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Comparing Your Moving Options


It’s moving season in America! Did you know that the average American will move 12 times in their lifetime and most of these moves happen during the summer months? With the surplus of people that will be moving in and out of the United States over the next three months, we decided to create a comparative guide of the top three ways to move. There are so many moving services out there and thousands of different companies to choose from, so how can you be certain you’re getting the best bang for your buck? From Do-It-Yourselfers to Full-Service, White Glove Movers, we’ve compared them all and added up the costs for you!

On average, the US Census Bureau estimates that there are 40 million moves annually in the US. We have broken these moves down by distance into three categories: local moves, mid-distance moves, and long distance moves. Each category looks at potential moves to the nation’s top moving destinations. In 2014, about 56.6 percent of all moves were made within the same state, while the remaining 43.4 percent were between one or more states.

Remember to always file a change of address at least two weeks before your moving date. On average, about 33 percent of people do not file a change of address when they move, resulting in many lost letters and unclaimed packages across the US.


Let’s break down the different types of moving services that are out there. Being able to confidently choose the best service for your specific moving needs and budget will make all the difference in the world, come moving day.


First, we have the Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY), or as we refer to them: self-movers. This method is best for those in college, singles, and/or someone in a small studio apartment with a short distance to travel. Self-movers take on every aspect of the move themselves. Whether you’re planning to sell off everything and start new somewhere else or you’ve got a great friend who’s willing to let you borrow their truck for the weekend (and maybe lend a hand or two) a Do-It-Yourself move is not for the faint of heart.


  • Travel time
  • Packing and loading time
  • Unloading and unpacking time
  • Sleep – if your move will require more than an  8-hour drive you will want to stop and rest for the night. Driving while sleep deprived is never a good idea.
  • Fuel cost and toll fees
  • Food and beverage cost
  • Equipment rental
  • Material costs
  • Truck or trailer rental

When it comes to renting a truck some rental companies will charge upwards of 50 percent more for a one-way trip. If you plan to return the truck in a different city than you originally rented it in, be sure to ask about fees like this and plan for the extra cost.


Ask about gas mileage when you book your truck rental. Currently, the national average price of gas per gallon is $2.33. You can estimate fuel cost by using the following formula:

(Total Miles) / (MPG) x (Cost of Gas per Gallon) = Total Fuel Cost Estimate

Find out the cost of gas in towns along your moving route, here.


A more traditional moving service includes hiring professional movers to load and unload your items for you. Most often these services supply their own box truck or trailer, equipment and moving blankets for delicate items. This is the most commonly used type of moving service.

Choosing a traditional moving company will require a little more research; you don’t want to get stuck with an unknown company that has a bad reputation. uShip is an excellent resource for this reason. You can easily compare a company’s reputations, moving history, and best of all their prices in just minutes. Laid out in each mover’s Carrier Profile is live customer feedback and ratings. We encourage all of our moving customers to reference this information and ask questions when needed.

Choosing a traditional moving service will save you stress and possibly a visit to the chiropractor. Visit our Cost To Move page for more insight into the uShip marketplace and moving costs.


Full-service, or White Glove Movers, are hands-down the most stress-free option out there when it comes to moving. It is worth the investment in the end. White Glove movers handle everything for you. We’re not kidding, everything. From gathering supplies and packing boxes, to disassembling and reassembling furniture. If time is a concern, we suggest choosing a White Glove moving service.

With a White Glove moving service, all you are required to do is open your front door. From there, professional packers and movers will take care of everything. Typically, they get the job done much faster than you could yourself and with a high level of experience that reduces any risk of damage or injury throughout the moving process.

The price quote for a White Glove moving service is all inclusive so there won’t be any last-minute, unplanned costs. Choosing a White Glove moving service is an investment in your peace-of-mind.



Less than 50 miles

A local move is defined as a move within a particular area, such as a town or district, instead of a state or country. Those who are moving locally are typically moving less than 50 miles.

The United States Census Bureau reported that local moves accounted for 37.6 percent of the total moves in the US in 2014. That means about 4,419,000 people made a local move.

Local moves are the easiest for a Do-It-Yourself mover. If you’re moving any further than 50 miles we do not recommend using this method. To help you better determine what category your move falls under, can help you calculate exactly how far you will be traveling to your new home.


Moving locally can be just as stressful as moving long distance, but there is one advantage: you’re already a local! You most likely have a good knowledge of the area and are familiar with the roads. This will prove to be a huge benefit come moving day. Be sure that you make arrangements for parking and/or elevator use prior to your moving date. Regardless of the service you choose to use, they will need a place to park their truck(s).

Below, we’ve compared the average cost from the nation’s top ten moving services to the average cost of a similar move on uShip. The great thing about using the uShip marketplace is that YOU are empowered to make the final decision. Being able to book a moving company with confidence is a great benefit, no matter what size move you’re tasked with.

map-table_v2_sanfran-san jose

Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

When you’re moving locally there is a better chance that you have a friend who would be willing to help you conduct a DIY move. However, the older you get the likelihood that you have friends who will have the time to lend you begins to drop significantly. Instead, consider hiring a moving service. As you can see above, it’s easy to get a reasonably priced moving company when you book through uShip.


