We may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website. Our Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services.More

Best Moving Companies in California (2024)

According to our rigorous methodology and research, International Van Lines is California’s best mover. Learn about it and other top providers with our guide.

Author Image Written by Shane Sentelle + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Kent Sisneros Updated 05/09/2024

Whether you’re leaving California for a new home in a neighboring state, moving to it or across town, a professional moving company makes the process easier and safer. We researched some of the best moving companies in the United States and scored them using our detailed rating methodology. International Van Lines (IVL) is our top recommended moving company in California because of its comprehensive service selection and experience handling intrastate and long-distance moves to and from the state. Read on to learn more about why we chose IVL and our other picks for the best moving companies in California.


Best California Moving Companies of 2024

We evaluated moving companies on several crucial factors, such as services offered, insurance coverage, and reports from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Here are our six picks for the best moving companies in California:


Moving Long-Distance To or From California

Key factors to consider when hiring professional movers for a long-distance move to or from California include your move’s distance and route, as well as California’s diverse terrain. Experienced movers adeptly navigate California’s diverse landscapes, whether the Sierra Nevada mountains or the Mojave Desert, anticipating challenges such as varying weather conditions.

Expertise in cross-country logistics is vital, especially with California’s terrain. Movers experienced in long-haul journeys can efficiently handle challenges such as crossing the Rocky Mountains or navigating the Southwest’s arid deserts. Discussing special items and utilizing storage options provided by a professional mover also ensures the security of your belongings during any gaps between move-out and move-in dates. Coordinating timing and carefully managing scheduling help avoid delays. Finally, requesting detailed cost estimates from multiple moving companies ensures finding the best value for your budget amidst the potential expenses associated with long-distance moves.

Compliance with interstate regulations is paramount, particularly when crossing state lines. Familiarizing yourself with legal requirements such as vehicle registration and residency documentation is crucial. Researching healthcare options and insurance coverage and exploring the new community and lifestyle also aid in ensuring a seamless transition.

Moving Locally Within California

When moving within California, consider factors such as heavy traffic in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Professional movers often adjust schedules to avoid rush hour delays. California’s diverse terrain, including mountains and coastal regions, can challenge moving trucks. Communicate any access issues beforehand for a smooth move. Be prepared for varying weather conditions and discuss contingency plans with movers. Some California cities require permits for street parking during moves. Professional movers can assist in obtaining permits to prevent delays or fines.

California’s proximity to major ports and airports impacts logistics, especially for international or cross-state moves. Ports such as Long Beach and Oakland may require shipping containers or air freight, which experienced movers efficiently manage.

You can consider a reputable local moving company such as Gentle Giant Moving. It’s known for well-trained crews, specialized equipment, comprehensive services, including packing, loading, and unloading, and additional options such as storage and home staging.

What Should I Know About California Movers?

We recommend knowing the average cost of California moves, your insurance options, and the range of moving services available.

Our research shows that moving a three-bedroom home across state lines to California costs roughly $6,914.

Several key elements will influence your overall cost when hiring a professional moving company in California. Distance, size and weight of your belongings, insurance coverage, and other factors can all play a role in determining your final price. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions when selecting a moving company that fits your budget and needs.

Moving insurance is crucial for protecting your belongings while relocating. Two insurance options are available: released value and full-value protection. Released value is included in the moving company’s service package but provides limited reimbursement based on the item’s weight.

Full-value protection offers reimbursement for the full replacement value of lost or damaged items, but it comes with an additional fee. Some people opt for third-party insurance policies offering customizable coverage options and higher reimbursement limits. Make informed decisions about your possessions’ value and choose the appropriate insurance to safeguard your belongings and minimize financial risks during the move.

According to our February 2024 survey of 1,000 customers who moved, 72% chose full-value coverage and found the extra charge worth the peace of mind it brought them.

There are a range of moving services available in California. Professional moving companies provide comprehensive, full-service packages covering all aspects of the relocation process. These services can include packing and unpacking assistance, furniture disassembly and reassembly, loading and unloading of belongings, transportation using specialized moving trucks, and temporary storage solutions. Full-service movers provide a hassle-free experience and allow you to focus on other aspects of your move.

