The Best Independent Long Distance Movers vs. National Brand Movers

By: Harrison Gough Last Updated: Sep 20, 2023

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Want national brand movers without national brand pricing? Moving Feedback did the research. Read on to see our best long distance movers of 2023, and see how mom-and-pop movers stack up to the big-brand competition.



Moving APT

  • Affordable rates
  • Binding quotes
  • Highly professional
Get a Quote 800-360-0037 Read review



Adams Van Lines

  • Well-trained staff
  • Great customer service
  • Free quotes
Get a Quote 855-254-0416 Read review



Native Van Lines

  • Personalized packages
  • Price matching
  • 300+ local agents
Get a Quote 888-809-1249 Read review

How We Found the Best Long-Distance Movers

You can get big-brand service for 20% less, and our research proved it. The team at Moving Feedback got in touch with several moving companies, getting quotes and comparing how best moving companies stacked up against the big-name brands.

To get the best information possible, our researchers called in and posed as customers. We asked for quotes and took notes on the whole experience. Of course, having years in the moving industry and searching through tons of verified customer feedback helped, too.

If you’re ready to see what movers are best for the job – and how you can save money on your interstate move, read on to see Moving Feedback’s best long-distance movers of 2023.

In this article

National Movers vs. Independent Movers

It’s easy to get swamped with options when you’re shopping for an out-of-state mover. To keep our list clean, we broke down our options between big-chain moving companies and smaller, mom-and-pop, or independent moving companies.

Here’s how they stacked up:

4.9 4.0 4.7 4.1 4.5 4.1
Independent Big-Brand Independent Big-Brand Independent Big-Brand
15% Seniors & Military Discounts Military discounts 18% Flexibility Discount PRICELOCK® Guarantee - Guaranteed Rate Reduction 20% Seasonal Discount No discounts offered during call
$4,861 - $7,763 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom) $6707 - $8640 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom) $4999 - $7999 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom) $7050 - $9800 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom) $4980 - $7872 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom) $7200 - $9630 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)
Get a Quote Get a Quote Get a Quote Get a Quote Get a Quote Get a Quote
Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review

1. Moving APT vs. American Van Lines

To give you an idea of how independent movers stack up against the big-name competition, we went ahead and requested a quote for the exact same move from two different companies, American Van Lines and Moving APT.

We asked about a 7,000 pound from Illinois to Texas. The results speak for themselves:

Comparison of Moving APT vs American Van Lines

4.9 4.0
Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services
Early booking, flexible dropoff, promotional coupons, non-storage discounts Military discounts
$7,151.50 7,000 lbs $8,640.78 7,000 lbs
Get a Quote Get a Quote

Moving APT was cheaper than American Van Lines, and offered the same types of specialized services. If you’re interested in learning more about what you can expect from an independent mover, check out our full review of Moving APT, and read on to see how Native Van Lines stacked up against North American Van Lines.

2. Native Van Lines vs. North American Van Lines

Our research team wasn’t quite done running the numbers. Just like our comparison between Moving APT and American Van Lines, we decided to compare another independent mover with another big-name company.

This time, we chose Native Van Lines as our independent, and North American Van Lines as the big one. This hypothetical move was about 11,000 pounds.

Comparison of Native Van Lines vs North American Van Lines

4.4 4.0
Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services
Early booking, flexible dropoff, promotional coupons, non-storage discounts PRICELOCK® Guarantee - Guaranteed Rate Reduction
$8,143.89 11,000 lbs $10,419.52 11,000 lbs
Get a Quote Get a Quote

As with our Moving APT/American Van Lines comparison, the independent mover came out to be much cheaper – in this case, over 20% less than what you’d pay for the big-name company.

If you want to read up on what Native brings to the table take a look at our full review of Native Van Lines. Otherwise, read on for our final comparison.

3. Adams Van Lines vs. Allied Van Lines

For our final mom-and-pop vs. national chain comparison, we chose Adams Van Lines as our independent mover and Allied Van Lines as our big-name mover. For this comparison, we asked about an even bigger move – about 23,000 pounds worth of stuff. While both offered great services, the price difference was pretty major.

Comparison of Adams Van Lines vs. Allied Van Lines

4.7 4.1
Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services Storage, long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services
Early booking, flexible dropoff, promotional coupons, non-storage discounts No discounts offered during call
$18,043.62 23,000 lbs $21,984.75 23,000 lbs
Get a Quote Get a Quote

Once again, our quote from an independent moving company came out much cheaper. Adams Van Lines offered us a handful of different options for discounts, and our total estimate was over 20% less than what you’d expect from a big-name mover.

All these comparisons illustrate some pretty serious savings if you choose an independent or mom-and-pop moving company. But what kind of services can you expect, and why would you consider a big-name company for an out-of-state move?

Check out our full review of Adams Van Lines for some answers, and read on to learn more about what you can expect from your long-distance move.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Long-Distance Movers?

We found that the average cost for a long-distance move was between $1200 and $13000, and sometimes more.

The cost of an out-of-state move can vary depending on the distance traveled, the weight of your belongings, and any additional services requested.

Long Distance Moving Costs

Distance 1 Bedroom 2 – 3 Bedroom 4 – 5 Bedroom
100 miles $1200 – $1600 $1350 – $1800 $1700 – $3600
250 miles $1300 – $2000 $1700 – $3500 $2,400 – $4900
750 miles $1500 – $2900 $2200 – $6900 $5500 – $7900
1500 miles $1600 – $3200 $2800 – $7400 $6700 – $9500
2500 miles+ $1900 – $3900 $4200 – $8500 $13000+

How Long Does a Long Distance Move Take?

In general, you can expect a delivery window of 1 day for a move that’s 100 miles or less, and up to 21 days (and sometimes a bit more) for a 3000-mile move.

Distance ETA
100-500 miles 1-5 days
500-1000 miles 2-10 days
1000-2000 miles 3-17 days
2000-3000 miles 5-21 days

Keep in mind that these timeframes are just estimates. It’s always a good idea to discuss delivery times with your moving company so you know how long your move might take, and what kind of delays may keep you waiting.

Several factors can impact the speed of your coast-to-coast move, including:

  • Customer availability: If you have specific dates in mind for your move, it’s important to communicate this to your moving company in advance to ensure they can accommodate your schedule.
  • Straight delivery service: Some moving companies offer straight delivery service, which means your belongings will be transported directly to your new home without any stops or transfers. This can help speed up your delivery time.
  • Size of the shipment: While many people assume small moves are faster, moving companies often take extra time to bundle small hauls together for efficiency. On the other hand, a larger shipment may be transported as quickly and directly as possible.
  • Time of year: Peak moving season, typically across June, July, and August, can result in longer delivery times due to high demand. Plan ahead and book your move as early as possible, and if you can, try to avoid the busiest months.




Moving APT

  • Affordable rates
  • Binding quotes
  • Highly professional


Type: Independent

Since they started 22 years ago, Moving APT has grown from a small team of moving pros into a nationwide moving company with a vast network of specialists.

They provide their customers with completely custom moves, offering a wide range of options from packing and unpacking to specialty moving for fragile antiques.


Storage, local & long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services

  • Customized moving experiences
  • Price matching
  • Free storage as long as 30 days
  • Experienced and background-checked employees
  • Flat rate pricing
  • All moving services available except international moving services

Out of all the movers we’ve reviewed, Moving APT is our top pick for long distance moves. They score high thanks to their extensive experience and great moving options for a totally customized experience. They also have a great reputation for providing top-notch service and transparent pricing.




Adams Van Lines

  • Well-trained staff
  • Great customer service
  • Free quotes


Type: Independent

Adams Van Lines specializes in premium moving services for their customers. From packing and unpacking, to specialty items like pool tables and antiques, Adams will make sure your stuff is safe and secure throughout your move. They’re committed to stress-free moving, and that means pulling out all the stops for a totally white-glove experience.


