Moving from California to Tennessee: Movers and Cost

In 2020, the North American Moving Services estimated that California ranks among the top 5 outbound states in the country with 64% migration rates.

The biggest factors in determining this statistic circle back to California’s high cost of living and other areas native to Tennessee which includes, weather and the music and culture. Yes, you will trade a little beach but in return be greeted with a lot of mountains and a sweet taste of southern comfort.

Music lovers, especially those fans of jazz, blues, rock, and country will all find Tennessee’s music scene and history exhilarating. Music isn’t the only form of art that has flourished in Tennessee though, the state is home to many famous writers and the famous Jack Daniels whiskey.

Here are some other articles that might help you plan your move:

  • Best California to Tennessee 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 from California to Tennessee.
  • 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.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from California to Tennessee?

Below is a more in-depth look at how much it would cost to move from Los Angeles, CA to Nashville, TN during the month of September. These numbers have been calculated accordingly from moveBuddha’s moving cost calculator and are based on a move consisting of a few items.

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental
Studio/1 Bedroom $1,680-$2,700 $2,165-$2,735 $1,710-$2,340 $1,507-$1,944
2-3 Bedrooms $2,434-$5,480 $2,830-$4,308 $2,565-$3,720 $1,580-$2,282
4+ Bedrooms $4,490-$7,100 $3,914-$4,944 $3,420-$4,320 $2,038-$2,574

*Pricing above does not include gas, tolls, lodging, and other related moving expenses.

What are the best California to Tennessee 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?

A general rule of thumb when determining the costs of moving is to consider the fact that prices are if only an estimate. There are many contributing factors that will either increase or decrease the cost of your move. The actual size of your move, any additional services you may need or require, truck parking access, and availability can all play a role in affecting the cost of your move.

According to a press release from U-Haul, it was determined that more people moved to The Volunteer State, Tennessee, among any other state in 2020. In comparison to California, it ranked last by a wide margin to become the state with the greatest net loss of U-Haul trucks. The more people moving to or from a state will affect whether there is a higher inbound and cheaper outbound and vice versa with a lower inbound and expensive outbound.

As a mover, you want to avoid moving during peak season. This time usually falls around holidays and weekends. We encourage you to use the moving cost calculator to see for yourself the costs and price ranges of moving during peak season as opposed to non-peak season.

For example, we could use the 4th of July as a frame of reference. If you calculate a move from Los Angeles, CA to Nashville, TN on July 3rd, you will see that prices increase significantly. The cost for professionals equates to roughly, $1,529-$3,892, containers are $1,643-$2,075, freight is $1,710-$2,160 and rental trucks are $1,507-$1,903. Again, these numbers can fluctuate depending on the size of your move but this is a good way to compare costs between different times during the year.

Why are people moving from California to Tennessee?

Lifestyle and Culture

In comparison to California, Tennessee is known for vibrant cities like Memphis or Nashville and even the Appalachian Mountains for a more quiet life. The Volunteer State offers a rich culture, natural beauty, and a low cost of living.

Certain areas like Franklin have been recognized for their highly reputable school district and abundance of nice communities. Germantown has a low cost of living, affordable housing, and an average income that is one of the highest in the state. Then you have Collierville which is located about 30 miles outside the downtown area and is one of the most affluent areas in Tennessee. Other noteworthy spots have luscious parks, greenways, and historical sites.

Cost of living

It is no secret that the cost of living in California is quite expensive. When you compare that to the cost of living in Tennessee, which is 18.94% lower than the US average and ranks among the ten most affordable states to live in the entire country, that should be enough of an incentive to move out of California to Tennessee.

Costs of healthcare, groceries, consumer goods, and utilities are all lower than most of the rest of the US as well. This low cost of living in Tennessee is a result of the affordable prices of housing. The state of Tennessee does not have a state income tax, so you will not likely see income taxes taken out of your paychecks nor will you owe state income taxes.


If you are looking to experience a different climate than California’s, which is fairly predictable your move to Tennessee will give you that and so much more. Tennessee is known for high humidity and less reliable weather patterns but for those who are looking to experience all four seasons, your chances are greater in Tennessee than California. Weather patterns include hot, humid summers and mild winters.

The entire state of Tennessee gets a lot of precipitation and some snowfall during the winter. Tennessee has been known to get relatively severe storms with thunderstorms, strong winds, rain, and even tornados in the western and middle parts of the state.


Moving to Tennessee will give you many great education options at notable institutions. Some current school rankings, among elementary, middle, and high schools are as follows:

  • Elementary schools like Clarksville Academy in Clarksville, Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Knoxville, and the Westside Elementary School in Memphis rank among the best in Tennessee.
  • High schools like Christian Academy in Knoxville, Cleveland High School in Cleveland, and Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis are the top-rated in the state.
  • High education for students moving to Tennessee has the ability to choose from an excellent selection of private higher education institutions like the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and the Tennessee Technological University.

In regards to the government in Tennessee, there are no excise taxes, there are no toll roads in the state (there are plans to make the I-69 road a toll road though), trash and recycling are handled by your city in urban areas, and by private companies, if you live outside the city.

What are some of the best places to move to in the destination?

Over the last year, the top three cities to live in Tennessee were ranked as follows: Germantown, Signal Mountain, and Brentwood.


Germantown is located just outside Memphis and is home to some of the richest places in the state. You have better chances of landing a job as unemployment and crime rates are below the national average.

Signal Mountain is a safe place with cool mountain homes and an abundance of outdoor activities that will keep you entertained and busy. It is located just northeast of Chattanooga and is one of the least populated places and holds the second-lowest crime rate. With a higher cost of living though, that generally means fewer people so there is less crime. Signal Mountain living is well worth it because you can spend days hiking and biking the trails and in the evenings tapping away at the Mountain Opry.


Finally, Brentwood, Tennessee’s third best place to live, is a suburb of Nashville and known for a strong job market, great schools, and low crime rate. This is due to the unemployment rate in Brentwood being well below the national average. Residents work hard and will expect you to as well. The schooling system is home to a Blue Ribbon School with Crockett Elementary while the percentage of residents with a college degree is well above the state and national average.

Start planning your move from California to Tennessee today with the help of moveBuddha.

Check out some other posts that might help: