How Much Does It Cost To Move Cross Country

Want to know how much it costs to move across the country? We break down all of the factors to consider when budgeting your cross-country move.

Molly Henderson

Molly has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years and knows exactly what makes a mover great.

 ·  7 min

According to statistics, it’s believed that approximately 31 million Americans complete local moves each year, and around 3 million people complete interstate moves annually. Additionally, about 28.81 percent of movers move a one-bedroom apartment, while only 20.27 percent move a three-bedroom apartment. 

Suppose a cross-country moving opportunity has arisen, and you are ready for your next adventure. In that case, it’s likely your biggest concern is how much a cross-country move will cost you, as most of us don’t have exhaustive moving budgets. Finding the cheapest way to move can be challenging, and how much it costs you will depend on the type of move you need to do and the moving service you choose. 

Before you expend hours of energy getting cross-country moving quotes, it’s a good idea to get a brief understanding of what to expect. If you know what to expect, you can establish which option is best suited to your needs and whether a moving company or service is reasonable. 

When you decide to complete a long-distance move to your new home, there are primarily three moving options available to you. You can choose to do a DIY move, use long-distance movers or cross-country movers, or you can use a moving container service. 

Ultimately, how much your move costs will depend on many different factors. We have spoken of the factors you can expect to encounter. Additionally, we have briefly explained how much it will cost you to move if you complete a do-it-yourself move, use a professional moving company, or a container company. 

The Seven Main Factors That Affect Cross Country Moving Costs

Several different factors determine how much a cross-country move will cost. When you are planning your move, you need to consider all the below factors. They will help you decide between truck rental companies, shipping container companies, and full-service moving companies. 

  1. The Distance You’re Moving

Arguably, the biggest deciding factor of how much your cross-country move will cost is the distance you’re moving. The more miles between your current residence and your new residence, the more you will be charged. Additionally, if there are many tolls along the way, you will have to pay more. 

  1. The Size Of Your Home

A traditional moving service or full service moving company will give you a cost estimate based on the size of your home and the total weight of your belongings. The bigger your house, the more you will have to pay to move. 

However, if you choose to use a shipping container service or a rental truck, you will likely have to pay based on the size of the unit. 

  1. Labor 

Another factor that influences how much your cross-country move will cost is if you require labor. Most full-service movers include labor in their pricing. However, if you choose a DIY move or use a moving service where labor is not included, you will need to budget labor costs. 

Labor costs will vary, but you can generally expect to pay between $100 and $400 to move a home. Additionally, you can also opt to use movers on an hourly basis, and most will charge you between $25 and $40 an hour. 

  1. Moving Insurance

When you are moving, it’s important to have moving insurance in case your goods get lost, stolen, or broken. Most states require moving companies to carry basic insurance. Yet if you choose not to use a moving company, you will need to ensure your renter’s policy or homeowners insurance covers moving residences. 

  1. Your Moving Timeline

It’s crucial to carefully plan out your moving timeline. If you have to change your moving dates, you could be charged a significant fee, especially if you’re using a traditional moving company. Even when you’re renting a truck and need to change your moving day, you could still have to pay additional fees. 

  1. The Season

The time of year you choose to move can significantly impact how much you pay to complete a cross-country move. For example, if you move during peak times and seasons, you will pay much more than if you move during off-peak times. 

If you have a smaller budget, avoid moving during summer, holidays, festivals, and events. Additionally, if you move over a weekend, you can also expect to pay more, so try and move during a weekday.

  1. Fuel

There are usually no added fuel costs when you use a full-service mover or a storage container company. Yet, some storage container companies will charge you transport costs. Additionally, if you are using a rental truck, you will need to pay your own fuel costs. 

The longer the moving distance, the more you will need to pay. Moreover, most rental truck companies will charge you a surcharge penalty if you don’t return the truck to them with a full tank of gas. 

A Summary Of The Average Cost Of Moving Cross Country 

Interestingly, in 2020 the most moved out of state was New Jersey, and the most moved to state was Idaho. For the purpose of the below table, we have used New Jersey as our moving out of destination and Idaho as our moving to the destination as this is an example of a cross country move.

Additionally, we have used a summer month as our moving month, which will indicate a cost estimate example of peak moving times. Moreover, the table will give you a basic idea of how much movers cost. Yet, you should always seek your own moving estimate to get accurate quotes. 

Home SizeProfessional MoversContainerFreightTruck Rental
1 Small Bedroom Apartment$1,933 – $3,211$2,506 – $3,166$1,995 – $2,520$1,963 – $2,479
1 Large Bedroom Apartment$2,125 – $3,650$2,506 – $3,166$2,138 – $2,700$1,963 – $2,479
2 Bedroom House$2,980 – $5,00$3,264 – $4,123$2,613 – $3,300$2,041 – $2,578
3 Bedroom House$3,973 – $6,020$3,931 – $4,966$3,088 – $3,900$2,337 – $2,952
4 Bedroom House $4,780 – $7,875$4,513 – $5,700$3,515 – 4,400$2,599 – $3,283

How Much It Costs To Complete A Cross Country Move Yourself

If you don’t want to use professional movers, you can choose to complete your cross-country move by yourself. However, it’s important to note that completing a cross-country move on your own does come with challenges. 

