’s most expensive city for homeowners is San Francisco, where the median home price is a staggering $1,471,200. Even more affordable parts of the state have higher-than-average median home prices. For example, the median home price in Los Angeles is $883,400, while San Diego’s median home price is $812,100. The average renter in California pays about $1,500 per month for their rent, but this figure varies drastically by city. These expenses are one of the reasons why many Californians are relocating to Florida.

    Both renters and homeowners will have an easier time affording their accommodations in Florida. The city in Florida with the highest median home price is Miami, where you can expect to pay around $398,100 for a home. However, in more affordable parts of the state (like Jacksonville or Orlando), you can pay between $216,000 and $233,000 for your property. Renting is also more affordable in Florida than in California. The average renter in Florida pays about $1,175 per month for their space, which is hundreds of dollars more affordable than California.

    Cost of Living

    When it comes to the cost of living, Florida is significantly cheaper than most parts of California. The average cost of living in Florida is about 3% above the national average, while California’s average cost of living is the highest in the country at 50% above the national average. Some of the largest discrepancies in price you’ll see if you decide to move to California will be in transportation, entertainment, and childcare.

    For example, you’ll pay about 20% more for your transportation costs after your move, thanks to California’s infamous traffic—and you’ll also pay some of the highest car insurance premiums as well. California imposes a state income tax on its residents that varies depending on your income—you might pay up to 12.3% of your income to state taxes in addition to whatever you owe federally.

    Meanwhile, Florida has no state income tax. While you still need to file and pay federal taxes as a Florida resident, you don’t need to file a separate state income tax form. Think carefully about your current income and job prospects before deciding to move to California from Florida—you’ll likely be paying more for everything from day-to-day necessities to date nights.

    Weather & Climate

    Though California is famous for its beach culture and surfer lifestyle, many parts of the state see all four seasons. Northern parts of the state may even experience snow during the winter season, which cannot be said for Florida. Though climates and average temperatures vary depending on which part of California you’re in, temperatures during the summer months are rarely oppressive. The hottest month in Los Angeles county is typically August when residents can expect average daily high temperatures to hover around 84 degrees. Summers are milder, with an average high temperature of 79 degrees in October.

    If you’re a sun worshiper, you’ll also get a fair amount of heat in Florida. Most parts of the Sunshine State are classified as having a humid subtropical climate, resulting in muggy summers and warm, short winters. The weather in Florida typically doesn’t see temperatures lower than 40 degrees, even in the coldest winter months. Snow is incredibly rare, even in the northern parts of the state. Florida is also known for its unpredictable weather changes, which occur as a result of living on a peninsula. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and other major weather events that form over the Atlantic Ocean can all drastically affect Florida’s weather.

    Job Opportunities

    If you’ve never lived in Florida, you might think that most of the economic activity in the Sunshine State is related to tourism. While tourism and hospitality services play a major role in Florida’s economy, they aren’t the largest or most in-demand sectors when looking at available job opportunities. Florida’s biggest industry is aerospace and aviation and is the birthplace of aviation. Florida has 130 public-use airports and 20 commercial airports in addition to 1,755 aerospace and aviation companies. Agriculture and clean technology are also sectors in Florida that are expected to continue to grow.

    Like Florida, many residents of the United States might have a warped view of the economic landscape in California—especially since the Golden State is home to Hollywood and the film industry. California has a thriving agriculture industry in the country and can produce a wide range of food items thanks to its diverse climate. For example, California’s agricultural industry is responsible for 80% of the strawberries grown in the country as a whole.

    California is also well-known for its tech industry, which continues to expand from Silicon Valley. Many of the country’s largest tech development companies are headquartered in California, including Apple, Facebook, and Google. If you’re searching for a role that you can grow within the development side of cutting-edge tech, a move to California might be right for you.

    Things to Do

    No matter which part of California you decide to call home, you won’t have trouble finding something to do. California is most famous for its ocean activities—the state is home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, including Malibu’s Surfrider Beach and Los Angeles’ Venice Beach. However, fun in California involves much more than shores and sand. California’s Napa Valley is the capital of wine country, and you’ll find a host of hiking and camping options in northern California.

