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Best long-distance moving companies

If you’re moving 400 miles or more, consider one of these movers

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    North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines
    two huge moving trucks on the highway amid sunset sky

    Relocating to another state or across the country takes planning. A move is usually considered long-distance if it requires traveling 400 miles or more. Not all moving companies offer long-distance moving services, so it’s important to know what to look for as you research companies for your relocation.

    Our top 3 picks for long-distance movers

    To make our choices for the best long-distance movers, we collected 17 data points each for 70 companies. We analyzed these data points to compare cost, availability and add-on services to make our final selections.

    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. As of publishing, each company on this list has a rating of at least 3.6 stars out of 5 on our site.

    Allied Van Lines
    • Rating on CA as of publishing:3.9
    • Availability: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
    • USDOT number: 76235

    Allied Van Lines is available across the country for local, long-distance, interstate, international, corporate and military relocations. It can perform packing services for fragile items, furniture disassembly and reassembly and short-term and long-term storage.

    Allied also offers auto transport and moving container shipping, so it might be the right solution for you no matter what type of move you’re making. It’s good to consider for a long-distance (or international) move in particular, though, because it has a wide network of partner carriers throughout the country and the globe.

    You can easily keep an eye on where your belongings travel with Allied, which can put you at ease, especially if you’re taking on a long-distance move. To track your moving shipment, all you have to do is input the first three letters of your last name and your moving registration number on the company’s website.
    Customers who’ve rated Allied highly on ConsumerAffairs often praise the company’s accurate quotes and good service. A reviewer on our site from New Jersey said: “Allied/Reliable did a good job with my very long-distance move. My estimate was spot on. Everyone was on time. Nothing was broken. Everyone was responsive. I would use Allied/Reliable again and would recommend them to my friends and family.”
    North American Van Lines
    • Rating on CA as of publishing:3.6
    • Availability: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
    • USDOT number: 70851

    North American Van Lines performs local, long-distance, interstate, international, corporate and military moves. The company also offers full-service and fragile packing services for delicate items, furniture disassembly and reassembly, short- and long-term storage, GPS tracking and auto transport.

    North American provides a dedicated moving agent for each move. You can get a quick quote online or by calling a company representative.

    The North American Van Lines website has several moving resources, including a packing cost calculator, moving FAQ, relocation support, information about moving supplies, and moving and packing checklists. It even has information on how to pack and move your wine. If this is your first move and you choose to go with this company, it has lots of information to help you prepare.
    Happy North American Van Lines customers on our site frequently mention the helpful staff and easy process. A reviewer said about their move from California to Colorado: “My experience was positive throughout the entire process. Gust and Lauren were easy to work with and very helpful. I valued their in-person visit to confirm estimate. .... They were on time, efficient, careful, respectful and friendly. … I am very satisfied with my decision and would use North American again.”
    International Van Lines
    • Rating on CA as of publishing:3.6
    • Availability: The continental U.S.
    • USDOT number: 2293832

    International Van Lines offers long-distance moves to and from anywhere in the nation. It has a cost calculator on its website for instant ballpark quotes by providing where you’re moving to and from, how many bedrooms your home has and when you need to move.

    The company also has full packing services. As of publishing, its website shows an estimated cost of $750 to $1,125 for full-service packing for a home of 600 to 900 cubic feet.

    The IVL website offers both instant estimates and quick (15-minute) moving quotes. According to the company, it assigns two account managers to every move it performs — this helps it stand out in the industry in terms of customization and specialized service.
    Reviewers on our site often mention that they’d recommend IVL to friends and family. A customer from California said about their experience: “Professional and efficient! I highly recommend this company to anyone who is looking for assistance moving long-distance. … Moving is already stressful enough as it is, and this team takes the load off for sure! Although they go out of their way to fit you in their schedule, I highly recommend calling them in advance and securing a date.”

    How much does a long-distance move cost?

    To move belongings from a two- to three-bedroom home long-distance, you can expect to spend a few thousand dollars. If you’re moving internationally, your costs are likely to be significantly higher.

    The costs can add up: You need packing materials and might have to pay for extras like fuel surcharges, insurance, tolls, taxes, specialized transport for large items (like pianos or large furniture) and any crew fees.

