How Much Does It Cost to Move Out of State?

With so many variables, it’s a tricky question to answer. Generally, the average cost of an out-of-state move is around $4,300.

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

This post will dive deeper into out-of-state move costs, saving money when moving out of state, and the pros and cons of full-service movers, moving containers, and rental trucks.

As you plan your move, check out these helpful resources:

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 can be an adventure. It can also be expensive. Our cheapest ways to move out of state post can help.

Whether you hire full-service movers, use moving containers, or do a DIY move, your costs will be determined by:

  • The weight or volume of the items you’re moving
  • 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 and unpacking, 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.

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 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: 

  • 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

Check out this post for an in-depth comparison of the two industry heavyweights.

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 stateIn addition to packing, moving, and storage costs, you’ll want to consider the following expenses when preparing a moving budget:

  • Cost of living increases if you’re moving to a more expensive area
  • 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 prospective 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)

This post will help you establish residency in your new state.

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

All 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 have experienced crews and the right equipment to get your job done quickly and efficiently
  • Most companies offer storage 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

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 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
  • Professionals handle the driving
  • Quotes are 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 on a long-distance move:

  • Get rid of as much as you can before moving
  • 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 low

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

How much does it cost to move out of state?

Usually 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.

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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