What Is the Cheapest Way to Move Cross Country?

October 18, 2022Moving Tips
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Are you considering relocation to another state? If so, you’re likely trying to figure out the cheapest way to move cross country. There are many factors to consider when moving long-distance, such as the cost of gas, how much stuff you have to move, and whether or not you’ll need to hire movers. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most affordable ways to move cross country. Keep reading for tips on how to save money!

If you’re worried about the price of your upcoming move, you must be looking for the cheapest way to get to your destination. While many people would think that a DIY move is the cheapest option for a long-distance relocation, we must count on the time and energy that this approach requires. When you add countless possible problems that may occur (and cost you plenty of money), the conclusion is this – hiring professional movers is a better option in the long run.

What Affects the Overall Price of the Move?

Regardless of your reasons for moving, relocating is often extremely stressful and demanding. When you are planning a move to a new state, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is the moving cost. How much will it cost to move all of your belongings in labeled boxes to the place you will soon call a new home?



The answer to that question is not always simple. There are a number of factors that can affect the overall price of your move. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones, so you know what you can expect regarding relocation costs – this will surely help you move efficiently.

The number of items you want to move

The cost will increase as you transport more items. You could expect to spend at least $1,500 to ship a one-bedroom apartment cross-country. Costs for larger moves may be much higher.

Supply and demand

Are you relocating to a big city that’s quite popular? In places where there is high demand, quotes are likely to be higher.

Accessibility problems

Your alternatives for moving may be limited if parking or backing a big truck up to your old or new house is a problem. Obviously, every moving and car shipping company will frequently bill more in these circumstances.

Whether it's moving season or not

When moving, you could anticipate paying 30–40% more during the hectic moving season, which is from mid-May to early September – this isn’t the cheapest time of year to move.

Hefty objects

Do you have a hot tub or a piano to move? Yes, moving these things is going to be difficult and, therefore, expensive.

Where you are relocating

If you’re moving to a remote area far from a major freeway or close to the US border, moving services (which often include enclosed auto transport) will probably cost you a little extra than usual.

Date of your move

It tends to be more expensive and in higher demand to move during the first and last days of each month. Weekends are frequently more expensive, which is why you should know this common relocation hack – move on a weekday.

Is DIY Really the Cheapest Way to Move Cross Country?

Should you hire a professional moving and USA auto transport company, or should you try to move to another state alone? There are pros and cons to both methods, and the best way for you will depend on your specific situation. However, most people think that a DIY approach is the cheaper way – but is it really?

At first glance, doing it yourself seems much cheaper than hiring a professional to move belongings and handle shipping cars in the USA. If you have a large vehicle like an SUV or van, you might be able to pack your car with everything you own and move for just the cost of gas. Or, if you’re only moving a few things, you could even rent a small trailer to hitch onto your car.

Enclosed Auto Transport

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Open Carrier Auto Transport

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The biggest con of doing it yourself is that it’s going to take a lot more time and effort than hiring professionals would. You’ll have to pack up everything yourself, load it all into your vehicle, and then drive cross country. This can be tough if you have a full-time job or other commitments that make it hard to take an extended trip like this. Plus, if something goes wrong along the way – like your car breaking down – it could end up costing you more in the long run than just hiring professionals from the beginning. So, the question is – are you willing to risk it?

A white truck of a car shipping company
DIY might seem like a great option, but it's rarely worth the stress, time, and energy

Is Renting a Moving Truck Really Worth the Trouble?

A reliable truck rental firm might be a solution if you’re willing to drive cross-country and endure all the driving stress. You will probably save a lot of money if you decide to move this way. An expense for renting a vehicle normally consists of a fixed rate, gasoline expenses, as well as any extra insurance costs. Naturally, you should bear in mind that rental trucks don’t have outstanding gas mileage – think of the gas prices. Will this turn out to be a stress-free way to move? Definitely not – so if you’re looking for something simple, this isn’t your best bet.

What About Hybrid Moving – Renting a Truck, But With a Bit of Professional Help

A hybrid move combines a DIY move and professional relocation assistance. This is something you can do to avoid employing a full-service moving and car shipping company (don’t overlook the cost of door-to-door auto transport or terminal-to-terminal car shipping). You can opt for this option if you want to move on a budget, don’t have a lot of stuff, or don’t need to travel far.

How does this work? You will organize packing, pack everything yourself, and hire movers to assist you in loading your belongings into a van or truck that you’ve rented. Once you’ve arrived at your new city, enlist the assistance of a second crew of movers to assist with unloading. When that’s over, all that’s left to do is unpack after the move.

two long-distance movers carrying a large case
You can rent a truck for a DIY move, but you can also organize a hybrid move

Is Hiring Professionals Worth the Money?

The majority of us would prefer to have someone else deal with the tedious tasks such as packing dishes and loading the moving truck, which is where expert moving companies come in. They will take care of everything, including packing, and not to mention disassembling, and packing furniture.

Another advantage of hiring professional movers is that they will handle all of the heavy lifting for you. If you’re doing the move yourself, you’ll have to lift and carry all your heavy furniture and appliances, which can be difficult and dangerous. Movers are trained to safely lift and carry heavy objects, so you don’t have to worry about injuring yourself or damaging your belongings.

Finally, professional movers are insured in case something goes wrong during the move. If you’re doing the move yourself and something gets damaged or broken, you’ll have to pay to replace it yourself. But if you hire professional movers and something gets damaged, their insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

Hiring Movers Is the Best Way to Move, but Finding the Company That Suits Your Needs Often Takes Time

Compared to other options, the ease of moving firms comes at a higher cost – but the best service is always pricey. Note this moving tip – if the relocation service seems too cheap, it might be a moving scam. If you’re unsure about hiring professionals, we can promise you that the money you will pay is well worth it. You won’t regret a cent once you see how smooth and simple your relocation is with the help of trained movers.

Finding a reputable firm is the only difficult aspect of moving with a professional mover. You have to be careful when choosing a relocation company. While the research and booking processes can be tedious and lengthy, once you’ve made a reservation, everything will seem easier, and you will be looking forward to your moving day!

man searching for a car shipping company
Moving services are well worth the money - start looking for yours on time

How to Save Money and Lower Your Relocation Cost?

Although exciting, moving to a new location can be more expensive than you can afford. The good news is that there are ways to save money on your out-of-state move. With a little planning and some research, you can keep your relocation costs low. Here are a few tips:

  • Get quotes from multiple moving companies – Don’t just go with the first moving company you find. Get quotes from at least three different companies before making a decision. Be sure to compare not only the price but also the services offered and the terms of the agreement. This will help you find the best deal for your specific needs.
  • Pack yourself – Packing yourself may take some extra time, but it will save you money in the long run. The fewer things you have to move, the less it will cost you. If you do decide to hire professional packers, be sure to get an estimate in advance, so there are no surprises on moving day.
  • Declutter your home thoroughly – Make a list of things to “move, trash, donate, and sell.” It goes without saying that you must understand what you are moving. Avoid leaving it to the very last minute to make this decision. Make an inventory of everything you own, then decide if you should relocate, donate, discard, or sell each item. This list can help everybody get onto the same page if you are moving as a family.

Don’t forget to include travel costs, accommodation charges (cleaning fees and security deposits), expenditures for moving supplies (boxes, tape, and various other packing materials), and any other costs associated with the move in your overall budget. Now that you are more aware of the circumstances of your move, you can establish a moving budget. If you’d like to learn a few more tips for saving money and keeping that budget under control, be sure to check out the video below.

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Choose the Best Option, and You Won’t Break the Bank

Moving to a new state doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little planning and research, you can keep your relocation costs low without sacrificing quality or service. By getting quotes from multiple moving companies, packing yourself, and using various tips and tricks for affordable relocating, you can make your out-of-state move more affordable.

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