Moving long-distance or cross-country comes with its own set of headaches and challenges. Figuring out how to transport your car or boat to your new destination and whether you’ll need temporary or long-term storage options are just a few of the many decisions you’ll have to make as you prepare for your long-distance relocation.

There are so many great moving companies to compare that it may be difficult to choose the right one for you and your family. We have spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of services and compiled a list of the best long-distance moving companies in the nation to help make your move stress-free. All of these full-service movers are licensed, bonded, and insured.

 

7 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

Based on in-depth research, here are our top recommended long-distance moving companies:

Superlative Star Rating Phone
IVL Best Full-Service Mover
888-375-6309
IMRG Most Efficient
866-209-1298
United Regions Best for Long-Distance Moves
833-416-4646
American Most Experienced Mover
877-960-3186
Moving APT Best Customer Service
855-910-1001
JK Moving Most Customizable
571-487-8929
Allied Best for Vehicle Relocation
877-483-9424
NAVL Best for Claims
877-624-0912
IVL
Superlative Best Full-Service Mover
Star Rating
Phone 888-375-6309
GET MY QUOTE
IMRG
Superlative Most Efficient
Star Rating
Phone 866-209-1298
GET MY QUOTE
United Regions
Superlative Best for Long-Distance Moves
Star Rating
Phone 833-416-4646
GET MY QUOTE
American
Superlative Most Experienced Mover
Star Rating
Phone 877-960-3186
GET MY QUOTE
Moving APT
Superlative Best Customer Service
Star Rating
Phone 855-910-1001
GET MY QUOTE
JK Moving
Superlative Most Customizable
Star Rating
Phone 571-487-8929
GET MY QUOTE
Allied
Superlative Best for Vehicle Relocation
Star Rating
Phone 877-483-9424
GET MY QUOTE
NAVL
Superlative Best for Claims
Star Rating
Phone 877-624-0912
GET MY QUOTE

 

International Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
  • Our Rating: 86 out of 100
  • State Availability: 50

International Van Lines (IVL) is a domestic and international moving company founded in 2000.

A popular company for long-distance moves, IVL provides packing and unpacking services, loading and unloading services, vehicle transportation, and specialty services for fragile items such as antiques and pianos. International Van Lines is ideal for customers who want a moving company to handle every part of their move.

Our Rating

With up-front pricing, four options for insurance coverage, and free cancellation up to 48 hours before your move, International Van Lines is our pick for the best overall full-service mover. IVL scored 86 out of 100 in our review standards. It stood out for its widespread availability and variety of optional services. It didn’t compare as well to other movers in terms of cost estimates. Many movers will provide you with a binding estimate, which is a locked-in rate. IVL instead will only give you a ballpark quote that could increase on moving day due to additional associated fees.

Pros and Cons

Has helpful information about industry-standard fees, such as stair flight fees, on its website
✔ Creates custom crates for moving TVs and electronic equipment
✔ Has been recognized by Newsweek magazine for its customer service

Outsources moves to third-party movers in Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah
Charges higher-than-average fees for bulky items ($150 each) and motorcycles ($350)

Cost

We requested a moving quote for a two-bedroom apartment/house from Atlanta to Chicago. The cost estimate was $2,015–$3,445. This includes having workers from International Van Lines load and drive the moving truck for you. Get your free IVL quote now.

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

 


 

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

  • Our Take: Most Efficient
  • Our Rating: 66 out of 100
  • State Availability: 50

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a broker, which means it connects customers to independent movers within its network as opposed to directly providing moving services. After completing an online inventory form, IMRG will find a company within its network that matches your needs.

IMRG will email you information about the company along with a quote and a moving contract. If you are satisfied with the price, you can add your digital signature to the contract and book your move without ever having to place a phone call. However, if you want to negotiate a lower moving cost, you can reach out by phone to IMRG, and the company will assist you with that process.

Our Rating

We like IMRG for its efficient approach to hiring a professional mover. Rather than reaching out directly to multiple companies, you can use IMRG to quickly and easily find a reputable provider at the right price for your budget. We gave IMRG a 66 out of 100, noting the company’s user-friendly quote process among its strengths. We deducted points from IMRG because, unlike most providers in our guide, the company does not provide local or international relocations.

Pros and Cons

Prescreens all the third-party movers in its network
✔ Offers military discounts
✔ Includes a helpful inventory checklist to match you with the best moving company

✘ Does not handle local moves
✘ Has no customer service availability on the weekends

Cost

IMRG provided us with an estimate of roughly $9,700 to move a three-bedroom home from Atlanta to Boston in early spring. Get your free IMRG quote.

 


 

American Van Lines

  • Our Take: Most Experienced Moving Labor
  • Our Rating: 86 out of 100
  • State Availability: 48 (does not service Alaska and Hawaii)

Founded in 1995, American Van Lines is a nationwide mover that is licensed, insured, and registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The company offers full-service residential, corporate, and military moves. Unlike many other cross-country moving companies, American Van Lines uses binding estimates. As long as you don’t add anything to your shipment after your inventory is submitted, your price will not change. This up-front, flat-rate model means there will be no surprise expenses related to hourly labor or mileage on moving day.

Our Rating

We rated American Van Lines 86 out of 100 in our review standards and recommend the company for its emphasis on providing well-trained and experienced moving crews. The company hires its movers full-time, as opposed to the standard approach of contractual labor, and claims its movers have an average of 10 years of industry experience. American Van Lines also requires its moving crew members to routinely take certification courses and training workshops on a variety of moving-related topics, including proper handling of antiques and dismantling of pianos. American Van Lines lost points because it does not provide any online pricing and has a low score with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) due to unresolved customer complaints.

Pros and Cons

✔ Provides fixed-rate quotes so you won’t have any surprise charges
✔ Includes a price-matching policy
✔ Movers hold an average of 10 years of experience, per the company

✘ No sample pricing online
✘ Requires an up-front deposit that may be 10%–50% of total cost

Cost

American Van Lines does not offer online moving estimates. Based on the average cost of similar moves, the company estimates that a move from Miami to New York City for a two-bedroom apartment (or 6,000 pounds) would be around $5,286. Get your AVL free quote.

Learn More: American Van Lines Review

 


 

JK Moving Services

  • Our Take: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
  • Our Rating: 91 out of 100
  • State Availability: 50

JK Moving began operating in 1982 when its founder, Chuck Kuhn, was just 16 years old. After 40 years in the business, the company is now the largest fully licensed and insured independent mover in the United States.

JK Moving is a full-service moving company that works with each customer to create a moving package customized to their specific moving needs. Another standout feature of the company is its partnership with Enhancify, which allows customers to finance their move with rates as low as 0%* same-as-cash (subject to credit approval).

Our Rating

JK Moving Services is our top pick for the most customizable full-service mover, and we gave the company a 91 out of 100 in our review standards. JK Moving stands out for its full- and partial-service packages, both of which can be complemented by an extensive menu of add-ons. JK Moving did not compare as well to other companies in this review in terms of online pricing transparency.

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes GPS shipment tracking
✔ Financing available via Enhancify
✔ Customizes each move based on needs and budget

✘ No sample pricing posted online
✘ Some customer reviews mention difficulty in communication

Cost

We received a ballpark estimate from JK Moving for a two-bedroom home (10,400 pounds) moving from Atlanta to Chicago for $7,521. This includes furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading, unloading, and full-value protection. To give you an idea of how weight impacts the price, the same move for 9,000 pounds is estimated at $6,672. Both moves require an up-front deposit of $250 for booking. This payment is applied toward your total moving cost. Get a JK Moving quote.

Learn More: JK Moving Services Review

 


 

Allied Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation
  • Our Rating: 94 out of 100
  • State Availability: 50

Founded in 1928, Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover. It is a licensed and insured moving broker and carrier for long-distance moves in all 50 states and holds an A+ rating* with the Better Business Bureau. Allied Van Lines eliminates the need for a moving coordinator to come to your home by offering an easy-to-use online survey tool.

*BBB ratings are accurate as of August 2022.

Our Rating

Allied Van Lines is one of our highest-rated movers, receiving a 94 out of 100 in our review standards. Allied’s standout service is vehicle relocation. Many long-distance movers outsource vehicle shipping, but Allied can ship your car, motorcycle, truck, RV, boat, or other vehicle using its own fleet of open and enclosed carriers. The company lost some points for its lack of online pricing information.

