Choosing full-service moving companies is challenging as you have numerous things to consider. Aside from the overall cost of the service, you have to consider if a company is capable of moving all your belongings. Do they only handle small objects or can they transport larger items of furniture? Will they be able to move things long-distance, or are they strictly a local business?
Loads of other concerns pop up along the way, but this guide will tackle them all. We’ve done some in-depth research to uncover the five best full-service moving companies you can find right now. We’re not affiliated with any of these companies in any way – we simply want to make the relocation process as easy as possible for you guys. You’ll find a breakdown of every company if you scroll down, highlighting all of the key features to ensure you make the right decision when moving to a new location.
- Most affordable full-service local moving company: Two Men and a Truck
- Best for international moves: Mayflower Transit
- Best full-service movers for fragile packaging: National Van Lines
- Most cost-effective moving company for long-distance car shipping: United Van Lines
- Top movers for insurance protection: Bekins Van Lines
Top 5 Full-Service Moving Companies 2023
|Two Men and a Truck||Bekins Van Lines||United Van Lines||Mayflower Transit||National Van Lines|
|Years in Business||35+||130||95||90+||100|
|Coverage Area||46 states||48 states||All of USA + 150 countries across 7 continents||All of USA + Over 150 countries||All of USA + over 100 countries|
|Types of Moves||Local, Long Distance||Local, Long Distance||Local, Long Distance, International||Local, Long Distance, International||Local, Long Distance, International|
|Additional Services||Packing, Junk Removal, Storage, Piano Movers, Business Moving||Packing & Shipping, Storage, Moving & Packing Supplies, Valuation Protection, Specialty Items||Car Shipping, Military Movers, Packing & Unpacking, Storage, Moving Protection||Packing & Unpacking, Storage, Moving Protection, Car Transportation, Military Moves||Storage, Full-Service Packing, Crating & Fragile Packing|
|American Moving & Storage Association Member (AMSA)?||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Better Business Bureau Accredited?||❌||✅||❌||❌||✅|
4.5 out of 5
“The two young men who moved me from my home to my new independent living quarters were fabulous. They were thorough, efficient, careful, and polite. I couldn’t have asked for better.” – Jean
“Excellent and courteous service. Reasonable pricing. I highly recommend this company.” – Dorthy
4.6 out of 5
“Bekins did an excellent job on our cross-country move. The driver and the crew were fantastic, and everything arrived safely. The price was very reasonable, and our move coordinator was always available.” – Debbie G
“Wonderful staff! Easy to deal with and very accommodating, especially Janis!!” – Lisa M
2.6 out of 5
“Moved twice with them. Never anything missing or broken. They were very polite and clean and packed very carefully (as if it were their own items). I haven’t always had such positive experiences and have moved a great deal due to corporate relocations.” – Alex
“They were efficient, polite, and attentive to our requests. Would recommend them again. This was a long haul and they were on time and unloaded everything without mishap.” – Carol
4.5 out of 5
“Our experience throughout the entire process was exceptional” – Jillian B
“Overall experience was great, We received proactive communication throughout the entire process which kept us up-to-date and our minds at ease.” – Nelson A
4.32 out of 5
“GREAT move!!! Everything went so smoothly and correct expectations were set on the front end! LOVED the driver and his helper! They were efficient and QUICK! Everything was delivered in the same condition as it went on the truck! I paid a little more, but it was WORTH IT!! I have heard HORROR stories from moves… NOT MEEEEEE!!!! Great job guys!” – Julie B
“Every interaction I had with National Van Lines was stellar, from my first call to my furniture drop off. I’ve moved 9 times and NVL was by far the most reliable and helpful company.” – Robin O
What’s Included in a Full-Service Move?
As the name suggests, a full-service move will include a range of services in addition to physically moving your goods across the country, locally, or to a new country. Here are the main services you can expect to see:
Full-service movers will provide a packing service where they help with the following:
- Providing packing materials
- Packing your belongings for you
- Special packaging for delicate items
Alongside packing services, movers provide a loading service where they take your items and load them onto their trucks. This is done to ensure everything is loaded correctly and for optimal space-saving. It’s an underrated feature as professional movers could ensure more items are put in one truck, potentially saving money.
Naturally, transportation involves the process of physically transporting all of your belongings from one place to another. This could be a short local drive, a long cross-country commute, or overseas transportation.
Unloading is the reverse of loading; movers will take your things from their trucks to your new home. As such, you don’t have to worry about carrying heavy boxes down from a truck or up your stairs. It makes the whole move safer for you!
If you want, you can get an unpacking service that takes your moving boxes and empties them safely into your new house or apartment. From here, you’ll have a much cleaner moving experience because the movers can remove all packaging materials right away. It’s a fantastic way to help you settle down and get set up after a relocation. If you’re relocating for work, this ensures you won’t spend countless days living out of moving boxes.
Any furniture or large items can be disassembled prior to the move, making them easier and cheaper to transport. They’ll then be reassembled and ready for you to use the moment you enter your new place.
Special handling refers to any delicate or unique objects/belongings you need to move. This can be family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, antique pieces of furniture, and so on. A special handling service ensures these items get extra care and attention.
Providing Moving Equipment
Some full-service moving companies will give you moving equipment to help you move things yourself. Typically, you may receive sack trucks or machine skates to help transport multiple heavy boxes/items in one go.
Valuation and Insurance
Companies provide valuation and insurance to protect your belongings during the move. This will include liability insurance which means any damage to your items will be covered by the moving company’s insurance provider. You can also purchase additional insurance for high-value items.
If your old home is full of debris – and you need to clear it out before moving – a lot of full-service moving companies will do this for you.
Some movers have started offering vehicle transportation to take your cars from one place to another. With the dangers of cross-country driving clear, more and more people are looking for this service.
If you do opt for this service, we implore you to ensure you use an Accredited Car Transport Company. It will mean the whole process goes smoother and there’s less chance of damage or something bad happening.
This is mainly reserved for long-distance or international moves, but a shuttle service transports you and your family from the old location to a new one.
Reserved for international moves, this service moves your goods through customs so they can enter a new country.
Comparing a Full-Service Move to Other Types of Moves
A full-service move will handle every aspect of the moving process for you. Effectively, you can sit back, relax, and worry about hardly anything.
With that in mind, how does this compare to other types of moves? The alternatives are DIY moving and Hybrid moving. As explained by Moving.com DIY moving is when you do everything yourself while hybrid moving involves doing a lot of things on your own while paying for other services.
When we compare full-service moving to these two, how does it stack up?
Typical Cost Difference
If you move all by yourself, some of the costs will include:
- Truck rental
- Buying packing supplies
- Hiring moving equipment
While this doesn’t seem like a lot, it can quickly add up. A full-service moving company will charge for these things too, plus any other additional services, and the cost of labor.
It’s hard to get a fully accurate price comparison as it depends on where you’re moving, how long the move will take, what additional services you need, and so on. However, we were able to find data from Move.org that looked at one of the movers on our list – United Van Lines.
According to this data, it will cost you around $4300 to pack and move a 1-2 bedroom house compared to $6200 for a full-service move. As the number of bedrooms and the scale of the move increases, so does the price difference.
Overall, we can say there’s probably anywhere between $1000 – $5000 cost difference between DIY and full-service moves.
When is it Better to Not Do a Full-Service Move?
Realistically, a full-service move isn’t necessary when you don’t have lots of stuff to move or you’re not moving far. You’re not dealing with a cross-country move and you can fit a lot of items in your car or truck with relative ease. Sure, it will take a bit longer as you have to keep going back and forth moving loads, but it’s manageable.
Full-service moves make the most sense when you have loads of large items, you have to travel a long distance, or you’re moving overseas.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Full-Service Move
As we’ve already alluded to, a full-service move has some pros and cons. It’s a lot easier to decide if this is the right moving technique to choose after seeing the benefits and potential drawbacks:
Advantages of a full-service move
- Far more convenient and stress-free
- Saves a lot of time
- Less chance of injuring yourself
- Easier to move longer distances
- Can safely move larger items of furniture or cars
- Experienced movers have access to better packaging materials to protect your belongings
- Access to better moving equipment
Disadvantages of a full-service move
- Higher costs
- Less freedom to move whenever you like as a booking date has to be decided
- You need to trust that the moving company will take care of your items
How to Find the Right Full-Service Moving Company for You
Finding the ideal full-service moving company isn’t as complicated as it seems. Yes, there’s a lot to consider and many questions to ask, but we’ve broken things down so you know the main things to consider.
Determine Your Needs
Firstly, think about your moving requirements:
- Are you moving locally, across the country, or internationally?
- Do you have particularly large items you need to move?
- Are you shipping your car as well?
- Do you need to move by a specific timeframe? E.g. because your landlord has kicked you out or you’re relocating for work
These questions will help you figure out the scale of your move and what services are necessary. From here, you can find full-service moving companies that meet your needs.
It’s always worth asking people you know for recommendations – particularly if they’ve recently relocated or you know they undertook a similar move in the past.
Ask a good collection of friends or family and see if the same companies keep cropping up. Your friends may also tell you to flat-out avoid certain companies, so that’s also helpful.
After getting a few recommendations, head online to research any companies that were mentioned. This helps you find reviews and see what more people are saying. You’ll also come across guides (like the one you’re reading) that break down multiple moving companies and make it easier to compare them with one another.
Next, you should check the credentials of the movers to ensure they’re trustworthy. For local movers, always see if they are licensed in your state. For interstate ones, they need a Department of Transportation number. The easiest way to find and verify this is via the FMCSA website.
Get Multiple Estimates
Of course, the cost of moving will be one of the main factors influencing your decision.
Always be sure to get multiple estimates from different full-service moving companies. This will help you compare and contrast the quotes to see which ones provide the most affordable service – or the best value for money.
Ask the Right Questions
You can contact moving companies directly or look through their FAQ sections to get the answers to some important questions. A few things to wonder include:
- Are the workers employed by the company, or are they temporary hires?
- Does the estimate include all charges, or is it subject to change?
- Is there a downpayment before the move happens?
- What happens if items are lost or damaged?
Read the Fine Print
The fine print details all the terms and conditions of the move. This may cover things like how much insurance coverage is given, what happens if you cancel the move, what happens if the movers cancel, and so on.
It’s super important to read this so you aren’t taken advantage of and to be sure there are no big surprises. You’ll have a better overall view of what the company will provide.
Trust Your Instincts
Sometimes, you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right. It’s that feeling you get when you’re driving in the city and can sense danger approaching. It’s the voice in your head that tells you to back away from a deal because the other person feels untrustworthy.
When you contact moving companies and speak to the workers, you can easily get some instinctive feelings. If your gut tells you something doesn’t feel right, then trust it. There are plenty of good moving companies out there, but your instincts can help you avoid a terrible one.
Ensure There’s An Inventory List
If a moving company doesn’t provide an inventory list, then you shouldn’t trust them. This list details every little thing they’ll move for you, along with the estimated price, serial numbers, etc. It’s crucial to help you keep track of things and avoid lost belongings.
This will also be used to hold the company liable if something is lost or damaged. Without one, they can simply claim a lost possession was never moved in the first place.
How to Find the Best Moving Company Deals and Discounts
The cost of moving can feel extortionate, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. With a few careful considerations, you can save money by unlocking some good discounts.
Moving between May and September is hugely popular. This is the peak season, meaning the cost of moving your belongings and shipping a car will be at its highest. Moving outside of these months – such as during late fall/winter or early sprint – will help you save a fortune as you get off-peak rates.
Likewise, weekends are busier for moving companies, so they charge more. If you can move during the day on a weekday, you’ll save cash with cheaper rates.
Finally, the time of month comes into play too. A lot of leases begin and end at the start or end of a month. So, moving during the middle of the month could give you the best price.
Overall, the ideal time for a cheaper rate is during the winter, in the middle of a month, and on a weekday!
Lots of full-service moving companies will bundle their services together in package deals. This can include long-distance moving services, international moving bundles, and so on.
It’s often a lot more affordable to pick a bundle than to pay for services individually. Companies offer discounts as a way of persuading people to go for a full-service move instead of a DIY or hybrid one.
Military, Senior, and Student Discounts
If you’re an active military personnel, or a veteran, some moving companies may offer a special discount. The same goes for senior citizens while student discounts are also possible. So, if you need to move to college, you could secure a discount. It’s always worth asking about discounts as they aren’t widely advertised on websites.
Sometimes, it pays to use the same provider again and again. If you used a moving company in the past, they may offer a loyalty discount to draw you back in. Even if you paid for a different service before – like packing or cross-country vehicle shipping – it’s worth inquiring about a loyalty discount when you need full-service moving.
Check Employer Partnerships
Believe it or not, some employers will offer discounts with removal companies – especially if they have offices around the country or internationally. If you need to move because of work, your employer may direct you to a moving company they partner with, offering a discount.
Even if your move has nothing to do with work, check with your employer to see if they’ve got any partnerships or perks you can take advantage of.
Lastly, you can look through different membership discounts to see if you have access to discounts. Full-service moving companies may offer special rates to members of certain organizations. Again, these won’t be widely advertised, so send an email or ring the company asking about any potential membership discounts you might be eligible for.
How We Selected the Best Moving Companies
It would’ve been easy to pluck five random moving companies out of thin air and list them for you. We didn’t do this! Instead, we conducted lots of research to find five different businesses that offered full-service moving.
We compared many companies along the way, but we wanted to take the following points into consideration:
- Price Points – We selected five moving companies with varying price points to satisfy different customers.
- Moving Services – It was important to us that the moving companies we showcased had a broad range of moving services, so they could truly offer a full package.
- Reviews – One of the main factors in helping us choose the top five full-service moving companies was customer reviews. We collected some from TrustPilot, BBB, Consumer Affairs, and various other places to ensure we only listed trustworthy sites.
- Area of Coverage – The best-moving companies have to provide a large area of coverage, or else it’s pointless. We don’t know where you’re reading this from, so the ideal scenario is a company that covers all mainland US states. The more coverage the better!
- Trust Signals – Finally, we looked for other trust signals to convince us that these five companies are the best. This includes being a member of certain organizations, having a long and impressive work history, and so on
In conclusion, a full-service moving company will help you transport your belongings from one place to another with minimal stress and in record time. We’ve listed five great businesses on this page that are all worth checking out. Realistically, the best one depends on your needs and budget!
Think about your move and how much effort it will take, consider the items that need to be moved, and then compare companies based on what you can afford.
We’d also like to note that our company could help if you need car shipping services during your move. We’re an accredited business with years of experience and can transport various vehicles across the US. To learn more about us and what we do, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Top 5 Full-Service Moving Companies 2023
How long does it take packers to pack a house?
It depends on how many boxes you have and if they’re packing everything into these boxes beforehand. If so, it usually takes around 15-30 hours in total for an average-sized house or apartment. If you’ve already packed your items and just need to pack the boxes onto a truck with larger items, it may take as little as 2 hours.
When is the best time to move?
The best time to move house is during the winter as there’s less demand for moving services so you’ll encounter off-peak rates.
How early should you start packing to move?
Generally, you should begin packing anywhere between 3-6 weeks from your moving date. The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be – just leave the essential items for last.
What is the hardest thing to move?
Large furniture pieces are the hardest things to move, particularly big sofas that can’t be taken apart. They’re very bulky and hard to maneuver between tight spaces and doorways.
What is considered a long-distance move?
A long-distance move is any move that involves traveling over 400 miles.
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