Quick Answer: The cost to move from Chicago, IL to California averages from $1,904 to $8,992 depending on how much you’re moving, your move date, and whether you hire a company or do the move yourself. Hiring movers will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or renting a moving container is usually cheaper but requires more work.
In this article, we’ll lay out everything you need to know for your upcoming move to California. But first, here are a few resources if you need immediate answers:
- Best Chicago, IL to California movers: We’ve handpicked the best moving companies from Chicago to California.
- How much will your move cost?: Use our moving calculator to get a more accurate estimate on moving costs.
- Consider moving containers: Need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies, you load and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.
- Chicago, IL to California car shippers: Moving your car? Use a company that prioritizes professionalism, cares for your vehicle, and is experienced.
Moving 2,135 miles is no joke. Here's what you need to know.
How much does it cost to move from Chicago, IL to California?
Here are average prices to hire a moving company, rent a moving container, or rent a moving truck:
|Move Size||Moving Company||Moving Container||Rental Truck|
|Studio / 1 Bedroom||$1,530 - $6,190||$1,764 - $2,968||$1,757 - $2,312|
|2 - 3 bedrooms||$4,230 - $8,992||$3,064 - $4,663||$1,904 - $2,752|
|4+ bedrooms||$7,944 - $13,900||$4,237 - $5,999||$2,427 - $3,379|
*These price ranges are a rough estimate based on 2,135 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.
The cost to move from Chicago, IL to California will depend on:
- Move size: 5 bedroom homes are more expensive to move than 1 bedroom apartments.
- Time of year: Summer is busy season so moving companies charge more.
- Do-it-yourself vs Professional Mover: DIY moving services are usually cheaper but involve more work and stress.
How Much do Movers Cost?
Get instant ballpark pricing. No email or phone required. It's fast, free, and easy.
Who Are The Best Chicago, IL to California Movers?
Hiring a moving company is a big deal.
We’ve researched over 500 interstate moving companies, cross-referencing verified customer reviews, license data, insurance data, and federal complaint records to find you the best long distance moving companies in the industry.
If you’re moving a 1 bedroom apartment worth of stuff or more, these are the best full service moving companies.
Safeway Moving Systems
Best Overall Value
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American Van Lines
Best industry reputation
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Air Van northAmerican Van Lines
Best for complex moves
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If you’re just trying to ship a few items, here’s a list of our recommended services for small moves.
How to ship a car from Chicago, IL to California
Now that you've picked from the top movers for your belongings, it's time to choose an experienced and reputable Chicago to California car shipper.
Just like booking a reputable mover, professional car shippers will apply know-how and experience to make sure that your car makes it unscathed during this long-distance move.
|Montway Auto Transport||Best Overall Value||
|Ship A Car Direct||Best Insurance Coverage||
|Easy Auto Ship||best for quick pick up||
Is moving from Chicago, IL to California a good idea?
Cost of Living: Chicago, IL vs California
|Chicago, IL||California||% difference|
|Average rent cost||$1,595||$1,503||-6%|
|Average home cost||$306,098||$758,360||147.8%|
|Average income (per capita)||$65,601||$78,672||19.9%|
|State Income Tax||4.95%||13.3%||+168.69%|
How is life different in Chicago, IL from California?
|Political leaning||Democrat 74-24||Democratic 63-34|
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: If your building has an elevator you’ll want to check on how to reserve it for move day.
- Truck Parking Permits: Some cities require parking permits for large vehicles and moving trucks. Find out if you need any parking permits ahead of time.
- 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.
- 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 . Get started here.
- Mover's Insurance: Every state has their own requirements when it comes to insurance. In California, moving companies must have workman’s compensation, cargo, and general liability insurance and must also be bonded in some circumstances.
Where to move in California
Now that you've decided to make the move to "Golden State," these are the best cities in California to move to.
Most popular cities to move to in California:
- Chula Vista
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- Moreno Valley
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Ana
- Santa Clarita
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