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How much does it cost to move across country?

August 24th, 2018 - 2:03 PM

Figuring out cross country moving costs 

There’s no doubt that a cross country move is more expensive than a local move or a move to a neighboring state. But how much does it actually cost? The answer to that question can be difficult to reach since it depends on many factors. In addition to paying for a moving company (which can come with a wide range of prices), you’ll also need to account for things like hotel stays, fuel stops and meal breaks. Get a general idea of how much you can expect to spend by comparing cross country move quotes and looking at average costs for those other expenses.  

 
U.S map with arrow spanning across the country and a piggy bank

The cost of moving across country: what do movers charge? 

Because rates depend on where you’re moving to and from, how much you’re moving, and the company you use, there really isn’t an average cost to budget for. However, you can get a good idea of potential prices by looking at an example. Seeing what different services charge for the same move is a great way to understand how prices differ based on the options you choose.

Example 

While a true cross-country move is from coast to coast, moves of 2,000 miles or more can also fall into this category. The example below illustrates how much it would cost a family of three to move to Columbus, Ohio, from a two-bedroom home in Boise, Idaho. 

In case you’re moving farther than that, we’ve also included a look at the price for the same size family to make a coast-to-coast move from Charleston, South Carolina, to San Diego, California.

Note: These moves are examples only. Prices vary based on location, move date, house size and the date the quote was requested. Equipment options and additional services are based on each company’s recommendations. Fuel costs were found using online fuel calculators.

U-Haul® 

Renting a truck is usually thought to be the cheapest moving option. But, the quote is only a base rate and doesn’t include taxes, fuel, basic liability coverage, highway tolls or towing (if needed). In this instance, let’s say the family decides to tow their 2018 Nissan Rogue so they can all ride together. Take a look at how the cost breaks down for this example:  

  • Base quote: 20’ truck at $1,036
  • Safemove® basic coverage: $126 
  • Towing: $289 
  • Towing coverage: $70 
  • Environmental fee: $5 
  • U-Haul sales tax: $91.56 (6% in Boise)
  • Rental truck fuel: $789

Total: $2,406.56  

U-Pack®

U-Pack charges based on how much linear footage the household goods occupy in a moving trailer or the number of ReloCube® containers needed. Quotes account for fuel, transportation, taxes, tolls and standard liability coverage. 

For this example, U-Pack quotes 13 linear feet in the trailer at $2,126

Bekins® 

Full-service companies charge based on the shipment’s weight and are typically the most expensive option, especially for moves from one side of the country to the other. 

Bekins estimates a move from Boise to Columbus to cost anywhere from $4,406.41 to $5,766.44 depending on the shipment’s actual weight and the packing services and coverage options selected.

East Coast to West Coast 

Because of the added distance, a true coast-to-coast move will generally cost more than a move like the one above. For example, taking a two-bedroom home from Charleston, South Carolina, to San Diego, California, can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 with those same companies. 

Find out more by reading this article on how much it costs to move from east to west coast

Other expenses 

Besides budgeting for the moving company, you’ll also want to plan for personal travel expenses. Driving across the country can easily take 25+ hours, not including breaks — which means you’ll need money for overnight stays, fuel and food. Take a look at average costs to help you prepare: 

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to budget a little extra for expenses like road tolls, souvenirs and roadside emergencies. 

The total cost of moving cross country 

Using the example from above, let’s add the average cost of traveling expenses to each company’s moving quote. A trip from Boise to Columbus would take three days and two nights to complete (assuming the family drives 10 hours each day). We’ll also assume each person eats three meals per day, at $10 each, and their Nissan Rogue gets 33 mpg. 

Using this information and the average cost of hotels, fuel and meals, the family should budget for these expenses:  

  • Hotel: $265.32
  • Fuel: $173.24   
  • Meals: $270 

If we add these costs to the moving company quotes, here’s what to expect: 

U-Haul

  • Quote: $2,406.56  
  • Hotel: $265.32
  • Fuel: $0.00 (The family is towing their vehicle and the rental truck fuel has already been included) 
  • Meals: $270

Total: $2,941.88

U-Pack 

  • Quote: $2,126
  • Hotel: $265.32
  • Fuel: $173.23
  • Meals: $270  

Total: $2,834.55 

Bekins

  • Lowest Quote: $4,406.41
  • Hotel: $265.32
  • Fuel: $173.23
  • Meals: $270  

Total: $5,114.96

Determine the cost of your move 

See how much your cross-country move will cost by getting a free online quote or calling 800-413-4799. If you have questions, leave a comment below, and we’ll be happy to help!  

Not moving cross country? Check out this Moving Cost Guide to learn about other types of moves.


U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party. Bekins® Van Lines is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.