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    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
    70
    Companies considered
    7
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    15k+
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    Moving is stressful — especially if you’re doing it on your own. Hiring professional movers helps keep everything streamlined and organized. If you’re looking for a more effortless relocation experience, use our guide to learn how to find the best moving company for you.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 3,481,218 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Our picks for 7 top moving companies

    The best movers should have excellent customer reviews, reliable service and fair prices. Our research team vetted 70 professional moving companies that are rated by more than 15,067 customers to choose the best moving companies.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team primarily relies on verified customer reviews and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data to select our top picks. For more on how we ranked companies, read our methodology.

    Our top moving company pickColonial Van LinesAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Climate-controlled storage options
    • Customer rating: Good
    • Availability: Great
    • USDOT Number: 1434373

    Colonial Van Lines is our top pick overall because it has lots of experience — the carrier handles around 12,000 moves a year — and great reviews on our site.

    With Colonial, you can choose different packing options in case you need help with specific items. It can accommodate last-minute moves and offers storage solutions if the date of your move and the availability of your new home don’t line up.

    What reviewers like: The happiest customers frequently highlight the company’s prices and customer service. Other highlights include that the crews are “fast” and “do a good job.”

    A reviewer in Texas said that Colonial Van Lines “was transparent and courteous, the driver was on time, delivery was on time and I was advised in advance, and my belongings well cared for.”

    What to consider: Sometimes the initial estimate is different from the final charge. “What I paid was about $1,000 more than I expected but that was because they packed some things and it was a long haul,” a reviewer in Georgia said.

    On the other hand, a reviewer in Pennsylvania said they got “a little refund because it was less stuff in there than they thought.”

    Cost estimate: We were given a quote of between $1,712 to $3,500 for a three-bedroom move from Chicago to Houston booked two months in advance. However, costs vary depending on requested services and time of year.

    Colonial requires a deposit to confirm a move. Include all the items you’re moving when requesting a quote to ensure the estimate is accurate.

    Our pick for full-service movingAll Coast Moving GroupAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Personalized packing options
    • Customer rating: Excellent
    • Availability: Great
    • USDOT Number: 3369008

    All Coast Moving Group has great customer reviews, wide availability and reasonable costs. You can pack yourself (boxes and packaging material are provided), or the pros can pack for you.

    We also like that the broker offers competitive rates and military discounts.

    What reviewers like: Most happy customers highlight the efficient process and polite reps. Plus, “the movers were nice and handsome, which is always a bonus,” a reviewer in Georgia said.

    What to consider: It’s a broker, meaning that the company works with third parties to complete packing and hauling. Contact the company at least two weeks before your desired move date.

    Cost estimate: All Coast Moving Group advertises long-distance moves starting at $1,750. Expect to pay a bit more if you want full packing services or furniture disassembly and reassembly.

    “I only spend $3,300 bucks and the job was done with precision,” a reviewer in Georgia, who moved to Florida, said. Another reviewer in New York said that all their belongings “arrived in South Carolina safe and on time. Not bad for under $4,000.”

    Our pick for local serviceBellhopAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Flexible reservations
    • Customer rating: Excellent
    • Availability: Good
    • USDOT Number: 2878240

    Bellhop is a top-rated broker for local moves across the country. It’s a great option (and a good value) if you’re moving apartments across town or have another relatively small, local task.

    We like that Bellhop waives all rescheduling fees if you’re rescheduling due to COVID-19.

    What reviewers like: Bellhop clients frequently highlight convenience and value. A reviewer in Ohio said the crew “got everything done really quick and efficiently, especially for the price point.”

    A reviewer in Virginia said that reps were “polite and had a sense of humor” and the crew was “fabulous” and "didn't break anything," adding that the process was “very well-organized.”

    What to consider: Bellhop isn’t nationwide, but local moving can be scheduled the day of service where available. Try to book long-distance moves at least eight days ahead.

    Cost estimate: Bellhop charges hourly rates for most services. For labor-only (in-home loading and unloading), expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $800. A full-service move starts anywhere from $300 for a studio apartment to $850 for a four-bedroom house.