    Florida is also home to plenty of gorgeous beaches, including Siesta Beach and the world-famous Miami Beach. A trip to Florida isn’t complete without a visit to one of Florida’s many theme parks—but if you live in Florida, you can visit every attraction with deep discounts as a resident of the state. Florida is also home to 11 National Parks scattered throughout the state if you prefer hiking and camping to surfing and tanning.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    California’s overall warm climate makes it a popular destination for residents and visitors who enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Los Angeles, in particular, is famous for its wealth of healthy and vegan eatery options, and you’re bound to find residents jogging, swimming, and even rollerblading regularly. While laid-back surfer culture is huge in southern California, the northern part of the state is home to the fast-paced tech industry and mountainous ranges. Residents of northern California favor environmentally-conscious ways of life—the area has spearheaded the farm-to-table movement, and public transportation is much more available than you’ll find in southern California.

    Florida is a famed retirement destination for a reason—many parts of the state enjoy a slower pace of living, with frequent trips to the beach and local attractions. Floridians are proud of their state’s offerings, and this culture is embedded into almost every major attraction in the state. From Walt Disney World to Zoo Miami, you’ll find a wealth of discounts specifically for Florida residents throughout the state. If you’re eager to experience a more fast-paced way of life, you can head to an area in southern Florida like Miami, which is famous for its nightclub scene.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move From Florida to California?

    The most important factor that will play a role in the price that you’ll pay for your move to California is the type of company you work with. As you shop and compare moving services, you’ll likely notice these three popular choices.

    • Full-service moving companies: Full-service moving companies provide you with the easiest and most stress-free move possible by expanding their offered services beyond loading and transportation. You can hire a full-service moving company to tackle nearly every task associated with the chore of moving, ranging from setting up a storage unit on your behalf to packing and unpacking your household goods to taking your furniture apart. Hiring a full-service moving company is the most expensive way to move.
    • Moving container services: Moving container services provide you with a unique combination of affordability and convenience. When you book a move with a moving container company, you’ll specify a date you’d like the company to deliver a waterproof, portable container to your property. You’ll then fill the container with everything you want to move to your new home, and the moving company will transport the full container to your new home. You will then unload your container and schedule your container return. Moving container companies can be an excellent moving option if you need to save money on your move, but you’re not comfortable operating a moving truck or van.
    • Moving truck rental: Renting a moving truck is the most affordable way to move. Though you’ll need to provide your own loading, transportation, and unloading services, a moving truck rental is viable for anyone looking for the most affordable way to move. Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for operating the vehicle, the fuel costs, and toll charges when you choose this option.

    Average Moving Costs

    It is about 2,701 miles from Florida to California. To help you plan your move, here is what you can expect to pay for different types of moving services:

    1 BR Cost 2 BR Cost 3 BR Cost 4 BR Cost
    Full-Service Move $1,780 to $3,900 $3,500 to $6,900 $3,500 to $6,900 $4,900 to $13,000
    Moving Container $2,717 to $3,400 $3,525 to $5,300 $3,525 to $5,300 $4,875 to $6,910+
    Truck Rental $2,015 to $2,650 $2,190 to $3,150 $2,190 to $3,150 $2,780 to $4,000+

    Cost Factors

    There are many factors that can impact your moving cost, including:

    • The size of your property. Moving a larger home often requires more personnel and moving vehicles, increasing the costs your moving company incurs. The larger your home, the more you’ll pay to move.
    • The date you move. You can save money by moving during the fall or winter, as these are the times when moving rates are lowest. If you can’t wait until then, try booking on a weekday as opposed to a weekend, as moving rates are lower during less popular days of the week.
    • Your route. Longer moves will always cost more than shorter moves because the moving company pays more in labor, toll, and fuel expenses on longer moves.
    • The type of company you work with. As previously mentioned, full-service moving is significantly more expensive than other types of moving companies. If full-service movers are out of your budget, you can move to California using a truck rental or moving container service.

    Best Places to Move to in California

    Are you still deciding where you want to move? Here are some of the best places to live in California:

    1. San Diego

    If you’re looking to escape Florida because you hate the humid summers, San Diego might be the right place for you to call home. Temperatures in San Diego typically hover around 70 degrees all year, providing you with plenty of balmy sunshine without being too overbearing. Though you won’t get to experience all four seasons, you will escape dreary winters and blistering hot summers.

    San Diego residents use this perpetually sunny weather to the fullest by embracing outdoor activities. With easy access to the beach, surfing and swimming are two of the city’s most popular pastimes. Yoga culture is huge in San Diego—so if you’d prefer to relax in an air-conditioned studio, you’re sure to find one you love. San Diego is also renowned for its thriving culinary scene, with more than 7,000 diverse eateries to try and more than 150 breweries.

