Compare the Best Long Distance
Moving Companies of 2024

Moving long distance can be a hefty task, and finding a reliable moving company that won't break the bank is a top priority. But remember, the best price isn't the only factor to consider. You'll want a company that's reliable, safe, and responsible, too. We'll guide you in selecting the best moving company for your needs. We'll explore companies that not only offer competitive prices but also provide excellent service and have a proven track record.

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North American Van Lines
Allied Van Lines
Colonial Van Lines
American Van Lines
Gentle Giant Moving Company
Author: Helen McKenzie
January 09, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

What Is Considered a Long-Distance Move?

When you’re planning a move, one of the first things you need to determine is whether it’s a local or long-distance move. Long-distance moving, as the name suggests, isn’t just moving to a neighboring town. It can involve anything from changing cities to a full-blown cross-country job relocation.

Typically, any move exceeding 400 miles qualifies as a long-distance move. On the flip side, it’s a local move if it’s 50 miles or less. Importantly, any move that requires crossing state lines falls into a special category. It’s known as an interstate move, regardless of the actual distance covered.

Moving long distances, though often stressful, has been made more flexible and convenient by certain companies through innovative solutions. You often have the option to book containers, fill them at your own pace, and the company will take charge of picking up and transporting them to your new location. This allows you to unload at your new home when you’re ready, giving you control of your moving schedule.

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What To Look for in a Long-Distance Moving Company?

Moving is one thing, and long-distance moving is another, as it often requires true grit. It doesn’t matter if you are long-distance moving for pleasure or work. You will want to hire the most competent long-distance moving company as it is vital for a smooth shift from one place to another. But do you know what is worth looking for in a long-distance mover? Continue reading to explore the following questions.

  • Does the mover provide binding estimates?

Always go for a moving company that provides binding estimates to their clients. This should be the first thing to consider when determining which long-distance mover has the right attributes to make your long-distance move the best possible. If a long-distance mover’s estimates are not binding, you might be surprised at the moving firm increasing your fee at short notice, even on the moving day. Usually, when a long-distance moving firm gives you a written estimate, you should see the words “binding estimate” on it. If the written estimate doesn’t have the “binding estimate” words, don’t agree to hire that particular mover. 

  • What are the moving firm’s coverage options?

It’s also recommended you check the moving company’s coverage options. Although an excellent moving company’s coverage might cost you extra dollars, most reputable long-distance moving companies provide fundamental liability coverage at no cost. Although basic liability coverage will not mean much if your household items disappear or break during transit, it acts as a great litmus test of a mover’s quality of services. So, if you encounter a long-distance moving company that doesn’t feature basic liability coverage, avoid it. 

  • Does the mover incorporate online positive customer reviews?

What are people saying about the moving company you want to use for your long-distance move? The best way to explore other clients’ opinions on a mover’s services is to look for customer reviews on various online platforms. To find the most reliable long-distance mover, we would advise you to pay particular attention to what previous customers said about the mover’s punctuality and pricing. While you are likely to find a few bad reviews about any moving company, it doesn’t always mean that they are not reliable. If most online reviews are positive, praising the mover for their excellent services, it’s a potential indication you can trust them. A red flag is when most reviews are negative, meaning you should not use the moving firm’s services. 

How Much Does a Long-Distance Move Cost? What Factors Impact Quotes?

First, a long-distance move can take approximately ten to 14 days. Depending on several factors, you can now calculate what your long-distance move is likely to cost. Remember that shipment deliveries arrive in three days, three weeks, or even longer. In most cases, shipment deliveries depend on the time of the year and the degree of your moving services. Also, remember that ideally, a truck driver can only be legally behind the wheel up to 650 miles per day. 

Considering all that, a full-service long-distance move will usually cost you around $2,000. So, you can expect a long-distance move to cost you from as low as $1,250 to as high as $5,000, with most of these long-distance moves costing about $4,000. Add-on services, move distance, move type, and seasonality are some factors that may make this figure fluctuate, as discussed below in detail.

Factors Impacting Long-Distance Moving Quotes

Usually, more than one factor can affect the overall cost of a long-distance move, whether intrastate or interstate. And these factors are common among most long-distance moving companies when adjusting their quotes. 

Without wasting time, your long-distance moving package quote is likely to change depending on the following most common factors.

