Moving is stressful as it is, let alone moving long distance. While there are thousands of moving companies to choose from, it makes a difference choosing one with fair prices and a proven track record of quality service. What's more, many customers fall prey to moving scams. That's why we vet our top movers for things like binding estimates, strong customer reviews, affordability, and proper industry credentials.
The 5 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of December 2022
Our top pick
International Van Lines is our favorite long-distance moving company. It can move you anywhere in the country, has an established reputation, offers 30 days of free storage for those who need it, and even provides discounts for seniors and military families.
Top 5 long-distance moving companies
- : Best long-distance moving company
- : Best premium services
- : Best for customizable services
- : Best customer reviews
- : Best budget moving company
Compare long-distance moving companies
| ||25%||Military personnel, seniors||Get a Quote|
| ||10%–50%||NA||Get a Quote|
| ||0%||Seniors||Get a Quote|
| ||30%–40%||AAA members, military, seniors||Get a Quote|
| ||33% or less||College students, military, seniors||Get a Quote|
What should you look for in a long-distance moving company?
- Reasonable prices. You want your full-service move to be expensive. Maybe not Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous expensive. But pricey enough to feel confident your movers didn’t skip steps that could lead to late delivery or damaged items.
- Binding estimates. Pay special attention to companies like American Van Lines that offer binding quotes. The guarantee means your price won’t change after signing on the dotted line—as long as you don’t add any more items to the home inventory you and the movers agreed on during the quote process.
- Affordable deposit. Most moving companies charge a deposit of up to 50%. Do your homework (or let Move.org do it for you) to know whether you can afford the upfront fee.
- Customer reviews. Positive customer reviews are a critical trust signal. Look for company reports about moves that mention things like safe delivery, professional movers, and helpful telephone brokers. (Customers give the highest praise to Safeway Moving.)
- Legit credentials. Make sure your professional long-distance movers are properly licensed and insured. You don’t want to fall victim to costly moving scams.
- Perks. Look for companies like International Van Lines that go the extra mile by giving you 30 days of free storage. Other worthwhile perks include real-time GPS tracking, supplemental insurance, and special discounts.
You'll probably work with moving brokers and carriers during your move. Brokers are middlemen that connect you with carriers that own and operate moving trucks.
Interstate moving 101
An interstate move is when you move home from one state to another. Interstate moving is less complicated when you know what to expect. Before shopping for the best interstate moving company for your move, there are a few things you should know:
It’s best to compare prices.
Be prepared to talk with a company rep before getting an estimate. It takes a little time, but you’ll get a moving quote tailored to your situation. Be sure to get at least three quotes to see how prices for your move compare by company.
You need to take a home inventory.
To get an accurate quote, you’ll need a complete inventory of all your household belongings (and anything in storage, as well). Remember: if you add more items to you inventory after the fact, your final cost will be higher.
Brokers are just a starting point.
Some interstate moving companies are brokers. Brokers take your call and act as middlemen, but usually hand you off to third-party carriers to coordinate your move's details. Learn more about the differences and interplay between brokers and carriers and check the FMCSA database if you’re unsure which type of company you’re dealing with.
Examine the company’s services.
Interstate moving companies do everything from packing and loading to transportation and furniture assembly. You tell them what needs to be done—and they can do it.
The best companies can move you anywhere.
Every professional moving company can take you from almost anywhere to virtually everywhere. A few companies like Safeway Moving don’t offer local moving services. But many of the best interstate moving companies don’t have many limitations, providing household moving services in the US, across the border to Canada, and to more than 150 countries worldwide.
Consider other moving options.
Not all of the best interstate moving companies are full-service movers. Moving containers and rental trucks are also popular moving options for long-distance moving. These moving options cost less but require more work. DIY customers also commonly use car shipping companies and rent storage units.
International Van Lines—Best long-distance moving company
International Van Lines is our pick for the #1 long-distance moving company. It offers services across the country, gives seniors a 15% discount, and even throws in 30 days of free storage. International Van Lines can also trim hundreds of bucks off car shipping services if you can be flexible about timing. On the downside, the company gets lower-than-average customer reviews and has a lot of distracting online pop-up ads.
Why we recommend International Van Lines
International Van Lines doesn’t try to hide its prices. The company’s website is filled with sample moving quotes. Plus, IVL is transparent with us about how its pricing works. That’s a huge trust signal.
Pricing for full-service moves doesn’t work the same way as services like moving container companies or truck rentals. In those cases, you typically look for the most affordable service since you do much of the work yourself. However, it’s different with pros. You often want a higher price tag to ensure your belongings stay safe.