Partial or customizable moving services are also available if you prefer a more hands-on approach or have budget constraints. These services enable you to choose specific assistance based on your needs and preferences. For example, you can opt for packing services only, where movers efficiently and securely pack your belongings using high-quality materials. Alternatively, you can choose loading and transportation services, where the moving company handles the heavy lifting and transportation of packed boxes and furniture.


Compare Moving Companies in California

Star Rating BBB Rating Sample Quote Deposit Required Link
International Van Lines International Van Lines
A+ $2,519–$4,306 25% VISIT SITE
American Van Lines American Van Lines
A+ $4,544 Up to 50% up-front VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc. Safeway Moving Inc.
B- $4,000–$5,000 Up to 40% VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
B $3,823–$4,824 Up to 33% VISIT SITE
Moving APT Moving APT
B $3,566–$6,266 Varies between partners VISIT SITE
JK Moving Services JK Moving Services
A+ $5,600–$6,622 $250 up-front VISIT SITE
International Van Lines
Logo International Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Sample Quote $2,519–$4,306
Deposit Required 25%
VISIT SITE
American Van Lines
Logo American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Sample Quote $4,544
Deposit Required Up to 50% up-front
VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc.
Logo Safeway Moving Inc.
Star Rating
BBB Rating B-
Sample Quote $4,000–$5,000
Deposit Required Up to 40%
VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Logo Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
Sample Quote $3,823–$4,824
Deposit Required Up to 33%
VISIT SITE
Moving APT
Logo Moving APT
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
Sample Quote $3,566–$6,266
Deposit Required Varies between partners
VISIT SITE
JK Moving Services
Logo JK Moving Services
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Sample Quote $5,600–$6,622
Deposit Required $250 up-front
VISIT SITE
Company Star Rating BBB Rating Estimate Info Visit Site
4.5
A+ $2,500–$4,300 VISIT SITE
4.2
A+ $3,200–$3,500 VISIT SITE
4.3
B- $6,300–$7,500 VISIT SITE
3.9
B $2,800–$4,000 VISIT SITE
4.2
B $2,968–$5,668 VISIT SITE
4.7
A+ $7,550 VISIT SITE

Note: Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings are accurate as of April 2024.


Top California Moving Companies

International Van Lines

Best Service Offerings
4.5

International Van Lines (USDOT #: 2293832) is an ideal moving company for long-distance moves into and out of California. California is one of the five states where IVL offers intrastate moves, but availability may be limited depending on where you live. The company provides full-service moving options in-house, such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. We also find IVL’s specialty services for antiques, artwork, and pianos to be a standout.

How We Scored International Van Lines

IVL scored 4.9 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it did in each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): IVL meets your unique requirements with its comprehensive full-pack services and customizable partial-pack options. The company also goes the extra mile by offering specialized services, including custom crating for delicate items such as artwork.
  • Insurance coverage (8 out of 8 points): The company scores all points for its range of insurance options, which include full-value protection plans. 
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): IVL boasts multiple communication channels to coordinate your move with its team easily. 
  • Additional benefits (10 out of 13 points): It doesn’t currently offer financing options or DIY moving methods, but you can count on it for storage services and packing materials.
  • Customer service (12 out of 12 points): IVL maintains a positive reputation on various online review platforms.

Pros and Cons

Pros Above-average customer review scores Offers multiple protection plan options Provides top-tier specialty services for pianos, antiques, and expensive artwork Cons Better suited for interstate moves than local moves No online booking option Requires a 25% deposit

California Moving Services

IVL focuses on full-service moves but offers partial and self-service options. You can work with the company to mix and match services to create the perfect moving package. The company provides additional security for your belongings with a full-value protection plan and short-term and long-term storage solutions.

Here’s a short list of some of the other services it offers in California:

  • Bulky item relocation
  • Large vehicle shipping
  • Motorcycle shipping
  • Temporary or permanent storage

Cost

IVL offers estimates over the phone or in person. We recommend an in-person consultation as it helps ensure your initial estimate is more accurate and allows you to get answers quickly. We used IVL’s online cost calculator to give you a rough estimate. Please note that this estimate is only general, and an in-person consultation is required to obtain a more precise and binding estimate.

  • Sample quote: $5,250–$7,688 (three-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)
  • Deposit: 25%
  • Payment accepted: Cash, cashier’s check, credit card (deposit only), money order

Reputation and Reviews

IVL boasts an impressive A rating on its BBB profile but lacks accreditation from the organization. Numerous customers have lauded the prompt service experienced during the booking process, but there have been occasional reports of varying service quality among local IVL affiliates. Recent discussions on Reddit have highlighted instances where partner companies affiliated with IVL were deemed professional and accommodating.