  • Your original home’s location: The pick-up location is a vital element of a long-distance moving quote. Some long-distance movers will likely add some extra dollars to your moving quote if your original residence is quite far from the company’s headquarters. Additionally, the moving price will also be higher if the moving company realizes it might be harder to reach your original home’s location. 
  • Your new home’s location: Equally, the drop-off location is an essential part of the moving quote. The moving firm is likely to raise the overall cost if it’s difficult to reach your new destination. For instance, if you are moving into a tight street where the moving truck won’t easily fit, your long-distance moving quote might include an extra fee. 
  • Move time and date: The day and time of the moving matter as much as the date itself. The most well-known months for long-distance moving are spring to late summer, meaning movers will start imputing higher figures on their moving quotes as the moving demand skyrockets. Weekends and national holidays are also likely to see you pay more for your long-distance move. If you want to save, we recommend choosing a random weekday in the winter or fall. 
  • Size and the overall move distance: The primary factors in moving quotes are the size and overall distance the move will cover. Take for example a three-bedroom home that features a living room, bathroom, and dining room. The size of such a home means more possessions, translating to a higher cost than a simple studio with one bathroom and small living space. 
  • Labor costs: Usually, every state has different labor costs, so your moving quote will depend on the location of the moving company. This charge applies mainly to long-distance moves, internationally or cross-country, because short-distance moving quotes are primarily local. 
  • Materials: Most long-distance movers also provide their clients with packing and unpacking materials as an extra charge on a standard moving quote. If you prefer a full-moving service, you will dig deeper into your pockets than if you were to provide your packing and unpacking services and materials.
  • Storage fees: Storage fees don’t always apply to long-distance moving but are sometimes necessary. Sometimes the moving firm may have to hold onto your belongings before the final delivery date. In that case, your long-distance moving quote will feature some additional storage fees. So, you can avoid such ex

The Importance of Choosing the Best Long Distance Moving Companies

When preparing for a long-distance move, picking the right movers can make all the difference. But what truly contributes to the making of the best long-distance moving company? It’s not just about snatching the lowest upfront quote. The true value in a moving company lies in its reliability, cost-effectiveness, and the provision of comprehensive services.

Reliability and Trustworthiness

Engaging a reliable and trustworthy company ensures that your belongings are transported safely, mitigating moving stress. Moving companies that handle longer moves have earned unique qualifications to vouch for their reliability and trustworthiness. Customer testimonials can provide insight into a company’s consistently delivering quality service. 


The cost of a moving service is important, but remember that cost-effective doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. The average cost of a long-distance move is around $3,500 and depends on factors like the weight of belongings (usually estimated at 7,000 lbs for a 7-room house) and distance (around 1,000 miles). All quotes should be accurate and transparent, encompassing all aspects of the moving process and additional costs or fees. A cost-effective moving company should be affordable without compromising on service quality.

Comprehensive Services

Having a comprehensive range of services allows for a move tailored to your specific needs. This could mean offering everything from full-service help packing up your home to storage of items, vehicle shipping, and the sale of moving supplies. The best moving companies offer customized solutions and packages that can make your move as convenient and efficient as possible. But remember, always do your due diligence and compare pricing and offerings from different companies.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Long Distance Moving Companies

Choosing a moving company for your long-distance move is more than just comparing prices. Here are some key aspects you’ll want to consider.

Reputation and Experience

One of the first things to check when choosing a moving company is the company’s reputation and experience. You’ll want to ensure that they’ve been around for a decent amount of time and have a strong reputation within the industry. Company longevity can be an indicator of consistent, quality service over time. Research the company’s history, years of operation, and how they’ve resolved any conflicts or issues.

Licensing and Insurance

Your belongings are valuable – and you’ll want peace of mind knowing they’re in the right hands. Look for a mover that’s fully licensed and insured. This ensures compensation in case something goes awry during the move. Check their licensing details with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Keep in mind that a professional moving company should be more than willing to provide this information.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews can shine a light on the company’s ability to deliver excellent customer service. Look for companies with mostly positive reviews and learn from other customers’ experiences.

Range of Services Offered

You’re not just moving your stuff—you’re moving your life. So choose a company that caters not just to your current needs but potential future ones as well. Some companies offer packing assistance, vehicle shipping, moving supplies, or even storage options. Your needs will be unique to your situation, but the more services a company offers, the better equipped they are to handle your move.

Pricing and Payment Options

While pricing is important, the cheapest option may not always be the best one. Look for companies that offer price transparency. Fees should be clearly laid out, with no hidden charges. The company should also offer a variety of payment options for your convenience.

Safety and Security Measures

Safety should be a top priority. What measures does the company take to secure your belongings while in transit? Do they have a solid track record in driving safety performance? Choosing a company that prioritizes safety and security measures could save you a lot of stress and potential future problems.

As you sift through options, remember these factors. They’ll greatly assist in finding a reliable moving company for your long-distance move. 

How Much Does a Long-Distance Move Cost?

When you’re planning a long-distance move, one of your key concerns may be the overall cost. Many elements determine the price tag of a move like this, and understanding them allows you to make an educated choice regarding a moving company.


A full-service long-distance move will usually cost you around $2,000. So, you can expect a long-distance move to cost you from as low as $1,250 to as high as $5,000, with most of these long-distance moves costing about $4,000.


Let’s talk about your moving method. This has a significant impact on your moving cost. If 

you opt for a full-service moving company, then you’re looking at a heftier bill than if you moved yourself using a truck rental. For those seeking a compromise, the moving container option might be the perfect middle ground. This hybrid choice costs more than a truck rental but less than a full-service move.


The volume of the things you’re moving also plays into the cost equation. Long-distance move costs are based on the weight of your belongings. Simply put, the more you move, the heavier the load, and the heavier the load, the pricier the move.


