The 5 Best Long Distance Movers For New Homeowners (2022 Updated!)

Jim Gray, Licensed AgentDecember 5, 2022

If you’ve ever had to move across the country for work, you’ll know how especially daunting these moves can be. The many considerations you have to make—what to pack, what you need to transfer, what’s available in your new area—are all swirling in your head, and then you need to decide whether you want to use movers. There are tons of long distance movers out there, but how good are they? Which one should you choose?

Agent Advice has done the research so you don’t have to. We’ve spent hours researching the best long distance movers based on service features, price, and situation. Here’s our list of the best long distance movers for the new homeowner!

The 5 Best Long Distance Movers for Your Out-of-State Move

Best Full-Service Option: International Van Lines

Top Features: Done-for-you moving, great customer service

Why we chose it: First up on our list is International Van Lines, a fantastic full-service moving solution. They can handle local, long distance, and international moves. They’re known for their excellent customer service—which you shouldn’t sneeze at for high-intensity moves like this—and their top-down approach to moving. Additionally, they offer storage services and auto transportation. 

International Van Lines will pack and transport everything in your home to your new address no matter where it is—though you can pack yourself if you prefer. They’ll also store your things near your old home for one month free until you’re ready to move; you can also have them stored near the new location for an extra cost and deliver them when you’re ready. They’ll move your belongings by ocean carrier, freight, and air.

Included in your International Van Lines move are loading and unloading, furniture assembly and protection, mileage, fuel, and taxes. This also includes liability protection at $0.60 per pound per article up to $10,000, though you can get full-value protection at extra cost. You can pay more to have them move your car and other specialty items. 

International Van Lines has moving coordinators across the globe ready to help you with the process. A long distance move requires 4 weeks’ notice during peak season, which is March to September, and 2 weeks’ notice during the off-season. You can get a free quote for their services over the phone or online. What’s great is you’re able to cancel for free up to 48 hours before you move!

If you’re trying to move to another state or country and want everything done for you, International Van Lines is the best there is. Their customer service and cancellation policy make them very easy to work with, too. 

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International Van Lines Pros
  • Excellent full-service options
  • Award-winning customer service
  • Decent cancellation policy
International Van Lines Cons
  • No container-moving option yet
  • Deposit is required

Best Insurance Options: Allied Van Lines

Top Features: Extra Care Protection, no deposit required

Why we chose it: When it comes to coverage on your belongings, Allied Van Lines does it best. They provide basic and full-service solutions for local, long distance, and international moves. They even offer services for corporate relocations. Their customizable insurance options and expansive moving partners make them an extremely convenient and reliable company for your long distance move.

With Allied Van Lines, they offer a wide range of different services that can be added on, making them extremely customizable. A personal relocation consultant will sit down with you to go over your needs. They offer full or fragile-only packing, in-transit and long-term storage, furniture assembly, boat and car shipping, and more. They’ll make custom crates for oddly shaped items, like appliances. 

When it comes to insurance, Allied Van Lines offers basic liability coverage by default, where they’ll reimburse you at $0.60 per pound per article. You can also take advantage of their Extra Care Protection, one of the most comprehensive protection plans around. ECP covers the cost of repair or replacement of any item that’s lost, damaged, or destroyed, which extends to pairs and sets. Your consultant will even help you cover high-value items before the move.

With thousands of moving providers across the globe, Allied Van Lines is available to help with your long-distance move. Price is based on the size and weight of items along with the distance and date. The quoting process is extremely easy through their online tool, but you can also go over this with your consultant. You can even cancel for free up until the time of loading! That’s a lot of grace.

If you’re the type of person who needs the assurance that your items will be covered, which is completely reasonable for a long distance move, Allied Van Lines offers the best insurance deal there is. 

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Allied Van Lines Pros
  • Fantastic insurance options
  • No deposit is required to book
  • Simple quote process
Allied Van Lines Cons
  • No 24/7 claims number
  • Pricier option comparatively

Most Customizable Service: North American Van Lines

Top Features: Highly adjustable package, Blue Express

Why we chose it: Taking the spot of our most customizable solution is North American Van Lines. They provide services as basic or full-service as you want for local, long-distance, and international moves. It has one of the largest reaches of any leading moving company. They give you the freedom to adjust your moving package to your liking, and they have many additional features to take advantage of.

North American Van Lines is a full-service solution by heart. They service residential, corporate, and military moves. What makes them special is their focus on customization. You can choose precisely what you need from their many services. All the standard features of a long distance mover are there: storage near pick-up and the new home, tracking through satellite, full-service or fragile-only packing, and vehicle shipping. They also have Blue Express, their container moving service.

North American Van Lines offers comprehensive coverage for possessions. If an item is lost or damaged beyond repair, you’ll receive full reimbursement based on the declared value of the item without consideration of depreciation. This is determined by your Valued Inventory Form, so it’s important to take the time to fill that out appropriately. They’ll even help you receive marine insurance if needed.

North American Van Lines has a huge network of moving partners, servicing all 50 states. Price is based on the usual factors, and you can receive an online quote. You’ll need a home estimator to evaluate your items before getting a solid estimate, though. As for cancellation, it varies by location, but they can usually only occur within 3 days of signing the work order. 

If you’re someone who wants to pay for the exact services they want and nothing else, then North American Van Lines is a good fit. Their team will pack, load, unload your items for you, and they’ll even throw out debris for you.

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North American Van Lines Pros
  • Comprehensive and customizable
  • Container moving available
  • No deposit is required to book
North American Van Lines Cons
  • Less flexible cancellation policy
  • Relatively expensive

Most Flexible: Mayflower Transit

Top Features: Last-minute cancellations, tons of additional features

Why we chose it: By far the most flexible service on this list is Mayflower Transit. They offer short and long distance moves, and they’re particularly praised for the latter. They have an extremely customizable package that can be as full-service as you’d like. They offer full-value protection on your belongings and are available nationwide to handle your move. 

Mayflower Transit offers local, long-distance, and international moving services. They’ll also handle corporate and military relocations; in fact, they’re particularly geared to deal with military personnel and government employees as a GSA-approved carrier. There are several other premium services you can tack on: storage, auto transport, packing and unpacking, specialty items, furniture assembly, and crating. 

Worried about insurance? Worry not! Mayflower Transit offers full-value protection for all of its moves. That means that no matter what, they’ll completely cover any lost, damaged, or destroyed items. This is something that normally costs extra, so it’s a considerable advantage. They even provide claims assistance, identity theft, and additional valuation protection. 

Mayflower Transit is ready to move you wherever you are. You can get an instant quote from their website after completing a survey of your needs. Prices depend on size, weight, distance, and date. They offer an in-person and virtual assessment for a more accurate quote, which may be required if you have a complex move. Once accepting their services, you’re provided with a moving coordinator to help you with the process. Plus, you can cancel your move for free up to when the movers arrive. 

Mayflower Transit’s service is uniquely flexible and customizable for your needs. Their liability protection and cancellation policy add to their trustworthy nature, and their GSA-approved status makes them the perfect match for military families looking to move to a new home. 

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Mayflower Transit Pros
  • Great cancellation policy
  • Full-value protection for all moves
  • Well-suited for military families
Mayflower Transit Cons
  • No container moving available
  • An in-person quote can be inconvenient

Best for Smaller Moves: United Van Lines

Top Features: Snapmoves for smaller moves

Why we chose it: If your long distance move isn’t that intensive, you may want to consider United Van Lines. They offer local, long distance, and international moves in a variety of customizable, pick-and-choose packages to fit your needs. As a sister company to Mayflower Transit, they offer many of the same perks, including military relocations. 

United Van Lines offers loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, cleaning, appliance installation, specialty items, crating, and auto transportation. Each of these can be added or unadded depending on what you want. Smaller moves are aided by their Snapmoves program, which you can qualify for if you are moving storage units, studios, up to three-bedroom apartments, one-bedroom houses, and dorm rooms.

When it comes to insurance, United Van Lines offers basic liability coverage at $0.60 per pound per article. You can upgrade your coverage to Full Value Protection if needed; you’ll just need to complete a form. Coverage for this plan is based on $6 per pound, meaning if you have 2,000 pounds, coverage would be $12,000. They also offer claims assistance.

United Van Lines is operable in most states, excluding a few: Vermont, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Hawaii. They provide instant quotes and in-home estimates. You’ll be put in contact with a moving coordinator, who will walk you through and help you figure out your unique package, which can be very useful for deciding your budget. They also offer full transparency in shipping and free cancellation as long as no services have already been rendered.

Though long distance moves are rarely small, Snapmoves is an incredible and affordable option for those who qualify. Because of their extensive packages and coverage, United Van Lines is a very good option for your move.

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United Van Lines Pros
  • Snapmoves program
  • Transparent pricing
  • Comprehensive tracking
United Van Lines Cons
  • Pricier than competitors
  • No container moving

Honorable Mentions

We had a high bar in picking the best of the best long distance movers. These services didn’t make the cut (frankly, they’re not as great as our top picks – but were also considered).

Moving APT

Top Features: Moving broker with detailed information about partners

Why we chose it: Moving APT is your typical rags-to-riches story, starting with a couple of trucks and expanding to be one of the largest moving brokers in the country, meaning they’ll hook you up with an affiliated mover in your location. They offer local, long distance, and international moves, though the latter is limited by region. Their extensive partner network makes them available anywhere around the country.

Moving APT offers loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, custom crating, car transportation, some furniture assembly, and packing materials if you’re packing on your own. They also offer one free month of storage for all moves. Of course, these services vary depending on the area you’re in and the partner you’re working with. However, Moving APT is happy to connect you with someone who meets your needs.

All of their partners have to carry two insurance policies to operate under their name: released liability coverage and worker’s compensation. Accidents and injuries are common during moves, so this gives you peace of mind that you’re not liable for damages incurred. They cover at $0.60 per pound per article, and there may be advanced coverage, but this is something you’ll coordinate with Moving APT and your moving partner.

One of Moving APT’s greatest advantages is their partner profiles. They offer a database of their moving partners, describing their location, services, and reviews. Rather than trusting that the affiliated mover will do the job right, you can look through and pick the best for you. This transparency is a perfect asset to those who’ve had bad experiences with moving partners in the past. 

When it comes to booking, you can get a free quote from the moving partner, and Moving APT’s key selling point is their low prices. However, if you provide them with a quote from a competitor, they have price matching available. There are also tons of different discounts available!

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Moving APT Pros
  • Complete profiles for partnered movers
  • Price matching available
  • Tons of discounts to take advantage of
Moving APT Cons
  • Varied services in different areas
  • Some add-ons are not available in all locations

American Van Lines

Top Features: Flat rate pricing, heavy instrument moving

Why we chose it: American Van Lines is a premium mover with hubs in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, as well as smaller locations in the lower 48 states. They offer a well-trained crew at a transparent flat rate, which won’t change except in very specific cases. They never contract out to third parties, adding to their consistent quality of services. If you want to take advantage of as many services as possible, this might be the one for you.

American Van Lines provides local, long-distance, and international moving in basic and add-on services, including loading and unloading, full-service and partial packing, storage, furniture assembly, antique moving, and car shipping. They specialize in moving heavy instruments like pianos, as the staff is trained to disassemble and reassemble pianos. Talk about quality service! Plus, you don’t need to pay extra due to their flat rate pricing model. 

American Van Lines factors in the weight of your move and provides you with an upfront flat rate. From there, you can use as many of their different services as you want. They won’t try and gouge you, but the price will be higher for the service they provide. Plus, American Van Lines movers undergo drug tests and background screenings, so you’ll know you’re always working with professionals.

As for insurance, they offer Full Value Protection by default for an additional cost and Released Value Protection for free, with coverage at $0.60 per pound per article.

Unfortunately, American Van Lines does not offer GPS tracking, but you can rest assured that your items will be safely transported by their professional, uniformed moving experts. And, with their flat rate and a grab bag of different service features, you can get a lot out of what they offer. If you’re someone with antiques or heavy instruments, American Van Lines is a completely viable option.

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American Van Lines Pros
  • All services at a flat rate
  • Price matching available
  • Movers are background checked
American Van Lines Cons
  • Premium price tag
  • No GPS tracking
  • No weekend customer service

What to look for when hiring long distance movers

Now that we’ve covered our top picks for long distance movers, how can you decide which one is best for you? Let’s go through some best considerations you can look into before landing on a mover for you.

Consider your budget

The most obvious consideration to start with is what you can afford. A typical local move ranges in the hundreds of dollars, but a reasonable long distance move is going to set you back several thousand dollars at least, even more depending on how many items you have and additional services you tack on. While you can’t beat the ease that long distance movers bring, you should still make the best decision for your wallet.

For example, let’s say you’re moving out of a two-bedroom home with about 7,500 lbs of items to a location that’s 1,000 miles away. With all the standard services, a reasonable quote would be around $4,500 to $5,000 in this case, the average cost of a long distance move. If you have specialty items, want full-value protection, and need temporary storage options, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny. Plus, there are deposits to think of. 

Hiring a full-service moving company is going to be the most expensive solution, so if you’re looking to cut costs, opt for a solution that allows you to customize your services. DIYing as much of the move as you can seriously reduce the cost of the move. This can include things like packing and unpacking yourself, gathering your own packing materials, and disassembling and assembling furniture on your own. 

If you have the money to do a full-service move, though, it can seriously reduce the stress you’d normally experience. So, if you know that you’ll be moving in the next few months, try to have as many savings as possible. It’s better to leave these things to professionals, as you don’t want to lose or damage your items by hiring some buddies to take care of them for you.

What are you moving?

Another consideration to make is how much you’re moving. Long distance moves are typically priced by weight along with the distance traveled and date of the move. This means that while you might have items that are worth a lot more, the size of the items is worth a lot more. Plus, limited liability coverage is usually $0.60 per pound per item, so you should try to get an estimate of how heavy your move will be.

The heaviest items you’ll be moving are likely things like mattresses, bed frames, furniture, appliances, and electronics. Then, you’ll probably have boxes full of items, and then lighter boxes or bags of things like clothes, hangers, and non-perishable food items. You don’t have to plop this all down on a scale, but you should do your best to list every item and box and jot down how much you think it ways.

The moving company you choose may conduct an in-home estimate, where they’ll measure things and estimate their total weight. These sessions will take a little time, but you should have a solid quote for how much their services will be. If you’re moving a specialty item like a piano or a vehicle, you’ll want to choose a service that offers this, but it usually comes at an additional cost. You may even need temporary storage, so find a service that offers that near your pick-up or new location.

If you’re looking to cut down on the number of belongings you have to move, it’s best to donate the items you don’t need or host a yard sale to get some extra cash for things you can easily buy in your new location. Your price may be affected by the size of the truck they need, so packing things in bags rather than boxes when you can is a great way to reduce the amount of space needed on the truck.

When are you moving and how long is the haul?

As said, the other considerations you need to make are the day you’re moving and the distance of the move. If you’re moving during peak season, which is March to September, you’ll likely be paying top dollar for moving services. If you’re moving during the off-season, which is September to March, you’ll probably get a decent price or discount. Keep these things in mind when you’re deciding on the correct service.

When it comes to distance, there’s not really much you can change to reduce the price. However, you should choose a moving service that’s available in your region. Many of the above companies operate in most if not all 50 states, but you should ensure this is the case before deciding on one to go with. Companies usually have main hubs in certain areas and smaller locations throughout the country. If you’re conducting an international move, you’ll have to pick one that offers sea or air moves. 

Start looking for quotes the minute you know when you need to move. Many of these companies require you to plan ahead of time with them, so you shouldn’t be looking for movers a week before your desired move date. There’s also cancellation to take into account. Review the company’s cancellation policy. Do they offer free cancellation up to the time of the move, or do they only allow this a couple of days before?

What sort of insurance does your mover provide?

Whether or not you’re worried about your items being damaged or lost, you should always take advantage of insurance options when considering which moving company you want to work with. Long distance moves are rife with possibilities for logistics issues, opportunities for damage, and extenuating circumstances. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Most, if not all, moving companies offer two forms of insurance: limited liability coverage and worker’s compensation. Limited liability typically covers $0.60 per pound per item, meaning if you have 7,500 pounds worth of stuff, you’ll be covered for $4,500. This usually comes free with your service. Worker’s compensation is provided in the event of a moving crew injury, meaning you won’t be liable if that happens.

Many companies also offer full value protection for an additional cost, but some offer this on all moves at standard prices. This means that if anything is damaged or lost during the move, they’ll cover the repair or replacement no matter the cost, whichever is cheaper. This can provide really good peace of mind, so you may want to look into this option. You never know what could happen from Point A to Point B.

Besides those, some companies will offer coverage for high-value items, like china or electronics. These are usually items that are worth more than $100 per pound. You’ll need to go through an inventory checklist to value these items before the move with your moving coordinator. There’s also claim assistance available for many companies, but you should ensure this is the case. 

All in all, the amount of coverage you choose depends on the belongings you have and how much they’re valued. You don’t want to pay for coverage you won’t need, but it’s good to have multiple levels of coverage for your situation. 

How much (or how little) do you want to do? 

Lastly, you should decide how much you actually want to participate in the move. This goes back to what we were talking about with DIYing your move or choosing a full-service option. Usually, full-service solutions are the priciest on the market, but not needing to pack or assemble items during your move is a great feeling. Many companies offer full-service solutions if you choose.

The standard services typically include loading and unloading the truck, including the truck itself and the labor involved. Other services include cleaning, furniture assembly, packing services, vehicle transportation, packing materials, debris removal, storage, crating, appliance installation, and specialty item moving. Some even offer container moving if you have a storage container. That’s a lot of different services, and you might need every single one.

In this case, you should decide how full-service or self-service you want your move to be. Many times, you’ll speak with a moving coordinator, who will help you decide the best package based on your needs. You can add on services as needed for an additional cost, and this will be put down in your operating agreement. 

Agents that are here to help 

Long distance moving is stressful, but the right service can make the process a breeze. With full-service solutions, insurance coverage, and quality customer service, your mind can be set at ease as professionals take care of your move for you.

Agent Advice has done the research so you don’t have to. We have tons of helpful articles for everything real estate, from out of state moving guidelines to deciding on the right real estate service for you. With the right long distance mover, you can start making your new house a home in no time. 

Our Methodology:

Our in-house real estate experts spent hundreds of hours researching, scoring, and ranking the best long distance movers available.  We looked at everything from pricing and ease of use to the specific real estate industry features that are available. We’ve ranked and rated each moving company on 4 different factors to come up with the very best long distance movers. The short version of factors considered are: 

  1. Cost: Not all long distance movers are created equal, so it’s important to look at what’s included with your purchase. Some companies charge upwards of $1000 up front, which is why we take into account the price of the service and compare it to the features and extra resources provided.
  2. Features: Different long distance moving companies come with different feature sets. Additionally, people don’t have a lot of extra time to worry about packing things correctly, so the more it just works with their natural lifestyle, the better. That’s why we’ve rated the moving companies that are easier for people to navigate higher than the ones that are more complicated to work with.
  3. Quality: Long distance movers are very important to vet if you want to make the moving process as hassle free as possible. However, some moving companies are more effective than others. The type of movers you need may vary depending on the type of relocation you are planning. You’ll want to be able to bring in an even mix of packers and drivers that can handle all aspects of the move – which is why this is a big factor we’ve considered.
  4. Overall performance: At the end of the day, all long distance movers need to have a good ROI. Our experts looked for how the features meet the specific needs of people looking to relocate.

About the Author

Jim Gray got licensed in 2013 and sold 57 houses in his first year. Over the next 6 1/2 years he went on to sell 437 homes with a small team. He went on to manage the lead generation department of the 13th largest expansion team at Keller Williams and designed lead generation and conversion systems for 60 agents in 7 locations in 4 states that drove 600 home sales in a 2 year period. Jim currently does real estate team development and coaching for some of the largest real estate teams in the country. 

Last Updated: 12/5/2022

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