For example, if you don’t use professional movers, you will have to do all the packing and unpacking on your own. You will also have to source all your moving and packing supplies, and you will have to load and unload your moving transport on your own. 

Yet choosing a DIY move can be a cheaper alternative, which is why many people choose to do it. On average, it is cheaper to move your home regardless of its size on your own when using a truck rental company. Most rental companies will charge you a daily rate that will depend on the size of the truck you hire and the distance you are traveling. 

However, you need to keep in mind that moving your entire household on your own with a moving truck can be incredibly time-consuming and hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

To move a small one-bedroom apartment on your own with a moving truck rental, you should expect to pay anywhere between $1,963 and $2,479. If you have to move a three-bedroom home, you should expect a rental truck to cost you $2,337 to $2,952. 

How Much It Costs To Complete A Cross Country Move With A Full-Service Moving Company

Many people don’t have the time to complete a cross-country move on their own. If you’re someone who needs assistance with every aspect of your move, you need to consider utilizing a full-service moving company. Fortunately, many different long-distance moving companies provide an array of services. 

It’s crucial to note that a full-service professional moving company will be the most expensive cross-country moving option. However, you won’t have to do anything. A professional full-service moving company will do all the heavy lifting with a team of professional movers. They will provide packing services, loading, and offloading services, and ensure checklists of your belongings are kept safe. 

Additionally, full-service movers will also provide all the necessary moving and packing supplies you need, including special moving supplies that keep your fragile items like your TVs and artworks safe. Many also provide storage units for those who can’t afford to haul all their belongings across the country during one trip. 

How much full-service moving companies charge will vary. To move a large one-bedroom apartment, you should expect to pay roughly $2,125 to $3,650. If you want to move a four-bedroom home, you need to budget for anywhere between $4,780 – $7,875. 

How Much It Costs To Complete A Cross Country Move With A Container Service 

It has been common for those wanting to complete interstate moves to use a shipping container in recent years. Although you still need to pack and unpack your possessions yourself, a shipping container company will transport your belongings for you. 

When you are ready to move, all you have to do is contact the company you have selected, and they will drop off the storage container at your residence. After a few days, they will pick it up and transport it to your new residence. 

What’s great about using a shipping container moving service is that you don’t need to rush your move. Unlike a rental truck service, you will pay a monthly fee to rent your shipping container and a transportation fee. This means that you won’t be in a rush to get your things packed and can take your time cataloging what you want to take with you. Essentially your shipping pod is similar to a portable storage unit.

On average, it costs approximately $2,506 to $3,166 to move a large one-bedroom apartment with a shipping container. In contrast, it will cost you around $4,513 to $5,700 to move a four-bedroom home with a shipping container. 

Do you need assistance with your shipping container move? If so, you may want to consider hiring professional movers to pack, unpack and load and offload your belongings. Often a one-bedroom apartment requires a team of two professional movers, while a four-bedroom house requires three movers. Additionally, hiring movers can cost you between $25 -$40 an hour plus labor charges.  

How You Can Lower Your Cross Country Moving Costs

Below you will see a few moving tips that can help you lower how much your cross-country moving trip costs. 

  1. Pack Minimally

The fewer possessions you have, the cheaper your cross-country move will be. If you don’t want to pay a fortune completing a long-distance interstate move, you should pack minimally and get rid of the items you no longer need. 

There are many charities where you can donate the items you don’t want to keep. Additionally, you can have a garage sale with your unwanted items to make some extra money for your move.

  1. Search For Moving Discounts

Not many people know that moving discounts are available from certain service providers. For example, there are many moving companies that offer lower rates if you choose to move during the off-season. Additionally, there are also AAA moving discounts available to qualifying members. 

Moreover, if you’re a military member or veteran, you can get military discounts with certain moving companies. 

  1. Get Numerous Free Quotes From Providers

Many people make the unfortunate mistake of booking their cross-country move with the first company they speak with about their move. If you are completing a small local move, this won’t be an issue, but it can be quite an expensive mistake if you’re moving a long distance. 

You should get as many cost estimates and free quotes as possible from moving companies, rental truck companies, and shipping container companies as possible. Once you get all the pricing, you can make an educated decision on which service is the cheapest and offers you the most value for your money. 

  1. Source Free Moving And Packing Supplies 

Interestingly, one of the best ways to lower your cross-country moving costs is to source free moving and packing supplies. It might be surprising to learn all the items you can source for free. For example, it’s easily possible to find boxes, packing tape, and paper from online marketplaces like Craigslist and the U-Haul Box Exchange. 

Completing a cross-country move can be stressful, but it can also be exciting. Knowing how much it will cost you to complete a cross-country move is crucial. Yet, it’s just as important to consider the various moving factors that influence how much your move will cost. By using the information, we have spoken of and getting your own quotes; you will have a stress-free moving experience. 

Molly Henderson

Molly has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years and knows exactly what makes a mover great.

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