Moving across the country, as opposed to moving locally within the same city or within the same state, will always remain the more challenging type of residential moving due to one major reason: the move distance between the two homes.
Cross-country moves are (much) more expensive because of that distance, but it’s more than just that: the risks for possible damage are higher when your possessions will need to be moved hundreds or thousands of miles across multiple states. And, oftentimes, finding and choosing reliable long distance movers you can trust is harder and trickier to do as well.
To help you out when it comes to choosing the right long distance moving services for you: first, we’re going to advise you on how to find long distance moving companies, and then how to choose between long distance movers.
Ready to make the right choice?
How to find long distance movers
You know there must be some great long distance moving companies around you, but you may be wondering just how to get in contact with them. You’re moving across the country soon and you realize that organizing and executing a self-move just won’t work when the destination home is so far away.
In reality, it’s the risks and dangers of driving a rented moving van for days through unknown territories, and more importantly, it’s the large number of hidden costs and charges when moving on your own that will help you decide what’s best for you and your family.
How to find the best long distance moving company around you? Here are the steps to do just that:
- Step 1. Fill in the free moving quote to get in touch with reliable long distance moving companies. You’ll get connected only with properly licensed and adequately insured professional moving companies that service the selected relocation route – from Point A (your current home) to Point B (your new home).
- Step 2. Request in-home visual surveys of your home from each of the long distance mover, right after the initial contact. Those in-person inspections are crucial because they are the only way you can get accurate moving cost estimates. So, if a cross-country moving company doesn’t offer such an on-site inspection and instead wants to calculate your moving cost over the phone or via e-mail, then simply say NO! to that mover.
- Step 3. Have at least 3, preferably 4-5, in-home inspections scheduled. Moving experts will visit your home at the arranged time and day, and will take a good look at the items you plan to move (show them everything!) and will inspect your home for possible problems on moving day – out-of-order elevators, tight doorways, narrow corridors and staircases and more importantly, oversized (antique) furniture or other specialty items that will require custom packing and moving techniques.
- Step 4. Ask the representatives of the long distance moving companies all the burning questions that you have on your mind. The answers to those questions will give you valuable information as to what you may expect from each cross-country mover in terms of professionalism and reliability.
- Step 5. Get a moving cost estimate in writing from each long distance mover after the in-house surveys are over. It’s these moving company quotes that will help you pick a long distance mover that’s just right for you.
Useful info: Binding estimate or non-binding estimate?
How to choose long distance movers
Now that you have the written moving quotes in your hands, here are the steps that will show you how to choose a long distance moving company that’s sufficiently reputable, reliable and affordable to be your trusted partner during the residential move.
Step 1. The reputation check
The best long distance moving companies will have an excellent reputation both in the moving and storage industry and among former and current users of relocation services (customers). One good way to check just how reputable cross country movers are is to read reviews about their services on specialized moving company reviews websites such as MyMovingReviews and Yelp.
Keep in mind that while moving reviews – testimonials and overall ratings – can help you select long distance movers, you shouldn’t always trust them 100%.
Step 2. The reliability check
All long distance moving companies – that is, interstate moving companies – must be licensed by the U.S. Government, and more specifically – by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). A quick check at the USDOT website will give you access to the electronic record of each licensed long distance mover, along with the USDOT number they have been awarded.
To choose a reliable long distance mover, you’ll also need to if the companies you’re considering are active members of two very respectable professional organizations:
- American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). Finding a reputable and reliable mover is critical for any house move, so AMSA’s ProMover program guarantees that their members have passed a rigorous background check.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB). Proper BBB accreditation means a higher level of trust between you and the long distance movers you’ll be partnering with soon.
Step 3. The affordability check
Most of the times, your initial instinct will be to choose a long distance mover based on the price they have offered on the moving quote. That’s understandable – after all, money doesn’t grow on trees so you’ll definitely want to spend as little as possible on your long distance move.
Nevertheless, price alone should not be the deciding factor when picking a long distance moving company. Instead, take a good look at the additional services that are offered on the moving quotes and their respective rates. Such additional moving services include but are not limited to packing, unpacking, custom crating, disassembling and reassembling of large furniture, temporary storage, shuttle services, hoisting, and so on.
Compare the moving quotes in terms of prices and pick the one that is agreeable with your moving budget. However, be suspicious if you happen to get a moving quote that is too good to be true – a lowball estimate could be a sign of moving fraud.
See also: How to move long distance on a budget
Step 4. The intuition check
All above tips for choosing a long distance mover rely on facts and logic, but sometimes you may need something extra to be able to make the right choice, and that extra decision-making power is your intuition.
Whenever two or three interstate movers seem equally good to you, the moving company research did not point out an outright winner and their cost estimates are quite similar, then it may be time to trust your hunch and go with the long distance mover that you feel will be the best one for you.
Good to know: How to plan a long distance move