What is the Best Full Service Movers?
Best full service movers are the ideal choice for people who cannot afford the time to pack and ship their belongings on their own. It’s also sought out by those who’ve been relocated suddenly, due to a job change, and by those who don’t want to do the relocating work themselves.
Moving Between States
To legally transport your belongings between states, movers must get licensed by the DOT and FMCSA. The most commonly used companies for such cases are national van lines, and for the home’s vehicles, auto transport companies.
National van lines may carry several customer’s belongings in one truck. Also, most of them prepare warehouses across the U.S., in case you’d like to store your items for an extra cost.
The primary advantage of hiring national van lines is their experience, some of them being in this business for more than 60 years. Their main competitors are each other and smaller companies that the DOT and FMCSA have licensed for interstate moves. These often offer lower prices, but the risk of hiring them is higher due to their potential lack of experience.
Moving Within the Same State
Each state may regulate the best full service movers inside it differently. While in some, every mover must get licensed, other states aren’t as strict. Find out the requirements for a moving company in your home state, and check if the one you’re about to hire is working legally.
To obtain a list of law abiding movers, speak to the moving association in your state. To find the association or governing body, visit the FMCSA website. These kinds of moves are usually done by independent companies. They are not linked to a van line, and although smaller, they may also be in business for a long time. Many are operated and owned by a family and offer excellent services.
A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.
Even the best full service movers must carefully plan out their work. On your end, since you’ll be working with just one or 2 companies (if you also want to transport your vehicle), you’ll have little work to do in terms of coordinating schedules or packing the items yourself. We’ve prepared the following list to help you:
- Choose a moving day: On the moving day, you’ll have to be at home to receive the company’s representatives, so pick carefully. Inform them, and make sure your schedules meet and they are not busy. It’s recommended you reserve your move 4-6 weeks ahead of time. This will lower the chances of the best full service movers being booked on the day you want, and it will give you sufficient time to dispose of unnecessary items and to plan your relocation.
- Prepare in advance: Unfortunately, there are plenty of scams and frauds in the moving business, so it’s best you do some research. You can easily uncover the company’s reputation and experience with a Google Search. Read their customer reviews. See if they won any awards for their skills and service. Check if they work by the law. They may have shared their FMSCA information pamphlets to the public. If not, request them personally. You can also go to the FMSCA and see if there are any complaints filed towards them. At https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move, you can find further information on protecting yourself from scams.
- Finding Estimates: The best full service movers will give out free estimates, while companies with insufficient clients may scramble for money / time, and therefore, request for the estimate to be paid as well. Contact multiple companies to visit your home and give you a quote as early as possible. Especially in the summer or spring, companies may be slow in returning your requests, since these seasons are most busy for movers. Note: Do not email the companies you are interested in, since the response may come slow or not at all. To schedule an assessment of your move, call them personally. After receiving the price of 3-4 companies, you can make an educated guess on what your best choice is.
- Choosing the best quote: This can get difficult, since the lowest estimate you find is not always the best choice. Other factors you may want to take into consideration are punctuality, professionalism, experience, etc. Also, check if the quote is non-binding or binding. Non-binding quotes can be changed on the day of the move, so the company’s actual price may be much higher.
- Lower the costs: If your belongings weigh less or if you pack them yourself, the best full service movers may lower their prices. So, it’s a good idea to go through each room and search for items you can do without. Sell these items, donate them, or get rid of them. You can give them to a friend or to a family member, sell them on eBay or hold a garage sale. After you’ve removed the excess and you have a complete list of what you’re going to move, see if you can pack some of it yourself. Leave the delicate and heavy items to the professionals, but to cut down on costs, you can pack pillows, toys, curtains, and other light items yourself.
- Free in-home estimates are the best options. Some movers may ask you to tell them of what and how many things you plan to move, or to fill an online form, instead of visiting your home themselves. These estimates, given according to your estimates, are a red flag. Since quotes are created according to your belongings’ weight, only the best full service movers can make an accurate judgment. Otherwise, the initial quote may end up short of the real sum. The estimate is non-binding and will most likely change when the company does show up for the move. Some companies use a video call to assess your inventory, or use careful algorithms, depending on the inventory you give them. This type of quote assessment may be a good option, but make sure the estimate is binding.
- Avoid companies who only take cash payments: If the mover doesn’t accept money orders, credit cards, cashier’s checks or any other form of payment other than cash, then you may be faced with a scam. In some cases, your belongings may be held “hostage” until you pay an enormous sum to retrieve them.
- Deposits should not be requested. In some states, it’s actually illegal for a moving company to request a deposit. Until they’ve packed, moved and delivered your belongings, you have no reason or obligation to pay them.
- Get your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Such policies may permit you to buy another policy, a rider. This can be easier and cheaper than buying more protection from the company.
- The mover should let you know of their protection plans. The best full service movers will inform you that the smallest valuation, which is normally included in your move’s original estimate, is small. It normally doesn’t cover the entire value of your belongings in case of loss or damage. Movers are required by law to inform you of the cost and possibility of purchasing more coverage.
- Verify your town’s parking laws. Depending on the amount of belongings you need moved, the company may arrive with a rather big trailer. This will have to be parked during the packing, pickup and retrieval of your items. Check your area’s regulations as soon as possible, and let the movers know, so they may act according to the law. If they are fined or kicked out by the police, they may hold you accountable.
- Ask the company for their insurance and license numbers. Make sure the credentials issued by the state are current and legitimate.
- Pack the TV yourself. People often complain about their damaged or scratched TV screens after the movers have picked them up. Some of the best full service movers may ask you to do it, so they won’t be held responsible for a potential accident.
You will be announced of this early, so just prepare accordingly. So you’ll find it easier to put the pieces together again in your new home, we recommend you photograph the connections and the wall mount.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.