How Much Does It Cost to Move Out of State?

Generally, the average cost of an out-of-state move is around $4,300. The cost will vary depending on distance, the amount of stuff you own, and other factors. The average cost to move out of state is generally in the thousands, if you’re using professionals from the moving industry.

If you’re looking to hire a full-service moving company or professional movers, moves can range from $2,300 to $9,000. DIY moves, which could include using a moving container, storage facilities, or rental truck, tend to range from $600 to $5,300.

The final cost of your move will depend on how you choose to move, where you’re going, and how much you’re moving. A cross country move with full-service long-distance movers will be more expensive than if you choose to do some of the moving yourself by renting a truck or working with moving container companies.

The best way to estimate how much your move will cost is to do some research and gather quotes using a moving cost calculator. Here, we’ll show you the average cost to move out of state and offer tips on how to save money on your move.

Many factors can affect the cost of a long-distance move

Whether relocating for a new job, a lower cost of living, or to be closer to friends and family, moving into a new home in a different state, whether it’s New York or Florida or beyond, can be an adventure. It can also be expensive. Our cheapest ways to move out of state ideas may help as you brainstorm and prepare.

Whether you hire full-service movers from the moving industry, local professional movers, use moving containers, or do a DIY move, your costs will be determined by the following:

  • The weight or volume of the items you’re moving. If heavy lifting is involved — for things like pianos and pool tables — costs will increase
  • The distance between your old and new residences.
  • The time of year you move (moving during the peak summer season is more expensive than during the fall and winter).
  • Optional services like packing services and un packing services including crating, appliance disconnects/reconnects, and storage.
  • Which moving insurance option you choose.
  • The average cost of gasoline and diesel fuel when you move.

Did you know? 

Each week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes the national average price for diesel fuel in various parts of the country. Interstate movers base fuel surcharges on this data.

Next, we outline the estimated costs of using a full-service mover, moving container, or rental truck for your out-of-state move.

Before you enlist any moving company for your move out of state, be sure to do your research first! You want to work with movers or a professional moving company that is a reputable moving company with positive customer reviews.

Weed out bad moving companies, moving scams, bait-and-switch tactics and shady brokers by doing plenty of research ahead of time. Red flags like bad reviews or negative reviews will tip you off that something is amiss. Look up the moving company name or moving brokers with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to make sure the business has a good rating, as well as positive customer reviews, and that you’re not unknowingly contracting bad movers or a company which may fall under the category of “worst moving company.”

Moving industry companies with good and reputable moving services will be clear, upfront, communicative, dependable, and will have many positive customer reviews tied to their name. They will have ample moving experience, and will make your move pain-free. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s before you sign a contract with any moving company.

Full-service moving costs on long-distance moves

A full-service moving company can pack, unpack, load, unload, and transport your items. They’ll even provide the moving equipment, packing materials, and supplies needed for your move. Below, we dive into the estimated costs of hiring a full-service mover:

  1 Bedroom 2-3 Bedrooms 4-5 Bedrooms
<50 miles $300 – $700 $500 – $1,100 $1,000 – $2,900
250 miles $700 – $1,900 $1,600 – $2,900 $2,100 – $3,950
1,000 miles $1,100 – $2,700 $1,900 – $4,500 $4,100 – $7,800
2,500 miles $1,500 – $3,500 $2,900 – $6,500 $7,900 – $13,700

*These price ranges are rough estimates. The actual size of your move, additional services required, truck parking access, market conditions, time of year, and availability can greatly affect the final cost of your move.

Moving container prices on long-distance moves

Moving containers are portable storage units that can be filled with your belongings and delivered to your new home. PODS, U-Pack, and 1-800-PACK-RAT are the most prominent players in the moving container niche.

We’ve mapped out the estimated costs of using a moving container below:

1 bedroom 2-3 bedrooms 4-5 bedrooms
< 250 miles $450 – $800 $750 – $1,900 $900 – $2,100
Cross country $2,000 – $4,000 $3,000 – $4,900 $5,500 – $7,600

Again, these figures are just averages. Check out this post for a more detailed analysis of prices, services, and coverage areas.

Rental truck prices on long-distance moves

Most of us have heard of or rented a moving truck from U-Haul or Penske. Both offer nationwide coverage and multiple vehicle sizes.

Truck rentals in the 16 to 26-foot range generally cost between $600 and $4,900 on long-distance moves.

For this post, we got quotes for the following two moves in October:

York, PA to Wilmington, DE Charleston, SC to Phoenix, AZ
Penske 16-foot truck – $439

26-foot truck – $700

16-foot truck – not available

26-foot truck – $2,999

U-Haul 15-foot truck – $112

26-foot truck – $140

15-foot truck – $1,703

26-foot truck – $2,128

Before signing a contract, ask about the following: 

  • Insurance options for the truck and your household goods
  • Additional fees for locks, moving equipment, and late returns
  • Whether mileage is capped or unlimited
  • How long you can keep the truck
  • Where you need to return the truck

How much money should you save to move to another state?

