How much does it cost to move across the country?
How much does it cost to move across the country?
$1,500 – $7,000 average cost (1-bedroom home)
$3,000 – $9,500 average cost (2- to 3-bedroom home)
$5,000 – $20,000 average cost (4- to 5-bedroom home)
Cross-country movers cost
The cost to move across the country ranges from $1,500 to $20,000, depending on the home size, distance, packing services included, and whether you hire professional movers or rent a moving truck or movable storage container. Long-distance moving costs $3,000 to $9,500 on average for a 2- to 3-bedroom house.
|Home size||Average cost to move 1,000 to 1,500 miles||Average cost to move 2,500+ miles|
|1 bedroom||$1,500 – $5,800||$2,000 – $7,000|
|2 – 3 bedrooms||$3,000 – $8,000||$4,500 – $9,500|
|4 – 5 bedrooms||$5,000 – $17,500||$7,000 – $20,000|
Long-distance moving cost by type
For long-distance moves, you have several options. A professional long-distance mover is the most expensive but most convenient and handles the driving, lifting, and logistics of the move. Other options include moving truck rentals and movable storage containers, which cost less but require more planning and effort.
|Professional long-distance movers||$1,500 – $20,000||
|Moving truck rental||$1,000 – $3,500*||
|Movable storage container / PODS||$3,000 – $8,000||
*Fuel costs not included.
Professional long-distance movers
Professional long-distance movers charge $1,500 to $20,000, depending on the distance, the size of your home and volume of items being moved, and whether you pack the items yourself or opt for professional packing services. Some companies also charge extra if the move involves multiple flights of stairs.
Moving truck rental
If you prefer to rent a truck and drive it yourself, moving truck rental costs $200 to $500 per day or $1,000 to $3,500 total for a long-distance move. You will also be responsible for fuel costs during the trip, and most truck rental companies require you to return the truck with a full tank of fuel.
Movable storage container / PODS
A movable storage container or PODS moving container costs $3,000 to $8,000, depending on the size, moving distance, and how long you leave the container in storage. Most companies include one month of storage time in the moving fee.
In addition to PODS, other popular movable storage container companies include U-Pack and U-Haul's U-Box service.
Long-distance moving cost factors
The following factors impact the cost of a long-distance or cross-country move:
Home size – The more belongings being moved, the more truck space is required, the heavier the shipment will be, and the more time it will take to load and unload.
Distance & mileage – Many long-distance moving companies charge by the mile. Longer distances result in higher fuel costs, as well as higher labor costs for the time it takes the movers to transport your items or travel to the destination.
Professional movers vs. DIY – Moving companies charge $25 to $100+ per hour per mover. Loading a rental truck yourself saves money but is less convenient.
Peak vs. off-season – Prices are often 20% to 30% higher during peak moving season from May through September.
DIY vs. professional packing – Packing services cost $280 to $2,500+, depending on the home size, with most companies including the cost of packing supplies in their fee. If you decide to pack your belongings yourself, remember to factor in the cost of boxes, tape, and bubble-wrap or paper to protect breakable items.
Moving insurance – Moving companies charge 1% to 2% of the estimated value of your belongings for insurance. Be sure to ask if there's a coverage limit and how much the deductible is.
Moving specialty items – Movers charge extra to move specialty items like pianos, hot tubs, and pool tables. Keep these extra fees in mind when planning your move:
How to save money on a long-distance move
Follow these tips to save money when moving across the country:
Declutter and downsize by selling or donating items before moving.
Move during the off-season from October through April.
Select a moving date in the middle of the week.
Book your move at least 30 to 60 days in advance to avoid higher costs.
Look for discounts for military personnel, AAA members, or senior citizens.
Pack your own items rather than paying for packing services.
Rent a moving truck and drive it yourself. Ask friends and family for help loading an unloading, or hire local movers to handle the heavy lifting.
FAQs about cross-country moves
What is considered long-distance moving?
Most moving companies consider any move over 400 miles a long-distance or "long-haul" move, even if the destination is within the same state.
Do you tip cross-country movers?
Consider tipping cross-country movers $5 to $10 per hour or $40 to $80 per person per day. Keep in mind, two separate crews may handle your long-distance move—one at the original location and another at the destination—along with a driver who transports your belongings.
How long do movers take to move across the country?
Long-distance movers typically take 3 to 21 days to transport your belongings from one location to the other. The total transport time depends on the shipment size, distance, traffic, weather conditions, and whether the moving company consolidates other pickups or deliveries on the same truck.
|Distance||Number of days*|
|400 – 800 miles||3 – 10|
|800 – 1,200 miles||4 – 12|
|1,200 – 1,700 miles||5 – 15|
|1,700 – 2,400 miles||6 – 20|
|2,400 – 3,300 miles||7 – 21|
*For transportation only; does not include packing and unpacking time
What is the best moving company for long-distance or cross-country moves?
The best long-distance moving companies are those that have been in business for 10+ years and are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Popular, reputable national moving companies include:
Allied Van Lines
United Van Lines
North American Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines
Who is the cheapest long-distance moving company?
The cheapest national long-distance moving companies are American Van Lines and International Van Lines. You may find lower rates through moving container services like PODS, U-Box, or U-Pack, but you'll need to load and unload your belongings or hire local movers to handle that task.
Does U-Haul do long-distance moving?
U-Haul offers three different options for long-distance moves:
Drive your own vehicle and tow a rented U-Haul trailer holding your belongings.
Drive a rented U-Haul truck holding your belongings, with the option to tow your car behind the truck.
Ship your belongings in a U-Box movable storage container, also called a "moving pod".
How much are PODS for moving across the country?
PODS charges $3,000 to $8,000+ to move your belongings across the country, including transportation and one month of storage. Prices depend on the distance, household size, and season. PODS charges extra for loading and unloading services or additional storage time.
Is it worth moving furniture across the country?
In most cases, it is cheaper to move high-quality furniture and appliances across the country than to buy new ones. For smaller or less-valuable items, it may cost less to replace the item than to move or ship it. When deciding whether to move furniture cross-country, consider these details:
What is the item's current condition and monetary value?
How much would it cost to replace the item with a new one?
Does the item have sentimental value or is it a family heirloom?
How long ago did you purchase the item?
Does the item still fit your personal design style?
How to find long-distance movers
Follow these guidelines before you hire a long-distance moving company:
Get quotes from at least 3 cross-country moving companies to compare.
Select a company that has been in business for more than 5 years.
Confirm the company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Read moving company reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Ask if your items will be the only ones on the truck or if they'll be part of a shared load instead.
Request references from recent customers.
Get a detailed estimate and contract in writing. Read the fine print to ensure you don't face unexpected charges later.
Questions to ask long-distance movers
Ask these important questions to ensure you hire the best company for your cross-country move:
How long have you been in business?
Are you registered with the FMCSA and DOT? What is your DOT Number?
Can you provide references from previous customers?
How do you calculate your prices?
Is this a binding estimate or could the price increase on moving day?
Which services does the estimate include and which services cost extra?
Do you offer packing or storage services? If so, how much do they cost?
Who will be loading and unloading my belongings?
Do you background-check all your employees?
Do you use subcontractors?
Do you have liability coverage?
What moving insurance coverage do you offer for my belongings? What is the deductible?
How do you handle loss or damage claims?
How long will the move take? Do you guarantee the delivery date?
Do you offer shipment tracking?
What is your cancellation policy?