What Is a Long Distance Move?
Most movers define a long distance move to be a move that is over 100 miles from your old home to your new place. This might mean crossing a state line or country border - or what is referred to as an interstate move - or moving within the same state, or what the industry calls an intrastate move. Either way, long distance movers will judge your move by distance, not type.
So, the first step is to know how far you're moving. Calculate it and have the exact number of miles before you contact movers.
Long Distance Movers' Fee Estimates
Most movers who determine that you're moving a long distance will charge your move based on weight rather than volume or time required to move you out and into your new home. If your move is based on weight, then you'll need to ensure you get rid of everything you don't need or want to move before the mover comes to assess the contents of your home.
Some movers may charge you based on the time required to conduct your move then add on an extra moving fee to cover mileage and fuel charges. While this is less common, you may find movers who suggest this type of estimate. Ask the mover to estimate the number of hours required and what the extra charges will be and make sure you get the estimate in writing before you hire. You don't want to be charged more than what you were expecting.
Go with a long distance mover that charges by weight, not time and distance.
How to Find a Good Long Distance Mover
First, you need to determine what type of move you're making, whether it's an intrastate or interstate move. Each type of move is regulated differently. Know the regulations your type of move requires and make this the first criterion for hiring. Interstate moves (that take you across a state or country border), are regulated by the regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) and therefore must follow specific rules. The FMCSA has a list of movers that you can contact and will also report any rogue movers or movers that aren't in compliance. So if you're hiring this type of long distance mover, start your search on the FMCSA website.
If you're moving within a state, check out your state's requirements and make sure the movers you consider hiring have adhered to the requirements. Knowing what's required in your state will help you find more reputable movers and will also help you research companies and know which ones are best to hire.
Third Party Movers
Some long distance movers will use a third party mover to conduct part of the move as a representative of the larger moving company. This means that the truck that picks up your stuff might not be the same truck that delivers it. Ask the company before you hire. You should be told of any third party movers involved in your move so you can research the third party company in addition to the larger mover. Often the smaller mover is a local company that the moving company contracts with to deliver within a certain territory.