Moving across state lines involves many logistical hurdles. Getting quotes from multiple interstate moving specialists, such as International Van Lines, will help ensure that you book at the best price. Our team conducted in-depth research on the best moving companies and narrowed down our list to provide you with the best interstate moving providers. The following movers provide services that help make your move as stress-free as possible.
Best Interstate Moving Companies of 2023
Based on our methodology and research, the best interstate moving companies include the following:
Compare the Top Interstate Movers
Below, we compare our top-ranked interstate movers. Our team evaluated the pros and cons of each mover, analyzing services, average moving costs, customer experience, and more.
Note: The estimate info above is for a two-bedroom move from Chicago, Illinois, to Atlanta, Georgia.
Note: BBB ratings are accurate as of November 2023.
Interstate Moving Cost Factors
We’ve outlined two basic pricing structures for interstate moves. We recommend getting a written estimate from your movers before booking.
Single-Day Interstate Moves:
Shorter, single-day interstate moves are typically billed hourly. This is similar to local moving cost structures. Any added services you request, such as packing, are baked into the final total via more billable working hours. You could incur material costs for packing supplies or crating or be billed flat fees for piano moving, pool table moving, and similar add-ons.
Either way, you’ll likely be quoted a ballpark figure. This will include all services rendered, an hourly rate based on mover demand, and a rough estimate for the total time your move will take.
Multi-Day Interstate Moves:
Longer interstate relocations will be billed at flat rates or ballpark estimates based on the following factors:
- Move distance and shipping weight: These two factors are used to calculate “line-haul fees,” which account for the majority of any long-distance move’s cost. Movers should have defined weigh-in processes for their trucks and stable per-mile rates to determine these fees.
- Add-on services: Added services, such as packing, crating, vehicle shipping, and more will inflate your cost. These may have flat fees attached, or they may be folded into your line-haul fee. This will depend on the mover you use.
- Move date: This is a cost factor for all moves. Moving between May and September will often come with higher rates, which are raised in response to heightened demand.
- Advance booking: Booking your move at least six weeks to a month in advance will help ensure that you don’t incur higher rates. Some movers will bill higher rates when you book within a week of your move date.
The company you choose will determine the cost of your move. We requested sample quotes for an interstate, two-bedroom move as part of our moving provider research. We’ve included a quick quote comparison in the table below to help you prepare for your own interstate moving quote process.
*Sample quotes are for a 2-bedroom move from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco.
How To Prepare for an Interstate Move
An interstate moving company streamlines your move to a new home across state lines, but you still need to prepare ahead of moving day for the most successful moving experience.
- Downsize: The less you have, the less your move will cost. When you create your home inventory list, keep track of the items you plan to sell, donate, or throw away.
- Create an inventory list: Write up an inventory list by room. If you’re packing yourself, roughly estimate how many boxes you’ll need for each room.
- Research moving companies: Start assembling a list of reputable moving companies that serve your area. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a great government resource to find a company’s insurance information and see whether it has any active red flags, such as revoked licensing.
- Get quotes and book your move: Get quotes from all of the moving companies you’re considering between six weeks to one month ahead of your move date. Aim to book your move at least a month in advance. Get copies of your moving contract when you confirm your move date. Also, read the FMCSA’s Rights and Responsibilities documentation; your mover should provide you with a copy.
- File a change of address: File change-of-address forms with your local post office. Then, change your contact information with your bank, place of employment, and any other relevant institution.
How To Choose the Best Interstate Moving Company
Here, we’ve listed a few key steps to take when evaluating any mover.
- Research customer reviews: Look up reviews before getting quotes. Even the best national moving companies have locations in some areas that provide subpar service. Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and social media are great sources for customer feedback. When reading reviews, note both positive and negative trends to inform you about how a mover treats its customers. Research location-specific reviews to ensure the quality of service in your area.
- Ensure your service needs will be met: Make a list of all services you’ll need your movers to handle before getting a quote. For example, decide if you want full packing or only loading and unloading service. If you plan to fly to your new state, you may need to consider vehicle shipping. Reference your list of required services and inquire about the accompanying rates during your in-person consultation.
- Evaluate your movers’ quote processes: Request quotes from any mover you consider for your relocation. Ask about deposit requirements and whether they provide flat-rate or binding estimates. You can also ask about moving insurance options during the quote process.
Watch the video below for a quick guide to vetting and booking a mover:
Interstate vs. Intrastate Movers
An interstate move means you are crossing state lines as you’re moving from one state to another. Interstate moving companies must adhere to stricter federal guidelines and licensing requirements than intrastate or local moving companies. When you book with an interstate moving company, ensure it is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can look up its U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers through the FMCSA database.
Intrastate moves take place within a single state. Intrastate moving companies only have to be registered within their home state but still have an FMCSA profile.
How To Plan Your Move
Planning an interstate move is an involved process. We’ve broken down a moving checklist and an average timeline to help you book on time and stay on track with packing for your interstate move.
- Eight weeks: Take a full inventory of your home. Write lists of what you plan to take and what you plan to get rid of. Use these lists when you request quotes from movers. Begin researching movers near you.
- Six weeks: Field quotes from movers near you and begin packing your belongings. Start with out-of-season items and work your way toward more essential items at a measured packing pace (a few boxes per day).
- Four weeks: Aim to book your move around a month before your move date. Continue packing your items, and arrange for shut-off and turn-on dates for all utility services at your current and new addresses.
- Two weeks: Continue packing. You’ll be packing some semi-essential items at this point. File a change of address form at your local post office or online.
- Moving week: Finish your move preparations by packing your kitchen items and some of your essential clothing. Leave just enough clothing and kitchenware until the day before the move to ensure you can cook and have access to essential goods during your road trip to a new state.
Get at least three quotes from professional interstate movers before booking to vet providers and get the best price for the job. We recommend getting quotes from multiple companies before booking your move. Doing so is the best way to properly vet your options and get the best price for the job. International Van Lines gets our vote as the best mover for anyone crossing state lines, as its ample service profile should make for an easy move in any situation.
IMRG’s unmatched reach and partner network helped it rate highly on our list. If your move requires specialized packing or added protection for your goods traveling to another state, IMRG’s partner companies in your area could help.
Get quotes six to eight weeks before your move, and book at least a month in advance. This is the best way to ensure that you lock in a low rate and that all needed services will be handled.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling options, additional benefits and custom service options, and reputation among customers to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.