A guide to choosing the best long-distance moving company on a budget
A guide to choosing the best long-distance moving company on a budget
Interstate Movers NYC
October 29, 2023

How to Choose The Best Long-Distance Moving Company on a Budget

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Moving to a new location, especially over long distances, can be costly. When you're on a budget, finding the best long-distance moving company that can provide quality service without breaking the bank becomes a top priority. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore various strategies and tips to help you select the best long-distance moving company while keeping your budget in check.

1. Plan Your Move in Advance

Pack your belongings and have the moving company handle relocation

One of the first steps to ensure a budget-friendly long-distance move is to plan well in advance. Moving companies often charge higher rates for last-minute or rushed bookings. By planning your move several months ahead, you give yourself time to research and compare moving companies thoroughly. This will allow you to choose a company that not only fits your budget but also meets your specific needs and expectations.

2. Get Multiple Quotes

Obtaining multiple quotes from different moving companies is essential. This step will provide you with a better understanding of the average cost of your move and help you identify any potential outliers that are significantly more expensive or suspiciously cheap. To get accurate quotes, be prepared to provide detailed information about your move, including the size of your household, the distance to your new location, and any additional services you may need, such as packing or storage.

3. Consider Binding vs. Non-Binding Estimates

When comparing quotes, it's crucial to understand the difference between binding and non-binding estimates. A binding estimate is a fixed price for the move, provided by the moving company after an in-home survey or a thorough review of your inventory. This type of estimate offers price certainty, which can be beneficial if you're on a tight budget. Non-binding estimates, on the other hand, are based on the estimated weight of your items and are subject to change based on the actual weight. While non-binding estimates can be more flexible, they also carry the risk of unexpected cost increases.

4. Research the Moving Company's Reputation

To ensure that you're working with a reputable moving company, it's essential to conduct thorough research. Read online reviews, check the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau, and ask for recommendations from friends and family who have experienced long-distance moves. A company's reputation is a critical indicator of the quality of service you can expect and can help you avoid hidden costs or scams.

5. Verify Licensing and Insurance

Legitimate long-distance moving companies are required to have proper licensing and insurance. Before hiring any mover, verify their credentials. The U.S. Department of Transportation assigns a unique USDOT number to each licensed interstate moving company. You can use this number to look up the company's safety record and other essential information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Confirm that the company's insurance coverage is adequate to protect your belongings in case of loss or damage during transit.

6. Understand Additional Costs

When on a budget, it's crucial to understand all the potential additional costs associated with your move. Some common extra expenses include packing materials, packing services, storage fees, and fees for carrying items up and down stairs or long carries from your home to the moving truck. Being aware of these costs will allow you to plan your budget more accurately and avoid unpleasant surprises.

7. Pack and Declutter Smartly

Packing and decluttering your belongings efficiently can significantly impact your moving costs. Take the time to sort through your items and decide what you want to keep, sell, donate, or discard. The less you have to move, the lower your overall cost will be. You can also save on packing materials by using available resources like old newspapers, clothing, and reusable containers for packing.

8. Consider the Timing of Your Move

The timing of your move can affect the cost. Peak moving seasons, typically during the summer months, tend to be more expensive. If possible, schedule your move during the off-peak season or on weekdays, which can save costs. Additionally, booking your move well in advance can help you secure better rates.

9. Explore DIY Options

For those with limited budgets, consider exploring DIY moving options. Renting a moving truck and handling the packing and loading yourself can be a more cost-effective solution, especially for smaller moves. However, keep in mind that long-distance driving and managing the logistics can be challenging, so weigh the pros and cons carefully.

10. Negotiate and Ask for Discounts

Consider supplying your own moving boxes

Don't hesitate to negotiate with moving companies to secure the best possible rates. Many companies are willing to work with you to win your business. Ask about available discounts, such as military, student, or senior discounts, and inquire if there are any promotions or special offers that can help reduce your moving costs.

11. Be Mindful of Scams

While searching for budget-friendly moving options, be cautious of potential scams. Avoid companies that ask for large upfront deposits, provide vague or incomplete information, or offer significantly lower rates than other reputable movers. Scams can lead to financial loss and damage to your belongings.

12. Save on Packing Supplies

Packing supplies can add up quickly. To save on these costs, look for free or low-cost alternatives. You can often find sturdy boxes at local grocery stores, liquor stores, or through online marketplaces. Consider using linens, towels, and clothing as padding for fragile items instead of purchasing bubble wrap or packing paper.

13. Prepare for Unforeseen Expenses

Even with careful planning, unforeseen expenses may arise during a long-distance move. It's a good idea to set aside a fund to cover unexpected costs, such as delays, minor damages, or additional supplies you may need on the fly.

14. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

In some cases, moving expenses may be tax-deductible, especially if you're relocating for a new job. Keep track of your moving-related expenses and consult a tax professional to determine if you qualify for any deductions.

15. Be Flexible with Your Moving Date

Remain flexible with your moving date if possible. Moving companies might offer lower rates if you align your move with their existing routes and schedules. Discuss potential discounts for choosing less popular moving dates or times.

16. Communicate Your Budget and Expectations

When discussing your move with moving companies, be clear about your budget limitations and expectations. This will help them tailor their services to your needs while remaining within your financial constraints.

17. Consider Hybrid Moves

A hybrid move involves a combination of professional movers and DIY efforts. You can hire movers for the portions of the move that are most challenging, such as loading and unloading heavy furniture, while handling the rest yourself. This can be a cost-effective compromise.

18. Review the Terms of the Contract

Before finalizing your agreement with a moving company, carefully review the terms of the contract. Pay close attention to any potential fees, cancellation policies, and insurance coverage. Make sure you understand the terms and ask questions if anything is unclear.

19. Plan for Unpacking and Settling In

While budgeting for the move itself is crucial, don't forget to plan for the post-move phase. Set aside funds for unpacking, settling into your new home, and any necessary home improvements. This will help you maintain financial stability after the move.

20. Seek Assistance from Family and Friends

If possible, enlist the help of friends and family to reduce your moving expenses. They can assist with packing, loading, and unloading, which can be a significant cost-saving measure.


Finding the best long-distance moving company on a budget is a feasible goal with careful planning and research. By following these tips, you can make well-informed decisions, minimize unexpected expenses, and ensure a successful and cost-effective long-distance move. With the right approach, you can transition to your new home with financial peace of mind.

Capital City Movers is here to make your long-distance move easy and smooth. Contact us at (718) 619-4881 for a free estimate or visit our website for more information.


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