If you’re thinking about moving cross-country or long distance, one of the first things you want to know is: How much is this going to cost? We get it. Before you start spending precious time getting quotes and giving out your email address or phone number, you just want some basic idea of how much to budget for moving your stuff! Is that too much to ask? Not at all, and that’s exactly what this guide to moving costs is all about.

This guide will arm you with knowledge of what to expect with the three major modes of moving: traditional full-service movers, rental trucks, and moving and storage containers like PODS. We’ll do that by giving you estimated cost examples for making the , relocating the 1,000 miles or so between the Northeast and Florida, or moving 100 to 500 miles to a nearby city or state. We’ll also cover the factors that affect long-distance and cross-country moving costs, plus pros and cons of the different options. 

Before we start, we’ve just got one major caveat: These ballpark moving estimates can’t substitute for for your specific move. Sorry, you can’t skip that step. But this can save you time in the planning stage and give you valuable guidelines so you can avoid being taken for a ride. Now let’s get to it.

NYC to LA cross country moving map

CROSS-COUNTRY MOVING COST EXAMPLE: NYC TO LOS ANGELES

The average cost of moving cross country is an estimated $2,668 for rental trucks, and around $6,000 for a portable moving container or full-service movers for a moderately furnished 2- to 3-bedroom household to relocate from NYC to L.A. (or the reverse), according to the MoveBuddha Cost Calculator and PODS. (These costs represent the average between the low and high range for each option. The average cost of PODS moving across country also varies.) Here’s a table for easy reference, for NYC to L.A. and other popular cross-country moves between the East and West Coasts. You’ll see the average cost to move across county is unique to each geographic area.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MOVE CROSS-COUNTRY?

Moving costs from East Coast to West Coast:

Moving RouteMilesPODS
(includes transport and 1-month storage) 
Full-Service Movers
(includes transport and loading/unloading)
Rental Truck
(plus fuel costs)
NYC to L.A. 2,800$5,679-$6,659$3,975-$7,982$2,182-$3,155
NYC to San Francisco2,900$5,807-$6,817$4,373-$8,780$2,308-$3,337
Miami to L.A.2,730$3,179-$3,839$3,975-$7,982$2,182-$3,155
Miami to San Francisco 3,110$3,899-$4,579$4,373-$8,780$2,308-$3,337
*Based on estimates from PODS and MoveBuddha for a 2-3 bedroom household (800-1,200 sf), costs don’t include insurance or taxes. Prices will vary based on specific locations, dates, size of household to be moved, and available discounts. For a detailed quote, call PODS at 877-350-7637.
NY to FL cross country moving map

WHAT ABOUT MOVING COSTS FROM NY TO FLORIDA — OR FLORIDA TO NY?

Considering the difference in weather, it’s no surprise that a lot of people make the move from the Northeast to Florida. Yet many others move in the opposite direction, whether it’s for a job, to be close to family, or the allure of NYC itself. Since there are more people moving south, it typically costs a bit less to move from the south to the north — usually a few hundred dollars difference — because of the lower demand. Keep this in mind if you’re trying to negotiate a better deal. 

Estimates for moving a moderately furnished 2- to 3-bedroom household 1,000 to 1,300-miles from NYC to Florida (or the reverse) average about $4,365 for full-service movers, $1,406 with a rental truck, and $2,575 with a PODS moving and storage container, according to the MoveBuddha Cost Calculator and PODS. Here’s a table for easy reference, for moving from NYC to Florida’s three top metro areas: Orlando, Miami, and Tampa Bay. 

Moving costs from NYC to Florida:

Moving RouteMilesPODS
(includes transport and 1-month storage) 
Full-Service Movers 
(includes transport and loading/unloading)
Rental Truck
(plus fuel costs)
NYC to Orlando1,080$4,156-$4,878$2,567-$6,163$923-$1,424
NYC to Miami1,280$4,379-$5,249$3,013-$6,843$1,107-$1,706
NYC to Tampa1,130$4,355-$5,220$2,567-$6,163$1,107-$1,706
*Based on estimates from PODS and MoveBuddha for a 2-3 bedroom household (800-1,200 sf), costs don’t include insurance or taxes. Prices will vary based on specific locations, dates, size of household to be moved, and available discounts. For a detailed quote, call PODS at 877-350-7637.
Austin to Dallas moving map

WHAT ABOUT MOVING COSTS FOR 100 TO 500 MILES?

What if you’re just moving 100 to 500 miles, to another city in your state, or a city in a nearby state? While a much shorter distance than cross-country, 100 to 500 miles is considered a long-distance move, and still a lot harder to do yourself than a local move. Small moves cross country also require some careful budgeting in terms of time and money. Factoring in the time — and energy — it takes to load, drive, and then unload your stuff, you’ll need to give yourself at least two days to make the move. Here are some popular moving route examples:

Moving RouteMilesPODS
(includes transport and 1-month storage) 
Full-Service Movers 
(includes transport and loading/unloading)
Rental Truck
(plus fuel costs)
Richmond to DC110$909-$1,109$1,556-$4,505$142-$217
Austin to Dallas200$1,620-$1,980$1,556-$4,505$328-$505
L.A. to Phoenix380$3,199-$3,909$1,556-$4,505$328-$505
Tampa to Atlanta460$2,165-$2,765$2,083-$5,375$630-$972
*Based on estimates from PODS and MoveBuddha for a 2-3 bedroom household (800-1,200 sf), costs don’t include insurance or taxes. Prices will vary based on specific locations, dates, size of household to be moved, and available discounts. For a detailed quote, call PODS at 877-350-7637.
moving boxes and wrapped paintings and furniture

WHAT FACTORS AFFECT LONG-DISTANCE AND CROSS-COUNTRY MOVING COSTS?

Moving distance and household size are the two major factors that impact your moving costs, but there are other variables when you’re . You’ll want to consider all the factors — plus how they affect both your costs and plans — when choosing between traditional movers, rental trucks, or portable containers:

  • Moving distance: How many miles are you moving between your current home and your new address? Using PODS to move cross country could be an option that balances budget and your schedule. PODS pricing cross county tends to be competitively priced for the value you receive.
  • Household size: How much stuff are you moving? Traditional movers estimate your cost based on the weight of your belongings, which can vary from the estimate to the final bill. Portable containers and rental truck pricing is based on the container or truck size. Smaller households may be less expensive, so there is a lesser cost to move a one bedroom apartment cross country.
  • Driving: The longer the distance, the more stressful it is to drive a huge rental truck — and park it multiple times. You can skip the truck driving chore by hiring traditional movers or a portable container service. When you factor in fuel costs to fill up a big rental truck, a portable container can be very close in price, and even more affordable if you need storage or would have to pay to transport your own vehicle. 
  • Labor: Professional movers include loading and unloading all your furniture, boxes, and other stuff, but they’ll charge extra for packing and unpacking. With rental trucks and portable containers, you have the option to hire hourly moving help. This means you only pay for the services you really need. 
  • Scheduling: If you need to change moving dates, traditional movers may charge hefty rescheduling fees — as high as $500 or more. Truck rentals are easier to change, but they also charge late fees. This is where you might need a cross country move checklist. If you need flexibility, ask about this upfront, or use a portable container service like PODS, which makes scheduling changes much easier, with no extra charge when you give notice up to 24 hours before delivery or pick-up. The built-in storage of portable containers also provides an easy buffer for postponed closings and other unexpected delays.
  • Storage: Will you need storage as part of your move? Besides the need for scheduling flexibility, many people moving cross-country or long distance prefer to land in a temporary home while they take time getting to know a new area. That’s when portable containers come in handy, especially when the first month of storage is included, as with companies like PODS. If you’re using traditional movers and you think you may need storage, be sure to ask about the costs and conditions. If you’re renting a truck, you’ll have to pay for self-storage, and probably for another truck rental, not to mention deal with a lot of extra loading and unloading.
  • Season and timing: Think about your timing of cross country move quotes. Moving rates for all options are highest during the busy season, which is generally May through September. One of the cheapest ways to move cross country is to move on a weekday. That way, you may get a slightly better rate from a traditional mover or rental truck company.
  • Moving supplies: The cost of quality boxes, packing materials, moving blankets, and other supplies can add up, ranging from about $100 to $125 for a studio or 1 bedroom to $175 or more for a 2- to 3-bedroom home. Traditional movers will typically include moving blankets and shrink wrap to protect your furniture as part of their quote, but you’ll need to purchase boxes and other supplies if you do your own packing.
Free, fast shipping for moving supplies: Get all the boxes and packing supplies you need delivered right to your door.
  • Fuel: There are generally no added fuel charges with traditional movers or portable containers. However, this can be a major expense with a rental truck, especially if you’re driving 2,800 miles across the country. And don’t forget about the fuel surcharge penalty if you don’t turn it in with a full tank.
  • Moving insurance: Check if your homeowners or renters policy includes protection for your belongings during a move. If not, getting protection against damage or accidents along the way is highly recommended for long distance moves, and these costs should be factored in. See our guide to moving insurance.
  • Hotel and food costs: Besides getting your stuff moved, you and your family will need to make the trip, too. Here are some tips to help save on moving costs, including your costs on the road.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MOVE CROSS COUNTRY? 

One more factor coming into play for people looking to move is how the coronavirus pandemic affected moving companies and related prices. Over the past two years, the cost of moving a household on short moves as well as longer ones has increased, something else homeowners and renters need to take into consideration when planning a move. Many of these changes came about because of business costs increasing due to pandemic pressures, which began in early 2020 and still continue in many U.S. regions. States that are hardest hit by these increases include New York, Washington, and California, experts say.

There are a variety of supply-and-demand issues causing moving costs to increase, including rising inflation, the cost of gasoline, and the shortage of truck drivers at some of the major moving companies. These labor shortages within the moving industry actually started before the pandemic began, moving companies reported, and the shortages have lasted longer than many in the industry expected. Another industry issue is the new Electronic Logging Device rule for all truckers, established by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which restricts how many hours a truck driver can work.

Further cost crunches came from the , both new and used. Car and truck prices dramatically increased from 2020 through 2022, largely because of supply issues and the scarcity of computer chips. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that its used car index (which tracks used car prices) between December 2019 and October 2022. Forbes also reported in a September 2022 interview with analysts at Cox Automotive that the average new-vehicle transaction price was $48,301, up 11% from a year ago — that’s an increase of more than $10,000 from August 2019, the article stated.

“Everything from [the cost of] packing supplies to trucks increased. Therefore, moving costs increased,” Josh Morales, CEO of International Van Lines, told . “We’re currently seeing record numbers, and this is a national issue, not local.” 

Now that we’ve covered the cost factors, here’s a look at how each moving method works, including pros and cons.

professional movers loading a moving truck

TRADITIONAL MOVING COMPANIES

If money is no object and you have no worries about scheduling or storage needs, are the most hands-free approach to moving — especially if you pay them to do all the packing and unpacking. Just don’t expect it to be hassle-free. Most require a personal or virtual walk through your home before giving you an estimate. 

On moving day, you need to be organized and well prepared when the movers arrive like a small army to collect your belongings. Be sure to work with a reputable mover and watch out for scams, where they bid extra low and then change the price once they have your stuff. Check their licensing, insurance, and references — as well as base rates and extra fees for stairs, extra heavy furniture pieces, and other potential upcharges.

Pros and Cons of Full-Service Movers:

ProsCons
No heavy liftingExpensive
No driving a huge truckSchedules can be rigid, with extra fees for changes
Less hassle if you choose a good companyHigher risk of damage and loss
Extra services availablePotential for added fees
PODS portable storage container in driveway

PODS MOVING AND STORAGE CONTAINERS

You can usually save a good chunk of change by using portable containers instead of full-service movers. On cross-country moves the cost is close to rental trucks — except you don’t have to drive a truck! Container moves involve a little more work on your part than hiring movers, but they can offer a lot more flexibility and control, in addition to convenient storage. Most moderately furnished 2- to 3-bedroom households will fit in one 16-foot PODS container. Curious about the cost of moving with PODS cross-country? Getting a PODS estimate for a long-distance move is fast and easy to do. Use these online tools to decide the size and quantity of containers you need. 

Here’s how PODS works when you’re moving cross-country or long distance: 

  • Your container is delivered to you.
  • You can take your time loading (you rent your containers by the month).
  • You have the option to hire hourly moving professionals to help with the heavy lifting and packing.
  • PODS picks it up and takes it to a secure storage center or your new place. 
  • When you’re done unloading, PODS picks up your container.

One thing to consider when you’re moving with PODS: you’ll want to have a driveway, parking lot, or street parking space for your container. If you’re moving to or from a tight urban setting, like New York City or Los Angeles, then you’ll want to double check that there’s sufficient space. If your location doesn’t allow space for a container, PODS City Service, designed for urban areas, offers a solution in many areas of these cities. 

Pros and Cons of Portable Containers:

ProsCons
Less expensive than full-service moversUsually costs slightly more than rental trucks for long-distance moves
No driving a huge truckParking spot required
Flexibility to set your own paceTight deadlines can be a motivator
Option to hire hourly moving help with loading and unloadingYou take care of your own loading and unloading
Built-in storage options
empty moving truck with ramp

RENTAL TRUCKS

Renting a truck and doing all the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking is the total DIY approach, which can be especially hard when you’re moving long distance or cross-country. You have to pick up the truck and deliver it to the drop-off center when you arrive. 

Pros and Cons of Rental Trucks:

ProsCons
Can be the cheapest option for short moves Costs run much higher for longer-distance and cross-country moves
Easy online pricing and reservationsMost stressful option
You set the scheduleDriving and parking a huge truck 
Wide availabilityNo storage available

MOVING FORWARD

Whatever moving option you choose, we hope this guide has helped you find the services with the best value for your needs. Long-distance moves are a major undertaking. Here are three of our most popular moving resources to help you make yours a success:


Liz Taylor is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS blog.

Comments

  1. I’m interested in moving from St Louis Missouri to Spokane Washington I would like a price quote

      1. Moving 6 months to a year. From Downey, CA to Wilmington NC. 2 Bedroom Apt. Only Appliance is side by side fridge. Approx Cost?

        1. Hi Evelyn! Sounds like a really exciting move! Did you know that Wilmington, NC is listed as one of the top cities people are moving to in 2022 (https://blog-www.pods.com/2022/04/moving-trends/)? We would love to be a part of your cross-country move. To get a quote, please visit pods.com or call our moving & storage experts at (855) 706-4758.

    1. Hi Amy! What an exciting move you have coming up. Based on the bedroom size, you should look into one of our 8 foot containers! Get a free quote or more information at PODS.com or call (855) 706-4758.

    1. Hi Terry! Thanks for leaving a comment, and congratulations on your upcoming move. PODS is ready to help you in this upcoming journey 🙂 . You can receive a quote from one of our experts by visiting http://www.PODS.com or by calling (855) 706-4758.

    1. Hi Helen! Thanks for leaving a comment, and congratulations on your upcoming move. PODS is ready to help you in this upcoming journey 🙂 . You can receive a quote from one of our experts by visiting http://www.PODS.com or by calling (855) 706-4758.

    1. Hi Cheryl! It sounds like you have an exciting move coming up, and you are smart to think ahead! For price quotes you can head to PODS.com or give our moving & storage experts a call at (855) 706-4758.

  2. I’m moving from Arizona to Kentucky. We have a 4 bedroom house. How many days before will it be dropped off. Can I rent it for couple months once drop off? Would you be able to give me a quote?

    1. Hey Joe! We are so happy you’re looking into PODS for your long distance move, congratulations on your journey! All of your questions can be answered by our moving & storage experts at PODS.com or (855) 706-4758. 🙂

  3. Good evening we are looking at a move from Massachusetts to Nevada in late fall of this year for a very small two bedroom apartment. Could we get an estimate on that please.

    1. Hello Michael & Shannon! So great to hear that you all are considering PODS for your cross-country move. We make getting quotes easy, just visit PODS.com or call one of our moving & storage experts at (855)-706-4758.

  4. We need a pod taken to our storage in California, picked up SAME DAY after loading, and delivered to a Pods storage facility in Aurora, CO.. Can that be done?

  5. Hi, I am looking for a quote moving from Dundee, OH to Haifa, Israel within the next three months. Can you give me a quote?
    Thanks

    1. Hi there! Congratulations on your big move! To receive a quote please visit pods.com or call our moving & storage experts at (855) 706-4758.

  6. I need a pump organ and a grandfather clock moved from Grand Rapids MI to the Seattle WA area.
    Ideal would be to piggyback these items onto a load moving from MI to WA.
    Possibilities? Costs?

  7. I am interested in moving from Rochester, New York to Douglas, Georgia. I don’t have any furniture to move; just clothes, household items and personal belongings. Can you give me a quote, please. Thank you.

    1. Hi Chris! We are so glad you’re looking at PODS for your upcoming adventure. PODS does long-distance moves all the time! To receive a quote for your NY – GA move you can call our moving & storage experts at (855) 706-4758.

    1. Hi Denise,

      Please reach out to us at (855) 706-4758 and we will provide you with a customized quote for your move from Mt. Vernon to Perkasie.

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