A professional mover can take a lot of the hassle out of moving. In this guide, we highlight our top picks for the best moving companies and provide detailed information on costs and services.
The moving process can be both exciting and difficult. Visiting dream homes with your real estate agent? Exciting. Getting a pristine home inspection report back from your certified home inspector? Thrilling. Packing up your family, pets, and life possessions and hauling them across the country? Difficult.
InterNACHI® and the HM Reviews and Research team have built this guide to provide you with the information you need to make the whole process stress-free.
First things first, are you still in the process of buying a house? Before you pack your first box, you'll want to find a good home inspector to make sure your prospective new home is in the condition you expect. A home inspector is a qualified professional with the proper training and certification to examine the following:
Inspectors provide you with a written report describing their findings, including potential problem areas. They may also include recommendations if you need additional evaluation for issues such as pests, asbestos, lead paint, or toxic mold.
To help you understand the details of your report, consult the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ (InterNACHI) Glossary of Home Inspection Terms. Then, review the report with your real estate agent to help you decide on the next steps in purchasing your potential home.
If you’re currently selling your home, consider having your home pre-inspected by an InterNACHI-certified inspector—it could save you money in the long run. Issues like mold, asbestos, lead paint, and radon are potential deal-breakers for many buyers. Other safety concerns, such as rickety staircases, improper attic ventilation, and precarious tree branches, may not stop the deal from going forward, but they could cost you significantly.
InterNACHI’s Move-In Certified™ program gives you time to address these repairs in advance of listing your home or early enough in the sales process to avoid giving a prospective buyer a more considerable discount than it would cost to repair items yourself.
If you’re a recent home buyer, you’re already familiar with the many minute details you must keep in mind along the way—whether you’re in the process of buying a turnkey property or a fixer-upper. But do you know the best way to pack and move into your new home? A professional mover does.
“ “There’s a difference between someone that has experience in packing versus somebody that is going to learn on the fly,” Michael Scott, a partner at Capital Moving in Raleigh, North Carolina, told our research team. He continued, “The customer is usually focused on selling the home, getting the home closed, making sure they have a home to go to on the other end, the money is moved, closing time is set, the keys are available. So they are not often focused on the actual physical part of the move.”
Investing in a professional moving company can take that load off during the moving process and keep you from making big (and expensive) moving mistakes. That’s why we’ve created a guide to some of the best moving companies in the United States.
To vet the top companies, we surveyed 1,000 consumers, spoke with five moving experts, researched 52 companies, mystery shopped 22 services, analyzed hundreds of third-party customer reviews, and invested over 900 hours of additional research. The insights we gathered from survey respondents and industry experts allowed us to vet each company by the key factors that matter most to movers: price, payment options, coverage, service features and packages, protection plans, transparency, and reputation. We have included our detailed research methodology at the bottom of this article.
|Company||Our Rating||Availability||Local Moves?||Long-Distance Moves?||Packing/Loading Assistance?||Cost*|
|International Van Lines||98||50 states||Two bedrooms or more||In house||$2,015–$3,445|
|JK Moving||96||50 states||Only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.||In house||$7,521|
|American Van Lines||93||48 states (not in Hawaii or Alaska)||In house||$4,089|
|U-Pack||84||50 states||Third-party labor available||$2,110–$2,636|
|1-800-PACK-RAT||83||30 states and Washington, D.C.||Third-party labor available||$2,377|
|PODS||81||46 states and Washington, D.C. (not in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, or Wyoming)||Third-party labor available||$2,116|
International Van Lines is a domestic and international moving company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company operates in all 50 U.S. states as well as 180 countries.
As the name suggests, International Van Lines specializes in international moves, using sea and air freight to transport belongings abroad. However, the company also handles long-distance moves and local moves for customers relocating within the same state (though you must be moving into a two-bedroom apartment or larger to qualify for a local move).
International Van Lines offers a variety of packing services, which include specialty items such as pianos and antiques. Customers can also opt for a full-service or partial-service move depending on their needs.
International Van Lines is a licensed carrier, providing a wide range of moving services, including the following:
To get a better feel for pricing, we secret-shopped by requesting an estimate to move a two-bedroom home from Dallas to Denver. The quote we received from International Van Lines was $2,015–$3,445, which includes expenses for loading and unloading, moving supplies—such as blankets and protective pads—mileage, fuel, and tolls during travel. This price range is competitive relative to other national providers offering the same services.
As with all companies on this list, International Van Lines provides basic liability coverage—up to $10,000 at a rate of $0.60 per pound for its long-distance moving services. Customers can also purchase additional contents protection coverage, such as all-risk insurance or total-loss insurance. These moving insurance plans (also known as contents protection) hold the moving company liable for any goods that are lost or damaged up to an agreed-upon amount.
All-risk insurance offers protection for the full value that you claim, but it is only available to customers who purchase a professional packing plan. The cost is 4% of the declared value. Total-loss insurance also offers full reimbursement in the event of a total loss, and it’s available to those who choose to self-pack. This option can be purchased for 2% of the declared value.
