Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (2024)

Written By Sean Donnelly & Reviewed By Megan Harless Updated June 3, 2024

  • Our Picks
  • Compare Movers
  • How to Choose
  • Our Recommendation
  • Best Moving Companies
  • What to Expect
  • Plan Your Move
  • so why companies such as International Van Lines and American Van Lines have topped this list.

All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It takes tremendous trust to let long-distance movers into your home to handle and transport your belongings. However, with many companies to choose from and limited time to make a decision, it’s not uncommon to simply select a mover based on word of mouth and minimal research.

You deserve to have more confidence in your choice of mover. In 2024, our team has conducted more than three months of interviews, focus groups, and surveys to understand what matters to more than 1,280 consumers who have recently shopped for a moving company. We learned that when it comes to trust, you want proof that a moving company hires background-checked employees. You also want to know that a mover is willing to go the extra mile to protect your home, keep your belongings safe, and communicate throughout the moving process.

Based on the top concerns we heard from consumers, we determined that International Van Lines (IVL) and American Van Lines (AVL) are two of the best in the business.

Both companies run employee background checks, conduct training and certification programs for safe moving techniques, and fully staff their customer support teams to answer questions and provide updates throughout the moving process. Learn more in our detailed review of the top moving companies below.

Did You Know?

388 movers requested and received a free no-obligation quote from one of the above companies in the last 30 days.

Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2024

We spent over 100 hours researching the moving industry and months speaking to consumers who have used or plan to use professional moving services within the last year. We crafted a ranking system based on the factors we learned were most important to consumers, including cost and price transparency, trustworthiness, customer reviews, and services offered.

Here are the best long-distance movers according to our rating methodology:

Compare the Best Long-Distance Movers

We rated movers on their service offerings, insurance coverage plans, reputation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and extra benefits such as online resources and quote tools. Then, we ranked each mover on a 100-point scale and converted those points into a star rating.

CompanyStar RatingBest ForService ModelBBB RatingLink

Our Top Pick

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (4)VISIT SITE


Overall MovingCarrier and brokerBVISIT SITE


High-Value GoodsCarrier and brokerAVISIT SITE


Condos and HOAsCarrierA+VISIT SITE


Major CitiesBrokerBVISIT SITE


Customer ExperienceCarrierA+VISIT SITE


Coordinated MovesBrokerBVISIT SITE


Appliance MovingCarrierA+VISIT SITE



Mobile AppCarrier and brokerA+VISIT SITE



Expedited MovesN/AA+VISIT SITE



Home Office MovesN/AA+VISIT SITE

*Sample quotes above represent the average cost for a 2-bedroom move of 700 miles.

How to Choose the Best Long-Distance Moving Company

The right long-distance moving company for your friend or neighbor might not be right for you. Below, we cover how to choose a mover based on your specific needs, detailing pricing structures, moving timelines, offered services, and the expected customer service level.

We also explain what to look for in customer reviews so you can feel confident in the mover’s reputation.

Pricing Factors and How To Save

Pricing structures for long-distance moves are similar throughout the industry.The mover will generate an estimate based on a combination of factors such as the move distance, total weight of your belongings, and selected services.This similar price model makes it easier to compare quotes across providers.

There are additional fees associated with moving bulky items such as exercise equipment, pianos, and large pieces of furniture. You may also pay more if your home has multiple flights of stairs or an inaccessible driveway that requires the company to use a shuttle to load the moving truck.

Every moving company provides released liability coverage with all moves. You can choose to add valuation insurance that covers high-value items, but it will come at an added cost.

You should also factor in the cost of tipping the movers. A general guideline is to tip $5 to $10 per mover per hour. Or, $20 to $40 per person for a half-day move, and $40 to $80 per mover for a full-day move.

If you’re trying to stay within a strict moving budget, we recommend the following:

  • Downsize first to reduce your total inventory weight and use less boxes
  • Do some or all of your own packing to avoid paying for packing services on top of standard loading and transportation costs
  • Don’t move during summer months when most moving companies charge higher fees due to increased demand

Below are the baseline cost ranges to expect when booking your move through a long-distance moving company. These costs apply to a standard move with no additional services. The pricing factors above, such as bulky item fees, can add to your total expected cost.