In addition, your origin and destination impact your moving cost. Not only does the distance factor into your cost, but your location plays a role as well. A move covering a larger distance will usually cost more. Moreover, if you’re moving to a remote location, expect to incur a higher expense compared to relocating to a major city.


Wherever you move, remember to familiarize yourself with your new location’s laws. Different states might have specific regulations that impact your moving process. With this understanding, you’re better placed to manage expenses and expectations effectively.


Below is a simplified breakdown of key cost contributors:


Moving Factors Cost Impact 
Full-service move High
DIY/truck rental Low
Moving container Medium
Weight of belongings High
Moving distance High
Location (remote vs city) High


Now that you have this information, you’re better equipped to make the optimal choice for your long-distance move.

Factors Impacting Long-Distance Moving Quotes

Leading into what you’ve been waiting for, consider the primary factors that can highly impact your long-distance moving cost. We’re talking about shipping weight, move distance, added services, insurance coverage, and booking dates. Let’s break them down.


Shipping weight is a heavy hitter here. As a rule of thumb in the long-distance moving industry, costs are determined by weight. The spot-on formula for your total inventory is quite simply a key cost determinant. 


Let’s talk about moving distance. Remember this: your move distance from origination to your new digs, the destination address, entirely formulates your base price. It’s that straightforward. Probably see a connection here to shipping weight, right?


Added services can all too quickly bulk up your moving cost. These include packing, crating, or even vehicle shipping. These services label you as a high-maintenance client–take note of making sure to disclose these needs during your moving quote process.


Now, we go into insurance coverage. This tends to cost extra, typically ranging from three to five percent of the total dollar amount of your insurance coverage. If you’re carting along priceless pieces or heirlooms in your move, consider this during the quote process. 


The timing of your move also plays a big part in costs. Booking dates, particularly in summer or last-minute bookings, may push your costs to the higher end. 

Tips on Preparing for a Long-Distance Move

We understand that it can be challenging to keep everything orderly as the set moving day approaches. You must figure out and take many essential steps when embarking on a long-distance move. But don’t worry, because we have highlighted some of the major steps and top tips that will help you keep everything in order as you wait for the moving day.

Establish the move type that you need

Way before scheduling with a long-distance moving firm, ask yourself if you want a self-service moving service or a full-service moving service. You may want to use a full-service firm if you would prefer to have a moving company that will handle every aspect of your long-distance move as you take care of other things. In that case, you must be willing to pay a higher cost.

However, if you are on a tight moving budget and can get plenty of help from family and friends, then the recommendation would be to take a DIY approach to your long-distance moving process if you don’t mind it at all. And hiring a self-service moving firm is the best way to take this approach which will ultimately save you money that you can use on other things. 

Reducing your inventory

Do you need to take everything with you during a long-distance move, including unwanted possessions? No! A long-distance move should be an excellent reason to do away with unwanted or underused belongings. The best approach is to develop two piles as you organize and pack for the long-distance move. Label one pile as the “throw-away-pile” and the remaining one as the “donate” pile. With a few days remaining before the moving day, please spare some time and use a truck to transport your labeled items to their correct drop-off locations. 

Inform people around you about your long-distance move

Like your family members and close friends, people around you will already know about your long-distance move. But also, don’t forget other significant organizations, parties, and individuals that are worth your long-distance notification. While you are free to notify whoever you wish, it would be best if you don’t leave out the Social Security Administration, tax agencies, insurance firms, the post office, your internet service provider, and utility companies. 

Confirm essential details with your long-distance moving company

It is essential to always check with your mover if it features all the legal requirements, with the most important ones being insurance and licensing. But if you have selected a long-distance moving company from our list, whether a full-service or a self-service, there is no need to worry about this essential tip. We strive to ensure that all the movers recommended in this piece are bonded, insured, and licensed. In case you decide to hire another moving firm that doesn’t feature in this list, we highly recommend that you take a step and ensure that they are properly insured and licensed.

Wondering how you will confirm if your long-distance mover is licensed and insured or not? It’s pretty simple! Obtain the mover’s USDOT number and then visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. You can use the mover’s USDOT number from the website to confirm that it is authorized to transport your household belongings safely.

Creating a detailed inventory

In most cases, most long-distance movers will help you in this area. Some moving companies will go the extra mile and offer you a tool that helps clients develop a detailed inventory of their belongings, ensuring you don’t leave anything out. And while creating a detailed inventory as described above, make short notes about your items’ conditions and take pictures. You will need these short notes and photos of your household belongings if an incident happens during transit, damaging some of your items and forcing you to file a claim for reimbursement.

Author: Helen McKenzie
January 09, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

Helen McKenzie is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. She has always loved writing and started writing for her school newspaper and eventually became a staff writer for a major metropolitan publication. More recently, Helen has been a member of the iMove Research Team, where she seeks to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about products and services available to consumers. In this role, she has conducted extensive research on topics such as moving companies, storage solutions, and real estate.

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