fbpx skip to content link

How Much Does Long Distance Moving Cost?

Folks hate moving. From when you decide to move to a couple of weeks after you move, your life is seemingly taken over by the move. Absolutely draining! 

Moving also comes with numerous moving bits and pieces that increase the likelihood of a slip-up-an expensive one. 

In fact, according to a recent survey, moving mistakes are so common, and Americans make quite a couple, sometimes making the same mistake twice. One of the more common ones? Not saving enough cash for the move. 

Whenever you intend to move, a moving budget is an excellent place to kick off the process. So how much will it cost you? Learn that and a lot more here.

What Is Considered A Long Distance Move

One of the ways moving companies classify moves is by distance. Here we have two types of moves:

  • Intrastate or local move

  • Interstate or long-distance move

An intrastate or local move is any move where the destination falls under 400 miles. This distance usually doesn’t necessitate moving outside one’s current state. And when it does, it’s just within the purview of your current state.

On the other hand, an interstate, long-distance, or cross-country move sees the mover go a bit far from their new home. Interstate moves are pegged at 400 miles from home. These moves often entail transferring belongings from one state and well into another or a few states away. 

Let’s Crunch some numbers.

Paradise Movers

Long Distance Move Costs

Intrastate moves will cost $ 1,250 on average. Broken down, these figures range from $501 to $985 for a studio apartment, $966 to $1,733 for a 2-3 bedroomed house, and $1,941 to $2,988 for a 4-5 bedroomed house. 

Interstate moves cost more, thanks to the logistics involved. So depending on how much house you are moving and the distance covered, a long-haul move will cost between $1,123 to more than $ 4,107.

Let’s be more specific.

Miles covered Studio-1 bedroom 2-3 bedroom 4-5 bedroom
250 $1,123 – $ 2,260 $2,2,72 – $ 4,343 $ 4,173- $ 5,553
1000+ $1,442 – $ 3,024 $3,145  –  $ 5,958 $ 6,378 – $ 10,002
2500+ $1,920 – $ 4,272 $ 4,236 – $$8,546 $ 9,546 – $ 14,107

Note that these are estimates, not actual quotes. Feel free to message us at Muscle Mover’s LLC for a free quote. Fill in this form with the size of your house, distance, and other particulars to help us calculate a more accurate estimate for you.

Interstate vs. Intrastate Moving costs Calculations

Local relocation companies compute charges based on a flat dollar rate per hour. This hourly cost is affected by the labor rate, assembling furniture, packing, accessibility, and add-on. 

Costs to move across the country are calculated differently. The mileage between the origin and the destination, the weight of the shipment, and labor costs determine the final price.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at distant relocation costs.

Factors That Affect Long-Distance Moving Costs

The amount on your quotation might be mind-boggling. How do movers arrive at the figures? Here are some factors considered in the billing. 

Transit Fees

Travel fees quickly compound when hauling your belongings long distance. The primary consideration is fuel costs to travel to and from and the time moving staff spend on route. Remember that the driver (s) and loaders might work overtime depending on the distance. The overtime rate will be passed on to you as the client.

Extra stops are billable as well. The amount depends on how many stops you need to make, the labor involved, and the distance. A good example of extra stops is someone needing to collect additional items from a storage space before proceeding to the final destination. This diversion will cost extra.

If you are moving urgently, you can request expedited services. A trans-state move can take as many as two weeks. You can pay more to have this duration significantly shorter.

How Much House You Are Moving

Essentially, the larger the house, the higher your bill for several reasons. 

First, it will take longer to pack a larger house than a smaller one. This means the packers are engaged for longer, eating more into their time.

Secondly, your shipment will be heavier. The latter can mean higher fuel consumption. The size of the load also affects the manpower deployed for the job, the number of packing and wrapping materials required, and the size of the container/truck the company will use. 

Packing Services

Your quote will be higher if you use the moving company’s packing and unpacking services.

