How to Choose an Interstate Moving Company

What should I look for in an interstate moving company?

First of all, keep the following factors in mind when choosing an interstate moving company:

  • Your budget: The average cost of an interstate move is around $4,890 based on an average weight of 7,500 pounds (equivalent to a two-to-three-bedroom home) and an average distance of 1,000 miles. To determine how much your move will cost, use our free moving cost calculator. To learn what impacts the cost of an interstate move and how to save money on your interstate move, read our guide to “Here’s How Much Your Interstate Move Will Cost.”
  • Your moving needs: Do you need to move your car? Do you have any specialty items that require special care, such as heavy or fragile or valuable items (pianos, fine art, a wine collection, etc.)? You need to find a moving company equipped to handle any specialty items you have. Do you need packing supplies and services? Make sure the mover you hire can provide these services.
  • Your timeline: If you are flexible with your timeline, you might have more options in choosing a moving company. If you need to pull off a
    last-minute move, it might cost more and will limit your choices, but it can be done. Use ourchecklist for moving to another state to minimize stress regardless of your timeline.
  • The moving company’s license, insurance, reputation and reliability: The moving company should be properly licensed and insured, and be willing and prepared to prove it to you. If it transports across state lines, the company should be registered with the FMCSA. In addition to asking the mover directly, you can search the agency’s website to see if a mover is registered and insured. Also, check to see if the company is a member of the American Mover and Storage Association. Read the reviews, ask for recommendations, and get estimates from at least three companies before you book (while making sure you know exactly what the estimates include).

What should I look for in an interstate moving company?

What impacts the cost of an interstate move?

The cost of an interstate move is affected by three key factors:

  • The weight of your shipment of household belongings: The more stuff you move, the more expensive your move will be.
  • The mileage between your point of origin and your destination: This means that it will cost considerably more to move, for example, from New York City to Los Angeles than a little over 50 miles to a nearby town.
  • Labor costs: They vary by state and moving company.

Other cost factors to consider

Some of these costs are common, others vary by the moving company and the specifics of your move.

  • Add-on services: If you want the movers to pack and unpack you, it will cost more. And if they’re bringing their own packing supplies, that will factor in, too. If you need the moving company to temporarily store your belongings, you’ll also pay extra.
  • Fuel charges: The longer your belongings have to travel the more you’ll pay.
  • Liability and valuation coverage: According to federal law, interstate movers are required to provide customers with two different valuation coverage options: full-value protection and released value protection. Full-value protection is the more comprehensive option and requires the mover to replace items or reimburse you with money for the item’s current value. Released value protection covers .60 cents per pound per item. This is considered the more economical option, but as you can see it only covers the bare minimum.
  • Additional protection coverage: If you are concerned about your especially valuable items, you might want to purchase additional insurance from a third party. Be sure to check to see if you have coverage with your current homeowners insurance first.
  • Moving date: You’ll save some money if you move at a certain time of year, month, week, and even day. The best time to move during the year is between mid-September and April. The best time of the month to move is mid-month. The best time of the week to move is on a weekday. And the best time of the day to move is early morning.

Need moving services? We're here to help!

Get up to 4 free quotes from top quality movers

How to prepare for an interstate move

Hiring a professional moving company for your interstate move will certainly make your life easier, especially if they will also help with packing and storage. However, there are some items on your moving checklist that only you can check off, such as:

  1. Determine your moving needs
    Do you think you need professional help or you can pull a DIY move? Start with thinking about whether you are going to hire a moving company or rent a truck. What can you afford? What do you need to move? Either way, get at least three quotes from three different companies. The sooner you accomplish this, the sooner you can move on to other tasks. (We recommend that you research the companies eight weeks before the move and get quotes and hire them at least seven weeks before the move.)
  2. Create a moving checklist (and stick to it)
    You can use our moving checklist or create your own, but you’ll need some sort of a list to guide you through the process and leading up to the moving day. As new tasks come, add them to the list. Staying organized will reduce the stress of moving.
  3. Get rid of stuff
    Toss, recycle or donate what you don’t need. You’ll be thankful you did come moving day. Go through your belongings room by room and take an honest inventory of how much you have and what you can let go of. For more tips on how to purge and declutter, read our “94 Moving Hacks for Faster, Easier, Less Stressful Moves.”
  4. Get packing supplies
    Unless the movers are supplying them and packing your stuff, you’ll need packing supplies: boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and so on. You can often score free packing supplies like boxes from local retailers or friends and family. Use’s packing and moving box calculator to determine how many boxes and other moving supplies you’ll need.
  5. Let people know you’re moving
    What you’ll need to do depends on your circumstances, but, typically, you’ll need to transfer or cancel utilities in your old home and set up utilities in your new home. You’ll need to find new healthcare providers and move your medical records. Moving with pets? You should collect your pet’s veterinarian records. If your kids are moving to a new school district, notify the school of the move and find a school in your new area. For a comprehensive list of who needs to know that you’re moving, read our “Change of Address Checklist: Who to Notify When You Move.”
  6. Make an inventory
    The movers can help with that, but it’s ultimately on you to create an inventory of your belongings, including taking pictures of them. This is a precautionary step you will hopefully have no need for, but it will come in handy if you need to file a damage claim. If, unfortunately, you do, read our guide on “How to File a Moving Complaint.”

How to prepare for an interstate move

Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about interstate moves.

  • What is an interstate move?
    An interstate move is when you move from one state to another. It is regulated primarily by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • What is an intrastate move?
    An intrastate move is a move that takes place within the borders of one state.
  • How do I know if a company is legitimate?
    It’s always a good idea to check reviews and ratings online. Our moving company directory provides a mover’s BBB rating, business information, complaint history, certifications and customer reviews. You can also check a mover’s USDOT number on the FMCSA’s search engine, located under the “Search Movers & Complaint History” website tab.
  • What sort of insurance is available for interstate moves to protect my belongings?
    Interstate movers are federally required to carry two types of insurance, full-value protection and released value protection. Full-value protection is the more comprehensive option and requires the mover to replace items or reimburse you with money for the item’s current value. Basic released value protection covers .60 cents per pound per item. If you have valuables, consider purchasing third-party insurance. Sometimes, your homeowners insurance might provide coverage, so please check on that as well. Red flag: If the mover doesn’t offer any kind of insurance, they’re not a legitimate moving company.
  • Is it cheaper to buy new furniture or pack it for an interstate move?
    It’s up to you. There are no hard rules, but some furniture just isn’t worth moving. Ask yourself some questions to help determine whether it will be worth the price to keep this item of furniture: Is it functional? Does it have sentimental value? Will it be practical to move? How old is it? Will it fit in the new home? Can I afford to replace it?

Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about interstate moves.

Our Rating Methodology

We conducted in-depth research, comparing multiple interstate moving companies. We found that these seven moving companies have services and qualities that set them apart from the competition, including large fleet sizes, wide availability, solid reputations, accurate websites, a myriad of moving services and customer-friendly offerings. We are confident that any of these companies will be able to meet the needs of your next interstate move.

Our seven best interstate moving companies have been thoroughly vetted and researched by our moving experts. When assessing and comparing moving companies we looked at a number of key factors, including:

  • Services offered — We looked at the complete range of services offered by the company.
  • Availability — How many states is the moving company operating in?
  • Valuation coverage options — Does the company offer full value along with the released value? Is the full-value coverage customizable?
  • Price transparency — Are the prices for the services the company offers easily obtainable upon request?
  • Customer service — What is the average customer service experience with this provider? Are the customer reviews overwhelmingly positive?
  • Website accuracy — Does this company have an up-to-date website that’s easy to navigate? Does it provide the information you’ll need to decide whether you want to use their services? Can you schedule a move online?
  • BBB ratings and overall reputation — What’s the company’s standing with the Business Better Bureau (BBB)? Are there any alerts, pending lawsuits or red flags?
  • Moving quote process — How easy is it to get a quote? Is there an option to do it online? By calling? Both?
  • Costs — What is included in the estimate? What isn’t? Is financing available? Is a moving deposit required?
  • Types of estimates offered — Does the company offer binding estimates? Fixed rates?
  • Shipment tracking abilities — Does this moving company have GPS or online tracking options?
  • Fleet size — Does the company have a range of container sizes and trailers to offer?
How to Choose an Interstate Moving Company
Scroll to top