How Much Does it Cost to Move Across the Country?

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3 min to read

We can all agree: moving is stressful. In fact, recent moving surveys show nearly half (45%) of respondents reported moving to be the most stressful life event. From finding a new place to live, to packing and preparing for the move, to the logistical process itself and the unpacking and organizing once you’re in the new location—there are a lot of ‘moving’ parts to the moving process! 

All of this is amplified when you’re moving across the country, where moving costs can quickly add up. Accurately calculating your moving expenses can help ease the added challenges that long-distance moves can present. 

Average costs for moving across country

From the moment you make the decision to move, you’ll quickly notice various potential costs start piling up. 

Movers and moving companies

To save yourself the physical stress of moving, you may choose to hire a moving company specializing in cross-country moves. These companies have experts who can often pack your items, load them into the moving truck, drive everything to your destination and unload your items into your new home. The cost of moving companies will vary significantly based on additional services you may select, the number of large items you have and the required miles to travel. The price range for a long-distance move is typically $4,000-$10,000.  

Truck rental

If you choose instead to haul your belongings yourself, you’ll still need a truck to load and transport everything. The cost will depend on mileage and the size of the truck. Daily rates fall between $20 to $140 with 50 to 60 cents charged per mile. Additionally, for a cross-country trip, you’ll likely have to refill the gas tank several times before returning the vehicle to the rental company. A 26-foot truck averages about 10 miles per gallon with a 60-gallon fuel tank, costing at least $200 to fill up every 600 miles. Using the high-end estimates, if you had to travel 2,000 miles, you would be on the road for five days and spend $700 on truck rental plus $1,200 in total mileage charges, in addition to $667 on fuel for a total of approximately $2,567. 


The average family of four will require 35 large boxes, 45 medium boxes, 17 extra-large boxes and eight wardrobe boxes, along with plenty of packing paper, bubble wrap, stretch wrap and tape for a move. This results in an estimated moving cost of just under $600. 

The hassle of packing everything may even seem like too much to do yourself, which is why many moving companies also offer packing services. For an additional cost, you can hire a team to pack up all your belongings into boxes, saving yourself time and frustration. This is typically an hourly charge, ranging from $25-$40 per hour, per person, with the average service including two professionals packing items for you.


The last thing you probably want to think about in the midst of relocating to a totally new place is having to clean your old one. If you’re in an apartment, you may be charged a fee or fail to get your security deposit back if the place isn’t spotless once you’ve left. While hiring a professional cleaning company to thoroughly scrub down your home removes stress, it may add several hundred dollars to your moving costs.

Home items

When moving, many people like to change things up or create a fresh start altogether, furnishing the space with new pieces and decor. Additionally, if moving from an apartment to a home or from a city to a suburb, you may need equipment such as a lawn mower, snowblower, etc. These items can rack up a bill into the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. 

Auto transport

Finally, wherever your new home happens to be, you’ll want to move your car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or other recreational vehicle as well. But instead of having to drive across the country in the car yourself, you can have a cross-country auto transporter handle the move for you.  

Cost considerations for car shipping across the country

How much does auto transport cost? It depends on various factors, including:

  • Vehicle type: Larger, heavier vehicles are more expensive to ship, while smaller, compact cars will cost less.
  • Mileage: Car transport companies charge a certain rate per mile.
  • Time of year: Rates fluctuate with seasonal demands and capacity availability.  
  • Origin & destination: Location has a substantial impact on price; for instance, metropolitan areas typically have a higher volume of vehicles to transport than rural areas, and therefore will cost less for the consumer.
  • Special accommodations: ​​If you’re shipping a classic car or a vehicle that is lifted or has low ground clearance, it may require certain equipment which may add to the cost.
  • Other preferences: You may select enclosed shipping over an open trailer, which may impact the cost.

Here are some tips to help you lower the cost of shipping your car

Paying to have your vehicle transported can often end up being less expensive than driving it yourself. Consider the gas, lodging and food you’ll need throughout the trip, along with the time you’ll have to invest to drive across the country—time you could spend taking care of other move-related tasks. Plus, you save the wear and tear the vehicle might incur after driving hundreds or thousands of miles.

Peace of mind is priceless

If you’ve got an upcoming move, focus on your home and family and leave your car transport to us. Montway Auto Transport is the leading car shipping company in the United States, transporting over 140,000 vehicles annually. We’ll work with you to find the option that best suits your needs and budget. Request a free quote or call (888) 666-8929 to get an estimate for your cross-country car shipping cost. 

Getting your vehicle ready to ship? Use this information to help ensure it’s a seamless process.

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