Best Moving Companies (December 2023 Guide)
Book with a quality moving company when planning a local or long-distance move. The best moving companies available can help every step of the way, from the early planning stage until you’re settled in your new home. We’ve researched the best moving companies for a range of moving needs based on service offerings, industry reputation, and more. Review our guide below to learn which moving provider is the best fit for your local or long-distance move. Plus, we offer planning tips to help smooth the moving process.
10 Best Moving Companies of 2023
The best and most reliable moving companies include the following:
- International Van Lines: Best Service Offerings
- American Van Lines: Best Overall Moving Labor
- Interstate Moving & Relocation Group: Most Efficient
- Safeway Moving Inc.: Most Reliable Pricing
- Moving APT: Best Customer Service
- JK Moving Services: Best Specialized Packing
- Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
- U-Pack: Most Affordable
- Mayflower Moving: Best for Large Moves
- United Van Lines: Best Base Moving Coverage
Summary of the Top-Rated Moving Companies
There are similarities across the moving industry, but some companies stand out for their services, values, and overall reputation. See how some of the top moving companies compare to help make your decision a little easier.
|Best For||Star Rating||BBB Rating||Link|
|International Van Lines||Best Service Offerings||A||VISIT SITE|
|American Van Lines||Best Overall Moving Labor||A||VISIT SITE|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group||Most Efficient||B||VISIT SITE|
|Safeway Moving Inc.||Most Reliable Pricing||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Moving APT||Best Customer Service||B||VISIT SITE|
|JK Moving Services||Best Specialized Packing||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||A+||VISIT SITE|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||A+||VISIT SITE|
|U-Pack||Most Affordable||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Mayflower||Best for Large Moves||A+||VISIT SITE|
|United Van Lines||Best Base Moving Coverage||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group|
|Best For||Most Efficient|
Note: The BBB ratings above are accurate as of December 2023.
Detailed Look at the Best Moving Companies
The video below shares six steps for choosing the best moving company for your needs, whether you’re booking a full-service or DIY provider.
How To Choose the Best Moving Company
The vetting process for any moving company can look daunting if you’re unfamiliar with hiring professional movers. We’ve outlined basic steps to take when evaluating movers:
1. Evaluate each mover’s service profile.
A primary step in the moving process is determining which services you need and finding a mover that offers those services. Common moving services include the following:
- Debris removal
- GPS tracking for long-distance moves
- Home and floorplan arrangement
- Loading and unloading
- Packing and unpacking
- Selling packing supplies
- Vehicle shipping
2. Ensure that your movers are properly licensed.
Moving companies must comply with licensing requirements. You can check licensing status via the FMCSA website. Interstate movers must carry active registrations with the FMCSA, which requires movers to hold U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers. Use a mover’s USDOT or MC numbers to look up mover registration through the link above. Local movers must carry state-level registration. State-level moving organizations are outlined here.
3. Read customer reviews.
Reading reviews is the best way to assess a mover’s positive and negative customer service trends. Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and social media are all valid sources. Look at both negative and positive reviews for any mover you consider for your move.
4. Request quotes from multiple movers.
Before you sign a moving contract, survey all possible options. Starting the quote process at least six weeks before your move date will help ensure you have a full understanding of the options in your price range and that you won’t overpay when you book your move.
5. Get a written copy of your estimate.
Most movers require a deposit to book a move. This should be disclosed during the quote process, either during or immediately after an estimate has been given. This can either be a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of your move. This percentage typically ranges between 10% and 40%. Local moves are billed hourly. You typically won’t receive a binding estimate during the quote phase for a local move. Long-distance moves include more defined bottom-line pricing outlining all services to be rendered. Your billing and pricing should be outlined clearly in a moving contract, regardless of the distance of your move. Binding estimates, which will be specified in your moving contract, won’t shift unless your inventory changes.
6. Understand your insurance coverage.
In addition to basic cost information, determine whether you require additional insurance for your goods. Moving companies provide released liability coverage for lost or damaged items. This coverage comes with any basic move price, but it only reimburses you for $0.60 per pound per item of your goods. Most movers also offer valuation coverage options, which cost extra but can cover you for the full value of your goods. Moving with a top luxury mover can help ensure your luxury items are handled with care.
