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Moving from California to Florida

Our guide to relocating from California to Florida will give you highlights of moving costs, the perks of living in Florida, and some of the best cities in the Sunshine State.

A beige one-story Floridian house with a light brown tiled roof, a well manicured lawn with tropical flower bushes and small palm trees Adobe

People are moving from California to Florida for a range of reasons, like warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a lower cost of living. If you’re considering a cross-country trek from the Pacific coast to South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, or any point in between, use our guide to compare the top moving companies in California and Florida to get an idea of relocation costs and which services you’ll need.

We’ve dedicated thousands of hours to researching the top moving companies serving California and Florida based on their customer experience, costs, and services, with pointers for moving from coast to coast.

7 Best California to Florida Movers

Benefits of Moving from California to Florida

Here are three of the top reasons to move from California to Florida:

  1. Lower cost of living
  2. Attractive beaches
  3. Theme parks and attractions

Lower Cost of Living

California remains one of the most expensive states in the country, so moving to Florida can represent some major savings on housing, property taxes, and everyday expenses like groceries.

The cost of living in Florida is slightly higher than some of its surrounding southern states, but on average it is still about 60% more affordable, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The median home price in Orlando is just under $295,000, for example, while the average cost of a home in Los Angeles is approximately $883,000.

Attractive Beaches

If you’re familiar with the West Coast, then you’ll feel at home along Florida’s 663 miles of white-sand beaches. While California’s coastline is certainly appealing, Florida boasts some of the top-ranked beaches in the country, including Destin, St. Petersburg, Naples, and Pensacola Beach.

Theme parks and attractions

There is plenty to do throughout Florida. The state is home to one of the world’s most-loved destinations—Disney World. Nearby Disney are two other major attractions for thrill-seekers and marine-life enthusiasts of all ages, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. And Florida boasts some of the best nightlife around in major cities like Miami and Palm Beach.


Top Companies for Moving from California to Florida

Your move to Florida will begin with an assessment of your belongings and your budget. Balancing moving services with expenses will help you determine a realistic idea of what kind of moving experience—full-service, partial-service, or DIY—best suits you.

Based on our research, these are the top moving services for relocating from California to Florida.

International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover

Overall, we recommend International Van Lines (IVL) for your move from California to Florida because of the company’s widespread availability and comprehensive services.

Founded in 2004, IVL can accommodate long-distance moves in all 50 states, making it a great option for your cross-country relocation from California to Florida. In addition to standard full-service offerings like packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking, the company offers add-on options for a customized move.

Optional add-on services with IVL include vehicle shipping, short- and long-term storage, and special handling of oversized, fragile, and/or high-value items like antiques and pianos.

International Van Lines Pros and Cons

✔ Includes all-risk insurance, which covers the full value of items at a 4% cost, with the purchase of packing services
✔ Offers a 15% discount for senior citizens
✔ Provides sample costs for insurance and commonly moving fees to help you budget
✘ Requires a 25% deposit to schedule a moving date
✘ Works with local agents within a larger network, so procedures, policies, and customer service could vary

Cost

International Van Lines does not provide instant online quotes; you must speak with a customer service representative and/or complete a home assessment to get an estimate.

However, we got a general price range from IVL to move a three-bedroom home approximately 2,180 miles from San Diego to Tallahassee in mid-April. IVL quoted us a range of $4,200 to $6,150 for that relocation. The estimate includes mileage, fuel, and any applicable toll charges.

International Van Lines will factor the distance and size of your move and any add-on services you select to develop a detailed ballpark estimate for you, and IVL lists all associated moving fees on its website to help customers understand and anticipate potential surprise charges.

Learn More: International Van Lines Review


American Van Lines

With nearly nine decades in the moving industry, American Van Lines is our choice for experienced full-service relocations. Since the company specializes in long-distance relocations, it is well-equipped to accommodate your move from California to Florida and can handle any fragile or difficult-to-move items you have.

American Van Lines prides itself on its skilled moving crews. The company claims that all crew members are employed full-time and are fully vetted through background checks before being hired. American Van Lines also requires its movers to complete annual training and certifications. As a result, the company has designated moving crews to handle the disassembly and reassembly of pianos and the packaging and transport of antiques.

American Van Lines Pros & Cons

✔ Honors lower estimates from competitors
✔Has climate-controlled storage facilities with 24-hour camera surveillance
✔ Offers an optional guaranteed delivery date at an additional cost
✘ Requires a 10%–50% deposit to schedule your move
✘ Does not give instant quotes through its website

Cost

American Van Lines offers binding estimates and therefore will not give any instant quotes online. However, we were able to receive a ballpark starting price of $9,800 for a move from San Diego to Tallahassee.

