How to Find the Right Moving Company for You

Movers putting boxes inside the truck

Changing residences can be a trying ordeal for some. One of the most significant headaches associated with relocating is locating a reliable moving company that can carry your belongings safely and affordably. While some movers offer comprehensive packages designed to make your relocation as simple as possible, others focus solely on the logistics of transporting your belongings from point A to point B. Doing some background research on the company and knowing what other services are offered by a professional moving company will help alleviate some of your concerns. We’re here to teach you how to find the right moving company.

Find out what kinds of permits and licenses are needed

First, compile a list of potential candidates; then, before hiring anyone, make sure the company you’re considering has all the essential permits and licenses to carry out your move. If you want to find the right moving company, you’ll need to make sure they are properly licensed. Whether they are moving across town or across the country, all professional movers must have the right permits and licenses to run their businesses legally.

The specific licenses and permissions needed by your movers can differ depending on your relocation, the state you now reside in, and the state you are moving to. In any case, here’s what you need to know:

  • If you plan on moving across state lines, the moving company you choose must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). After passing the FMCSA’s licensing requirements, businesses are given what is called a U.S. DOT number by the Department of Transportation.
  • If you are only relocating inside a single state, you may not require a US DOT number to operate as a mover. Yet, they might necessitate other approvals and permits. A U.S. Department of Transportation number is not required of professional movers in Illinois. However, they do need a license from the state’s commerce commission. In contrast, Iowa mandates both a US DOT number and a license from the state’s Department of Transportation.

Have them do a complete walk-through before you sign off

Moving companies that only do a quick inspection before loading your goods into the truck aren’t being careful with your stuff. Professional movers will check your inventory and ask you questions about your move.

They are curious about your future plans and the structure of your new house. Will you pack in a way that makes it easy for the movers to unpack in the right rooms? All the information they need is right here. The moving company needs to know what you plan to keep and what you don’t. Specify if you are discarding, donating, or abandoning the item.

Check the recommendations and reputation

You can probably get a good indication of a moving company’s quality just by reading customer reviews online. You can easily get reviews and ratings for local moving companies by conducting a simple online search. It’s important to check in the appropriate locations, however, as the names of some moving companies are identical to those of others. Always choose the team that goes the extra mile for you. You can tell a lot about the quality of a moving business by reading customer reviews, so be sure to give them your full attention. 

Keep an eye out for red flags

Maintain vigilance for warning signs during the estimating process. A monetary deposit is not typically required of customers by reputable moving companies. If the moving company demands payment in full before doing any work, it may not be legitimate. You should also keep in mind the movers’ level of professionalism during the estimate. If they’re consistently late, uncertain about their abilities, or evasive when you ask them questions, you should go elsewhere. Keep an eye out for movers that show up in a rented truck or van. A legitimate company will possess all of its own machinery.

Beware of hidden fees

Where will you be living in the future? Is floor 11 where you live? If that’s the case, it’s safe to assume that you’ll have to pay more if there are stairs or other obstacles in your way of entry. Is your street too narrow for the moving truck to make it to your house? If you want to relocate a compact automobile onto a full-size truck, you should be prepared to pay more.

Find out what kind of services and rates a moving company offers before you hire them. Please elaborate on your needs and those of your properties. A trustworthy moving company will be up-front about any additional fees that may be incurred.

Check out a few other estimates

If you’ve never used the services of a moving company before, you might not have a good idea of what to budget. You run the risk of being taken advantage of or underpaying for shoddy work.

The best way to get a feel for the range of prices offered by local movers is to get estimates from three to five different companies. In order to find the right moving company, make sure you’re comparing the estimates. When comparing movers, prices will vary based on things like whether or not they offer packing services.

You should also shop around for quotes from companies who are willing to send someone to your location to personally evaluate your goods and provide you with a tailored quote. A company that hasn’t seen what you want to be relocated can’t give you an accurate estimate.

Ask questions regarding the contract

Make sure that the contract you sign includes all of the following: the total cost of the move, the movers’ liability for your items; the scheduled collection and delivery dates; and the provisions for filing any necessary claims. It is recommended that you read the whole document from beginning to end. Please don’t worry about keeping the moving company waiting as you read, and make sure you understand everything in the contract. You have to ask questions in order to find the right moving company. Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent movers operating in the industry. If you have any questions or concerns about the contract, go with your gut. You don’t want your movers to hold your stuff hostage until you pay them more.