Quick Look at the Best Moving Companies:
- International Van Lines
- American Van Lines
- Two Men and a Truck
- Allied Van Lines
Moving is one of the most stressful experiences you have to go through, whether you’re moving as a business or an individual. Even when you are moving locally, many distinct pieces must be coordinated to ensure a smooth transition.
To simplify your moving experience, you must research and select the best local moving company for your situation. A quality moving company is prepared and efficient, spotting potential issues ahead of time and shouldering the burden so you can arrive at your new destination worry-free and focus on settling in.
Learn more about the best moving companies before you book your moving date.
Best Moving Companies
To help you narrow your list of companies to research, below are the best moving companies and the most critical factors contributing to your ultimate selection.
International Van Lines
Among the best moving companies is International Van Lines (IVL). As touted on its website, the company was rated the country’s No. 1 mover in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 by Newsweek magazine.
Regarding pricing, IVL sits on the more expensive end of the mover spectrum. A local move in Arizona costs $320 per hour for two men, a truck and packing supplies. The company estimates the average local move costs between $1,200 and $3,000. Although you must fill out an online form to receive a personalized moving quote, IVL offers various articles on its website that provide information about the expected moving costs.
It should be noted that it outsources some work to third parties, which some clients have complained about in online reviews. Besides offering standard moving services, IVL offers full packing, storage, customized crating for specialized items, cleaning services and auto transport. For your move, your items will be transported in a box truck, and loading is included in the price that you see.
American Van Lines
- securely through American Van Lines's websiteBest For:Free Long Distance Moving QuotesRating:
In business since 1967, American Van Lines is another trusted full-service moving company. Its website is transparent about pricing, with many special offers listed, although these are generally for long-distance moves. What differentiates American Van Lines’ pricing is its flat rate structure. This is an excellent motivator for movers to work quickly and protects you from any unexpected fees. A local move for a three-bedroom home would cost around $2,800, plus any additional charges for packing services.
Besides basic moving services, you can also hire American Van Lines for partial or complete packing, specialty packing and auto shipping. Storage is also available with climate-controlled units and personal storage vaults.
American Van Lines uses a box truck to move your possessions. To get a quote, fill out the online form and a company representative will reach out to you. You can either call the company or provide your phone number on the website for them to call you.
Two Men and a Truck
Two Men and a Truck offers a range of local moving services with over 350 locations worldwide. As the name insinuates, the standard service is two movers and a box truck. Each site is independently owned, so prices are set by each location. Generally, its pricing is competitive, at around $110 per hour for a local move.
You can hire Two Men and a Truck for rearranging furniture, junk removal, storage and packing. For a quote, you can call, text or fill out an online form. You can contact the company via online chat or phone. As self-described “Movers Who Care,” Two Men and a Truck places a priority on creating a customized moving experience for your specific needs.
Allied Van Lines
With over 85 years of experience, Allied Van Lines ranks as one of the best moving companies and is easily recognized for its bright orange box trucks. The company’s pricing starts at a base rate of $99 per hour for two movers, with a minimum requirement of four hours. The rate increases as additional movers are needed.
Allied provides fragile packing and full-service packing. It also has options for debris removal, disassembly, assembly, specialty crating for unique items, auto transport and storage. For a personalized quote, fill out the form on the website. The phone number is also listed as a contact option.
PODS is one of the most flexible moving options, which is what makes it so popular. You can rent a PODS portable container in your choice of size, fill it at your leisure and the company picks it up and transports it for you.
With PODS, you won’t have the additional stress of trying to fit all of the loading and unloading in one day because containers are rented by the month. The cost of renting a container for a local move ranges from $350 to $550. PODS can also connect you with rent-a-mover services such as Pack and Load, Hire a Helper or Moving Staffer if you need some support loading up your container. Hiring an additional helper costs around $50 per hour. PODS also provides car shipping and can deliver moving supplies to your door.
Storage is a breeze when using PODS. Rather than hiring a mover to bring your items to a storage unit and unload, you can rent a PODS container to either store on your premises or transport to a storage facility. This can later be moved to a final destination and unloaded. To get a quote, fill out the online form or call the number listed on the website to speak with a representative.
How to Choose a Moving Company
When it comes to choosing a moving company, it’s important to think about more than just price. Here are a few steps you should go through when you select a moving company.
- Consider your needs versus your budget: There are multiple types of moving companies — and every moving company doesn’t offer the exact same types of services. For example, American Van Lines is a full-service moving company, which means its team can arrange things like packing, furniture disassembly and climate-controlled transportation. However, this means that the company also charges higher rates for service when compared to a company like PODS that only covers transportation.