    There are a number of factors that affect moving costs, including:

    • Size of your home (volume of items to be moved): Moving companies may ask for the number of rooms in your home or the total square footage to estimate moving costs. However, you’ll want to have a company representative complete an in-house walk-through in order to get the most accurate quote. Generally speaking, those with larger homes will pay more for moving services.
    • Distance: Moving companies may charge a set rate per mile, plus additional fees and charges, for long-distance moves. You could pay 75 cents a mile or more in addition to a rate per pound (maybe 50 cents per pound) for your belongings.
    • Number of stops: Extra stops along the way will cost you. If you need to pick up some items from your storage unit on the way to your new home, you can expect to be charged an additional fee.
    • Types of items: Moving companies may charge extra to move heavy and bulky items, such as pianos or hot tubs. You could also be charged a fee if movers have to carry these items up flights of stairs.

    How to choose a long-distance moving company

    When choosing a long-distance moving company, first consider your moving budget. Once you determine how much you can afford to spend on the move, you can evaluate quotes. You’ll also need to think about any extra services you may want to add, like packing or storage.

    After you’ve established a budget, you can start researching long-distance movers. You can ask friends, family and co-workers for their recommendations based on previous experiences, but you should also read customer reviews online. Make sure to analyze both positive and negative reviews so you can spot any red flags.

    You should verify that any moving company you're considering is licensed and insured, especially if you’re moving across state lines. You can search licensing information for interstate movers on the U.S. Department of Transportation's website with the company's name or USDOT number.

    Moving companies that operate across state lines must be properly registered with the U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The online database is also helpful for reviewing safety information and complaints.

    Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential companies, you can request a quote from each company to compare costs. It’s a good idea to ask for a walk-through of your home as part of the quote process. This ensures that you receive the most accurate quote because it lets the company see the exact items you plan to move.

    How to prepare for a long-distance move

    The best way to prepare for a long-distance move is to make a plan, including a timeline for getting rid of unwanted items and packing up your remaining belongings.

    Here are a few tips to help make your move a little easier:

    1. Gather the supplies you’ll need ahead of time, including boxes of multiple sizes, packing tape, paper and cushioning material. Start by boxing up items you won’t need to access until you reach your destination (e.g., out-of-season clothes, shoes and books). Having fewer items lying around unpacked may help ease the stress and anxiety of moving.
    2. Make a schedule for packing that indicates which rooms you plan to pack and when. You may want to set aside a few hours each day to complete these tasks. The kitchen typically has the most fragile items and takes the most time to pack up, so keep this in mind when you make a schedule.
    3. Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This will help ensure movers place these items in the correct areas.
    4. Plan to take time off work to pack, especially as moving day approaches. Also, if you have small children living with you, it may be worth hiring a babysitter to watch the kids while you pack.

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      FAQ

      What’s the cheapest way to move a long distance?

      You could save money by hauling all your belongings in your personal vehicle. However, this means that you’ll likely need to sell or donate your larger items, like furniture, TVs and kitchen appliances, and repurchase those items when you get to your destination.

      Another way to save is to rent a truck and move your belongings yourself or with help from friends and family members. Keep in mind the potential downsides of these scenarios, though. Furniture may be more expensive to purchase in another state, for instance, or the total value of new items may far exceed the cost of a mover.

      Do I need moving insurance?

      Moving insurance provides financial protection if belongings are lost or damaged. You can opt for basic coverage (called released value protection), which movers are required by federal law to include with interstate moves, or you can purchase full-value protection if you want more coverage. Basic coverage only covers items at 60 cents per pound, while full-value coverage covers the full replacement value of your belongings.

      What items should you not move long distances?

      You shouldn’t move potentially hazardous chemicals, like fertilizers or pesticides. The moving company can provide a list of prohibited items, which may include guns, paint, car batteries and perishable food. You also shouldn’t move any items you plan to get rid of when you reach your destination. Moving costs are based on the volume of your possessions, so it’s best to get rid of items you don't need before you move.

      How far in advance should you schedule long-distance movers?

      You should schedule your move at least two months in advance, especially if you plan to move during the summer, which is the busiest time of year for moving companies. Scheduling further in advance gives you a greater opportunity to compare quotes from more companies and get the most value for your money.

      Bottom line

      Hiring a mover for a long-distance move can save you physical labor and stress. You’ll want to do your homework before hiring a mover so you can trust the company with all your possessions. Ask for recommendations from friends or family, and read reviews and verify licensing information of any company you’re considering.

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