Moving from Chicago to Phoenix: Cost and Tips

Before you make your move from CHI to PHX, know the important factors that may affect the cost of your move.

Lots of people are leaving Chicago and like anyone in Phoenix will be sure to let you know, lots are moving to Phoenix.

If both of these are true for you, you’ve got a cross-country move in your horizon.

Let us help by answering this essential question:

How much will it cost to move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from Chicago to Phoenix is $2,500-$4,200 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.

Get an even better idea of your particular moving cost using them moving cost estimator.

Ready to get a full grasp on the factors that affect the cost of your cross country move?

Let’s dive right in.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from Chicago to Phoenix?

Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental*
Studio/1 bedroom $1,680 – $3,455 $1,900 – $2,401 $1,710 – $2,520 $1,149 – $1,486
2-3 Bedroom $2,404 – $4,400 $2,491 – $3,797 $2,565 – $3,720 $1,200 – $1,733
4+ Bedroom $4,490 – $8,930 $3,453 – $4,894 $3,420 – $4,920 $1,501 – $2,083

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

Why Do The Moving Costs Vary So Much?

There are several factors that affect moving prices. Knowing these factors can help you save a significant amount. If you are relocating for work many times, your company gives you a relocation allowance.

If your move costs less than they give you, you may be able to pocket the remainder. If you plan to move because you want to experience life in a new city, you can enjoy your new location with a little more money in your pocket by strategically planning your move.

Inbound vs. Outbound Demand

Many times, pricing depends on the demand of residents moving to the location. If many people are moving to a state, the move is more costly. Presently, more people are moving to Phoenix than Chicago.

Record numbers of people are moving out of Chicago, and nearly 200 people per day are moving to Phoenix. So, you can see that the demand for movers to the Phoenix is higher. Unfortunately, that means you have a bit less negotiating power with moving companies.

Off vs. Peak Season Moving Expenses

Moving is seasonal, and like most seasonal things, more people move during the summer. That is when children are out of school. It is often easier for families to move between school years.

The principal of peak vs. off-season moving is similar to inbound vs. outbound pricing. If you are moving to a popular location during a peak moving time, you will pay the highest prices.

Summer is not the only peak time you have to consider, though. You will also pay more if you are moving over a holiday, specifically when children are out of school. Consequently, that is also when lodging and other moving-related expenses are more costly.

Waiting until the last minute will also cost you. So, you need to be organized and book your movers, pod, or rental truck as early as possible.

Keep in mind; moving expenses are not the only thing to consider when moving. You will likely want to avoid severe weather seasons in both locations. Chicago sees the worst weather during the winter.

The weather in Phoenix is warm and sunny throughout most of the year. However, there can be sporadic storms that cause flash flooding.

Lastly, you need to make sure you read through the moving company terms and conditions if you need to cancel or reschedule your move.

Other Things That Make Your Move More Costly

In addition to when and where you are moving, how you move plays a significant role in the cost. The top end of the ranges above include:

  • Packing
  • Moving boxes
  • Packing materials
  • Property protection insurance
  • Hiring Professional Movers

If you pack yourself and supply your boxes, your move will be less costly. To save the most money, you should pack yourself and rent a moving truck.

However, paying for movers to do it for you makes the experience a lot less tiring and stressful. Just imagine packing everything you own, then loading a rental truck with all of your belongings, and driving 25 hours, over 1,750 miles to Phoenix.

You will also have to stop several times along the way to sleep. So, you have to think about lodging costs and worry about leaving your moving truck in a hotel parking lot.

In conclusion: Although the upfront cost is lower, the true cost of a truck rental can make it worth hiring professional movers instead.

Paying for Peace of Mind

For example, from time to time, there are severe flash floods in Phoenix. Due to the climate, even a storm that only drops a few inches of rain in a short time can cause flash flooding. During these dangerous floods, water rushes through the streets, sweeping away cars and anything else in its path.

If you happen to get stuck in one of these floods, you may need to replace your belongings. Without insurance, depending on the terms of your moving company contract, you could be responsible for nearly the entire cost of replacing your belongings.

Each state has regulations moving companies must follow. Those regulations include providing consumers with some basic protection if the customer’s belongings arrive damaged.

However, in most states, the provider only has to pay around 60 cents per pound for damaged items. If you own several expensive devices costing more than $500 per pound, the basic coverage will not come close to covering the replacement costs.

A full liability insurance plan sold by most moving companies or a third party plan that covers the entire contents of your home provides the most protection. However, it will cost you around 1 percent of the total value of your belongings.

Why Are People Moving from Chicago, IL, to Phoenix, AZ?

Record numbers of people are leaving Chicago, but it is not clear exactly why they are leaving. So, if you are planning a move, you are in good company. Chicago is a world-class city with plenty to experience, yet there are several factors driving Chicago residents to other parts of the country.

Cost of Living

The overall cost of living in Phoenix is more than nine percent more affordable, and while employers in Chicago tend to pay a bit more, the increase in wages is not enough to cover the higher cost for housin, transportation, food, utilities, and other essentials. So, people moving to Arizona may be able to live more comfortably in the Valley of the Sun.

Lower Crime Rates

The Windy City has seen an increase in violent crime in recent years, and many of the people moving out of town want to live in a safer place. Specifically, there has been an increase in the number of millennials leaving the city. The spike may be due to more people starting families and wanting to raise their children in safer areas.

What are Some of the Best Places to Move to in the Phoenix Area?

Phoenix is an incredible place to live if you like the outdoors. With more than 300 days of sunny weather, you have more than enough time to enjoy all of your favorite sports and activities. Not to mention you are close to national parks, hiking trails, mountains, rivers, and more.

There are several small cities surrounding Phoenix that are also wonderful places to live.

But, what are the best neighborhoods in the Valley of the Sun to plant your roots? As a new resident, you will want to check these out.

Ahwatukee Foothills

Ahwatukee Foothills is a suburban Phoenix neighborhood with a population of approximately 77,500 residents. In the town, you have access to grocery stores, entertainment, parks, and excellent schools, making this a perfect place to raise your family.


Desert View

If you are interested in living in a smaller community, Desert View has around 44,000 residents and above-average schools. Due to the lower population, there are not as many restaurants and shops in the area, but Desert View is a short drive from Downtown Scottsdale or Downtown Phoenix.

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley is a densely populated suburb. It has great schools, shopping malls, coffee shops, and plenty of places to eat. Paradise Valley residents tend to be more conservative and most of the residents are homeowners.


North Gateway

In North Gateway you will find hiking trails, Lake Pleasant, restaurants, a few bars, and everything is within walking distance. Plus, with a population of just over 16,000 people, you do not have to worry about your favorite spot being overcrowded.


Downtown Phoenix

For people who like to be in the middle of it all, Downtown Phoenix is an amazing place to live. There are world-class museums, including the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Children’s Museum. Plus, you can find a festival or event going on nearly every weekend.

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