The Best Interstate Moving Companies of 2022

Skip the stress of a long-haul move: Here are the best interstate moving companies who can get you settled in quickly and reliably.

By Brie Greenhalgh | Updated May 10, 2022 5:53 PM

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The Best Interstate Moving Companies

Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s time to make a move, and you have to decide how to pull it off. It’s no secret that moving across the country is a massive undertaking that’s not to be underestimated. Fortunately, several reliable moving companies can make a difficult job easier. The best interstate moving companies have a long history of successfully and safely moving personal belongings across state lines. Many of them even offer to do the packing and unpacking. It can be nerve-racking to try to choose a moving company you trust, so we’ve rounded up the best-rated interstate moving companies that offer reliable service, transparent pricing, helpful customer service, and a nationwide service area.

  1. BEST OVERALL: United Van Lines
  2. BEST MOVING PACKAGES: Mayflower Transit
  3. BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: Allied Van Lines
  4. MOST TRANSPARENT PRICING: International Van Lines
  5. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: American Van Lines
  6. BEST SELF-SERVICE: PODS
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: Safeway Moving Systems
The Best Interstate Moving Companies Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Interstate Moving Companies

Many customers who have never moved across the country before are unsure about what to look for in long-distance moving companies. This is a significant decision that should not be made lightly. Sadly, there are disreputable companies out there, but customers can feel confident when choosing from the best interstate moving companies with a little information and our recommendations. Here are the key factors to review when selecting the right moving company.

Service Area

For an interstate or cross-country move, it’s essential to ensure that the moving service offers transportation beyond state lines. Many local companies only operate within a small radius, but long-distance movers should list their complete service area. Check carefully to make sure the company covers the destination address to avoid frustration.

Quote and Pricing

Obtaining multiple quotes from moving companies is essential. This ensures an average price range (a price too low could indicate a scam) and that all the services a customer needs are included. Most interstate moving companies require a customer to speak to a representative to obtain the most accurate quote. It’s also important to ask whether the quote is fixed. Things like extra stairs, long walkways, or extra-heavy items could be subject to an additional charge during the move, so it’s essential to ask as many questions as possible up front. Transparent pricing is vital for feeling confident about which company to hire.

License and Insurance

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) requires all interstate moving companies to be licensed to transport goods across state lines. The best interstate moving companies have a federal license number that a customer can look up on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website to ensure it’s valid and active.

Additionally, federal regulations require all moving companies to carry liability insurance. This basic coverage does not cover the total value of the items, nor will it protect against acts of God or force majeure (unforeseen circumstances). Many companies also provide full coverage for an extra fee, which is helpful for customers with a lot of valuables. The other option is for customers to check with their insurance companies about adding moving insurance.

Auto Transportation

Driving a car across the country for leisure is one thing, but getting there in a hurry to start a new job is a more stressful event. It also puts a lot of wear and tear on the car unnecessarily. Most major moving companies also provide auto transport to save the car and the owner from the hassle of driving. It can be cheaper to ship the vehicle in many cases, especially when considering the wear and mileage.

Specialty Item Moving

Sometimes customers need to move atypical household items like a large metal safe, an antique grandfather clock, or a piano. The best moving companies are experienced at handling specialty items like this. These items might require more space or more movers, or movers might need special equipment to move them. customers should highlight these items when speaking to a representative or creating the moving inventory.

Cancellation Policy

It’s important to check the cancellation policy of potential moving companies. If there’s a need to cancel, customers should know what to expect in terms of how late they can cancel and receive their deposit back. Some of the biggest interstate moving companies have generous cancellation plans, but others can be more stringent on timelines.

Deposit

A common concern for customers is whether a deposit signifies that the moving company is trying to scam them. The general rule of thumb is that it’s acceptable to pay a deposit as long as it’s not a large sum: typically not more than 25 percent of the total price. A company asking for the full amount up front is a red flag. And on the flip side, some companies don’t even require a deposit.

Reviews and Complaints

The customer is responsible for checking online reviews from more than one source. This provides a well-rounded view of what to expect about a company’s service, reliability, pricing, and overall professionalism. Granted, some complaints should be taken with a grain of salt as some situations are truly unique, but it’s best to consider the overall reputation.

