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How much does it cost to move across country?

October 27th, 2017 - 9:48 AM

Breaking down cross country moving costs

Most people who call U-Pack® for the first time want to know one thing: How much does it cost to move across the country? It’s the most frequently asked question, and one of the most important for planning a move. Staying within a moving budget can be a challenge with a long distance move, but it’s doable if you know what to expect. As you research, you’ll find there‘s not a “one-size-fits-all” price tag — but you can check rates easily with a free moving quote. As you compare prices, take a closer look at the factors that contribute to the cost of moving cross country. 

cross country moving costs

What goes into the cost to move?

Four main things can have a big impact on your moving costs: how you move, fuel (if driving yourself), travel costs and any extra services.

How you move

Moving company options range from DIY to full-service — and they all vary in price. 

Truck rental

Truck rental services may start with a lower price, but when things like liability coverage, taxes, highway tolls and fuel are added (more on that later) your moving costs can increase dramatically — especially for a long-distance move.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, full-service moving is typically the more expensive option. While movers do it all for you (packing, loading, driving and unloading), it can come at a premium price. Moving rates are based on the weight of your shipment, which is projected with an in-home estimate before the move. When the shipment is weighed if the weight ends up being more than the estimate, moving costs can increase in transit.


The balance between do-it-all-yourself and pay-for-it-all-to-be-done-for-you is a “you pack, we drive” service like U-Pack. You pack and load, and we handle the transportation. That means no stressing about driving across country in an unfamiliar truck, and no paying extra for fuel. With U-Pack, there’s no extra charge for fuel, transportation, taxes, tolls or standard liability coverage — so there are no surprises. Prices are based on the linear footage your shipment occupies in a moving trailer, or the number of ReloCubes you use (learn more).


If you’re considering truck rental for your cross country move, it’s important to consider the impact fuel can have on moving costs. In some cases (typically small, coast-to-coast moves), it can as much as double the price. Use our rental truck fuel calculator to estimate the cost of fueling a rental truck from your origin to destination.

Towing costs

Another factor to consider is your method of travel. Though moving expenses can be tax deductible, not every move qualifies. If you choose to travel with a rental truck, your family may not be able to ride along. While the larger trucks can hold three passengers, smaller rentals are limited to two. If you move with children, keep in mind that rental trucks aren’t designed for car seats. You may also have to tow your car behind you or ship your vehicle. These methods come at a separate cost — so be sure to include those in the budget.

Extra services

There are other potential services you may need to consider as you determine how much it costs to move.

Loading or unloading help

If you need to add loading or unloading services to your move (for either truck rental or U-Pack), these costs would be additional. We refer customers to Moving Staffers, who charges hourly and by the size of the crew you use.


If you need to store your belongings for any amount of time (either a few days or a few months), you can add storage services to your move. If you move with U-Pack, you can store right in the moving container or moving trailer, so you never have to transfer your belongings. A moving consultant will be happy to provide storage rates — call 800-413-4799 for assistance.

Moving supplies

To keep your belongings protected during your move, we recommend investing in supplies that are designed for moving. You can purchase boxes and other moving materials from the U-Pack Store and get FREE shipping to your home.

Look at an example move across the country

Cross country moving costs can vary depending on where you’re moving to/from, how much you’re moving and when you’re moving. For example, moving one room to the next state over would cost significantly less than moving a very large home coast to coast. Let’s take a look at a few examples to see what you might expect.

Note: These are examples, and prices can change daily based on a variety of factors (locations, move size, demand, fuel, equipment availability, etc.)

For a one-bedroom apartment going from Seattle, WA to Los Angeles, CA, five linear feet of trailer space would cost $1,025.

For a two-bedroom home going from Orlando, FL to Chicago, IL, three ReloCube containers would cost $2,472.

For a three-bedroom home going from Nashville, TN to Portland, OR, 17 linear feet of space would cost $3,487.

Figure out the cost of your cross country move

Figure out the cost for your cross country move by getting a free moving quote online, or call us at 800-413-4799. If you have questions about moving cross country and the costs, leave a comment below, and we will be happy to help.