However, the payoff on this one is well worth it. Think about it; you can bypass weeks of packing room to room. Instead, the company sends enough people to get your house professionally packed up for the move in a matter of hours!

At an extra cost, you can also get unpacking services. Again, the company will unpack your items in their rightful rooms. Packing and unpacking saves you time, energy, and frustration and ensures your items are disassembled and reassembled safely.


Some moves are not as straightforward as you would want them to be. For example, some people need their items stored before, during, or after a move. This can be short-term, long term or in–transit. 

Many reputable companies will provide this service at a cost. This will, of course, push your bill up.


The more add-ons you include in your move, the more you pay for it. 

These include packing and unpacking and provision of unique moving supplies. The same goes for moving special items like pianos, temperature-controlled wine racks, antiques, art, and so on.

Moving Supplies

You can get these on your own for the company to pack or do the packing yourself.

Alternatively, you can get all the packing supplies from the moving company. The latter will cost you.

If you are making an international or cross-border move, moving materials change. Companies often replace reusable crates with bubble wrap, moving boxes, and corrugated cardboard. The cost for these is slightly higher.

Valuation and Liability Coverage

Most moving firms will offer several levels of protection for transporting your items. These include Full Value protection and Basic Release Value protection, though you should get additional coverage from third-party providers.

Either way, you will cover these costs; naturally, the more coverage you get, the steeper your final bill will be.

If you are making a cross-border move, shipping and customs fee might also come into play.

Hauling Fees

Note that if the movers have to carry items over a long distance into the new space, you might be charged a long carry fee.

There is also a stair carry fee charged when movers have to carry items up and down a flight of stairs. This is only billed when the house is multi-storied or bears an above-average number of steps.

You can also be charged a shuttle fee if there is no parking near the building you are moving into, yet the movers must get your belongings from the truck and into the building.

Moving Date

When you move matters just as much as how and where you move. Specific dates and times of the week and month can dramatically affect the cost of the move.

For example, weekend and national holiday moves cost more than weekday moves. The same goes for peak seasons: you pay more to move during peak seasons than during off-peak times.

Most people move during the summer, making this peak season for movers. To keep costs in check, be sure to find a moving date outside of spring to late summer. Mid-month can also be cheaper than moving at the end or beginning of a new month.

Minimizing Moving Costs

If you weren’t stressed about your move, we bet you now are. While some moving aspects are not in your control, some are. Here are some tips to help you slash costs.

1. Downsize Your House

One of the things factored into your moving cost is the weight of your items. The heavier they are, the higher their transportation becomes.

But then, guess what? People will often pay to move entire houses, bringing along clutter, spoilt gadgets, and stuff they will never use. Makes little sense.

So why not start by getting rid of all unnecessary household items?

Begin the purging process with your closets before moving on to furniture, books, appliances, and so on. Be very strict about this by enforcing the six-month to one-year rule; anything that has yet to be used in this duration must go.

You can sell, donate or dump the items. Whatever you do: don’t waste money transporting useless stuff.

2. Do a Partial DIY

A complete moving DIY means packing and unpacking by yourself and possibly transporting your items yourself. This can be possible when there is little to pack up. However, it’s a new ball game when you have an entire house to move.

So how about a partial DIY?

This can go in several ways. The first is renting a truck, where you only hire professional packers to pack and unpack your stuff. This, however, works if you have another mode of transport, like a pick-up truck or small lorry, that can accommodate your items. Remember, however, that you will still pay rental and fuel costs.

The second is where you hire movers and pack and unpack the items yourself. This eliminates the packing and unpacking costs, lowering your invoice.

3. Source For Free Moving Supplies

Some of the things you will need to pay for are moving supplies. Fortunately, there are numerous places you can get these for free if you begin looking for them in good time.

Most local businesses will have cardboard boxes they don’t need after unpacking their inventory. Many of them will also be happy to give them out for recycling. So ask your local liquor stores, grocery stores, large retail stores, office buildings, schools, and recycling drop-off points for sturdy cardboard boxes.