Customer Support

Since customers are handing over the sum of their possessions to an unfamiliar company, they should feel confident that someone is available to answer questions and alleviate concerns. The best interstate moving companies have excellent customer support, whether it’s through 24/7 service, multiple methods of contact, or even a user-friendly online portal that provides lots of information like live tracking.

Our Top Picks

The decision to hand over the move of your personal belongings can be daunting. Our evaluation process reviewed deposit and cancellation policies, service areas, customer service, and extra services, and these are the companies that pass muster.

Best Overall

Photo: unitedvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: United Van Lines offers a long history of reliable service across the country plus great customer service, no deposits, and free cancellation.

With over 500 service locations, United Van Lines has an impressive coverage area across the United States (and internationally), which means the customer’s destination is likely included. And even though it’s a larger company, it still offers specialized services for studio apartments or tiny homes (and at a discounted rate). Customer support wasn’t the easiest to reach, but United’s easy-to-use online portal has plenty of information for customers to find answers, including live tracking.

United Van Lines also provides extra services from cleaning to Wi-Fi disassembly. Best of all, it does not require a deposit, and it offers free cancellation as long as no services have been provided. With over 1 million customers, its track record is impressive.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states, international
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation
  • Deposit required: No
  • Customer service: Phone, email, live chat

Pros

  • Small long-distance moving jobs for studio apartments or tiny homes available at a discounted rate
  • Add-on options like cleaning services or Wi-Fi network disassembly available
  • MyUnited online portal puts checklists, mover contacts, and tracking in one convenient place
  • Free cancellation as long as no services have been provided

Cons

  • Customer support can be challenging to get in touch with

Best Moving Packages

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: Mayflower Transit
Photo: mayflower.com

Why It Made the Cut: Mayflower Transit boasts a 90-year-long history of successfully moving customers across the country, great customer service, no deposits, and customizable service bundles.

With Mayflower Transit, it’s easy to mix and match services to get exactly what’s needed, whether it’s packing, cleaning, unpacking, storage, or even debris removal. This is helpful for customers who prefer to hand over more of the moving process to a pro. If customers don’t opt for the packing service, they’ll need to purchase their own packing materials. But Mayflower offers standout convenience factors like a helpful online portal for checklists, contacts, and tracking.

Mayflower does not require a deposit up front, and cancellation is free up to 24 hours before the scheduled move, which is usually adequate for most customers. Finally, Mayflower Transit has partnered with Move for Hunger to donate to a local charity any food a customer chooses not to pack and move. It’s a nice way to give back to the community.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states, international
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Up to 24 hours before the move
  • Deposit required: No
  • Customer service: Phone, email, live chat

Pros

  • Customizable long-distance moving service bundles available
  • MyMayflower online portal puts checklists, mover contacts, and tracking in one convenient place
  • Move for Hunger partnership helps customers donate food before a move
  • Cancellation up to 24 hours before the move

Cons

  • Customers are required to separately purchase moving supplies

Best Customer Service

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: Allied Van Lines
Photo: allied.com

Why It Made the Cut: Allied Van Lines offers nationwide and international service, a virtual assessment for accurate quotes, deposit-free booking, and a generous cancellation policy.

Allied Van Lines provides 24-hour customer service by phone and email, and each department has its own phone number so customers can reach the right person faster. It’s a helpful way to streamline the process. The company has been in business for 88 years and has its own fleet of trucks, so customers can be confident that their belongings are in good hands. There is no deposit required, and cancellation is free as long as no services have been provided.

If customers need to store their belongings for some time, there is a minimum charge for 1,000 pounds worth of goods, but most households far exceed that, so this shouldn’t be an issue except for small apartments. Allied’s frequently asked questions haven’t been updated lately, but it’s easy to get in touch with customer service for clarification. Allied Van Lines also offers extra services like Wi-Fi disassembly to help customers, and it has also partnered with Move for Hunger to donate unwanted food to local programs.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states, international
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation
  • Deposit required: No
  • Customer service: Phone, email

Pros

  • Add-on options like cleaning services or Wi-Fi network disassembly available
  • Move for Hunger partnership lets customers donate food before a move
  • Free cancellation as long as no services have been provided

Cons

  • Customers are charged for 1,000 pounds of storage, even if they have less
  • FAQs have not been recently updated

Most Transparent Pricing

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: International Van Lines
Photo: internationalvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: International Van Lines offers transparent pricing and discounts, great customer service, extra services, and an adequate cancellation policy.

For customers who are flexible with their moving dates, International Van Lines offers a discount as thanks for making it easier to get the move scheduled. It has a cross-country service area, plus international freight forwarding to 180 countries, so most customer destinations are included. Customers should note that a 25 percent deposit is required, but the discount can still apply if move dates are flexible. Free cancellation is also available up to 48 hours before the move.

International Van Lines does not have the most user-friendly online inventory system, but it has a great reputation for having a helpful and reliable customer service team. The company provides a clear breakdown of all fees and services that may or may not apply to a customer’s move, making it helpful for budgeting purposes.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states, international
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Up to 48 hours before the move
  • Deposit required: 25% of quoted price
  • Customer service: Phone, email, live chat

Pros

  • Discounts available for customers with flexible moving dates
  • Additional fees and estimate breakdowns are easily accessible on website so customers can budget appropriately
  • Services available in over 180 countries

Cons

  • Online inventory system is not user-friendly and is time-consuming to use
  • 25 percent deposit required at booking

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: American Van Lines
Photo: americanvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: American Van Lines offers discounts for moves between major cities while implementing sustainability measures and offering specialty services.

Customers who choose American Van Lines will have service coverage to all 50 states, with discounts for moves between major cities like Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Deposits are required and range from 10 to 50 percent of the total price, but with fixed-rate services, moving with American is easy to budget for and sometimes less costly overall. American Van Lines also specializes in moving military families, antiques, art, and pianos, which is important since only a pro should do piano moving using the proper equipment.

The cancellation policy is limited to 7 days before the move date, but most cancellations occur before then. Customer service can be reached by phone or email to answer questions, help with problems, and provide tracking. American Van Lines also has a strong focus on being environmentally responsible with measures like limiting truck idling, meeting CARB standards, and other policies, so customers can feel confident they’re working with an earth-conscious company.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states, international
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Up to 7 days before the move
  • Deposit required: 10% to 50% of quoted price
  • Customer service: Phone, email

Pros

  • Discounted prices for long-distance moving between major cities
  • Sustainability initiatives aim to reduce the environmental impact of moving
  • Fixed-rate services, even for moving specialty items

Cons

  • 10 to 50 percent deposit required
  • Cancellation is limited to 7 days before the move

Best Self-Service

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: PODS
Photo: pods.com

Why It Made the Cut: PODS is a flexible moving option that lets customers control more of the process with less cost and no deposits.

PODS stands for portable on-demand storage. customers who don’t need to rush the packing process—or just need some storage in between homes—can have a storage container brought to their house for them to pack on their own time. It’s incredibly convenient when time is not an issue, especially since customers don’t need to be present during the contactless pickup or drop-off. This service is not ideal for those living in apartments or condos since there must be adequate driveway space at both the departure and destination to use PODS, but it works well for homes.

Customers can choose from three container sizes based on their household goods and the size of their driveway. PODS is not available in all 50 states, but its service is continually expanding. Once the container arrives, customers pay for the period the container is on their property, even up to monthly rentals if all that’s needed is a little storage space during a complete home renovation. No deposits are required, and PODS can be canceled as close as 4 p.m. local time the day before delivery.

Specs

  • Service area: 41 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Auto transport: Car shipping partners available
  • Cancellation policy: By 4 p.m. local time the day before delivery
  • Deposit required: No
  • Customer service: Phone, email

Pros

  • Monthly rental periods allow customers to pack and unpack at their own pace
  • Customers do not need to be present for pickup or drop-off
  • Three container sizes available

Cons

  • Service may not be suitable for apartments, condos, or homes without driveways
  • Not available in all states

Also Consider

The Best Interstate Moving Companies Option: Safeway Moving Systems
Photo: safewaymovingsystem.com

Why It Made the Cut: Safeway Moving Systems is a popular moving brokerage that offers one of the highest liability insurance coverages, great customer service, and flexible moving options.

As a moving broker, Safeway Moving Systems is not an authorized motor carrier, but it’s a helpful solution for connecting customers to qualified moving companies. Its service area covers all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rather than setting its own fees and service requirements, it’ll match a customer to a carrier specializing in hauling a household across the country or with a carrier who works explicitly with antiques or auto transport. Safeway offers 30 days of free storage, which is great if a customer’s move-in and move-out dates don’t perfectly line up.

Because Safeway is a broker, packing and unpacking services can vary between carriers, and information on the website is generally limited. Still, Safeway Moving Systems has a strong customer support team to help clarify any questions. One major benefit is that Safeway carries $1 million in liability insurance, which most HOAs require. This is more than the standard $750,000 most carriers cover, so they’re a great option if a customer’s HOA has limitations on which moving companies can be used.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states
  • Auto transport: Varies by carrier
  • Cancellation policy: Varies by carrier
  • Deposit required: Varies by carrier
  • Customer service: Phone, email

Pros

  • Movers carry $1 million in liability insurance
  • Storage is free for 30 days

Cons

  • Limited information available on website
  • Packing and unpacking services vary by carrier

Our Verdict

The critical qualities of the best interstate moving companies include reliable customer service, transparent pricing and policies, an adequate service area, and extra services. United Van Lines is our top choice since it offers all of this as well as an extremely helpful online portal for customers, no deposits, and free cancellation. Mayflower Transit is the runner-up since it offers similar services plus convenient moving packages for customers who prefer a customized move.

How We Chose the Best Interstate Moving Companies

When reviewing the top interstate moving companies, we made sure to include companies that meet federal license regulations and have a comprehensive service area for cross-country moves. We also chose several companies that have a long history of successful business practices, which means they are well-versed in moving customers as smoothly as possible. We also checked reviews and reached out to their customer support teams to evaluate the experience and process as this is a key component for making happy customers.

Most customers are familiar with using a website to access personal account information, so we also evaluated and ranked our top choices based on moving companies that have excellent online portals with all the information customers need. This will help customers feel confident in the moving process. All of our recommendations met or exceeded our evaluation process.

Before You Hire One of the Best Interstate Moving Companies

Before you search for “best interstate moving companies near me,” it’s important to note that this kind of moving company is best for moves over 100 miles. Most local moving companies provide cheaper services within a 50- to 100-mile radius, while interstate moving companies typically specialize in state-to-state moves. Many local moving services don’t have federal licenses to transport across state lines, which is why it’s important to choose the moving company according to the distance and needs customers might have.

It’s also a good idea to ask the company whether the quote is binding or non-binding. This can help identify if there are any hidden fees that could pop up on moving day. Ideally, these should be explained ahead of time, but it’s wise to ask for added clarity.

Always check online reviews and complaints to see how the company handles any issues that might arise. Look for repeated patterns of poor customer service, poor pricing policies, or other issues that aren’t related to on/off events like a major disaster or accident. Again, the interstate moving companies on our list had overall positive reviews from customers, but customers should always do their own research to know what to expect.

After obtaining several quotes, customers should narrow down their options by asking lots of questions. After this, they can request that only the top two or three companies do a home estimate to make sure both parties understand the scope and that the customer understands any associated fees.

Cost of Hiring One of the Best Interstate Moving Companies

Most moving companies require you to speak with a representative and do an in-person or virtual assessment of the house. This ensures that the pricing is accurate and that no unexpected fees pop up on moving day. The cost to hire an interstate moving company is based on many factors such as the distance, the home size or type, location, time of year or week, labor rates, and any extra services or specialty items that need moving.