Home Size
Move Distance1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 bedroom 4 bedroom
< 1,000 miles$2,500–$3,600$3350–$5,900$6,100–$6,800$9,200–$13,000
1,001–1,500 miles$2,900–$4,500$4,800–$7,500$7,000–$10,300$10,000–$16,000
1,501–2,000+ miles$3,200–$4,500+$5,300–$7,500+$7,400–$10,300+$10,400–$19,300+

Moving Timelines

Moving logistics aren’t as cut and dry as you might expect. Route planning typically involves coordinating multiple moves for customers within a region. Depending on your move’s size, it will likely become a consolidated shipment with another customer in the area.

Fifty-percent of panelists we spoke to in a recent focus group expressed concerns over moving timelines, fearing that delays could cause significant stress. An unfortunate reality of the moving industry’s complicated logistics is that delays occur from time to time, even with the most reputable providers. We understand this may be stressful to learn, especially if you need an expedited move because of an upcoming closing date or lease expiration.

If you have a strict moving date, many companies offer a guaranteed delivery date for an additional fee. Josh Morales, president of International Van Lines, told us that in this case, they give a dedicated moving truck to the customer:

“Say you’re moving from Utah to California. We’re sending a driver and a crew just to pick up your move, hopping on the road, and going straight to deliver your stuff, so there’s not going to be any consolidations. Typically, that will cost a customer, depending on the size of the move, anywhere from $1,000 up to $5,000 in additional charges, depending on the size of the move.”

– Josh Morales, IVL Founder & President

Customer Service

If customer service is top of mind, there are some key details to look out for when evaluating moving companies.

First impressions often color an entire experience. If a sales agent takes the time to understand your situation and walk you through the process rather than pushing you directly into a transaction, it’s a good sign of reputation. The same remains true into the contract phase. Your moving representative should encourage you to read through the contract and answer any questions to ensure you’re not caught off guard by any fine print.

In our conversations with homeowners, we learned that communication lapses were major sources of stress during the move.“The lack of clear communication about when the movers would arrive caused a lot of anxiety. We were left in the dark for hours, not knowing if they would show up on time or at all,” said one focus group panelist we interviewed about the issue.

We recommend asking the company’s sales representative about what to expect in terms of communication throughout the move and about the general availability of the company’s customer support teams.You may want to inquire what hours they offer support during, and what help they’re able to offer if you encounter an issue during your move.

Customer Reviews

We’ve read more than 10,000 customer reviews for long-distance moving companies around the country to determine which companies deliver best on their commitment to customers. While you might not want to read through so many reviews yourself, we highly recommend reading several recent reviews for any moving company you consider.

According to the data we collected in our recent consumer survey, Google Reviews and Yelp are the go-to review platforms for many people researching a company. These sites aggregate the most reviews in a single place, making it possible to evaluate both negative and positive sentiments before deciding. Look for any common themes to establish a clear picture of what to expect from a company.

Look for well-reviewed companies with positive ratings and satisfied consumer feedback, like the ones in this review. Words to watch for when looking for a solid company include “satisfied,” “peace of mind,” “professional,” and “communicative.” We also suggest looking for companies with more than 100 reviews whenever possible to ensure an established reputation.

Services, Packing, and Insurance

When we asked consumers about their packing preferences, we found a nearly even split between consumers who prefer the moving company do the packing, prefer to do their own packing, or prefer to divide packing duties between themselves and the movers. Fortunately, most long-distance movers have flexible packing options.

If you want a hands-off moving experience, opt for a mover with full-service packing. Keep in mind that this will add to your bill, but according to Morales, the value is worth it. “Having your stuff professionally packed by a moving company just makes sense. The cost isn’t far off. You’re talking a few hundred dollars, it would almost be the same as somebody buying packing supplies except they have to put in the time, the effort, and the labor. Self-pack also raises the level of insurance that you can get,” says IVL’s founder.

Additionally, some moving companies in this review offer add-on services, such as vehicle shipping to your new location and junk removal.

Another consideration is moving insurance. Moving insurance provides financial protection for your belongings in the event of loss or damage during transit. By law, interstate movers must provide limited liability coverage that protects your items up to $0.60 per pound. However, this won’t amount to very much reimbursem*nt if you have to file a claim.

You can also pay an additional fee that varies among movers for full value protection. Although it provides added assurance, note that the mover can choose to repair an item, replace it with a similar item, or payout in cash. Full value protection only applies to high-value items in most circ*mstances. If you want a more all-encompassing protection plan, ask your mover about third-party moving insurance plans.

Our Recommendation

We recommend International Van Lines as our top overall pick. Excessive prices were a dealbreaker for 58% of participants in our survey of nearly 1,300 recent moving company customers. IVL has average costs compared to competitors, with a consistently high-quality standard of service that makes it one of the best values we’ve seen in the industry. Expect IVL to provide a wide range of moving services tailored to your moving needs and preferences. It also offers responsive customer support and hires background-checked movers with extensive training to handle your most fragile belongings.

