The best moving companies in California

We found the best California movers by researching more than 30 moving companies.
Best long-distance moving company
Best local moving company
Best moving container company
Best moving truck company
Best hourly moving labor company

There are several moving companies worth considering if you live in California. You have thousands of choices, but they offer slightly different services, quality, and pricing. International Van Lines is our pick for the best California mover. However, there are some other top-notch professional moving choices as well. We’ve compiled a list of the best moving services in the Golden State, from Los Angeles and San Diego to San Jose and San Francisco.

Compare California moving companies

Moving company
Move type rating
Learn more
Full-service (long distance)
4.9 out of 5 stars
Full-service (local)
4.4 out of 5 stars
Moving container
4.6 out of 5 stars
Truck rental
4.5 out of 5 stars
Hourly labor
4 out of 5 stars

International Van Lines—Best long-distance moving company

Best long-distance moving company

International Van Lines is our pick for the best long-distance moving company. It can move you anywhere in the country and is upfront about its prices (most moving companies aren’t). IVL also offers substantial discounts if you’re a senior or need to ship a car. Plus, the moving company provides 30 days of free storage to provide a buffer when moving into your new home. On the downside, it has below-average customer reviews and annoying website pop-up ads.

pro Transparent pricing
pro Local and long-distance moving
pro 15% car shipping discount
pro 15% senior discount
pro 30 days of free storage
con Below-average customer reviews
con Annoying pop-up ads

First National Van Lines—Best local moving company

Best local moving company

First National Van Lines is our pick for the best local moving company. While most moving brokers focus on helping you move between states, FNVL’s expertise enables you to move within the same state. It has a network of movers in nearly all US cities and receives above-average customer reviews. First National Van Lines can also give you a quote virtually or in person and provides attractive storage options. For example, it offers all customers a free month of storage and a remote video stream of their storage space. On the downside, FNVL’s website isn’t always up-to-date.

pro Services most U.S. cities
pro Excellent customer reviews
pro In-home and virtual quotes
pro 30 days of free storage
pro Remote video storage
con Out-of-date website

PODS—Best moving container company

Best moving container company

PODS is one of your best moving options. Think of the company’s containers as storage units that you can hang onto until you've set a date with a driver to pick up and hook onto the back of a specialized truck. A PODS truck drops off a moving container at your home. Once you load it, PODS picks the container up and transports it to your new home, where you unload it. The container company has top-notch customer reviews, excellent storage options, and nationwide availability. And despite confusing invoices, PODS has some of the lowest rates for moving containers in the United States. In some cases, it's even more convenient and cheaper than rental trucks.

pro Low prices
pro Multiple container sizes
pro Lots of storage options
pro Positive customer reviews
pro 46-state availability
con Confusing prices

Penske—Best moving truck company

Best moving truck company

Penske Truck Rental is our pick for the best moving truck company. Renting a truck is the cheapest way to move, and Penske brings a lot to the table. It offers local and long-distance moving services everywhere in the country (except Alaska), provides reliable reservations, and has moving discounts. In addition, Penske has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any rental truck company. So if you’re able to pack, load, and drive, there’s no better option than Penske Truck Rental.

pro Lowest moving prices
pro Local and long-distance rentals
pro Excellent customer reviews
pro Moving discounts
pro Reliable reservations
con No service in Alaska

HireAHelper—Best hourly moving labor company

Best hourly moving labor company

HireAHelper is an excellent solution if you need help with only a few parts of the moving process. The company’s professional contractors can help you with everything from packing and loading to furniture assembly and junk removal. It’s also easy to find, with nearly 5,000 locations in all 50 states. Plus, HireAHelper movers get excellent customer reviews. Just be aware that you must hire your workers for at least two hours. It’s not cheap compared to other hourly moving labor companies, but customer reviews suggest the premium price is worth it.

pro Professional contractors
pro Packing and loading services
pro 4,750+ locations
pro 50-state availability
pro Positive customer reviews
con High prices
con Two-hour minimum's top pick


International Van Lines is our pick for the best long-distance moving service. It has a vast network of cross-country movers, provides one month of free storage, and offers military and senior discounts. Want to move with's #1 pick?