International Van Lines is our top moving company pick due to its competitive pricing and wide variety of services. It has some of the most comprehensive moving packages in the industry and provides additional security through its two protection plans, which offer peace of mind for complicated moves.
Since its founding in Sterling, Virginia, in 1982, JK Moving has become the largest fully licensed and insured independent mover in the United States. It provides customizable full-service options for cross-country moves in all 50 states as well as internationally. However, the company does not assist with local moves outside of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
JK Moving offers packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, and transportation services for residential moves. It can also provide special assistance during commercial moves, such as document and data destruction. The company’s moving crews are drug-tested, undergo background checks, and get trained in a fully furnished practice home.
What makes JK Moving unique is its mission to help customers navigate financial pain points during a move. A moving coordinator works with you to create a plan that’s tailored to your needs and budget, and they’ll also provide financing options.
JK Moving offers a long list of moving services, including the following:
Because JK Moving customizes its moving packages for each customer, it does not provide sample pricing online. The quote process requires an in-depth discussion and a virtual walk-through with a moving coordinator. We were able to get an estimate for a two-bedroom home moving from Dallas to Denver. The requested services included furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading, unloading, and full-value protection. The quote came out to $7,521, which is higher than the figures obtained from all other companies on this list.
JK Moving’s contents protection plan, the Replacement Value (Full Replacement Cost) option, allows you to determine the value of your belongings and select a deductible. For example, a $90,000 policy with a $250 deductible will cost you $630. A moving coordinator can help you determine the right amount to select for your home.
Thanks to its partnership with Enhancify, JK Moving also allows you to finance your move. Within minutes of submitting an application through Enhancify’s user-friendly website, you are matched with lenders and can compare their loan terms and interest rates. Depending on your credit rating, these interest rates may be as low as 0% for the specified loan period. (Subject to credit approval.)
We recommend JK Moving for customers who are interested in premium, full-service options. The company tailors each package to the client and its financing options are uncommon in the moving industry.
American Van Lines was founded in South Florida in 1995 and has one of the largest moving networks in the country. The company operates an extensive fleet of moving trucks as well as weekly passenger shuttles to and from nearly every major city in the country. If a customer is having a difficult time getting their vehicle to their new home or acquiring a rental, the shuttle can provide transportation into town to conduct necessary business.
The full-service mover can help with local, interstate, and international moves (it serves 48 states, including all but Hawaii and Alaska). The company is equipped to handle specialty items and provides storage solutions, auto shipping assistance, and limited insurance options.
Unlike many other nationwide moving companies, American Van Lines uses a fixed-price model. Customers are given a binding estimate at the end of the quote process and will pay that price no matter what obstacles arise during their move.
American Van Lines employs its team of expert movers on a full-time basis rather than as contract labor, which other moving companies are known to do. Because of this, the average American Van Lines mover has at least a decade of experience. The company offers the following services:
Because it provides only binding estimates, the company does not offer online quotes. However, you can find some pricing information on its moving cost page which details the average cost of similar moves. Based on this, American Van Lines approximates that a move from Dallas to Denver for a two-bedroom apartment (or 6,000 pounds) would come out to around $4,089, relatively higher than the quotes other companies provided for a similar estimate.
American Van Lines offers two contents protection plans: Full-Value Protection and Released Value. The Full-Value plan’s overall cost depends on the determined value of your belongings, while the Released Value coverage is included in the cost of your move. However, the Released Value coverage only covers $0.60 per pound per article.
American Van Lines is an excellent company to use if you want transparency about pricing. Its binding estimates are designed to prevent confusion surrounding the cost of your move. Though you will likely have to make a larger deposit up front, the fixed-price model eliminates unforeseen expenses related to hourly labor or mileage that may arise on moving day. In addition, the company’s experienced, reliable movers provide a wide range of full-service and partial-service options.
Founded in 1997, U-Pack is a nontraditional moving company that falls between full-service and DIY. This door-to-door mover exclusively provides portable storage containers and transportation of belongings for residential properties. Packing and unpacking and loading and unloading are not included.
U-Pack’s equipment-and-shipment model allows for a transparent quote process. You only pay for the space you use. As of February 2022, the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
U-Pack handles interstate moves in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico, and the company has a 150 mileage requirement for use of its services.
True to its name, U-Pack drops off a trailer or ReloCube moving container at your home that you then pack yourself. You have three business days to load the container, and once you’re finished, the company returns to pick it up and drive it to your new home.
ReloCubes are roughly 6'x7'x8', which translates to about 308 cubic feet. According to U-Pack, you should plan to get one cube for each room in your home, though rooms with less furniture can likely be combined into a single container.
