Best Moving Companies

We compared 80 companies and chose the top movers

    • Best overall
      Colonial Van Lines
      4.3(2,555)
    • Affordable moves
      United Regions Van Lines
      4.2(638)
    • International moves
      International Van Lines
      4.6(931)

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      Although moving can be stressful, when you find the right people to help, the task becomes much more manageable. To help, our research team compared 80 companies and chose our top 7 picks based on customer reviews and ratings as well as additional services offered, available discounts, storage options and deposit requirements.

      For more details on how we selected our top picks, read our full methodology. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear

      Our editor's top picks

      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,461,922 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.

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      More details about our top 7 moving company picks

      Our pick for best overall
      Storage options
      Climate-controlled facilities and modular cubes
      Packing options
      Single items, kitchen, full packing
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, military
      Types of quotes
      Binding

      Colonial Van Lines provides binding quotes after conducting in-person surveys, which helps ensure accurate pricing. The company performs full-service packing and offers climate-controlled storage facilities and modular storage units (called Colonial Cubes).

      Colonial Van Lines’ services are available in the 48 contiguous states. The company also has an app to streamline moving estimates.

      Reviewers on our site who were happy with their experience often mention Colonial’s quality of service. 

      A reviewer from Georgia said: “The experience with Colonial was great. They came and moved us from Mississippi to Atlanta. We have no complaints at all with the service or the quality of their work or the courtesy. The communication was good. They told us they would pick it up on a Tuesday and they would have it to us on Thursday or Friday … and at 8:30 Wednesday morning, they were sitting in my apartment in Atlanta, Georgia, to unload.”

      • Discounts: None specified
      • Deposit requirements: One-third to 40% of the total move cost
      • Insurance details: Limited liability (replacement or repair); additional insurance options available through third parties

      Colonial Van Lines doesn’t offer local moves, so if you’re moving within your current state, you might have to look elsewhere. It also doesn’t offer relocations to or from Hawaii or Alaska.

      Our pick for affordable moves
      Storage options
      Climate-controlled; secured with cameras/guards 24/7
      Packing options
      Large items, furniture, fragile items; DIY packing boxes
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, military, seniors
      Types of quotes
      Binding

      United Regions Van Lines provides binding estimates to lock in your final price. If you’re looking to offset moving tasks or are not ready to move everything into your new place, you can take advantage of its packing services and secured, climate-controlled storage facilities. If you do the unpacking yourself, you can get 50% off packing services.

      The company also offers senior-specific relocation services.

      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 hiring United Regions Van Lines was the “best moving decision ever” for two reasons: the cost and the care.

      • Discounts: 50% off packing services for DIY unpacking
      • Deposit requirements: Usually 20% to 25%
      • Insurance details: In-house full-value insurance for replacement/repair; partners with Baker International for third-party quotes

      Like Colonial Van Lines, United Regions focuses on long-distance moves. If you’re moving locally, try another company on our list.

      Our pick for international moves
      Storage options
      Short- and long-term (first month free); storage-in-transit
      Packing options
      Full-service packing and unpacking
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, auto transport
      Types of quotes
      Binding and non-binding

      International Van Lines is equipped for air, ocean and auto transport for international relocations. It offers full-service packing and unpacking, and it has both short- and long-term storage options with one month free. For long-distance moves, storage-in-transit is available for 50 cents per cubic feet of space.

      International Van Lines offers both binding and non-binding estimates; binding is typically recommended, though this varies by situation.

      Recent reviews from happy IVL customers on our site frequently mention the company’s prompt and effective communication and processes, even when the moves are complicated. Here’s what Jian from Texas had to say about their move:

      “When the weather changed unexpectedly on the planned unloading day, the delivery team communicated with their main office and got back to us with the decision to postpone unloading to the next day out of concern of possible damage to the furniture in heavy rain. … The whole process was seamless. We also would like to mention that both the pickup and delivery teams were very professional and handled all the items with care.”

      Jian said the key was “COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, and COMMUNICATION,” as well as their rep’s “customer-oriented attitude” and patience.

      • Discounts: First month of storage free
      • Deposit requirements: One-third of total move cost
      • Insurance details: 60 cents per pound for limited liability coverage; in-house full replacement cost insurance; separate pricing for professional- vs. self-packed items

      Because International Van Lines operates as both a broker and a carrier, your experience depends on whether the company handles your move directly or hires a mover in its network.

