Best Short-Distance Moving Companies (2023)
Few people realize how much they own until it’s time to move, and it doesn’t take long for the frustration to mount trying to get those belongings into a new home. Your new home may be less than 20 miles away, but that doesn’t make your move less stressful. There are numerous moving companies that provide full-service packing assistance, and many extend their long-distance offerings to local moves.
To understand what a professional moving service will look like, the This Old House Reviews Team has researched and compared the best moving companies in the country. We’ve assessed how each company stacks up for local moves and have put together this guide to help you make a confident choice.
7 Best Short-Distance Moving Companies
These are our top picks for short-distance moving companies:
- International Van Lines: Best Service Offerings
- Interstate Moving & Relocation Group: Most Efficient
- Moving APT: Best Customer Service
- North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
- Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- American Van Lines: Most Experienced Mover
- JK Moving Services: Most Customizable
|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|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||A+||VISIT SITE|
|United Van Lines||Best Base Moving Coverage||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Mayflower||Best for Large Moves||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group|
|Best For||Most Efficient|
International Van Lines
- Our Take: Best Service Offerings
- Our Rating: 96 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states, plus 180 countries
International Van Lines (IVL) is a nationwide provider of professional moving services, operating with hybrid authority as a broker and carrier. Founded in 2000, the company’s target market has shifted from an international focus to a more all-encompassing business model that also handles local and long-distance moves.
As a full-service mover, IVL minimizes the hands-on labor required of its customers, packing items and loading moving trucks without you lifting a finger. Its teams can then unload and unpack the full inventory to streamline the move into your new home.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few notable pros and cons of International Van Lines:
✔ Performs full-service moves anywhere in the country
✔ Has a pricing list online for move components that carry add-on fees
✔ Refunds deposits for cancellations made two or more days in advance of the pickup date
✘ May vary its local moving services depending on your location
✘ Sets some customers up with third-party movers depending on the city, type of move, and in-house availability
IVL gives customers the option to self-pack but prides itself on a full-service moving experience. IVL’s trained teams will conduct each step of your move, starting with the initial inventory labeling and packing and ending with unpacking and furniture reassembly. The movers handle fragile items with care and have the experience to problem-solve and safely move unwieldy items like pianos. You can also ask about custom crating for high-end pieces of artwork and other valuable items. Learn more about International Van Lines services.
Your moving cost will depend on a few factors, including the size and weight of your inventory and the distance of the move. A cross-country move carries additional transportation fees, but if you’re moving within a region, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, the reduced mileage will equate to a lower cost. Keep in mind that the cost structure for local movers often differs from long-distance movers and may include hourly rates and fees for additional labor.
IVL estimates that a local move will typically cost $230 hourly for a team of four movers providing full packing assistance, but this rate will vary depending on the above factors and the carrier conducting the move.
Get your free International Van Lines quote.
Learn More: International Van Lines Review
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
- Our Take: Most Efficient
- Our Rating: 86 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states
While Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) focuses largely on long-distance and interstate moving, it can also coordinate short-distance moves with a local moving company in your area. The company is a broker, referring customers to a carrier in its extensive network after providing a ballpark moving estimate. This can be beneficial for last-minute moves and for customers who have no preference in the carrier, allowing for fast scheduling that aligns with your move-in date.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few key pros and cons of Interstate Moving & Relocation Group:
✔ Responds promptly with ballpark estimates, helping you schedule your move as soon as possible
✔ Maintains a basic overview of several carriers it works with on the IMRG website
✔ Partners with full-service carriers to help ensure a stress-free move
✘ Doesn’t refund deposits unless you cancel within 72 hours after booking
✘ Brokers services to third parties, which may lead to higher-than-expected prices when compared to initial estimates
IMRG works with full-service moving companies, letting you decide the level of assistance you want for your move. Moving crews can handle packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading. They can also unpack at the new home, and, depending on the carrier, assist with the cleanup of moving boxes. Some carriers also sell packing supplies to save you an extra step. Learn more about Interstate Moving & Relocation Group services.
IMRG will provide you with a ballpark estimate based on your inventory. There is also a moving cost calculator hosted on the IMRG website. Expect the cost for a move to reflect the size and weight of your inventory, the distance traveled, and the services selected. Individual carriers may have different fees for add-on services.
IMRG states that customers should expect a local move to cost $1,250 on average. Keep in mind that many factors can affect final cost, and you should request clarification on pricing before making a deposit.
Learn More: Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Review
- Our Take: Best Customer Service
- Our Rating: 84 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states, plus 180 countries
Moving APT is a moving broker, giving most of its attention to coordinating cross-country moving services. However, local movers in the company’s vetted partner network can handle your short-distance relocation. Moving APT is responsive to estimate requests and often puts customers in direct contact with carriers, unlike many brokers. It also hosts a convenient moving cost estimator on its website, and its trained customer service representatives are available for 24/7 support.
Pros and Cons
Here are our key pros and cons of Moving APT:
✔ Screens partner carriers to check for licensing and insurance information and looks into the company’s reputation
✔ Provides 24/7 customer support
✔ Is transparent about the companies it refers to customers, setting up direct correspondence
✘ Has instances of final costs exceeding estimates, a common issue with moving brokers
✘ Depending on your location, the selection of local carriers may be limited
Moving APT connects prospective customers with local carriers to perform the requested services. Many carriers will offer full-service options and can accommodate specialty needs, such as moving high-value items or vehicles. As a broker, Moving APT can often schedule your moving day on short notice. Learn more about Moving APT services.
Moving APT gives you the flexibility to compare prices among several companies. It also offers a price-matching policy if you find a cheaper competitor. Carriers in Moving APT’s network will price moves based on industry-standard factors, such as item weight and mileage of the move. Short-distance moves may require local movers that charge hourly rates.
For a move spanning 50 miles, Moving APT estimates a price of $750–$1,300 for a two- or three-bedroom home. Expect this range to change based on the carrier you use and the specific details of your move.
Learn More: Moving APT Review
North American Van Lines
- Our Take: Best for Claims
- Our Rating: 92 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states, plus more than 130 countries
North American Van Lines (NAVL) is a moving carrier and broker that touts nationwide availability, with 500 agents located across the country. This includes local agents in many states that can assist with short-distance moves, and the company lists those companies on its website. NAVL appears to prioritize consumer protection, providing accessible insurance claims forms and operating a dedicated customer service line for related questions.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few key pros and cons for North American Van Lines:
✔ Has made it easy to file claims by providing easy access to forms and dedicating a customer support line
✔ Offers flexible pricing options designed to avoid surprise costs and hidden fees
✔ Can install appliances at the new residence to save you time during a move
✘ Brokers services to third-party movers as necessary when its in-house carrier service is unavailable
✘ Doesn’t offer nationwide storage solutions, and you will need to ask about local availability
NAVL’s agents offer full professional packing assistance and are available to assist with self-packing if that’s your preference. You can add fragile-only packing to your plan to have the movers use specialty packaging, wrapping, and crating for items prone to damage. The movers can also install appliances and assemble furniture at your new home. In addition to short-distance moves, NAVL assists with long-distance and international moves. Learn more about North American Van Lines services.
To calculate a binding estimate, NAVL’s agents will want detailed information about the size of your home and the items you need moved. Add-on services, moving supplies, and storage solutions will add to your moving cost. Seasonal rates may apply for busier months of the year, such as the summer months.
NAVL lists the average cost for a long-distance move as $3,758, but you can typically expect a lower cost for short-distance relocation due to reduced travel fees.
Learn More: North American Van Lines Review
Allied Van Lines
- Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- Our Rating: 94 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states, plus 130 countries
With an established presence throughout the United States, Allied Van Lines relies on its own agents and a network of experienced carriers to streamline long- and short-distance moves. In contrast to many competitors, Allied typically coordinates vehicle shipping in-house. The Allied website provides customers with a detailed guide to its vehicle shipping services, shedding light on how costs are calculated and how to prepare for shipping one of your most high-value investments.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the primary pros and cons of Allied Van Lines:
✔ Has a guide for helping customers prepare for shipping a vehicle
✔ Doesn’t require a deposit for any moving services
✔ Includes moving assistance with its container storage service
✘ Has limited hours for live customer service
✘ Received customer complaints of damaged items in Yelp reviews
Allied is a moving broker and carrier offering full-service and DIY options for your move. For self-packing, Allied has an extensive selection of packing materials available for purchase. Its full-service option includes everything you need for a hands-off moving experience, such as packing and loading assistance. Allied’s moving crews will also unload and unpack to save you the hassle. The company also offers a white-glove moving service that will take extra steps to protect high-end items, including sensitive electronics. Learn more about Allied Van Lines services.
Allied will consider the total item weight, mileage covered, and packing services selected to determine the shipment cost. Extra insurance coverage will add to the total cost, and there may be a surcharge for large items and extra labor. Allied provides both non-binding and binding estimates, and you can request a quote online.
A carrier in Allied’s network states that the average cost for an in-state local move is around $1,100. This price will increase or decrease based on numerous factors, and it’s best to call for an estimate.
Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review
American Van Lines
- Our Take: Best Overall Moving Labor
- Our Rating: 86 out of 100
- Availability: 48 states, plus more than 180 countries
Established in 1995, American Van Lines (AVL) provides long- and short-distance moving solutions to customers in the contiguous United States. One of the few providers we reviewed operating exclusively as a carrier, AVL has the advantage of using its own experienced professional movers for every move. This helps prevent breakdowns in communication with customers and ensures a consistent quality of service.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few notable pros and cons of American Van Lines:
✔ Has a rigorous hiring process with candidates averaging 10 years of experience in the moving industry
✔ Uses a flat-rate pricing system with no hidden fees to help customers understand what final costs will look like
✔ Can schedule deliveries any day of the week
✘ Charges a steep up-front deposit, sometimes reaching 50% of the estimate
✘ Is unable to provide local moving services nationwide, serving only Florida, North Carolina, and areas of Texas for short-distance moves
AVL provides dedicated training across the board for its moving crews, including training in the proper moving techniques for high-value and bulky items. This applies to pianos, paintings, antiques, and pool tables. AVL can structure a moving plan for full-service or partial-service packing, depending on your needs. Learn more about American Van Lines services.
