Several options are on the table for moving out of state, and renting a moving truck through a company such as U-Haul or Penske is typically the most cost-effective. However, this puts pressure on you to pack, load, and transport your belongings. The more days you have the rental truck, the more you’ll have to pay. You may also encounter difficulty loading bulky items and protecting your valuable items during a long-distance move.
Another option is to hire a professional moving company to deliver your belongings to your new home. This will amount to a higher average cost but with the benefit of professionals managing the logistics. Regardless of your chosen method, you’ll have additional costs to consider, such as short- and long-term storage.
Below, we’ve summarized the two primary types of professional moving companies and the additional costs you can expect when booking your move.
Professional Moving Companies
The two main types of professional moving services are full-service and self-service.
Full-service moving companies provide greater flexibility in move planning, allowing you to pack your own belongings or recruit the company’s professional movers to help. A standard full-service move includes packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking assistance. Many full-service packages are customizable, with add-on options that often include fragile-only packing and custom crating.
The trade-off for selecting a full-service provider over a DIY service is that you will pay a premium for your out-of-state move. Depending on the company’s rates and the add-on services you choose, a full-service move can add thousands of dollars to the final moving cost.
Full-service moving companies factor the following into your moving estimate:
- Total move distance
- Volume and weight of your inventory
- Packing services
- Contents coverage
For a DIY move that doesn’t require a truck rental, hiring a self-service mover is a great option and one of the cheapest ways to move. Most self-service movers are container companies that drop off shippable storage containers to your current residence that you can load yourself over a predetermined period of time. The company will transport the moving containers to your destination on the pickup date.
Most container companies will calculate the cost of your move based on the number of containers you use and the distance of the move. Some will provide loading and unloading assistance for an additional fee.
Another major cost factor for your out-of-state or cross-country moving budget is storage for household goods. Many moving companies offer short- and long-term storage solutions in their own facilities or in storage units rented from partners in your origin or destination city. A monthly storage fee is the common pricing model, and the rate may increase or decrease based on the volume of your stored inventory. For temporary storage, some movers also offer storage-in-transit options.
Contents Coverage and Moving Insurance
Due to federal regulations, long-distance movers must include free limited liability protection and offer full value protection for an additional fee. Full-value protection costs vary among moving companies and can be found at the bottom of most estimates. You can also purchase third-party insurance for extra financial protection, with some agencies offering all-risk policies that will reimburse you for any amount of loss or damage.
Here are some additional costs to consider when hiring long-distance moving companies:
- Packing supplies: Companies often figure the price of basic packing supplies into the initial estimate for full-service moves. For self-packing, you must purchase bubble wrap, boxes, shrink wrap, and other packing materials through your mover or a third-party provider.
- Debris removal: After a move is complete, some movers can help remove discarded packing supplies for an additional fee.
- Bulky item surcharges: Most full-service movers will charge an additional fee for moving bulky items. This can include pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, exercise equipment, and more.
- Vehicle shipping: Not all movers offer vehicle shipping, but you can expect to pay more to ship your vehicle. Shipping for motorcycles is often priced with its own bulky item surcharge and can be combined with a normal shipment.
- Elevators and stairs: Most moving companies will charge flat fees for residences requiring elevator access or walking up and down multiple flights of stairs.
- Long carry and shuttle surcharges: For homes that are difficult to access with large moving trucks and trailers, long carry and shuttle surcharges may apply.
- Additional services: Pet relocation assistance, handyman services, appliance installation, and temporary housing assistance are services that many moving companies can coordinate for an additional fee.
- Seasonal rates: Expect your moving cost to climb higher in busier months. Summer months tend to see the highest moving traffic, and you should try to schedule in late fall and winter for more affordable rates.
Sample Costs for Interstate Moves
The cost for your out-of-state move will vary depending on the above factors and the mover’s established rates. Here are a few moving quotes from companies we ranked among the best for moving across state lines: