What is the Most Effective Way to Move Cross Country
There are a few options when moving cross country – you could move yourself, use a van line or a private residential mover. Depending on the time of year you are moving, where you are moving to and from and how much flexibility you have will also be key factors in finding the most cost effective way for you to move cross country.
- Moving Yourself – Overall, the thought of doing a cross country move alone is terrifying personally. However, I realize there are some brave souls out there ( and hopefully those that don’t have a ton of heavy furniture) that are thinking about renting a truck themselves. An average truck rental from New York to Texas is right around $3,000 ( including insurance, taxes, fees) during mid-season. Here are other costs you will incur during any cross country move. These figures are for a move of 2,000 miles in a 20 foot truck with 5,000 lbs -longer moves are more expensive:
One-Way Rental Truck: $3000 – The prices online do not have insurance added on ( approximately $100/day) or taxes
Hotels and Food: $600
Tolls ( much more expensive than a personal vehicle): $250
Labor: If you are hiring labor to help unload your truck – expect to pay $800-$1600 for the load plus the unload.
A few hints for moving yourself:
- Always opt for the full insurance on a rental truck. Rental truck operations are notorious for charging extreme rates due to any damage.
- Watch for low bridges on the way to your new residence – Boston, NYC, and even the back roads of Florida are full of low bridges. Stay off the Merritt Parkway in CT – half the time I am driving on that road I see a rental truck that attempted this low bridge road causing traffic.
- If you are staying in a hotel ask if they have truck parking – some hotels will not let your truck park there overnight.
- Rental trucks get pulled over just for being rental trucks. The DOT pulls them over all the time. Make sure your rental location has put the registration in the truck for you. If you have loaded your truck overweight – the DOT will shut you down and you will have to hire another mover/friend to get the weight legal. Expect heavy fines if this happens to you.
- Rental truck operations are not responsible for anything if your truck breaks down. FYI – if the truck looks old and scary I would ask for a newer one especially if you are moving cross country.
- Rental truck agencies do not have any repercusions if your rental truck is unavailable on your moving day – I suggest leaving a few flex moving days just in case.
2. Hiring a Van Line – A van line will be the most cost effective option for moving cross country for those who have a small amount of items and are very flexible. Van lines are a network of moving companies that book moves and trade and/or sell to others in their network. 15 years ago, moving companies across the country were begging to be a part of a van line – much like drivers for uber used to do. Motivated by avarice, most van lines lost the exceptional moving companies in their networks. Many went bankrupt and some still exist with lower standards. An agent for a van line will be hired ( less 30% or more ) to pick up your items and bring them to a storage facility. Eventually your shipment will make it cross country where another agent will deliver it. Here are the approximate fees a move of 2,000 miles in a 20 foot truck with 5,000 lbs:
Line Haul 5,000 lbs x .80/lb = $4,000
Fuel Surcharge – $400
You may have to pay for hotels/food while waiting for your shipment
Additional fees van lines can charge:
Taxes, Tolls, Shuttle Fee, Elevator Fee, Stair Fee, Long Haul, Packing ( if your boxes are not up to par)
3. Using Private Cross Country Movers – Using professional residential cross country movers is definitely the most stress-free option for moving cross country – but is it the most cost effective. Private cross country movers should have your shipment to its destination in 5 days or less if you are moving 2,000 miles. The absolute convenience of rapid shipping and displacement of liability is priceless – nonetheless – here are the fees for using a private cross country mover:
Line Haul: 5,000 lbs x .80/lb = $4,000
Most private cross country movers will not charge the following fees but they may try:
Fuel surcharge, mileage fee, taxes, tolls, shuttle fee, long haul, stairs, elevator
Overall, moving cross country is not cheap – either way you will have to pay thousands of dollars to relocate. Monster Movers are private cross country movers that have transparent, affordable pricing for any cross country move.