Moving is an exercise in annoyance — the packing and purging, the bubble wrap and boxes, and all that lugging and heavy lifting only to turn around and do the whole process again in reverse at your new home. Relocating out of state or across the country can bring on a whole new level of headache as you try to plot out your best route and time of year for the trek, search for short-term storage services and figure out how to get your vehicles from point A to point B.
While any move is sure to go more smoothly with the help of a hired crew, long-distance moves require a level of logistics that may be best left to the professionals. But how do you know you are choosing the right mover for your needs without putting too much of a hurt on your wallet?
To help with your decision, our team has researched dozens of professional movers and narrowed the list down to the best long-distance movers based on critical factors such as overall cost, services and customer satisfaction.
7 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Check out the top options for the best long-distance movers:
International Van Lines: Best for Full-Service Moves
International Van Lines (IVL) is our top pick for long-distance moves because of its widespread availability, moving industry experience and specialty services. Founded in 2004, the company specializes in long-distance relocation services in all 50 states and 180 countries through its full-service approach, including packing and unpacking and loading and unloading.
The company has several optional add-on services to support long-distance moves, such as vehicle transport and short- and long-term storage. In addition, IVL can pack and transport large or expensive items like pianos, motorcycles and antiques at reasonable rates.
International Van Lines also offers the following services:
- Optional temporary storage
- Partial packing
- GPS shipment tracking
- Fragile-only packing
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly
- Moving checklist
- Packing and moving supplies
- Moving calculator
Pros and Cons of International Van Lines
✅ Creates customized crates for electronics and other large or fragile items
✅ Gives a 10%–15% military discount
✅ Specializes in international moves, including those requiring air freight or transport by boat
❌ Has a minimum size requirement of 200 cubic feet or 1,400 pounds total shipment weight and therefore may not be ideal for smaller moves
❌ Requires a 25% up-front deposit to reserve your moving date
IVL will determine a ballpark estimate of your move based on how far you are moving, the date of your move and the number of belongings you are moving, measured in total weight. The company does not give binding estimates or flat-rate pricing. You can customize your IVL moving package with IVL by selecting either a full- or partial packing service. The addition of any optional services will also increase your total cost.
To secure a moving date with International Van Lines, you must pay an up-front deposit of 25% of your total quoted cost. IVL accepts credit cards and cash. The company also provides a 10%–15% discount on your total bill if you are active or retired military.
What Customers Say About International Van Lines
We analyzed numerous customer reviews about International Van Lines, and customers who were happy with the company mentioned quality customer service often. However, those less pleased frequently cited a lack of communication and damage to their belongings. Below are two example reviews from Trustpilot, an online customer feedback platform.
“What a great team! They were professional, courteous, safe and efficient. We moved a large home to a new state, and they did exactly what they promised. I am more than impressed with International Van Lines and would definitely book them again in the future.” —Isaias Torphy, 2021
“…Initially, I was very impressed with the customer service support. When the movers actually arrived, I was impressed with their friendliness, hard work and dedication to their jobs…. When the load was delivered, the same crew — plus a local hire — unloaded with the same speed and dedication shown earlier. I fed the men when loading and unloading. Based on their hard work, I also tipped them. However, when I began unpacking my items, I found that irreparable damage was done to a number of items and furniture had scratches and chips that had not been there before…. I truly believe that the damage could be attributed to the truck being overloaded and the speed of work done by the movers, resulting in carelessness.” —Marcene, 2021
Free Estimate: Visit the International Van Lines Website
American Van Lines: Best for Out-of-State Moves
We picked American Van Lines (AVL) as the overall best out-of-state mover because the company has a long-standing reputation in the industry. In business since 1967, AVL specializes in long-distance moves in 48 states (not available in Alaska and Hawaii) and offers a variety of add-on options, such as special handling of fragile items and disassembly and reassembly of your furniture.
Since AVL does not outsource its business to a network of local movers, customers directly communicate with the company handling their long-distance move. All of AVL’s movers are employed full time and have been thoroughly prescreened before hiring. Moving crew members must also complete annual training on proper packing and handling procedures.
American Van Lines provides the following additional services:
- Climate-controlled storage
- Packing and unpacking
- Vehicle shipping
- Loading and unloading
- Moving checklist and online resources
- Online shipment tracking
- Moving supplies
- Full-valuation coverage
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly
Pros and Cons of American Van Lines
✅ Functions solely as a carrier and therefore does not broker moves with third-party local companies
✅ Employs full-time, vetted and annually trained moving crew members
✅ Crew members are certified piano and antique movers
❌ Requires as much as half of your total moving cost as an up-front deposit
❌ Charges customers for a guaranteed delivery date
Since AVL provides only binding estimates, a company representative will first need to complete an in-person or virtual home assessment. As part of this walk-through, the company will factor how far you are moving, the time of year you plan to move, and your belongings’ total weight. American Van Lines also offers price-matching on competitor quotes.
The company requires an up-front deposit of 10%–50% of your total bill to reserve your moving date. Payments can be made by cash, credit card or check.
What Customers Say About American Van Lines
Based on customer reviews we analyzed on sites including the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, Yelp and Google Reviews, American Van Lines stands out for its professionalism and efficiency. Some negative reviews mention delays in receiving household belongings and poor communication during transportation. Below are two examples of customer reviews from Yelp and Google Reviews, respectively.
“We recently moved from [Florida] to [Texas] a couple weeks ago…. Not many items were damaged, as they were very careful to wrap up everything that was fragile. They showed up on the scheduled date and actually beat us to our new place. They took two days to pack and one day to unpack…. Tip: when the sales reps encourage you to list everything, list everything. This is extremely important. Anything that will not fit in the moving boxes that they’ve allotted needs to be itemized. If you are nonchalant about this step, then it could end up costing you in the end. Things you wouldn’t think about like rakes, shovels, folding camp chairs and boat paddles need to be listed. If you are extremely thorough, then the estimated price should not change.” —Benford A., 2021
“Excellent for a long-distance move if you don’t need your items by a certain date! You do have to pay in full before your items are delivered, though, which is risky if your items happen to be lost or damaged. My delivery date was changed about three times but everything arrived in pretty good condition.” —Emma Liston Draughn, 2019
Free Estimate: Visit the American Van Lines Website
North American Van Lines: Best for Customized Plans
If you are looking for a professional mover that can tailor its services to your specific needs, North American Van Lines (NAVL) may be a good fit. The company offers a traditional full-service package, including packing, loading, unloading and unpacking but can also accommodate partial-packing requests. In addition, NAVL has a full menu of a la carte-style offerings that allow you to customize your moving experience.
NAVL’s services include the following:
- Fragile-only packing
- House cleaning
- Debris removal
- Short- and long-term storage
- GPS tracking
- Vehicle relocation
- Mobile app for logging inventory
- Moving checklists
Pros and Cons of North American Van Lines
✅ Uses a WorldTrac satellite system for easy and accurate shipment tracking
✅ Offers a Not-to-Exceed Pricing package that allows your actual cost to be less than but never more than your personalized moving quote
✅ Will customize coverage to fit the value of your specific household items
❌ Requires a 25% deposit to book a moving date
❌ Has limited storage options, depending on location
As with most moving companies, North American Van Lines bases your moving cost in large part on where you are moving and when, as well as the size of your move, measured in total shipment weight. Other factors that can impact your NAVL quote include your home’s layout, the number of rooms in your home, any items that will require special handling services and the number and types of add-on services you select.
NAVL offers a discount program for American Legion members that provides up to $100,000 in replacement coverage protection on household items while in transit. American Legion discount program members also receive off-peak rates year-round, guaranteed quotes and exclusive moving rebates.
Labor union members and their families can enroll in a similar savings program that includes the perks in the American Legion program and up to $50,000 in replacement coverage and packing discounts.
NAVL does not require an up-front deposit and accepts credit cards, certified checks and cash.
What Customers Say About North American Van Lines
After analyzing numerous North American Van Lines reviews, we found that customers who were happy with their experience often mentioned quality moving services at an affordable price. However, those who were not as satisfied with the company cited communication issues and hidden fees. Below are two example reviews from Google Reviews.
“Extremely professional in all aspects of the move. The packers and movers were efficient and very respectful of my mother, who we were moving. Our sales rep worked well with all of the family and followed up on all of our questions and requests. [I] would definitely use North American again and would recommend them.” —Michael Davis, 2021
“Great experience from start to finish! [I] liked the follow up and speed, from the estimator to the move coordinator. [The] only issue was they were a day late on delivery (and didn’t communicate), but followed up with reasoning and resolved [the issue] quickly. The movers on both ends (both driver and labor) were awesome! Careful, thoughtful and efficient. Overall wonderful experience with a stressful process.” —Ashley Bianchi, 2019
Free Estimate: Visit the North American Van Lines Website
Allied Van Lines: Most Experienced Movers
Allied Van Lines has been in the moving business for more than 90 years, making the company our choice for experienced professional movers. Allied can accommodate full-service, partial-service and DIY moves of all sizes in all 50 states and more than 130 countries.
Many of Allied’s services — including vehicle transport, mobile storage containers and online shipment tracking — are tailored to out-of-state and cross-country moves. The company operates its own fleet of vehicle carriers to transport your car, boat, SUV, truck, van, RV or watercraft.
Allied Van Lines also offers the following services:
- Full-valuation coverage
- Climate-controlled storage
- DIY packing support
- Debris removal
- Appliance disconnection and reconnection
Pros and Cons of Allied Van Lines
✅ Offers disconnection and reconnection of major appliances as an optional service
✅ Provides vehicle shipping coverage of up to $100,000 with no deductible
✅ Will donate customers’ unwanted items to the Salvation Army as part of a partnership with the nonprofit organization
❌ Does not have 24/7 claims support
❌ Requires full payment in advance of moving day
Allied Van Lines will not give an instant online quote but instead provides flat-rate pricing. Flat-rate pricing, or a binding estimate, is the exact amount you can expect to pay on moving day.
To determine your flat-rate pricing, an Allied representative will conduct a virtual or in-person assessment of your home to determine the size of your move, as well as any overly large or unwieldy items. The assessment will also help Allied determine whether your home has any problematic access and exit points, such as narrow stairwells or low ceilings. Other factors that will affect the cost of your move with Allied include the distance and date of your relocation.
Allied Van Lines does not require an up-front deposit and accepts cash, credit cards and certified checks.
What Customers Say About Allied Van Lines
Online customer reviews mention Allied Van Lines’ expert handling of household items while packing and loading them into the moving truck. However, dissatisfied customers cite scheduling delays and lack of communication during transport. Below are two examples of customer feedback posted on Google Reviews.
“We are so pleased with our service! They arrived right in the middle of the estimated delivery window and both loading and unloading were quick and efficient. The movers were very organized and professional, with a systematic method for ensuring all property was loaded and unloaded. Further, they took great care to protect both our belongings and the buildings we moved out of and into. They were communicative with us throughout the whole process and were very responsive to our needs. We couldn’t be more pleased!” —Hattie Cutcliffe, 2021
“We had a great experience at pickup. The driver and crew were incredibly professional and efficient. Unfortunately, there were delivery delays due to a couple of miscommunications, which led to us waiting for six hours before the truck could be unloaded. Otherwise, it was a good experience.” —Katie Barrett, 2021
Free Estimate: Visit the Allied Van Lines Website
JK Moving: Best for Contents Coverage
JK Moving is another excellent full-service moving company. Similar to International Van Lines, it offerts customers a full-service move where JK employees pack, load, transport, unload and unpack their belongings for them. Depending on your budget, you can opt to just receive assistance with loading, transportation, and unloading or you can self-pack and allow JK to handle all the transportation.
JK Moving can assist with long distance moves in all 50 states and with international moves all over the globe. It stands out most for its contents coverage, with an optional comprehensive full-replacement value coverage, that reimburses you for any broken, damaged or missing items.
Read over some of the services JK Moving offers below:
- Partial or full-pack services
- Short-term or long-term storage
- Archive services for data management
- Car relocation services
- GPS tracking of your shipment
- Corporate relocation services
Pros and Cons of JK Moving
✅ Offers financing through Enhancify, including rates as low as 0%
✅ Provides full-service, partial-service, and self-service moves
✅ Works to customize each service for each customer
❌ Has limited availability when it comes to local moves (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C)
❌ Doesn’t provide much pricing information online
JK Moving is a full-service company that offers packing, crating, transportation, storage, and other moving services of corporate and government moves. One of JK’s standout features is its partnership with Enhancify. This partnership allows customers to receive financing on JK’s services for rates as low as 0% same-as-cash, which also helps customers finance their move without impacting their credit score.
JK Moving does not offer quote information on its website, but you can expect common factors similar to other moving companies to impact your overall cost with JK.
These factors include:
- Location of original residence
- Distance of the move
- Your moving date
- The size/weight of your move
What Customers Say About JK Moving
We analyzed customer reviews from sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, Trustpilot and Google Reviews to get a sense of how customers regard JK Moving.
The majority of JK Moving reviews were positive, commonly citing the company’s customer service, clear communication and fair pricing. Some negative reviews cited inaccurate estimates, claims process delays and damage to transported items.
Below are two examples of reviews from JK Moving customers on Yelp:
Awesome Movers! We thought this was going to be a rough couple of days but this JK crew were so helpful, so thorough, so easy and professional it ended up being a very positive experience! I want to acknowledge the packing crew too. Those ladies did such a good job, we were all so happy as we unpacked everything. Packed so well and organized! Everyone on this job knew what they were doing and put us at ease, especially our older mother. They were so nice and fair, paid attention and listened well, but mainly just great movers. Highly skilled at driving that big truck too! Highly recommend! – Robbie S. Yelp 2021
I used JK moving for two moves the past month. Both moves were done expeditiously, nothing got broken (a miracle) and all of the crew members, from the coordinator to the shipping crew and delivery crew were super amicable, super help full and everything was done in a timely fashion. Would recommend them 100%. – Mari Tere S. Yelp 2022
Free Estimate: Visit the JK Moving Website.
PODS: Best for DIY Moves
PODS is our top pick for DIY moves. If you’re looking for help with some portions of your move, such as transport and delivery, but want to pack and load yourself, PODS is a solid choice. It’s also a good fit for anyone who will need short- or long-term storage options before, during or after their relocation.
If you don’t want to take an entirely DIY approach to packing, PODS refers you out to services in your area. PODS then handles the challenge of transporting your items across the country for you. If anything goes wrong with moving into your new residence and you need your items held for a longer period of time, PODS stores them at one of their many storage facilities across the country.
PODS offers three different containers:
- 7-Foot Container: Ideal for studio apartment moves; packs area under 500 sq. ft.; similar to a 10’ moving truck
- 12-Foot Container: Ideal for small apartment or 2-3 room moves; packs a 500-800 sq. ft. space; similar to a 15’ moving truck
- 16-Foot Container: Ideal for homes with 3-4 rooms; packs approximately 1,200 sq. ft,; similar to a 20’ moving truck
Pros and Cons of PODS
✅ Offers flexibility in your moving schedule
✅ Is highly transparent about pricing
✅ Is available to help you move across the entire country
❌ Only offers packing and unloading via third-party
❌ Limits discounts to only military members
❌ Positive customer reviews vary according to location
Another great feature about PODS is the company’s transparency about its cost. For a long-distance move, the company’s website estimates it would cost $1,237 to $2,999 using just storage pods. For a full-service move, PODS estimates a cost of $4,890.
Some factors that PODS considers when pricing a move include:
- The distance of your move
- Which container size you need
- How many containers you need
- The location of your current residence
What Customers Say about PODS
In our assessment of PODS, we looked at more than 100 customer reviews across platforms like the BBB, Yelp, and Google Reviews to gauge its customer experience. The company has mixed customer reviews. Negative reviews commonly complained about billing issues, delays and poor communication. Many positive reviews noted the ease of working with PODS and praised its simplified pickups and deliveries.
Here are a few current customer reviews from Yelp:
We were able to reduce the costs of our interstate move significantly and have a lot more flexibility to pack and unpack in stages using multiple PODS. We had very little damage and were quite pleased to have more control over the logistics of our move. We used guys from local moving companies on each end to help us load and unload the PODS, great decision, well worth it. The local PODS drivers were all great. My only caveat is that some of the phone service reps are better than others – the great ones can save you huge time and energy to set up or change pickups and deliveries. If you don’t get someone real sharp on the phone, call back again a little later to avoid lots of frustration and wasted time. – Sharon R. Yelp – 2021
I was told at time of scheduling I would be able to call 24hrs prior to delivery of pod container to my new location. Called today and nothing is available until April 1st and we need to be out of our current house by the 30th. Otherwise the customer service rep was really nice. The manager replied to my upset review quickly suggested I call again and they were able to schedule my pod delivery earlier then previously scheduled. Thank you so much for listening to your customers and having friendly staff. – Sandy M. Yelp – 2021
Free Estimate: Visit the PODS Website
1-800-PACK-RAT: Best for Storage Options
1-800-PACK-RAT is the third self-service mover on this list. It offers a variety of moving container sizes and storage solutions, earning our vote for providing the best storage options, with three all-steel storage containers options.
Like U-Pack and PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT will deliver its moving container to your residence, where you load it up. Then they will either store or deliver it to your new location.Long-distance moves also receive $10,000 in protection, so if something goes wrong you will be reimbursed.
Customers also get access to resources such as a moving checklist, a space calculator, video guides, and a virtual tour of containers, as well as a user-friendly customer portal that helps manage your schedule and track your shipment.
1-800-PACK-RAT provides three storage container sizes for its weatherproof steel containers:
- 8 foot
- 12 foot
- 16 foot
1-800-PACK-RAT has locations in 30 states, as well as in Washington D.C.
Pros and Cons of 1-800-PACK-RAT
✅ Provides $10,000 of moving protection for long-distance moves
✅ Offers easy-to-use online management tools
✅ Uses durable and weatherproof containers
❌ Has fewer locations than other companies
❌ Grants limited flexibility compared to other companies
For a 16 foot container (3–4 rooms worth of household goods) moving from Atlanta to Austin, the overall cost of transportation is $2,805 with all taxes included. One interesting offer from PACK-RAT is its guarantee to price-match PODS.
What Customers Say about 1-800-PACK-RAT
To evaluate 1-800-PACK-RAT’s customer experience, we analyzed over 100 customer reviews on third-party sites like the BBB, Yelp and Google reviews.
We found that customer reviews for the company vary, with some negative reviews centered around delayed transit times and high costs. Positive reviews highlighted the company’s helpful customer service representatives and careful treatment of their items in shipment.
Here are a few 1-800-PACK-RAT moving reviews from customers on Yelp:
I had a great experience with Pack Rat from reservation to completion of the move. They delivered and picked up on time. The drivers are courteous and pleasant. Pricing is comparable to competitors but I trusted their service as my daughter used them for a cross country move before me. When I reserved my container I knew to ask for a veterans discount and asked to waive the fuel surcharge which they agreed to. Negotiate everything. I was erroneously charged for the fuel surcharge but they quickly credited it back. I highly recommend Pack Rat as everyone I spoke to on the phone was incredibly thorough and helpful. Read your contract and ask questions and things should go smoothly. – Rhonda S. Yelp – 2021
I was moving locally but my new home was not ready. I had a total of 5 units which were delivered and picked up for storage. Then they were delivered to my new home, in exactly the right order. The employees were extremely helpful and professional. They did their best to accommodate our needs and time frame. I highly recommend Pack Rat in Wilmington, NC. – Jennifer W. Yelp – 2021
Free Estimate: Visit the 1-800-PACK-RAT Website
Compare the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies
Type of Mover
Best Company Rating*
*Best Company ratings are accurate as of February 2022.
**Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
What to Look for in a Moving Company
Searching online for a moving company can bring plenty of positive and negative feedback. Navigating all that information can be tricky. Here are several key factors to keep in mind when evaluating a professional mover:
- Services: Most full-service moving companies offer loading and unloading by default, and some also provide packing and unpacking in their standard packages. If you need additional assistance, such as vehicle shipping and storage, make sure you carefully review providers’ lists of services.
- Estimates: Some companies will provide you with instant, free quotes online, but remember that these are general estimates. The best way to budget for your long-distance move is through a binding estimate, which will give you the exact amount you can expect to pay on moving day. Most companies will only give you a binding estimate after they have carefully reviewed your home and its contents. You will have to create an itemized list of everything you plan to move in many cases. While this can be time-intensive, it’s worth it to have a set price ahead of your move.
- Availability: You’ll want to make sure a moving company not only provides service in your current state but in your new location, as well. All providers in this review are available nationwide except American Van Lines, which is available in the contiguous United States.
- Online reviews: Spending some time reading what other customers have to say about moving companies helps you get an overall picture of a provider’s services, pricing structure and customer support. However, you should temper online feedback because customers are more likely to take the time to address a negative experience than they are a positive one.
Which Is the Best Long-Distance Moving Company for You?
The right long-distance moving provider ultimately depends on the services you require for your relocation. It’s helpful to make a list of services you need, such as fragile packing, crating of electronics, car transport and short-term storage.
Overall, we recommend International Van Lines as an experienced full-service mover that can accommodate long-distance moves of all sizes. Both IVL and North American Van Lines have several add-on options to choose from to help you customize your move.
Long-Distance Moving Companies FAQs
Common Moving Terminology
Like most industries, moving comes with terminology that can be confusing. Knowing what some common terms mean can ultimately help inform your decision on the moving company that’s right for you. Below, we have defined some of the terms you are most likely to encounter as you research moving providers.
- Long-distance move: Any move that is more than 400 miles
- Interstate move: A move is considered interstate if it involves transporting items outside state lines. This term can refer to international moves, as well as out-of-state moves.
- Intrastate move: A relocation that occurs within state lines (i.e., city-to-city moves)
- Cross-country move: A long-distance, interstate move that does not involve relocation to a new country
- Local move: A move that is 50 miles or less in distance
- Binding estimates: A price quote that is guaranteed to be your actual moving cost, based on a careful review of the quantity and type of items being transported and the specific moving services requested
- Ballpark/non-binding estimates: A non-binding or ballpark estimate is a pricing quote that will give you a general idea of how much you can expect to pay on moving day. However, that price is subject to change based on any additional fees a moving company deems necessary to charge.
- Broker: A moving broker helps coordinate the transportation of your household belongings through a third-party moving company rather than handling the move directly. Simply put, a moving broker is not an actual moving company and therefore does not assume any responsibility for your items.
- Carrier: A moving carrier is a company that directly provides moving services through its own fleet of trucks and vans, moving crews and support staff.
- USDOT: USDOT stands for United States Department of Transportation, the government agency that regulates standards for moving companies.
- FMCSA: FMCSA is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the DOT established in 2000 to improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles, including moving trucks and vans.
- Released-value protection: This is the standard coverage a moving company will provide you at no charge to cover your items while in transit. Released-value protection compensates you with 60 cents per pound for items broken, damaged, lost or stolen during the moving process. Under this liability coverage, a moving company would only have to pay $12 for a 20-pound television worth $1,000 broken during relocation.
- Full-value protection: Full-value protection provides coverage for the replacement value of any damaged, broken, lost or stolen belongings during a move. Most moving companies will offer full-value protection at an additional cost.
How We Rated the Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
After conducting extensive research on dozens of major moving companies, we created a rating system based on a 100-point scale and the following factors:
- Moving distance (25 points): Points are awarded based on a company’s ability to handle local, long-distance and international moves. We took points off for companies that have restrictions on local moves.
- Moving services (20 points): This includes basic packing, unpacking, loading and unloading. Points were awarded for each standard service.
- Specialty services (25 points): Companies received points for services beyond the standard packing and unpacking and loading and unloading. These include storage options, special handling of fragile items and vehicle shipping.
- Additional benefits (20 points): We awarded points to companies that offer one or more of the following: online customer portal, mobile app, online estimates, and moving kits and packing supplies.
- Reputation (10 points): Companies received points based on their current rating with the customer review site, Best Company. We also awarded more points to companies who have been in business the longest.