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers in-house vehicle relocation services
✔ Allows for free cancellation up until the time of loading
Has climate-controlled storage facilities

Does not provide instant online quotes for homes larger than three bedrooms
Does not offer 24/7 customer claims support

Cost

Allied typically provides binding estimates from an in-home or virtual survey. We obtained a ballpark estimate for moving a two-bedroom apartment/home from Atlanta to Chicago at $4,729–$5,374. Get your free Allied quote now.

Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review

 


 

North American Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best for Claims
  • Our Rating: 92 out of 100
  • State Availability: 50

Founded in 1933, North American Van Lines (NAVL) is a full-service moving company that helps with relocations of all sizes. It’s available in all 50 states and more than 130 countries, and it has an extensive network of more than 500 local movers.

The company provides custom full-value release plans on your belongings, meaning you receive coverage and compensation that matches the actual value of your items rather than a predetermined amount. If you need to cancel your move, make sure to do so at least three days before the move.

Our Rating

We think NAVL is the best moving provider for claims, since its straightforward process takes the headaches out of filing for damages. Customers can make domestic and international claims through the company’s website if any of their items are broken, lost, damaged, or stolen during the relocation process. NAVL has a customer service line specifically for claims handling for those who prefer to speak to a live representative. 

We gave NAVL a 92 out of 100, deducting points for the company’s scheduling limitations. Although some providers in this review allow customers to book moving services online and over the phone, NAVL only does the latter.

Pros and Cons

✔ Doesn’t require a deposit to book your move
✔ Provides a detailed and transparent claims process
✔ Offers binding estimates through virtual surveys

✘ Requires three-day notice on cancellations
Has limited storage options, depending on location

Cost

We received a ballpark quote from North American Van Lines for moving a two-bedroom home with a medium-sized load from Atlanta to Chicago for $4,708–$5,350. The company also provides binding estimates through virtual and in-home surveys. Get your free NAVL quote now.

Learn More: North American Van Lines Review

 


 

United Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best for Moving Tech Items
  • Our Rating: 90 out of 100
  • State Availability: 46 (does not service Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, West Virginia)

United Van Lines is a well-established full-service moving company that has been in operation since 1928. In 2018, United Van Lines transitioned to a cooperative (or co-op) with the goal of serving consumers in a more centralized way. United Van Lines can accommodate local, long-distance, and international moves for renters, homeowners, and businesses.

Rather than moving insurance, the company provides full-value protection on your items, meaning that United Van Lines will compensate you directly should something happen to any of your items during the moving process. Crating is also offered for large, fragile items to protect your valuables during transit.

Our Rating

United Van Lines also offers the disassembly and setup of home theaters and PC networks. This unique feature is why we chose the company as best for moving electronics and other tech items. United Van Lines received a 90 out of 100 in our rating system but fell short when it came to perks such as the online sale of packing materials.

Pros and Cons

Has more than 100 years of experience in the moving industry
✔ Provides instant quotes online
✔ Offers an option for cleaning services

✘ Holds lower ratings than competitors on some third-party review sites
✘ Has received negative reviews related to unclear packing and unpacking procedures

Cost

An in-home estimate will provide you with the most accurate cost of moving with United Van Lines, as common factors like when and where you are moving will affect the total price. Moving a three-bedroom home with a large quantity of items (approximately 7,500 pounds) from Atlanta to Austin, Texas, in early November would cost about $7,750–$10,500.

Learn More: United Van Lines Review

 


 

Quote Comparison by Company

Take a look at how these movers compare on cost estimates for a two- or three-bedroom move.

Moving Company

Bedrooms

Moving From

Moving To

Quote

International Van Lines

2

Atlanta

Chicago

$2,015–$3,445

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

3

Atlanta

Boston

$9,700

American Van Lines

$5,286

JK Moving Services

2

Atlanta

Chicago

$7,521

Allied Van Lines

2

Atlanta

Chicago

$4,729–$5,374

North American Van Lines

2

Atlanta

Chicago

$4,708–$5,350

United Van Lines

3

Atlanta

Austin

$7,750–$10,500

What Impacts the Cost of a Long-distance Move?