    1. Sacramento

    If you’re hesitant about moving to California due to the higher cost of living, you may want to consider choosing Sacramento as your new city. The average cost of living in Sacramento is about 5% above the national average, which means it is similar in pricing to most parts of Florida. Median home prices in the area begin at $300,000, making homeownership in Sacramento much more of an attainable goal compared to coastal cities.

    Though Sacramento doesn’t have immediate access to the coastline, there’s still plenty to do in the capital of the Golden State. Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities in California, which makes the city a hotbed for new culinary experiences and cultural festivals. Napa, Yosemite, and Reno are all within driving distance of Sacramento as well, meaning that you’ve got plenty of options for a spontaneous weekend getaway.

    1. Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara is one of the best cities in California in terms of weather. The city enjoys around 300 days of sun, and the average temperature doesn’t tend to rise above 74 degrees. This makes all seasons mild and comfortable—so if you’re leaving Florida because you don’t enjoy the sweltering summers, Santa Barbara might be the right destination for you.

    1. Los Angeles

    There’s always something to do in the bustling city of Los Angeles. The city is home to a countless number of art festivals, festivals, and cultural exhibits alongside a range of museums and beaches. Outdoor recreational activities in Los Angeles are especially popular thanks to the comfortable year-round weather, from deserts to mountain ranges within driving distance.

    If you’re a foodie, you’ll fall in love with Los Angeles’ restaurant scene. Los Angeles is a diverse city made up of many ethnic groups, which means that you’ll have the opportunity to try a selection of authentic foods from all around the world. Prefer fine dining? You’ll also find that Los Angeles is home to 30 restaurants that have earned at least one Michelin star.

    1. San Jose

    If you’re searching for a safe city with great education options, San Jose can be an appealing choice. Rates of violent crime are lower in San Jose than most other major city centers in California, and the city offers a wealth of both public and private education options. Though it’s a bit pricier thanks to its location close to Silicon Valley, this also means that the area is a hotspot for job opportunities within the tech industry. San Jose can be a strong option if you’re moving to California for work, but you don’t want to live directly in San Francisco.

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    It’s important to take your time when choosing a moving company. Moving from Florida to California is a major task, so it’s worth the extra effort to ensure that you’re working with a responsible and reputable moving team. Here are a few things you should look for as you compare moving companies in your area.

    • Federal licensing: Moving companies that provide moving services that cross state lines must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a government body that oversees the moving industry. To verify that a company is licensed, as for their USDOT number and verify it using the FMCSA’s search tool. Avoid any moving company that does not offer you their USDOT number or that tries to convince you that they are authorized to complete cross-country moves without federal registration.
    • Plenty of information about the company: Getting caught in a moving scam is stressful—getting caught in a cross-country scam can be downright devastating. Before you agree to work with any moving company, gather as much information on them as you can. Write down the company’s phone number, physical address, and email contact so you can easily get in touch with their customer service team should something go wrong.
    • All of the services you need: Every family’s move is unique. It can be helpful to create a list of all of the specialties and services you want to schedule alongside transportation for your move before you begin comparing companies. This ensures that you’re able to choose a one-stop-shop for everything from packing to storage services if you decide to add these options to your move.

    Book Your Move Today

    Start planning your move by requesting quotes and comparing rates from top moving companies:

    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

    Best Moving Add-ons

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

    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 Florida to California FAQs

    Where is cheaper to live, Florida or California?

    It is significantly cheaper to live in Florida. Florida’s cost of living is about 3% above the national average, while California’s is 50% above the national average. California’s high real estate prices and sliding state income tax rates contribute to California’s higher cost of living.

    How many days drive is it from California to Florida?

    If you decide to drive between California and Florida, you can usually expect to be on the road for seven to 12 days.

    Is Florida or California hotter?

    Between Florida and California, Florida is both hotter and more humid. This is partially due to the state’s situation as a peninsula, which gives the Sunshine State a more tropical climate. Though northern parts of Florida are a bit cooler, you’re unlikely to see truly cold weather anywhere in the state.

    Is Florida safer than California?

    According to FBI crime data, Florida is generally safer than California regarding violent crime. Between the years of 2011 and 2020, Florida saw an average of 383.6 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, while California saw a violent crime rate of 442.0 crimes per 100,000 residents.