The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles, California, of 2023

Homeowners and renters who are relocating to or from the City of Angels will want to choose one of the best moving companies in Los Angeles for a low-stress move.

By Tony Carrick | Published Sep 20, 2023 10:12 AM

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The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Moving can be a stressful, expensive process, and moving to or from Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., is fraught with even more hurdles. High moving expenses, complicated city parking rules for moving trucks, and getting furniture in and out of multistory buildings all present challenges when moving in LA. That’s why it’s so important for customers to find a moving company that’s familiar with the ins and outs of moving to or from this major city. Fortunately, there are several suitable options for customers to choose from. These residential moving companies have excellent reputations with their customers, provide services tailored to moves that involve major metropolitan areas, and offer competitive pricing. Ahead, customers can learn more about what characteristics they will want to look for in LA moving companies and find out which ones top the list.

  1. BEST OVERALL: United Van Lines
  2. RUNNER-UP: International Van Lines
  3. BEST MOVING CONTAINER: PODS
  4. BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: Two Men and a Truck
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: RockStar Pro Movers
The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles

While cost is a primary concern for most people when hiring a moving company, customers will also want to consider which moving company is best for their type of move, whether they need a company to handle specialty items, and whether the company they’re hiring has the proper licensing. Customers can identify their primary concerns so they know what factors to consider when hiring one of the best LA moving companies to help in the decision-making process.

Type of Move

Finding a moving company that suits the type of move a customer is about to undertake is key to finding the right company. There are three different types of moves: local, interstate, and international moves. Local moves are typically those that are within a 50-mile radius, whereas interstate moves include any type of move that crosses state lines and international moves include any move to another country. The best interstate moving companies may differ from the best long-distance moving companies, so customers will want to do their research to find packing and moving companies that best suit the type of move they are making. A smaller moving company based in Los Angeles may be a better choice for a local move due to its familiarity with the city, whereas a larger company that has experience moving to other states may be the best choice for a long-distance interstate move.

Pricing Transparency

Few things can add to the stress of moving like surprise fees and charges tacked on to the price of the move at the end. The top moving companies in Los Angeles will provide transparent pricing with accurate quotes that stay very close to the final price at the end of the move. Of course, some of the onus is on the customers to provide accurate information in order to receive an accurate quote. Customers will need to provide a detailed and accurate listing of their belongings when submitting a request for a quote. They will also want to include other factors that can affect the cost of hiring movers, including the number of flights of stairs, any large pieces of furniture to be moved, and antiques that may require special care. Customers will also want to take into account any additional services they opt for: The cost of junk removal, for example, can be rolled into the total moving cost if that’s a service the company offers. Customers who are truly concerned about hidden costs can ask the moving company if they are willing to give a binding estimate, which ensures the cost of the move won’t be greater than the original estimate.

License and Insurance

Customers will want to choose a moving company that has the proper licensing and insurance to operate as movers to avoid problems during their move. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to determine if a company is properly licensed. All licensed moving companies are required to have a registration number with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Customers can confirm their moving company’s license by going to the U.S. DOT website. Along with national licensing, the state of California also requires all moving companies in the state to be licensed. A database of licensed moving companies is available online at the California Public Utilities Commission website. Customers will want to avoid the temptation to hire an unlicensed company even if it offers very low rates. Unlicensed companies have no legal obligation to protect their clients’ belongings, and they’re also much more likely to subject their customers to scams.

Customer Support

Customer support that’s readily available is a key component for a smooth moving process. When a customer hires a reputable moving company, they can rest assured that the quote process is accurate, ensuring there won’t be any surprise fees tacked on at the end of the move. They can also be confident that the movers will show up when they say they’re going to show up. Many of the top moving companies offer features on their websites that allow their clients to track the moving truck on moving day for added peace of mind. At the end of the move, the moving company’s customer support should be easy to reach in case there are any issues, such as missing or broken items. Moving companies vary in how their customers can reach them. While all moving companies are available by phone, some also offer customer support via email or live chat.

Auto Transportation

When researching how to move across the country, customers will want to consider their own means of transportation. One factor that complicates long-distance moves is the process of moving a car or truck, especially for families that own more than one vehicle. Fortunately, there are vehicle-moving services in Los Angeles that customers can hire to handle this situation. Most large, national moving companies offer vehicle transportation as part of their suite of services. However, it’s important for customers to note that companies typically farm out this service to companies that specialize in vehicle transportation. While it may be more convenient to hire a single company to handle all moving needs, customers can save money by hiring a moving company that specializes in vehicle transportation to help them move their vehicles.

