If you didn’t realize how expensive moving can be, you’re not alone. We’ve all gone to look at some long-distance mover, full of hope and optimism, and then been shocked to see that sky-high price estimate on our quote.
But you don’t have to ransack your kid’s college fund to pay for your move. We’ve looked at a bunch of different moving companies and picked some of the ones that offer the best prices for what you get—whether you want someone to pack your whole house or you just need to rent a truck.
Keep in mind
Purple Heart Moving Group: Affordable full-service mover
Purple Heart offers no-frills moves at a bit of a discount from what you’ll see elsewhere. (Or a bigger discount if you’re a veteran.)
Purple Heart might not be the fanciest moving group in town, but sometimes you want a cheaper bill more than you want frills. Purple Heart tends to cost a bit less than other full-service movers, and if you’re a veteran, then you can get pretty good discounts (hence the Purple Heart name).
- Discounts for military veterans
- Relatively affordable pricing
- 30 days’ worth of free storage (sometimes)
- Extra fees you might encounter
- No in-home estimates
What you get with Purple Heart Moving Group
Like other full-service movers, Purple Heart gives you a lot of options for how much of the move to do yourself. Don’t want to pack those boxes? Let the movers do it. Don’t want to reassemble your Ikea nightstand at your new house? The movers can do that too.
Purple Heart Moving Group moving services
|Local and long-distance moves||Interstate only|
|Packing and unpacking||Yes|
|Partial or fragile-only packing||Yes|
|Included storage||30 days|
|Included insurance||Basic liability coverage|
|Free Quote||Learn more|
If you want to keep your move as cheap as possible, then we recommend nixing all the extra stuff, like packing and furniture reassembly, and just letting Purple Heart load and drive the truck.
The fewer add-ons you choose, the less you’ll pay.
Purple Heart Moving Group moving experience
Purple Heart is a broker, which means it arranges the details of your move and pairs you up with a local crew in your area. So don’t be surprised when the truck pulls up to your house on moving day and says something other than “Purple Heart” on the side.
Getting a quote
Most full-service moving companies won’t give you a quote online—you have to get on the phone and walk the reps through your move details before they can give you an estimate.
Unfortunately for phone-haters like us, Purple Heart is no different. You can fill out an online quote form on its site, but it will still just send you to a page that says a customer service rep will contact you shortly.
On the bright side, the rep really will contact you shortly. If you don’t want to wait even that long, then you can also skip the online form and call Purple Heart directly.
Take note: no in-home estimates
U-Pack: Affordable moving container company
Full-service movers a bit much for you? Check out a moving container company like U-Pack.
- Instant online quote
- Pay-for-what-you-use policy
- Only pay for storage if you actually need it
- Does only long-distance moves
- Relatively short load/unload timeframe
What you get with U-Pack
U-Pack has only one actual moving container (called a ReloCube). If you need something bigger, U-Pack will send you an entire trailer that can fit at least four rooms, but you pay only for the trailer space you actually use.
That pay-for-what-you-use policy also applies to the ReloCubes. If you order three ReloCubes, but you use only two, then you pay only for the two you used. Easy peasy.
U-Pack moving container details
|Dimensions||6 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. x 8 ft. 4 in.||28 ft. x 8 ft. x 9 ft.|
|Weight limit||2,500 lbs.||22,500 lbs.|
|# of rooms it holds||1||4+|
|See details||Learn more||Learn more|
We will say, the ReloCubes are pretty small, so if your house has more than three rooms, you’ll probably end up going with the trailer.
U-Pack moving experience
Moving containers are the middle ground between full-service movers and renting a truck yourself. U-Pack will drop off your trailer or ReloCube, but then it’s up to you to load your stuff before U-Pack picks it up to take it to your new place.
U-Pack gives you a relatively short loading-and-unloading time frame. Most moving container companies give you up to 30 days, but U-Pack gives you just three days for loading and three more for unloading. We think three days is enough time for most people, but if you need longer, you might want to look elsewhere.
Getting a quote
U-Pack makes it super easy to get a quote. You just enter your move details into its online quote generator and it gives you a quote instantly. You don’t even have to give them your name or phone number. Unless you like the quote, in which case you can enter your email address to save it.
Budget Truck Rental: Affordable truck rental company
Budget Truck Rental stays true to its name—it offers relatively inexpensive truck rentals and always has discounts available.
Ahh, the classic way to move—rent a truck and bribe some of your friends with pizza to help you load it up and then unpack it at your new place.
As truck rentals go, Budget’s one of the cheapest options. (No surprises there, considering its name.) It’s usually less expensive than its main competition, U-Haul, and it always has some kind of discount available.
- Always offers some kind of discount
- Affordable prices
- Easy online quotes and reservations
- Limited truck sizes
What you get with Budget Truck Rental
Most truck rental companies have a bunch of different sizes on offer. Meanwhile, Budget has only three. But if one of those three options is the right size for your move, then great, because it’s probably cheaper than what you’d get somewhere else.
