Moving from New York to California: Movers and Cost

The two most expensive states in the continental United States? Of course, New York and California.

Whether you’re moving from NYC to LA or from Buffalo to San Francisco, this is a big move.

That means New Yorkers ready to embark on this long-distance move will want to save as much money in the process.

The first step to saving money on a move? Know your pricing and moving options.

In this article, we explain how much it costs to move from New York to California as well as the factors that play a role in the pricing and tips to help you save money.

But before we get into it, here’s a how much it will cost to move from NY TO CA for your convenience.

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from Florida to Texas will range from $2,200-$6,000 depending on the size, route, distance, 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.

Check out these resources for more personalized help:

  • Best New York to California 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 New York to California.
  • 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.

Now, let’s get into it.

How Much Does It Cost to Move From New York to California?

Professional Moving Company Moving Container Company Freight Trailer Company Truck Rental Company*
Studio/One Bedroom $1,780-$3,150 $2,937-$3,710 $2,090-$2,640 $2,130-$2,690
2-3 Bedrooms $4,700-$7,230 $4,589-$5,796 $4,275-$5,400 $2,642-$3,337
4+ Bedrooms $7,650-$13,900 $5,914-$7,470 $5,225-$6,600 $3,246-$4,100

*Estimate includes fuel cost but no other costs associated such as lodging, tolls, or parking.

Shipping your car from New York to California? Learn more about how much it costs in our full post. 

What are the best New York to California 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 Range in Prices?

The average cost to move from New York to California is $2,900-$6,300.

Moving companies take away a lot of the stress of the move but they also cost more.

Renting a truck and making the move yourself not only means more stress and the physical labor of packing and unpacking the truck but also still incurring the costs of food and gas as you drive the truck from one coastline to the other.

Moving containers and freight companies are a less expensive option but still require your packing and unpacking time investment.

If you choose to go with professional movers, get at least three moving estimates. Understand that the popularity of your destination and the time of your move all impact price.

Popular Moving Destinations: Inbound vs. Outbound Demand

Aside from its inviting weather, California continues to lose inbound moving demand. In fact, the state is actually losing people with a 38% outmigration for the seventh straight year.

New York is also losing population, but mostly to southern states like Georgia and Florida. This is good news for anyone hiring a moving company for a New York to California move, as reduced inbound popularity to the west coast means a less costly move.

When to Move: Offseason vs Peak Moving Season

If you can, coordinate your move during the offseason, that’s the fall and winter months. Late spring and summer is considered peak moving season. The costs go up. To get an idea of an offseason move compared to a peak season move from New to California, see below:

  • April 6 for a five-bedroom house with professional movers: $7,650-$13,900
  • July 4 for a five-bedroom house with professional movers: $11,220-$16,005

You can generate your own estimates using the moving cost calculator.

Why Are People Moving From New York to California?

The perfect weather and ample job opportunities are the biggest draw to California, especially those fleeing east coast winters.

However, New York and California share the same drawback. A higher cost of living makes both states difficult for most on an average income.

Professionals with higher pay grade and more education are the demographic that finds California most doable. The vast size of the state also offers lucrative industry segments seeking specialists in certain fields.

Silicon Valley recruits the best and the brightest from around the country to satisfy an unending global high-tech demand.

As the hub of the entertainment industry, Hollywood continues to be an attraction for writers, actors and others looking to make it big in TV and film.

Best Places to Move in California

Let’s be honest, few states have more to offer than California. Miss the Big Apple? The major cities of California will give you the urban vibe you’re looking for. Want forests and cool weather? Northern California has that for you. Want sunny days and diverse culture? You’ll find that in Southern California. These are just some of the best destinations in the state.


Fresno

Along with being the home of movies and Google, California is also the agricultural center of the US. The farming industry has “grown” its own cities like Fresno.

Two hours from the coast, this inland farm city offers one of the shortest commutes in the Golden State. A lower cost of living then most of California and job opportunities in and out of agriculture are driving Fresno’s growth. Just think, you will always get fresh produce.


Los Angeles

If you can afford the higher cost of housing, Los Angeles is a hotspot in California. The robust job market and proximity to the Pacific make this a dream destination for many. LA is also the focal point for a variety of explorable terrains. The highway system connects you to beaches like Santa Monica, forests and mountains for hiking trails, and deserts like the Coachella valley anytime you want a getaway from downtown LA.


Saramento

Some of the strongest employment opportunities can be found in Sacramento. California’s state capital offers an annual salary above the national median. Like much of California, Sacramento housing is pricey. The draw of farm to fork farming has made this part of California a beacon for foodies.


San Diego

San Diego, California holds its rank as the fifth most desirable place to live in California. The beautiful beaches, consistently temperate climate and robust job market make San Diego an attraction for those who can afford it. A high cost of living competes with employment opportunities. Those who can strike a balance in the cost of housing and income will find San Diego a nearly perfect place to live.


San Jose

Just south of the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley produces its own population growth in San Jose. Tech companies like Google and Facebook have shaped the community of this sprawling suburban-style city. The high cost of housing keeps mostly tech professionals as residents. San Jose boasts 300 sunny days a year and is a great target destination for those entering the tech field or moving up from tech jobs back east.


Santa Barbara

If you hate overcrowded places and can afford it, Santa Barbara is a dream destination.

As the least populated city in California, Santa Barbara also offers the highest ratings for resident satisfaction. Low crime rates and short commutes come at a price. The median home price is well over $400,000. For those who feel well-being beats out cost of living, Santa Barbara is the place to go.


Santa Rosa

If you don’t mind the middle of the state, then Santa Rosa has promise. Near wine country, farm country and the tech industry, Santa Rosa avoids the angst of urban living like LA. But this small city is no backwater, offering diversity, job growth and high education centers equal to those around the country.

Those touching the agriculture and the tech industries will find Santa Rosa to be a bedroom community to both. Far from the coastline, Santa Rosa is only 55 miles north of San Francisco, so the cost of housing is still relatively high, yet worth it to those who don’t think life is a beach.

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