Specialty-Item Moving

Customers who have specialty items such as grandfather clocks, fine artwork, pianos, and antique furniture will want to hire a moving company that offers specialty moving as part of its services. These companies know how to wrap these fragile items to ensure they make it from Point A to Point B without suffering damage. Customers will want to make the moving company aware of all specialty items they are planning to move during the quote process, as they will add to the price of the move.

Cancellation Policy

Since moving plans can sometimes change at the last minute, customers need to be aware of a moving company’s cancellation policy before signing on the dotted line. These policies can vary significantly with moving companies in Los Angeles. While some will allow their customers to cancel without losing their deposit right up to the point that the move begins, others have cancellation policies that require their customers to notify them at least 36 hours before the moving date to avoid losing their deposit.

Deposit

Most moving companies require their customers to put down a deposit in order to reserve a truck on moving day. Deposits are designed to mitigate a moving company’s losses in the event a customer cancels at the last minute. The amount of deposit a moving company requires can vary from none at all to as much as 25 percent of the total cost of the move. Customers will want to be wary of any company that asks for more than 25 percent as this is typically a red flag indicating a scam. Also, customers will want to make sure that their deposit goes toward the total cost of the move rather than being charged as an additional fee.

Reviews and Complaints

Customers can get a good idea of the type of service they can expect from a moving company by looking at reviews from its past clients. These are easy to access online through such sites as Google and Move.org. Customers can read about individual experiences with the company through these sites and also look at the company’s aggregated star ratings from multiple reviews, which can give them an overall picture of the moving company’s customer satisfaction ratings. When looking at reviews, customers will want to remember that most moving companies have multiple locations and customer experiences can range from location to location.

Our Top Picks

The picks below include some of the top LA movers. These companies boast excellent reputations with their customers, offer a broad range of moving services, and are adept at handling moves to or from this major city.

Best Overall

The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Option United Van Lines
Photo: unitedvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: United Van Lines (UVL) offers a broad range of services that meet the needs of those moving to and from a big city such as Los Angeles.

United Van Lines is considered one of the best moving companies in the country—and for good reason. UVL’s services are also well suited for those moving to or from a major city such as Los Angeles. This international moving company offers special rates through its Snapmoves program for long-distance moves from smaller dwellings, including studio apartments or tiny homes. UVL also offers custom crating for speciality or fragile items—an attractive feature for those whose move may involve their belongings traveling up several flights of stairs in an apartment or condo building.

Customers may find it somewhat challenging to get a quote from UVL without speaking to a rep, and since the company doesn’t assign specific reps to each quote, a customer may find it frustrating to get answers to their questions if they need to re-explain their situation to a new person each time. However, customers may be willing to overlook this potential downside in exchange for the many benefits offered by UVL, which include a central portal that allows customers to track their move at all stages. This portal, called MyUnited, also provides customers with the contact information of their movers as well as checklists for planning purposes.

Other notable services offered by UVL include a post-moving cleaning service and Wi-Fi network disassembly, allowing customers to hire one company for these tasks rather than several. UVL also offers one of the most liberal cancellation policies in the business, allowing its customers to cancel the service right up until the point the move begins, as long as no services have been provided. This can provide customers with added peace of mind—especially if their move dates are subject to change.

 

Specs

  • Types of moves: Local, long-distance, international
  • Customer support: Phone, email, live chat
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation
  • Deposit required: No

Pros

  • Custom crating for specialty and fragile items
  • Free cancellation as long as no services have been provided
  • Add-on options such as cleaning services or Wi-Fi network disassembly available
  • Discounts for small long-distance moving jobs for studio apartments or tiny homes
  • Checklists, mover contacts, and tracking conveniently located in MyUnited online portal

Cons

  • Somewhat challenging customer service experience

Runner-Up

The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Option International Van Lines
Photo: internationalvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: International Van Lines (IVL) offers one of the most transparent quote processes in the business, allowing customers to see exactly how their moving quote is calculated.

Cost is one of the biggest concerns for many people when it comes to moving, which is why International Van Lines is such a great choice. IVL offers one of the most transparent quote processes in the business, explaining to customers exactly how its moving quotes are calculated. This tool is accurate, taking into account the size of the current and future home, location, and move date. This can help customers feel confident in their quote, which is especially important for those planning a long or expensive move. Although customers may find the online inventory system to be relatively difficult to navigate, the IVL site also has a calculator to help customers estimate the cost of their move before booking movers so they can plan a budget. This doesn’t provide a specific quote, but it’s a useful tool for customers to gauge their moving expenses without committing to using a certain moving company. IVL quotes provide a full breakdown of the company’s pricing in each quote so customers can see exactly how the company arrives at its bottom line.

IVL does require customers to put down a 25 percent deposit at the time of booking, but it also offers discounts of up to 15 to 20 percent if customers are willing to move on off-peak dates. This can help customers with flexible moving dates to save money on their move.