Storage, local & long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services

  • Premium moving services
  • Experienced in the industry for over 20 years
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Can handle specialty items such as pianos and artwork
  • Short-term and long-term storage services
  • Higher pricing compared to other movers

Adams Van Lines is the best option for customers who want a premium moving experience. With their state-of-the-art storage facilities and experienced moving specialists, customers can rest assured that their belongings are in good hands. Their pricing may be higher than the other movers on our list, but you’re really getting what you pay for.




Native Van Lines

  • Personalized packages
  • Price matching
  • 500+ local agents


Type: Interstate Movers

According to their website, Native Van Lines got their start over a decade ago. That means they’ve been providing state-to-state moves for over ten years, and a company doesn’t stick around that long without maintaining a solid reputation. Native Van Lines has helped over 250,000 customers, and they’ve got tons of great reviews to back it up.


Storage, long-distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services

  • High customer reviews
  • Budget-friendly pricing
  • A variety of moving services
  • Free in-home estimates
  • No hidden fees
  • No guaranteed delivery dates

Native Van Lines is a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly out-of-state mover with high customer reviews. They have a great reputation for providing high-quality moving services with no hidden fees. The only downside is that they do not offer guaranteed delivery dates.


Must Affordable


Pricing Van Lines

  • Excellent customer service
  • Flexible cancellation policy
  • Affordable rates


Type: Independent

If you’re trying to move on a budget, Pricing Van Lines is a great pick. They have a wide network of vetted and verified carriers, all within affordable reach. Fortunately, you’re not sacrificing much on quality. Pricing has been around for over 20 years, so they know the ins and outs of out-of-state moving. They also really prioritize smooth customer service.


Storage, local & long distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services

  • Affordable long distance moves
  • Excellent customer service
  • Wide network of agents
  • Flexible pick-up dates
  • Limited specialty packing options for high-value items
  • Some services may not be available in your location

When we find a way to save money while still getting the same amount (and quality) of service, we’re always happy. Pricing Van Lines hits that sweet spot of affordability and quality, and for moves on a budget, they can’t be beaten.




Verified Van Lines

  • Competitive pricing
  • Personalized moves
  • Binding Prices


Type: Independent

Every move is different, and sometimes you need additional services to make moving day go as smoothly as possible. But in other cases, long-distance movers may actually end up charging you a flat rate, including the price of services you may not even need.

Fortunately, Verified Van Lines lets you build completely custom moves, so you get what you pay for, and you pay for what you want. They’re the best option for completely custom moves.


Storage, long-distance moving, specialty moves, corporate services

  • Personalized moves
  • Broad range of services to pick and choose
  • Competitive pricing for completely custom moves
  • Excellent staff and customer service
  • Some services may not be available in your area
  • Certain additional services come at a price

We’re big fans of Verified Van Lines because they let you build a move from the ground up, custom tailoring your moving day for the stuff you’ll need to be moved, and the quality care you’ll require. You shouldn’t pay money for services you don’t end up needing, and with Verified Van Lines, you won’t have to.

What Factors Can Affect Your Long-Distance Moving Cost?

