Moving from California to Virginia: Movers and Cost

Why are there so many articles about moving out of California? If you’re thinking of transitioning from the Golden State, you likely already have a few ideas why. High rent prices. Poor air quality. Worrisome crime rates.

To date, California ranks among the top five states with more outbound moves than inbound moves. Virginia, to compare, has a relatively lower cost of living and one of the lowest crime rates in the country. If you’re thinking of moving from California to Virginia, you won’t want to miss this modern moving guide.

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

  • Best California to Virginia 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 Virginia.
  • 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 Virginia?

A cross-country move from California to Virginia is quite an undertaking, ensuring you’ll likely rack up a higher-than-average number of costs. It’ll cost you anywhere between $1,780 to $12,500 to move from California to Virginia.

Why such a massive range? With so many unique details to each move, the final result can look pretty different from person to person. You should start preparing for logistics and fees now so you don’t get hit with a surprise check at the end of your trip.

Check out our list of today’s best interstate moving companies to get started on calculating costs. We look at everything from reputation to services to cancellation policies.

Below, we’ll look at why moving costs vary so much and how you can anticipate some of the more costly elements of your venture.

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental
Studio/1 Bedroom $1,780-$3,953 $2,717-$3,432 $1,995-$2,880 $2,014-$2,651
2-3 Bedrooms $3,500-$6,895 $3,525-$5,364 $2,660-$4,080 $2,182-$3,155
4+ Bedrooms $4,900-$12,550 $4,874-$6,910 $3,610-$5,760 $2,784-$3,876

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

What are the best California to Virginia 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 The Moving Costs Vary So Much?

Looking at all these massive moving numbers can make your head spin, especially when you’re already worried about job opportunities or moving services.

Here are some of the biggest contributors to high moving costs and how you can mitigate them.

Pay Attention To Inbound Vs. Outbound Demand

This is a shining detail of budgeting a long-distance move. Inbound refers to how many moves are coming into a given state, while outbound means how many moves are leaving a state.

An origin state with a high volume of inbound moves and a low volume of outbound moves will result in lower prices. This is due to local moving companies having more clients to choose from, giving them some pricing flexibility. When there’s a high volume of outbound moves and a low volume of inbound moves to your origin state?

Exactly: you’ll be faced with higher prices because of reduced demand.

Long-Distance Moves Often Require Fuel and Lodging

Unless you’re planning on taking a plane when moving from California to Virginia, this is another important aspect to focus on.

Fortunately, most moving services already help you with planning and paying for lodging, fuel, and food. Nonetheless, do a little local research. Even a simple increase in gas prices or hotel prices can take you by surprise.

We’ll help you with more details on moving from California to Virginia below.

Off vs. Peak Season Moving Expenses

Last but certainly not least, we have the essential detail of peak moving seasons. These revolve around heightened local activity in both your destination state and origin state.

Peak moving season events include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Local and federal holidays
  • School breaks (such as winter or summer break)
  • Weekends

Both California and Virginia are highly active states with vibrant local cultures. As such, monthly events will drive up demand for local hotels, gas, and amenities. Expect to navigate several local events as you plan out the intricacies of your move.

Try out our Moving Cost Calculator to get even more control over your moving budget.

Popular Local Californian Events:

  • Taste Of Yosemite (January-February in Eastern California)
  • Riverside County Fair & Date Festival (February in Southern California)
  • California Artisan Cheese Festival (March in Western California)
  • Monterey Jazz Festival (September in Southwestern California)
  • San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (November in Southern California)

Popular Local Virginian Events:

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing (March and April)
  • Jazz In The Country Jazz Fest (August)
  • Shrimp And Beer Festival (September)
  • Art In The Park (September)
  • New Market Fall Festival (September)

Should You Use Professional Packing Services?

Are you extremely busy with work, kids, or both? Professional packing services take a lot of the heat off your schedule.

A common misconception is that movers automatically disassemble and move everything. As it stands, some movers are pretty selective about the items they accept. Failing to do a spot check on your preferred moving company can bring surprise fees to your doorstep.

Professional packing services are much the same: while some movers offer this as a service, it’s important to ask beforehand. Professional packing services are ideal for people who:

  • Have a large volume of belongings
  • Own complex alcohol and wine collection
  • Have sensitive equipment, such as exercise equipment or computer supplies

Take a look at our guide on whether or not movers disassemble and reassemble furniture. We also dive into the most common pain points people have when packing and how you can reduce your stress.

What Moving Supplies Will You Need?