      Our pick for interstate moves
      Storage options
      Personal vaults and climate-controlled units; 24/7 surveillance; first month free
      Packing options
      Full-service packing, custom crating
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, military, antiques, piano
      Types of quotes
      Binding

      American Van Lines offers one month of free storage, which means extra flexibility if you’re in a pinch at the end of your move. If you’re too busy for the more tedious aspects of moving, the company provides full-service packing and custom crating. It can move single items from your home, too, like pianos and fragile antiques.

      The company also offers binding quotes, which can prevent unpleasant surprises when it comes to pricing.

      American Van Lines customers on our site frequently mention great moving crews and quality packing services. Ann from Arizona, who hired AVL for packing services, said the two crew members were “fast and good. I've told everybody if they're moving, to get American Van Lines.”

      Paul from Tennessee reported, “Excellent service! From the beginning with the sales through the delivery, everything was very professional and smooth.” Paul also appreciated getting an accurate binding estimate from the company and the fact that the driver was “an employee of American Van Lines instead of a sub-contractor.”

      • Discounts: First month of storage free
      • Deposit requirements: 50%
      • Insurance details: Unspecified

      American Van Lines doesn’t offer international relocations, and it only performs local moves in Florida, North Carolina and Texas. Also, according to a rep, it’s typical to pay as much as 50% down for a move, which is on the higher end.

      Our pick for auto transport services
      Storage options
      None
      Packing options
      Full-service packing
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, military, auto transport
      Types of quotes
      Varies by carrier

      As a broker, Interstate Moving & Relocation Group doesn’t actually perform moves, but it connects you with a network of vetted transporters. You can work with the company to move both your car and your other belongings, depending on your needs. If you hire Interstate Moving & Relocation Group to move your household, you can opt for full packing services.

      The company works with carriers across the U.S.

      Customers on our site frequently mention the company’s quality staff and careful attention to their belongings. Remus from Illinois was so happy with Interstate Moving & Relocation Group that he hired the company twice, once for storage and once for a “huge move.”

      They said the whole experience, “from beginning to end, was perfect.” Remus was anxious about the relocation, but the rep “promptly answered each of my questions and eased my concerns … she explained the whole estimation process to us in detail.” They also explained how to “prepare certain items for moving, including which items did not need to be prepared in advance and the best way to mark the boxes.”

      • Discounts: 70% off tariff rates
      • Deposit requirements: Percentage of total (unspecified)
      • Insurance details: Unspecified

      Because it’s a broker, your experience with quotes and deposit requirements may vary.

      Our pick for packing services

      Allied Van Lines

      Storage options
      Storage-in-transit up to 90 days; permanent climate-controlled with security; portable units
      Packing options
      Full-service and partial packing; packing materials provided
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential, military
      Types of quotes
      In-home estimates; likely binding

      Allied Van Lines performs local, interstate and international moves. As a full-service carrier, it offers both full- and partial-service packing and portable and climate-controlled storage units. The company also provides in-home pricing assessments, which should lead to accurate binding quotes.

      Allied Van Lines also operates as a broker, working with a nationwide carrier network.

      Happy Allied customers on our site tend to mention careful and prepared staff. One reviewer from Pennsylvania said: “These guys were great! They showed up within the window we were given, took special care of the product they were delivering and quickly put together our couch — all while remaining respectful of our home.

      “For example, they brought their own long black runner to put down in the entry so as not to track in snow and they even took their shoes off. … You’d be surprised how many delivery companies do not do any of these things, and we couldn’t have been happier.”

      Allied Van Lines doesn’t specify any standard discounts. Deposit requirements and insurance details depend on the carrier assigned to your move.

      Because Allied Van Lines operates as both a carrier and a broker, it’s hard to say whether you’ll work directly with the company — and what you’ll experience regarding fees, insurance and deposit requirements.

      Our pick for local moves
      Storage options
      Short- and long-term; climate-controlled facilities
      Packing options
      Full-service and fragile-only packing; DIY packing supplies
      Types of moves
      Commercial, residential
      Types of quotes
      In-home estimates; potentially binding

      North American Van Lines is a nationwide carrier that offers full-service and fragile-only packing, as well as short- and long-term climate-controlled storage facilities. It performs local, interstate and international moves, and its relocation services are also available for moves originating in Canada.