U-Pack is a great option for urban moves since the cubes are designed to fit into one parking space and are made of steel and aluminum for durability and security. Alternatively, you can reserve space in a larger moving trailer. U-Pack offers these additional services:
The company can generate an instant online quote based on the origin and destination of your move, your move date, and the number of rooms in your current home. We received a moving estimate from U-Pack for 5 feet in a moving trailer going from Dallas to Denver. The quote, which included the cost of equipment, driving labor, transportation, and mileage, was $2,110. Two ReloCubes going to the same place cost $2,636.
With U-Pack, customers automatically get liability coverage. Catastrophic liability coverage is $3 per pound per piece and refers to damages caused by a catastrophic loss (e.g. the trailer catches on fire or is overturned). This option locks at a maximum of $60,000 per trailer and $7,500 per ReloCube. Carrier negligence liability coverage starts at $0.10 per pound per piece, and refers to loss or damage caused by the person transporting your belongings.
If you’re looking to book a self-service mover as quickly as possible, then U-Pack might be your ideal company. It’s also a great choice for anyone on a budget who needs transportation support since it’s one of the cheapest options on this list.
1-800-PACK-RAT is known for its all-steel, weatherproof, portable storage containers. The company started with just three locations in North Carolina but has since grown to more than 50 across 30 states and Washington, D.C., providing moving and storage services within a 100-mile radius of each one.
The user-friendly website is chock-full of good content, including informative videos, a moving checklist, a space calculator, how-to guides, a weight calculator, location guides, and activity books for kids. 1-800-PACK-RAT also maintains a moving blog that offers helpful tips and tricks.
1-800-PACK-RAT follows a similar moving process as U-Pack and PODS. It delivers your choice of container(s) to your home, and you have 30 days to load it up before the company transports and delivers your belongings to your new home.
1-800-PACK-RAT advertises the following services:
The company offers three container sizes: 8 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet. Each all-steel container sits on the ground for easy loading.
We requested a quote for a 16-foot container moving from Dallas to Denver that included transportation from the current residence to the new residence, delivery and pickup, a no-cut security lock for the container, and contents protection coverage for up to $10,000. The estimate we received was $2,376, which was on par with similar services.
If you value a user-friendly experience and customer support, then 1-800-PACK-RAT is a good choice for your move. The company provides various online tools to help make the process easier, and though its availability is a bit more limited than competitors’, it offers high-quality containers.
Founded in 1998, PODS may be the most recognizable name on this list. The company helps with local and long-distance moves and also provides long-term and short-term storage options.
Though PODS caters to most states, it does not serve in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, or Wyoming.
PODS will deliver a portable steel-framed container to your home that you’re responsible for loading and unloading. The rental fee allows you to keep the container for 30 days at each location. PODS offers three container sizes: 7 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet, but the 12-footer is available only for local moves.
The company’s list of services includes these items:
You can also choose to keep your container at a PODS storage center for an additional cost. These facilities have climate-controlled units and 24/7 security.
For a 16-foot container traveling over six days from Dallas to Denver within a month’s time, we received a pre-tax quote of $2,115.
PODS utilizes a pay-as-you-go model, so the first payment of $507.95 covers the initial delivery of the container, the first month's rental fee, and contents protection. The second fee of $1,468.77 includes the cost of transportation to a PODS storage center near your destination. The third payment of $139 covers the final delivery to your new home and the pickup of the container.
Portable containers are a useful feature when it comes to long-distance moves, and you can count on PODS for excellent storage solutions if the need arises. Looking for a little flexibility in your moving schedule? The company offers plenty of time for loading and unloading and is transparent about costs during the quote process.
The HM Research and Reviews team recently conducted a survey of homeowners who had moved within the last five years. We found that nearly 50% of those who moved without professional assistance spent at least $1,000. And that cost doesn’t include the inestimable hassle of packing, loading, and logistics or the wear and tear on personal vehicles.
It may surprise you that the cost of hiring a professional mover may not be much more. For a local move, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a pro mover. If you plan to hire a full-service long-distance mover, that number could jump to an average of $4,000–$5,000, depending on the length of the move and the services and contents protection you select. However, you could save on a cross-country move with a self-service mover, which will cost between $2,000 and $2,500.
Your actual cost depends on a number of factors. Most moving companies factor in the following details when calculating prices:
The HM Research and Reviews team strives to provide unbiased and objective reviews to readers by compiling relevant information and rating providers on a number of different factors.
Here's what our review process looks like for moving companies:
We also created a 100-point rating system to score companies in the following categories:
|Category||What it means|
|Moving Services||The number and types of services offered to customers|
|Additional Perks||Options for add-on services, such as short- and long-term storage, GPS tracking, vehicle relocation, packing supplies, and online planning tools|
|Quote Process||The time it takes to get a cost estimate online or over the phone and whether or not it was difficult to obtain|
|Availability||The number of states and international locales a mover serves|
|Payment Process||The number of payment options available, if there are any required deposits, and whether or not the process is convenient|
|Reputation||A company’s years in the industry and how it’s perceived based on Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings|
Check with your moving company if you’re unsure whether or not something can be moved, but most movers will not transport: