Moving From California to North Carolina: Movers and Cost

Are you planning to relocate from California and move South (East) to North Carolina? Well, you are not alone. Many other Americans are looking to travel the same route, maybe for the same reasons as you.According to the Census Bureau, migration to and from the South is the highest, compared to the rest of the regions across the US. Over 1 million people move to the south each year.

Between 2010 and 2017, the South gained over 9 million residents. In 2018 alone, the South drew about 460K people from the West, a huge chunk of these moving from the west coast.

North Carolina has been in the top five recently regarding net population gain due to these regional migration patterns. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, NC gained over 67K people, even after factoring in all those who moved out.

Before you get started, check out these articles to help you make the smoothest transition from California to North Carolina.

  • Best California to North Carolina 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 professional moving companies for your long-distance move from California to North Carolina.
  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate free moving quote of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, your move size, 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.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from California to North Carolina?

Relocating 2,419 miles from Los Angeles, California, to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a 2-3 bedroom house will cost you $2,041 to $4,230 on average.

See more cost estimates below.

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental
Studio – 1 bedroom $2,230 – $6,755 $2,506 – $3,166 $1,853 – $2,700 $1,884 – $2,479
2 – 3 bedrooms $4,230 – $8,992 $3,264 – $4,966 $2,613 – $3,900 $2,041 – $2,952
4+ bedrooms $7,944 – $13,900 $4,513 – $6,392 $3,515 – $5,280 $2,599 – $3,628

Source: Moving costs courtesy of moveBuddha moving cost calculator.

Who are the best California to North Carolina 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 do moving costs vary so much?

As you can see from the table above, moving costs vary by a considerable margin. Let’s discuss why this is so and how you can take advantage of that to enjoy cheaper moving costs on your long-distance move.

Different types of moves offer a different range of services

There is more than one way to move, as you can see in the table above. There are interstate moving companies, moving containers, freight companies, and truck rental companies. Using either of these options will mean paying different amounts of money.

That is because these different types of moves offer varying degrees of help.

Moving companies do almost all the work while you do very little. So you pay more when you hire a CA to NC moving company. With truck rentals, you do all the work while the company only supplies you with the truck. Consequently, this mode of moving is the cheapest. The other two options, moving containers and freight companies, fall in between regarding the range of services and costs.

Other factors that will affect your cost of moving:

Inbound moves versus outbound moves:

The number of people moving into or out of a location affects moving costs as well. If more people are moving into a location (inbound moves) than moving out (outbound moves), the former will cost more than the latter. This is because demand for inbound moves will be high. On the flip side, those same providers will experience less demand for outbound moves, and therefore, outbound customers will enjoy competitive prices.

California has lots of people moving in and out, so inbound and outbound moving costs are almost at par.

In North Carolina, there are more inbound than outbound moves, so you’ll pay slightly more to move there as opposed to moving out.

Peak seasons:

Peak seasons also affect moving costs a lot.

Here’s how:


Most people move during Summer when schools are closed, and the weather is great. Due to the high demand for moving services at this time, costs are much higher than in Spring or Fall.

But that’s not all. Your moving costs during summer can be affected by the other peak factors below.


If you schedule your cross-country move from California to North Carolina during a weekend, you will pay more compared to what you’d be charged for the same move during a weekday.

One reason for this is that weekends experience higher levels of traffic. This will increase moving time, and consequently, fuel and other associated costs will go up. Another reason is that the high demand for weekend moving dates pushes prices up.


National and State holidays will affect your moving costs as well. It is therefore important to identify holidays when choosing a moving date. If you can, keep your move from falling on such a holiday to get lower moving estimates.


Cultural and entertainment events such as music festivals and sporting events can also affect your CA to NC moving costs. Such large events attract huge crowds and bring traffic in small towns and cities to a standstill. Such events will therefore increase your moving time and costs.