During our interviews with consumers who had used moving companies in the past, a frequent complaint was the reckless handling of items. American Van Lines is a solid pick if you have concerns about how a moving company will move and haul your most valuable belongings. AVL teams undergo specialized training to move fine artwork, antiques, and other fragile items that may benefit from specialized packing and positioning in a moving truck.

We recommend requesting quotes from at least three top moving companies to find the best fit for your needs.

Best Long-Distance Moving Companies for Your Move

International Van Lines

Our Top Pick

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (14)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

International Van Lines is our top overall pick. It operates seven offices located around the country to provide cross-country moving services in all 50 states. The strategic placement of its brick-and-mortar locations allows you to book your moving services within the window of time you need at a competitive rate that won’t inflate due to travel time. IVL offers a strong selection of services that are comparable to the industry’s biggest brands, and it goes above and beyond in helping you secure the amount of insurance you want to protect your move.

If you want more insurance protection than the limited liability coverage or full value protection typically offered for the move, ask your IVL representative about its option for adding extra insurance through UNIRISC (relocation insurance and risk management solutions).

Pricing Breakdown and Quote Process

International Van Lines will give you a detailed estimate once you complete an online quote form and speak to a representative by phone. You can opt to conduct a virtual survey of your home’s inventory rather than an in-home consultation to save time. We used International Van Lines’ online moving calculator to get the sample quote below.

Sample quote: $4,200 to $6,150 (3-bedroom move from Nashville, TN to Orlando, FL in early May)

Deposit: 25% of your total moving cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a quote from International Van Lines.

Pros and Cons


  • Provides an easy quote process and more cost transparency than many competitors via its online moving calculator
  • Has accessible options for adding extra insurance coverage to your move
  • Offers customizable packing options to tailor your move to your preferences


  • Requires a steeper deposit to reserve a moving date than some competitors, typically around 25% of your total moving cost
  • Doesn't accept credit card payments for your moving bill

Moving Services Offered

American Van Lines

Best for Antiques

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (16)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

American Van Lines is a standout choice for long-distance moves across the United States. Known for its reliability and comprehensive services, AVL offers a seamless moving experience with options tailored to individual needs. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, this family-owned company has established a reputation for professionalism and customer satisfaction.

It offers transparent flat-rate pricing and handles all moves in-house, ensuring direct communication and accountability throughout the process. AVL’s commitment to quality is evident in its professional packing services, climate-controlled storage options, and the use of regularly maintained, modern trucks. The substantial majority of customer reviews indicate that AVL handles moves with precision and care.

Pricing Breakdown and Quote Process

American Van Lines doesn’t give instant moving quotes online or by phone but does offer price matching. The company will provide a binding estimate only after thoroughly reviewing your home and its contents.

We obtained the sample quote below from American Van Lines’ website, but we recommend getting a personalized quote.

Sample quote: $8,178 (4-bedroom move from Dallas, TX to Denver, CO)

Deposit: Up to 50% of your total moving cost

To find out your long distance moving cost, get a moving quote from American Van Lines.

Pros and Cons


  • Trains its movers in safe handling techniques for fragile and high-value items
  • Provides direct communication and no third-party involvement, leading to fewer misunderstandings and a more streamlined process​
  • Offers a partial packing service for customers who prefer DIY packing but need help with certain items


  • Charges a 50% deposit for booking a move, a higher up-front cost than most reputable competitors
  • Doesn’t give quotes online or by phone

Moving Services Offered

American Van Lines offers all standard full-service and partial-service moving options, as well as the following:

  • Antique crating and shipping
  • Car shipping
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) options
  • Electronics crating
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Storage services

Safeway Moving Inc.

Best for Condos and HOAs

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (18)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

Safeway Moving is a top-rated choice for long-distance moves across the U.S. Known for its commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction, this veteran-owned company provides a range of services designed to make relocations as stress-free as possible.
Safeway offers flat-rate pricing, which helps avoid hidden costs and surprises and includes up to 30 days of free storage for long-distance moves. Its services cover everything from packing and loading to transportation and unpacking, all managed by a team of trained professionals. With robust GPS tracking, customers can monitor their belongings in real-time to help their peace of mind during the move.

