Check moving prices in 30 secs

Should You Choose a National Mover or a Local Mover?

National movers are different than local moving companies. It can be confusing, but our guide will help you find the best choice for your move.
Should You Choose a National Mover or a Local Mover

In this article

When moving to another part of the country, you may get the best service from a national moving company. However, as the nation becomes transitory and relocation for jobs becomes more and more popular, local movers have also started offering long-distance moves.

Large corporate movers and local moving companies have their differences. Before you hire movers, it’s important to know the advantages and limitations of your options. The first step is to consider the specifics of your move.

Understanding Local Movers vs. National Movers

Local movers and national movers both help you get your stuff from point A to point B, but they have their own specialties. Any move that’s 50 miles or less is considered a local move. If you’re moving more than 50 miles, you’re moving long-distance, or intrastate if you’re moving more than 50 miles within the same state.

Local Movers

Because local moves are usually just from one side of town to another they’re completed much faster than long-distance moves. If you choose local movers, they’ll typically charge by the hour. You should expect to pay a little extra for fuel and transportation time as well.

Keep in mind that because local movers specialize in shorter-distance moves, they may have a limited amount of equipment that you can borrow. They might not have the biggest trucks or teams, either. They’re still well-trained and experienced, and there are plenty of quality local movers you can choose from.

While it may be tempting to DIY your local move, it’s always best to cut back on stress and get in touch with some licensed local movers in your area. And if you’re moving long-distance, or crossing state lines with an interstate move, you’ll really want to have some pros helping you out…

National Movers

A move that crosses state lines is going to be pricier than a move that stays within your state. In fact, even if your move stays within your state (intrastate) but involves hauling your stuff more than 400 miles, you may be charged a higher rate. This is partly because of how challenging a long-distance move can be, and partly because of the permitting requirements that national movers need to maintain.

Movers that cross state lines need to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Interstate moving is much more regulated (and expensive) than local moves, but it helps to ensure the long-distance moving company hauling your stuff is doing the job the right way.

When compared to local movers, national movers pull out all the stops. Expect larger trucks, more moving equipment, bigger teams, and a much bigger price tag. When you choose national movers, they charge by weight and distance. Rather than an hourly rate, national movers will weigh your stuff and may also bill you for certain complications when it comes to packing and unpacking. Stairs, elevators, parking permits, it all stacks up.

Every move is different. Local movers and national movers both provide excellent service, but you’ll have to take a long look at what your move will entail before you reach out to any kind of moving company.

Factors to Consider for Your Move

Determine The Distance And Complexity Of Your Move

If your move is complicated, long-distance, or involves highly expensive stuff, a national moving company may be your best option because of their professional experience with similar moves.

However, if your move is within city or state limits, or your move is altogether more simple and more straightforward, a local mover may satisfy your needs.

Consider Your Budget

National movers typically cost more than local movers, but there are always exceptions. If you don’t have a lot of stuff, you may actually save money by contacting national movers who will bill you by weight. And if you think your local move may involve a lot of traffic (and a lot of wasted time that you’ll have to pay for), national movers who charge by distance might be a cheaper option.

Read: What is the Average Cost of Moving Cross-Country?

Decide Whether You’ll Need Insurance

Interstate moving companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency mandates registration, operation, and claim resolution for movers and customers in case anything is damaged or lost in transit.

A local mover that operates in just one state may not be regulated by the FMCSA, but they still may have to follow guidelines laid out by a similar state agency. Also, remember that due to the shorter distance involved in a local move, there’s less opportunity to damage your belongings, so you might not need the best insurance coverage.

Check Out Their Customer Service

Local movers need to protect their reputations, so it should be easy to get in touch to resolve any issues you may have had with their service. On the other hand, national movers are usually big companies, which are harder to contact in case anything goes wrong.

What Do The Leading National Movers Do Differently?

There are about 7000 moving companies in the United States. While a reputable moving company will satisfy some standards, a leading national moving company will surpass them.

Moving APT knows what it takes to make a moving company exceed expectations. Here’s how you can tell a company is the best of the best:

Regulation Compliance

A leading national moving company must comply with the regulations of the DOT and FMSC. Visit to check for the moving company’s DOT number.

A DOT number proves that a company satisfies DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. If the moving company has no DOT number, it may mean that they aren’t following the rules – and that you should steer clear.

Insurance Coverage

Safety first, and insurance second. Even a DOT number doesn’t guarantee there won’t be accidents. The right fully licensed cross country moving company will cover you in the event of loss, damage, or injury.

Supplies and Equipment

You need the right tools and supplies to get the job done, and the top national moving companies should have them. Whether it’s hand trucks or furniture pads, your movers should come prepared.

You should be able to easily order packing supplies and moving boxes, and there should be an easy way to include additional information concerning the handling of certain items. Use a moving checklist as a reference for your moving preparations.

Informative Sales Representatives

Sales representatives should pay attention to your moving details to come up with a plan that is effective for both your budget and your moving timeline. They should also be able to give satisfying answers to your questions and provide an accurate moving estimate for you.

Experienced Staff

A moving company may have been around for years, but what about the employees? The right moving company should be able to provide experienced workers and account representatives to ensure you get a professional moving experience.

Outstanding Reviews

Customers tell it like it is. A satisfied customer will dish out praise, and a dissatisfied customer will let the whole world know about the problems they experienced. Top national movers will have more of the first than the last.

Weigh Your Options Before You Weigh Your Freight

While local and national moving companies offer similar services, the costs, insurance, and customer service will differ significantly. Before choosing between a local or national mover, you should explore your options and get written estimates from both types of companies.

Your move can be stressful and challenging, or it can be simple and straightforward. Read up on the companies you’re considering and decide whether they have a track record that lives up to your standards. Shop around for the right movers, and get started on a stress-free move.

Related Articles

Best Furniture Moving Companies - Moving APT
Best Furniture Moving Companies of 2022

When you’re moving furniture, you want the pros to handle it. Moving APT researched the top furniture moving companies in America so you can find the best movers for the job.

How much to tip movers - Moving APT
Do I Need to Tip My Movers? Yes, Here’s How Much

It’s standard practice to tip service providers around 15%, but does that hold true for movers as well? Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation, but what happens if you aren’t happy with your movers – do you still need to tip?