It’s exciting to move into a new home, but getting there with your belongings intact and accounted for can be a challenge. Choosing the right professional mover for your needs and budget will ensure a more stress-free moving experience.
The This Old House Reviews Team has created this moving guide to help you in your decision-making process. We’ve researched the country’s best moving companies and reviewed each provider’s services, costs, availability, and overall quality.
11 Best Moving Companies of 2023
The best and most reliable moving companies include the following:
- International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
- American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor
- Interstate Moving & Relocation Group: Most Efficient
- Safeway Moving Inc.: Most Customer-Oriented
- Moving APT: Best Customer Service
- JK Moving Services: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
- Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
- 1-800-PACK-RAT: Best Overall Self-Service
- U-Pack: Most Affordable
- United Van Lines: Best for Moving Tech Items
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.
|Superlative||Star Rating||BBB Rating|
|International Van Lines||Best Full-Service Mover||B|
|American Van Lines||Most Experienced Mover||B-|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group||Most Efficient||B|
|Safeway Moving Inc.||Most Customer-Oriented||A+|
|Moving APT||Best Customer Service||B|
|JK Moving Services||Most Customizable||A+|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||A+|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||A+|
|United Van Lines||Best for Moving Tech Items||A+|
|International Van Lines|
|Superlative||Best Full-Service Mover|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group|
International Van Lines
Our Take: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
International Van Lines (IVL) is our top pick for a moving company, thanks to its competitive rates and a wide variety of services. The company offers full-service, partial-service, or self-service options for both local and long-distance moves anywhere in the country. Full-service options include packing and unpacking, specialty services for pianos and antiques, storage, and other useful options.
Learn More: International Van Lines Review
American Van Lines
Our Take: Most Experienced Moving Labor
American Van Lines (AVL) provides some of the most experienced, consistent, and reliable moving labor with its full-service options. The company exclusively hires full-time movers, as opposed to the popular method of contract-based work. As a result, American Van Lines’ workers have an average 10 years of moving experience when they arrive to help you, making them some of the best movers for a wide range of services, including packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading.
Learn More: American Van Lines Review
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Our Take: Most Efficient
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is an interstate broker that serves as an intermediary agent connecting customers with movers in its network. This can save you a major hassle by allowing IMRG to negotiate among providers to find a cheaper price and a list of service offerings that matches your needs.
With movers driving routes across the country, IMRG often has flexibility to schedule moving dates on shorter notice than many competitors. It also has an expedited quote process that leads to same- or next-day binding estimates in our experience.
Learn More: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Review
Safeway Moving Inc.
Our Take: Most Customer-Oriented
Safeway Moving Inc. is an Indiana-based moving company with additional locations in Florida and New Jersey. As a carrier and broker, Safeway uses its own crews and third-party agents vetted by the company to perform moving services. Safeway works primarily as a long-distance mover but also advertises international relocation assistance.
We took note of the forward-facing values on Safeway’s website, highlighting the company’s commitment to integrity, accountability, and communication. Safeway also advocates for senior citizens, training move coordinators to provide extra help as necessary for senior moves.
Learn More: Safeway Moving Inc. Review
Our Take: Best Customer Service
We like Moving APT for its concierge-style approach to moving. Moving APT does not directly provide relocation services. Instead, the company is a broker that works to connect you with local movers that match your needs. The company has one of the largest networks of independent movers in the industry. Through that network, Moving APT can provide packing services and loading services and a variety of common add-on options like storage and vehicle shipping.
The benefit of working with a broker is you only have to reach out to Moving APT, and the company will handle the rest. Moving APT also remains involved throughout the moving process and will remain your point of contact for questions and concerns. The company is available 24/7 for customer support.
Learn More: Moving APT Review
JK Moving Services
Our Take: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
JK Moving Services is a full-service mover that focuses on tailoring your moving package in accordance with your budget and moving needs. Another standout feature of JK Moving is that customers are able to finance their move with the company. This is not a common offering in the moving industry. Some customers can get rates as low as 0% same-as-cash.
Learn More: JK Moving Services Review
Allied Van Lines
Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation
Many other movers outsource vehicle shipping services, but Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover that offers the rare perk of conducting its vehicle relocations services using its own trucks. It also offers GPS tracking on these shipments.
Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review
North American Van Lines
Our Take: Best for Claims
North American Van Lines (NAVL) is a full-service mover that provides comprehensive contents protection plans and an easy-to-use claims process. This makes the company a great choice for those looking to transport expensive belongings.
North American Van Lines offers custom full-value release plans, so customers receive coverage and compensation that matches the actual value of their items rather than a predetermined amount. The company also provides direct, easy-to-reach communication if something goes wrong through a separate customer support line for filing claims and a thorough claims process.
Learn More: North American Van Lines Review
Our Take: Best Overall Self-Service Mover
1-800-Pack-Rat is our top choice for self-service mover. Not only does the company provide excellent pricing on its portable storage container service, but it partners with Hire-A-Helper. This partnership allows customers to receive the moving assistance they need for an additional cost. 1-800-PACK-RAT can assist with both local and interstate moves.
