When planning a move, it’s tempting to hire a professional moving company, but a quick look at the potential costs can be enough to give you pause. However, budget-friendly options are available, and there are several ways to reduce costs when booking a move.    

We at the This Old House Reviews Team have researched the best moving companies in the nation, ranking them on several key factors that shape the overall moving experience. After gathering multiple moving quotes from each provider and analyzing respective costs and services, we created this guide to help you find an affordable mover.

 


 

Top 10 Cheap Moving Companies of 2023

Based on our in-depth research, here are the best cheap moving companies:

 


 

Superlative Star Rating BBB Rating
International Van Lines Best Full-Service Mover
B
American Van Lines Most Experienced Mover
B-
Moving APT Best Customer Service
B
JK Moving Services Most Customizable
A+
North American Van Lines Best for Claims
A+
Allied Van Lines Best for Vehicle Relocation
A+
Safeway Moving Inc. Most Customer-Oriented
A+
Coleman Worldwide Moving Best for International Moves
A+
International Van Lines
Superlative Best Full-Service Mover
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
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American Van Lines
Superlative Most Experienced Mover
Star Rating
BBB Rating B-
Get My Quote
Moving APT
Superlative Best Customer Service
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
Get My Quote
JK Moving Services
Superlative Most Customizable
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get My Quote
North American Van Lines
Superlative Best for Claims
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get My Quote
Allied Van Lines
Superlative Best for Vehicle Relocation
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get My Quote
Safeway Moving Inc.
Superlative Most Customer-Oriented
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
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Coleman Worldwide Moving
Superlative Best for International Moves
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get My Quote

 


 

 

International Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
  • State Availability: 50 states

If you want a company to handle almost every part of your move but still want affordable rates, look into International Van Lines (IVL). The company offers one of the most comprehensive service selections, with options such as packing, unpacking, loading, unloading, furniture assembly, storage, and car transportation. Its specialty services and protection plans are also great inclusions for those looking for complete security during relocation.

Pros & Cons

✔ Has multiple protection plans
✔ Offers specialty services for artwork, antiques, and pianos
✔ Provides vehicle relocation services

✘ Doesn’t offer pricing online
✘ Has mixed customer reviews that vary by location and mention difficulty in communication

Services

International Van Lines can mix and match its services for customers based on both moving needs and budget. The company also offers full-value protection plans and storage solutions. If you’re looking to move difficult items, such as antiques and pianos, International Van Lines offers top-tier specialty services with its moving packages.

Cost

IVL gave us a free moving quote of $4,200–$6,150 for moving a three-bedroom home from Boston to Chicago within two months’ time. This quote includes loading services and transportation.

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

 


 

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

  • Our Take: Most Efficient
  • State Availability: 50 states

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a moving broker that selects a provider in its network to fulfill your requested services. Working with full-service moving companies, IMRG can customize your move plan to include packing assistance and numerous add-on options. We noted IMRG for its efficiency in providing quotes, returning a binding estimate to our team within 10 minutes of an inventory survey. As a broker, IMRG can compare rates among its partners and negotiate to lock in an affordable rate.

Pros & Cons

✔ Provides quick estimates, helping expedite the booking process to accommodate last-minute moves
✔ Can find cheap movers for local, long-distance, and international relocation
✔ Has a moving checklist, cost calculator, and several other online resources

✘ Is reliant on third-party movers to perform services, leading to mixed moving experiences according to Google and Yelp reviews
✘ Charges a 15% up-front deposit

Services

IMRG can coordinate full packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking services. It also allows you to assume the packing duties, leaving only the heavy lifting to the movers. Other add-on services include vehicle shipping, fragile-only packing, and specialty services for commercial moving. IMRG also assists with moving military families.  

Cost

IMRG provided a binding estimate of $6,214 for moving a three-bedroom home from Atlanta to Chicago. For this quote, we specified that we intended to self-pack our boxes and only needed help loading, transporting, and unloading the shipment. We opted to provide inventory details over the phone, but you can also request a physical or virtual survey of your household for a more accurate estimate. 

Learn More: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

 


 

American Van Lines

  • Our Take: Most Experienced Moving Labor
  • State Availability: 48 states (excludes Alaska and Hawaii)

If you are an art or antique collector, a fitness enthusiast, or a musician, American Van Lines might be worth checking out. AVL is a long-standing full-service moving company that specializes in the careful handling of large, fragile, and high-value or rare items, such as treadmills, pianos, and antiques. Moving crews are routinely trained in best practices for packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

This may provide some additional reassurance if you’re nervous about how your delicate collectibles or family heirlooms will be packaged and placed in a moving truck. For pianos and antiques, AVL has designated crews for both, ensuring your items will be expertly handled.

