How Do Moving Companies Charge for Long Distance Moves?

Long distance move costs involve a number of factors. In this guide, we take you through the most common factors you’ll see in your estimate and final cost.
Green Image For Background
How Do Moving Companies Charge for Long Distance Moves?
Blur Light Green Background

Long-distance moves can be a lot of work and effort. As you look at what needs to be accomplished and how you may want to do things, it’s likely that you will find a lot of details about what it is that you need to sort out and take care of.

That being said, you want to be certain that you find long distance movers that you can trust and that is going to work well with you. How much are they going to charge you for a long-distance move? Here’s a quick guide as to what is involved in the process.

How Much Are You Taking With You?

How much you have to load up is one of the main factors in how much you’re going to end up spending during your long-distance move. A one-bedroom or two-bedroom home is going to have much fewer items than a four or five-bedroom place would.

There are a few ways to make sure that you can actually reduce the cost of your move based on how many items you have. Most people will take advantage of the packing process in order to ensure that they can get rid of items that they don’t use or need anymore.

Purging can help reduce your load and save you money. Most people will donate or sell the items they don’t need before getting a moving quote so that they get a more accurate estimate from the moving companies that they are trying to choose from.

Most times, cross country moving companies can come in and give you an estimate based on just how much that you’re going to be talking with you on your move. They will give you your estimate based on a number of factors, but they often start with how much stuff you’ll be taking with you on your move.

How Far is Your Home from Your Starting Destination?

Distance is another factor that comes into play when you’re looking at the big picture of moving to a new place. Mileage is often factored into the cost that your moving company gives you, providing you with a pretty clear picture of what is to be expected.

A long-distance move is typically considered to be at least 100 miles in distance, but some out of state moving companies may vary. You’ll want to look into their guidelines and see what they have to say about the distance you’re moving to. The “long-distance” question is typically about how much driving and loading/unloading can be done reasonably within a day’s time.

Will You Be Crossing State or International Lines?

This is another huge factor. Different states have different laws about what is allowed to come into them. Most of these deal with living things, but there may be some other items of concern, depending on which state that you’re moving through or to. You want to do some research as to whether or not.

Either way, your moving truck may be forced to get off at weigh stations or other checkpoints, which could end up extending the amount of time that it takes to get from one place to another.

This can play a role in how much you’re spending because it will require your movers to be on the road even longer than they may have been otherwise. The cost of gas in different states may also be accounted for in your estimate.

International moves have a whole new set of requirements included. If you’re going across international borders, you will have to get everything inspected, and you need to be sure that it’s legal for your movers to go into that country.

Passports need to be sorted out and everyone needs to be prepared for the process, which can end up costing you extra as well. This is why only a handful of companies even attempt to offer international moves as part of what they can do for their customers.

Do You Need Special Services for Your Move?

Lastly, you need to consider whether or not you need any sort of special services for your move. Packing and unpacking services, the purchase of moving supplies, and fragile/large item moving services may require additional fees during your move.

Thankfully, many moving companies know that these are fairly common needs for their customers, and will try to keep those fees as reasonable as they can.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to move long distance?

This will vary based on a number of factors. If you don’t have a lot of family members coming with you (it’s just you or just you and a spouse), you may find it easier to load up the car and just travel to your new place.

But, if there are many of you, or you have a lot of stuff that is going with you, a moving company (or at the very least, a moving van) may be cheapest.

Is shipping boxes an option for my move?

Absolutely – but it’s not always the cheapest way to deal with things. More often than not, you’ll be paying a lot more for shipping than you would for movers or renting a van. The only exception is books – you can typically send those via Media Mail for a lower cost.

What do I need to know before moving long-distance? 

Before moving long-distance, you want to take a look at the area you’re moving to. Learn as much as you can, find a place to live in a “good part of town” and get to know the area ahead of time. It’ll help make the transition easier for you and your family.


Sorting out your moving costs early on can help you to save a lot of money and stress on the moving process. Your moving company should be transparent about potential costs and work with you so that your move is as affordable and stress-free as it possibly can be.

Table of Contents

Green Background Image

Related Articles

Blur Dots for Background