Moving From Illinois to California (Movers From $1,590)

Quick answer: The average cost to move from Illinois to California ranges from $1,708 to $8,701 and takes 6-17 days. The top cost factors are how much you’re moving, your move date, and whether you hire a company or do the move yourself.

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Hiring a full-service Illinois moving company will be on the more expensive side, while a rental truck or a moving container is usually cheaper but requires more work.

Moving the reverse route? We’ve got you covered with our Moving from California to Illinois guide.

The best Illinois to California movers

Hiring an interstate moving company from Illinois to California is a big deal.

There are more than 8,000 moving companies in the U.S. But don’t worry, you won’t have to filter through all of them. We’ve done the research for you and narrowed the list based on customer satisfaction, cost, and services. Here are the best long-distance moving companies serving Illinois to California.

If you’re just trying to ship a few items, here’s a list of our recommended services for small moves.

How much does it cost to move from Illinois to California?

The table below lays out average cost ranges when moving from Illinois to California for different moving services depending on the size of your home.

Move size Moving company Moving container Rental truck
Studio / 1 Bedroom $1,590 - $6,088 $1,503 - $3,797 $1,533 - $2,840
2 - 3 bedrooms $4,071 - $8,701 $2,754 - $5,236 $1,708 - $3,623
4+ bedrooms $7,554 - $14,214 $3,593 - $7,371 $2,093 - $4,439
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*These price ranges are a rough estimate based on 2,083 miles and historical averages. The actual size of your move, additional services required, truck parking access, market conditions, and availability can greatly affect the final cost of your move.

There are many factors that influence Illinois moving costs. The cost to move from Illinois to California will depend on these factors:

  • Move size: Moving a large home costs more than moving a studio apartment.
  • Time of year: The peak moving season in Illinois is in the summer, so moving companies will likely charge more.
  • DIY vs. professional mover: DIY moving services are cheaper but you do all the heavy lifting compared to letting the pros handle your move.

How much does it cost to hire movers from Illinois to California?

Hiring movers for a studio apartment or one-bedroom home from Illinois to California will cost between $1,590 to $6,088. The cost to move a two- to three-bedroom home from IL to CA will range from $4,071 to $8,701, and a large move from Illinois to California will cost from $7,554 to $14,214.

How much are moving containers like PODS from Illinois to California?

Moving containers from Illinois to California will cost you $1,503 to $3,797 for a small move. For a two- to three-bedroom move, moving containers can cost $2,754 to $5,236. A four-bedroom move or bigger will cost $3,593 to $7,371. Learn more about PODS cost.

Here are the cheapest moving container companies when moving out of Illinois.

How much is a moving truck from Illinois to California?

A moving rental truck is generally the cheapest option, but it requires you to do all of the driving and labor; these estimates include the estimated fuel cost:

Moving a studio or 1-bedroom apartment in a rental truck will cost around $1,533 to $2,840. A larger move will cost $1,708 to $3,623, and a 4+ bedroom move from Illinois to California costs from $2,093 to $4,439.

Is moving from Illinois to California a good idea?

If you’re moving to California from Illinois, you’ll want to compare what life will be like.

Cost of Living: Illinois vs California

Illinois California
Average rent cost $1,038 $1,586
Average home cost $249,224 $746,055
Average income (per capita) $78,433 $91,905
Cost of Living Index 90 100
Unemployment rate 4.6% 4.8%
Average Sales Tax 8.82% 8.68%
State Income Tax 4.95% 13.3%
  • Rent is about 53% more expensive in California than in Illinois.
  • Home prices are about 199.4% higher in California than in Illinois.
  • The average income is about 17.2% higher in California than in Illinois.
  • Cost of living is 11.1% lower in California than in Illinois.
  • California has a higher unemployment rate than Illinois by about 4.3%.
  • Sales taxes are 1.59% lower in California than in Illinois.
  • Income taxes are 168.69% higher in California than in Illinois.

How is life different in California from Illinois?

