The moving process is a difficult and stressful time. If you are moving long-distance or cross-country, it can get even more complicated. From sorting to packing to storage, there is no shortage of tasks to complete.
There are so many moving companies to compare, it may be difficult to choose the right one for you and your family. The This Old House Reviews Team has compiled a list of the best long-distance moving companies in the nation to help your move be stress-free. All of our full-service movers are licensed, bonded, and insured.
7 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Based on in-depth research, here are our top recommended long-distance moving companies:
International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
With upfront pricing, four options for insurance coverage and free cancellation up to 48 hours before your move, International Van Lines is our top pick for the best full-service mover. The company provides packing and unpacking services, loading and unloading services, vehicle transportation, and specialty services for fragile items and larger items like pianos. International Van Lines is perfect for a customer who wants a moving company to handle every part of their move.
Pros & Cons of International Van Lines
✔ Available in every state
✔ Features above-average customer satisfaction
✔ Specialty service options offered, including antique and vehicle transportation
✘ Customer experience varies according to location
✘ No sample pricing listed on its website
American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor
American Van Lines hires its movers full-time, as opposed to the standard approach of contractual labor. This means customers receive consistent and reliable service from professional movers that hold an average of 10 years of moving experience, this is why American Van Lines was our top pick for the most experienced moving labor.
The company offers full-service residential, corporate and military moves with some of the most experienced labor in the moving industry. Unlike many other moving companies, American Van Lines uses binding estimates. As long as you don’t add anything to your shipment after your inventory is submitted, your price will not change. This up-front, flat-rate model means there will be no surprise expenses related to hourly labor or mileage on moving day.
Pros & Cons of American Van Lines
✔ Provides fixed-rate quotes
✔ Includes a price-matching policy
✔ Movers hold an average of 10 years of experience each
✘ Requires an up-front deposit that may be 10%–50% of total cost
✘ No sample pricing online
✘ Overall cost is higher than some competitors
JK Moving: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
JK Moving is a full-service moving company that works with each customer to create a moving package customized to their specific moving needs, making them our top pick for the most customizable full-service mover. Another standout feature of the company is its partnership with Enhancify, which allows customers to finance their move with rates as low as 0% same-as-cash.
Pros & Cons of JK Moving
✔ Financing available via Enhancify
✔ Customizes each move based on needs and budget
✔ Includes GPS shipment tracking
✘ No sample pricing posted online
✘ Some customers reviews mention difficulty in communication
Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
Allied Van Lines uses many of its own trucks and employees to conduct vehicle relocation services. This is often outsourced by many other moving companies, making it our top pick for vehicle relocation. If you are having to ship your car, motorcycle, truck, RV, boat, or other vehicle alongside your move, then you may want to consider using Allied Van Lines.
Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover with a long history in the moving industry. Founded in 1928, Allied Van Lines is a licensed and insured moving broker and carrier for long-distance moves in all 50 states. AVL eliminates the need for a moving coordinator to come to your home by offering an easy to use online survey tool.
Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines
✔ Offers in-house vehicle relocation services
✔ Partners with the Salvation Army to help donate unwanted items
✔ Offers both short-term and long-term storage services
✘ Customer reviews mention that the claims department is hard to reach
✘ Its prices may be higher than some competitors
North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
North American Van Lines provides peace of mind through comprehensive coverage plans and an easy-to-use claims process. The company provides custom full-value release plans on your belongings, so you are receiving coverage and compensation that matches the actual value of your items rather than a predetermined amount. In the event that something goes wrong, the company’s thorough claims process and separate customer support lines makes filing claims easy.
NAVL accommodates long-distance residential and corporate relocations of any size through its network of 500 plus local movers.
Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines
✔ Detailed and transparent claims process
✔ Offers binding estimates through virtual surveys
✔ Wide assortment of online tools and resources
✘ Available agents may be limited based on your location
✘ Storage options may be limited based on your location
Mayflower: Best for Large Moves
Mayflower Transit is a full-service moving company that has been in business for more than 90 years. As one of the most recognized names in the industry, Mayflower provides moving services aimed at reducing the tasks and time-consuming details of moving for customers. They are also committed to helping move military families and government employees move long distance.
Pros & Cons of Mayflower
✔ Offers safe short- and long-term storage options
✔ Its Snapmoves program offers alternative moving solutions and cost-savings options for small moves
✔ Has an online video library of moving tips and advice
✘ Customer service may vary depending on your location and local agent availability
✘ Can be more expensive than other moving companies
Mayflower will provide you with a more accurate estimate of cost after an in-person or virtual home assessment but, in general, the cost to move a three-bedroom home with a lot of items (approximately 7,500 pounds) from Atlanta, Georgia, to Austin, Texas, in early November would cost about $5,000–$7,500.
United Van Lines: Best for Moving Tech Items
Founded in 1928, United Van Lines is a well-established full-service moving company. In 2018, United Van Lines transitioned to a cooperative, or co-op—a move aimed at better serving consumers in a more centralized way. United Van Lines can accommodate local, long-distance, and international moves for renters, homeowners, and businesses.
Rather than moving insurance, the company provides full-value protection on your items, meaning that United Van Lines will compensate you directly should something happen to any of your items during the moving process. Crating is also offered for large, fragile items to protect your valuables during transit. United Van Lines also offers a unique tech assistance feature—the disassembly and setup of home theaters and PC networks.