Learn More: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review
Our Take: Most Affordable
If you want to save money by taking a self-service approach to moving, U-Pack may be a good option. The company provides driveway-to-driveway delivery of portable moving and storage containers at reasonable prices without hidden fees or the need for in-home estimates. U-Pack’s ReloCubes are 6 feet long by 8 feet wide — large enough to store the contents of a normal-sized living room. While you will likely need multiple ReloCubes to move your items, U-Pack will not charge you for any containers that you don’t end up using. For larger moves, U-Pack’s cargo trailers may be a more cost-effective solution. Trailers can hold furniture and belongings in a typical three or four-bedroom home.
Learn More: U-Pack Review
United Van Lines
Our Take: Best for Moving Tech Items
Founded in 1928, United is one of the oldest full-service moving companies in the industry and is experienced in handling local and long-distance moves of all sizes. The company also operates within more than 180 countries.
United Van Lines provides typical full-service solutions like packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking but specializes in handling electronics. The company will disassemble and reassemble your home theater and PC network—a service not offered by any other provider on our list. In addition to disconnection and reconnection of your electronics, United Van Lines has its own fleet of carriers for vehicle shipping and provides short- and long-term storage.
United also offers Snapmoves, a program geared specifically toward those moving an apartment, dorm room, or storage unit. Snap Moves gives customers a full-service experience—complete with a personal moving coordinator, full value protection of your belongings, and loading and unloading—at a lower rate.
Learn More: United Van Lines Review
How To Choose the Best Moving Company
It can be challenging to research each moving company’s website to determine which company is right for you. There are a few important, universal factors to keep in mind when comparing top moving companies. To help you keep those major factors in mind, we have listed them here:
1. Determine Which Type of Move You Need
Take some time as you research to figure out which type of move you and your family might want. You should think about what you value in a moving service and what you are willing to do in order to effectively determine which type of move you should undertake.
Types of Moving Services
When planning your move, it’s important to understand the different types of services moving companies provide. The first distinction to consider is the distance each company will travel and how that impacts its services and costs.
- Local move: A local move will generally be within the same city or to an adjacent community. Companies offering local moves tend to charge hourly rates based on the number of movers needed. Local movers often offer similar full-service moving packages as their long-distance counterparts.
- Long-distance move: A long-distance move involves hauling household goods out of your current city, and, according to U-Pack, most companies define long-distance relocation as a move extending more than 100 miles. Movers offering this type of service will typically offer full-service packing and will price their services according to inventory weight, move distance, and the specialty services added on to a base moving package.
- Interstate move: The terms interstate move and long-distance move are often interchangeable, but an important distinction is that an interstate move always involves hauling a household inventory across state lines. Movers offering interstate relocation must adhere to federal regulations.
- International move: International movers can ship your items to different countries, forwarding freight via air or ocean transport. You should expect an international move to require more complicated logistics and higher associated costs. Many moving companies outsource these services to international shipping specialists.
Other terms you need to learn to understand the different types of moving services pertain to a moving company’s overall structure.
- Full service: A full-service mover offers comprehensive packing assistance at an increased cost. When you select this service, your mover will handle the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking responsibilities. This typically includes furniture disassembly and reassembly. Many full-service movers offer varying levels of packing assistance, allowing you to have the moving crew only pack select items to cut costs.
- Self-service: Self-service movers generally rely on portable moving containers to house your items during transport to your new home. The companies drop off these moving containers at your home, usually leaving you several days to load the containers with your belongings. The moving company will then pick up the container and deliver it to your destination where you will also be responsible for unloading your belongings.
- Specialty services: Often, what sets moving companies apart are the specialty services each can offer. Some movers offer vehicle shipping, saving you a major headache during the moving process by coordinating the safe transport of your vehicles. Others may offer various storage solutions, junk removal, or cleaning services. There are numerous specialty services that can further streamline your move to a new home, and it’s important to discuss these services with the company before booking.
2. Compare Quotes from Top Moving Companies
We always recommend that prospective customers request quotes from three moving providers before committing to one company. This helps you learn the exact details of each company’s moving costs, and you can review the fine print in the quote documentation to better understand the company’s services and policies.
To help you find the best moving company to assist you and your needs the best you should compare the top moving companies in your state:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
We’ve researched marketing materials to find some of the discounts offered by the top-ranked moving companies in our guide. Most providers do not advertise discounts outright, and you will need to ask a company representative during the quote and booking process if any other discounts are available.
|Company||Military Discount||Senior Discount||Other Discounts|
3. Research Each Moving Company’s Reputation
Getting a friend or family member’s recommendation is a good way to know how a moving company realistically works. Another great step is to visit trusted customer reviews sites online, such as Yelp, Consumer Reports, Angi, MyMovingReviews.com, and the Better Business Bureau.
When reading moving company reviews, pay attention to how each customer describes the highs and lows from their experience with the movers to get a feeling for how the customer service for each company really works. This is also a great time to get moving estimates from each company to compare costs.
