How to Choose a Moving Company

·6 min read

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Moving can be a difficult task, and part of that process involves figuring out the best moving company for you. It can be overwhelming with the amount of options you have, and research might become difficult due to the wide variety of factors to consider.

These factors are highly significant for anyone moving, whether it is local moving or long-distance moving. Luckily, our review team has outlined some of the most important factors for you to consider when looking to hire a moving company.

4 Steps How To Choose a Moving Company

Here are 4 simple steps to follow to make sure you are ready for moving day with the best moving company.

  1. Research their Reputation

  2. Get Estimates

  3. Find the Experts You Need

  4. Make Sure the Mover is Licensed

1. Research Their Reputation

If you can ask a friend, family member, or colleague about a moving company recommendation, that is a great way to get an honest opinion on the company. There are also tons of online reviews available on websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie's List, MyMovingReviews.com, and the Better Business Bureau.

When you read reviews, pay attention to how previous customers describe the movers' attitude throughout the whole process and how they handled certain problems. If there are only a few negative reviews, read over them and note if that customer might have been too picky or is placing the blame in the wrong direction. If the company has overall negative reviews, consider avoiding them.

2. Get Estimates

Receiving estimates is a great method for comparing the cost of potential moving companies. You should do your research on companies that do not provide an in-person estimate; this can sometimes be a red flag. If no on-site visit occurs for the company to gauge what the job will require, this is a potential sign of a scam or just carelessness. A solid number of on-site moving quotes to gather would be around three to four.

3. Find the Experts You Need

Consider if you have any specialized furniture or moving needs. Do you have musical instruments like a piano? Sports and gym equipment? Recreational equipment like pool tables or grills? Typically, a company may highlight specialized skills on its website, but reviews also are a great place to figure out what specialized skills a moving company has.

A trustworthy moving company may refer to these as "added-value services". Other added-value services might include the use of a rigging system, an offer to provide professional cleaning services after the move, using specialized crates to transport the aforementioned items and valuable art, and more.

Consider the specialized moving needs that you have and which company can address them best. This is an important factor to consider when you figure out the best movers for you.

4. Makes Sure the Mover is Licensed

Once you have compared potential movers' reputations, estimates, and added-value services, you want to do some more research and ensure that a moving company can legally move you from your previous address into your new home. A moving company must be licensed with the Department of Transportation or the Public Utilities Commission. If you are moving cross-country or overseas, the moving company has to be approved by even more agencies. A lot of moving companies also do not use insurance, so double-check on that as well.

In-State Moves

If you are moving in-state, you want to make sure that the moving company is approved by the Department of Transportation or the Public Utilities Commission. You can check the Department of Transportation database to ensure that a carrier is approved. Be sure to change your menu option at the top to say "Carrier Search."

Cross-Country Moves

If you are moving cross-country, you want to make sure that the moving company is approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can check the FMCSA database to make sure that a mover is approved to transport household materials across the country. You can also view its insurance information through these records and see its inspection reports.

Overseas Moves

If you are moving overseas, you want to check with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The FMC makes sure that all ocean transportation is regulated properly to protect U.S. citizens. Be sure that your chosen moving company is approved by the FMC if you are moving to another country.

Verdict and Recommendations

Given the variety of options available to help your move go easier, it can be difficult to hit all the marks as you research each company. To help guide you toward some trusted options, our review team has a few recommendations for the best moving companies and aggregator tools.

International Van Lines

International Van Lines covers moving of all sizes and distances: local, cross-country, and international. This means International Van Lines assists with relocation in all 50 states. It offers full-service moves, including specialty items and automobiles.

International Van Lines also has one of our highest customer service ratings. Get started on an estimate today by visiting the company's website.

Move Matcher

Move Matcher is a free moving service aggregator. The website allows you to easily compare free moving quotes from multiple moving professionals at once. It also has various moving tools to help you prepare for relocation, such as a cost of living calculator and a moving checklist. You even have access to a mover coach that can help you in collecting the details needed for a moving contract.

Visit Move Matcher to gather information for your potential move easily.

Handled

Handled is another great service for anyone feeling overwhelmed with the process of moving. While Handled is not a traditional moving company, it connects you with its local partners near you. It has a very user-friendly website, and it even has a free app that assists you in managing your move and creating an inventory.

Handled is available in most states except for ones mainly in the Midwest. It works with local movers near you, though, to provide full-service moves and great concierge support.

Visit Handled to learn more about the service and how it can benefit you.

How To Choose A Moving Company FAQs

What questions should I ask a moving company?

There are various questions that can assist in your research of choosing a moving company. Some questions to consider are:

  • What's your registration number?

  • Are there additional fees?

  • Do you use subcontractors?

  • Are there additional transfers?

  • Do you offer insurance?

  • Do you provide packing or storage services?

  • How do you handle complaints and claims?

Do moving companies supply boxes?

Most moving companies offer a packing service where they provide you with a variety of cardboard boxes. Be sure to ask a moving company about it. You can also typically purchase boxes with storage companies.

What should I look for in a moving contract?

There is a lot of information involved with a moving contract. Important details to pay attention to include: Licensing information, names, addresses, the date and time of the pick-up and the delivery date, a list of services that the moving company is providing you, the company's rates, minimum charges, any additional fees, and liability information.

Can you negotiate with movers?

Like many other services, moving companies are typically open to negotiation. Effective negotiation with a mover can potentially land you a better deal.