Movers New York to San Francisco

Moving Companies NY to SF

Moving cross country from New York to San Francisco is an exciting prospect. The two cities have some commonalities but also many differences. Both are expensive, busy, and invigorating destinations for both residents and tourists. Whether you are returning to familiar ground after time away or striking out for new territory, you will surely find much to love about the Bay Area. With any significant life transition, the process of relocation can be challenging, but careful planning helps.

How do I find a mover from New York to San Francisco?

You probably have many questions about moving state to state, especially if you aren’t someone who moves often. Whether you are moving from a house or apartment, looking for full service, or a more affordable option, it is essential to find the NYC movers and packers that are right for your circumstances. A careful choice will give you the confidence to watch strangers load your treasured possessions into a truck and drive away. A local move isn’t quite as nerve-wracking since you can maintain a measure of control over the process. With an interstate relocation, it is crucial that you carefully select a vendor.

A good starting point is to ask family and friends for recommendations. A referral from someone who had an excellent experience gives you a good idea that the company is reliable. But don’t stop there. Companies change, and personnel may come and go. Once you get some suggestions, check the companies’ history on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, or FMCSA. FMCSA is part of the Department of Transportation, and it maintains information about motor carriers’ safety records and complaints filed by consumers. Since all interstate moving companies are legally required to register with FMCSA, if you don’t find the one you are looking for on their site, that is an indication that you should look elsewhere for your moving company partner.

How much will it cost to move from New York to San Francisco?

The average cost of an interstate move is $4,100. But average price doesn’t mean that is how much your move will cost—it could be much higher or lower, depending on the specifics of your move. Small moves cost less than big ones, but the type of services you need can add significantly to the basic cost of transporting your items. That’s one of the reasons why experts and consumer advocates suggest that you obtain at least three quotes from moving companies before you settle on one.

DOT regulations require the moving company to perform a physical survey of the household goods identified for shipment before providing an estimate. That means that they need to send someone to your residence to walk through and look at everything designated for moving. From that process, the mover will create an inventory, which is a list of what they agree to move, and they use that inventory to establish the price. Long-distance move rates are based on the shipment’s weight, so that inventory needs to be accurate. If the moving company balks at sending someone to do the walkthrough, don’t do business with them. It’s required, and also, it’s the best way to get an accurate assessment. Some shady operators will tell you that they can achieve the same results using your verbal or online description of the shipment, but you are better off with a vendor willing to put in the time to do the job correctly.

You will get an estimate that is nonbinding, binding, or binding not-to-exceed. A nonbinding estimate means that the final cost can increase or decrease if the shipment’s actual weight is higher or lower than what the mover forecast during the walkthrough. You will need to trust that they did a good job, which is why having several quotes to compare is important. If you have one that is much lower than the others, it might be a scam—the company could be attracting your business using a lowball estimate and then charging you a much higher price when you take delivery. A binding estimate is a firm price that will not change unless you request or require additional services or add items to the shipment that are not included in the inventory (remember to review it carefully for oversights). Finally, a binding not-to-exceed can’t go higher if the weight is higher but may be lower if the final weight is less than anticipated.

How can I spot a shady company?

Two of the tips we mentioned earlier are essential: first, use a mover registered with FMCSA (they will display a DOT number in their advertising, and you will be able to find them on the FMCSA website). Second, only work with vendors who comply with the requirement for an in-person visual inspection of your household goods. Also, keep your eyes open for these red flags:

  • A mover that demands a large deposit upfront or insists on payment in cash may not be honest. Once you pay the mover, you have surrendered your leverage. Most moving companies agree to receive compensation when they make the delivery and accept credit cards. Paying with a credit card allows you to dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Federal rules require the mover to supply you with a copy of a publication titled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. If the mover does not provide this to you, be suspicious; the company may not want you to know your rights.
  • The moving company doesn’t have a local address, or the local office is just a PO box.
  • When you call the company, the phone is not answered using the name of the company you are doing business with, but is responded to with a generic greeting like “moving company.” This action may be a signal that the company is not legitimate.
  • If the truck that arrives on the day of the move is not identifiable as a company vehicle—it may be a rental or an old, poorly maintained truck – be wary.

While most of the thousands of moving companies in the U.S. are honest, there are enough of the rogue operators that you must be cautious. Aside from checking the FMCSA site, ask the potential vendor for references. A legitimate company will gladly share information for recent customers so you can ask about their experience. Also, always check with the Better Business Bureau, which collects consumer reviews of all types of businesses.

What if something goes wrong with my move anyway?

When you accept your household goods shipment delivery, examine the receipt the mover gives you to sign. Ensure that it doesn’t include verbiage stating that the shipment is complete and undamaged. You don’t want to attest to that until you have had an opportunity to look at your possessions and determine whether it is complete and intact. If that language is on the delivery document, strike it out, initial where you have made the alteration, and make sure you keep a copy of the signed document. As soon as you can go through the moving boxes to determine the shipment condition, it is a good idea to do so. You do have up to nine months to file a claim. Try to resolve the issue with your moving company before seeking relief from FMCSA. Most claims are amicably resolved.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

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