  • Distance: The farther your move, the more you’ll end up paying. The distance between point A and point B is one of the biggest factors that will affect the cost of your out-of-state move.
  • Size: Along with the distance, the overall size of your move plays a large part in determining your final price. The more items you have to move, the heavier the load – and since long distance movers charge by weight, you can expect it to cost much more.
  • Specialty Items: Moving specialty items such as pianos, pool tables, and antiques can add significant costs to your move. They require dedicated handling and packing, and your movers may need to use specialized equipment.
  • Packing: If you request your mover’s professional packing services, it’ll come at a price. These packing services can save you time and stress, but they’re an additional expense that you’ll need to budget for.
  • Storage: If you need to store your stuff before, during, or after the move, expect to pay per month. Storage may cost you, but it’s really useful if you’re not sure about your final move-in date (or if you’re not sure if your stuff will fit at your new place).
  • Insurance: Protecting your belongings during the move is important, but it also comes at a cost. The type and amount of insurance you choose can affect the overall price of your move.
  • Time of Year: Peak moving season typically runs from June to August. A busier season means more demand and more demand means higher prices. When you book your move, we recommend shooting for a mid-month, mid-week moving date.
  • Access: Long driveways, extra flights of stairs, and elevators are all challenges that your moving team will have to navigate. These will rope you extra fees (referred to as “access fees” by many moving companies) so ask ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

What is the Cheapest Way to Move Long Distance?

While they require more effort and take more time, a DIY move is generally your cheapest moving option. However, moving all by yourself comes with a whole set of risks and expenses, including gas, food, lodging, and the possibility of theft or damage when you’re handling everything.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a DIY move can still be more expensive than expected. A truck rental may be cheaper than hiring a professional moving company, but by the time you’ve paid for gas, hotels, and meals – and once you factor in all those hours you missed from work – the DIY option may not be worth the trouble.

Long Distance Moving FAQ

What is considered a long distance move?

In the moving industry, a long distance move is commonly defined as anything over 100 miles, within the same state, or any move that crosses state lines – in which case, it’s called a state-to-state or interstate move. However, the exact distance that constitutes a long distance move may vary based on the specific moving company and its policies.

How much should I tip long distance movers?

The standard tipping rate for long distance moves is 10-20% of the total cost of the move to be divided out across your whole moving team. Your exact percentage may vary based on the level of service provided and your satisfaction with the job. Keep in mind, some moving companies explicitly decline tips. Ask about gratuities when you’re matching out your quote.

How long does moving from coast to coast take?

The time it takes to move from coast to coast varies depending on factors such as distance, route, weather, and traffic conditions. On average, it takes around 7-14 business days for a coast-to-coast move, but it can take longer depending on the specific circumstances.

When is the best time to move?

If you want to avoid paying extra money and competing with college students and families, you’ll want to avoid moving in the summer. June, July, and August are typically the worst months for a move, but December isn’t much better. We recommend scheduling your move away from any major vacations or holidays and planning a mid-week, mid-month move.

What is the difference between a binding and non-binding estimate?

Movers typically offer binding estimates or non-binding estimates. A binding estimate is set in stone, and can’t be changed after it’s been issued. This means you’ll pay exactly what the estimate entails. On the other hand, a non-binding estimate is subject to change before, during, or after your move – but only by 10% of the initial quote.

What items will professional movers not move?

Professional movers won’t touch hazardous materials such as gasoline, propane, or chemicals. They may also refuse to move perishable items, live plants, pets, and sentimental or personal items. It’s best to check with your moving company ahead of time to get a complete list of items they will not move.

Moving Feedback – Methodology

We research and analyze huge amounts of data so that you can make the most educated and informed decision when it comes to choosing your local or long-distance movers.

We dig through customer reviews to get the real scoop on the 6 P’s: 

  • Pricing – fair and transparent pricing policies with binding estimates and no hidden fees.
  • Professionalism – fast responses and knowledgeable staff and a willingness to be flexible and solve problems.
  • Provision of Services – the ability to deliver a wide range of services successfully, including packing, furniture assembly, storage, and more.
  • Protection – insurance coverage and quick resolution of any damage claims.
  • Personalization – customized moving packages depending on need.
  • Perks – GPS tracking, free storage, discounts, and promotions.

Wrapping Up

You don’t need to pay more money to get better service. With our top picks for independent long distance moving companies, you can get big-name moving without the big-name price tag. If you’re ready to plan your long distance move, get in touch with some of our top choices – and don’t forget to check back in with us for more tips and tricks to make the moving day even easier.