Pros & Cons

✔ Has moving crews specifically for handling pianos and antiques
✔ Provides a guaranteed delivery date and time frame (additional charges apply)
✔ Offers mobile moving and storage containers that include loading and unloading labor

✘ Does not give instant moving quotes on its website or by phone
✘ Outsources all local moves (50 miles or less) to third-party movers outside of North Carolina, southern Florida, and Dallas-Fort Worth

Services

American Van Lines can accommodate full-service local, long-distance, and international moves of all sizes in the contiguous United States. Keep in mind that AVL does not directly provide most local relocation requests. Instead, the company—which is both a moving carrier and a moving broker—will utilize its network of independent professional movers for all moves 50 miles or less in all states except North Carolina and parts of Texas and Florida.

The company also provides partial moving services through fragile-only packing, as well as optional add-on services like storage and electronics crating.

Cost

American Van Lines provides customers with binding estimates, which will not change on moving day. Before giving you a binding estimate, the company will conduct a virtual home assessment to get a sense of the size of your home and the number and types of items you are moving.

American Van Lines does not offer instant moving quotes, but the company did provide us with a general starting price of approximately $3,345 to relocate the contents of a three-bedroom home from Chicago to Boston.

Learn More: American Van Lines Review

 


 

Moving APT

  • Our Take: Best Customer Service
  • State Availability: 50 states

Moving APT is unique to the other providers in this guide because it functions solely as a moving broker. Rather than provide its own moving services, Moving APT will instead coordinate your relocation through a large national network of vetted pro movers.

The company particularly stands out for its approach to customer service. Although it will not handle your actual move, Moving APT will match you with a company that fits your needs and budget and will remain involved in every aspect of the relocation process to ensure you are satisfied.

Pros & Cons

✔ Monitors and tracks moving truck drivers using DashCam technology
✔ Provides around-the-clock customer support
✔ Offers a variety of ongoing deals, including early-booking and senior citizen discounts

✘ Includes pop-up chat windows on each page of its website
✘ Has a limited cancellation policy and will retain your deposit if you cancel less than one week before your scheduled moving date

Services

Moving APT can accommodate all full- and partial-service moving requests through its nationwide network of more than 2,500 moving companies. Partner moving companies can handle local, long-distance, and international moves of all sizes. Moving APT also provides standard optional services like storage, vehicle shipping, and furniture disassembly and reassembly.

Cost

Using Moving APT’s online moving calculator, we received a price range of $4,731–$9,231 for a three-bedroom relocation to Chicago from Boston. However, Moving APT notes on its website that quotes generated through the calculator tool are rough estimates. You must call the company and provide specific details about your move to get more accurate pricing. You can also complete a virtual walk-through of your home to get a binding estimate.

When you call Moving APT, be sure to ask about the company’s deals and promotions. Moving APT gives discounts to senior citizens, active military, and veterans. You can also save money if you book your move early or are relocating locally (50 miles away or less).

Learn More: Moving APT Review

 


 

Safeway Moving Inc.

  • Our Take: Most Customer-Oriented
  • Availability: 50 states

Safeway Moving Inc. specializes in interstate and cross-country moves, using its own trucks and crews for most services and booking a small portion through a network of moving partners. Available in all 50 states, Safeway advertises flat-rate moving costs to keep pricing consistent and to give you peace of mind regarding hidden fees. With years of experience complying with HOAs and COAs during a move, Safeway is worth considering for relocating to or from a condo. 

To help ensure a stress-free move for senior citizens, Safeway dedicates additional staffing assistance for coordinating senior relocation efforts. This includes offering video surveys for reduced hassle when gathering information for a moving cost estimate.

Pros and Cons

✔ Uses a flat-rate pricing structure
✔ Offers 30 free days of storage to all customers
✔ Makes donations to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a portion of your moving fees

✘ Does not market itself for local availability, focusing primarily on long-distance moves
✘ Requires customers to pay a 40% booking deposit, among the highest in this guide

Services

Safeway is a full-service moving company, assigning moving crews that will provide you with comprehensive packing and unpacking assistance. This includes loading and unloading your inventory in addition to transporting your belongings between any two U.S. locations. Some international moving services are also available. Safeway can also handle your fragile items and offers custom crating for belongings that are especially sensitive or valuable. 