Pricing Breakdown and Quote Process

Safeway advertises flat-rate costs based on the distance of your move and the size of your inventory. An agent will provide a binding estimate that will not change as long as your reported inventory is accurate and you require no additional services after booking the move.

We requested an estimate from Safeway for a long-distance move to get the sample quote below.

Sample Quote:$9,586(3-bedroom move from Atlanta, GA to Houston, TX)

Deposit:Up to 40% of your total moving cost

To find out the cost of your move,get a moving quote from Safeway Moving

Pros and Cons


  • Flat-rate pricing with no hidden fees, providing cost transparency from $2,800 to $11,266 depending on distance and size
  • 30 days of free storage included with long-distance moves, adding value to their service​
  • GPS tracking for real-time monitoring of your belongings, enhancing security and accountability​


  • Shuttle service fees apply when large trucks can't access certain locations, costing $0.55 to $0.75 per cubic foot​
  • Long carry and stairs service charges can add up, with $70 per additional 50 feet and $75 per extra flight of stairs​

Moving Services Offered

Safeway keeps its primary offerings simple with full-service and partial-service moving packages, but you can also opt for the following:

  • Fragile-only packing/loading
  • Specialized moving guidance and aid for retirement-age customers
  • Specialized services for HOA and condo moves
  • Storage services

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Best for Major Cities

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (20)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

(IMRG) offers moving services anywhere in the country, working as a broker with a network of licensed and insured partners in all 50 states. For any city with nearby IMRG agents, you should expect prompt scheduling and delivery of moving services. IMRG offers a similar experience to Safeway but focuses on personalized customer service rather than purely efficiency. IMRG also publishes articles for moving to nearly a dozen major cities, featuring moving tips and information about the cost of living.

Pros and Cons


  • Has a large network of licensed and insured moving partners, enabling IMRG to conduct services nationwide
  • Shares informative articles on its website for moving to major cities
  • Can arrange specialty services such as military moves and vehicle shipping


  • Offers no direct service as a carrier
  • Doesn’t fully remain responsible for damage due to broker status
  • Has received a large number of FMCSA complaints for estimates not matching final charges

Cost Details

Choosing full-service packing and unpacking assistance through one of IMRG’s providers may drive costs up. A shipment that proves heavier than the estimated weight will result in additional charges.Depending on the moving company that performs your services, you can opt for a binding or non-binding estimate. Some companies may also offer not-to-exceed estimates that lock in a maximum final price.

We received the sample quote below from an IMRG representative.

Sample Quote:$2,100–$6,900(2 or 3 bedrooms moving 1,000 miles from your current location)

Deposit:IMRG may require a deposit depending on the mover selected.

To find out the cost of your move,get a free quote from Interstate Moving & Relocation Group.

Moving Services Offered

IMRG provides the following add-ons with its standard full-service moving options:

  • Cleaning services
  • Fragile packing and unpacking
  • Military moves
  • Vehicle shipping

Allied Van Lines

Best Customer Experience

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (22)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

In business since 1928, Allied Van Lines is one of the most experienced movers on our list. The company focuses on the overall customer experience more than other providers listed here, which can be reassuring when you trust it to transport your belongings hundreds or thousands of miles away. Allied assigns a moving coordinator to assist each customer personally. It also hosts helpful online resources, including an active blog that features tips and detailed guidance for tackling various challenges in the moving process.

Pros and Cons


  • Offers guaranteed delivery dates
  • Provides numerous online resources and a mobile app for its customers
  • Offers Allied Express as a specialty service, allowing customers to conduct small moves with container storage and professional moving assistance


  • Doesn’t offer customer support via phone or email on weekends
  • Uses third-party movers when its own staff is unavailable
  • Customer reviews mention technical issues with filing claims

Cost Details

Allied Van Lines will not provide an online or phone estimate for homes larger than three bedrooms. For a binding estimate, you can schedule an in-person or virtual home survey on Allied’s website. An assessment specialist will review the layout of your house and your moving inventory, then factor in the distance, size, and date of your move to determine the total cost you can expect to pay on moving day.

We got the sample quote below using Allied Van Lines’ online moving calculator.

Sample Quote:$5,773–$6,368(3-bedroom move from Boston, MA to Montpelier, VT in mid-July)

Deposit:None required

To find out the cost of your move,get a free quote from Allied Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Allied provides the following add-ons for its long-distance moves:

  • Fragile-only packing
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

Moving APT

Best for Coordinated Moves

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (24)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

Moving APT matches you with prescreened and background-checked local movers that can meet your specific moving needs. The benefit of working with Moving APT is that it can handle the legwork of researching and picking a mover based on your specifications. Then, all you have to do is give Moving APT your moving details and note any special services you need, and the company will take care of the rest. Even after matching you with one of its partners, Moving APT will remain your primary point of contact to ensure your relocation is going smoothly and according to schedule.

Pros and Cons


  • Is transparent about the providers it contracts for moving services, putting you in direct communication with the companies
  • Provides fast estimates for moving at the last minute
  • Vets its partners for active insurance, licensing records, and background


  • Doesn’t operate its own moving crews or truck fleets
  • Provides a misleading online chat tool
  • Has received complaints on Yelp about misrepresented costs

Cost Details

We received the sample quote below from Moving APT’s online calculator. You’ll need to contact Moving APT directly to schedule a virtual home walk-through and receive a binding estimate.

Sample Quote:$7,500(4-bedroom move from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN)

Deposit:Moving APT charges an up-front deposit, the amount of which depends on the distance and size of your move and the company handling your relocation.

To find out the cost of your move,get a free quote from Moving APT.

Moving Services Offered

Moving APT offers the following services for full-pack and partial-pack long-distance moves:

  • Crating
  • Exercise machine relocation
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Vehicle shipping

JK Moving Services

Best Mobile App

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (26)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (27) Visit Site

JK Moving Services is one of our top choices for long-distance moving services due to its customizable packages and personal moving coordinators. The company provides more high-end customer service for similar offerings that carriers such as IVL and American Van Lines offer. Your moving coordinator will ask about your service preferences and walk you through each step of move planning, arranging a virtual or in-home consultation to go over your home’s inventory.

Visit Site

Pros and Cons


  • Has a convenient mobile app for reviewing your estimate and booking your move
  • Provides 24/7 customer service
  • Screens its movers for criminal history before hiring


  • Charges more than other carriers on this list
  • Doesn’t offer online quotes
  • Doesn’t refund deposits for canceled moves

Cost Details

JK Moving will provide you with a binding estimate—the actual amount you can expect to pay on moving day—after a virtual or in-home walk-through. The company doesn’t provide instant quotes online or by phone. JK Moving offers in-house financing through its partnership with Enhancify. With Enhancify, you can receive rates as low as 0%, same-as-cash, subject to credit approval. It’s important to review your loan rates and terms carefully to avoid paying more in the long run.

We called a JK Moving representative to get the sample quote below. The estimate for a two-bedroom home included furniture disassembly, wrapping, and padding, loading and unloading all household items, and full-replacement valuation coverage.

Sample Quote:$7,500(2-bedroom move from Chicago, IL to Atlanta, GA—approximately 750 miles—in mid-April)


Moving Services Offered

JK Moving provides the following additional services for all full-service long-distance relocations:

  • Grandfather clock relocation
  • Piano moving
  • Vehicle shipping

North American Van Lines

Best for High-End Appliances

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (28)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

North American Van Lines (NAVL) accommodates long-distance moves of all sizes through a network of more than 500 local movers. As a carrier and a broker, NAVL will arrange for a partner moving company to help you if it cannot directly handle your move. NAVL will still coordinate and back your relocation, ensuring you can access the company’s full-service offerings, add-on options, and moving resources. One appealing add-on option we didn’t see with American Van Lines and other carriers is NAVL’s service for uninstalling and reinstalling appliances during a move, saving you an extra step as you adjust to your new living space.

Pros and Cons


  • Offers to assist with the removal and reinstallation of appliances
  • Has several customer support lines, including for filing claims
  • Uses a predictable pricing model


  • Has mixed storage availability depending on location
  • Outsources some services to third-party moving companies
  • Varies storage service options by location

Cost Details

NAVL will provide you with flat-rate pricing, or a binding estimate, after completing an in-person or virtual assessment of your home. As part of this process, you will need to itemize your moving shipment and identify any household items you aren’t planning to take with you when you move.

We got the sample quote below from North American Van Lines. Online quotes are not available for homes with four or more bedrooms, but we called NAVL and received a minimum estimate of $7,555 to move the contents of a four-bedroom home the same distance. That move would include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, shipment tracking, and basic carrier liability coverage at 60 cents per pound for each item.