You can save some dollars by doing this instead of buying. Be sure to pass on the favor at your new destination.

4. Hunt for Moving Discounts

Everybody loves a good discount.

Most relocation companies will offer you a discount if you are in the military or an AAA member. For movers outside of these groups, be on the lookout for low-season deals. If your moving timeline is flexible, you might save something significant from such offers.

5. Compare Different Quotes

Research a few reputable companies in your area, then compare them and what they offer. You want to find a company offering the best rates for the most value.

At the very least, get three companies to conduct a video or in-person survey of our belongings before giving a quote. Let potential moving agencies know about any items that require special handling. Will you make a stopover? Mention this as well.

Then sit down and compare the quotes Vis a Vis what is offered, plus any add-ons you would want. Ask the company if there is room for negotiation and what you could do to lower the total costs.

6. Find Tax-Deductibles

Let’s begin with some bad news. Moving expenses are not tax-deductible until 2025, with very strict exemptions from the IRS.

However, if you downsize by donating to charities before the move, you can deduct the donations from your taxes. This means you reduce and pay less in transport, then get some cash back for donated items. Not too shabby.

When moving for work, it also helps to determine if your employer extends any relocation funding. Whether the stipend covers your move fully or partially, it’s still a win.

7. Time Your Move

Demand for moving services is low mid-month and mid-week. Move during this time.

Similarly, aim for a late fall to winter moving date. You will get the best rates during this period.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Moving Company

Professional moving companies don’t come cheap. So why not DIY your move and save yourself some cash? Here are a few reasons to loosen your purse strings and hire pros.

Time Savings

Experienced movers have the ins and outs of moving down to a science. They show up as an adequately trained, well-choreographed team to move you miles away with all logistics and potential issues in mind.

Packing and Unpacking

If you have moved an entire house before, you already know that those last weeks before the move can be chaotic. You must begin packing from somewhere while ensuring not to pack the things you need in the days leading up to the actual move.

It’s no mean feat.

Movers take this load off your shoulders and will show up and complete the packing in hours. You can therefore enjoy your life undisrupted until the last minute.

Movers take this load off your shoulders and will show up and complete the packing in hours. You can therefore enjoy your life undisrupted until the last minute.

This might seem like a small convenience, but you will be shocked at the peace of mind it brings.

Cost Effective

While you can handle some moves with ease, some just need more muscle than you can master. For example, moving an entire three-bedroom apartment to a house across the country on the 3rd floor is a job for experts.

Hiring movers might be more cost-effective when you compare the prices of renting equipment and tools for the move, furniture pads, a rental truck, and everything in between.

Customizable Services

Many companies are highly creative in their service delivery. You can opt for the complete moving service or a hybrid one.

You can get the complete moving service, packing and unpacking, furniture assembly, and so on. You can also pick a hybrid service where you pack and unpack yourself and have the moving company handle the in-between. You can also have special items like pianos and antiques moved.

Full-service moving companies have the resources and know-how to handle what you need. This gives you some leeway to pick a package according to your budget and requirements.


If for nothing else, hire pros for safety purposes.

Lifting, handling, and loading furniture and other appliances can get tricky. Don’t take chances on straining your back or other injuries from an improper lifting form.

Skilled movers will move your super heavy, extra spacious couch three flights down safely.

Packing the Right Long-Distance Mover

Movers like all other professionals, are not created equal. You need a mover that will deliver as agreed, keep time and be transparent in their billing.

This calls for some research. It would be great if you could get a referral from your circle. If not, shortlist a few companies and look them up online.

As always, steer clear from businesses with overwhelmingly negative reviews and legal issues.

Looking to Move?

If you want to make a long-distance move, these are the cost estimates you need to budget for. Muscle Movers LLC also provides a free quote reflecting the specifics of your inventory. This helps our clients prepare their finances better.

If this sounds good, fill in this form, then sit back and relax as we do the heavy lifting.

Truck full of things ready to be transported on long distance.
Call Us Today