Many factors impact the overall cost of a long-distance move. Below are some of the most common factors.

Distance

Most moving companies will determine cost based on the total distance traveled from your current home to your new location. This is done to assess the mileage added to moving trucks, as well as the cost of paying a driver for more than one day of travel. Gas and any toll charges are also taken into consideration.

What this means for your long-distance move is that, with few exceptions, the farther you are moving, the higher your moving costs will be. 

Size of Your Move

Moving companies typically measure the size of a relocation in terms of overall weight added to the moving truck. A one-bedroom apartment will usually be less expensive than a three-bedroom home because the former contains more items than the latter. 

One way to reduce the size of your long-distance move is to donate, sell, or throw away any old or unwanted furniture or household goods ahead of contacting a moving company for an estimate.

Date of Your Month

The moving industry’s peak season is from April through September. During this busy time, costs may be higher because labor and trucks are more limited. The day of the week you schedule your move can also affect cost. Since weekends are the most popular time for moves, you may be able to save money by scheduling your long-distance relocation earlier in the week. 

Additional Services

Full-service companies offer a lot of helpful add-on options around packing and loading, but those additional services come at a cost. Vehicle shipping, short- and long-term storage, and even additional contents protection plans can significantly impact your base price—make sure you go over the cost of add-on services with a moving company representative. 

 

How to Prepare for a Long-distance Move

It can be a challenge to keep everything in order leading up to moving day. There are many important steps to take when embarking on a long-distance move. Below is a quick checklist to help you get started and keep up with some of the major steps in the moving process.

1. Decide on a DIY or Full-service Move

Before you book a long-distance moving company, figure out if you want a full-service move or a self-service move. Would you prefer to have a moving company deal with every aspect of your move while you deal with other parts of it? Are you willing to pay the higher cost this might come with? If so, you may want to consider using a full-service company.

If you have plenty of help from friends and family and don’t mind taking a DIY approach to the moving process, then you may want to save money by using a self-service moving company.

2. Get Rid of Unwanted Items

A long-distance move is a great reason to get rid of any underused or unwanted belongings. Since moving cost is determined in part by the total weight of your items, you’ll want to start paring down your belongings before contacting a moving company for an estimate. Clear out any unwanted clutter and flag the items you want to donate or sell, so that you don’t include them in your inventory when you seek estimates from moving companies.

3. Hire a Moving Company

Finding the right moving company for your specific needs and budget can take time. It’s best to start the process of hiring a mover about three months before your anticipated relocation date, if possible. That gives you about a month to research the best moving companies and seek estimates from at least three professional movers before booking one about eight weeks in advance. Some companies will give discounts for early reservations, so the sooner you can get started on this process, the better. 

Before signing a contract, you will want to confirm that your chosen moving company has the proper certifications. If you choose a company from this list, you do not have to worry about this step. All of our recommended movers are licensed, bonded, and insured. If you decide to use another moving company, you might want to make sure they are properly licensed and insured. To do so, obtain the company’s USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website to confirm that the company is authorized to transport your household goods.

Moving companies are required by federal law to receive a license from the state within which they are incorporated, according to Mike Scott, a partner of North Carolina-based mover, Capital Moving.

“Generally, unlicensed companies are the ones that develop bad reputations for the industry,” Scott noted.

4. Create a Detailed Inventory

Many moving companies can help with this step. Some companies, such as International Van Lines, will provide a tool to help create an inventory of your belongings. While you create this inventory, make note of the condition of your items and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a damage claim for reimbursement.

5. Tell People Who Need to Know

Your friends and family most likely know about your move, but there are some other significant individuals and organizations you need to notify. Inform insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, the Social Security Administration, and your Internet service provider about your move.

Learn More: Moving Checklist – Your Guide to Moving

 


 

 

FAQs About Long-distance Moving Services

 


 

Our Rating Methodology

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 services is on a 100-point scale based on seven factors:

  • Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local, long-distance, or international moves?
  • Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing services and unpacking or loading and unloading?
  • Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional moving 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 moving 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 ratings does the company hold on popular review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

Our Reviews Team evaluates reputable companies from across the nation, and we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company. We perform in-depth research and compare each company on key factors such as cost, services, availability, and trustworthiness.

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