    There’s a one- or two-hour minimum, depending on if you need movers at one or two addresses. Expect to pay a 5% deposit 48 hours after you book the move (or when you book if you’re booking with less than 48 hours of notice). Final charges occur 48 hours after the move is complete. The company accepts major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

    Our pick for international relocationsAllied Van LinesAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Online shipment tracking
    • Customer rating: Good
    • Availability: Excellent
    • USDOT Number: 76235

    Allied Van Lines is registered as both a broker and a carrier with the FMCSA. Unlike our other top picks, it has more than 1,000 representatives in over 130 countries to facilitate international and overseas relocations.

    What reviewers like: Allied is “a good value for the money and service received,” according to a reviewer in Maryland. Others highlight Allied’s careful packing and customer service.

    “Good packaging materials, coordination and moving, everything was intact, safe without much of damage,” a reviewer in Virginia said. “We had on time delivery from the movers and they were pretty quick in setting up things for us.”

    What to consider: Allied isn’t the cheapest option, according to a reviewer in Tennessee. It also has a few complaints concerning lost or damaged belongings filed with the FMCSA.

    Cost estimate: According to verified reviewers, it costs between $2,000 and $5,000 for long-distance moves plus packing services. This is a pretty typical price (cross-country moves usually cost about $3,500).

    Our pick for a long-distance brokerEmpire Moving GroupAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Good communication
    • Customer rating: Good
    • Availability: Great
    • USDOT Number: 3304546

    Empire Moving Group can help with all aspects of a move, from packing and loading to transport and unloading. It provides boxes, packaging material, pads and other moving supplies.

    The company specializes in moving services for residential and commercial clients, as well as options to ship your car.

    What reviewers like: Happy clients say it’s a good price for good service. Some emphasize that crews handle personal items with care during packing and unloading.

    According to a reviewer in Indiana, Empire is “all around a reliable company. They truly are friendly, easy going people.”

    “They were quick with getting someone out to me to get the process start[ed] and I'm very happy with how everything went down,” a reviewer in North Carolina said.

    What to consider: Empire Moving Group is a broker, so it researches and prescreens movers on your behalf to find the right team for your move. Some reviewers mention scheduling issues or say the upfront estimates are lower than what customers are actually required to pay.

    Cost estimate: According to recent reviews, cost estimates start between $2,000 and $5,000. Estimates include services for wrapping furniture and electronics (like television sets).

    Because the company does not disclose rates online, it’s best to contact a rep over the phone or by email for the most accurate pricing information.

    Our pick for a long-distance carrierUnited Nation Van LinesAUTHORIZED PARTNER
    • Highlight: Military and senior moving packages
    • Customer rating: Good
    • Availability: Great
    • USDOT Number: 1206224

    With United Nation Van Lines, you work with a dedicated moving coordinator to schedule packing and relocation services. You also get access to a convenient moving tracker app.

    It offers special moving services, including full-service packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, specialty boxing and storage.

    What reviewers like: It’s “probably one of the best value for money movers we have ever used,” according to a reviewer in New York. “One of the things that stood out for me was how they made sure they didn’t leave any marks on the walls and floor when they moved the large furniture and appliances.”

    A reviewer in Colorado said that hiring United Nation Van Lines was the “best moving decision ever” for two reasons: the cost and the care.

    What to consider: United Nation Van Lines does not offer local moving services. There’s no specific requirement for booking ahead, but you will save money by making arrangements early — especially during peak moving season.

    Cost estimate: For long-distance relocations, expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000. For example, moving from a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle to Miami costs around $4,500. A deposit may be required.

    Our pick for quick movesMoving APT
    • Highlight: Easy-to-use website
    • Customer rating: Good
    • Availability: Great
    • USDOT Number: 2247863

    Moving APT specializes in coordinating interstate and long-distance relocations for residential and corporate clients. Car shipping and furniture moving services are available, as is white-glove packing service.

    You can schedule a move as early as two weeks in advance. However, during peak season (summer), it’s smart to book up to eight weeks in advance, if possible.

