With so many options for professional California movers, it becomes a chore to figure out which company is right for you and your family. That’s why the This Old House Reviews team has researched some of the best moving companies in the United States.

In this guide, we will go over the best options for moving companies in California and compare each company’s services, overall cost, pros, and cons.

 


 

7 Top Moving Companies in California

We name the following moving services the best in California based on in-depth research:

 


 

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-
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Moving APT
Superlative Best Customer Service
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
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JK Moving Services
Superlative Most Customizable
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
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North American Van Lines
Superlative Best for Claims
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
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Allied Van Lines
Superlative Best for Vehicle Relocation
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
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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+
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International Van Lines

Our Take: Best Overall Full-Service Mover

A full-service mover, International Van Lines (IVL) is an ideal moving company for long-distance moves into and out of California. California is one of the five states in which IVL offers intrastate moves, but availability may be limited. The company provides comprehensive full-service options in-house, such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. We find IVL’s specialty services for antiques, artwork, and pianos a great value, too.

Pros and Cons

✔ Above-average customer review scores
✔ Offers multiple protection plan options
✔ Provides top-tier specialty services for pianos, antiques, and expensive artwork

✘ Better suited for interstate moves than local moves
✘ No online booking option

Services

International Van Lines focuses on full-service moves, but it also offers partial-service and self-service moves. Customers work with the company to mix and match services to create the perfect moving package for them. IVL offers additional security for your belongings with a full-value protection plan and short-term and long-term storage solutions. Learn more about IVL services.

Cost

We received a quote from International Van Lines to move a two-bedroom home from Los Angeles to San Diego in about a month for $2,015–$3,445. This estimate has the mover load your belongings and transport them. See what moving package International Van Lines can create for you by filling out this easy-to-use form.

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

 


 

American Van Lines

Our Take: Most Experienced Moving Labor

American Van Lines (AVL) is a great option if you are worried about having certain items handled effectively. Each of AVL’s movers are full-time movers that hold, on average, 10 years of moving experience. This allows AVL customers to receive reliable and skilled service for handling difficult or heavy items. American Van Lines supplies many industry-standard full-service options, such as furniture disassembly, packing, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking and more.

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers a price-matching policy
✔ Provides flat-rate pricing and binding estimates
✔ Expansive network of agents

✘ Up-front deposits range from 10%–50% of total amount
✘ Prices might be higher than some competitors

Services

American Van Lines offers full-service and partial-pack options for local and long-distance moves. The company handles every part of a move from start to finish with services like furniture disassembly, packing, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking, and furniture reassembly. AVL provides partial-service moves as a cheaper alternative to its more expensive full-service moves.

One unique offering from American Van Lines is its fixed pricing. The price customers receive at the end of the quote process becomes a binding estimate that the company does not change. Despite any unexpected circumstances during the move, American Van Lines sticks to the price you are quoted. Other moving companies may adjust your overall cost due to such issues. Learn more about American Van Lines services.

Cost

AVL does not post any sample pricing on its website, but it displays the average cost of some of its popular moves on its moving cost page. The company estimates a move from Los Angeles to Seattle for a two-bedroom apartment costs around $4,706. Since this is the average cost, this price includes a mixture of services.

If you want a more accurate quote of what your California move with American Van Lines might look like, we recommend you get a free quote by filling out this easy-to-use survey.

Learn More: American Van Lines Review

 


 

JK Moving Services

Our Take: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover

JK Moving offers full-service and partial-service moving packages custom-made to fit your moving needs and budget. JK Moving is also one of the few moving companies that offers financing for its moves. Customers are able to receive rates as low as 0% same-as-cash on their moves with JK Moving.* The company does not offer intrastate moves within California, but JK Moving is a great full-service option for cross-country moving into or out of the state.
*Subject to credit approval

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers GPS tracking
✔ Offers financing through Enhancify partnership
✔ Provides personal moving coordinators for each customer

✘ Storage is conducted by third-party companies
✘ No local moves for California

Services

JK Moving offers many industry-standard full-service options like packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. JK Moving collects details about your move and budget and determines what services are most beneficial for you to include in your package. Learn more about JK Moving services.

