Bottom line: We’ve done hours of research on interstate movers so you don’t have to. See who rose to the top as this year’s best interstate moving companies.
Top 5 interstate moving companies
|Moving company||International Van Lines||American Van Lines||Allied Van Lines||North American Van Lines||PODS|
|Highlights||Best overall||Best for up-front pricing||Best customer experience||Best for customizing your move||Best bang for your buck|
|Website||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
|International Van Lines||American Van Lines||Allied Van Lines||North American Van Lines||PODS|
|Best overall||Best for up-front pricing||Best customer experience||Best for customizing your move||Best bang for your buck|
|Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
Hiring Moving Companies During COVID-19
Hiring Moving Companies During COVID-19
All of our top moving companies are currently open for business. For status updates and to find out what each company is doing in response to the coronavirus, visit Can I Move During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
To help you pick the best interstate moving company for your next move, we analyzed dozens of long-distance movers and then pared them down to the top five.
Read on to see who made the cut as 2020’s best interstate movers—and to learn the right questions to ask when you’re shopping around.
Top 5 long-distance moving companies
Did you know?
Did you know?
The two main move types moving companies offer are local and long-distance moves. Interstate moves cross state lines and encompass long-distance moves, but long-distance moves don’t necessarily cross state lines and aren’t always considered interstate moves.
Still not sure which type your move is? We’ve got you covered with our list of the five best long-distance movers.
International Van Lines—Best overall
International Van Lines (IVL) is both a moving broker and a carrier that works with over 3,000 partners worldwide. IVL has an impressive lineup of services ranging from crane lifting and piano transport to full-service packing and motorcycle hauling.
IVL can handle everything from local and interstate to—you guessed it—international moves. Like a few of the other best movers on our list, IVL is transparent about the breakdown of your final bill.
- Worldwide availability
- Short- and long-term storage options
- Trash and debris removal
- Helpful online and over-the-phone quote process
- 25% up-front deposit
- Reports of movers showing up late
- Above-average prices
International Van Lines at a glance
|U.S. DOT #||2247789|
Data as of 1/10/2020.
Why we recommend International Van Lines
It does it all
Since IVL is both a moving broker and a carrier, it’s able to offer every moving service you could want while still giving each move a personal touch. In addition to full-service moves for intrastate, interstate, and international moves, IVL offers services that many other interstate moving companies can’t (or don’t):
- Long- and short-term storage facilities
- Furniture assembly and disassembly
- Custom crating
- Transportation for specialty items (hot tubs, pianos, etc.)
- Auto shipping
- Boat transport
- Home cleaning
- Junk and debris removal
Through IVL, these services are available virtually anywhere in the country. Even if the company’s in-house staff can’t provide one of these services in your area, IVL’s wide network of partnerships enable it to outsource (or broker) that service to another company that IVL trusts.
So no matter where you’re moving from, where you’re moving to, or what your move requires, IVL can handle it.
It has transparent pricing
As we’ve mentioned (and you’ve probably experienced), pricing is one of the biggest pain points in moving. IVL tries to solve this problem by spelling out everything that goes into your quote, from the rate for each flight of stairs to the increased cost of bulkier items.
In our eyes, this kind of pricing transparency is a trademark sign of a reliable moving company.
Not only does this build trust between you and your mover, but it also helps you budget accurately. If we have the choice to pay what we expected or cough up an extra $250 or more after our move, we’ll take the first option, please!
In our experience, IVL’s transparency doesn’t mean it’s significantly more affordable than its competitors. However, based on the number of customers who leave happy with their move and the wide array of services IVL offers, we believe it’s well worth the cost.
Did you know?
Did you know?
IVL hooks veterans and older adults up with a 10% discount on every move. So whether you served your country, are enjoying retirement, or both, let your IVL rep know so you can save a few bucks on your final bill.
To learn more, read our full International Van Lines Review.