    What reviewers like: Most happy clients mention the crew, the price or both. According to a reviewer in Virginia, the movers are “hardworking, respectful, and clean.” Others highlight the staff’s responsiveness and punctuality.

    “Moving APT has the best pricing. They weren't necessarily the lowest because that scares me,” a reviewer in California said. “However, Moving APT is right in the best range of affordability,”

    The “price was on point,” a reviewer in Texas said. “Never thought I would move my entire house for only $2,000 and in only three days.”

    What to consider: Since Moving APT is a broker, you’ll work with the company on logistics while a contracted mover does the heavy lifting.

    Cost estimate: Quotes start around $900 to move a one-bedroom apartment from New York to Miami. For a two- or three-bedroom home, quotes range from $2,100 to $6,900.

    Estimates include all fees, including tolls, taxes and fuel costs. Additional services, like packing or storage, increase the overall cost. Booking fees are nonrefundable if you cancel within seven days of the pickup window.

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      How to hire movers

      Moving is stressful, whether you’re moving out of your parents' house, to another state or to a new country.

      With everything you need to do for a move, it’s tempting to choose the first moving company that looks good. If you want the best deal, though, it's best to research a few options and compare quotes from several companies.

      Follow these six steps to find the best moving company for you:

      1. Get multiple estimates: Your first interaction with any local moving company is when you request a quote. If the moving representative is unhelpful or pushy, move on to the next company. Getting a moving quote gives you an idea of what the company will charge for your move, but sometimes estimated quotes can change. Some companies provide price matching.
      2. Conduct a walk-through: To get an accurate idea of how much movers cost, have multiple moving companies do a walk-through of your current home. Some charge extra for fragile items, bulky furniture or additional labor. The walk-through also gives you a chance to see if you feel comfortable with the company.
      3. Ask for references: Reputable moving companies provide references upon request. These references may be former clients, professional organizations or insurance agents. Checking references is an essential step when making sure a company is trustworthy, has a good track record and offers excellent customer service.
      4. Read customer reviews: Make sure to read local company moving reviews to find out what other people near you have experienced. It’s essential to know how other customers feel about the company and the types of complaints that are commonly made against it. A mover may look good on paper, but former customers can tell you what it’s really like to work with the company.
      5. Watch out for red flags: If the company has no address, hasn’t been operating very long or has more than one business name, this can be a sign of fraud or a scam. A company that has no phone number is also suspect — confirm a carrier or broker’s phone number through the FMCSA or your state’s regulatory agency.
      6. Pay only on delivery: A reputable company won’t ask for full payment until the move is complete. Some companies may require a deposit (typically 20% or less), but you should never prepay the entire cost of a move. Pay your deposit with a credit card in case you end up having to dispute charges — it’s easier to get your money back this way.

      If you’re the victim of fraud by a moving company, you can file a moving fraud complaint with the FMCSA.

      Types of movers

      There are two main types of moving companies: brokers and carriers. A moving carrier owns a fleet of trucks and handles the actual moving process.

      A broker books moving services and hires carriers to complete the move. Brokers charge a fee for facilitating relocation services, handling logistics and providing customer service. With a carrier, you’re not dealing with a middleman, but you might have fewer moving date options.

      Both brokers and carriers usually specialize in one or more of the following services:

      Long-distance moves

      Long-distance moving companies usually help you relocate from one state to another. However, depending where you live, long-distance moves may or may not cross state lines.

      Most U.S. movers consider a move long-distance if it exceeds a specific number of miles — typically 100 to 400. Most moves that require traveling over state lines are considered long-distance moves.

      Each long-distance mover is required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. These movers usually charge for services based on the distance and size of the move.

      Local moves

      Some moving companies only operate inside a defined local area, like within a specific city or state. They may be required to register with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or local authorities.

      Local movers often charge by the hour. How the mover classifies your move — local or long-distance — will likely determine how it calculates your quote.

