Moving interstate or internationally is more difficult than packing a car or renting a truck, and driving across town. Ensure your items get to their destination safely by hiring professionals, experienced in long-distance moves. Read this guide for choosing a long-distance moving company with essential tips to help you sort through various challenges that might come up.

1. Licensed and Insured

Every moving company that moves items across state lines has to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This can be done relatively easily through the USDOT website. Any company that isn’t registered simply isn’t a legitimate moving company and should be avoided at all costs.

Another great way to verify the moving company you’re researching offers quality service is to cross-reference them with the American Moving and Storage Association Promover database

2. Reputation

Doing your research is critical when choosing a long-distance mover. Beyond just being licensed and insured be sure to read online reviews from Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Check specifically for reviews from people who moved long distances as the company likely does local moves as well. Lookup any open complaints on the Better Business Bureau as well.

People are more inclined to leave an online review with a bad experience, rather than a good one. This is why online reviews only tell a partial story on reputation. Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Ask what company they’d recommend or have used in the past with good results.

A good question to ask the moving company (or by doing a little digging online) is how long they’ve been in business. While a newer company isn’t necessarily a red flag, a company that’s been in business for a long time simply has more experience under its belt and can offer more peace of mind when making a long-distance move.

3. Estimate vs. Guaranteed Price

Many differences exist between quotes for long-distance and local moves. While local moves are generally based on an hourly rate, interstate, and international moves are usually based on the items being moved and the distance between locations.

Reputable companies will want to send someone to you to take a look at the items you’re taking unless it’s a very small move. They’ll also be able to take into account any logistical aspects of the move that might affect the price. This is by far the most accurate way to get a quote and get any questions you have answered.

Be wary of companies that want to just give you a quote over the phone. This can often result in a lower advertised price and a higher price on move day. Make sure that the price you’re given (whether through an in-home evaluation or over the phone) is guaranteed and in writing. There’s nothing worse than planning an entire move and ending up paying a higher price than you were originally given at the last minute when there are no other options.

4. Watch Out for Red Flags

We’ve already gone over a couple of red flags in this article including checking licenses, negative (or a lack of reviews), and pricing a larger long-distance move over the phone rather than in person. Another big red flag when it comes to long-distance moves is companies that require a substantial down payment to schedule the move. While different companies charge clients differently (some before the move, some upon delivery) taking a large deposit weeks before the move itself should almost always be regarded as a red flag.

Make sure when receiving a quote, you get it in writing. Additionally, a good quote should include an itemized list of all charges.

Contact FlatRate Moving today to request a quote for your upcoming long-distance move or take a look at our other blog articles for more links. Thanks for reading!