4. Make Sure the Moving Company is Properly Licensed
The best moving companies are properly licensed and insured for the move you are asking them to execute. Luckily, If you choose a moving company from this list, then you do not have to worry about doing this. All of our recommended movers are licensed, bonded, and insured.
If you decide to use another moving company, then you can check their credentials by obtaining the company’s USDOT number and visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to search for them.
5. Understand the Moving Company’s Business Model
Some companies advertising moving services are moving brokers that are unable to legally transport household goods. Instead, these companies act as intermediaries, outsourcing moving services to carriers bidding on the contracts. Moving brokers can be legitimate, but, depending on the companies they use for outsourcing, your mileage may vary in terms of customer experience.
Other companies are licensed carriers, providing moving services with in-house crews that the company trains and employs full-time. These companies will handle all aspects of your move and are directly liable for your shipment. You may also encounter a moving company with hybrid broker and carrier authority, outsourcing a portion of its services to partners.
In our 2022 survey, 81% of participants booking a long-distance move through a broker said that movers handled their items with care, compared to 90% of participants booking through an independent carrier. Similarly, 78% of participants using a broker had issues encountered during a move resolved in a satisfactory manner, whereas 86% of respondents using a moving carrier were satisfied with the company’s resolution of issues.
What Impacts a Moving Company’s Cost
Most moving companies have the same factors affect the average cost of their services. Some companies will include different factors, such as hourly labor or the amount of containers you receive, but the following factors will most likely influence the final price you pay for your moving company’s services:
- Location of your original residence
- Date and time of your move
- Overall distance of the move
- Truck parking access
- Truck size used
- Truck driver’s hours
- Hours worked by moving labor
- Fuel costs
- Number of portable storage containers used
- Size/weight of your move
- Additional protection plans you purchase
- Additional services you purchase
Understanding Moving Company Regulations
Moving companies must adhere to strict regulations to operate legally. These regulations differ among the types of moving companies, and it’s imperative to know what regulatory processes are in place before you choose a mover.
Local moving companies only conduct intrastate moves, and, as such, must comply with state laws. Each state has its own agency to license and regulate intrastate movers, and the policies may differ among agencies. When booking a local move, we encourage you to find out which government entity regulates movers in your state to determine the mover’s legal requirements and the protections that are in place for you as a consumer.
Interstate moving companies must comply with the license and insurance requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the national Department of Transportation (DOT). The FMCSA has numerous resources on its website, including guides for protecting your move and a company database. This company database provides information about every licensed interstate mover, including each company’s authority to transport household goods, insurance information, fleet details, inspection history, and more.
How To Prepare for a Move
Moving companies often have 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 checklists.
Even with these resources, preparing for a move is a stressful undertaking, and it’s easy to overlook important steps. Below are crucial points to consider for a smooth moving experience:
- Condense your belongings: We recommend you make two piles of unwanted belongings as moving day draws near. In one pile, gather items you don’t need and can donate to charity. In the other pile, place items you will need to throw away. A few days before the movers arrive, you can take each pile to its respective drop-off location. To dispose of large items, consider junk removal services.
- Update essential service providers: Notify your internet provider, your electricity and water companies, insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, and the Social Security Administration.
- Acquire and update required documents: For international moves, ensure that your passport and visa is valid, you have all forms of identification you will need, and you have any other legal documents that your destination country will require for port entry or customs clearance.
- Create an inventory: An important step to take when making your inventory is to make note of the condition of your valuables and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a damage claim for reimbursement.
- Purchase packing supplies: If you plan to pack your household belongings yourself, you will need to purchase packing materials from the moving company or a third-party source. Look for sturdy boxes of various sizes, and buy the necessary specialty boxes such as wardrobe and china boxes. You will also need packing tape, protective wrap, and padding.
- Separate your items on moving day: On your move date, separate items that aren’t part of the assessed inventory. If the moving company loads items that were supposed to be left behind or transported by another means, it will result in a greater inventory weight and a potential increase to your moving cost.
Learn More: Our Guide to Moving
There is much to think about when hiring a professional moving company, and it’s a decision you want to get right the first time. It’s crucial to find a mover that will deliver your belongings safely, on time, and within your budget.
International Van Lines (IVL) is a well-established name in the industry, providing door-to-door moving services across the country and overseas. IVL offers a full selection of professional moving services and can give you peace of mind with its versatile insurance coverage options. American Van Lines (AVL) is another top pick, maintaining a staff of trained and experienced movers who know how to safely pack and load your most high-end items. IMRG is a great option for prompt scheduling and cost-effective moving solutions if you don’t mind the company outsourcing services.
No matter which options stand out to you, we recommend gathering three quotes to compare pricing details and any fine print before settling on a moving company.
FAQ About the Best Moving Companies
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, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score out of 100.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- 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
More Moving Company Reviews
- PODS Review
- Colonial Van Lines Review
- Bellhop Moving Review
- MoveMatcher Review
- Handled Review
- uShip Review
- College Hunks Hauling Junk Review
- SIRVA Review
- MoveBuddha Review
- Two Men and a Truck Review
- LoadUp Junk Removal Review