You don’t want a company that hems and haws about costs. We’ve seen those movers—and they make us wary. International Van Lines will tell you anything you want to know about costs. That gives you the power to make an informed decision.
Packing services are optional—but if you can afford it, it’s a great way to save time and stress with your move. International Van Lines’ packing services range from $375 for a 300-cubic-foot living space to $2,500 for a 2,000-cubic-foot home.
International Van Lines can also ship vehicles to your new home. This long-distance mover offers two types of auto transport services and can often trim hundreds of dollars off the going rate:
- Open transport. Your car ships on an open-air truck (think of a semi-truck without walls). It picks up dust along the way but is so affordable that 90% of customers opt for this service. IVL also offers insurance to protect against driver negligence.
- Enclosed transport. Your car ships inside of an enclosed semi-truck. This typically costs about $400 more than open transport, so it’s primarily recommended for high-value automobiles like custom cars, antique cars, and luxury vehicles.
IVL can save you 15%–20%, depending on your flexibility. That means if you can hang tight until it can load a full truck along your route, you could save hundreds of dollars on average car shipping costs.
Want to save up to 20% on car shipping?
Free storage in your home city
International Van Lines offers one free month of storage in your home city. So, for example, if you’re moving from Washington, D. C. to New York City, the company will keep your belongings in D.C. at no cost for up to 30 days. It’s a great perk if your new home isn’t move-in ready.
Storage services are still available in your new city. IVL charges 50 cents per cubic foot. So, if you have a 1,200-cubic foot home, your storage costs would be $600 per month ($0.50 x 1,200 cubic feet).
IVL’s destination city storage prices
Data as of 6/29/22. Prices and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
IVL is our #1 rated company
American Van Lines—Best premium services
American Van Lines is our pick for high-quality moving services. These long-distance movers don’t skimp on the costs necessary to keep your belongings safe. American charges a flat rate and lets you use all of its many moving services (including piano moving). The company also background checks its workers (including drug tests and background screenings). The catch? American doesn’t have GPS tracking, and its customer service reps are available only on weekdays.
Why we recommend American Van Lines
You shouldn’t trust your piano to a run-of-the-mill moving company. Instead, look for a long-distance mover like American Van Lines, which specializes in moving large and heavy instruments. They know all the tricks of the trade to ensure that your piano arrives undamaged—and in tune.
For example, did you know that professional movers should disassemble pianos before moving them? It’s a lot different than mental images of workers loading the full monty onto a moving truck. American Van Lines trains its staff to disassemble, load, transport, unload, and reassemble your piano in working condition.
You don’t pay extra thanks to AVL's flat-rate pricing.
Pianos aren’t the only high-value item that American Van Lines can move. The company also specialized in moving antiques and fine art.
American Van Lines’ flat-rate prices can save you time and money. Unfortunately, some moving companies try to nickel and dime you. The idea is that you don’t get charged for things you don’t need—and they can make some extra cash by charging for services other companies include. It’s a solid idea in principle but doesn’t always work. Sometimes you simply pay more for less.
Not so with American Van Lines. The company charges a single upfront rate based on the weight of your belongings. Then, you use all of the services you want. It’s kind of like a buffet. You pay for a pricey meal but can load up on as much dessert as you like.
For example, let’s say you get a quote from American Van Lines—and another company that doesn’t use flat-rate pricing:
Sample invoice: Flat-rate vs. standard rate moving prices
American Van Lines (flat rate)
Company B (standard rate)
It’s easy to see how your invoice looks cleaner (imagine a bill with two dozen extra line items). Plus, you can save money if you use enough high-end services.
AVL’s movers are top-of-the-line professionals. The company puts every potential long-distance mover through an intense pre-hire screening process, including background checks and drug testing. Those that make the cut arrive at your home wearing uniforms that identify them as AVL professionals.
Bottom line: American Van Lines goes the extra mile to ensure that you and your belongings are safe when moving across the United States.
Looking for premium quality?
North American Van Lines—Best for customizable services
North American Van Lines lets you pick and choose moving services. That’s a big deal because most companies charge you for everything whether you need it or not. It even has plans for supplemental insurance coverage. Not surprisingly, North American gets exceptionally high customer review scores. Regarding drawbacks, the company’s website is a bit clunky, and it’s tough to nail down the cost of your deposit.
