Long Distance Moving Recommendations

When you’re looking for a long distance moving company, two qualities stand above everything else: reliability and customer service. A reliable mover with excellent customer service will have the proper certifications, show up on time and offer a reasonable estimate for your move.

Because everyone’s move is different, we cannot guarantee the actual service you receive. What we can do, however, is recommend movers based on our interactions with them and their certifications. After looking at 32 different moving companies and talking with 12 of those companies’ customer service professionals, here’s what we recommend.

Recommended companies:

Research Stats:

Movers
Considered
32
Movers
Selected
2
# Hours
Analyzed
28
Experts
Consulted
3
Seniors
Consulted
10


American Van Lines Review

Best for long distance moves


American Van Lines has been moving clients since 1995. The company facilitates local, cross-country and international moves. They offer moving and storage services with a focus on superior customer service. Here’s why we’re rating them as your best choice for long distance moves.

What do they offer?

  • Quick quotes: Within minutes of filling out a form online, American Van Lines emailed us to confirm that they’d received our information. They called the following day to set up a time to give an in-person quote.
  • Storage options: If you’re moving to a new place but don’t have a set move-in date, American Van Lines offers short-term storage of your goods in one of their warehouses. Cost depends on how much you need to store.
  • Customer service: Every American Van Line agent I talked to was quick to answer questions courteously and professionally.
  • Certifications: American Van Lines is a certified ProMover member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA).

How we found them

On average, about 12 percent of people living in the United States move each year. That’s 40 million local and long-distance moves for the entire country. With that much moving going on, a lot of companies have formed to compete for your business.

Sifting through the available companies took some time, but we knew that to find the best ones, we’d want to find a company with a positive reputation, a successful company history, a user-friendly website and superior customer service.

What struck us immediately about American Van Lines was how easy to use the website is. Putting customer accessibility front-and center, American Van Lines makes it easy to set up a free quote.

avl homepage
American Van Lines Homepage. Source: American Van Lines

We decided to apply for a quote for a move from Oklahoma to Florida. After we filled out the form for the free quote, they contacted us immediately with an email to confirm our information. They also attached a list of items for us to fill out, so they could offer us a more accurate quote for their services.

moving item list
Moving item list. Source: American Van Lines

After we filled this out, they called us with a quote and the opportunity to set up a time to meet us for an in-person quote.

American Van Lines helped us every step of the way, and each person we talked to was helpful without being pushy. For their expediency and professionalism, we rated them as the best overall company for long-distance moves.

What’s their reputation like?

American Van Lines has some of the best reviews around. We checked their profiles on the United States Department of Transportation website. We looked at consumer reviews at various places across the internet. Here are some of the basic ratings.

  • Yelp.com: 4 out 5 stars
  • ConsumerAffairs.com: 4.5 out 5 stars
  • MyMovingReviews.com: 3 out 5 stars
  • Movers.com: 3.3 out 5 stars

They are also committed to community service, devoting an entire page of their website to their community service work.

American Van Lines is also certified by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). AMSA certifies only those movers dedicated to superior customer service and reliability. Companies that are certified by AMSA show this badge on their site.

AMSA

AMSA Certification. Source: American Van Lines

Why we think they’re the best

Again, we cannot guarantee a 100 percent worry-free move with any company; individual moves are different for everyone. We can guarantee, however, that out of all those we tried, American Van Lines gave us the best customer experience.


We-Pack Moving Review

Best for long distance moves


We-Pack Moving is a moving broker. You send We-Pack your moving schedule and inventory list, and their professionals match you with the best moving company to fit your schedule and needs. We-Pack focuses on keeping moving affordable, no matter the distance.

What do they offer?

  • Quick quotes: After filling out some information, we were able to complete a survey about the materials we needed moved. They responded with a quote quickly.
  • Storage options: From loading and unloading to placing furniture and unpacking, We-Pack moving offers an entire suite of services to their customers. You can even buy limited liability insurance and white glove service.
  • Customer service: All standard residential moves come with one month of free storage. This service can help you if you don’t have the time or ability to move all your things into your new place right away.

How we found them

According to AMSA, the average cost of interstate move is around $4,000. Due to that high price, we wanted to recommend a company that could get the job done at a rate that won’t hurt your bank account. We decided to look at reputable brokers in the industry.

A moving broker connects their customers with available movers to get the work done. They are essentially middlemen who do all the work of finding the mover and negotiating a quote for you. They are often a cheaper option than working directly with a company.

However, brokers get a bit of a bad rap in the moving industry, and many deserve it. Brokers that do not check a mover’s qualifications can set up their customers with unlicensed movers, so when it came to finding the right broker, we had to do some extra work.

Out of all the moving brokers we contacted, We-Pack gave us the best customer experience. Like many other moving companies, We-Pack allows you to apply for a free quote right on the site.

we-pack home
We-Pack Homepage. Source: We-Pack

Unlike other moving brokers, We-Pack contacted us quickly and knew about our proposed route. Within a day, I had talked to a senior moving coordinator who knew what we needed and our price range. We had an estimated quote after a single conversation.

What’s their reputation like?

After we requested a quote, We-Pack confirmed our email and attached a list of favorable reviews that the company has collected. We looked at third-party review sites to get a bigger picture of the company. Here are some highlights.

  • TrustPilot.com: 3 out 5 stars
  • ConsumerAffairs.com: 5 out 5 stars
  • Better Business Bureau: 3 out 5 stars
DOT certified

DOT Number. Source: We-Pack

There are fewer reviews out there for We-Pack than other companies, but as we explained above, brokers are harder to rate accurately than moving companies. The brokers are the ones who find the company to help you move, so many negative reviews were more focused on the individuals We-Pack set them up with. That’s a chance you should consider if you’re thinking of hiring a movie company through a broker.

Still, all of We-Pack’s certifications are in order. They list their Department of Transportation and Motor Carrier certification numbers at the bottom of their front page.

Why we think they’re the best

Out of all the brokers we looked at, We-Pack seems the least risky. Remember, brokers set you up with a mover, so you’ll want to carefully make sure the movers they set you up with have proper certificates. Still, with the customer service they provide, We-Pack is your best bet to set up a long distance move for a lower rate.



We make our moving recommendations based on our understanding that your individual experience with your move is something we cannot predict. We can, however, go through the process of setting up a move and telling you which company was the easiest to work with. Here’s how we did it.

1. Start with a large selection

We started our selection with 32 moving companies. We began by going straight to their websites, checking for usability. We clicked around these websites and looked for basic signs that they were a legitimate business: company history, customer reviews, clear pricing models, free quotes, etc. If the company website made it difficult to find this information, it was cut immediately.

2. We checked credentials

To make sure that you can trust our recommendation, we looked to make sure each company had the proper registration and certification. If the company was not registered with the Department of Transportation, we cut them immediately. We looked up each company in the DOT database to verify registration.

We also looked for special certifications from the FMSCA and AMSA. If they did not have any documentation from these institutions, they were not immediately cut, but they did lose preference to other companies with these credits.

3. We read reviews

We then looked at user reviews on various websites to make sure the companies had a decent online reputation. Yelp, MyMovingReviews and ConsumerAffairs all provided valuable insight into consumer experiences. Each company with an average rating below 60 percent approval (or about 3 stars, depending on the rating system), were thrown out.

4. We applied for quotes

Next, we applied for quotes at several different services. To narrow our search, we only went with companies that could start our quotes based on information we gave them online. If a website didn’t have a place to apply for a free quote online, we left them behind.

5. We spoke to representatives

Most companies responded to us via email, while others contacted us directly over the phone. Those who called us first were given preference. We contacted 23 out of our starting 32 moving companies. Each of them sent us an email. Here’s how quickly they responded with a phone call.

  • 11 companies called us within less than 24 hours
  • 6 called us within 2-3 days
  • 4 called us within a week
  • 2 never called; we had to call them

After talking to representatives, we further narrowed our search by rating them according to how helpful the representatives were. If they were unclear about what went into their estimates or if they wanted us to commit to a certain price without learning the specifics of our move, we cut them from our list.

6. We compared prices

The last task we performed was to compare prices. To get an accurate picture, we compared quotes for the same size move across the same distance (from Oklahoma to Florida). Once we had the quotes, we were ready to make our recommendation.


Frequently Asked Questions


What should I know about quotes?

When you receive a quote for your move, understand that the first price you receive will rarely be the exact amount of the full price. Remember, these quotes are rough estimates meant to attract your service. Here are a few ways to ensure you get an accurate estimate:

  • Get an in-person quote: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all long-distance movers to offer an in-person quote. If you live within 50 miles of your mover’s local office, they will walk through your home and give you the most accurate quote possible.
  • Talk with your moving agent: If you do not live close to your movers, talk with the people handling your move. That way, you can communicate more clearly the belongings you need moved and arrive at a more accurate quote.
  • Binding estimates: When you get a quote, you will often have the option of a binding or nonbinding estimate. In a binding estimate, you will pay the the estimated amount regardless of how much you’re shipping. If the mover underestimates how much you need to move, they cannot charge you extra. Likewise, if they overcharge you (which is the more likely outcome), you’ll need to pay.
  • Nonbinding estimates: A nonbinding estimate is simply a quote to give you an idea of shipping cost; the actual amount you owe will be agreed upon in a contract. This is the more common type of estimate.

How do I know if my mover is certified?

Before you sign any paperwork or even proceed with a moving quote, check to make sure your company is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA makes sure the moving company follows safety regulations when they transport your belongings over long distances. If you ask to see your mover’s FMCSA license, and they don’t provide it, look somewhere else.

You can check this licensure at the Department of Transportation’s website. Search their database to make sure your movers are safe.

Other credits, like safety and reliability ratings from AMSA are also strong indicators of reliability. Essentially, the more certifications from reputable sources a company has, the more likely you are to find a company that puts you first.

Any other tips for finding the right moving company?

Keeping all the above information in mind, we still have some final pieces of advice while you look for your movers. Here are some helpful tips for making your choice:

  • Be careful with brokers: A broker will find you a good deal, but keep in mind the movers will be from a different company. If you go with a broker, research the moving company they recommend to make sure they are certified.
  • Get your quotes in writing: Movers are required by law to provide you with a written estimate. If they only offer a rough estimate while promising a more complete bill after the move, you should find someone else.
  • Double-check certifications: Make sure the mover has an FMSCA license and they’re registered with the Department of Transportation. Check and see if their licenses are current by reading it from their website or asking an employee. An established moving company will have a license that’s at least three years old.
  • Know their reputation: Check their company history by seeing what others have said about them. Also, check their record with the Better Business Bureau. See if they have a history of complaints.
  • Don’t sign until you’re sure: Do not let movers pressure you to sign a contract until you’re sure you’re making the right choice. Don’t sign anything that’s incomplete, and keep copies for your personal records.

Conclusion


Whether you’re moving across the country for a new job or you’re setting down some roots to retire, you want to make sure your move is safe and easy. While we can’t guarantee that your move will go off without a hitch, we can tell you that the both American Van Lines and We-Pack Moving are helpful, expedient and clear with their quotes. Good luck, and safe travels!