American Van Lines

Best Overall Moving Labor
4.2

American Van Lines (USDOT #: 614506) is a great option if you worry about handling high-value items properly. Every team member is a full-time mover with an average of 10 years of experience. This ensures you receive reliable and skilled service for your difficult or heavy items. American Van Lines supplies many industry-standard full-service options, such as furniture disassembly, packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking.

How We Scored American Van Lines

American Van Lines earned 4.4 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it did in each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): American Van Lines is another full-service mover that provides various types of moves throughout California. The company stands out for its specialized services for moving challenging items such as antiques, pianos, safes, and oversized furniture.
  • Insurance coverage (8 out of 8 points): The company offers versatility in insurance options, allowing you to tailor protection based on your budget and specific requirements.
  • Scheduling (4 out of 8 points): American Van Lines’ scheduling process could be more user-friendly. You can only make moving arrangements by contacting its customer service team via phone. It also limits its service hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays, with no availability on Sundays.
  • Additional benefits (8 out of 13 points): It lost points because it offers fewer supplementary options than some competitors with no financing or DIY moving services.
  • Customer service (9 out of 12 points): American Van Lines maintains a generally positive online reputation. Unfortunately, some of the company’s trucks regularly fail federal inspections, potentially affecting the quality and safety of its moving services.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers a price-matching policy Provides flat-rate pricing and binding estimates Expansive network of agents Cons Prices might be higher than some competitors Customer reviews mention challenges with communication and scheduling Requires a hefty upfront deposit of 10%–50%

California Moving Services

American Van Lines offers full-service and partial-pack options for local and long-distance moves. The company handles every part of a move from start to finish with services such as furniture disassembly, packing, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking, and furniture reassembly. It provides partial-service moves as a cheaper alternative to its more expensive full-service moves. Here are some of its other services:

  • Corporate relocation
  • Military relocation
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Temporary and permanent storage
  • White-glove relocation of artwork and antiques

Cost

American Van Lines doesn’t provide online quotes, but we obtained some information regarding potential moving costs from various online resources. We found information regarding a relocation between Seattle and Los Angeles. Below is a sample quote for a three-bedroom home, equivalent to approximately 10,000 pounds in weight, including loading services.

  • Sample quote: $7,226
  • Deposit: Up to 50%
  • Payment accepted: Cash, cashier’s check, credit card, money order, and traveler’s check

Reputation and Reviews

American Van Lines stands out as a reputable moving company, holding an impressive A+ rating on its BBB profile. It also boasts a transparent pricing structure with straightforward estimates and no hidden fees.

We found online reviews that cited unexpected price hikes during moves and some customers encountering challenges communicating directly with moving crews. These observations align with similar feedback found on American Van Lines’ Yelp profile, indicating areas for potential improvement and emphasizing the importance of thorough communication and clarity throughout the moving process.

Safeway Moving Inc.

Most Reliable Pricing
4.3

Safeway Moving Inc. (USDOT #: 237129) specializes in full-service moves for long-distance relocations, allowing you to transport household goods to California from anywhere in the U.S. The company can also coordinate moves overseas.

Many of its services are assigned to its crews, but the company will outsource a small percentage to partnered companies. Safeway remains the carrier of every move, so it’s responsible for any issues.

How We Scored Safeway Moving

Safeway Moving earned 4.2 out of 5 stars. Here’s a breakdown of how the company performed in each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): Safeway stands out with its extensive selection of moving services, adeptly catering to various customer needs.
  • Insurance coverage (5 out of 8 points): The company only provides two principal insurance options: released value and full-value protection.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): Safeway facilitates moves via phone, email, and live chat, ensuring flexibility and convenience.
  • Additional benefits (6 out of 13 points): The company might lack certain features such as shipment tracking, financing facilities, online tools, and moving calculators, but it compensates by providing essential packing materials and versatile storage options.
  • Customer service (6 out of 12 points): Safeway’s network of partner companies influences the overall customer service experience, leading to variability in service quality and customer feedback. Regardless, Safeway is committed to actively resolving issues and enhancing its FMCSA profile, indicating an ongoing effort to elevate service standards and customer satisfaction.