Why we recommend North American Van Lines
Customizable moving services
North American Van Lines lets you pick and choose which moving services you want. For example, do you want to save a couple of thousand dollars by packing your belongings yourself? North American is okay with that (most companies aren’t). The same thing goes for other moving services too. If you’re up to the task of unloading your items, the North American Van Lines crew is happy to let you do the work.
Put it all together, and you can choose which local or long-distance moving services want to pay for:
- Packing services
- Packing supplies
- Climate-controlled storage
- Installation and assembly services
- Debris removal
North American Van Lines makes it easy to know where your household goods are. Once your move is in progress, the company will provide you with a six-digit registration number. Just plug that number into North American’s tracking website, and it will tell you where your belongings are.
You can get real-time location data for your North American Van Lines shipment with your six-digit registration number and the first three letters of your last name.
24/7 customer service
Did you know that about one-third of long-distance moving companies don’t have weekend customer service? It’s almost unheard of for a company to offer 24/7 support. And yet, that’s what North American Van Lines brings to the table.
Let’s say that your belongings arrive on a Saturday—but that some things are missing or damaged. Normally, you’d call and talk with a company rep to sort things out. But that’s tough to do if no one’s in the office.
North American makes sure that someone is always available to take your call. It’s just one reason the company has some of the highest customer review scores in the industry.
Our 15-step moving day checklist walks you through critical steps like confirming your delivery date and keeping your phone handy.
Safeway Moving—Best customer reviews
Safeway Moving gets positive customer review scores unheard of in the moving industry. For example, its 4.5-star rating is a full star higher than some of the companies on this list. The company also claims to offer price-matching services and 30 days of free storage. In addition, we love how it advertises that a portion of your moving cost will be donated to St. Jude’s in an effort to defeat childhood cancer. On the downside, company information is difficult to verify.
Things to know about Safeway Moving
Safeway Moving says that each move comes with “up to 30 days of free storage.”1 You’ll want to check with the company for more details, but we’ve found that moving storage is helpful in a many situations:
- Home staging
- Late closing date
- Emergency relocation
- Corporate relocation
Safeway Moving gets the best reviews of any long-distance mover we’ve seen. Although it comes with caveats (for example, most of Safeway’s reviews come from a single site), the company’s resulting score is nearly one full star higher than the best companies in the business.
Few things indicate a good moving company like excellent reviews. However, even the best companies have hiccups. So be sure to read some reviews on your own to make sure you’re comfortable trusting a moving company with your belongings.
Safeway Moving was founded by a military veteran who believes in giving back to the community. The company boasts a partnership with St. Jude’s hospital and says it donates “a portion of your total move cost to St. Jude upon completion of your move.”2
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group—Best budget moving company
IMRG is one of your best options if you need an inexpensive interstate moving company. The company purposefully markets itself to those on a budget and offers customers a $500 discount. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group also gets solid customer reviews and provides car shipping services. On the downside, its reps aren’t available on weekends—and it doesn’t offer GPS tracking.
Why we recommend Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Low moving prices
IMRG is geared toward customers that need to move on a dime. That’s trickier than it sounds for an expensive service like long-distance moving, but Interstate Moving & Relocation Group is set up to find carriers that can save you costs up front. Plus, the moving broker offers a $500 discount.
Positive customer reviews
We compared nearly 2,000 IMRG customer reviews with those of other companies and were impressed with what we saw. The company scored above average (which is hard to do when considering we analyzed over 10,000 total reviews). Positive reviews often mention things like affordable rates, timely service, and friendly movers.
Car shipping services
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group says that it analyzed customer reviews to identify three car shipping companies best suited for long-distance moves. The result is that IMRG says it can connect you with three of the companies from our Best Auto Transport Companies list:
IMRG-recommended auto transport companies
Need to save money upfront?
Long-distance moving FAQ
The average cost for interstate movers is about $9,060. However, prices vary depending on things like move distance and home size.
What moving companies charge varies. The price of your move will depend on your move type (professional movers, moving container, or truck rental), how far you're moving, add-on services, the time of year, and the amount and type of stuff you're moving. For example, full-service movers start at $1,200 and can go as high as $29,000.
Long-distance moving costs so much because you pay professionals to do everything from loading up your belongings to transporting them across the country. Additional services, like packing and storage, will increase your total price. You can save costs by using one of the best interstate moving companies. North American Van Lines, for example, lets you pick and choose moving services.
There are three main types of moves: full-service, container, and truck rental. Full-service costs the most while rental trucks typically cost the least. Moving containers usually fall somewhere in the middle. Each of these services can handle your long-distance move, but we recommend a full-service professional mover if you can afford it. It’s simply the easiest option.