Cost

We have previously received a quote from Safeway for a move from Chicago to Houston (which is slightly more mileage than Chicago to Boston) that amounted to $5,802. Factors affecting your moving cost include the distance between move locations, the overall size of your household, and the weight of your items. Storage solutions that you use for more than 30 days will also add to your cost. 

Safeway provides binding estimates, and you can request a quote online or call the company. You will need to pay a 40% deposit when booking your move. Safeway can typically conduct in-home or video consultations to survey your inventory. 

Learn More: Safeway Moving Inc. Review

 


 

JK Moving Services

  • Our Take: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
  • State Availability: 50 states

JK Moving Services is a good option if you are looking for a personalized moving package. In addition to standard full-service moves that include packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading, JK Moving allows customers to create a customized plan through add-on options. JK Moving is also one of the more tech-forward companies on our list, allowing customers to handle nearly every step of the moving process through its comprehensive and user-friendly app.

Pros & Cons

✔ Monitors and tracks moving truck drivers using DashCam technology
✔ Annually trains moving crews using a full-size replica home
✔ Offers in-house moving loans with interest rates as low as 0% same-as-cash*
✘ Only provides local moves in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
✘ Does not honor lower quotes from competitors
*Subject to credit approval

Services

JK Moving takes an a la carte approach to moving with its menu of optional services, including special handling of art, antiques, and larger items, such as hot tubs and elliptical machines. The company assigns personal moving coordinators to its customers to help guide them through the process of choosing the right services. If you have a budget for your move, the coordinator can help you stay within your price range.

The company also partners with Enhancify, a home improvement financing company, to offer loans. This may be a good option if you can’t afford the total cost of relocation right away, or if you would just prefer to spread the cost out over time.

Cost

JK Moving provides binding estimates and therefore won’t give any general pricing information about your move online. You will need to call the company directly and complete a virtual home survey before receiving your binding quote. However, the company provided us with an approximate starting price of $8,000 to move a three-bedroom home from Boston to Chicago.

Learn More: JK Moving Services Review

 


 

Allied Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation
  • State Availability: 50 states

Allied Van Lines is an experienced full-service moving company that offers customizable local, long-distance, and international relocation plans. Following a home review, Allied can provide a guaranteed flat rate, and customers can pick and choose from additional services to create a customized package that fits their budgets. The company owns its own fleet of car carriers, so customers work directly with Allied for their vehicle transportation needs, not with a third-party agent.

Pros & Cons

✔ Allows customers to pick and choose the services they want without extending their budget
✔ Offers vehicle coverage of up to $100,000 with no deductible
✔ Provides mobile storage containers through Allied Express that comes with loading and unloading services

✘ Doesn’t provide instant quotes for local moves
✘ Doesn’t offer 24/7 claims support

Services

Allied Van Lines offers a range of moving options, from DIY support to full-service packages. It also provides storage, moving kits, and helpful online moving resources. The variety of services available means you can tailor your moving package to your specific needs, the size of your move, and your budget. The company, which has been in business for more than 90 years, is experienced in handling local, long-distance, and international moves.

Cost

A basic package (without additional services) to move a three-bedroom home from Chicago to Boston would cost about $3,300 according to AVL’s online planning tool.

Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review

 


 

U-Pack

  • Our Take: Most Affordable
  • State Availability: 50 states

U-Pack is our pick for the most affordable mover. This self-service mover offers a pay-for-what-you-use space policy on its moving trailers. This option allows customers to pay per foot on a moving trailer, allowing for flexibility in pricing. U-Pack also provides adjustable contents protection plans and GPS tracking to add further security to your relocation.

Pros & Cons

✔ Has a flexible and budget-friendly pay-for-what-you-use policy
✔ Provides GPS tracking on your containers
✔ Has competitive pricing for a self-service mover

✘ Doesn’t provide access to storage during transit
✘ Gives customers only three days to load and unload their belongings

Services

U-Pack offers self-service portable storage container moves. The company delivers one of its container options to your home, then you load your belongings at your own pace within the three days allotted. You can notify the company when to pick up and deliver the container to your new home, and you unload your belongings at your own pace.

U-Pack provides its ReloCube moving container (70” x 82” x 93”) or a large moving trailer used by ABF Freights. For the moving trailer, customers pay for only the square footage they use.

U-Pack does offer less time to load and unload its containers when compared to 1-800-PACK-RAT, which offers 30 days. However, careful planning can potentially save you money by renting U-Pack’s containers.

Note that although U-Pack is available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, it has a 150-mile requirement to provide its services, so it may not be an option for local moves.

Cost

We received a quote for two ReloCubes going from Boston to Chicago for $2,613. We also received a quote for 13 feet of space in a moving trailer for $2,044. The company claims these moving estimates are all-inclusive with no hidden fees. These quotes also include five to seven business days for transit.

Learn More: U-Pack Review

 


 

North American Van Lines

  • Our Take: Best for Claims
  • State Availability: 50 states

North American Van Lines (NAVL) is a large national mover with more than a thousand moving trucks in operation and more than 500 agent locations nationwide. The company brings customer support to the front and center, providing numerous online resources that include convenient claims forms for seeking reimbursement due to issues occurring during a move. NAVL has customer service representatives available 24/7, and it offers online shipment tracking with status updates 24 hours a day.

Pros & Cons

✔  Reduces the stress of filing a claim by providing access to domestic and international claims forms on its website and hosting dedicated customer support lines
✔  Bolsters its availability by having agents located in strategic locations throughout the United States
✔  Uses a predictable pricing model, including a not-to-exceed pricing option that few direct competitors offer 

✘  Will typically not provide fast, ballpark estimates for assessing potential moving costs
✘  Brokers some services to moving companies and drivers outside its own employee base 

Services

For packing services, NAVL has a few options to meet your needs. It can send its crews to pack and load every item for you, or you can request assistance with fragile items only. To save money, you can also pack boxes without professional assistance. NAVL has packing supplies for sale to make your DIY move as convenient as possible, and it also offers to coordinate specialty services such as appliance reconnection and house cleaning.

NAVL connects its customers with climate-controlled storage options as an add- on service. It can assist with international relocation in addition to local and long-distance moves.  

Cost

North American Van Lines generally will not provide ballpark estimates and requires you to conduct a survey of your home’s inventory to obtain a quote. The standard cost factors for a long-distance move will apply, such as move distance, inventory weight, and your selection of packing and specialty services. 

Learn More: North American Van Lines Review

 


 

Coleman Worldwide Moving

  • Our Take: Best for International Moves
  • State Availability: 22 states

Coleman Worldwide Moving offers full-service moves based in its Alabama headquarters, with additional offices across the country serving 22 states. Addressing a wide range of moving needs, Coleman maintains a fleet of modern vehicles and a staff of moving specialists for handling interstate and international moves. The company teams up with its partner Allied for its global relocation services, providing services to and from 175 countries.

Pros & Cons

✔ Extends it’s full-service offerings to international moves and expands those offerings to include destination services, such as clearing customs
✔ Has launched a unique Affinity Program for discounted moving fees
✔ Has a longstanding presence in the industry, serving customers since 1914

✘ Cannot sends its own crews to areas outside its 22-state coverage area, relying on Allied to perform or outsource those services
✘ Receives a notable number of complaints on Yelp about damaged items

Services

Coleman puts your move plan in your hands, offering a comprehensive selection of packing options to make the move easier. By choosing full-packing assistance, Coleman will pack your home, load your belongings, and transport the shipment to your destination. The movers use protective padding, wrapping, and boxes to secure your belongings and will build custom crating when necessary. Coleman will unload and unpack your belongings upon delivery and can help with debris removal. 

Coleman offers short- and long-term storage and online shipment tracking for all moving services. You can also select vehicle shipping as an add-on service.   

Cost

Coleman will take the weight of your household inventory, the distance of the move, and the number of add-on services into account when calculating an estimate. You can request an in-home consultation or a video survey to go over your inventory with a Coleman-Allied representative. For a move from New York City to Atlanta, an Allied agent will handle your move and the company estimates an average cost of $3,761.17. 

This price can increase significantly depending on the total weight and volume of your shipment and the services you add to your move plan.

 


 

Our Conclusion

A cheap move may at first seem out of reach, but several reputable movers offer affordable options. We took a deep dive into International Van Lines’ offerings and found its pricing to be in line with most large full-service moving companies. With IVL’s flexible packing options and its nationwide coverage, the company is a solid choice for those on a budget. 

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group brings a price advantage, operating as a moving broker than can negotiate among several companies bidding for your move. We also found American Van Lines to be an affordable option, including baseline estimates advertised as special offers for moves between several major cities on its website. 

The best practice when choosing a mover is to request quotes from three companies. Look over each estimate for any hidden costs or substantial differences in rates for certain services that may impact your overall moving cost.

 


 

What Impacts Moving Costs

Many factors impact moving costs, including whether you book a local move to a nearby city or a long-distance move to another state. Hiring a full-service moving company will typically entail higher costs than a container company with portable storage units that you load and unload unassisted. A fully DIY move is a cheaper but more stressful option, and many providers have partial-packing services that establish a middle ground in terms of costs. 