Create a list of the specialty services beyond loading and transportation that you’re willing to pay extra for before you begin comparing movers. This will ensure that the company you choose will provide you with a one-stop-shop for all of the services you need. To save money on your move, you might want to choose a moving company that only provides basic transportation services and manage your own packing and storage services.
- Ask questions: Moving is stressful, and the last thing that you want to happen during the middle of the moving process is to run into issues and have unreliable customer service to help you fix them.
Check out a few moving company reviews on third-party websites like Yelp, Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before you book. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family members and co-workers if they happen to have any local moving recommendations. Whether you know it or not, chances are that you know at least one person who has used a local moving company in the past — and even if their experience was terrible, at least you know which company to avoid.
Don’t be afraid to test a company’s customer service team before getting a quote to test its representatives. Think of a few basic questions to ask about the moving process and note how knowledgeable and responsive your representative is. You’re likely to receive the same level of service on moving day — so take note of which companies know what they’re talking about.
- Get a quote: If you believe a moving company has all the services you need and can provide you with quality services, get a quote for your unique moving process. Most moving companies base their quotes on an individual basis, which means your mover will likely need to speak with you and ask more questions about what exactly you’re moving before you get a binding estimate for service. Most moving companies allow you to get in touch with a representative via phone or to request a phone call online.
Moving can be an exceptionally expensive process. From buying new furniture to replace what you’ve left behind when downsizing to funding the cost of specialized storage for fragile items you’re moving, some homeowners even need to take out a loan to cover their moving expenses. Be sure to get a quote from at least three competing moving companies to be sure that you’re not overpaying for your service, and make sure that every quote you seriously consider is in writing.
Services Moving Companies Should Provide
The specific services your moving company provides may vary depending on the type of company you choose. However, no matter which moving company you work with, you should expect it to provide at least the following.
- Free in-depth estimate: Legitimate moving companies know there are specific laws that dictate the total weight that can be loaded onto each moving truck. This means movers cannot accurately price your move until they have a complete inventory of every item you’re moving or they’re able to see your shipment virtually or in-person.
Your mover should offer to set up a virtual estimate or in-person meeting free-of-charge. Do not work with any moving company that claims they can price your move based on the square footage or number of rooms in your home rather than what you’re shipping.
- Written contract: If your mover provides you with a price and you agree to it, your mover will then draw up a moving contract with payment, process and pricing details.
Make sure you sign a contract before your movers begin any type of work on your property — doing so ensures that your movers’ liability insurance is in place for the length of the job. No legitimate moving company will ask you to sign a moving contract you haven’t had time to fully read and ask questions about.
- Loading and unloading: One of the reasons it’s important to hire a moving company (even when moving locally) is that moving requires a lot of heavy lifting. Without proper training, you might risk injuring yourself when loading bulky and cumbersome items. Make sure your moving quote includes loading and unloading services in the price and allow the professionals to handle this risky job.
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Movers
Unfortunately, not every moving company is created equal. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when hiring a local moving team for the first time.
Hiring a mover without a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal regulatory body that oversees the moving industry. You can verify that a company is registered with the FMCSA by asking for their USDOT number, a unique verifying identification number provided to every federally registered moving company. Not every state requires its local movers to be registered with the FMCSA, but most of them do — so make sure your movers are registered by asking for a USDOT number.
Booking based only on price: No one wants to pay more for their move than they have to, but it’s important to consider more than just price when booking. Moving scammers often use bait-and-switch pricing to lure victims in with an initially low price only to add tons of hidden fees onto the price later on. While price is an important factor, make sure to also look at company reputation and customer service quality when deciding which team to work with.
Not watching out for the common signs of a moving scam: According to a report from the BBB, moving scams are more common than most homeowners may think. Knowing the most common signs of a moving scam can help you avoid these dishonest companies. Avoid companies that:
- Demand a large deposit upfront in cash
- Cannot provide a USDOT number
- Do not have a physical address or phone number
- Answer the phone in an unprofessional way
- Seem to have polarized reviews on every third-party site
Remember that it’s always against the law for a moving company to demand an extra payment before delivering your things after they’ve been loaded. While a moving company can assign additional fees to your move following loading, it must bill you after unloading is complete. If a moving company attempts to extort you for more money than you agreed to pay, contact the FMCSA here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most cost-efficient way to move?
The most cost-efficient way to move is to use PODS and pack your belongings yourself. Take your time loading your PODS container, and either recruit help from friends or hire a moving helper for items too bulky or heavy to move alone. PODS will pick up your container and transfer it to your final destination, where you can unload it. A local move using PODS generally costs under $550.
How much do moving companies usually charge?
Moving companies usually charge between $100 and $350 per hour for complete packing and moving services. The cost varies depending on the specific parameters of your move and the company you choose. If you’re moving locally and you don’t require packing assistance, you could pay as little as $50 per hour for your moving company.
About Sarah Horvath
Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.