How much does it cost to move across country?

There’s no easy answer

When someone calls our U-Pack® moving consultants, one of their first questions is usually about price. Without more information, it’s basically impossible to give a ballpark because every move is different. Costs depend on several things, like the distance, the size of the move, the date and the services you need. The good news is that once we know the answers to those questions, we can help you get a moving quote over the phone or online. But if you’re just looking to estimate costs right now for a move in the future, you can still get a good idea of what to expect by looking at average costs and real-life cross country moving examples.

What’s the average cost of moving cross country?

While you’ll see detailed sample move prices below, here’s a look at how much typical moving costs can vary:

The average cost of a move across the country can be between $1,500 to $6,000, depending on the type of moving company and the services they provide. A coast-to-coast move can be even more expensive, from $2,000 to $8,000.

Man looking at paperwork from moving crew to determine the cross country moving costs.


Figuring out what expenses you’ll have during a cross country move

There are three main cost components when moving across the country:

Moving your belongings. Costs for this piece of your move can swing widely. DIY services, like truck rental and portable storage, are normally on the cheaper end of the spectrum, while full-service movers (who do everything for you) are usually most expensive.

Find out why rates change with different companies (and other price questions).

  • Moving your vehicles. Most people drive their cars across the country, so fuel is the only expense. But sometimes you may need to tow or ship a vehicle if you have more cars than drivers. With towing, you’ll be paying for the equipment, liability coverage and extra fuel (because towing decreases fuel efficiency). And if you need vehicle transport, prices vary based on the service, type of vehicle, distance and delivery.

Traveling with your family. Moving across the country will mean spending a few nights on the road. While travel costs can vary based on the location and time of year, these averages can help you plan:

  • Hotels: As of May 2021, the average nightly hotel rate was $115.57.
  • Meals: Depending on your meal choices, you can expect to spend $5-30 per person, per meal.
  • Fuel: The current average fuel cost is $3.04 per gallon. To estimate your costs, take the total trip distance and divide it by your average miles per gallon, then multiply that by the current fuel cost.

Compare cross country moving costs

Let’s take all of these factors and look at real example moves. For this comparison, we used a family of three going from Dallas, TX to Pensacola, FL with two mid-sized sedans. We’ll show you the total moving costs for three different options: Penske® truck rental, U-Pack self-moving, and Bekins Van Lines®. This move covers 650 miles (10 hours of drive time), so we factored in two days of traveling and one night in a hotel.

Note: Estimates are based on prices in late Spring 2021. Prices vary based on several factors and could change at any time. Equipment options and additional services are based on each company’s recommendations, and travel and fuel costs come from national averages.

Want to check quotes for a smaller move? Compare rates for a one-bedroom apartment.


The Penske rates were:

  • 22’ truck: $2,182
  • Tow dolly: $78
  • Limited damage waiver: $205
  • Towing insurance: $37.50
  • Environmental fee: $9
  • Taxes (8.25% in Dallas): $207.20
  • Rental truck fuel: $200

Total: $2,918.70

And once you add in hotel ($115.57), meals for two days ($10 per person, per meal for $180 total), and fuel for one car ($100), the grand total was $3,314.27.


U-Pack is a moving service where you pack and load, and we handle the driving. Quotes include the equipment, liability coverage, transportation and fuel. For this example, U-Pack estimated the family would use 13 linear feet in a moving trailer at $1,956 total.

Travel expenses include the hotel ($115.57), meals ($180), and since they will drive both vehicles, fuel in two cars ($200), making the total cost $2,451.57. So, for less than a rental truck, this family could move across the country without having to drive a big truck or leave their belongings parked outside a hotel overnight.


To show the full range of options, Bekins is a full-service mover that charges based on the weight of the shipment. For loading, transport and unloading, they estimate anywhere from $3,624.89 to $4,695.03.

With travel added in (same expenses as the U-Pack example), the total cost was between $4,120.46 and $5,190.60.

Interested in finding the cheapest rates for your move? Find out how to choose the most affordable cross country moving options.

Find out what to expect with your move

The biggest piece of the price puzzle is the moving company. You can easily do your own comparisons by getting quotes online or over the phone from U-Pack. A moving consultant can help you choose the right options to meet your needs and budget. Call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 or easily get a quote online in a few clicks.

Need help figuring out the best options for you? Learn more about our cross-country moving services.

Once you have the moving quote, you can determine your travel and fuel expenses to calculate the total cost of the move across the country.

If you need any help getting a quote or determining your expenses, leave us a comment, and we’ll be happy to help.


Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. Bekins® Van Lines is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.