How to Choose a Moving Company

How to Choose a Moving Company

It can be stressful trying to hire a reliable and reputable moving company. Most of the over 7,700 complaints received by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the U.S in 2012 related to moving companies originated from issues concerning damaged or lost property, charging more than the estimate, billing for hours not worked, and not being on time. Psychologists have shown in their research that moving houses is one of the most stressful activities for humans. This is true even if a move goes smoothly. The best thing to do is to be as proactive as possible when hiring a moving company. Below are some guidelines to assist your hiring decision.

How to Choose a Moving Company


The first port of call is to ask for referrals from friends and family or colleagues that have recently used a moving company. This is not the time for a friend of a friend of a friend type of referral. If that comes up short, then it’s time for the internet.

There are two options for finding moving companies online.

  1. Visit This will give you some type of public recourse should the move go wrong. Such a site will be able to help with a number of quotes from different vendors. Those vendors will also be rated on the site.
  2. Start searching for a local moving company and see what comes up. Choose a company carrying the American Moving and Storage Association’s ProMover logo.

Three Estimates

It is important to get three moving quotes or estimates before making a final decision. A moving company should be willing to come over to look at your stuff and give an in-person estimate in order to quote you correctly.

It is best to avoid moving companies who are happy to quote over the phone. Three on-site inspections will give you three quotes that should correspond, and give you professional insight.

Red Flags

A red flag is an indication that something is off. This could be showing up late or missing an appointment with no proactive warning or apology. Get a feel for the degree of professionalism, experience, and competency during their visit. A failure to answer your questions immediately is a cause of concern from somebody in the moving business. There can only be so many moving questions, and the professionals should have heard them all by now.

Check out the moving company’s vehicle. If they arrive at your home in a rental, ask them where their vehicle is. Above all, be wary of those looking for cash deposits way ahead of moving day. Cash or check can be handed over on the day of the move when they arrive. The balance should then only be paid when you are satisfied.

Licensed and Insured

Moving companies are required to have certain licenses and insurances. Interstate moving companies need to have a U.S. DOT number from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This number is used on insurance claims.

Confirm your mover’s license at the FMCSA’s site and request the company’s U.S. DOT number. In-state movers’ licenses can be found by checking with your local or regional consumer affairs agency which is listed on the FMCSA’s contacts database.

Additional Information: How Do You Hire Reliable Movers?

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