      Happy customers seem to appreciate North American Van Lines’ careful service and quality staff. One reviewer from New York on our site said: “Beginning with [the] appointment to do remote survey, to the interaction with my move consultant Anthony, on to the moving day and delivery, the experience was smooth and very pleasant.”

      They continued: “The moving crew, Jose and his son, were fantastic, extremely attentive to our needs and took special care loading our belongings, and the delivery crew in Georgia was just as competent, professional and courteous. We are so pleased with the service provided by North American Moving Services/Hall Lane and would definitely recommend them to anyone needing moving service.”

      • Discounts: None specified
      • Deposit requirements: None specified
      • Insurance details: Released value coverage at 60 cents per pound; additional in-house coverage at a higher price

      With North American Van Lines, your moving estimate depends on an in-home survey, but it’s unclear whether the company’s quotes are generally binding or non-binding.

      Moving buyers guide

      The importance of hiring a responsible, professional mover with good customer reviews cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, there are plenty of shady companies out there that specialize in scamming people, bilking them for extra dollars at the end of a move or doing a poor job. And no one needs any extra challenges when they’re already facing the stress and logistics that come with moving.

      Key insights

      • All legit movers in the U.S. must be registered with the FMCSA or the state where they operate, and all interstate movers must have a USDOT number.
      • For a smaller local move, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for professional moving services. For larger moves, you might be looking at several thousand dollars.
      • If you decide to hire movers and have the budget for it, you can also pay for them to pack and unpack your belongings.
      • Make sure to get several different moving quotes, if possible, and opt for a company with good customer reviews and transparent terms.

      What to consider when hiring movers

      You want an honest mover with a history of happy customers. The company should meet your needs in terms of service types, cost and transparency.

      Reputation

      A trustworthy moving company doesn’t have anything to hide and should be happy to answer all your questions. Feel free to ask about how long companies have been in business or what the training process is like to ensure the movers know how to protect your valuables and prevent damage.

      You should also read customer reviews from third-party sites. You want a company with high overall ratings, of course, but also look specifically at what customers liked about the service (e.g., punctuality). Also, look for reviews that discuss how the company handles refunds, payouts, delays or damaged goods to get an idea of how it operates when things don’t go as planned.

      The in-person estimate is also a good time to take stock of the professionalism of the company and its crew. The representative should be able to address your questions and concerns, and they should show up on time.

      Service area

      This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to ensure the company you work with can actually do the job you need. Some companies only operate within state lines, for instance, while others offer regional but not cross-country services.

      Additional services

      If you need help with packing and unpacking, short- or long-term storage or moving specialty items (pianos, antiques, pool tables, etc.), ask about this upfront — these additional services will likely add to your cost or need to be outsourced.

      Pricing structure, fees and policies

      Always look for companies with clear and transparent pricing. Most local movers charge by the hour, while long-distance movers tend to charge a flat rate. Ask about hidden fees or add-ons, as well as the company’s policy on lost or damaged items and cancellations.

      Types of moving services

      When you start researching moving services, you may feel overwhelmed by all your choices. One thing to bear in mind is that not all movers are alike, and there are different types of services to choose from. The type of moving service you need depends largely on two things: how far you’re moving and what you’re moving.

      • Local moving companies: These businesses aren’t able to transport goods across state lines. If you live in a larger, urban area, you may find movers that only operate within your metro area. If you’re relocating within the same state or simply moving from one part of the city to another, this is the service you need.
      • Long-distance moving companies: If you’re moving to a different state, you’ll need to use a moving company that’s registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for interstate services.
      • International: When you move out of the country, your belongings will usually need to travel by boat or plane, making the logistics much more complicated. There are some domestic companies that offer this service.
      • Specialty movers: Most moving companies have restrictions on the items they can transport. For instance, antiques, pianos, cars, artwork or gun safes may need to be transported separately by movers that have the special equipment and skills to do this.
      • Full-service moving: A full-service provider packs up your belongings, transports them to your new home, and unloads and unpacks for you. With a partial-service option, the moving company only packs up certain items while you do everything else. With a self-serve model, you’re responsible for packing, loading and unloading your belongings, but you’ll depend on the moving company for transport.