The weight of the shipment, the distance of the move, and the optional packing services you elect will factor into your final quote. AVL may also charge for moving bulky items. The company provides binding estimates with a flat-rate fee and displays several sample prices for city-to-city moves on its website.
One estimate for a roughly 300-mile move came to $2,697.
Request your free American Van Lines quote.
Learn More: American Van Lines Review
JK Moving Services
- Our Take: Best Specialized Packing
- Our Rating: 91 out of 100
- Availability: 50 states, plus more than 170 countries
JK Moving Services started offering relocation services in 1982, expanding its business to all 50 states. The company specializes in full-service moves with the flexibility to accept and decline services as you wish. There is no obligation to select a specific moving package, allowing you the freedom to choose full packing assistance, partial packing assistance, or transport only. JK Moving’s short-distance movers are available in a small coverage area, conducting local moves for customers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few important pros and cons of JK Moving
✔ Vets new hires and requires thorough background checks
✔ Enables customers to choose services based on individual moving needs
✔ Coordinates many different move types, including commercial moves
✘ Doesn’t enable its customers to obtain online quotes
✘ Holds carrier and broker authority and may use moving contractors for some services
JK Moving makes the moving process easier with its full-service option. It will take care of packing and unpacking your belongings and loading, unloading, and transporting the shipment. The company provides disassembly and reassembly for any large pieces of furniture. Packing materials are available for purchase at JK Moving’s locations in Virginia and Maryland for customers planning local moves. A secure storage service is available. Learn more about JK Moving Services.
A JK Moving coordinator will generate a quote based on the weight of your move, the number of items, and the distance covered. The distance is less of a factor for short-distance moves that don’t require trucks to cross state lines. Moving specialty items, such as high-value items or pianos, may cost extra.
You will need to conduct a virtual survey of your home’s inventory using JK Moving’s app to obtain a binding estimate.
Learn More: JK Moving Services Review
Factors To Consider for a Short-Distance Move
With some moving companies, the landscape changes for short-distance moves. Providers that operate as brokers and carriers may only conduct local moves with their own crews in limited coverage areas, outsourcing most local services to partnered companies. The costs for local moves may differ, using hourly rates and extra fees for moving labor in place of flat-rate pricing.
For any moving service, learn as much as you can about the company’s pricing structure. Find out whether the provider uses non-binding or binding estimates, and ask about add-on costs. Before booking a move date, ask about the company’s deposit requirements and cancellation policy to avoid potential issues at a later date.
We researched the costs, services, online resources, and general business practices for moving providers from coast to coast. One moving company that we’ve circled back to time and time again is International Van Lines. IVL works to accommodate most relocation needs, including short-distance moves. Its full-service packing options are comprehensive, and we appreciate the inclusion of an online pricing list for extra services to avoid hidden fees.
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group and Moving APT are moving brokers, making each company a reasonable option for short-distance moves that are last-minute or on a budget. Moving brokers outsource services to third-party providers and, by doing so, can serve a greater coverage area for local moves.
Picking a moving company isn’t an easy decision. We’ve ranked the best movers using a thorough methodology to help you find the right fit. However, the decision is yours to make, and we recommend comparing quotes among at least three providers before you begin the booking process.
Compare the Top Short-Distance Moving Companies
Compare your top moving choices:
|Best For||Star Rating||BBB Rating|
|International Van Lines||Best Service Offerings||A|
|American Van Lines||Best Overall Moving Labor||A|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group||Most Efficient||B|
|JK Moving Services||Best Specialized Packing||A+|
|Moving APT||Best Customer Service||B|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||A+|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||A+|
FAQs About Short-Distance Moving Companies
What is considered short-distance moving?
The definition of a short-distance move may differ among moving companies, but, generally, it’s a distance of 50 miles or less.
What is the cheapest way to move?
The cheapest way to move is to conduct the move yourself using a rental truck or a shipping container company. You can also opt for partial-packing services from full-service movers to save money, conducting some aspects of a move yourself and leaving the heavy lifting to professionals.
What are the benefits of using a moving company?
One benefit of using a moving company is that it eliminates much of the stress associated with a move. You can pay professional movers for full packing assistance, having the company pack, load, transport, unload, and unpack your belongings at your new home.
How much do movers cost?
The cost for movers varies considerably depending on the size of your shipment and the services you select. Because of reduced mileage and hazards, a short-distance move should be cheaper than a long-distance move.
What is the cheapest way to move from one city to another?
The cheapest way to move between two cities is to use a self-service moving company. There are several container shipping and storage companies that tend to cost less than full-service competitors.
Other Moving Resources
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- Best Cheap Moving Companies
- Best Moving Companies for Small Moves
- Best Moving Companies for Military Moves
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 email@example.com.