Sample Quote:$6,709–$7,381(3-bedroom home from New York, NY to Charleston, SC at the end of May)

Deposit:None required

To find out the cost of your move,get a free quote from North American Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

In addition to regular full-services and partial-service moves, you can also get the following with NAVL:

  • Appliance removal and reinstallation services
  • Commercial moving services
  • Military moving services
  • Packing focused on fragile, expensive, or extremely large pieces
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

Mayflower Moving

Best for Expedited Moves

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (30)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (31) Visit Site

Mayflower Moving provides quality long-distance moving services. Its basic package includes furniture protection, basic labor, and full value protection options. If you want additional services, Mayflower offers packing services for basic household goods and antiques, long-term storage in secure facilities, vehicle shipping, and crating for artwork and antiques. For small relocations, Mayflower offers a Snapmoves service that includes assembly and disassembly, as well as reliable delivery windows for longer moves.

Visit Site

Pros and Cons


  • Offers binding estimates for all moves
  • Requires no deposit or down payment to book
  • Includes full-value protection in all quotes


  • Offers no service in Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or West Virginia
  • Subcontracts some moving services out to third-party carriers
  • Features somewhat higher rates than competitors due to valuation coverage options

Cost Details

Mayflower offers quick ballpark quotes for service. Plan to have a full home walkthrough via video call if you want a binding rate for your move.

Sample Quote:$11,500–$13,000(3-bedroom, 2,800-mile move)

Deposit:None required

Free Moving Estimate:Get a moving quote from Mayflower Moving

Moving Services Offered

Mayflower also offers the following extra services with its full-service options:

  • Antique services
  • Artwork crating
  • Storage services
  • Unique Snapmoves services

United Van Lines

Best for Home Office Moves

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (32)


Our Rating

Tooltip Content

Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide (33) Visit Site

United Van Lines has been in business since 1928 and is one of the major companies under the UniGroup moving umbrella, just like Mayflower Moving. This co-op is one of the country’s largest moving networks, allowing for a diverse portfolio of long-distance moving services. One standout for long-distance relocation is United’s office relocation services.

Visit Site

Pros and Cons


  • Offers full-value protection with all moves
  • Provides flat-rate pricing
  • Has tech disassembly and installation services


  • Doesn’t offer any upfront pricing
  • Features higher rates than its competitors
  • Has negative reviews that report spam calls after booking

Cost Details

United Van Lines provides binding estimates for all moves. Its quote process is similar to that of many full-service carriers, as it requires a phone call for booking and will often request a video survey or in-person walkthrough of a home. United offers full-value protection with every moving quote. However, it charges slightly higher rates than its competitors.

Sample Quote:Contact for pricing

Deposit:None required

Free Moving Estimate:Get a moving quote from United Van Lines

Moving Services Offered

United Van Lines offers these extra services:

  • Crating services
  • Home theater, office, and tech item relocation
  • Storage services
  • Vehicle shipping

What to Expect When Getting a Quote

Most long-distance moving companies have similar means for getting quotes. You can either call the company directly or fill out a form on the provider’s website to request a pricing estimate. In most cases, the online forms won’t display an instant quote but instead result in the company calling you the same day to go over more details. However, some companies, such as IVL and Allied, have forms or calculators that will provide you with a ballpark pricing range before the company calls your phone.

In our experience of secret shopping for moving quotes, these phone calls have taken up to 45 minutes to go over the full inventory of household furniture and other items. However, many companies are making the switch to virtual surveys, which is a quicker and easier way to provide inventory details to moving companies.

Common Questions

The most common question about the moving quote process concerns the types of estimates that are available.

When a mover provides a quote, the estimate will state whether that quote is binding or non-binding. Consider a non-binding estimate, a ballpark price that will likely fluctuate as you communicate more details about your move. However, even when an estimate is binding, it doesn’t necessarily mean the price is set in stone.

If your inventory ends up larger than reported during the quote process or other factors such as shuttle fees or bulky item fees come up during the move, you may end up paying more.

“A binding estimate is saying we’re guaranteeing this price based on the information that we have. That’s where the confusion lies with customers, because when they hear the word binding, they hear the word guaranteed. It’s guaranteed based upon what we’re talking about in this contract — where you’re moving to, the item list that we have, the packing that we’re going to do. Assuming everything remains the same, we are guaranteeing that this price is not going to change.”

– Josh Morales, IVL Founder & President

Another common and understandable question is whether hiring movers for a long-distance move is worth the cost. While it may cost less to do it yourself, you might find the peace of mind, reduced workload, and structure that professional movers provide are worth paying for.

The best moving companies can relieve the physical stress of moving by assisting with loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, and disassembling and reassembling large items. This allows you to reach your new destination at your own pace and convenience.