      How to choose the best moving company

      Hiring a reputable moving company is likely your single biggest relocation expense, so you want to get it right. Below, we walk you through the key steps: researching companies, evaluating their services and determining your best option.

      1. Assess your needs

      Before you start looking for a moving company, you need a clear idea of what you’ll take with you and what you’ll leave behind. Once you know this, you can decide how much you want (or need) your movers to do.

      If you’re trying to stay within a budget, you may decide to do a lot of the prep work yourself by packing everything before the moving crew comes. On the other hand, if you know you can’t take a lot of time off work during the move, you may want the movers to do everything for you.

      2. Start researching

      Some of the best tools you have are the people you know. Ask family, friends and neighbors for their recommendations and experiences with moving companies. If you’ve just bought a new home, your real estate agent is also a great resource for advice.

      Once you have a few companies in mind, check out their websites, and then branch out to read reviews from impartial sources.

      3. Get detailed quotes from at least three companies

      Many companies have online quote tools or provide estimates over the phone. While this is a good place to start, it doesn’t take the place of an in-home survey.

      During the survey, the company’s representative compiles a detailed inventory of what you’ll be moving, which they use to calculate your estimate. In-home estimates are almost always free and give you the most accurate idea of your costs.

      4. Check licensing and insurance

      All reputable moving companies should be licensed and insured, and any commercial moving truck crossing state lines is required to have a USDOT number. You can verify this on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. At the state level, regulations will vary, so it’s best to check with your state’s Department of Transportation about what makes a mover legit.

      5. Compare quotes and make a decision

      Read through all your quotes thoroughly and compare them side by side. Don’t be tempted to go with the lowest bid — if an estimate comes in significantly lower than the others, it may indicate that charges were left out or that you’re working with a dishonest company.

      How much do movers cost?

      The cost to hire movers can vary widely. For local moves, you might pay between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars, while a cross-country move can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

      Below are some factors that affect moving costs:

      • Local vs. long-distance: Local movers tend to charge by the hour and worker, while interstate movers charge a flat fee based on the distance, weight and volume of the load.
      • The extent of service: If your movers are packing and unpacking your belongings, your costs will be much higher. Expect to pay between $300 to $500 more for packing services.
      • Complexity: If either your current or new location has a lot of stairs or is in other ways hard to get to (say, it’s on a narrow street that a large truck can’t conveniently park on), you’ll likely see an added fee.
      • Time of the year: Summer is the most popular time to move and also when you’ll see the highest rates. The same goes for weekends. If you can move in the off-season or midweek, you may be able to reduce costs.
      • Storage: Storing your belongings before or after your move may cost extra, but most full-service moving companies will be able to provide this service (some offer a free or discounted month upfront).
      • Gratuity: Tipping is a fairly standard practice, but it’s not required. That said, if you’re happy with your service, it’s nice to set aside $20 to $50 in cash per worker.

      How moving quotes work

      You want at least three quotes in writing from different movers. These should be as accurate as possible, which ideally means getting an in-home survey (though this can be done virtually). During the survey, be sure to point out any larger items you won’t be taking with you. Include those in outdoor spaces, like sheds or garages.

      There are three main types of moving quotes:

      • Nonbinding: Nonbinding estimates are a best guess of your costs. Most contracts allow the company to charge no more than 10% above the quoted amount.
      • Binding: Binding quotes aren’t as common, but with these, the company is legally obligated to charge you only what’s quoted as long as there are no changes to the inventory.
      • Binding-not-to-exceed: These are essentially the same as a binding estimate, except you could end up paying less if the actual load weight is lower than the estimate.

      When you find a company you want to move forward with, sign a detailed contract only if it has an itemized inventory list. If there’s loss or damage, you’ll need this documentation to file a claim. Your contract should include details about valuation and insurance, which generally fall into one of two categories for interstate moves:

      • Full-value protection: Most companies use full-value protection by default. It offers the most comprehensive coverage and essentially means the mover is liable to repair, replace or cover the cost of repair or replacement for any lost or damaged item. The only exceptions are items of “extraordinary value” assessed at over $100 per pound, which need to be individually named and may be insured separately by a third party.
      • Released-value (limited-value) protection: This is the least expensive option and will only reimburse you for a fraction of your item’s value. This insurance is based on weight and will pay up to 60 cents per pound. You must opt into this type of coverage.