American Van Lines—Best for up-front pricing
Most companies that provide everything American Van Lines does are brokers or broker-carrier hybrids that outsource part or all of your move to other companies. But AVL is different. Whether you need auto shipment, full-service moving, or storage services, AVL’s background-checked staff handles every part of your move.
In addition to all these services, American Van Lines is committed to fair prices and customer satisfaction, and it uses a flat-rate pricing system so you always know exactly what you’re going to pay.
- Flat-rate pricing
- Binding estimates
- Background-checked movers
- Certified piano and antique movers
- No online quotes
- Frequent phone calls
American Van Lines at a glance
|U.S. DOT #||614506|
Data as of 1/10/2020.
What’s that name again?
What’s that name again?
American Van Lines’ name is very similar to North American Van Lines (which we’ll talk about in a little bit), so the two are often confused—even by search engines like Google. Despite how similar their names are, the two companies are very different. For example, AVL is a van line, while North American Van Lines is a van line AND a broker.
Why we recommend American Van Lines
It uses flat-rate pricing and gives binding estimates
AVL doesn’t offer quotes online, so you might be surprised to see them ranked as our favorite company for up-front pricing. What earns AVL this rank in our book is its flat-rate pricing system.
Flat-rate pricing means AVL doesn’t charge an hourly rate, and it doesn’t charge extra for mileage or fuel. Once AVL has a full inventory of your belongings and knows how far you’re moving, it’ll calculate one flat estimate for your move based on how much your shipment weighs and how many days it’ll take to get from point A to point B.
While instant online quotes are convenient, they’re often inaccurate representations of what your move will actually cost in the end. Flat-rate pricing ensures that your binding estimate will accurately predict what your move will cost.
You won’t even pay extra if the loading process takes a couple extra hours or the moving crew has to take a detour because of construction. With an hourly company, you would likely need to pay more in either of these circumstances.
As an added bonus, many cross-country movers who charge flat rates are motivated to do their work quickly and efficiently so they can turn a profit (you’ll pay the same amount if the move goes more quickly than projected), so your shipment might get delivered ahead of schedule.
It has excellent customer service
Up-front pricing is certainly a nice perk, but even the best perks and benefits can be overshadowed by poor customer service. You probably wouldn’t be too grateful to have a flat-rate estimate if the representative servicing your move was rude to you over the phone or in person.
That’s why we looked into AVL’s customer service, and we’re happy to report that the company has an excellent track record in this department as well. In fact, AVL’s customer service was recently recognized by Newsweek as some of the best in the moving industry.
On top of this impressive kudos from Newsweek, AVL also has hundreds of glowing customer reviews that praise its punctuality, fair prices, attention to detail, professionalism, and (surprise) customer service.
If you want to learn more, read our full review of American Van Lines.
Allied Van Lines—Best customer experience
Allied Van Lines is a full-service long-distance mover that maintains one of the largest moving networks in the world. Not only does it partner with plenty of agents (local moving companies) to meet your needs, it provides stellar service too.
A great in-home estimate experience, excellent customer service, and a wide range of services make this mover a shoo-in on our list.
- Responsive customer service representatives
- Pleasant in-home moving estimate experience
- Appliance disconnection and reconnection
- Pricing transparency
- No affordable storage options for small loads
- “Guaranteed” prices not always guaranteed
Allied Van Lines at a glance
|U.S. DOT #||76235|
Data as of 1/10/2020.
Why we give Allied Van Lines a gold star
Its representatives are easy to work with
In-home moving estimates are fairly similar from one moving company to another. Of all the in-home estimates we experienced, however, we enjoyed Allied’s the most.
An in-home estimate is one of the easiest ways to tell if a moving company (and its representatives) are trying to push you into a sale. Ask yourself: Are they pressuring you to commit to their services? Or does your quote seem suspiciously low?
We know—inviting a stranger to walk through every room in your home sounds like the beginning of a customer service horror story. But our in-home estimate with Allied was nothing short of helpful, honest, and stress-free.
It was evident that Allied’s relocation assistant had our best interest—achieving a comfortable, affordable move—at heart.
We never felt like we were being sold anything during the process, which was a welcome experience. In fact, our relocation specialist even advocated for not using certain services because he didn’t believe they were worth the money for our one-bedroom apartment.
You can read more about our in-home estimate in our full Allied Van Lines review, but overall, it was a very positive experience.
It has responsive customer service agents
If we didn’t make it clear enough in reason number one, we’ll make it clear here—we were very impressed with Allied’s customer service during each and every one of our interactions.
The in-home estimate was just the tip of the iceberg. Each time we reached out to Allied’s representatives to ask questions about our move, they responded quickly and thoroughly. It didn’t matter if we were giving them a phone call or sending them an email, each response was prompt, and they didn’t make us feel like we were burdening them with our requests.
If customer service is important to you, you likely won’t go wrong with Allied.
To learn more, read our full Allied Van Lines Review.
North American Van Lines—Best for customizing your move
With industry experience dating back to 1933, North American Van Lines is a seasoned full-service mover that can get your things safely and smoothly from point A to point B.
Plus, with over 500 local movers, North American Van Lines boasts one of the nation’s largest fleets—so it can likely service your move whether you’re in Arizona or Arkansas.
- Large network of local moving agents
- Quick ballpark estimates
- Excellent moving resources
- GPS shipment tracking
- Mediocre customer service
- Reports of broken furniture
North American Van Lines at a glance
|U.S. DOT #||070851|
Data as of 1/10/2020.
Why we give North American Van Lines a thumbs up
It allows you to customize your move
From full-service and fragile-only packing to appliance disconnection and reconnection to furniture disassembly and reassembly, North American offers a slew of add-on moving services.
This means you choose services based on how much you can afford. If you have an unlimited budget, you can go entirely full service and have a North American moving crew pack and load everything for you. If money is tighter, you can have movers pack only your most fragile items or pack all of it yourself and simply have the movers load and haul.
North American makes it clear which services are included in the overall cost of your move and which are extra. Full-service packing, for example, is extra.
You can also pay for help you want once you’ve arrived at your new home (reattaching the legs on your dining room table or plugging in your smart TV, for example).
We think this freedom to tailor your move shows that North American is flexible and considerate of its customers’ needs (and budgets).
If you fill out an online request for an estimate from North American Van Lines, expect an initial barrage of emails and phone calls. Luckily, it’s easy to get your name removed from the call list, but it can feel overwhelming in the meantime.
It walks you through your move from start to finish
It’s easy for moving companies to forget that this may be your first rodeo—and even if it isn’t, every move comes with its own challenges.
North American Van Lines gets it.
Instead of confusing moving lingo that you’ve never heard before, North American’s website has moving guides and blog posts written in plain language. This can help you feel confident in every step of the process—which is important with something as chaotic and overwhelming as moving.
Plus, North American’s organized process and helpful checklists cover all your questions well before your move. This will come in handy when it’s 2:00 a.m. the night before your move and you’re staring at your ceiling fan thinking, “Wait, did I ask about packing my fragile stemware and wedding china?”
We also love that North American provides instant ballpark estimates for your move, instead of saying, “Great! Check your inbox and maybe a quote will be there.” This makes comparison shopping easier because you’ll have your quote in-hand immediately.
To learn more, read our full North American Van Lines Review.
PODS—Best bang for your buck
Unlike the other companies on this list, PODS is a moving and storage container company (one of our favorites, in fact). When you hire PODS, you pack your moving pod yourself, and PODS picks it up and delivers it to your new home for you. This makes moving with PODS slightly more DIY than moving with one of the full-service movers we’ve mentioned so far.
While moving with storage containers takes a little more work on your part (unless you pay for loading assistance), it can save you thousands of dollars on your interstate move, making it an excellent option if you’re moving on a tight budget.
- Packing and loading assistance available
- Locations in most states
- Weatherproof containers
- Long- and short-distance moves
- Storage services
- Requires a phone call to finalize your quote
PODS at a glance
|U.S. DOT #||1397252|
Data as of 2/26/2020.
What we like about PODS
It’s far more affordable than a full-service mover
Full-service movers aren’t cheap. While prices vary depending on distance, weight, and seasonality, an interstate move with a full-service mover typically costs between $2,000 and $12,000 (and we’ve even seen higher rates for exceptionally large moves).
Compare these prices to the rates we’ve gotten from PODS, and it’s clear what the budget option is. (Spoiler alert: it’s PODS.)
How much does PODS cost?
|Distance||One 7 ft. container||Two 7 ft. containers||Three 7 ft. containers|
|One 7 ft. container||Two 7 ft. containers||Three 7 ft. containers|
Data as of 8/27/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Of course, these are ballpark estimates for unique moving scenarios, so they don’t necessarily reflect what you might pay moving with PODS. To get an exact price, you’ll need to request a quote.
Is PODS the cheapest moving container company?
We want to reiterate that moving prices are highly contextual, and they depend on a lot of factors. This makes it hard to broadly compare prices from different companies. That being said, PODS tends to cost more per container than other container companies like U-Pack and SMARTBOX.
However, when you break the prices down per cubic foot of storage space, PODS usually gives you the most space for your money.
To learn more about moving container prices, read our guide to the average cost of moving containers.
It has a wide range of moving container size options
Speaking of container space, PODS has three different moving container sizes:
|Container||Dimensions||Storage space (cu. ft.)||Ideal home size||Weight capacity (lbs.)|
|7 ft. container||7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.||392||Studio apartment||5,200|
|12 ft. container||12 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.||768||1-bed apartment||4,700|
|16 ft. container||16 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.||1,024||1- to 2-bed home||4,200|
|Dimensions||Storage space (cu. ft.)||Ideal home size||Weight capacity (lbs.)|
|7 ft. x 7 ft. x 8 ft.||392||Studio apartment||5,200|
|12 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.||768||1-bed apartment||4,700|
|16 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.||1,024||1- to 2-bed home||4,200|
Data as of 2/20/2020.
Most moving container companies offer only one size option, and many of these sizes are smaller than PODS’ smallest containers. PODS’ wider selection is ideal for budget hunters since it means you’ll always get the most space for your money.
Plus, it’s almost always cheaper to ship a single large container than it is to ship multiple smaller containers that add up to roughly the same amount of storage space.
So, if you don’t have much to move, you could save money by getting a smaller container from a different company. But if you’re moving tons of furniture and household goods, renting one or two PODS containers instead of several from another company is probably best for your wallet.
Want to hear what customers think of PODS?
Want to hear what customers think of PODS?
We recently helped a family move from New Jersey to Utah using PODS. Overall, we were impressed by PODS’ customer service, delivery methods, and pricing. You can learn all about this family’s firsthand experience by reading What to Expect When You Move with PODS.
To learn more, read our full PODS Review.
Recapping our 5 best interstate moving companies
Best of the rest
What makes a good interstate moving company?
Quality customer service
Customer service is always important—but even more so when you’re moving. Because moving is expensive and you’ll do it only a handful of times in your life, you don’t get a do-over like you would if you ate at a bad restaurant and had to salvage dinner elsewhere.
One way to gauge if a company is going to be a joy or a pain to work with is to ask yourself some basic gut-check questions about their interstate moving services. Here are a few examples:
- Do the representatives seem pushy or overly salesy?
- Does what they’re telling you match what’s advertised on their website?
- Do they walk you through what your move will look like and explain any words or steps you don’t understand?
- If they’re a broker, do they make this clear up front?
- Are they transparent about their prices? (For example: they offer to send you a contract/bill of lading so you can see a breakdown of all the expenses.)
- Do they allow you to track your shipment either online or through facilitated communication with the truck driver?
- Do they make promises or offer rates that seem too good to be true?
Above all, remember this rule of thumb: after speaking with a company in the early stages, if you find you’re more stressed out or confused than you were before you called, it’s likely not going to get any better if you choose to move with them.
Before you settle for a potentially bad experience, do some research, shop around, and trust your gut. Working with the best moving companies is worth it.
A wide range of services
Some moving companies offer the bare minimum (e.g., loading and packing services), while others offer lots of add-on amenities. Keep an eye out for a healthy mix of free and paid services that will help make your move easier.
Here are some basic ones to keep in mind:
- Packing and unpacking
- Fragile-only packing
- Loading and unpacking services
- Moving supplies and boxes
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly
- Large item moves (e.g., pianos, pool tables)
- Customer crafting
- Storage options
- Basic valuation
- Full-value protection (FVP)
There are a few bonus amenities that can set the best moving companies apart:
- Appliance disconnection and reconnection (e.g., hot tubs and pools)
- Vehicle shipping
- Shuttle services
The best moving companies include the majority of these services in the cost of your move. Things like FVP and large item moves will always cost extra, but the more services available, the more room you have to customize your move (and your budget).
If there’s something you feel would make your move easier—like cleaning debris from your old house or setting up utilities in your new one—be sure to choose a mover that can take care of your specific needs.
It doesn’t scam its customers
We’ve thoroughly researched every company on this list to ensure they’re all trustworthy, so you don’t need to worry about getting scammed by one of them. If you want to hire a company we haven’t recommended here, you should take the following precautions:
- Use the company’s USDOT number to check its FMCSA licensing. Any company authorized by the FMCSA meets government standards for safety and trustworthiness.
- Read customer reviews about the company to check for hidden fees.
- Ask if the company charges by shipment weight or by cubic foot (charging by cubic foot is a red flag).
- Don’t sign any contracts before the company does an in-home estimate.
- Check for third-party reviews of the company on sites like Move.org.
To learn more about moving scams and how to avoid them, read our guide to moving scams.
Is hiring a professional mover worth the cost on an interstate move?
Packing, hauling, and driving a moving truck yourself may seem like a smart way to save some cash. But a lot can go awry in a DIY move. Some end up being just as expensive as hiring a moving company—and you don’t have the same level of financial protection for your belongings.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding between a professional movers or a DIY move:
- Time: Your time isn’t free, and chances are a full-service move will go much faster than a DIY move.
- Ease: If you have kids who require your undivided attention, or if you live in a high-rise on a busy Manhattan block, professionals can minimize the stress of coordinating your move.
- Materials: Buying boxes and packing materials yourself can get pricey, plus you’ll have to figure out where to find the best supplies. (If you do go this route, we’ve got a shopping list to help you out.)
- Gas: Big moving trucks aren’t the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, so fuel costs can easily add an extra zero to your bill.
- Food: Purchasing meals on the journey between your old and new homes gets expensive, especially if you don’t plan on surviving off of gas station food.
- Lodging: If you’re moving long distance, you’ll likely have to break your trip up over multiple days and find a hotel or two along the way.
- Coverage: No matter how carefully you pack your things, items may still break during your trip. Moving coverage through a full-service mover (even if it costs extra) ensures you’re covered in the event of a loss.
Bottom line: if you don’t want the hassle of loading, driving, and unloading a truck, a full-service move is the way to go.
Here's the deal with coverage
Here's the deal with coverage
Every moving company is required to provide basic valuation on every move, which covers $0.60 per pound. Companies may offer full-value protection (FVP)—which will cover the cost to repair, replace, or reimburse you up to the full value of your broken items—for an added fee. To learn more, check out our guide to moving coverage.
We want to hear from you
No matter which interstate mover you choose, we’d love to hear how your moving experience went. And if you think a mover deserves a look from the Move.org team, let us know!
If you want to learn more about the best interstate movers in your area, check out our Find-a-Mover tool.
Joe Roberts also contributed to this article.