Pros and Cons

Pros Claims to offer a satisfaction guarantee on its website Donates a portion of moving fees to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Will price-match competitors’ storage rates Cons Requires you pay up to a 40% deposit when booking a move Doesn’t advertise offerings for local moving services Has reviews that mention difficulty reaching customer support

California Moving Services

Safeway’s long-distance movers can provide full packing assistance, which involves packing your belongings on the pickup date, transporting them to your new home, and helping you unpack them upon delivery. The company can also inventory your belongings to streamline the unpacking process and will use extra protective materials as necessary.

Below are some additional services Safeway offers:

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Moving assistance for older adults
  • Temporary and permanent storage

Cost

Safeway offers flat-rate, binding estimates for moving services, ensuring transparent pricing. It evaluates each relocation project, considering factors such as shipment weight, distance, services required, and insurance. This process ensures more accurate and dependable quotes. We contacted Safeway through its online platform, and an agent provided a ballpark estimate.

  • Sample quote: $6,722 (three-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)
  • Deposit: Up to 40%
  • Payment accepted: Cash, credit card, certified check, and money order

Reputation and Reviews

Safeway currently maintains a B- rating on its BBB profile. Safeway garners predominantly favorable reviews, with customers commending its superior service quality, meticulous quoting process, and robust insurance offerings. However, there have been troubling accounts of bait-and-switch tactics, where final prices significantly deviated from the initial quotes provided. Safeway’s BestCompany profile reflects a predominantly positive sentiment, and there is plenty of praise from California residents.

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Most Efficient
3.9

Interstate Moving and Relocation Group (IMRG) (USDOT #: 3034100) maintains a cross-country network of moving partners and brokers willing to transport your belongings to the Golden State. These partner companies include full- and self-service movers, allowing you to tailor services to your expectations. IMRG can often book moves quickly thanks to its large network.

How We Scored Interstate Moving and Relocation Group

IMRG earned 4.4 out of 5 stars. Below is how it performed in each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): IMRG excels by linking you with an expansive network of rigorously screened moving companies, ensuring a match for every possible need.
  • Insurance coverage (5 out of 8 points): The company’s insurance options are limited, providing only partial- and full-value protection plans.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): IMRG offers various communication methods, including phone and online tools.
  • Additional benefits (6 out of 13 points): It offers a solid range of extra features to enhance the moving experience. These include valuable moving checklists, guides, and resources to help organize and streamline your move. Unfortunately, it lacks some industry-standard services such as storage solutions, truck rentals, and financial payment plans.
  • Customer service (9 out of 12 points): IMRG’s online reputation is more positive than other companies in this review. It also boasts a clean FMCSA profile with no accidents reported in the past two years.

Pros and Cons

Pros Can find agents in its network that are a match for your move plan and available in your area of the country Gives you a better chance at scheduling a last-minute move by working with numerous partners across the country Has resources on its website to help you prepare for an upcoming move, including cost of living statistics for several cities Cons Has received complaints on Google Reviews for the quality of work performed by some third-party movers No weekend customer support Won’t refund deposits more than 72 hours after booking

California Moving Services

IMRG can schedule full-service moves through local and long-distance moving companies that provide full packing services for a more streamlined moving process. It can also refer you to self-service movers if you’d prefer minimal handling of your belongings by moving crews. Many providers offer a partial-packing service for fragile items only.

Here’s a short list of some of its other services:

Cost

IMRG can provide a binding estimate, but we recommend requesting an in-home survey of your inventory instead of self-reporting the details of your shipment. This process will typically lead to a more accurate quote. We contacted the company and received the following ballpark estimate:

  • Sample quote: $3,900–$7,000 (three-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)
  • Deposit: Up to 33%
  • Payment accepted: Credit card and check

Reputation and Reviews

IMRG holds a B rating on the BBB site and isn’t accredited. Positive feedback highlights the professionalism and competence of its moving crews, with customers appreciating the company’s efficient service. However, there are concerning reports of bait-and-switch pricing tactics, where final charges differ substantially from initial quotes.

Moving APT

Best Customer Service
4.2

Moving APT (USDOT #: 2247863) operates as a broker. The company connects you with professional movers in your area through one of the industry’s largest networks of independent moving companies. This makes it an ideal option if you prefer a more hands-off approach to the moving process. Once you’ve submitted your relocation request, Moving APT will coordinate with its partner moving company and oversee the entire moving process until your items are delivered. The company also provides 24/7 customer support to address any questions or concerns.

How We Scored Moving APT

Moving APT scored 4.4 out of 5 stars. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the company’s performance across each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): Moving APT connects you with a network of proficient movers capable of fulfilling all standard moving services.
  • Insurance coverage (5 out of 8 points): The company limits its insurance options to one released value and one full-value plan. 
  • Scheduling (4 out of 8 points): It features a user-friendly website that provides comprehensive service information. However, the absence of online booking capabilities limits scheduling options to phone calls only.
  • Additional benefits (8 out of 13 points): Moving APT offers moving truck rentals but doesn’t provide packing supplies and materials, which could benefit customers pursuing self-service moves.
  • Customer service (12 out of 12 points): The company garners praise for its exceptional customer service, boasting higher customer review scores and response rates on platforms such as the BBB than many competitors.

Pros and Cons

Pros Maintains a network of 2,500 independent moving companies nationwide Offers military, differently abled, and senior citizen discounts Prescreens all moving companies within its network to ensure they’re licensed, insured, and reputable Cons Won’t refund deposits on cancellations with less than seven days’ notice Doesn’t cover items broken, damaged, or lost due to broker status Customer complaints have been sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation about higher-than-estimated costs and delivery delays

California Moving Services

Moving APT offers traditional full- and partial-service moving packages, both of which can be customized. Here are the company’s other services:

  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Custom crating
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Packing
  • Piano moving
  • Storage
  • Vehicle relocation

Cost

We used Moving APT’s cost calculator to estimate the cost of our move. However, we learned that Moving APT requires a virtual or in-person consultation for accurate pricing. After discussing the move with a sales representative, we received calls from three of Moving APT’s partners. So, if you plan on using Moving APT’s services, be prepared to receive calls from multiple interested moving companies.

  • Sample quote: $1,575–$4,650 (three-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)
  • Deposit: Varies between partners
  • Payment accepted: Cash, check, and money order

Reputation and Reviews

Moving APT has a B+ rating on the BBB but isn’t accredited. Many reviews praise Moving APT for being efficient and providing quick quotes, but some customers have reported poor experiences with customer service after booking. We appreciate that Moving APT provides information and customer reviews for its partnered movers in California on its website.

JK Moving Services

Best Specialized Packing
4.7

JK Moving Services (USDOT #: 1065394) offers full-service and partial-service moving packages custom-made to fit your moving needs and budget. It’s also one of the few moving companies offering financing for moves. Customers can receive rates as low as 0% same-as-cash on their moves with JK Moving.* The company doesn’t offer intrastate moves within California, but it’s a great full-service option for cross-country moving into or out of the state.

*Subject to credit approval

How We Scored JK Moving Services

JK Moving earned an exceptional rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it did in each category:

  • Moving services (59 out of 59 points): JK Moving offers various customizable moving services to meet diverse needs, including comprehensive full-pack assistance and partial-pack options.
  • Insurance coverage (5 out of 8 points): The company’s insurance offerings encompass partial-value and full-value protection plans, providing varying levels of coverage to safeguard belongings during transit.
  • Scheduling (8 out of 8 points): It facilitates hassle-free scheduling through phone and online channels. Customers can seamlessly book virtual or in-person estimates to suit their preferences and schedules.
  • Additional benefits (10 out of 13 points): JK Moving stands out for its impressive range of supplementary benefits, including financing programs that allow you to spread out the cost of your move over time.
  • Customer service (12 out of 12 points): The company boasts a stellar reputation backed by overwhelmingly positive reviews from satisfied customers. Furthermore, the company maintains a clean record on its FMCSA profile, with only minor incidents reported.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers GPS tracking Offers financing through Enhancify partnership Provides personal moving coordinators for each customer Cons Storage is provided by third-party companies No local moves for California Has a longer quote process than other providers

California Moving Services

JK Moving offers industry-standard full-service options such as packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. It collects details about your move and budget and determines what services are most beneficial for you to include in your package.

