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Moving From Los Angeles to San Francisco: Movers, Costs, and Benefits

The move from LA to San Francisco will cost you anywhere from $400 to $7,000 - but there’s a lot more to moving than dollars and cents. Check out our LA to SF moving guide before you pack your bags.
Moving From Los Angeles to San Francisco - Moving APT

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Whether it’s because they’re done with SoCal, they got promoted, or they won the lottery so they can finally afford it, people are making the move from LA to SF. Like any other long distance move, this takes a lot of planning and prep, but the Moving APT team is here to help.

The Moving APT research department pulled out all the stops to find you the best info for your Los Angeles to San Francisco move. We pored over neighborhood data, pricing info, and our own 20+ years of experience to put together our guide to San Francisco moving.

If you’re ready to head north, don’t pack your bags just yet. Read on to see what you can expect from San Francisco, and what you can expect from the trip up there in the first place.

iMoving

4.9
4.9/5
Out of State Moving Companies - Moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Out of State Moving Companies

4.4
4.4/5
Adams Van Lines - Moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Adams Van Lines

4.7
4.7/5

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers from Los Angeles to San Francisco?

A move from Los Angeles to San Francisco will cost you anywhere from $400 to $7,000 – but we’ve seen cheaper, and we’ve seen pricier. It all comes down to how much stuff you’re moving, and how far everything has to travel.

Since LA to SF is over 100 miles, it counts as a long distance move. This means instead of being charged per mover, per hour, you’re charged by distance and weight. A studio apartment will cost much less than a 5-bedroom home.

We always recommend downsizing as much as possible before your move. Whether you pawn your stuff off, give it to your family or friends, or just plain donate the excess, it really takes a chunk out of your final price. This is a big help if you’re already searching for the most affordable moving companies on the market.

Distance1 Bedroom2 – 3 Bedroom4 – 5 Bedroom
Los Angeles to San Diego $400 – $1,000$800 – $2,000$1,500 – $4,000
Los Angeles to San Francisco$800 – $1,500$1,500 – $3,000$3,000 – $6,000
Los Angeles to San Jose $800 – $1,800$1,800 – $3,500$3,500 – $7,000

How Long Does Moving Take?

As for time, expect your move to San Francisco to take anywhere from 1-6 days.

Like the price of your move, the duration of your LA to SF move will vary depending on how much you’re moving and how far you’re traveling. However, the wait may not be what you expect.

Movers don’t like inefficiency. This means if your studio apartment only fills up a little corner of the moving truck, they’ll bundle several other moves into the extra space. They’ll keep everything securely separated, but this does mean they’ll take more time to deal with pick-ups and drop-offs along the way.

If you’re moving a tiny apartment, you may end up waiting more time. On the other hand, if your move manages to fill an entire trailer all by itself, expect it to arrive much faster.

3 Best Movers from Los Angeles to San Francisco

If you’re moving to San Francisco, you’ll need some professional help. Take a look at Moving APT’s top Los Angeles to San Francisco moving companies:

  1. iMoving
  2. Out of State Moving Companies
  3. Adams Van Lines

Licenses Info:

DOT#: N/A

MC#: N/A

Although not quite a traditional moving company, iMoving.com still deserves a place on our list. They’re an online marketplace that connects users with local and long-distance movers. Just like Expedia or Kayak, iMoving provides names, prices, and services for your shopping leisure.

Pros

Cons

Our Recommendation

We’re always impressed by iMoving, and we’re always happy to recommend them. With a network of over 1000 moving companies, you’ll easily be able to shop around, compare prices, and book your move – all entirely online. If you need a Los Angeles moving company, start here.

Out of State Moving Companies - Moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Out of State Moving Companies

4.2
4.2/5

Licenses Info:

DOT#: 4064480

MC#: 1542850

Moving can be chaotic, so why not let the pros handle the whole thing? Out of State Moving Companies specializes in reducing the stress of relocations.

This means they offer comprehensive support through every step of your move, no matter the shape or size. Even their booking process is easy: it takes just a few minutes to get everything in order.