The average cost to move long-distance ranges between $2,200 to $5,700. Long-distance averages about $4,890, but a local move could cost $1,250. These are genuinely average costs as the price can increase for a move to a rural area, a move over a weekend in the summer, or a move with several cars and recreational vehicles. Obtaining multiple quotes will help customers estimate an accurate price for their household.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Interstate Moving Companies

The cost of hiring a moving company often causes people to wonder if they should take on the big job themselves, but the overall value makes it easy to hand over the reins. Here are some of the benefits of letting one of the best interstate moving companies handle a move.

  • Allowing a professional company to do the heavy lifting and long-distance hauling alleviates the stress on customers.
  • Since moving companies must have liability insurance, valuables are protected against damage in most cases, which is usually not the case if something happens during a self-service move.
  • Rather than packing up the house for days on end, professional packers can get a house packed and loaded in just a day or two. This also leaves customers more time to take care of other important work.
  • All the materials, expenses, time, and effort that’s spent on packing and hauling a household of goods across the country often end up costing more than hiring movers who can do the job efficiently.
  • A sprained back, broken finger, or other injuries are possible when moving, and customers are on the hook both financially and physically. Professional movers are trained and have the right equipment to avoid injuries, and they’re covered with their company’s insurance.

FAQs

This informative guide should help answer the question, “What are the best interstate moving companies?” However, if there are still a few questions, consider the following answers for more information. customers should have as much information as possible when choosing the right company to whom they will entrust their personal belongings.

Q. What is the cheapest long-distance moving company?

Moving costs entirely depend on the distance, amount of belongings, and current demand. One company could be considered the cheapest in one region but be more expensive in another. Moreover, prices fluctuate throughout the year. Summer is the most popular time to move, which means prices are higher—and they’re even higher on weekends and holidays. The best way to get the best price is to obtain quotes from multiple companies.

Q. What is the best way to move from state to state?

Using cross-country movers is a wise idea since they have a lot of experience moving households to all kinds of destinations, and they’ve seen it all. And they have checklists, suggestions, and helpful customer service teams to help customers complete all the necessary tasks. Alternatively, some customers might prefer to look for mobile home movers if they love their home and prefer to move it to a new state.

Q. How do I choose an interstate mover?

  • Determine if any special services are needed and if the company can provide those.
  • Ensure the company has proper licensing, insurance, and an adequate service area.
  • Verify that the address on the company’s website is not a residential location but is easily identified as its commercial property and business.
  • Check online reviews and complaints from more than one source.
  • Obtain quotes from all the companies that meet your basic criteria and have a good customer rating overall.
  • Avoid any company that asks for full payment up front or a significant deposit.
  • Decide which moving service meets your budget and can schedule your move when needed.

Q. Why is moving out of state so expensive?

Moving out of state is much more time-consuming than moving locally. When fuel prices are high, moving prices often go up. Moving costs account for the distance traveled, the costs of driving, plus the labor of loading the truck and moving the goods. The longer the distance, the higher the price. The larger the home, the higher the price. If budget is a major consideration, check for companies that offer discounts for flexible moving dates or discounts for moves between major cities.

Q. How can I estimate moving costs?

Moving companies usually give quotes based on a few common factors: location and destination, the size of the home, specialty items, and if auto transport is needed. Customers should know the exact place they’re moving to and an idea of when since demand can increase prices over weekends and holidays. This information can be put into a moving cost calculator to get an estimated price.

In addition, customers need to consider any extra services they want, such as packing, cleaning, unpacking and assembling, or hauling antiques and recreational vehicles. These all come with their own associated costs.

The cost of movers for a 1-bedroom house averages $240 to $500, but a 4-bedroom house could cost $640 to $1,200. It’s also customary to tip the movers 10 to 20 percent.

Q: Do you pay movers before or after the move?

Payment should be made after your goods have arrived. Most major moving companies do not require a deposit, but some do—and that’s not necessarily a red flag. Moving is a busy and demanding business, especially in the summer, so some companies try to offset any costs they incur preparing to move a family by requiring a small deposit—usually less than 25 percent.

However, a company that demands large deposits or payment up front should be avoided as it might be a scam. Reputable companies stake their reputations on providing great service and delivery before receiving full payment.

Sources: HomeAdvisor, Moving.Tips