Here are some other services JK Moving offers for California residents:

  • Government moves
  • International moves 
  • Office moves and information technology removal
  • Shipment tracking
  • Temporary and permanent storage

Cost

JK Moving customizes each package, so the company doesn’t feature sample pricing online. We contacted a JK Moving sales representative to get a quote. We initially received a rough estimate by texting the company, but it was suggested that we conduct a virtual self-survey to get a more accurate quote. What follows is a quote we received from our research via another guide. It’s roughly 200 miles less than Seattle to Los Angeles.

  • Sample quote: $8,196 (three-bedroom home from Chicago to Hartford)
  • Deposit: $250 upfront
  • Payment accepted: Cash, credit card, certified check, and money order

Reputation and Reviews

JK Moving stands out with its remarkable A+ rating on its BBB profile, further solidified by stellar reviews across various platforms. The company has received praise for its highly skilled movers and flexible financing options, indicating its commitment to customer satisfaction and service excellence.


What Local California Moving Companies Should I Consider?

Our guide mainly focuses on national and interstate movers. Some of our picks offer local moving services in California, but numerous other reputable local movers are available.

  • Gentle Giant Moving: This company is a top choice for local moves in California, thanks to its dedication to customer care and meticulous attention to detail. Its team of highly trained professionals ensures a seamless and stress-free relocation experience for every customer. The company features plenty of locations around San Francisco and the Bay Area.
  • Mother Lode Van & Storage: This family-owned business has operated since 1975. It has a reputation for quality service at reasonable rates throughout the greater Sacramento and Northern California regions.
  • NorthStar Moving: This California-based local moving company is renowned for its customer service and eco-friendly practices. It offers a wide range of services to meet individual needs, focusing on efficiency and attention to detail.
  • Oz Moving & Storage: This company has over 25 years of experience and a reputation for professionalism and reliability. It offers comprehensive moving solutions tailored to fit any budget or schedule. Oz Moving & Storage is also known for its transparent pricing and commitment to customer satisfaction.

National van lines are an excellent choice for long-distance moves, while local California movers are better suited for those moving within the state. Local movers have a deeper knowledge of the area, can provide a more tailored experience, and are often more competitively priced for shorter moves.


What Determines a California Move’s Cost?

The cost of a move in California depends on several factors, such as distance, weight of your items, and the time of year. We’ve outlined two pricing structures for California moves to help you determine how much your move may cost.

Single-Day Moves

The size of your residence or the volume of items transported is the primary factor in determining single-day moving expenses in California. For instance, moving from a one-bedroom apartment may cost between $500 and $1,000, while relocating a three or four-bedroom home could cost between $1,200 and $2,500. In addition, the inclusion of additional services such as packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, or the handling of specialty items may also impact the overall cost.

Usually, rates start at around $100 per hour for a team of two to three movers, but there may be a minimum hourly requirement. Additionally, extra expenses such as truck fees and travel time to and from the moving company’s facility can contribute to the final price.

Multiday Moves

Embarking on a long-distance, multiday move to or from California can entail significant costs. The primary factors influencing the expense of such a relocation are the total weight of your belongings and the distance they must traverse. You should anticipate spending between $2,500 and $6,000 for relocating a two-to-three-bedroom home across multiple states. Expenses can easily surpass $10,000 for larger residences or cross-country moves.

The total weight and distance aren’t the sole determinants of the final cost. Several additional factors can impact the overall price tag. These include the following:

  • Full packing services: Many moving companies provide professional packing services, which offer convenience but come at an additional cost. 
  • Home layout: Residences featuring multiple flights of stairs may incur extra charges.
  • Insurance: Securing adequate coverage is imperative to safeguard belongings during long-distance moves. Moving companies typically present various protection levels, with comprehensive coverage plans entailing supplementary fees.
  • Specialty services: Due to their value, fragility, or size, items such as antiques, pianos, or artwork may incur additional fees for specialized handling and transportation.
  • Vehicle shipping: If the relocation entails transporting vehicles alongside household goods, expect the moving company to levy additional charges for this service.

We requested sample quotes from all the providers in our review and found that moving a three-bedroom home to California costs around $6,914. The table below details all our California sample moving quotes.

Moving CompanySample QuoteDeposit Required
International Van Lines$5,250–$7,68825%
American Van Lines$7,226Up to 50%
Safeway Moving Inc.$6,722Up to 40%
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group$3,900–$7,000Up to 33%
Moving APT$1,575–$4,650Varies
JK Moving Services$8,196$250 upfront

Preparing for a California Move

Planning and executing a move in California involves creating a timeline and sticking to it as closely as possible. Here are the key steps to follow to ensure a seamless moving experience:

  • Create a timeline: Initiate planning at least eight weeks before your scheduled move date. Develop a comprehensive timeline encompassing tasks such as researching and vetting moving companies, decluttering possessions, procuring moving supplies, arranging utility transfers, and updating addresses.
  • Downsize: Conduct a thorough evaluation of your belongings, sorting items into categories of “keep,” “donate,” and “discard.” This decluttering process helps reduce moving costs and facilitates packing.
  • Gather supplies: Stock up on essential moving supplies, including sturdy boxes in various sizes, bubble wrap, packing paper, labels, markers, and durable packing tape. Many reputable moving companies in California offer these supplies for purchase or rental, often at discounted rates.
  • Obtain quotes and research companies: Reach out to at least three moving companies and schedule in-home estimates for accurate cost assessments. Utilize resources such as the FMCSA website to verify insurance and licensing details, ensuring you choose a reputable company.
  • Transfer utilities: Coordinate the disconnection of utilities at your current residence and arrange for their reconnection at your new home, ensuring a seamless transition with minimal service interruptions.
  • Change your address: Notify essential parties, including your employer, banks, subscriptions, insurance providers, and others, of your impending move. File an official change of address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to guarantee uninterrupted mail forwarding.
  • Pack strategically: Employ a systematic approach to packing. Label boxes by room and prioritize essential items for easy access upon arrival. Ensure valuables are securely packed, and consider transporting them personally or utilizing specialized moving services for added protection.
  • Plan for pets: Make arrangements for the safe transportation of your pets. Secure appropriate carriers or crates and familiarize yourself with the moving company’s pet policies. Plan for necessary stops during the journey to accommodate your pets’ needs and comfort.

California Moving Timeline

Having a timeline for your move to California can greatly contribute to a hassle-free and well-organized relocation process. We created a thorough moving checklist and timeline to assist you in staying on track with packing and booking services. This will ensure that you can take all necessary steps promptly for a smooth and stress-free move.
Eight weeks before: Conduct a thorough inventory of all belongings, meticulously documenting their condition and value. Sort items into categories of “keep,” “donate,” and “discard” based on your preferences. Utilize these detailed lists to solicit precise in-home estimates and quotes from multiple moving companies in your area.
Six weeks before: Secure binding quotes from at least three moving companies, scrutinizing their services, pricing, and any additional fees or charges. Confirm your chosen moving company and lock in your preferred pickup and delivery dates. Pack nonessential items such as out-of-season clothing, infrequently used, and decorative items.
Four weeks before: Continue packing, focusing on less frequently utilized items such as books, media collections, and off-season sporting equipment. Arrange for the disconnection and subsequent reconnection of utilities at both your current and new addresses, allowing for a brief overlap to prevent service disruptions. Coordinate transferring or canceling subscriptions, memberships, or recurring services linked to your address.
Two weeks before: Pack semi-essential items, reserving only necessities such as basic kitchenware, toiletries, and a few changes of clothing. File an official change of address with the USPS to facilitate seamless mail forwarding. Reconfirm all details with your chosen moving company, including pickup and delivery dates, insurance coverage, and any specific handling requirements.
Moving week: Complete packing any remaining items, such as kitchen essentials and clothing, leaving out only what you’ll require for the ensuing days. Assemble a separate bag or box containing important documents, valuables, and crucial items for the move, keeping it readily accessible during transit. Conduct a final walkthrough of your current residence, ensuring no items are inadvertently left behind.

How Can You Choose the Best Moving Company in California?