Whether you’re attempting a DIY move or want to hire moving services, you should already have a few moving supplies on hand. Sometimes plans change: you might need to move earlier than usual, or your preferred movers aren’t available at the last second, meaning you have to lend a hand.

The most common moving supplies you’ll need are:

  • Sturdy boxes (no holes or sagging tops)
  • Duct tape
  • Dolly
  • Moving blankets
  • Packing peanuts or paper balls
  • Basic tools like scissors, Sharpies, and hand wipes

Once you’ve taken stock of your moving supplies, check out our list on how to effectively downsize and declutter your home before the move.

What Other Personal Expenses Should You Be Aware Of?

Hiring a moving company is a massive investment you don’t want to get wrong. After choosing one that’s reputable and affordable, your next step is to list out personal expenses.

These vary greatly from person to person. If you have a large family, a hotel might be preferable to a motel. If you’re a single, childless remote worker, you may be concerned about the warranty on computer equipment.

Below are common personal expenses for both short-distance and long-distance moves:

Vehicle Transport

Do you have a car, truck, or RV that’s also moving from California to Virginia? Vehicle transport is a little expensive, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Some choose to simply drive their vehicle cross-country, but that can be difficult if you have an inflexible work schedule or no one to watch your children. The appeal behind moving services is how easily they can slot your car into a moving truck and cart it off with the rest of your belongings.

The distance between California and Virginia by car is around 2,700 miles, costing up to $350 in fuel. If you want to determine your gas usage, try this trick: divide the mileage by the fuel efficiency for your vehicle, then multiply that number by $3.14. This was the national average gasoline price on September 27, 2021, according to AAA.

We compiled a list of tips on vehicle transport and which option is best suited to you.


Boat Transport

Boat transport, like vehicle transport, is often best left to the professionals. Towing a boat behind a truck can be difficult even for experienced drivers.

If you are too busy to transport your boat — or don’t trust your driving skills — it’s okay to ask for help. We help movers transport boats long-distance with our helpful cross-country guide.

Personal Property Insurance

You may be tempted to overlook this part due to mounting moving costs, but resist the temptation. A little extra money spent now is nothing compared to what you’ll spend if you arrive at your destination with damaged belongings.

Personal property insurance is a vital safeguard for accidents on the road. Even a minor crash can set you back thousands of dollars from cracks, crushes, and/or dents. An important term to know is valuation: this is where a moving company takes financial responsibility for lost or damaged items during a move.

We break down the costs of personal property insurance and why it’s a wise investment for most movers.

Why Are People Moving From California To Virginia?

Going from West Coast glamour to quiet East Coast country is quite the leap. For many people today, it’s an investment worth making.

Lower Cost of Living

Let’s keep things in perspective: Virginia is still a pricey place to live. However, its average rent for a one-bedroom hovers around $1,300, which is still favorable compared to California’s $1,500 (and skyrocketing annual percentage increases).

Much Lower Crime Rate

Virginia boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with the chances of you becoming a victim of a violent crime being 1 in 481. California, on the other hand, is 1 in 227.

Endless Beautiful Beaches

There’s no need to pine for California’s glittering coast. Virginia is home to some incredibly beautiful scenery, boasting nearly five hundred miles of beautiful beaches.

Great Local Wine Scene

Are you a fan of wine? Virginia is home to an impressive three hundred wineries producing some of the best whites, reds, and roses. Once it’s safe to do so, you’ll want to visit their lush, green wineries in person.

Rising Job Opportunities

California is proving to be a dead-end for job opportunities, caught between heavy competition and high rent prices. Virginia currently ranks high on quality of life, infrastructure, and economic growth.

Best Places to Live in Virginia

Take a little extra time before choosing a city or a town, as the positives (or negatives!) will affect every aspect of your life.

Virginians are known for being a well-educated and family-oriented group of people. Below are a few of our picks for neighbourhoods in Virginia, from most affordable to most walkable.

Most Affordable Places in Virginia

  • Roanoke
  • Dale City
  • Suffolk
  • Norfolk

Most Walkable Places in Virginia

  • Arlington
  • Charlottesville
  • Richmond

Best Places to Raise a Family in Virginia

  • Bluemont
  • Broadlands
  • Dominion Hills
  • Alexandria

After moving from California to Virginia, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to finally start saving money and living a more relaxing life. That’s why it’s vital to get the research portion of your move done right the first time.

Fortunately, there’s a helping hand around the corner! Check out our best interstate moving companies or experiment with our Moving Cost Calculator. Once you’ve got a better idea of your options, reach out to your ideal moving services and ask for a free quote.

It’s tempting to cut costs and do a completely DIY move, but the peace of mind and safety provided by moving companies will save you money in the long run.