Cost

Because JK Moving customizes each of its packages, the company does not feature sample pricing online.

The following factors will impact the price JK Moving quotes you:

  • Where your original home is located
  • The overall distance of your move
  • The size and weight of your move
  • The date and the time of year of your move
  • Additional services you purchase

Get a more accurate idea of what JK Moving can offer you by completing this short form.

Learn More: JK Moving Services Review

 


 

Moving APT

Our Take: Best Customer Service

Moving APT is unique to our list of California movers because it functions solely as a broker. Rather than directly providing relocation services, the company connects customers to professional movers in their area using one of the largest networks of independent moving companies in the industry. 

Moving APT is a great option for those who want a more hands-off approach to the moving process. After coordinating your relocation request with a partner moving company, Moving APT will oversee the moving process until your items are delivered. Customer support is available 24/7 if you have any questions or concerns.  

Pros and Cons

✔ Maintains a network of 2,500 independent moving companies nationwide
✔ Offers military, differently abled, and senior citizen discounts
✔ Prescreens all moving companies within its network to ensure they are licensed, insured, and reputable
Has received customer complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation about higher-than-estimated costs and delivery delays
✘ Will not refund deposit for cancellations made fewer than seven days before your scheduled moving date

Services

Moving APT operates traditional full- and partial-service moving packages, both of which can be customized through optional services. Customers can choose add-on options like storage services, car and boat shipping, and appliance disconnection and reconnection.

Cost

We used Moving APT’s online calculator and received a quote of $6,500 for a three-bedroom relocation from Seattle to Los Angeles. Keep in mind that this is only a general estimate. You will need to call the company directly to discuss the specific details of your move. Moving APT will give you a binding estimate — the exact price you can plan on paying — after a virtual walkthrough of your home and review of your moving inventory.

Be sure to ask Moving APT about any deals, as the company regularly provides discounts to active and retired military, senior citizens, and differently abled individuals. Deals are also available for moves booked well in advance.  

Use Moving APT’s online calculator to get a free instant moving quote.

Learn More: Moving APT Review


 

North American Van Lines

Our Take: Best for Claims

North American Van Lines is a full-service mover that provides extra financial security to your move. Its contents protection plan offerings include custom full-value release coverage, which is based on the value a customer declares on their shipment. This provides protection based on the actual value of your belongings rather than a predetermined amount based on weight. North American Van Lines also features a transparent, accessible, and detailed claims process that is easily accessed across its website.

Pros and Cons

✔ Easily accessible and transparent claims process
✔ Provides custom contents protection plans
✔ Offers separate customer support lines based on your type of move

✘ Storage services vary according to location
✘ Agent availability varies according to location

Services

North American Van Lines is a full-service mover, so customers receive services such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. The company also offers assistance with the installation of appliances, which is a rare perk. Learn more about NAVL services.

Cost

We received a ballpark quote from North American Van Lines to move a two-bedroom home from Los Angeles to Seattle for a total of $6,135–$7,010. Similar to Allied, North American Van Lines offers binding estimates to further your financial peace of mind. To obtain a binding estimate with the company, you will have to schedule a virtual or in-home survey.

To schedule your virtual or in-home survey with North American Van Lines, provide some brief information here.

Learn More: North American Van Lines Review

 


 

Allied Van Lines

Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation

If you are looking to avoid some wear and tear on your car, we recommend Allied Van Lines. Allied acts as a carrier for its services, which means it provides in-house transportation for vehicles. This option also means you can potentially save money on vehicle relocation when bundled with full-service options like loading and unloading.

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers in-house vehicle relocation services
✔ Provides GPS tracking on all shipments
✔ Offers the Allied Extra Care Protection plan for comprehensive insurance coverage

✘ More suited to long-distance moves than local moves
✘ No online sample pricing

Services

Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover that focuses mainly on long-distance moving. Though it can help with local moves, Allied might be a better choice if you are looking to move cross-country to or from California. Popular service options include packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. We find the company’s fragile-only packing option a good middle ground for partial-service moves. Learn more about Allied Van Lines services.

Cost

Allied Van Lines provided us with a ballpark estimate to move a two-bedroom home with an average amount of belongings from Seattle to Los Angeles for $6,158–$7,038.

This quote is just a rough estimate, but Allied also provides binding estimates through in-home and virtual surveys. This process provides an accurate estimate that does not drastically change due to unforeseen events.

We encourage you to see what Allied Van Lines can do for your California move by completing this short online survey.

Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review

 


 

1-800-PACK-RAT

Our Take: Best Overall Self-Service Mover

1-800-PACK-RAT acts as a great self-service moving company to potentially save money when compared to full-service movers. PACK RAT provides high-quality moving containers at competitive prices. The company also strives to provide a user-friendly experience through its customer portal and online resources, including its moving and storage blog. It features seven locations across Northern and Southern California.

Pros and Cons

✔ Provides $10,000 in contents protection for long-distance moves
✔ On-site storage includes 24/7 security and climate-controlled units
✔ Offers price-matching with PODS

✘ Availability can be limited based on states you are moving in and out of
✘ Higher prices for a self-service mover
✘ No online booking process

Services

1-800-PACK-RAT provides self-service moves for local and long-distance moves. PACK RAT delivers your choice of portable storage container(s) to your point of origin. You load your belongings onto the container(s). Once loaded, you notify PACK RAT when to pick up and deliver your belongings to their destination. Customers receive 30 days worth of rental time, and PACK RAT provides additional flexibility with on-site storage services.

The company offers services for loading, unloading, and more through its partnership with HireAHelper. Learn more about 1-800-PACK-RAT services.

Cost

We received a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT for using a 16-foot container moving from Los Angeles to San Diego for a total of $1,239. This quote includes transportation, delivery and pickup, a no-cut security lock to protect your valuables, and protection coverage up to $10,000.

We suggest you learn what 1-800-PACK-RAT can do for your move in detail by filling out this online questionnaire.

Learn More: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review

 


 

Compare the Top California Movers

California witnesses a lot of migration and moving. Perhaps you’re part of the large exodus leaving the state currently or maybe you’re looking to move into the state for the booming tech industry in San Francisco or the vibrant cultural scene of Los Angeles. Either way, a professional moving company helps make this daunting task simple and stress-free.

See how the best moving companies in California stack up against each other:

Provider

Free Estimate

Local

Long-Distance

Labor Included

Quoted Rate

IVL

Free Estimate

$2,015–$3,445

American

Free Estimate

$2,015–$3,445

Moving APT

Free Estimate

$6,500

JK Moving

Free Estimate

N/A

NAVL

Free Estimate

$6,135–$7,010

Allied

Free Estimate

$6,158–$7,038

PACK-RAT

Free Estimate

$1,238

 

Other Considerations When Moving to California

When moving, there are several other services you may need or want to consider besides a moving company. You will need home insurance, and you may want a home warranty; especially given California’s reputation for wildfires and earthquakes.

Depending on the type of home you are moving into, you may need a lawn care service or pest control service. Both of these services are highly important in California as the state witnesses all kinds of problems with gophers, rats, and ants.

Consider reading some of the articles listed below to help better prepare you:

 


 

Conclusion

The size of your move, the overall distance of your move, your budget, challenging and fragile items you own, and the amount of labor needed will all impact which company will be the best option for your move to, away from, or within the Golden State. Think about what you and your family want most out of a professional moving service before deciding on a moving company.

If you value having a company handling almost every part of your move, look into full-service movers like International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, and North American Van Lines.

If you do not mind the DIY approach to things and are looking to save money, check out self-service movers like 1-800-PACK-RAT and PODS.

We recommend gathering multiple quotes to accurately compare each company and what they can bring to your California move.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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 service providers is on a 100-point scale based on seven factors:

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

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