Budget Truck Rental details
|Type of truck||12-foot truck (small)||16-foot truck (medium)||26-foot truck (large)|
|Dimensions||10 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft.||16 ft. x 6 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft. 7 in.||26 ft. x 8 ft. 1 in. x 8 ft. 1 in.|
|Weight limit||3,100 lbs.||3,400 lbs.||12,000 lbs.|
|# of rooms it holds||1–2 rooms||3–4 rooms||5–8 rooms|
|Auto towing option||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|See details||Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|
You can rent a Budget truck basically anywhere in the country. Budget has rental centers all over the place, and it’s super easy to see which locations are near you when you schedule your reservation online. (You can also call and the reps will tell you what your closest location is, if you prefer.)
Budget Truck Rental moving experience
Like with all moving trucks, Budget has an ultra-DIY experience. You pick up the truck, you load it up, you drive it to your destination, and you return it to a rental center.
Budget does offer some add-ons, like furniture pads and hand trucks. It can also direct you to a third-party site to find movers who can load and unload your stuff for you. But if you’re aiming for affordable, then DIY is your best bet.
Getting a quote
Budget lets you get a quote online, either through live chat or over the phone. We thought the online option was super straightforward. You just enter your move info, and it spits out a price—no personal information required.
You can also make your actual reservation online and then just go pick up your truck when moving day rolls around.
uShip: Affordable car shipping
If you can’t move your car yourself, then uShip lets you compare offers from different shippers so you can find the best price.
By far the cheapest way to move a car is to drive it yourself. Or, if you’re renting a moving truck, get a tow dolly and pull your car along behind the truck.
But if you can’t do either of those things, then you’ll need a car shipper. And uShip lets you compare lots of different car shippers so you can find the lowest price around.
- Lets you compare multiple companies
- Lets you name your price and let companies bid on it
- Good customer service
- Adds a brokerage fee
What you get with uShip
uShip isn’t a mover itself; it’s just an online marketplace. And it doesn’t move only cars—uShip can help you move just about anything. Antique armoire, pile of bricks, actual cow—it’s up to you.
uShip marketplace moving services
|Heavy equipment transportation||Yes|
|Insurance coverage||Third-party insurance|
|Free Quote||Learn more|
uShip moving experience
When you go to uShip’s website, you basically just tell it what you want to move and it’ll give you a list of companies and prices that can move your item.
In this case, you just tell uShip you need to move a car and enter a few more details, and it will list a bunch of different companies who can move your car for you, along with price estimates.
You can also name your own price and have the companies who work with uShip bid to complete your move. So if you want to try naming a lower price than what you see listed, you can. Then just wait and see if a shipper will go for it. Not a bad deal.
PODS: Affordable for moving and storage
If you need to move and store your stuff, then PODS might be your best bet.
Just like U-Pack, PODS is a moving container company that lets you pack up all your stuff in a convenient container and have it shipped wherever you want to go.
PODS isn’t always the cheapest moving container company out there, but what it does do is include storage in its up-front price, which is great if you know you’re gonna have to store your stuff for a while.
- Multiple moving container sizes
- Includes 30 days’ worth of storage
- Long loading/unloading time frame (30 days)
- Can’t get a quote online
What you get with PODS
If you’ve heard of moving container companies at all, you’ve probably heard of PODS.
It’s the most well-known moving container option out there, and you can book a POD almost anywhere in the country—it’s available in 44 states plus D.C. (Not to mention Canada, Australia, and the UK.)
PODS moving container details
|7-foot||12-foot (local moves only)||16-foot|
|Dimensions||7 x 7 x 8 ft.||12 x 8 x 8 ft.||16 x 8 x 8 ft.|
|Weight limit||5,200 lbs.||4,700 lbs.||4,200 lbs.|
|# of rooms it holds||1||2–3||3–4|
|See details||Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|
PODS mover experience
The best thing about PODS (and the reason we put it on this list) is because it gives you a long time to load and unload your containers (30 days, to be exact), and it includes 30 days’ worth of storage in its initial price.
You’ll definitely pay less for PODS than you would for a full-service mover, and if you need that 30 days’ worth of storage, then it might even be cheaper than U-Pack.
Recap: The most affordable mover for you depends on what you need
You don’t always have to pay an arm and a leg for moving if you pick the right affordable company.
In the words of some famous poet, moving doesn’t come cheap. Okay, no poet ever said that, but it is true—unless you go with an affordable company that has the basic features you need and doesn’t tack on a lot of other bells and whistles.
Affordable full-service mover—Purple Heart Moving Group: Purple Heart skips the extras to give you decently priced full-service movers, plus good discounts for military veterans. Just watch out for surprise fees.
Affordable moving container company—U-Pack: U-Pack lets you pay only for the space you actually use, and it doesn’t include storage, so you don’t have to pay for something you don’t need.
Affordable moving truck rental—Budget Truck Rental: Budget is reliably affordable, and it always has some sort of discount available. Just keep in mind Budget offers only three truck sizes.
Affordable car shipper—uShip: uShip shows you price estimates from multiple car shipping companies (or any other type of mover), so you can find the lowest price on the list and claim it.
Affordable for moving and storage—PODS: If you know you’re going to need to store your stuff before or after you move, PODS might be your best option. It includes 30 days’ worth of storage in its up-front price, so you don’t have to pay extra.
Have you paid too much for moves in the past? What are your strategies for finding the most affordable mover? Let us know in the comments!