There’s no hard and fast rule, but having a few months of living expenses tucked away (in addition to the cost of your move) is a good idea. 

This is especially true if you’re not moving for work and don’t have a new job lined up. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to move on a small budget.

Additional costs to consider when moving out of state

Expect last-minute moving expenses when moving from state to state. In addition to packing, moving, and storage costs, you’ll want to consider the following expenses when preparing a moving costs checklist:

  • Cost of living increases if you’re moving to a more expensive area (for instance, if you’re moving from the Midwest to New York)
  • Closing costs for home buyers
  • Deposits and first month’s rent for renters
  • Automobile licensing and registration fees
  • Utility set-up costs
  • New school fees
  • Restocking non-movable items like cleaning products and perishable food
  • Replacing and repairing things that got lost and damaged during your move (moving insurance rarely covers everything)

Remember that you may need to pay for additional services like long carries and shuttles if the truck can’t get close to either residence.

The process for moving out of state

Preparing for a long-distance move can be tedious, but you can break down the process into the following manageable components:

  • Find a new place to live
  • Find a new job if you’re not moving for work
  • Determine your moving budget or negotiate relocation assistance with your employer
  • Choose a service line (rental truck, moving container, freight trailer, or full-service mover)
  • Vet potential service providers and get quotes
  • Prepare a detailed moving checklist to ensure that nothing gets overlooked
  • Discard, donate, and downsize items you can’t move or no longer use
  • Start early if you’re doing the packing yourself (and make sure you have the required packing supplies)

Movers, containers, or rental trucks…which option is best?

All three options are worth considering. The following pros and cons will help make the decision easier:

Full-service movers – the pros

  • They’ll do as much or as little as you want them to
  • You can drink coffee and surf the web while they work
  • Quotes generally include labor, transportation, and basic disassembly/reassembly for beds and tables
  • Reputable movers from reputable moving companies have experienced crews and the right equipment to get your job done quickly and efficiently on your move date
  • Most moving companies offer storage, storage facilities at storage associations, and automobile moving
  • Multiple insurance options to cover your items

The cons

  • Full-service moving companies are expensive
  • Inaccurate estimates are common
  • Moving scams are on the rise
  • Long delivery times on cross-country moves

Rental trucks – the pros

  • DIY moves are relatively inexpensive
  • You work and drive at your own pace
  • You can hire local movers or a labor-only company instead of doing the loading and unloading yourself
  • Cross-country road trips can be a blast, whether you’re solo or with loved ones

The cons

  • Rental trucks can be difficult and dangerous to drive in mountains, cities, and inclement weather
  • Breaking down in the middle of the desert stinks
  • Gas is expensive (most moving vans or van lines get about 10 miles per gallon)
  • Loading and unloading are up to you
  • Mileage limits may apply
  • Hidden fees can add up

Moving containers – the pros

  • Moving containers are usually cheaper than full-service movers (the best moving company or companies will cost a pretty penny and you may also pay an upfront deposit)
  • Professionals handle the driving
  • The free quote is usually accurate
  • Most containers can be used for moving and storage (on or offsite)
  • You can hire labor for loading and unloading
  • Multiple container sizes (and freight trailers for large moves)
  • Various insurance options
  • Nationwide coverage

The cons

  • Long delivery times on peak season moves
  • Limited availability during periods of high demand
  • Coverage is spotty in some rural areas

Click here for more information on how full-service movers and DIY moves compare.

Tips for saving money when moving to another state

Below are a few helpful tips for pinching pennies during the process of a long-distance move:

  • Get rid of as much stuff as you can before moving (the more stuff you own, the more expensive your move may be)
  • Do the packing yourself (or have professional movers pack the breakables only)
  • Hire a reputable moving company and insist on a not-to-exceed or binding estimate
  • If you’re renting a moving van, drive at or below the speed limit to increase fuel economy
  • Move during the fall or winter when rates are lower

Last-minute long-distance moving tips

  • Have a garage sale or sell unwanted items online
  • Get your moving quotes and choose a provider at least one month (two is better) before you move
  • Get deposits back from cable and internet companies and landlords
  • Gather academic and immunization records for new schools
  • Arrange for pets to be safe, comfortable, and out of the way during your move
  • Change your address and update your voter registration with the USPS

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to move out of state?

The average cost of moving out of state typically ranges between $1,000 and $9,000, depending on how much you’re moving, the distance between your old and new residences, and whether you’re hiring movers, using moving containers, or renting a moving van. Moving a 4-bedroom house across the country to a new state — like from California to Idaho — will cost more than moving a studio within state lines.

Can local movers do state-to-state moves?

Yes, many local movers handle interstate moves as well.

What’s the best way to protect fragile items on a long-distance move?

Letting experienced movers pack your fragile items makes a lot of sense. On DIY moves, invest in quality packing materials and use foam sheets or bubble wrap on electronics, glassware, pictures, and mirrors.

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