What type of moving company is right for you?

Professional movers
They handle it all.

Professional movers load your stuff, ship it to your new home, and unload it all for you. It’s the easiest—but most expensive—option. Learn more.

You load, they ship.

You load up all your belongings, but the movers transport your container to your new home. It’s the middle road for effort and cost. Learn more.

Moving truck rentals
You do all the work.

Worried about costs? Rent a truck, load it yourself, drive it to your new home, and unload all your things. You do it all—and save a lot. Learn more.

What to know about living in California


California has a population of approximately 40 million people. Even though the population has declined by about 1% over the last year, the state is still home to nearly one in every eight Americans. In addition, California is split 50/50 between men and women, with about 75% of the population over 18.1 The state also has a sizable Hispanic/Latino population, and around one-fourth of residents were born in another country.2


California is home to nearly 1 million businesses and 16 million workers. Men make up roughly half of all employers, while minorities and women make up the majority of remaining business owners.1 California’s income inequality index is higher than the national average, with women making approximately $15,000 less per year than their male counterparts.2

Managers, nurses, bookkeepers, truck drivers, and business operations specialists make up the state’s five most popular jobs, while the highest-paying industries include tech, broadcasting, software publishing, and financial investments. The average one-way California commute is approximately 30 minutes per day.3

Light Bulb
How do I ship my motorcycle?

The best motorcycle shipping companies can transport your car from California cities like North Hollywood or Beverly Hills to anywhere in the country.

Cost of living

California is home to four of the nation’s 10 cities with the highest cost of living (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland-Berkeley, and San Diego). It’s also one of the more expensive states for utility costs, with Californians paying a monthly average total of just under $400.

However, the state also has higher wages to go alongside a higher cost of living. The median California employee makes approximately $80,000 annually—up about 0.5% from the previous year.1 The pay scale ranges substantially,2 and the state is home to its fair share of wealthy families.3

For example, Californians earn about $15,000 more than the country’s median annual income of $65,000.3 Nearly 15% of the population lives in poverty, and approximately 10% of those under 65 don’t have health insurance.1 California also has more chronically homeless residents than any other state.3


California leans heavily Democratic. Nearly two-thirds of the eligible population voted for Joe Biden in the last presidential election, while approximately one-third voted for Donald Trump. San Francisco has the highest percentage of Democratic voters (85%), and the state generally becomes less Republican the farther west you travel.

Info Box
Which long-distance movers have the best quality?

American Van Lines is our pick for the highest-quality interstate moving company. It’s expensive, but the company has decades of experience moving high-value items like pianos and artwork.

Best California movers FAQ

What is the best moving company in California?

The best California moving company is International Van Lines. It has a vast network, transparent pricing, and steep moving discounts.

When is the best time to schedule a move in California?

The best time to schedule a move in California is during the middle of the week. The price is lower on Tuesday through Thursday than on weekends, and you can also usually find cheaper moving rates.

Who regulates interstate movers in California?

The Bureau of Household Goods and Services regulates moves within California, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governs interstate movers. An easy way to avoid moving scams is to ensure your moving company is licensed with the government.

Are PODS allowed in California?

PODS containers are allowed in California. However, you need access to a driveway or parking spot for the moving service to safely unload one of its moving containers. In some cases, you may also need to secure a moving permit.

How many California locations does HireAHelper have?

HireAHelper provides hourly moving labor services in 100 California cities, including San Diego, San Jose, Los Angeles, North Hollywood, and Redwood City. It can also connect you with professional movers with moving trucks.


We conducted intensive research to identify the best moving companies for long-distance moves and local moves, in addition to container moves, truck rentals, and hourly moving labor:

  • 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.


  1. United States Census Bureau. “QuickFacts: California.” Accessed October 4, 2022.
  2. Deloitte. “Data USA: California.” Accessed October 4, 2022.
  3. Employment Development Department, State of California. “Top 20 Occupations by Total Job Openings in California (2018–2028).” Accessed October 4, 2022.
Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at