The most affordable way to move across the country is to use one of the cheapest moving container companies. You pay less than hiring professional movers (because you do some of the work) while also trimming costs like airfare, gas, and lodging associated with long-distance moving truck rentals.
What are the best commercial moving companies?
International Van Lines and North American Van Lines are the best commercial moving companies. IVL has the best overall commercial movers, while North American allows you to customize your moving package. Both companies will handle your interstate move with care and expertise.
Is moving insurance important?
Moving insurance is critical to ensure the safety of your belongings. The federal government requires that all cross-country moving companies provide moving insurance (called “valuation”). You can also purchase additional insurance from third parties to be extra safe.
What is the first thing to do when moving long distance?
The first thing you should do when moving is create a moving binder. You’ll use it to keep track of all your information when you determine what type of moving company you need. Next, you’ll want to decide on any moving services you can’t do without (for example, packing services, storage, or extra insurance for your belongings). Then you’ll want to research moving costs to understand what you can afford. Once you’ve identified a few potential moving companies, create a home inventory and then call your moving companies to get a quote.
Are cheap movers safe?
Cheap movers can be safe or dangerous, depending on how low their costs are. We recommend getting quotes from several relocation services and avoiding prices that seem especially low in comparison. For more information, take a look at our best cheap moving companies.
How much does an international move cost?
The cost for an international move ranges from about $1,500 to more than $10,000. Professional international moving companies typically include packing, transportation, and delivery in your final bill.
What is the best way to do a long-distance move?
The best way to do a long-distance move depends if you care about cost or convenience. Moving container companies are your best bet if you need to move on a budget, and professional cross-country movers are ideal if you want to minimize stress.
How far in advance do I need to schedule movers?
You should schedule your movers at least four weeks before your move. During this time you should also coordinate a moving permit if you need one, gather any remaining supplies, contact utility providers, and make any travel arrangements.
How far in advance do I need to book a company if I’m relocating to another state?
You may need to provide upwards of eight weeks’ notice if moving to another state during the peak moving season (late spring to early fall). However, some companies can facilitate short-notice moves for an extra fee.
Do professional moving services have local movers?
How do I find a reputable local mover?
You can find a reputable mover by searching for the top local movers near you. You can also head over to our local movers hub, where we've narrowed down the highest-rated movers in cities across the US.
What should you not move long-distance?
Be sure not to pack commonly prohibited items for moving like matches, batteries, and nail polish when traveling long-distance. It’s also a good idea to keep some clothing, food, and toiletries until you know you have someplace to stay.
How early should you start packing to move?
You should start packing about two months before you move. Or, if you hire one of the best long-distance moving companies, their crews need only about one day's notice to pack all of your belongings.
Who is the top-rated moving company?
The top-rated moving company is International Van Lines. It has an established reputation, an extensive moving network, and transparent pricing.
What do PODS cost?
Moving containers from PODS cost about $4,660 to move 1,000 miles or more across the state line. Cross-country moving costs are as low as $2,560 for small apartments and up to $6,150 for large five-room homes.
Is U-Pack a good company?
U-Pack is an exceptional company for cross-country moves. It has the best combination of positive reviews and nationwide availability. Just be prepared to pay a premium for the high-quality service.
How much do movers get tipped?
We recommend tipping movers about 15% of your total bill for large homes and 5% for smaller homes. If the math is tricky, you can also ballpark and give each mover $40.
Is JK Moving Services a legit company?
JK Moving Services is a reputable long-distance moving service with excellent customer reviews. The company caters its services to high-end customers, and can even charter you a private flight to the new city you're moving to.
Move.org evaluates and identifies the moving industry’s best full-service movers using a fivefold research approach:
- Compare pricing transparency. We gather quotes, check for binding estimates, and read customer reviews about pricing to ensure each moving company’s prices are trustworthy.
- Review accreditation. We check every company’s records in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s database to confirm companies are properly authorized to transport household goods.
- Mystery shopping. We review every company’s website, pose as customers in calls to companies, and read customer reviews to analyze every company’s moving services, transit protection, and customer service. We also interview actual customers to learn how their moves went from start to finish.
- Site visits. We invite moving companies to our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT, to share data and expertise. We verify the information they provide by comparing it to data gathered through independent research and interviews with other movers.
- Regular review. We routinely repeat this process to update our recommendations to reflect current data and trends. We also revise each review annually and make updates throughout the year.