      You may be asked to pay a small deposit to hold your date, but the bulk of your payment should be due upon delivery once you know the job has been completed to your satisfaction.

      How can I avoid moving scams?

      • Ask lots of questions. The associates should be knowledgeable and transparent.
      • If you’re moving across state lines, ensure the mover is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
      • A legit mover should take inventory of your belongings either virtually or in person ahead of the move. If the company doesn’t offer this service, beware.
      • Never pay a large deposit — most movers don’t ask for more than 20% of the total cost upfront.

      » MORE: How to avoid moving scams

      How to prepare for a move

      Preparation is key to ensuring a smooth move, and by starting early and staying organized, you’ll set yourself up for success.

      1. Look at the big picture: Take an initial inventory of your needs, including your time frame, how much you have to move and your budget, keeping in mind you’ll want to hold some money back for incidental expenses.
      2. Declutter: Moving is an ideal time to declutter your living space. Most movers charge by weight and cubic volume, so you may want to pare down your heaviest belongings (e.g., books, aging furniture, appliances). The cost and hassle of moving these older items may not be worth it.
      3. Start packing: Give yourself plenty of time to pack. Start with areas you don’t use as frequently — like the guest room, garage or closets — or with seasonal items like sports equipment, lawn tools, winter clothing and kitchen gadgets. Aim to get one room done every day and stick to your plan. Labeling is also key: We recommend labeling each box to make it easier for the movers to get everything in the right place when they unload.
      4. Gather your essentials: A week out from the big day, make sure you have your essentials boxes planned out. Ideally, everyone in your household has one box or bag that gets them through moving day and the day after. This should include a change of clothes, toiletry items and necessary medication.
      5. Get contact info: Make sure you have a reliable contact for the moving company so you can communicate with the driver about where they should park for loading and unloading. If possible, plan to have kids and pets out of the way to make it easier for your movers to do their job.

      » READ MORE: Moving checklist

      How do moving customers rate the experience?

      We analyzed the past three years of consumer reviews of moving companies on our site and discovered that the overall satisfaction rating was 4.2 stars. Companies that we pick for inclusion in this guide all have ratings of 3.6 stars or higher as of publishing.

      Other key takeaways from our review analysis of moving companies on ConsumerAffairs:

      • Punctuality makes the biggest positive difference to those who’ve hired movers. Reviewers who mention speed of service rate their companies higher than average.
      • On the flip side, mentions of refunds and payouts are associated with a less favorable average rating (3.3 stars).
      • Overall, customers who mention the price give their movers a positive average rating of 4.2 stars.
      • Reviewers had the highest percentage of complaints about sales and marketing tactics: 88% of reviews that mention marketing are negative, and 12% are positive.

      FAQ

      What’s the average cost to move?

      Moving costs depend on whether you’re moving locally or long-distance, as well as how much you have to move (and when). Local movers typically charge between $80 to $100 an hour for two workers, and interstate movers typically charge by weight and cubic volume. Most interstate moves cost a few thousand dollars or more.

      How early should I start planning a move?

      For most people, it’s a good idea to start planning at least two months in advance of the expected moving date. This should give you enough time to get quotes from at least three moving companies and allow you to organize and pack your home. It also builds in enough wiggle room that if something unexpected comes up, you’ll have time to respond without feeling rushed.

      How soon should you change your address when moving?

      Put in a request with the post office at least two weeks before your move-in date. The U.S. Postal Service has an online tool where you can preselect the date you want your mail to stop arriving at your current address and start forwarding to your new address.

      Note that you should also update your mailing address with all your accounts and subscriptions; USPS will only forward mail for 12 months.

      How can I save money when hiring a moving company?

      Moving is expensive, even if you do everything yourself. The best way to approach this is to set a budget early and try your best to stick to it. That said, there are a few ways you can cut down on costs:

      • Pack everything yourself.
      • Move in the off-season or midweek.
      • Get quotes from multiple companies.
      • Get free boxes and moving supplies from local businesses or neighbors who’ve recently moved.
      • Rent your own truck.
      • Pitch in on moving day, especially if you're paying by the hour.
      Do movers offer storage?

      Many larger moving companies offer storage options. The cost of this will depend on the company’s resources, how long you need the service and how much stuff you have. Many companies offer short-term storage for a few days or weeks, though they may add an additional charge for this.

      Do all movers need to be registered with the FMCSA and USDOT?