 

Specs

  • Types of moves: Local, long-distance, international
  • Customer support: Phone, email, live chat
  • Auto transport: Yes
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation up to 48 hours before the move
  • Deposit required: 25 percent of quoted price

Pros

  • Free estimate breakdown readily available
  • Helpful moving cost and budgeting calculator
  • Discounts available for customers with flexible moving dates

Cons

  • Somewhat user-unfriendly online inventory system
  • 25 percent deposit required at booking

Best Moving Container

The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Option PODS
Photo: pods.com

Why It Made the Cut: PODS offers storage container sizes to meet various needs, and it offers services designed for moves to major cities such as Los Angeles.

Customers who are willing to take on some of the manual labor in exchange for lower moving costs may want to consider renting a moving container from PODS. While the company’s containers may be more expensive than some of its competitors’ containers, customers will be able to choose a container size that best fits their needs without paying for space they don’t need. PODS moving containers come in 8-, 12-, and 16-foot options, making it one of the best moving container companies for customers who want a variety of container sizes to choose from.

Because local regulations may limit where storage containers can be placed and for how long, customers will want to do their research before choosing this option. However, if storage containers are permitted, customers will be able to take advantage of additional PODS features that appeal to customers moving to a big city like LA, including content protection plans ranging from $5,000 to $300,000 that cover a customer’s belongings. When customers choose the PODS City Service upgrade, a PODS driver will stay with and monitor the container to prevent theft while the customer is unloading it, which can increase a customer’s comfort level with this option.

 

Specs

  • Types of moves: Local, long-distance, international to United Kingdom and Australia
  • Customer support: Phone
  • Auto transport: Through third party
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation until 4 p.m. on the day before the move
  • Deposit required: Varies by service

Pros

  • Wide size range of containers with options of 8, 12, and 16 feet
  • Flexible content protection plans ranging from $5,000 to $300,000 in value

Cons

  • Prices may be relatively high
  • Storage container placement may be limited by local regulations

Best Customer Service

The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Option Two Men and a Truck
Photo: twomenandatruck.com

Why It Made the Cut: Two Men and a Truck has an impressive 96 percent referral rating as well as a variety of ways for customers to get a quote.

Californians looking to have a worry-free moving day may want to consider Two Men and a Truck. The company boasts an impressive 96 percent referral rate, which can give prospective customers peace of mind that their move will go smoothly if they choose this company. That said, customers will want to look at the reviews for their local franchise, as the customer experience, as well as pricing and policies, can vary from location to location.

Prospective customers can get a quote from the company in one of three ways: online, by phone, or via text message. The online quote process is very thorough and can provide customers with a more realistic and tailored quote. The ability to get a quote via text is somewhat unique and provides an additional avenue for those who prefer to do business from their phones.

Although customers will need to book a separate company for their auto transport needs, Two Men and a Truck offers some additional services to eliminate the number of parties involved in the move. This includes junk removal, allowing the customer to declutter before their move, as well as post-move cleaning. Two Men and a Truck also offers storage for customers who won’t be moving into their new place immediately.

 

Specs

  • Types of moves: Local, long-distance
  • Customer support: Phone, email, live chat
  • Auto transport: No
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation up to 36 hours before the move
  • Deposit required: Not specified

Pros

  • High 96 percent customer referral rate
  • 3 convenient ways to get a quote, including a comprehensive online process
  • Junk removal services available

Cons

  • Pricing, policies, and customer experience may vary by location
  • No auto transport services

Also Consider

The Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles Option RockStar Pro Movers
Photo: rockstarpromovers.com

Why It Made the Cut: Rockstar Pro Movers offers competitively priced local moves, plus responsible junk removal services.

Local movers offer the customer the benefits of knowing the area inside and out, and few offer better services than Rockstar Pro Movers. This local moving company, which vows to treat its customers “like a Rockstar,” offers affordable moves that start at just $399, though customers will need to complete an online quote to get an actual price. Rockstar Pro Movers also offers discounts for local moves, which is beneficial for those moving within the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Rockstar Pro Movers is also a long-distance moving company, offering moving services within the state of California as well as out-of-state moves. The company’s website provides basic information about its available services, but potential customers will need to call the company to learn about its cancellation policy, deposit requirements, available insurance plans, and how customers can keep in touch with the company during the move.

In addition to moving, the company also offers junk removal and storage services, which means customers will have fewer parties involved in their move. The company aims to recycle, repurpose, and donate items collected via junk removal rather than simply haul them all to the landfill, which helps customers feel better about their environmental footprint.