The company requires an in-person or virtual home assessment before providing a binding estimate. The home assessment process also includes compiling a thorough list of your household items. The distance, size, and date of your move will also impact pricing.

Request a personalized estimate from American Van Lines by completing this quick questionnaire.

Learn more: American Van Lines Review


JK Moving

JK Moving provides flexible full-service moves that can be customized to fit your needs. With the help of a personal moving coordinator, you can choose the add-on options that best support your move from California to Florida.

All basic full-service packages with JK Moving include packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading. If you have difficult-to-package items or fragile pieces, JK Moving can provide special handling. The company also provides vehicle relocation and comprehensive coverage of your belongings.

JK Moving has a user-friendly app for making payments, tracking shipments, and receiving updates during the moving process.

JK Moving Pros & Cons

✔ Offers financing options through a partnership with Enhancify
✔ Has 24/7 live customer support
✔ Provides ongoing training for moving crews at its onsite model home
✘ Will not honor competitor pricing
✘ Has limited storage facilities (only in Maryland and Virginia)

Cost

JK Moving does not give instant quotes online or by phone, but we were able to get a ballpark estimate of $9,500 to move a three-bedroom home from San Diego to Tallahassee. Included in that estimate are wrapping, padding, loading, and unloading, as well as furniture disassembly and full-replacement coverage of your items.

Full-replacement coverage ensures you will be reimbursed based on the value of any lost, broken, or damaged items, rather than on weight. Following a virtual or in-person review of your home, JK Moving will provide you with a binding estimate to gauge the size of your move and identify any potential issues like hard-to-move items or narrow staircases.

If you need assistance paying for your move—or just want to spread out the cost over time—you can apply for in-house financing. Through its partnership with Enhancify, JK Moving offers loans with low to no interest rates for those who qualify.

Learn more: JK Moving Review


Allied Van Lines

If you will need assistance moving vehicles from California to your new home in Florida, we recommend checking out Allied Van Lines.

In business for more than 90 years, Allied handles full-, partial-, and self-service moves of all sizes nationwide. The company has an extensive menu of optional services that can be added to your moving package to complement your cross-country move, including disconnection and reconnection of appliances, climate-controlled storage, and vehicle shipping.

Allied owns and operates open and enclosed carriers for transporting cars, SUVs, trucks, RVs, and watercraft. The company provides up to $100,000 in coverage against damage for vehicle shipments, with no deductible.

Allied Van Lines Pros & Cons

✔ Provides free delivery of items in storage for fewer than 90 days
✔ Has mobile containers, offered through Allied Express, that include small moving crews
✔ Offers a fragile-only packing option
✘Does not have an online live chat feature for customer service
✘Requires full payment one week ahead of moving day

Cost

We received an online estimate of $8,136–$8,898 to move a three-bedroom home from San Diego to Tallahassee in late May. Allied Van Lines provides flat-rate pricing, or binding estimates. Before giving you a binding estimate, Allied will first require a thorough review of your home and its contents. The home assessment can be done in person or virtually.

You will also need to compile a detailed and comprehensive list of the items you plan to move. Allied will use that inventory to estimate the size of your move in terms of total weight.

Learn more: Allied Van Lines Review


North American Van Lines

For added peace of mind during your cross-country move, North American Van Lines (NAVL) might be worth considering. The full-service company stands out for its streamlined claims process.

In the event that some or all of your belongings are damaged, broken, stolen, or lost during transit, you can file a claim directly through NAVL’s website. The website also includes helpful information about claims and contents coverage plans. NAVL also has a customer service line reserved just for claims support if you need further assistance.

NAVL provides full-service moving packages that include packing and unpacking and loading and unloading. Optional add-on services include vehicle shipping, disconnection and reconnection of appliances. and short- and long-term storage.

North American Van Lines Pros & Cons

✔ Offers discounts to American Legion and labor union members and their immediate families
✔ Trains drivers for all weather and roadway conditions through a simulation tool
✔ Has crane vans for handling large pieces of equipment and oversized household items
✘Requires a deposit of up to half of your total bill to schedule a moving date
✘Has mixed customer reviews due to outsourcing some moves to third-party agents

Cost

The cost to move a three-bedroom home from San Diego to Tallahassee in early fall would be approximately $7,098–$8,475, according to NAVL’s online moving calculator.

Factors that affect the cost of your move with NAVL include how far you are moving and the time of year you plan to move. The total weight of your belongings will also impact pricing, as will the size and layout of your home and any large or bulky items requiring special handling.

Learn more: North American Van Lines Review


PODS

If you are looking for an alternative to traditional full-service moves, PODS may be worth considering. The company has three container sizes—eight, 12, and 16 feet—and will drop off your selected containers to your home for loading at your convenience. Since PODS charges for containers based on a monthly rental fee, you can move at your own pace within the 30-day timeframe.