      Only moving companies that operate across state lines have to register with the FMCSA. Intrastate movers are also required to be licensed in accordance with state laws.

      Methodology

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team used a research-backed, data-driven approach informed by our expert editors to choose the best moving companies. The team regularly evaluates customer reviews, company information and industry trends to update our top picks.

      To decide our seven top picks for buyers with different priorities (like our pick for interstate moves), as well as our top overall moving company, we used a weighted scoring system that took into account both reviews about each company from ConsumerAffairs users and specific company offerings that we researched.

      The weightings for each pick were:

      • Top pick overall: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 14%; Customer service satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/packing satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 6%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 6%; Storage options: 10%; Packing services: 10%; Deposit requirements: 15%; Discounts: 10%; App: 5%
      • Our pick for interstate moves: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 17%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 11%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 8%; Service/packing satisfaction rate: 9%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 5%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 5%; Storage options: 10%; Packing services: 10%; Deposit requirements: 10%; Discounts: 5%; App: 5%
      • Our pick for local moves: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 15%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 10%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/packing satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 6%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 5%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 15%; Packing services: 9%; Deposit requirements: 15%; Discounts: 10%; App: 4%
      • Our pick for auto transport services: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 25%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 15%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 10%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 10%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 10%; Deposit requirements: 10%; Discounts: 10%; App: 5%
      • Our pick for packing services: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 10%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 3%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 3%; Service/packing satisfaction rate: 30%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 3%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 10%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 3%; Storage options: 3%; Packing services: 30%; Deposit requirements: 3%; Discounts: 2%
      • Our pick for affordable moves: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 9%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 8%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 8%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 5%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 30%; Deposit requirements: 15%; Discounts: 20%
      • Our pick for international moves: Service/movers satisfaction rate: 15%; Service/customer service satisfaction rate: 15%; Service/punctuality satisfaction rate: 10%; Service/packing satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/quote accuracy satisfaction rate: 5%; Service/damage satisfaction rate: 10%; Product/price satisfaction rate: 5%; Storage options: 15%; Packing services: 10%; Deposit requirements: 5%; App: 5%

      The process for scoring each company across all seven categories and overall is entirely statistical. To complete it, the team did the following:

      • Conducted sentence-by-sentence sentiment analysis of thousands of reviews on our site from Feb. 1, 2021, to Feb. 1, 2024, to identify the aspects that people care about most in moving companies. We then decoded the reviews and star ratings to calculate the percentage of reviewers who are “happy” or “satisfied” with each aspect for each company, which we refer to as the “satisfaction rating” for that aspect. For moving, these aspects included:
        • Movers
        • Customer service
        • Punctuality
        • Packing
        • Quote accuracy
        • Damage
        • Price
      • Carefully selected the most important offerings consumers should consider before choosing a mover and researched these offerings at each company. For moving, these features included:
        • Storage options: We looked at the availability of storage units and any free storage periods.
        • Packing services: We considered the types of packing services offered, including whether a company offers packing services and whether it offers both full and partial packing.
        • Deposit requirements: We prioritized companies that ask for 20% or less down versus those with higher deposit requirements.
        • Discounts: We outlined how many discounts each company offers and what types (e.g., senior, military, student).
        • App: We gave a company preference if it has an app with a useful service, like requesting a quote or tracking a move.
      • Calculated a normalized score ranging from 0 to 10 for each aspect and offering, The company with the best satisfaction rating or feature value was assigned a score of 10, and other company scores were based on their relation to the maximum satisfaction rating or best feature. For example, Colonial Van Lines, which had a customer service satisfaction rating of 80%, received a score of 10 for this aspect. A company with a satisfaction rating of half Colonial Van Lines’ would have been assigned a score of 5, and a company with a satisfaction rating of 25% of Colonial Van Lines’ would have received a 2.5.
      • Created a unique percentage weighting system of each aspect and offering for each of our categories to reflect how a buyer with that priority might “weight” their decision. You can review the weightings above. We then added these weighted scores together to get a final score in that category for each company. Not all aspects or features were always factored into every score.

      The company with the highest score in each category’s uniquely weighted formula was given the “Our pick for” designation. In some cases where a single company received the top score across multiple categories, the company with the second-highest score was named the winner.


      Guide sources

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

      1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Protect Your Move.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
      2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.

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