Summer events in California that might affect your move:

  • Los Angeles Film Festival – June
  • San Francisco Jazz Fest – June
  • Pride Parade & Festival – June
  • California State Fair – July
  • Comic-Con International – July
  • Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival – July
  • Music in the Vineyards – August

Summer events in North Carolina that might affect your move:

  • Taste of Charlotte – June
  • Atlantic Beach Music Festival – August
  • Greening Up the Mountains – August
  • NC Watermelon Festival – August
  • Carolina Games Summit – August

See your actual cost of moving from California to North Carolina:

To see your actual cost of moving from California to North Carolina, use moveBuddha’s FREE moving cost calculator. To see your estimates, input your moving date, locations, and size of your household. The calculator will then show you refined estimates for using various moving modes.

Why are people moving from California to North Carolina?

As we said at the beginning, many people are moving from California and relocating to places like North Carolina.

See why you (and others) are considering this.

Why people are moving out of California:

CA has been recording high numbers of people moving out, the highest in the country for the last few years. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), most leave CA for Texas, Washington, and Arizona.

Since 2014, the trend has worsened, and the 2020 pandemic has further boosted that trend. A total of 660K people left California in 2017. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, CA experienced a net loss of over 200K people, even after factoring in those who immigrated into the state.

So why are people leaving CA?:

  • Very high real estate and housing costs.
  • The high general cost of living.
  • High State income and property taxes.
  • Frequent traffic.
  • Political reasons.
  • Frequent wildfires.

Why people are moving to North Carolina:

  • Low cost of living.
  • Comparatively lower taxes.
  • Good weather.
  • A vibrant arts and entertainment scene.
  • Unique southern cuisine.
  • Great universities such as Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill
  • A growing economy and many job opportunities.
  • Friendly and welcoming people.
  • Outdoor fun – beaches, mountains & forests, etc.

Why people are moving from California to North Carolina:

California is a beautiful and scenic state with great culture, amazing weather, and a steady economy. And Californians looking to move out of Southern California or the Bay Area still want to enjoy some of these attributes wherever they go. Perhaps that is why some choose to head to North Carolina or South Carolina.

The top reasons why people move from CA to NC include:

Lower cost of living

Almost everything is cheaper in NC. That includes food, drinks, utility costs, and even healthcare costs. The cost of living in North Carolina is 35% lower than that of California.

Affordable housing

The average price of a 3-bedroom house in the capital of NC is 350K, while in the capital of CA, it’s an astounding 850K to 950K.

Lower taxes

North Carolina has a 5.25% state income tax against California’s 7.25%.

A growing job market

North Carolina is enjoying a growing economy, so there are plenty of job opportunities with enough room for career growth. The tech industry is also on the rise there.

Temperate weather

While CA undoubtedly has great weather, NC has a temperate climate with winters that are only slightly chilly and summers that do not get agonizingly hot. This balanced climate is especially attractive to retirees.

Some of the best places to move to in North Carolina

Most realtors in NC will tell you that the best places to live in the state are situated in the “The Triangle.” The research triangle is triangulated by Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University. These places include:


Raleigh, NC, has good schools, affordable cost of living, and lots of tech and pharma career opportunities. There are lots of entertainment options, and festivals take place regularly here. Raleigh is also two hours away from the east coast beaches such as the Outer Banks and the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains.


Charlotte has lots of employment opportunities, great restaurants, and numerous local brews to try out. The people are very friendly here, and downtown is good for entertainment and dining out. Charlotte is cheaper than other cities, and it’s also very clean. It’s also a NASCAR heaven! Watch out for traffic, though.


Durham is right in the middle of the “triangle.” Here you can find great food and arts, a diverse culture, and good medical amenities. There are lots of employment opportunities for young professionals, especially in the pharma and tech industries. However, some areas are prone to crime, and traffic is an issue during peak hours.

Chapel Hill

It’s slightly pricier to live here than the other cities but still way cheaper than Los Angeles or San Francisco. In Chapel Hill (where they call NC the Tarheel State), you will find highly educated folks, great job growth opportunities, a booming tech industry, and beautiful scenery outdoors. The culture is very liberal here, and there are many options for arts and dining out. Traffic is bad here as well, but you’re just two and a half hours to the beach or the mountains. This town is also home to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Other honorable mention cities to consider in North Carolina that bring high qualities of life include Asheville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Wilmington.

Are you going to be among the many heading to North Carolina from California this year? If you choose to, make sure to check out our expert recommendations for the best interstate moving companies in California.

You May Also Be Interested in: