How to Choose Moving Companies

If you are planning a move and you're not sure how to choose between moving companies, you're not alone. Moving is a big undertaking whether you're moving down the street or across country. Hiring a cheap moving company is not always the best option. You need to consider the moving company's customer service rating and their history with previous customers. You also want to find out if they offer moving and storage options if your move is delayed. Choosing a professional moving company at the right price is easy if you have several moving company quotes to choose from. Here's how to choose moving companies for your household goods and vehicle(s).

Things You'll Need

  • Internet connection
  • Computer
  • Pen, calculator, paper


    • 1
      Donate what you can to charity.

      Assess your belongings. Get rid of anything you don't need to take with you. Donate items to charity if you can. This will help reduce the moving estimate the moving companies give you.

    • 2
      Decide what type of moving company to hire.

      Decide what type of moving company to hire. Are you moving across country or just a few hundred miles away? Do you want them to do everything for you or are you willing to do some of the work yourself? There are many long distance moving companies and local moving companies to choose from out there.

      Long distance moving companies will bring their own packing supplies and pack your belongings for you, but you can also pack the boxes yourself and just have them transport everything to your destination. Whether you are planning a cross country move or a move to a neighboring state, you'll want to make sure you hire movers you are comfortable with for your long distance move. Professional long distance movers are often specially trained and know how to handle your household goods to prevent damage. Some examples of the larger long distance moving companies are: Allied Van Lines, Mayflower, United Van Lines, and UBF U-Pack, but there are many smaller long distance moving companies you can choose from too. It's often better to choose a larger company because their national reputation rides on providing great customer service, especially if there are problems during the move.

      If you are planning a local move, local moving companies are easy to find online and in your local phone book. Just be sure you hire one that has a good customer service history (check with the Better Business Bureau first). Steer clear of the super cheap moving companies that sound too good to be true. You don't want to be in a situation where they have taken your money and household goods and will not give anything back until you pay some crazy exorbitant fee. If you plan on renting a moving truck and doing everything yourself, you can save a lot of money. Be sure to rent the moving truck well in advance and start packing a few months before moving day. Keep in mind you may need to rent moving supplies like a dolly and furniture pads from whichever moving company you choose. A couple examples of rental truck companies that provide good service are Penske and Ryder.

    • 3
      Decide if you need to move your car.

      Decide if you need to hire an auto transporter. Many of the larger long distance moving companies offer this service, but you may be able to save money by hiring the auto mover yourself. Auto transporters will often pick up your vehicle from your home and deliver it straight to your door (driveway) at your destination. Of course you can save some money if you take the vehicle to their existing transport locations. If you are planning to include a vehicle transport in your move, be sure to remove all valuable belongings before the movers pick up the vehicle. The auto mover will do everything they can to keep your vehicle safe, but it's always a good idea to keep valuables out of plain sight. DAS Auto Shippers is a reliable company to use - they have offices all over the country. You can find many other reputable auto transporter companies online as well.

      If the vehicle mover offers insurance for the move, get it. Insurance will cover minimal costs such as a broken windshield or oil spilled on your vehicle from another car above it (vehicle movers stack and transport cars on long auto transport trailers). Moving insurance will minimize your out of pocket costs if your vehicle gets damaged along the way.

    • 4
      Get moving quotes from several moving companies.

      Get quotes from reputable moving companies. Call several moving companies and schedule an appointment with their sales agent. The moving company representative will come out to your home, inventory your belongings and use that information to give you a moving quote.

    • 5
      Wait for the moving estimates.

      Wait for the sales agents to give you the moving estimate. Most moving company sales agents will give you a rate quote on the spot, but some may need to take the information back to their office to finalize the rate. Moving rates vary from company to company, but for the most part, the moving quotes should fall within the same price (give or take a few hundred dollars).

    • 6
      Compare moving quotes.

      Once you get a moving quote, sit down and compare all the prices. Make sure you compare 'apples to apples' when analyzing moving quotes. For example, one moving company may quote the cost to move your household goods, but list the auto transport, insurance or moving and storage costs separately. The fine print can seem overwhelming and confusing, but it pays to read everything and make sure you are getting the most for your money. Keep in mind that the weight of your household goods may exceed the estimate. You may or may not be responsible for the difference in weight, so be sure to ask up front what their policy is on overages and potential unexpected costs.

    • 7
      Research the company with the Better Business Bureau.

      Narrow the choice down to two moving companies that offer a price within your budget, then research their customer service record with the Better Business Bureau.

    • 8
      Hire a moving company.

      Hire with the moving company that has the best customer service history even if it is slightly more expensive.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are storing items in your home that will not go with you to your next destination, be sure to point them out to the sales agent when they inventory your household goods.
  • Always research the moving company with the Better Business Bureau before you hire them.
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  • Photo Credit Stock.xchng: svilen001, pyro bean, lemon drop, jarpur, iprole, google images

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