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Moving From California to Tennessee: Movers, Costs, and Benefits

A California to Tennessee move will cost you between $15,00 and $12,000, but it’s not just about the money. Check out our guide to see what you can expect from the Volunteer State.
Moving From California to Tennessee

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Moving from California to Tennessee is a big step. There’s a lot to think about, from logistics and packing to adjusting to a different environment. With California’s bustling cities and vast landscapes contrasted against Tennessee’s rolling hills and vibrant culture, this long distance move involves more than just a change of address.

For years, Moving APT has been a trusted name in the relocation industry. We’ve spent two decades working closely with the best movers in the business, including the California to Tennessee regulars. Through all these years, we’ve picked up a thing or two about how to make a move simple, smooth, and efficient – and we’re here to share what we’ve learned.

If you’re ready to pack your bags, don’t start boxing your stuff just yet. Take a look at our guide to California to Tennessee relocations, and see how the pros can make moving day even easier.

Adams Van Lines - Moving From California to Tennessee

Adams Van Lines

Rockstar Pro Movers - Moving From California to Tennessee

Rockstar Pro Movers


Roadway Moving


How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers from California to Tennessee?

A move from California to Tennessee will cost you between $15,00 and $12,000, sometimes more and sometimes less. It’s a big window, but there’s a reason there’s so much wiggle room.

In the moving industry, any job over 100 miles or across state lines counts as a long distance move. The price of these out of state relocations is calculated by the overall distance traveled and the overall volume and/or weight of your belongings. This means if you’re moving a studio apartment from Blythe to Memphis, it’ll be cheaper than moving a five bedroom home from Crescent City to Johnson City.

We always recommend downsizing before you book a mover. Pawn off some stuff to offset the cost, hand down that old couch, or just plain donate that dated dresser. This will reduce the price of your move, but keep in mind it may mean a bit of a wait on moving day.

Distance1 Bedroom2 – 3 Bedroom4 – 5 Bedroom
Los Angeles to Nashville$1,500 – $3,500$2,500 – $6,000$4,000 – $9,000
San Diego to Memphis$2,000 – $4,500$3,000 – $7,000$5,000 – $10,000
San Francisco  to Arkansas$2,500 – $5,500$3,500 – $8,000$6,000 – $12,000

How Long Does Moving Take?

A move from California to Tennessee will take from 3 to 14 days, but we’ve seen the odd case that took 21. Don’t worry – these are rare, and there’s a system that determines how long your move will take:

Much like the price of your move, the duration of your move depends on how far everything has to go, and how much stuff you have to load up and transport. However, a smaller move isn’t usually going to be faster.

Movers don’t like to send half-empty trucks all over the place. It’s inefficient, and they can help more customers by bundling smaller moves together in the same trailer. If you’re just moving a small apartment, your movers may make several pickups and dropoffs along the way so they can utilize the unused space in the truck. Don’t worry, all your stuff will be safely sequestered and safe.

On the other hand, if you manage to fill an entire moving truck with just your stuff, you can expect your move to be handled a lot faster. After all, if there’s no room for any other moves in that trailer, there’s no need to stop for other customers on the same route.

3 Best Movers from California to Tennessee

With so many movers in California and Tennessee, it can be tough to figure out who to call. Fortunately, we did the heavy lifting and put together a list of our top 3.
  1. Adams Van Lines
  2. Rockstar Pro Movers
  3. Roadway Moving

Licenses Info:

DOT#: 2886867

MC#: 969195

Adams Van Lines stands out for their expertise in transporting delicate items – whether you have pianos, detailed artwork, or cherished antique heirlooms. While this kind of specialized care comes with a slightly higher price tag, it’s still notably less than what the big name movers will charge. Plus, you can pick and choose the specific services you’ll need.



Why We Recommend Adams Van Lines

It’s no surprise we recommend Adams Van Lines so often. When you move with them, you get access to a whole network of specialized and verified movers.

If you have a bunch of fragile stuff, or you just want some extra security and care for your belongings, Adams is an excellent choice.

Rockstar Pro Movers - Moving From California to Tennessee

Rockstar Pro Movers


Licenses Info:

DOT#: 2774464

MC#: 1104857

Rockstar Pro Movers is a California classic, but they can handle interstate moving with ease. Their in-house teams have honed their skills in both local and long-distance relocations, and they provide a whole range of helpful services to suit your needs. Plus, they have a pretty solid selection of discounts if you qualify.



Why We Recommend Rockstar Pro Movers

Being rooted in California gives Rockstar Pro a distinct advantage for your California to Tennessee move. They know California, and they know the routes that start on the West Coast.

We’re always happy to recommend them, and we always like to give their website a shoutout, too. It’s well-made, and full of helpful info (like yours truly).

Licenses Info:

DOT#: 1854436

MC#: 196957

They may have started in New York, but Roadway Moving has carved out a commendable niche in interstate moving. They don’t just haul goods – they craft a moving experience that’s tailored to each customer’s preferences.

Though they have East Coast roots, they can easily pack, ship, and haul your California to Tennessee move.



Why We Recommend Roadway Moving

We’ve always had good experiences with Roadway Moving so it’s no surprise they’re on our recommended list. Their in-house team prioritizes punctuality, without sacrificing the safety and security of your belongings.

Plus, their whole menu of services means you’ll get a custom-tailored move, made for you from the ground up.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a California to Tennessee Move?

There are a lot of factors that affect the cost of a move, and knowing the big ones will help you prepare your wallet accordingly. Check out a few of these factors and start budgeting.

  • Distance of the Move: The distance of your move is one of the biggest factors behind the price of your relocation. The farther you have to move, the more you have to pay. If you’ve already got a place lined up, this one is pretty much set in stone.
  • Weight and Volume of Belongings: Along with the distance of your move, moving companies will base the lion’s share of your price on how much stuff you’re moving. Downsize as much as possible before shopping for quotes.
  • Packing Services: Packing is a major pain, but fortunately many moving companies offer packing services. You’ll pay extra for the convenience, but it’s money well spent – especially if you hate that sound styrofoam makes when it’s rubbed together.
  • Special Handling: Items like pianos, artwork, or antique furniture will require special care and equipment. This premium TLC will come at an extra cost, but you’ll be thankful when everything arrives intact.
  • Storage Needs: Sometimes folks need a bit more time to get everything situated, or they overestimate how much room we have at a new place. Storage provides flexibility, usually with a monthly fee. See if your movers offer any free days to sweeten the deal.
  • Moving Supplies: This includes boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and more. Some companies might include a certain number of supplies in their quote, while others will charge extra.
  • Insurance: Movers are legally required to offer a bare minimum level of insurance, but it’s only for $0.60 per pound of items lost, damaged, or destroyed. If you want to be compensated for the full value of your items, you’ll have to pay for full value coverage.
  • Time of Year: June, July, and August are the worst months to move. Everyone has time off, and all the students are trying to move at the same time. This means moving services cost a lot more. Try to aim for a mid-week, mid-month move, away from major holidays.
  • Additional Services: Some movers offer services like disconnecting and reconnecting appliances, assembling furniture, or even temporary pet relocation, all of which come at an additional cost.
  • Accessibility: If your old or new home is difficult to access – say it’s located in a narrow street where a big truck can’t go, or there’s no nearby parking – expect to pay some additional fees.
  • Flights of Stairs: Similarly, if you’re moving in or out of an apartment without an elevator, or you have a multi-story house, expect to pay an extra fee for any additional flights of stairs.
  • Long Carry Fees: Right up there with the stairs fee is the long carry fee. If movers have to haul your stuff down a long hall or driveway (typically 75 feet or more), you’ll have to pay for every additional foot.

A moving quote is a lot more than the stuff being hauled and the miles everything needs to travel. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can save on your move. By downsizing and doing some smart shopping, you can save big on moving day.

Why Do People Move from California to Tennessee?

While California is losing residents fast, states like Tennessee are experiencing their own waves of new arrivals.

Here are a few reasons people are moving to the Volunteer State:

  • Cost of Living: The median home price in California is around $830K, but we all know it’s closer to a million. On the other hand, the median home price in Tennessee is just about $310K. You do the math.
  • Natural Beauty: While both states have stunning landscapes, Tennessee offers its own unique charm with rolling hills, dense forests, and scenic river valleys. Plus, it’s less packed with tourists and tech-bros messing up the trails.
  • Simpler Living: Tennessee is a quieter place, and it has its own pace. Unlike in California, you can really enjoy your small town atmosphere without being guilt-tripped by some weirdo on Twitter/X. Just make sure you respect how the locals do things.
  • Tax Benefits: Tennessee has no state income tax, which can mean significant savings for many individuals and businesses. On the other hand, California has some of the steepest taxes in the country. There’s a definite financial incentive to moving out.
  • Job Opportunities: While California has a robust job market, you’d be surprised at Tennessee’s growing industries. Sectors like healthcare, music, and automotive manufacturing present new opportunities for professionals.
  • Cultural Experiences: California has a major arts and culture scene, but it’s also unfortunately in California. From the vibrant music scene of Nashville to the rich history embedded in cities like Memphis, Tennessee offers its own type of cultural experiences.
  • Climate: Tennessee offers four distinct seasons. California has like… one and a half – if there’s any rain that year. If you want to enjoy autumn leaves changing and an occasional dusting of snow, Tennessee has you covered.
  • Reduced Congestion: If you can’t handle the LA traffic anymore, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at Tennessee’s ease of commute. Even major cities like Nashville don’t have much traffic, but with the new waves of Californians moving in, this may not last long.

Everyone has their own reasons for moving, especially from California. While the Golden State may be losing a bit of its luster, Tennessee is a beacon for anyone who needs a change of pace and a break from the insanity. Plus, there’s plenty to do once you get there…

Things to Do in Tennessee

Once you get to Tennessee, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you occupied. This list is by no means complete, but it’s a good snapshot of what you can expect from the Volunteer State:

  • Visit the Great Smoky Mountains: Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains, a national park that offers hiking, camping, and breathtaking views – especially during the fall foliage season.
  • Experience Nashville: Dubbed “Music City,” Nashville is the heart of the country music industry. Visit the Grand Ole Opry, explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, or take a walk down Broadway for live music at every corner.
  • Stroll through Memphis: Dive deep into the history of blues music on Beale Street, visit the iconic Sun Studio, and check out the National Civil Rights Museum for some local and national history.
  • Explore Chattanooga: Visit the famous Tennessee Aquarium, explore the subterranean wonders of Ruby Falls, or take a ride on the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo.
  • Taste Tennessee Whiskey: California may have wine country, but Tennessee has whiskey country. Tour the legendary Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg or explore the many other distilleries that make up the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.
  • Relive History: Visit historic sites like the Andrew Jackson Hermitage in Nashville or the Civil War battlegrounds dotted throughout the state.
  • Discover Knoxville: The University of Tennessee’s campus is beautiful, and well worth a visit. While you’re at it, swing by the Museum of East Tennessee History, and enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Tennessee River.

There’s a lot to see in Tennessee, and if we wanted to come up with a full list, we’d need a whole other article. It’s a great state to explore, and with a bit of time you’ll find your own hidden gems.

Here’s How We Rank Our Movers

Moving APT has 22 years of experience in long distance moving, and we do real business with movers to get data that’s more in-depth and reliable than anything else online.

Our rating methodology is based on the following:


  • Reputation: Reviews and profiles show if movers are highly-rated and experienced.
  • Industry-Insider Info: We see what the best companies in the industry are doing.
  • Mystery Shopping: We call and pose as complete strangers to keep movers honest.

Licensing and Accreditation

  • Arbitration Program: We ensure movers provide arbitration for lost or damaged items.
  • Active Claim Department: We monitor how quickly movers help with compensation.
  • Safety Record: We get up-to date safety information about accidents and inspections.
  • Moving Insurance: We make sure movers provide full or released-value protection.

Client Feedback

  • Video and phone reviews: Client testimony tells us which movers are worth your time.
  • Online surveys: We read about each completed move to see how movers perform.

As a moving broker, Moving APT deals with movers on a daily basis. We negotiate for our clients, and we ensure movers always honor their contracts. It’s how we help you get moved, and it’s how we maintain clear communication between clients and moving companies.

More customers for better movers If a mover is exceeding expectations, we send them more business. If a mover needs to improve, we don’t. It’s simple.

California to Tennessee FAQ

What is the cost of living like in Tennessee compared to California?

On average, the cost of living in Tennessee is considerably lower than in California. From housing to utilities and taxes, you’ll find that the Volunteer State is downright affordable. While people are getting priced out of California every day, Tennessee is slightly less ridiculous.

What are the best neighborhoods or cities to live in if I’m moving to Tennessee?

Tennessee offers a neighborhood for every taste. Cities like Nashville and Memphis have you covered if you want something more urban, while places like Franklin or Chattanooga offer a blend of suburban and city life. If you prefer smaller towns, consider towns like Maryville or Jonesborough.

What is the cheapest way to move long distances?

DIY moving is always cheaper – on paper. Unfortunately, when you factor in the cost of your truck rental, your gas, your food, and your lodging (not to mention the time you’ll have to take off of work to load and haul all your stuff) those savings won’t quite be what you expected. Sometimes, it’s just worth the extra price to let the pros handle it.

How far in advance should I hire movers in Tennessee?

You should contact and book movers about two or three months before your planned move date. This will give you extra time to prepare, pack, and procrastinate. It’ll also give your movers a bit of extra flexibility on your move date, which means a possible discount for keeping your schedule open.

Do you pay movers before or after?

Reputable moving companies will never ask you to pay for the whole job up front. They may ask for a small percentage of the total price as a down payment or deposit, but if they’re asking for you to pay for everything before they move a single box, you’re probably dealing with a scam. Walk away and contact some legitimate movers instead.

Ready to Head from California to Tennessee? Get Packing and Let’s Get Started!

You’ve seen the movers, and you’ve seen what you can expect from the Volunteer State. The only thing left to do is to budget your move, build a checklist, and get packing for Tennessee! Get in touch with the movers on our list, and best of luck with your relocation.

And FYI – we’re always posting helpful stuff. If you want to make your move even easier, check back in with Moving APT for more tips and tricks!

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson is an executive and author with over 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As president of sales and logistics at Moving APT, Joey’s been a driving force behind our company’s success. He’s known around the office for his expertise and dedication, and he’s probably working on another article right this moment. Joey has a lot to say about the moving industry, but he also writes about other elements of business, leadership, self-improvement, and more.
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