In our consumer survey of 1,000 individuals who had moved in the last five years, we found that transporting artwork and mirrors was the top concern. Professional movers are trained to handle fragile items and can properly wrap, pad, and load these pieces to prevent any damage en route.

Our survey also found that over 90% of respondents who stated they hired a full-service moving company said they were satisfied with their experience using a professional moving company.

How to Prepare

Here’s how you should prepare for getting a quote:

  1. Prepare to address questions about your home and inventory

Movers will want to know whether you have bulky items, such as a piano, gun safe, or extraordinarily large piece of furniture. They will also want to know whether your home has an inaccessible driveway, has multiple flights of stairs, or requires elevator access. Communicating this information from the outset will ensure that your moving estimate is as accurate as possible and you don’t experience unexpected costs later in the process.

  1. Provide details about your requested move date

If you must be out of your current home by a specific time or date, you need to mention this to your prospective mover. Some amount of flexibility for requested moving dates is often necessary, and it’s better to have a range of potential dates rather than a fixed date. However, if your move must happen on a certain day, you can discuss this with the moving company to explore options for guaranteed scheduling.

  1. Plan to contact three or more moving companies

We encourage you to request quotes from at least three moving companies. Doing so allows you to compare pricing to ensure that each company offers competitive rates. You will also get a read on the different moving services each provider offers to streamline your move as much or as little as you prefer.

  1. Ensure that the moving companies on your list are licensed
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) requires that all interstate and long-distance moving companies be licensed. To ensure a company is registered and licensed, check its U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers on the FMSCA’s website. The mover should have proof of licensing available on its website.

Carriers vs. Brokers

When researching moving companies, be sure to check whether the company is a carrier or a moving broker. A carrier provides a service directly with its own moving crews; a broker outsources your move through partnerships and does not have its own moving trucks or crews. Some reputable brokers contract through vetted moving service providers. However, if a broker uses misleading language that gives the company the appearance of being a carrier, you should view this as a red flag.


  • Book and provide service directly
  • Self-insured and easier to reach for customer service needs
  • Use their own moving crews
  • What consumers typically think of when looking for movers


  • Book services through partnerships
  • Contractors can have a hard time contacting the broker itself
  • Quality of service can vary
  • Use other carriers for moving services

You can search for a moving company on the FMCSA website to see its registration information and determine whether it’s a carrier or broker. The mover should also list on its own website whether it’s a carrier or broker. You can typically find this information at the bottom of the moving company’s homepage.

Remember that every interstate moving company must have a DOT# registered with the FMCSA and prominently displayed on its website. If a company does not have this number listed or does not have an active registration with the FMCSA, it could be a moving scam.

Planning Your Move

Getting your long-distance moving process started early is the best way to ensure you have a successful move when the big day arrives. Here’s a basic timeline to help inform your moving checklist and keep you on track:

Two Months Before Moving

To streamline your moving process, create two separate inventory lists: one for items to keep and move and another for items to sell, donate, or discard. During a recent focus group we conducted with consumers who had recently moved using a professional service, we learned that downsizing before a move can significantly reduce the stress involved. Having fewer items to move can also save you money on moving costs due to having a lower inventory weight.

Go ahead and begin measuring and photographing large furniture, appliances, and artwork for accurate moving estimates and specialized handling requirements. Getting this information ready will make it easier for you to share details about your inventory and will ensure a more precise estimate when you call for a quote. When you do reach out to a mover, inquire about additional services you may need, such as packing assistance, storage, and specialized handling for fragile or bulky items, which may incur extra costs.

Six Weeks Before Moving

If you haven’t already done so, continue requesting quotes and choose a moving company to ensure your move gets booked within the time frame you need. The longer you wait, the more flexible you may need to be with your moving date.

You might also save money booking well ahead of time thanks to early-booking discounts that many movers offer. Start packing early, aiming for one to two boxes daily with out-of-season/seldom-used items first.

Use sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape to protect your belongings.

Label boxes with contents and destination rooms to make it easier for you and the movers to place your items in the correct areas of your new residence.

One Month Before Moving

Confirm your move at least four weeks before your move date. Make copies of your moving estimate, contract, and documents from the mover in case you need to reference them or resolve billing disputes. Read your moving contract thoroughly: One of our focus group participants said, “I didn’t know that the company only offered a three-day window post-move for reporting stolen or damaged items.” Knowing these fine print details can save you time, stress, and money.

Contact utility providers in your current and new home to arrange dates for turning on and off electricity, gas, water, and internet. Prepare a list of those who need your new address, such as banks, employers, insurance companies, and government agencies. Request copies of your family’s medical records and pets’ veterinary records from the respective providers if needed.

One Week Before Moving

Pack an essentials box with immediate necessities that you will personally transport to your new home. We learned from participants in our recent focus group that it’s a major inconvenience if you forget to pack items such as dishes that you may need as soon as you get to your new home. This essentials box should also include toiletries, snacks, water, and essential or sensitive documents.

On Moving Day

During our recent focus group, one participant said that she didn’t realize her movers couldn’t pack and transport products that are aerosolized, such as certain hair and skincare products.

You should ask about any restricted or hazardous items your mover can’t transport ahead of time, ensuring you have a plan in place for handling those items yourself on moving day. Coordinate with your movers to confirm when they intend to arrive.

Upon their arrival, greet them and provide a walkthrough of the items they will be moving. Review the moving contract with the crew chief for clarity. While they work on loading boxes, take the opportunity to pack your car with essential items if you haven’t already done so.

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Best Long-Distance Movers | 2024 Guide? ›

According to our research, the top long-distance moving companies are Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines and International Van Lines. The average cost of a long-distance move costs anywhere from $1,400 to more than $17,000.

What is the best moving company for long distances? ›

According to our research, the top long-distance moving companies are Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines and International Van Lines. The average cost of a long-distance move costs anywhere from $1,400 to more than $17,000.

What is the cheapest option for moving long distance? ›

The cheapest way to move between states is to rent a truck and do the move yourself. Renting a truck can be more cost-effective than hiring cheap long-distance movers, as you will only pay for the time and distance of your trip.

What do movers consider long distance? ›

What is Considered a Long-Distance Move? Are you moving within 50 miles, 100 miles, or 450 miles of your home? A general rule of thumb for most moving companies is that if a move is over 400 miles, it is considered long-distance.

What are the cheapest days to hire movers? ›

What's the Cheapest Day of the Week to Move? The short answer to this question is that the cheapest day to move is on a weekday — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Simply put, most moving companies offer better rates during the week because they aren't as busy then.

How to move cost effectively? ›

Renting a truck and doing it yourself is the most cost-effective way to move. Enlist your friends and family for packing, and read the fine print for mileage allowances and fuel surcharges. Get moving insurance. Even the best movers have one potential pitfall: They're human.

What is the cheapest mode of transporting goods over long distances? ›

Waterways are the cheapest modes of transport. They are also environmentally friendly because the fuel efficiency in this mode of transport is higher. A larger distance can be covered per unit of fuel.

When to start packing for a long distance move? ›

Unless you're paying for professional packing services, you'll need to make sure your belongings are prepared for safe transport, so you'll be ready for the truck on moving day. Most long-distance movers recommend that you start preparing for a move seven or eight weeks in advance.

How many miles is considered a long distance move? ›

A move is considered a long-distance move when it is over 400 miles. Any moves that travel less miles, say 100 miles or 50 miles, are considered local moves. Also referred to as a cross-country move, interstate move, or a long-haul move, depending on the distance of the move as well as its destination.

How are long-distance moving costs calculated? ›

Long Distance Moves

Most long-distance movers charge by weight and mileage, so the cost of your move will depend on how large and heavy your shipment is, as well as the distance between pickup and delivery locations.

How far in advance should you prepare to move? ›

We recommend planning your move at least eight weeks before the big day. That should give you enough time to complete all of the most important tasks at a comfortable pace.

Why is long-distance moving so expensive? ›

The main answer to this is the number of moving parts involved. First and foremost, time plays a huge factor in what your final bill will be. This includes the amount of time you have with your move team, time of truck use and fuel, and professional-grade moving equipment to keep your belongings safe.

What is the most efficient way of moving? ›

Full-service movers are the most efficient way to move your home because they take care of every step of the relocation process. They begin by carefully packing all of your belongings into moving boxes, disassembling items, and preparing your furniture for transportation.

What are the cons of moving companies? ›

Cons of Hiring a Moving Company

Higher cost than DIY: One of the primary drawbacks of hiring a full-service moving company is the potentially high cost, which may not be suitable for those on a tight budget. Various factors determine the overall expense, such as distance, the size of the move, and additional services.

What do most movers charge per hour? ›

Average Cost of Movers Per Hour

The average cost to hire a mover is between $40 and $80 per hour. Most moves need at least two movers to get the job done. However, you should expect to pay between $80 and $400 per hour depending on how many bedrooms you're moving, if you have any specialty items, etc.

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