Moving From NYC to LA

Moving from NYC to LA can be a daunting prospect. You just landed your dream job, and now you face the details of how to get there, find a place, and get ready. Or, your start-up in Manhattan has taken off, and the founder chose you to build the new branch location in LA. Either way, you have a lot on your to-do list, and moving is just one of many chores to check off.

How do I choose a mover from NY to LA?

New York to Los Angeles is a long way, and a popular route, so you will have many options for a moving company. Because it is an interstate move, any company offering its services is subject to the rules of the US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations provide some legal protections and require movers and brokers to perform certain functions. First among those is to give each customer a copy of the rules, in a booklet titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” which lays out the governance around moves, including estimates, deliveries, weights, billing, and related items. It also has helpful hints and resources for consumers.

moving from NY to LA

The mover (or their broker) must also provide the consumer with an estimate (more on estimates below), an order for service, bill of lading, and an inventory list. You should never sign any blank documents, and make sure you understand everything you sign. It’s unfortunate, but there are some unscrupulous vendors out there. Since there are plenty of great ones, make sure you find one of the good guys. One thing to make sure of with an interstate mover is to verify their registration with the DOT. You can check for a mover or a broker by scanning the FMCSA database. In addition to confirming that the mover has the necessary license for interstate commerce, the database has extensive, up-to-date information on its safety record and consumer complaints.

Do I Need A Moving Broker Or A Mover For NYC to LA Move?

As is the case in many industries, sometimes it is easier for consumers to have a knowledgeable third party do the footwork for them. A broker does not own or operate trucks or conduct moves. Instead, the broker “sells” the move to the customer, providing an estimate and range of services, and then contracts the move out to a moving company. Regulations governing interstate moves require that the broker disclose their status to customers and register with the FMSCA. Also, a broker must:

  • Give you a list of companies they do business with (only FMSCA registered movers)
  • Maintain written agreements with movers they use
  • Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that they plan to contract with
  • Disclose their physical location and FMSCA registration number in advertisements
  • Require the mover transporting your goods to perform a physical survey of your household goods if located within a 50-mile radius of the mover or its agent’s location
  • Provide you with the Rights and Responsibilities document as well as the “Ready to Move” pamphlet

What Does Moving From NYC to LA cost?

According to the US Department of Transportation, based on reports from consumers, moving from NY to LA costs between $2500 and $7300 when taking help from a professional mover. That’s a pretty wide range, and factors impacting the price include:

  • home size
  • moving dates
  • supplemental services like packing and assembly

Your move charges will vary based on the weight of the goods you are moving to Los Angeles from New York and how much work will be needed to load and unload. If your origin or destination home has stairs or a long, steep driveway, those factors will add to the cost. Similarly, if in either location, the large moving truck is unable to park for an extended period in front of the residence, requiring a shuttle to be conducted using a smaller vehicle, that will add to the charge (time and labor).

Does the weight actually matter?

What does matter is finding a trustworthy moving company. If you have accidentally become entangled with a rogue operator, they will find a way to defraud you. But it would help if you understood how the weighing works, and how the estimates function. It’s always an advantage to speak the language.

Binding estimate.

With a binding estimate (which the carrier can charge you for), the mover or agent will do a physical walk-through and make a list of everything to move. This inventory, sometimes called a cube sheet or table of measurement, comprises the basis of the weight quote.  The movers understand the standard weight of various furniture items and boxes of books, boxes of dishware, etc.  Once you and the mover agree to a binding estimate, as long as you don’t make additions to the load, the price does not change. The cube list must be accurate, as this is the basis of agreement. If the inventory lists 300 items, the weight is irrelevant if the 300 pieces are delivered. The price does not increase unless there are changes such as a shuttle (in Manhattan, this is not uncommon, since large trucks may not be able to station outside of an apartment building) or steep stairs and long carries at the destination. A sub-category is a binding estimate not to exceed, which means that the price can go down if the weight is less than the forecast, but will not exceed the estimated cost, even if the weight is higher.

Non-binding estimate.

With this type of estimate, the weight does matter. The mover will weigh the truck before loading and again after the goods are loaded. You have the right to be present for the weighing, but unless you have reason to be suspicious, you will typically just review the DOT weight certificates that the carrier will provide with your bill. Your final cost depends on the weight of the goods transported (the difference between the weight of the truck empty and loaded). A non-binding estimate relies on the ability of the estimator to determine what your goods will weigh accurately, and on the company’s honesty. If a mover is unethical, this is a way to provide you with a lower estimate, with no risk or disadvantage to them since you will ultimately pay the full price of the service.

As a result of stories (undoubtedly some true, perhaps some not) about nefarious moving companies holding hostage the household goods of innocent customers over billing disputes, regulations are explicit about terms of releasing customer shipments. Specifically,  the customer is obligated to pay 100% of a binding estimate, or up to 110% of a non-binding estimate, plus any charges for impracticable operations (obstacles to delivery such as inability to park the truck or similar issues) that do not exceed 15% of the total costs. Any other charges over these amounts cannot be demanded at the time of delivery, or used to delay delivery, but can only be billed for payment in 30 days.

Do I Need Full Coverage Insurance When Moving From New York To Los Angeles?

Most likely, yes. If you are moving from NY to LA, it is probably worth more than 60 cents per pound, which is what the movers will pay you for damaged or lost items if you do not purchase the full coverage insurance. This option would mean that your brand-new flat screen, which weighs 20 pounds, will be reimbursed at a value of $12.00 even if it is worth $1000. Consider this carefully, since moving often results in losses. Even with the full replacement coverage, movers can limit their liability for items of extraordinary value, unless expressly noted in the shipping documents. Things that hold a value of more than $100 per pound (jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques, oriental rugs, and similar items) should be highlighted in advance so they will be covered.


What is the best moving company for long distances in NYC?

Three Men and a Truck is the best moving company for long-distance in NYC.

What is the cheapest way to move from state to state?

Moving in winter (when many most people avoid moving ) with as little stuff as possible is the cheapest way to move from state to state.

What is the best place to relocate from NYC?

Los Angeles is one of the best places to relocate from NYC. It is a financial hub just like NYC. But, it is a lot less crowded and has better weather than NYC.

What is the distance between New York and Los Angeles?

The distance between New York and Los Angeles is around 2800 miles.

How long does it take to ship from NY to LA?

If you pay for personalized shipping services, you can ship from NY to LA in less than 3 days. But, if you use courier services, it could take upto 8 days.

How do you move furniture from state to state?

You can use a moving truck to ship from state to state. You can either rent a truck or hire movers with a truck. You will probably have to pay extra for packing, loading and unloading if you rent a truck.

Are New Yorkers moving to LA?

Yes, many New Yorkers are moving to LA. People mostly move to LA for better weather.

Why are New Yorkers leaving NYC?

NYC has become really expensive and overcrowded. Now, there are many cities where you can find similar opportunities with fewer drawbacks than living in NYC.

How much money should I save before moving to LA?

You should save at least $5000 to move to LA. You will need a lot more if you want to live a comfortable life.

Is it better to live in NYC or LA?

There are plenty of opportunities in both LA to NYC. If you are in the financial sector, NYC is probably better for you. But, people in the tech sector find more opportunities in Los Angeles.

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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