Local vs. Long-Distance Moves
While moves of all sizes have some similarities, local and long-distance relocations differ in a few significant ways. We’ve listed some things to keep in mind when planning each different type of move here:
Tips for Local Moves
Moving within your town, city, or county will involve fewer moving parts but may require more specialized knowledge of your local area. Consider hiring a locally-owned mover or a local branch of a major van line for local moves.
Movers based in your area can offer tailored guidance and service for your unique moving needs. For example, local drivers have the expertise to navigate around high-traffic areas for greater moving efficiency. It could also mean that your movers are familiar with your locale and have moved clients into your neighborhood or apartment complex many times previously. Ask for their guidance on peak moving times in your area to avoid higher pricing and traffic on moving day.
Note that local moves are billed by the hour. You won’t be able to secure binding cost estimates for this type of relocation. Y
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Tips for Long-Distance Moves
Moving across state lines or the country will include logistical hurdles that long-distance moving specialists can handle. We recommend starting the planning process at least eight weeks before any interstate move. Evaluate your main service needs, such as vehicle shipping, custom crating for antiques, and heavy item shipping, before booking.
If you plan to travel by plane, look for a provider that can ship your car to meet you at your new destination. Consider the logistics of switching on utilities at your new home, getting settled in a new city, arranging for unpacking labor at your new home, and more.
How Much Do Moving Companies Cost?
Depending on your move method, the average 1,100-mile relocation costs between $2,750 and $6,100. Any costs below or above this range are typically the result of minimal or multiple add-on service requirements, which drastically affect costs.
When requesting quotes, consider that local and long-distance movers bill differently. Local moves are billed by the hour, while long-distance moves are assigned total charges that take move distance and size into account.
Sample Moving Prices
The table below compares the estimated costs and deposit requirements to move a two-bedroom apartment.
Up to 40%
How To Prepare for a Move
Moving companies often provide tips, reminders, and in-depth resources available to help customers prepare for a move. Some appoint personal move coordinators to coach you through the planning stages of the moving process, and many provide online moving guides and moving checklists.
Even with these resources, preparing for a move is stressful, and it’s easy to overlook important steps. Here, we’ve listed key actions to take for a smooth moving experience, along with ideal time windows.
Eight Weeks Out
Your moving process should begin around eight weeks before the big day, whether you’re planning a local move or a cross-country relocation. At this juncture, take the following steps.
- Research movers near you: Look into moving companies near you whose service offerings match your moving needs, and reach out to them for quotes.
- Take a full inventory of your home: Make separate lists of items that you plan to take with you and things you plan to get rid of, and refer to these lists when you request quotes.
- Start packing: Begin packing your goods at a packing rate of one to two boxes per day.
Six Weeks Out
At this stage, you should be actively fielding quotes. Here are some key steps to take at the six-week mark.
- Get moving quotes: Begin actively fielding quotes at this time.
- Arrange to downsize if necessary: If you need to dispose of unneeded items, discuss junk removal services during the quote process.
- Continue packing: Keep organizing and packing your goods at the same pace.
Four Weeks Out
This is a crucial stage of your moving process, at which time you should do the following.
- Book your move: Choose the mover with service offerings that match your needs and moving budget.
- Arrange utility services: Contact your current utility providers and schedule shutoff dates at your current address, as well as turn-on dates at your new home.
- File change-of-address forms: File a change-of-address form with your local post office.
- Continue packing: Gradually work toward packing more essential items.
Two Weeks Out
At the two-week mark, you should have most or all of your non-essential goods packed. Here are a few extra steps to take at this stage.
- Arrange for child and pet care: Make plans to have children and pets out of the way on moving day.
- Plan your meals for moving week: Since your kitchen items will mostly be packed during moving week, plan out your meals for the days leading up to your move.
- Continue packing: Continue packing at the same pace.