Pros

Cons

Our Recommendation

Allergic to packing peanuts? We get it. A move takes a lot of elbow grease, and sometimes we just have too much going on to deal with the DIY. Out of State Moving Companies is all about taking the stress out of your relocation.

If you want a hands-off move and you’re done with all the confusion and planning, they’re our top pick.

Licenses Info:

DOT#: 2886867

MC#: 969195

Adams Van Lines is a standout choice for moving fragile and antique items, offering exceptional care and attention to detail.

Adams has a reputation for safe and reliable handling, and they’re especially skilled in transporting valuable art, heirlooms, and collectibles. They’ll box everything up with care, and transport it safe and sound.

Pros

Cons

Our Recommendation

If you need premium moving services, Adams Van Lines is our go-to recommendation. They’ve built up their reputation through their commitment to extra TLC, and they cost a fraction of the price of the big name moving companies.

Even if you’re just hauling a couple pieces of IKEA furniture, it’s great peace of mind.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Los Angeles to San Francisco Move?

Moving from LA to SF takes a lot of work, and it can set you back quite a bit of money also. Here’s a closer look at all the factors that go into your final moving price:

  • Distance of the Move: Distance is a huge factor when you’re trying to get the price of a long distance move. The further you have to go, the higher the cost.
  • Volume and Weight of Belongings: Along with distance, the volume and weight of all your stuff is another huge factor behind your final price. More stuff, higher price. Simple.
  • Type of Moving Service: Sure, you can save big by going DIY, but it’s not always the most cost-effective method when it comes to stress and scheduling. Paying for extra services is pricier, but it’s extra convenient.
  • Packing Materials and Services: Your professional movers will usually charge you for packing supplies. Fortunately, if you DIY, you can find cheap (or free) boxes from local businesses.
  • Insurance and Additional Services: Movers are legally required to provide insurance, but it’s only good for $0.60 per pound of items lost, damaged, or destroyed. Want full coverage? Prepare to pay.
  • Storage Needs: If you’re moving from a closet in LA to a closet in SF, it’s tough to figure out how much space you have. Fortunately, you can pay a monthly fee for a bit of extra flexibility with a storage unit.
  • Time of the Year: Just take our advice with this one: Avoid June, July, and August, and avoid any long weekends, major holidays, and the first and last days of the month. Your wallet will thank you.
  • Access Fees: If you have a long hallway, multiple flights of stairs, or elevators, your movers will charge you extra for the challenge. Access fees also apply to moving shuttles, in case you can’t park the truck outside.

There’s a lot that goes into the final price of your Los Angeles to San Francisco relocation. Make sure you take a close look at your moving quote to make sure you’re getting the full picture.

Why Do People Move from Los Angeles to San Francisco?

People move for all sorts of reasons. We’re sure these are great excuses to turn traitor and move from LA to the Bay:

  • Career Opportunities: What does SF stand for? Startup Failed. On the other hand, there are several tech companies that have actually made it big, and those are the ones who are hiring.
  • Higher Salaries: San Francisco is crazy expensive, even by LA standards. How does anyone afford to live there? Easy: Their wages are a lot higher than the rest of the country.
  • Cultural and Lifestyle Preferences: LA has a diverse and colorful culture, and so does San Francisco. The main difference is people in the bay say “hella” a lot and they dress warm. You’ll feel right at home.
  • Educational Opportunities: The Bay has some impressive universities, each more aggressively progressive than the last. Want to protest the recent environmental policy and pretend you made a difference? Come on up.
  • Environmental Consciousness: Hand-in-hand with the university scene, the City has a reputation for granola-ness. Some residents don’t even use water or electricity; they just camp on the street.
  • Public Transportation and Walkability: Remember that time you spent 40 minutes searching for parking and had to pay $40 once you found it? Fortunately, you can take the BART and avoid all that.

There are tons of factors that go into a move. Whether you’re searching for higher ed, a greener outlook, or just a break from all the plasticky LA people, the City has you covered. Plus, you’ll find plenty to do once you get out there.