California Illinois
Population 39,029,342 12,582,032
Political leaning Democratic 63-34 Democrat 58-41
Summer High 87ºF 86ºF
Winter Low 59ºF 17ºF
Annual Rain 22" 40"
Annual Snow 7" 22"
Crime Index 27.88 18.79
  • The population of California is approximately 210% greater than the population of Illinois.
  • In the last presidential election, California voted Democratic and Illinois voted Democrat.
  • The average high in the summertime in California is 87ºF and in Illinois, it’s 86ºF.
  • During the coldest part of the year, California reaches the temperature of 59ºF and Illinois gets down to 17ºF.
  • You can expect about 22 inches of annual rainfall in California vs 40 inches of rainfall in Illinois.
  • In California, it snows about 7 inches annually vs 22 inches of snow in Illinois.
  • California has a higher crime rate than Illinois with a crime index of 27.88 vs 18.79.

Comparing the pros of Illinois vs. California:

There are always a lot of reasons to get excited about living somewhere new. These are the best parts of living in Illinois vs California side-by-side.

Pros of living in Illinois Pros of living in California
Home of Chicago Ample economic opportunity
Ample economic opportunity Pleasant weather
Bountiful recreational opportunities Abundant recreational options
Delicious food High quality of life
World-class sports culture Fresh and healthy foods

Comparing the cons of living in Illinois vs. California:

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, these are the things to be aware of when leaving Illinois for California.

Cons of living in Illinois Cons of living in California
Harsh winter weather High cost of living
Bad traffic Heavy tax burdens
High crime rate Natural disasters
Dull landscape Terrible traffic
Strict laws Strange laws

Considerations for moving to California

  • Weather: California has a great Mediterranean climate throughout most of the state. In the Southeast, you may experience colder winters and hotter summers. The northern part of California experiences more rain than the rest of the state. Before your move be sure to check for rain or very hot days.
  • HOA Rules: Check ahead with any neighborhood or community rules on moving to ensure a smooth move.
  • Elevator Reservation: One common and important example of something that should be handled ahead of time is reserving the building's elevator and finding out their rules for using the elevator.
  • Parking Permits: Some cities require parking permits for large vehicles, find out ahead of time with your new local rules.
  • State Licensing: When contacting a local moving company for an estimate in California, make sure each has a “T Number” issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CAPUC). Moving companies with valid T Numbers have met state requirements for insurance, safety, and financial stability and have passed criminal clearance checks conducted by the California Department of Justice. Make sure the moving company you use has a license before hiring.
  • State Regulator: You can verify a California moving license and its status on the state regulator's official website.
  • Moving Permits: California does not require any moving permits, but it is helpful to check local parking restrictions before moving into the state.
  • Change of Address: We recommend submitting your change of address form with USPS at least a week prior to your move. You can set an official move date on the form and this way all of your mail will get properly forward to California. Get started here.
  • Mover's Insurance: Every state has their own requirements when it comes to insurance. Opt for Released Value Protection – a cost-free choice provided by movers with minimal coverage. The liability is capped at 60 cents per pound per article. For instance, if a 50-inch TV weighing 25 pounds is lost or damaged, your reimbursement is only $15 (60 cents x 25 pounds). To ensure comprehensive coverage for your items' full value, consult with your chosen moving company or consider third-party insurance options.
  • Moving Checklist: Peace of mind is priceless. Our moving checklist will help you know you’ve got everything covered.

Looking for local Illinois movers?

Company Quote Rating Contact
Planes Moving & Storage Company Get A Quote starstarstarstarstar
4.9 overall rating
1100 Bilter Road, Aurora , IL, 60504
(630) 381-6952
STI Moving & Storage Inc. Get A Quote starstarstarstarstar
4.9 overall rating
7400 Niles Center Rd, Skokie, IL, 60077
(847) 675-1223

Visit our Best Movers in Illinois page to see a complete list of moving companies, including hourly rates, services, and reviews.

Things to do in California

While you’re in California, you won’t be bored. These are some of the coolest places to visit in your new home state.

  • Yosemite National Park
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Disneyland Park
  • Big Sur Coastline
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Death Valley National Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Santa Catalina Island
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Hearst Castle
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • The Hollywood Sign
  • Lombard Street
  • Venice Beach
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Alcatraz Island
  • Winchester Mystery House
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Solvang
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Burney Falls
  • Anza Borrego Desert State Park
  • Bodie State Historic Park

FAQs about moving from Illinois to California

What is the cheapest way to move from Illinois to California?

The cheapest way to move from Illinois to California is with a DIY move. Here’s our guide for the cheapest way to move out of state.

What are the benefits of moving from Illinois to California?

The main reasons people are moving from Illinois to California are the amazing upsides of living in California such as ample economic opportunity and pleasant weather.

Helpful moving resources