Below are some of the other key factors that determine the final price you pay for your moving services: 

  • Distance of your move
  • Weight and volume of your inventory 
  • Fuel costs
  • Seasonality (May to September sees higher rates)
  • Accessibility of your residence (shuttle fees for inaccessible driveways)
  • Elevator and multiple flights of stairs surcharges
  • Number of portable containers used (self-service moves)
  • Hourly rates (local moves)
  • Bulky item surcharges
  • Packing services
  • Specialty services
  • Additional valuation coverage or third-party insurance

 


 

How To Cut Costs When Using a Professional Mover

The best way to secure a cheaper move is to have a cost-reducing plan in place before you book with a professional mover. We’ve outlined a few tips below: 

  1. Pick a Mover
    Research several movers to see which align with your needs in terms of services offered, costs, and reputation. After gathering quotes from three or more providers, you should have a good idea of how rates differ among the companies that stand out to you. Ask for binding estimates when possible, and request an in-home inventory survey for the most accurate pricing.  
  2. Choose Your Packing Services
    Most national moving companies give customers several choices for packing assistance. The most expensive option is to entrust the movers with packing and loading all your household inventory. To cut costs, you can often select partial-packing options, leaving only the fragile packing to the professionals. Many movers also offer DIY packing, allowing you to pay only for loading, transporting, and unloading.
  3. Determine What Specialty Services You Need
    See what specialty the mover offers and decide which you need most. Expect specialty services, such as vehicle shipping, junk removal, cleaning services, and custom crating, to add to your total moving cost considerably. We recommend selecting only the essential services to save money.
  4. Prepare for Moving Day
    After booking your move, start preparing for your move date as soon as possible. In addition to continuing to get rid of unwanted items, separate any belongings you intend to move yourself to prevent the mover from adding those items to your inventory. If you choose to self-pack any portion of your household, search for secondhand boxes and crates to avoid buying packing materials from the moving company.

 


 

How To Move From One State to Another Cheaply

To move out of state as cheaply as possible without hiring a full-service mover, you have several options. Here are a few steps you can follow:

  1. Address Your Unwanted Items
    Going through storage is never a fun task, but getting rid of unwanted and unneeded belongings is an essential step for cutting down on moving costs. You can take several approaches here, including donating items to charity, selling items in a garage sale, or simply discarding belongings that no longer have use or value.
  2. Shop for Appliance and Furniture Deals
    If you decide against moving older furniture or appliances into your new home, you can save money by watching for deals well in advance of your move. Many stores selling home products offer discounts on popular shopping days, such as Black Friday and summer holidays. Rather than replacing older furniture after your move, buying it in your destination city can save you considerably on moving costs.
  3. Consider a Rental Truck
    Hiring a professional mover is the most efficient way to relocate, but it’s also the most expensive. If you have a driver’s license and are comfortable operating a large vehicle, renting a moving truck may be a viable option. You will need to pack and load your belongings in addition to driving them to your destination, but this will typically save you a considerable amount of money.
  4. Look into Portable Storage Options
    Self-service moving companies save you the hassle of renting and driving a moving truck without requiring you to pay a premium for professional packing and loading assistance. These companies function by dropping off portable storage containers that you load with your household belongings. Once loaded, the company picks up the storage containers and delivers them to your new home.
  5. Be Mindful of Your Moving Date
    Even if you don’t choose a full-service mover for your moving needs, seasonality should still be a consideration. Rental truck companies and self-service movers may charge more during peak season, which will typically fall during the summer months.
  6. Recruit the Help of Family and Friends
    Moving homes is tough to accomplish alone, and coordinating your move among friends and family can save you time, stress, and money. You may have a family member or friend with a truck and trailer willing to help haul your boxes and furniture to your new home. Many hands make light work, and by recruiting loved ones to help you pack and load, you can avoid paying a professional company to do the same tasks.

 


 

Compare Quotes from Cheap Movers

Easily compare which of the top affordable professional movers would be best for your needs.

Provider

Free Estimate

State Availability

Quoted Rate

IVL

Free Estimate

50

$4,200–$6,150

IMRG

Free Estimate

50

$6,214

American

Free Estimate

48

$3,345

Moving APT

Free Estimate

50

$4,731–$9,231

JK Moving

Free Estimate

50

$8,000

Allied

Free Estimate

50

$3,300

U-Pack

Free Estimate

50

$2,044–$2,613

NAVL

Free Estimate

50

Coleman

Free Estimate

22

$3,761.17

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 


 

 


 

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 reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.