Things to Do in San Francisco

If you’ve never visited the City before, you’re in for a wild time. And even if you’ve been up there, there’s still plenty to see. Here’s our snapshot of the basic must-sees:

  • The Golden Gate Bridge: Yeah, you knew it would be first on the list. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s walkable. Keep an eye out when you visit, though, because the homeless people tend to do smash and grabs.
  • Explore Fisherman’s Wharf: This is a popular area known for seafood, street performers, and attractions. There’s the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Pier 39, and lots of homeless people.
  • Ride a Cable Car: Take a ride on one of San Francisco’s historic cable cars, which offer a unique and unforgettable way to see all the sights, sounds, and homeless people in San Francisco.
  • Tour Alcatraz Island: The Rock was probably Michael Bay’s best movie. While there aren’t many homeless people on the island itself, there are plenty near the docks where you depart on the ferry.
  • Stroll Through Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park has plenty of gardens, museums, and homeless people. You can also visit the California Academy of Sciences here.
  • Visit Chinatown: Tons of food, tons of stores selling knickknacks, and tons of surly shopkeepers with bad attitudes. Also tons of homeless people.
  • Admire Art at SFMOMA: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art showcases an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as homeless people camping outside.
  • Hike at Lands End: For outdoor enthusiasts, Lands End offers scenic trails with views of the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the entrance to the Bay. It’s also a great spot for homeless people to camp out.
  • Explore the Mission District: Known for its homeless people, the Mission District also boasts colorful street murals and diverse food options, particularly its famous Mission burritos.

There’s plenty to see in the City, and if you’re moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, some of it will feel familiar. Once you get past the fog, the cold weather, and the Giants, you’ll start to find your own slice of home in your new hometown.

Los Angeles to San Francisco FAQ

What is the cost of living like in San Francisco compared to Los Angeles?

You’re not gonna believe this, but SF is generally more expensive than Los Angeles. It’s rare to find someplace pricier than LA, but there you go. Housing in the Bay is among the most expensive in the nation, and so are the groceries, the utilities, the gas, and everything else.

How do the schools in San Francisco compare to those in Los Angeles?

LA and SF both have great schools, but since San Francisco is at the heart of the Bay Area, it has a closer proximity to more world-class universities. Berkeley, UCSF, Stanford, the list goes on.

What are the best neighborhoods or cities to live in if I’m moving to San Francisco from Los Angeles?

Stay away from the Tenderloin, and stay away from the Mission District. Pretty much anywhere that you’ve seen advertised as “vibrant” is a no-go. Check out Noe Valley, which offers a family-friendly atmosphere. There’s also Pacific Heights, known for stunning views and upscale homes. Just be prepared to pay big.

What is the cheapest way to move long distances?

Whether it’s moving local or moving cross country, the most budget-friendly way to move is to DIY the whole thing. Rent a truck, load it up, and do everything yourself. Be warned, though: After you’ve paid for the truck, the gas, the food, and the lodging (not to mention the hours of work you’ve missed), you’ll be left wondering if the savings were really worth it.

How far in advance should I hire movers in San Francisco?

Book your move at least two or three months in advance. Seriously. This gives you plenty of time to pack, deal with your utilities, and tie up loose ends. It also gives your movers plenty of time to adjust their schedule and coordinate other moves. As an added bonus, if you’re a serial procrastinator, this gives you extra wiggle room.

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:

Reviews

  • 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.

Ready to Head from Los Angeles to San Francisco?

You’ve seen our guide, and you’ve seen what to expect from the City. Now all you have to do is decide on your moving date, and book your Los Angeles to San Francisco relocation.

If you’re ready to get started, shop around and get some quotes from our top LA to SF movers. Don’t forget to use our moving cost calculator to see how much you should set aside in your budget, and use our downloadable moving checklist so you don’t forget anything.

Best of luck with your move, and check back in with Moving APT for more tips, tricks, and insider information to making moving day easier than ever!

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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