Pros & Cons of United Van Lines
✔ Is available in 46 states
✔ Provides instant quotes online
✔ Offers an option for cleaning services
✘ Its large network of local agents can create confusion regarding packing and unpacking procedures
✘ Is more expensive than competitors
An in-home estimate will provide you with the most accurate cost of moving with United Van Lines, as common factors like when and where you are moving will affect the total price. Moving a three-bedroom home with a large quantity of items (approximately 7,500 pounds) from Atlanta, Georgia, to Austin, Texas, in early November would cost about $7,750–$10,500.
Summary of the Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2022
Here are the top rated long-distance moving companies:
- International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
- American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor
- JK Moving: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
- Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
- Mayflower: Best for Large Moves
- United Van Lines: Best for Moving Tech Items
What Impacts a Long-Distance Moves Cost?
There are many factors that impact the overall cost of a cross-country move. Most moving companies adjust their prices according to the same factors.
These most common factors impact the overall cost of your long-distance moving package:
- Location of your original home
- Location of your new home
- Move date and time
- Overall distance of the move
- Truck parking access
- Truck size used
- Truck driver’s hours
- Hours worked by moving labor
- Fuel used during the move
- Amount of portable storage containers used
- Size/weight of your move
- Additional protection plans you purchase
- Add-On moving services you purchase
Compare online quotes from numerous moving providers at once with MovingAPT, one of the largest moving brokers in the nation with more than 2,500 carriers at its disposal.
How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move
It can be a challenge to keep everything in order leading up to moving day. There are many important steps to take when embarking on a long-distance move. To help you keep in mind some major steps, we’ve listed some of them below:
1. Determine Which Type of Move You Need
Before you schedule with a long-distance moving company, figure out if you want a full-service move or a self-service move. Would you prefer to have a moving company deal with every aspect of your move while you deal with other parts of it? Are you willing to pay the higher cost this might come with? If so, you may want to consider using a full-service company.
If you have plenty of help from friends and family and you don’t mind taking a DIY approach to the moving process, then you may want to save money and use a self-service moving company.
2. Reduce Your Inventory
A long-distance move is a great reason to get rid of any underused or unwanted belongings. We suggest you create two piles for this as you pack and organize for the move. You should create one pile for items to donate and one pile of items to throw away. A few days before moving day, take some time to take these piles to their respective drop-off locations.
3. Tell People Who Need to Know About It
Your friends and family most likely know about your move, but there are some other significant individuals and organizations you need to notify. Inform insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, the Social Security Administration, and your Internet service provider about your move.
4. Check that Your Moving Company Is Licensed and Insured
If you choose a company from this list, you do not have to worry about this step. All of our recommended movers are licensed, bonded, and insured. If you decide to use another moving company, you might want to make sure they are properly licensed and insured. To do so, you obtain the company’s USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to confirm that the company is authorized to transport your household goods.
5. Create a Detailed Inventory
Many moving companies can help with this step. Some companies, such as International Van Lines, will provide a tool to help create an inventory of your belongings. While you create this inventory, make note of the condition of your items and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a damage claim for reimbursement.
Learn More: Moving Checklist – Your Guide to Moving
Types of Long-Distance Moves
There are two main types of moves, local and long-distance. A local move is typically considered any move between 50-100 miles.
When you exceed a distance of 100 miles, your move will be considered long-distance. There are a couple of different types of long-distance moves:
- Long-Distance Intrastate Move: If you are moving within your current state but exceed 100 miles, this will be considered an intrastate move.
- Long-Distance Interstate Move: If your move takes you across state lines and exceeds 100 miles, this will be considered an interstate move.
Long-Distance Moving Services FAQs
What is the average cost of a long-distance move?
The overall cost of a long-distance move varies according to a wide variety of factors, including the ones listed in the section above. You can expect a move to cost anywhere from $1,250 up to $5,000. Most long-distance moves cost around $4,000.
Do I need moving insurance?
Moving insurance will pay for or replace your items if they are damaged during your move by the moving company. If you are planning on moving a long-distance and have valuable items in transport, while not legally required, we recommend that you look into purchasing moving insurance to gain peace of mind.
How far in advance should you schedule long-distance movers?
Depending on the time of year, you should typically give your movers two months’ advance notice to prepare for your move and avoid a higher, last-minute rate. It is also best to hire a professional moving company during non-peak season, typically the winter and spring months are their lower interest months, also meaning rates will be lower.
What should I ask long-distance movers before hiring them?
You should make sure that you are completely comfortable with the long-distance moving company that you choose. Make sure to ask if they are a broker or a carrier, if they are licensed by the FMSCA, and the type of transit coverage they have to offer.
What is the cheapest time to move long-distance?
Rates tend to be higher during the summer months due to higher demand. Rates tend to be a bit lower from September to April than other times of the year.
What is the cheapest way to move long-distance?
The most cost effective way to move long-distance will be to do bulk of the work yourself by getting a moving truck rental and doing the packing, loading and unloading on your own. If this does not sound manageable, you can look into some of the cheapest moving companies that will save you money.
Other Resources when Moving
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for moving service providers is on a 100-point scale based on 7 factors:
- Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local moves, long-distance, and or international moves?
- Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing services and unpacking or loading and unloading?
- Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional moving insurance plans, such as full-value coverage?
- Scheduling (7): Are customers able to schedule online, over the phone, or on both platforms?
- Trailers/containers (7): How many trailer or moving container sizes does the company offer?
- Additional Benefits (12): What additional benefits does the company provide, such as storage options, moving truck rentals, and financing?
- Reputation (5): What rating does the company feature on popular review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
Our Reviews Team reviews reputable companies from all across the nation, and we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company. We perform in-depth research and compare each company on key factors such as cost, services, availability, and trustworthiness.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at firstname.lastname@example.org.