How Much Does It Cost To Move Across Country

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George Arkin
George Arkin is an experienced writer focusing on online car auctions and the full car transportation process.
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Did you know over 5 million people move to a new state every year? That’s a lot of people in search of better work opportunities, better housing, and better weather.

Are you hoping to be one of those this year? Moving across the country is both exhilarating and stressful. Not only are you stepping into the unknown, but you are also spending a considerable amount of time and money during the moving process.

It takes quite a bit of effort and money to move all of your stuff thousands of miles away. The good news? There are ways to save a lot of money if you’re willing to get creative.

Wondering what expenses you can expect to incur while moving across the country? Want to know how much it costs for things like a moving truck or moving services? Keep reading to get an idea of what it’s going to cost you to begin your new life in a new state.

Reasons People Move Across the Country

Wondering why so many people are moving every year? Most of it is related to housing.

They are either young people leaving home or graduating college looking for their own home, or established adults looking for a better or more affordable home.

Many are also moving due to economics. People are fleeing states such as California and New York due to an extremely high cost of living. Others move because of a new job opportunity in a new state.

A large number of people also move for family-related reasons. Either they want to live near their family, or there are family-needs that they need to take care of, such as elderly parents. Regardless of why people move, it’s not easy, nor is it cheap.

Costs To Move Across the Country

There are many obvious costs related to moving. But there are also a lot of expenses most people don’t realize upfront. Here are some of the expenses you can expect to pay when moving.

SCOUTING OUT YOUR NEW CITY

Most people would prefer to visit the new city they are moving to before they show up with all of their stuff. If you are buying a home or renting an apartment, it helps to be able to see it with your own eyes before signing any paperwork.

If you’d like this luxury, it’s going to cost you. Airfare to your new city, hotels to stay in while you are looking for your new home, and eating out during your trip. It’s kind of like paying for a vacation without relaxing at all.

Still, many people opt to buy a home from a distance, trusting the photos online match the house they are paying for. Scoping out your new town is worth it if you can afford the extra expense.

MOVING YOUR BELONGINGS

The biggest cost of moving is getting your stuff from your current home to your new home. There are many ways to do this, but below are the most common options.

Full-Service Moving Company

On average, Americans move 11 times during their lifetime. That’s a lot of packing and unpacking.

For those who especially hate moving, it’s best to hire a full-service moving company, especially when you have a full home to pack up and move. If you have a lot of stuff and are moving over 1,000 miles away, you can expect to pay moving companies between $2,000 and $10,000.

They will load up the truck, drive to your new home, and unload it into your new home. While this is the most expensive way to move, it can be the least stressful, and the safest for your body.

Move Using a Storage Container

Another popular way to move is by using a storage container. Many companies offer containers for use when moving across the country.

When you rent a storage container, they will drop it off in your driveway. Then, you can take as long as you’d like to pack it with all of your belongings.

Once you’ve got it loaded up, the company will pick up the container and transport it to your new home. If you aren’t ready to have the container delivered right away, they can usually be stored at one of their facilities.

Depending on the size of the container needed, and the distance you are moving, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000. This usually includes 1 month of storage container use. If you’d like the container either stored in their facility or at your home longer, it’s about $200 per month.

Rent and Drive Your Own Moving Truck

Before portable storage containers became popular, many people used a moving truck rental. This is when you rent the truck size you need, load it up, and drive it yourself across the country.

It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to move. You can usually get across the country for less than $2,000. This should include your rental rate, gas cost, and additional insurance.

This method of moving takes a time investment on your end. It’s not ideal for people who don’t enjoy long road trips and driving extra-large vehicles. Since trucks are fuel-inefficient, especially when weighed down, you can expect to stop a lot for gas.

MOVING YOUR FAMILY

Once you’ve decided how you are going to get your belongings across the country, you need to decide how you and your family are getting across the country.

The fastest way would be to fly. You could be at your new home in just a matter of hours, rather than days. If you want the moving process to be as easy as possible, flying is the way to go.

Otherwise, you can drive across the country. While you might think you are saving money by driving, it costs more than you think.

The Cost of Driving Across the Country

There are a lot of costs associated with a cross-country road trip. For starters, you need to ensure your vehicle is in condition to handle the mileage you are about to put on it. This means an inspection and possibly some repairs, which are never cheap.

Once you are on the road, you will need to pay for fuel. If your car gets 25 mpg and fuel averages $3.10 during your drive, you can expect to pay between $250 and $300 on fuel for a 2,000-mile drive.

The length of time you take to drive to your new home will also determine the cost. You are likely going to stay in hotels or vacation rentals during your trip, which can range from $100 to $200 per night.

You will also be eating out a few times per day while on the road. If you have kids in the car, these expenses can get out of hand fast.

On top of that, time spent driving is time not spent working. If you have to take time away from work, you could be missing out on earning an income just to get your vehicle to your new home.

And don’t forget the wear-and-tear your car just experienced over the last few days. After a trip like that, you’ll definitely want to take it in to see if there are any new problems.

ADDITIONAL MOVING EXPENSES

Other moving expenses you might end up paying include packing services if you hate packing your own boxes. You may also need to pay for moving insurance separately. And you might need a storage unit in your new city if your home isn’t quite ready to move into when you arrive.

How to Save Money When Moving Across the Country

When you are moving across the country, depending on which method you choose, you can pay anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. Looking for a more accurate estimate? Check out our free moving cost calculator.

Either way, it’s not cheap, but there are things you can do to make it more affordable. Here’s our moving checklist to help you save money.

SHIPPING YOUR CAR

As mentioned above, driving across the country gets expensive quickly. Especially if you have more than one vehicle to transport.

One of the easiest ways to save money, time, and hassle, is to hire an auto transport company. At Nexus Auto Transport, we provide affordable car shipping across the nation.

When you ship your car with Nexus, you won’t have to pay for gas, hotels, restaurants, or car repairs. You can simply fly to your destination within a few short hours and begin your new journey. This takes much of the stress, worry, and cost out of moving to a new state.

If you’d really like to save, try planning your move in the Fall or Spring. Most people who use car shipping services do so in the summer for vacations or moving. Many also utilize our seasonal auto relocation during the holiday season as well.

SELL YOUR STUFF

The reason moving costs so much is that you have a lot of stuff. If you have a full, 5-bedroom house and you plan to move it all, it’s going to cost a lot. Families who are older and more established tend to have more belongings they’d prefer to keep.

But if you are willing to sell a lot of, or all of, your stuff, you can forego the moving expense altogether. This gives you the opportunity to start fresh when you move into your new home.

This sounds incredibly exciting to some people, and terrible to others. Either way, selling at least some of your stuff can help save quite a bit of money.

And if you only have a few items left over after selling what you didn’t need, you can have those items shipped to your home, which will be cheaper than paying for a moving service.

MOVE AT THE RIGHT TIME

Moving is a seasonal business. As a result, certain times of the year cost more than others.

To avoid children missing school and starting in the middle of the academic year, most families prefer to move during the summer. This is when moving rates are going to be their highest, so plan accordingly.

If you can time your move to be in the off-season, from October to April, you can save money. When you get quotes from your moving company, ask how the rates change depending on which month you plan to move.

You should also try moving mid-month if you can. The first and last weeks of the month also see the most people moving.

Plus, if you can plan far enough ahead, you may score some savings.

ASK ABOUT YOUR NEW COMPANIES RELOCATION POLICY

One of the biggest reasons people move out of state is for a new work opportunity. If the reason you are moving is because of a job you accepted, ask your new employer if they have a relocation policy.

Many larger companies like to hire top talent from across the nation. As a result, they may have a budget to help offset the cost of new employees moving to the area.

No relocation budget? If you are moving because of work and have to pay for it out of pocket, you may qualify for federal tax deductions. To qualify, you’ll need to start your new job and work full-time for 39 weeks during the first 12 months after your move.

HOST A GOING AWAY PARTY

There’s nothing better than free help. But the truth is, nobody likes getting asked to help others move.

You can try combining your moving day with a going-away party. If a lot of people help, it will go fast, allowing time for everyone to hang out afterward. Ensure there are lots of food and drinks available, and maybe even make some goodie bags or buy gift cards for those who help.

Seeing friends and family hours before you begin your journey is the perfect, though emotional, way to embark on your new adventure.

Making Your Move Easier

At Nexus Auto Transport, our goal is to make moving as easy as possible for you. It’s already a stressful, expensive experience no matter how you go about it. But when you forgo driving by shipping your car to your new home, you will enjoy greater savings and greater peace of mind.

Looking to get a car shipping quote, so you can start planning your move? You can use our free car shipping calculator today.

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