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What is the moving cost from east to west coast?

January 22nd, 2018 - 2:04 PM

Moving coast to coast?

For a big move, like one from the east to west coast (or vice versa), costs can vary drastically depending on the type of service you use. The available options range from full-service to a do-it-yourself self-move. And, as you would expect, the price range varies as well. Let’s take a look at how those prices are determined and what costs come with driving a truck yourself, hiring a full-service company to do it all, or selecting an in-between “you pack, we drive” option.

cost to move east to west coast

Coast to coast moving costs​

Each moving service bases rates on slightly different things, but most take these into account:

  • How much you’re moving
  • When you’re moving
  • How far you’re moving

For a move going from one coast to another, “how far” often makes the biggest impact. And while you can’t change the distance, there are some ways to lower your price. Things like moving fewer items, adjusting the date and choosing the right moving service can make a big difference.

Moving fewer items

Most companies use either weight or space to determine how much you’re moving, so paring down can make a big difference. Whether you get rid of heavy furniture, bulky items or just random things you don’t need, moving less will provide a lower price.

Choosing the date

If you can be a little flexible with the move date (even by a few days), you can impact the rate. Certain dates have higher demand, which typically means higher prices. By choosing a day mid-month or mid-week (and avoiding holiday dates), you can see savings.

Compare coast to coast moving companies

A quick way to compare rates is by looking at a sample move. We’ve gotten quotes for a two-bedroom apartment going from east to west coast — Philadelphia, PA to Seattle, WA. And since most people have a vehicle, we’ve also selected a 2015 Chevrolet Cruze to compare towing rates when applicable.

Note: This is an example move only — prices can vary based on locations, move date, move size and the date the quote was requested. The equipment sizes listed were those recommended for a two-bedroom apartment by each company.

Truck Rental

As a fully do-it-yourself service, you might expect truck rental to be the cheapest. That’s normally the case with local moves, but with coast-to-coast moves, there are other big expenses to consider — specifically fuel. With a long drive, gas can almost double your cost to move. For the sample move, U-Haul® recommends a 15’ truck for $1,663. According to the rental truck fuel calculator, it would cost around $989 for fuel. And towing a vehicle behind with a tow dolly would add $241. In total, this truck rental from the east coast to the west coast would be $2,893.

Read more about U-Haul and truck rental.

Full-Service Movers

A full-service moving company is one where they pack, load, transport and unload your belongings. It’s the most hands-off option, but it’s also typically the most expensive. An in-home estimate is normally required for accurate pricing, but Bekins Van Lines® offers a “ballpark” estimate online. The initial estimate includes loading, transportation and unloading for between $4,430 and $5,790. To add full packing, you’re looking at $5,352 to $7,067. Of course, they will determine the actual costs by completing an in-home estimate and weighing the shipment after loading.

Read more about full-service movers.


Self-moving is on the spectrum between truck rental and full-service. You do the packing and loading, and the company handles the driving. The significant differences come in equipment and service details (like transit time). Take a look at three of the more common options:


We offer both 28’ trailers and ReloCube® containers. With both equipment types, you pay for the space you use. For this sample move, we recommend 13 linear feet in a trailer or 2 ReloCubes. With the trailer option, the move would cost $2,828, and two Cubes would be $3,332.  Estimated transit time is just 6-8 business days. There’s no additional charge for taxes, fuel or standard liability coverage.

Read more about how U-Pack works.

U-Haul U-Box®

U-Haul offers containers called the U-Box. They’re plywood containers with a vinyl covering, measuring 95” x 56” x 83.5” (257 cubic feet).  For a two-bedroom home, they estimate needing three U-Box containers. U-Haul estimates $3,387 for transportation plus the rental of the containers, which is $89.95 per box. The total for this coast to coast moving option is $3,656.85. Estimated transit time is 16 days.

Read more about the U-Box containers.


PODS® offers moving and storage with their metal containers. They recommend one 16’ container for this move. PODS® breaks their cost into three payments: initial container rental and delivery, transportation, and final delivery. Their price for this sample included three payments of: $469.94, 3,581.25 and $130.00, for a total of $4,181.19 plus $37.59 in tax.  The total is $4,218.78. Their estimated transit time is 10 business days.

Read more about moving with PODS®.

Which move from east to west coast is best?

While some people select a company based on the services they offer, the price is the biggest factor for others. U-Pack is ideal for people who want to move cross-country affordably. We’re often able to offer the most competitive rates with coast-to-coast moves. While yours is the only household goods shipment in the trailer, you’ll install a bulkhead divider wall, and we will fill the remaining trailer space with commercial freight moving in the same direction — saving you money in the long run.

Want to check rates for your move? Getting a quote online is quick and easy (and no in-home estimate is necessary)! If you have questions about moving from coast to coast, leave us a comment below. We’re happy to help!


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