Moving from California to Idaho: Movers and Cost

For many, the allure of California is fading and for some, Idaho is looking like the place to make their new home.

In 2018, 1 in 4 of people who moved to Idaho, came from California!

It’s no secret that price is one of the main factors contributing to this trend so let’s talk price.

How much does it cost to move from California to Idaho?

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from California to Idaho is $2,500-$5,450 depending on the size, route, and timing of the move. Hiring a professional moving company will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or using a moving container will save you money but also require a lot more work.

Ready to get a full grasp on the factors that affect the cost of your move? Check out these useful links:

  • Best California to Idaho movers: The long-distance moving industry is full of scammy movers, and when all of your belongings are at stake, don’t take chances. These are the top movers for California to Idaho.
  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate calculation of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, the size of your move, where you’re moving to/from and let the calculator do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers: Need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies, you load and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.
  • Best car shippers: Moving your car? Use a company that prioritizes professionalism, cares for your vehicle, and is experienced.

Let’s dive right in.

How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to Idaho?



Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental*
Studio/1 bedroom $1,630-$2,100 $1,330-$1,890 $887-$1,197
2-3 bedroom $2,650-$4,100 $2,258-$3,048 $1,853-$2,633
4+ bedroom $3,100-$7,150 $3,805-$3,787 $1,995-$2,835 $1,235-$1,667

*Rental truck estimates include fuel only. Additional costs such as lodging, food, and parking are not included.

What are the best California to Idaho movers?

Company Price Vendor Type Quoting options Storage Minimum Move Size
Proud American Van Lines $$ Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
Safeway Moving $$ Carrier/Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
JK Moving Services $$$$ Carrier Phone/virtual estimate Yes 2 bedroom

Why the Wide Variation in Prices?

An investment in professional movers is costly but eliminates much of the stress of an interstate move. Moving containers and freight companies cost less but require you to pack and unpack.

Truck rentals are the cheapest option but leave you with the full responsibility of packing the truck, driving the truck and unpacking the truck. You must weigh the savings of a DIY move against the stress and labor involved.

Inbound vs. Outbound Moving Demand Impacts Price

California continues to lose population. About 691,000 people left California to live in other states in 2018. In the last twenty years, California has lost more people to other states than it has gained according to the US Census.

Meanwhile, in its latest ranking of the best places to buy a house, Wallethub crowned Idaho’s capital, Boise, No. 1.

The surge of people moving to a state can positively affect your moving costs. For example, freight companies and moving companies transporting other customers to the same state are more likely to give you a lower shared rate.

The Cost of Moving Season

Along with inbound stats, the timing of your move can also affect your moving costs. Summer is moving season, which means a spike in moving industry costs from pro movers to truck rentals. If you can, plan your move during the offseason, such as the fall or winter months. Even early spring moving can save you money.

Here’s a snapshot that shows how the timing of your move from California to Idaho can make a difference in your bottom line.

  • Professional movers, 5-bedroom house: March 1: $3,100-$7,150
  • Professional movers, 5-bedroom house: July 1: $5,350-$9,500

Use the moving cost calculator to perfectly time your move for the lowest cost.

Why Are People Moving from California to Idaho?

The high cost of living, heavy traffic, and the growing threat of wildfires is driving residents from California.
Affordable home prices, low taxes, a strong job market, and high quality of life are all factors that make Idaho a more favorable state. Idaho experienced a rise in popularity among Californians, who made up 85% of the state’s total domestic immigration in 2016.

Best Places to Move in Idaho

Boise, Idaho

As both the cultural and capital city of Idaho, Boise gets great marks for education (Boise State University), outdoor activities, and low cost of living.

Boise is also poised between a thriving urban center and the great outdoors. A twenty-minute ride takes you to white water rafting and skiing.

Moscow, Idaho

If you prefer a small town over the big city, then Moscow may be your destination. Small businesses and restaurants are the pulses of the community, so no big skyscrapers in sight.

The median home value is just a little over $200,000, so Moscow is great for starting a family. A robust school system adds to the benefits of a family-friendly town, boasting 27th best education in the state for public schools.
While you won’t find the vibe of big city life in Moscow, you definitely get great small-town neighbors in a stable community.

Pierce Park, Idaho

This suburb of Boise offers the feeling of a small town while existing a stone’s throw away from a big urban center.
While those who may find Moscow a little on the remote side, but still find the big city atmosphere too much, Pierce Park offers a better balance of the two. A ten-minute drive will take you to shops, parks, and family-friendly activities.

You can find low to medium cost housing in Pierce Park, so families on a fixed income will have no problem securing a home and managing a reasonable cost of living.

Depot Branch, Idaho

Much like Pierce Park, Depot Branch is a quiet suburb to the city of Boise. Median home values run a little over $200,000 and average rent is a little more than $800 a month.

Young professionals have populated the suburb as it allows relaxation from city life while still providing quick and easy access to jobs in downtown Boise.

For weekend fun and nightlife, Depot Branch has plenty of shopping, coffee shops, restaurants, and parks. A fairly low population also means stress-free commutes.

Sugar City, Idaho

Affordable housing is one of the primary draws for inbound moves to Idaho. Sugar City has some of the most affordable housing available.

The median home value of $168,300 is ideal for starter families. What is great is that there are no compromises for finding affordable housing in Sugar City. The schools are high ranking and the crime rates are low.

Like many locations in Idaho, Sugar City has that cozy small-town feel. The only downside is the absence of things to do.

A small sleepy town like Sugar City doesn’t have a lot of activities. But if you want a high-quality home at a low cost and don’t mind a short drive for family excursions, then Sugar City is the perfect destination for your move.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley has become a mecca for the retirement community. This cozy and quant small town with low crime rates is also known as a thriving tourist destination.

Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing bring visitors from all over the world. This tourist economy is just one of the attractions. A clear night sky gives every resident a perfect view of the heavens on a regular basis, which for some matters more than having a Starbucks on every corner.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

The vibe of a college town is a big attraction for young professionals and even families who love diversity.
Idaho Falls offers all that along with affordable housing. Home to the University of Idaho, this center of Idaho academia also provides lots of entertainment from a major zoo, dining venues, movie theaters, and some of the best bowling alleys in the state.

The best part is that hosing costs float around $255,000 with even better offerings if you look hard enough. A mix of activities for everyone and a cultural hub continue to bring new people to Idaho Falls.

Pocatello, Idaho

Another college town that offers many of the amenities of Idaho Falls with a slightly lower cost of living is Pocatello. You can find a home for roughly $133,000 and if you don’t mind some DIY remodeling you can find even better deals and more spacious homes that are fixer-uppers.

Pocatello is a safe and secure place to live which attracts new families. Home to Idaho State University, Pocatello provides the best benefits of a college town at an affordable cost.

Pocatello continues to bring both young professionals and starter families to the community.

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