During moving week, wrap up your moving preparations, including packing your essential items such as kitchenware, linens, and in-season clothing.
Now that the big day is here, pack a moving day bag. If you’re driving cross-country along with your movers, this should include ample changes of clothing for however long you plan to be on the road. Beyond that, pack all essentials, including toiletries, snacks, water, your laptop, essential documents, and moving documents.
We recommend getting quotes from at least three moving companies before settling on a mover. Use customer reviews and your impressions gained during the quote process to make your decision. International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and IMRG are our top picks for a variety of local and long-distance moving needs. Each offers qualified moving crews and can help ensure your moving day goes smoothly. Your chosen moving company will greatly impact the quality of your relocation, so going through the quote process is a must to ensure a straightforward move.
FAQ About the Best Moving Companies
What's the difference between binding and non-binding moving estimates?
Binding estimates will not change unless your inventory or service needs change between quote day and moving day. Non-binding estimates can be subject to change.
What is the difference between long-distance and local move billing?
Long-distance moves are typically assigned line-haul fees. These charges take move distance and shipping weight into account. Most long-distance movers have defined weigh-in processes they follow once goods have been loaded. Local movers, on the other hand, bill moves at hourly rates.
What is the most affordable moving company?
U-Pack is the most affordable self-service moving company on our list. When it comes to the most affordable full-service mover, we recommend JK Moving Services. This company helps customers customize their moves to fit their budgets.
How far in advance should I book movers?
Though you will want to check with your moving company, we suggest booking your movers at least one month in advance of your moving date. Try to book your long-distance move six to eight weeks in advance.
Learn More: How to Hire Movers
How long should my long-distance move take?
Generally, a cross-country or long-distance move could take longer than a week. You shouldn’t expect your movers to drive more than 400 miles per day due to USDOT drive-time regulations and traffic. If your goods have been packaged with other clients’ belongings, it could take longer. Ask about delivery date guarantees during the quote process. In most cases, your movers will give you a delivery range of a couple of days.
Should you help your movers?
You may be able to help them if you want. Keep in mind that movers will work quickly and efficiently at their jobs, and you are paying them to do this for you. Check with the company you are using before offering to help—some companies refuse to let customers assist their movers for liability reasons.
Do you feed your movers?
If you are expecting your movers to work for more than four or five hours, then it is a gracious gesture to purchase and provide your movers with lunch. This is by no means required, and movers can take their own lunch break if needed.
What do most moving companies charge?
Most full-service moving companies will charge based on inventory weight, home size, and move distance. Self-service moving companies will often base charges on the number of shipping containers used and the distance traveled by the driver.
Actual costs will vary depending on each mover’s rates and the price for any additional services. We received a quote of $2,015–$3,445 from International Van Lines for a long-distance move from Chicago to Houston.
Who is the highest-rated moving company?
One of the highest-rated moving companies on our list of best moving companies is International Van Lines which provides a wide range of domestic and international moving services.
How can I ship my car?
If you’re just looking to ship your vehicle, we recommend checking out Montway Auto Transport. Montway ships vehicles to and from any state in the country, plus it can work with you to ship your car internationally. We found Montway to be a great option because of its wide service selection, strong industry standing, and positive customer reviews.
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 email@example.com.
Other Moving Resources
We’ve done extensive research on the best moving companies across the country and have compiled easy-to-digest guides and comparisons:
Best Moving Companies by Type
- Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
- Best Short-Distance Moving Companies
- Best Interstate Moving Companies
- Best Cheap Moving Companies
- Best Moving Companies for Small Moves
- Best Moving Companies for Military Moves
- Best Moving Companies for Seniors
- Best Apartment Moving Companies
- Best Packing and Moving Companies
- Best Flat-Fee Movers
Moving Trucks and Containers
- Best Moving Truck Rentals
- Cheapest Moving Truck Rentals
- Best Moving Container Companies
- Cheapest Moving Containers
- Best Pet Shipping Companies
- Best Antique Moving Companies
- Best Piano Movers
- Best Office Moving Companies
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