Just like the cost of living varies in each region of the country, so does the cost of moving. If you’re undergoing a local move further south it’s likely the cost to move will be cheaper. Again, you can see uShip offers cheaper moving costs with a confidence guarantee.


Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

For local moves, you get a lot more bang for your buck when you choose a White Glove moving service over other options. The beauty of using a White Glove moving service is that you don’t have to lift a finger, take time off work to pack and move, or find sitters for the kids. Professional, experienced movers handle it all for you, leaving you free time to focus on taking care of any last minute details without all of the stress.


50 to 199 miles

A mid move, or mid-distance move, is typically more than 50 miles but less than 200 miles in distance. Last year, a total of 20.9 percent of all moves made throughout the country were mid-distance moves with employment being the most common reason for this type of move.

If your move is more than 50 miles in distance we recommend choosing an option other than self-moving. Something self-movers need to think about when the distance starts to increase is the price of gas, tolls, and increased truck rental mileage. These costs can add up quickly and your self-move will turn into more of an expense than a traditional moving company would have cost you.


From Seattle, WA to Portland, OR moving around the Pacific North West (PNW) can include a lot of variables. We recommend planning your move around the weather and keeping an up-to-date look at the forecast as your moving day approaches.

When the distance of the move increases, more demands are added to the move. You’re no longer moving around the corner. Instead, you’re most likely changing states – turning your move into an interstate move.

An interstate move is defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as any transportation of goods from one state into a different state. Interstate moves ARE regulated by the FMCSA. Regulations for interstate moves include: insurance coverage, liability, and what materials can and cannot be transported by your mover. Visit the FMCSA Rights and Responsibilities page for more information on rules and regulations.

Moving costs will  increase along with the scope of a move. The table below demonstrates current average pricing for a PNW move such as this. Using the uShip marketplace to plan out your move will not only give you peace of mind by knowing your chosen moving company’s moving history, but will save you money and moving costs in the end.


Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

On average, uShip saves people more on upfront moving costs than any other marketplace of its kind.


The US Census Bureau reports that more people move throughout the south annually than any other region in the country. Looking at a move similar in size but in a different region of the country can help you better compare and estimate your moving costs.

map-table_v2_houston-san antonio

Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

From this table, we can determine that regional average costs can be used as a national baseline. No matter where you’re moving around the country, if it is less than 200 miles it’s likely your moving costs will be in the ballpark of the prices above. Again, these are only estimates. We encourage you to create your own FREE listing and compare different moving options specific to your unique move.

As always, the uShip team is here to help if you have any questions about hot to build your own listing or navigating our marketplace. Try it for yourself today and find out exactly how much cash you can save on your next big move!


More than 200 miles

In 2014, 41.5 percent of all moves, or 4,879,000 moves, were considered long distance moves.

A long distance move is any move that requires a travel distance of more than 200 miles; typically these moves are across state lines or international borders. Though, this isn’t always the case. If you’re moving around Texas, which is roughly 700 miles wide, or traveling down I-10 which covers 879 miles from Houston to El Paso, then you could be looking at a long distance intrastate move.

What is an intrastate move? An intrastate move is the transfer of goods within state lines; never crossing state lines along its journey. Note: unlike interstate moves, intrastate moves are NOT regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


Making a big move can be scary. Do a little research before the big day to get familiar with your new neighborhood. There are so many resources out there for you to take advantage of, such as The Guide to Moving to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a town of almost four million people, spread out over more than 500-square miles, you don’t want to miss any hidden local gems or wind up on the wrong highway headed somewhere out of town. Ask the locals, get to know your neighbors and explore your new ‘hood before you move in.

When it comes to a long distance move of this size your best bet is to hire a professional moving company.

New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA, is a 2,790 miles or about a 41-hour drive.

Let the experts transport your household goods from one end of the country to the other on a 41-hour trek and put yourself on a quick six-hour plane ride. On average, a one-way plane ticket from New York City to Los Angeles will cost you less than $400.

map-table_v2_new york-los angeles

Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

Prices listed in the pricing table above do not include the cost of your flight. However, when you consider the fact that that 41-hour drive isn’t only torturous but also 41 hours you’ll have to take off of work, 41 hours you could be spending with loved ones you’ll have to say goodbye to, or 41 hours you could be exploring your new city and planning your new decor, the price for a flight is worth it.


On the other hand, a long distance move from Chicago to Philadelphia would only require a two hour one-way flight for around $300, a cool price to pay for time-saving sanity. Consider this option and the price comparison shown below before choosing your preferred moving method.


Note: The self-mover cost represent the cost for truck rental ONLY. These are only estimates and you will need to also factor in tolls, gas, packing supplies and hotel stays along the way.

We do not recommend tackling such a large scale move on your own. Instead, shop around and give yourself a couple of weeks to compare quotes on uShip before booking a single mover.

The most stress-free moves come after diligent research and preparation. Always explore your different moving options and never leave moving details or planning until the last minute. Knowing what to expect, from moving costs to mover experience, will allow you to choose your mover with confidence.

Moving can be easy! List your move on uShip today and find out just how easy it can be.