San Francisco, Los Angeles & San Diego Professional Moving Company | License MTR 191707

How to Choose a Moving Company in 10 Steps

Choosing a good moving company can be hard and stressful; there is a lot to consider, especially when having no experience. However, doing some research can help you find quality moving services and have a smooth, stress-free, and professional move with no extra charges.

Here are 10 simple tips on how to choose a mover.

Figure out what type of movers you need

Figure out what type of moving company do you need and what additional services or equipment is required. Specify if you move locally or across the country, if you need storage or packing services, trash removal, or extra truck rental. By these criteria, you can narrow your list and start researching.

Get referrals on movers

Search the Internet, make a list of at least 10 moving companies to choose from, and get referrals. If you don’t know how to find a moving company, ask your coworkers, friends, or family members if they can recommend dependable movers. If you have a real estate agent, ask your agent for referrals. Don’t settle for the first estimate, find at least 3 referrals. If you can’t find recommendations, use the American Moving and Storage Association to make a list of reliable movers.

Get referrals to choose a good moving company

Watch out for red flags

Never pay large deposits and avoid cash payments upfront. Any reputable moving company accepts card payments and never demands deposits before moving. Note if the movers seem professional during the estimate, if they show up in time, answer your questions, and have their own moving truck and other needed equipment.

Verify Moving Companies’ License and Insurance

Every household moving company in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS). The license should be either MTR, or HHG, or CAL-T. You can verify any California moving company’s license at Also, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a U.S. DOT number to licensed quality moving services that you need to request in case you have to file a complaint.

Moving companies have two levels of liability for the value of your belongings they transport. The basic is full replacement value protection; with this plan when the item is lost or damaged, the mover has two options:

Alterative level of liability is a no-cost option that provides minimal protection for no more than 60 cents per pound. This option is the most economical and requires no extra charge, but you have to sign a specific document.

Go over the insurance policy and pick the suitable option for you. Consider extra protection if you move valuable or fragile items.

Check license to find reliable movers

Check the Reviews Online, research the Better Business Bureau

Choose a few moving companies with overall ratings from 4 to 5. Be suspicious about movers having 100% rating reviews; and of course, avoid companies with only bad reviews. Check reviews on Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook.

Request Moving Quotes in Writing

In the digital era email will work. Make sure to have quotes emailed to you with all possible charges for any packing supplies and additional equipment required.

Having quotes provided in writing will help you to compare moving companies and feel safe that you will avoid any hidden fees from cheap movers.

Choose the suitable option of contract:

Find dependable movers with all the equipment

Ask About the Moving Equipment

Different moving companies provide different equipment so one of the tips on how to hire movers is figuring out all about their supplies and materials. Including boxes, moving containers, tape, moving pads, or other special materials for your belongings. In case of last-minute changes, find out if extra truck rental is available.

Provide All Moving Details

After choosing reliable movers, provide all the needed details. They include but not limited to:

The more details you provide to moving companies, the more quality moving services and accurate estimates you’ll get. In addition, the more details the movers know the better your move will be arranged; first of all, we mean the adequate manpower and the size of a moving truck.

Report any problems

You have nine months after the move to report any problems and file an insurance claim. Therefore, it’s better to open the boxes during the first days after the move and check for damages. Before signing the bill of lading, note all the problems on the mover’s copy.

Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, a good moving company must deny your claim or make an offer to pay.

Look for the best moving company for you

Look for the Best Movers for You

Don’t try to save a couple of hundred dollars on your move because damages may cost you more. Follow all the steps to find quality relocation services and if everything else is equal then choose a moving company with the lowest rates. Otherwise, lean towards the ones who you trust more rather than the cheapest option.

To sum up, here is a comparison of reliable movers and suspicious movers.

Reliable moversSuspicious movers
Have good referrals Don’t have any referrals
Accept card payments, don’t demand large deposits upfront Accept only cash payments, demand large deposits
Licensed by the BHGS and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Don’t have a license or insurance
Offer two levels of liability: full replacement value protection and minimal protection Provide unprofessional, inaccurate estimates, show up late
Have good reviews and ratings on the Better Business Bureau, YELP, Google Reviews Have only bad reviews and low ratings on the Better Business Bureau, YELP, Google Reviews.
Provide all the necessary equipment, materials, moving containers and truck rental Don’t have all the necessary equipment and supplies
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