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  • Written by
    Maisy Flowers
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Long-distance or interstate moves have their own challenges that set them apart from local moves. Higher costs, complicated logistics, and issues such as how to move a car are common difficulties for people moving long-distance.

The right moving professionals can help alleviate your concerns. To help ensure you, your loved ones, and your belongings arrive at your new home safely, we've compiled this overview of the leading long-distance movers in San Rafael.

Top Pick
IVL logo
4.8/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Best Overall
  • Full-Service Mover
  • Worldwide Availability
Most Experienced Mover
American Van Lines logo
4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Experienced Crews
  • Binding Estimates
  • Price-Matching Policy
Most Customer-Oriented
Safeway Moving logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • No-fuss estimates
  • Nationwide moves
  • Donates to St Jude Children's Research Hospital

10 Best Long Distance Moving Companies in San Rafael

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Top Rated Provider
Luigys Moving & Storage Novato Logo
Top Rated

Luigys Moving & Storage Novato

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 44 reviews


122 Hamilton Dr, Novato, CA 94949

(415) 992-9868

www.luigysmoving.com
Birch Circle Movers Logo

Birch Circle Movers

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 43 reviews


4322 Redwood Hwy #200, San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 672-3574

www.alwaysonthemove.net

Foster Van Lines, Inc.

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 36 reviews


167 S 2nd St, Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 319-3227

www.fostervanlines.com
Johnson & Daly Moving and Storage Logo

Johnson & Daly Moving and Storage

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 34 reviews


110 Belvedere St, San Rafael, CA 94901

(415) 491-4444

johnsondalymoving.com
Ahmed's Moving Express, Inc./Wheaton World Wide Moving Logo

Ahmed's Moving Express, Inc./Wheaton World Wide Moving

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 51 reviews


17 Paul Dr., San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 492-2122

www.ahmedsmoving.com

West Coast Moving Company

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 22 reviews


43 Bay St, San Rafael, CA 94901

(415) 342-4805

westcoastmovingcompany.com
BAY AREA MOVING & STORAGE Logo

BAY AREA MOVING & STORAGE

4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 33 reviews


2025 Rumrill Blvd Ste 1, San Pablo, CA 94806

(510) 334-0941

bamovers.com

FairPrice Movers

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 17 reviews


2841 Garvin Ave, Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 513-8039

fairpricemovers.com
Dependable Movers SF Logo

Dependable Movers SF

5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 808 reviews


425 Avenue M, San Francisco, CA 94130

(628) 201-6674

dependablemoverssf.com

NorthStar Moving Company

5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 764 reviews


One Bush Plaza, Bush St Suite B-182, San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 635-3844

www.northstarmoving.com

What Makes Long-Distance Movers Different From Local Movers?

Local and long-distance movers are distinct in several ways. Local movers generally offer moving services within a designated geographic area. They either won't work outside that area, or they'll charge a much higher rate to do so.

When it comes to pricing, long-distance movers typically charge based on the weight of your items, while local moving companies often set fees based on the length of time needed for your move. However, some companies use a combination of time and weight to set their prices, so be sure to check with your specific provider about its prices.

Local San Rafael moving companies are often more familiar with moving in your area and offer lower pricing. Long-distance movers provide valuable knowledge and expertise, especially when moving between states. Long-distance movers are more likely to have the relevant information and experience to help with the logistics and legalities of interstate moves, which can save you time and headaches.

Facts about San Rafael

  • Population:
    60,814
  • Median Age:
    43 years
  • Median Rent:
    $3,279
  • Median Home Price:
    $1,325,140
  • Cost Of Living Percentile:
    100%
  • Median Income:
    $113,839

How To Choose a Long-Distance Mover in San Rafael

Finding the right long-distance moving company in San Rafael requires research to ensure the company meets your needs and works within your budget. Below, we offer some advice on how to find a legitimate and reliable long-distance moving company in San Rafael.

  • Ask about insurance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires interstate movers to provide two types of options for insurance coverage: Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. You can look into these or similar options for long-distance moves that don't cross state lines. In addition to the insurance choices offered by your mover, purchasing your own moving insurance will give you complete protection for your belongings. You can find more detailed information on long-term moving insurance coverage below.
  • Assess qualifications: Moving companies performing interstate moves must be registered with the FMCSA and have a USDOT number. This registration serves as an assurance that you're working with a reputable company. The FMCSA publishes movers’ complaint histories on its website and enforces regulations such as mandating that movers give clients a written estimate.
  • Compare costs: We suggest seeking out quotes several months before your move. Contact several long-distance moving providers in San Rafael and request detailed quotes. Quotes should include an itemized list with prices for the actual move, insurance coverage, and any additional services you think you might need.
  • Look at financing options: Many movers provide financing plans as a way to help customers pay for their moving expenses. A moving or relocation loan can pay for some of the expenses. Ask your mover about relocation loans or financing plans if you need financial assistance for your move. We recommend looking into several options to find the one with the best rates and fewest fees.
  • Read reviews: Check online reviews on sites such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and similar platforms to learn what others think about particular long-distance moving companies. You should also ask friends and relatives for recommendations.
  • Think about timing: If you plan on moving during the summer months, keep in mind that summer is the most popular time of year to move. This can make it harder and more expensive to get a mover. San Rafael also has a lot of college students living in the area, so the beginning and end of the summer may be particularly busy as students move.
  • Watch out for red flags: A moving company giving you a suspiciously low or nonbinding estimate is a red flag. Additionally, reliable moving companies shouldn’t demand the full payment before the move. If a moving company has an extensive history of bad reviews or BBB complaints, it's best to avoid them. Familiarize yourself with the FMCSA's guidelines on your mover rights and responsibilities.

Long-Distance Moving Tips

Securing your moving company far enough in advance is extremely important when preparing for a long-distance move. It's best if you plan your move at least 90 days ahead of time. This gives you enough time to hire movers. You may even want to start planning earlier than that if you need unique services, like piano or car moving.

Start packing a full four weeks in advance if you plan on packing for your move by yourself. You might choose to keep certain valuable, fragile, or sentimental items, such as electronics and family heirlooms, with you in your car rather than packed in the moving truck.

Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done before and after your move. The list should include tasks such as updating your address with the California DMV.

Pack essentials for the first couple of days in your new home, such as medications, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and extra clothes.

The night before moving day, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

Moving Insurance for Long-Distance Moves

Moving insurance is necessary for long-distance moves. It'll cover the cost if any of your possessions are lost or damagedby your movers.

All interstate movers are required to offer two insurance options, according to the FMCSA. The first, Full Value Protection, requires movers to replace, repair, or provide a cash settlement for any possessions lost or damaged during your move. Some moving companies might not cover belongings that are very expensive (usually those worth more than $100 a pound) under this policy. You have to pay more for Full Value Protection, but in the long-run you'll get more coverage. While Released Value Protection doesn't cost you anything, it gives you reduced coverage. With this insurance, your moving company will pay you up to 60 cents per pound for lost or damaged possessions.

If you carry over your same homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy when you move, it may cover some of your belongings during your move. While this typically doesn't apply to long-distance moves, checking your policy could be beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions about Long Distance Moving in San Rafael

Sources

State of California Department of Motor Vehicles U.S. DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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