      Corporate moves

      Corporate relocation companies specialize in moving entire businesses. They can move a large number of belongings, and they have relatively quick turnaround times to make sure the business being moved is back up and running as soon as possible. They also typically provide more packing material and organizational help, such as furniture assembly and disassembly, than other types of movers.

      International moves

      International moving companies help individuals, families and corporations move their belongings overseas. They are well-versed in international moving logistics, including shipping by air and sea, handling customs and tracking items.

      Full-service moves 

      Full-service movers handle every aspect of a move. A full-service move is an excellent option for working professionals or anyone else who doesn’t have enough hours in the day to get all aspects of a move done, including:

      • Packing: Full-service movers pack your home and provide all the materials needed to safely and securely relocate your belongings. This includes handling any large items, like furniture, that may need to be disassembled to make moving easier.
      • Labor and transport: Full-service movers load your packed belongings and transport them to your new home.
      • Unpacking: Full-service movers unload and reassemble furniture. They can also unpack your belongings and dispose of all packing supplies before they go.

      Moving questions

      On average, a long-distance move costs between $2,000 and $5,000. You can expect local moving labor costs to range between $80 and $100 an hour, and international moving costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. Professional relocation companies charge based on several factors. Moving expenses are rarely tax deductible.

      In addition to moving distance, price estimates depend on several factors, including:

      • The weight of your possessions
      • Your house or apartment size
      • The amount you tip your movers

      How much you pay your movers isn’t the only cost you need to consider. Full-service movers provide boxes and other packing materials, but labor-only movers do not.

      Don’t forget to factor in these material costs if you plan on doing your own packing. These supplies can add up, so we recommend creating a moving budget ahead of time and seeing what supplies you can get free from friends, family or businesses willing to pass on their recycled boxes.

      We also recommend getting quotes from at least a few companies to make sure you know you’re getting a fair rate. Shop around and look for discounts to find the cheapest way to move long-distance.

      Yes, you can hire movers to transport one item. Moving a large item like a piece of furniture or a piano requires specialized services and extra caution, especially if there are stairs or tight hallways involved. Most movers can relocate delicate or bulky items for a fee. They also have the proper materials to pack and transport bulky or fragile items safely.
      Yes, most movers offer services that don’t include a moving truck; you might hear this service referred to as labor-only moving. Labor-only movers typically charge by the hour. There are a few situations where you might want to hire movers without a truck:
      • You need help packing. If you’re moving delicate or fragile items that require special caution, consider hiring a professional to help you properly pack your valuables.
      • You need help loading or unloading. Maybe packing was a breeze, but loading and unloading are intimidating. You can hire movers by the hour to help you load and unload your possessions.
      Depending on where you live, your mover might have specific regulations or guidelines to follow. Movers usually won’t transport:
      • Perishable items
      • Hazardous materials
      • Plants
      • Pets

      While movers do handle items that can’t be replaced, such as valuable documents or personal and sentimental items, it may be best to pack those and keep them with you to prevent them from being lost or damaged.

      You can try using an estimate from one or several moving companies to negotiate prices with other movers. Find out the average cost to move a home the size of yours and compare features offered by different companies. Don’t be afraid to negotiate lower prices for additional fees or to ask about available discounts or promotions.

      Once you settle on a moving company, get a written contract that includes all costs.

      Any mover you hire should be registered, bonded and insured. You can purchase moving insurance as an add-on to the base level of coverage provided by the moving company you choose.

      The biggest benefit of purchasing additional coverage is making sure your most valuable assets are fully protected. We think this is especially important for long-distance moves or for anyone moving particularly valuable items, like art or antiques.

      Not sure how to choose?

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        Methodology

        To select our top picks from the 70 brokers and carriers listed on this guide, we first eliminated companies with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars. The ConsumerAffairs Research Team then analyzed more than 1,830 reviews submitted last year (August 2020 through August 2021). Availability of services and recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data were also considered when making the final selections.

        ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
        1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “Search by Company.” Accessed Sept. 9, 2021.
        2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “Licensing and Insurance Public.” Accessed Sept. 9, 2021.
        3. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), “Movers vs. Brokers.” Accessed June 3, 2021.
        by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

        As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.

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