After you have filled your container, PODS will pick it up and move it to your new home. If you don’t need your belongings right away, the company will drop them off at a conveniently located storage facility until you are ready to have them delivered.

PODS Pros and Cons

✔ Provides optional moving crews through third-party providers
✔ Can ship vehicles
✔ Has aluminum-coated containers that help prevent water leakage
✘ Does not give online instant quotes for long-distance moves
✘ Charges per month, regardless of the actual amount of time you use a container

Cost

Since PODS only gives instant online quotes for local moves, you must call the company to get an estimate for your move from California to Florida. Quotes are based on a flat monthly rate, so you will not receive a prorated price if you plan to use the containers for fewer than 30 days.

We contacted PODS regarding a move from Sacramento to Tallahassee and received a quote of $4,250 to relocate for door-to-door delivery of a 16-foot container.

Learn more: PODS Review


1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT is a great option if you are moving from California to Florida with only a small number of belongings or prefer to take a more DIY approach to your cross-country relocation.

PACK-RAT provides steel moving and storage containers, delivered to your door. Once you are finished loading your containers, the company will pick them up and transport them to your new home. Containers are weatherproof, and PACK-RAT uses a patented lift system to load them onto and off of moving trucks.

Long-distance customers can take advantage of a free no-cut lock for their container, as well as a complimentary $10,000 contents protection plan for added peace of mind.

1-800-PACK-RAT Pros and Cons

✔ Offers containers in three sizes: eight feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet
✔ Provides monthly container rentals, giving customers up to 30 days to load and unload
✔Has an online tool for estimating the number of storage containers you will need
✘Does not have an option to book deliveries online
✘Will not deliver on Sundays

Cost

Using the online calculator tool, moving a three-bedroom home from San Diego to Tallahassee in mid-May would cost approximately $4,800. That estimate is for a 12-foot storage container without any add-on services, such as moving assistance.

Learn more: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review


Which is the Best California to Florida Mover for You?

International Van Lines is the best California to Florida mover, based on our extensive research and comparison of the nation’s top moving companies. It’s best to get quotes from at least three moving companies based on the size of your home, distance of your move and time of year you are moving to get a better idea of pricing.

Keep in mind that most moving companies will conduct an in-person or virtual home assessment before providing a detailed estimate.


Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Florida from California?

From Fresno, CA to Tampa, FL, it's about 2300 miles. It would take approximately 40 hours to drive this distance.

What is the average cost of a long-distance move from California to Florida?

According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which represents the moving and storage industry, it costs approximately $4,300, on average, to relocate a two- to three-bedroom home 1,000 miles or more. That figure is based on a total shipping weight of 7,400 pounds of furniture and household items.

What factors affect the cost of moving from California to Florida?

Major factors that affect the cost of moving from California to Florida include:

  • The exact distance of your relocation
  • Amount of items you need to transport
  • Type of belongings being moved

For example, moving costs for homes with more than three bedrooms are likely to be higher than moves for homes with difficult items like hot tubs and spas, pianos, and pool tables.

When Is the cheapest time to move from California to Florida?

Data also shows that it can be cheaper to move during the week, as opposed to weekends, and moving in the middle of the month could save you some money. The most expensive time of year to move is mid-summer because of its popularity.

What should I do with my pets on moving day?

It may be worth the money to invest in a sturdy, high-quality pet carrier that will be comfortable - and comforting - to your four-legged family member. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet has any anxiety issues. If relevant, research and book pet-friendly hotels in advance. On the day of the move, keep your cat or dog quietly and comfortably out of the way, perhaps in a guest bathroom.

Should I tip my movers?

Tipping is customary, though not required. The general rule of thumb for tipping movers is $5 per person per hour. That’s approximately $40 for each mover per 8-hour day. On long-distance moves, the driver should also be compensated for time on the road, should you choose to tip.


Most Popular Cities in Florida

Miami, Orland, and Tampa are among the most popular cities in Florida, with thriving industrial, residential, and entertainment opportunities.

You can learn more about each of these cities below:


Our Rating Methodology: How We Chose the Best Moving Companies

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for moving service providers is on a 100-point scale based on 7 factors:

  • Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local, long-distance, and or international moves?
  • Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing and unpacking or loading and unloading?
  • Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional insurance plans, such as full-value coverage?
  • Scheduling (7): Are customers able to schedule online, over the phone, or on both platforms?
  • Trailers/containers (7): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer?
  • Additional Benefits (12): What additional benefits does the company provide, such as storage options, moving truck rentals, and financing?
  • Reputation (5): What rating does the company feature on popular review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

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