 

Specs

  • Types of moves: Local, long-distance
  • Customer support: Phone, email
  • Auto transport: No
  • Cancellation policy: Not specified
  • Deposit required: Not specified

Pros

  • Junk removal services available
  • Discounts available for local moves

Cons

  • Limited information available online
  • No auto transport services

Our Verdict

United Van Lines is our Best Overall pick for several reasons. It offers a broad range of services, many of which are tailored to meet the needs of those moving to and from a big city. UVL’s services also cover the gamut from vehicles to specialty items. With its discounts and transparent pricing, our Runner-Up pick, International Van Lines, is also a worthy choice.

How We Chose the Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles

In making our selections, we chose only companies that have the proper licensing and insurance to handle all types of moves. Since moving in a big city comes with its own set of challenges, we chose moving companies that offer services that cater to those needs, including special item packaging, vehicle transportation, and specialized services for apartments. The cost of a move is always paramount in the minds of customers, so we made sure to select companies that offer clear and accurate quotes and competitive pricing. All of the companies we selected have favorable cancellation policies and require deposits that are reasonable and no greater than 25 percent of the total cost of the move. Customer service is key with any move, so the companies we selected are easy to reach, with many offering multiple methods for contacting customer service.

Before You Hire One of the Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles

While checking to make sure a moving company has the proper licensing and insurance is important before making a selection, there are other questions customers may also want to ask, whether they’re researching how to move to another state or plan to remain within California. Customers will also want to confirm that their moving company is a carrier and not a broker. Since a broker is only responsible for booking the moving service, the customer does not truly know who is moving their belongings. Customers will also want to find out how long the move will take, especially if the move is to a different state or long distance, so they can plan accordingly. Finally, customers will always want to ask how a company handles claims for lost or damaged items to ensure they can get compensation in the event either occurs.

Cost of Hiring One of the Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles

The cost to move to or from Los Angeles, or even within the city limits, can vary significantly based on the size of the move and distance. Customers can expect to pay an average of $348 to $3,280 for a local move in Los Angeles. Out-of-state moves are more expensive and can cost from $1,557 to $13,169. Along with distance and the number of belongings, there are other factors that influence cost, including specialty items (such as grandfather clocks, artwork, and antique furniture), packing services, post-move cleaning services, and the cost to rent furniture from one of the best furniture rental companies if a customer’s existing furniture is incompatible with their new home’s layout. Customers can help cut costs by handling packing, cleaning, and other aspects of the move on their own. If a professional moving company is not in the budget, customers can save a significant amount of money by renting a truck and doing the move on their own.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Moving Companies in Los Angeles

While using the best moving company may cost more than the average moving company, it’s usually well worth the additional money. The best moving companies know how to pack for a move, reducing the likelihood that their customers will suffer scratched furniture, broken dishware, and other moving casualties. They will also be familiar with the complexities of moving in a big city and can help their clients navigate parking issues. The top moving companies also offer reliable service. Customers can expect the best moving companies in California to show up at the scheduled time and move their belongings in a timely manner. Hiring one of the best moving companies also has the following advantages:

  • The best moving companies are experts in safely packing and moving property;
  • They are familiar with moving in a big city such as Los Angeles; and
  • They will show up on time and execute the move in a timely manner.

FAQs

Read on to find out what time of week or time of year is most affordable for moving, how you should tip your movers, and more pointers for how to select a moving company.

Q. How do I choose a moving company?

While it’s impossible to hire a moving company that will absolutely ensure a trouble-free move, there are things you can do to minimize problems. It’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple companies so you can compare their services and rates. Don’t be afraid to ask a moving company for referrals and conduct your due diligence by reading online reviews from former customers. Be wary of companies that ask for high deposits that are greater than 25 percent of the total cost of the move or that don’t apply the deposit to the cost of the move.

Q. What is the cheapest day to hire a moving company?

The cheapest days to hire a moving company are on off-peak days, which are Monday through Thursday since most people plan their moves for the weekend. In terms of time of year, scheduling a move between the months of September and April can help customers save money.

Q. Do you tip movers in Los Angeles?

The amount you should tip movers in Los Angeles depends on the size of your move. For a half-day move, it’s advised to tip each mover at least $10. For longer full-day moves, you’ll want to double that to at least $20 per mover. Of course, you can adjust your tip based on how you feel about the quality of the service.

Q. How can I save money when moving?

If you want to save money on moving costs, then consider DIY-ing part or even the entire move. Instead of hiring a professional moving company, you can rent a moving truck from one of the best moving truck rental companies. If you don’t like the idea of driving a moving truck, consider renting a pod from one of the best moving container companies and handling the loading and unloading yourself. If you would like to use a professional moving company, you can still save money by scheduling your move on an off-peak day.