Our 2024 survey revealed that 74% of moving customers opted to hire a professional moving company because they wanted peace of mind, a more stress-free relocation, and a quicker and more efficient moving process. However, identifying the best moving company in California necessitates considering the answers to the following questions:

  • Are the movers background-checked? Prioritize companies that conduct thorough background checks and provide comprehensive training for their staff. This practice ensures the safety and professionalism of the moving crew entrusted with handling your belongings.
  • Did they provide accurate binding quotes? Seek in-home or virtual estimates from at least three companies. Reputable movers will dispatch a representative to assess the scope of your move and provide an accurate, binding quote.
  • Do the movers have the right credentials? Confirm the credentials of your prospective movers. In California, local and in-state movers must hold a license issued by the California Department of Transportation, while interstate movers must be registered with the FMCSA.
  • Does the company have a good reputation? Conduct thorough research on various moving companies operating in California. Scrutinize online reviews, ratings, and customer testimonials to gauge their reputation and level of service excellence.
  • What insurance coverage is available? Verify the moving company’s insurance policies and valuation procedures. Ensure it offers released value and full-value protection to safeguard your possessions throughout the relocation process.
  • What is the company’s experience level? Inquire about a company’s expertise, particularly regarding specialized items such as pianos, antiques, or delicate furniture. Seasoned movers possess the requisite skills and equipment to transport such objects securely.

Our video shares more about how to check whether a moving company is trustworthy or not:


What Are My Moving Options in California?

Your moving options in California range from DIY approaches to full-service movers. Here’s a look at your options:

This service entails loading your possessions into a secure, portable container, which the moving company transports to your new residence. This is iIdeal for partial or long-distance moves, and container shipping allows for staged loading and unloading, offering flexibility to align with your moving timeline.

Truck rental services such as U-Haul empower you to take a hands-on approach by managing your belongings’ packing, loading, and transportation. DIY moves typically offer cost savings, ranging between $1,000 and $2,000, but they necessitate substantial physical exertion, additional expenses for packing supplies, and increased risks of damage without professional handling.

Specialized freight providers cater to individuals relocating oversized, heavy, or unique items such as vehicles, large furniture, or machinery. These companies ensure safe transportation over long distances while minimizing the risk of damage to your valuables.

Full-service moves involve professional movers managing every aspect of the relocation process. This move often includes the company supplying packing materials and having its team pack household items. The movers can also load and unload trucks, transport belongings, and even reassemble furniture at your new address. Full-service movers do everything, but they’re the most expensive.


Which Moving Company Is the Best in California?

Our top pick for moving services in California is International Van Lines due to its comprehensive offerings, including long-distance and local moving services. One feature we particularly appreciate is its adjustable, custom insurance plan, which protects your valuables during the move.

Consider factors such as the size of your move, overall distance, budget, and any fragile items you own when planning your California move. Get quotes from multiple moving companies to compare services and find the best fit for your needs.

Find Local Movers in CA


FAQ About Moving Companies in California

Are there any items that moving companies in California can’t transport?

There are certain items that California’s moving companies typically don’t transport or have restrictions on transporting. Some common items they may refuse to transport or have special requirements include hazardous materials such as gasoline, propane tanks, paints, chemicals, or fireworks. Additionally, plants, vegetation, perishable foods, weapons, and ammunition may also be subject to restrictions.

Are there any additional fees I should know about when hiring a moving company?

If you’re planning to hire a moving company, remember that there may be additional fees you’ll need to pay. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Fuel surcharges: The moving company may charge a fuel surcharge to cover fuel costs for long-distance moves.
  • Insurance: You may need insurance coverage to protect your belongings during the move, which comes at an additional cost.
  • Packing and unpacking labor fees: If you need help packing and unpacking your belongings, the moving company may charge you extra for this service.
  • Shuttle fees: If the moving truck can’t park near your residence, the company may need a shuttle service to transport your belongings, which may result in additional fees.
  • Stair carry fees: If the movers have to carry your belongings up multiple flights of stairs, you may be charged extra for this service.
  • Storage fees: If you need to store your belongings temporarily, the moving company may charge you for storage fees.
  • Travel fees: If you’re moving a long distance, the moving company may charge you extra for travel expenses.

What is the best month to move in California? 

Typically, moves from late September to April see lower rates. Demand for movers usually slows down during this time frame, so companies lower their rates to encourage customers to book with them.

What is the process for filing a complaint or addressing any issues with a moving company in California?

If you have an issue with an intrastate moving company, file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Household Goods and Services. You can file online or submit a written complaint form within 60 days of moving.

For interstate moves, file a complaint with the FMCSA’s Protect Your Move Program. You must submit the complaint within nine months after your delivery date.

Why Trust Us? We conducted 4,800+ hours of research on moving companies and crafted a ranking system based on the following research
31
Companies Considered
1000
Homeowners Surveyed
21000
Reviews Analyzed
22
Providers Compared

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.