Moving from Houston, TX to California: Movers and Cost

Quick Answer: The cost to move from Houston, TX to California averages from $1,161 to $7,183 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.

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

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:

Moving 1,765 miles is no joke. Here's what you need to know.

How much does it cost to move from Houston, TX 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 $1,278 - $4,981 $1,119 - $2,761 $1,073 - $2,063
2 - 3 bedrooms $3,237 - $7,183 $1,995 - $4,078 $1,161 - $2,455
4+ bedrooms $5,913 - $10,434 $2,724 - $5,476 $1,464 - $3,004

*These price ranges are a rough estimate based on 1,765 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 Houston, TX 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?

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Pick from the Best Houston 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.

Company Quote Rating Price
Safeway Moving
Best Overall Value
Get A Quote
4.5 overall rating
American Van Lines
American Van Lines
Best industry reputation
Get A Quote
4.5 overall rating
International Van Lines
International Van Lines
Best customer service
Get A Quote
4.45 overall rating

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 hire movers from Houston, TX to California?

To ship furniture from Houston to California with a mover will cost between $1,278 to $4,981. The cost to move a 2 to 3 bedroom home from HOU to CA will range from $3,237 to $7,183, and a large move from Houston to California will cost from $5,913 to $10,434.

How much are moving containers like PODS from Houston, TX to California?

Moving pods from Houston to California will cost you $1,119 to $2,761 for a small move. For a 2 to 3 bedroom move, moving containers can cost $1,995 to $4,078. A 4-bedroom move or bigger will cost $2,724 to $5,476.

How much is a moving truck from Houston, TX 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 $1,073 to $2,063. A larger move will cost $1,161 to $2,455, and a 4+ bedroom move from Houston to California costs from $1,464 to $3,004.

How to ship a car from Houston, TX to California?

If you're planning a move from Houston to California and need to ship your car, it's important to find a reputable car shipping company. Look for top-rated companies that specialize in Houston to California car shipping and compare quotes and services to find the right option for you.

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.

Company Quote Rating Price
5 overall rating
Ship a Car Direct
4.75 overall rating
Easy Auto Ship Logo
4.5 overall rating

The type of transport you choose and the size of the vehicle will influence the final price of shipping your car. Learn more about car shipping costs.

Is moving from Houston, TX to California a good idea?

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

Cost of Living: Houston, TX vs California

Houston, TX California
Average rent cost $1,242 $1,503
Average home cost $243,875 $758,360
Average income (per capita) $62,076 $78,672
Unemployment rate 4.8% 5.8%
State Income Tax 0.0% 13.3%
  • Rent is about 25% more expensive in California than in Houston.
  • Home prices are about 186.4% higher in California than in Houston.
  • The average income is about 26.8% higher in California than in Houston.
  • California has a higher unemployment rate than Houston by about 20.0%.
  • Income taxes are 13.30% higher in California than in Houston.

How is life different in Houston, TX from California?

Houston, TX California
Population 2,304,580 39,237,836
Political leaning Democrat 56-43 Democratic 63-34
Summer High 94ºF 87ºF
Winter Low 43ºF 59ºF
Annual Rain 53" 22"
Annual Snow 0" 7"
Crime Index 55.87 25.7
  • The population of California is approximately 1,603% greater than the population of Houston.
  • In the last presidential election, California voted Democratic and Houston voted Democrat.
  • The average high in the summertime in California is 87ºF and in Houston, it’s 94ºF.
  • During the coldest part of the year, California reaches the temperature of 59ºF and Houston gets down to 43ºF.
  • You can expect about 22 inches of annual rainfall in California vs 53 inches of rainfall in Houston.
  • In California, it snows about 7 inches annually vs 0 inches of snow in Houston.
  • California has a lower crime rate than Houston with a crime index of 55.87 vs 25.7.

Comparing the pros of Houston, TX vs. California:

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

Pros of living in Houston, TX Pros of living in California
Bountiful arts and recreational activities Ample economic opportunity
Ample economic opportunity Pleasant weather
Delicious seafood Abundant recreational options
Diversity High quality of life
Affordable housing Fresh and healthy foods

Comparing the cons of living in Houston, TX vs. California:

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

Cons of living in Houston, TX Cons of living in California
Tropical storms High cost of living
Heat and humidity Heavy tax burdens
Terrible traffic Natural disasters
Limited public transportation Terrible traffic
High crime rate 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: 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.
  • 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 . Get started here.
  • Mover's Insurance: Every state has their own requirements when it comes to insurance. Released Value Protection is the most economical option because it doesn’t cost anything. It is offered by movers at no additional charge, but the protection is minimal. Under this option, the mover is responsible for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For example, if your mover lost or damaged a 50 inch TV weighing 25 pounds, you would only receive $15 (60 cents x 25 pounds). If you need for the full value of your items to be covered, please consult with the moving company you're hiring for other options or a third-party insurance provider.
  • Moving Checklist: Peace of mind is priceless. Our moving checklist will help you know you’ve got everything covered.

Looking for local Houston movers?

Company Quote Rating Contact
3 Men Movers Get A Quote      
4.9 overall rating
6805 Sands Point Drive, Houston, TX, 77074
(713) 333-6683
All My Sons Moving & Storage Get A Quote      
4.72 overall rating
9550 West Wingfoot Road, Houston, TX, 77041
(281) 667-0966

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

What to do in California?

Whether you’re looking for parks, museums, sports, or even universities, you’ll be happy to find a plethora of these in California.

Museums in California

  • The Getty Center
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Hess Persson Estates
  • California State Railroad Museum
  • The Getty Villa
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
  • Norton Simon Museum
  • Mission San Luis Rey
  • Tallac Historic Site
  • Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Original McDonald's Site and Museum
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • March Field Air Museum
  • Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum

Parks in California

  • La Jolla Cove
  • Heisler Park
  • Sonoma Plaza
  • Mount Rubidoux Park
  • Redwood Regional Park
  • MacKerricher State Park
  • Tilden Regional Park
  • Dinosaur Caves Park
  • Greystone Mansion and Park
  • Rancho San Antonio County Park
  • Serra Cross Park
  • Coyote Hills Regional Park
  • Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
  • Palisades Park
  • Irvine Regional Park

Sports Teams in California

  • Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
  • Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
  • San Jose Sharks (NHL)
  • Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
  • Oakland Athletics (MLB)
  • San Diego Padres (MLB)
  • San Francisco Giants (MLB)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (NFL)
  • Los Angeles Rams (NFL)
  • San Francisco 49ers (NFL)
  • Golden State Warriors (NBA)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (NBA)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
  • Sacramento Kings (NBA)
  • LA Galaxy (MLS)
  • Los Angeles FC (MLS)
  • San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

Universities in California

  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • San Diego State University
  • California State University, Northridge

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:

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