Local vs. Interstate Moving: What’s the Difference?


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Alt text: A man packing his possessions before a move

Local vs. Interstate Moving: What’s the Difference?

Like there is a difference in the process of moving for employment and moving for retirement, there are many differences between moving locally and interstate. Whether it was a local or interstate move, if you have moved before, you know how much effort, planning, energy, and time goes into it. What is important to remember though, is that no two moves are the same. When comparing local vs. interstate moving, you will find several critical differences. These differences have to be taken into consideration while you are preparing for moving day.

Defining the two terms

Local moves

All moves under 50 miles are most often considered local moves. If you hire movers, the same crew will, in most cases, be with you for the entire process when moving day comes around. This also includes the processes of loading and unloading.

Local moving services are generally offered by either:

  1. Strictly local movers, or
  2. Global van lines that service all moves from local all the way up to international.
Alt text: Someone using a map to write notes
Caption: When you compare local vs. interstate moving, you will see that local moves are much easier to plan.

You should primarily base the decision of which moving company you’d like to service your local move on their availability and their pricing options.

Interstate moves

Interstate moves should be looked at more as the transportation of goods within the United States. As the name suggests, this move primarily involves transporting your belongings from one state to another. In order to successfully deliver your shipment, the service will typically have the driver utilize a crew to help with the loading. Later, when the delivery has reached your destination, they will hire a different team for unloading.

Same-state moves over 50 miles

Relocating further than 50 miles from home but remaining in the same state is most commonly categorized as an intrastate move. You will likely have to pay the same rates as you would with local moves. Since some intrastate moves exceed three or four hundred miles, even if it isn’t that far, the categorization brings a higher cost.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some local movers might not have the necessary equipment to accommodate a long-distance move. So, you must never forget to ask whether the local moving company you chose can service your more extended move.

Pricing and expenses

Local move pricing

Local moves are almost always charged on an hourly basis. The rates, however, vary depending on the number of people in the crew you hired. The industry standard is hiring two movers with one truck. But, the more people there are on your team during the move, the faster everything will be finished. Another thing to remember is that the average rates differ in every state.

The good thing about local moves is that you will spend less overall money. The travel fee that local moves charge will also cover labor and fuel costs. They start counting the time when their truck leaves the warehouse. 

It can be tempting to go for the cheapest local movers you find in an online ad. However, please remember that a lower price usually takes the experience down. Someone could scam you or mishandle your things.

Interstate move pricing

Because interstate moving is considered long-distance moving, it is priced at the discretion of the moving company. Some will charge by the hour like local moving companies, but with an additional fee or much higher rates. Others could opt for charging in relation to distance and weight. Intrastate moves that are extremely long are charged by the weight of your shipment.

Alt text: Movers carrying a chair Caption: Hiring movers is helpful no matter if you are moving locally or not.

Even though the costs of hiring movers for interstate moving can be much higher, we urge you to refrain from trying to do it by yourself. Cutting enough money out of the budget to hire good movers is extremely important when it comes to interstate moving. Pros can ensure safety for you, your family, and your possessions.

Personal checklists

When people are moving locally, the chances are good that adjusting to the new area will not be a difficult task or take very long. But, when faced with long distances they will probably need more personal preparation and research. Studying and familiarizing yourself with the area you will be moving to shortly could be beneficial. 

For instance, moving cross-country with kids can be a significantly more challenging task than performing a local move. From helping them deal with such a significant change to finding new educational establishments from afar, a lot more goes into it. It could also be great to get to know the public transportation system or the locations of some local hot spots.

Legal regulations

The most common misconception about the local vs. interstate moving dilemma is that the paperwork required for either is the same.

With local moves, most of the moving companies you can hire are already familiar with all the requirements and regulations on utilizing moving trucks and offering their services. 

When it comes to interstate moving, however, they may have to ask you to fill out some additional paperwork, complete any necessary permits, and pay for insurance. You and the crew from the moving company you hire have to make sure you meet all legal requirements for every state you’ll be traveling through on the way to your brand-new home.

Suppose you are worried about being able to find good moving companies that you can trust to follow all regulations and legal requirements (local or interstate). In that case, Fairfax Transfer and Storage experts advise the following two things. Firstly, you should ask close ones for their experiences and recommendations. Second, you should look for companies with long work histories.

Local vs. interstate moving – understanding helps with better preparation

The importance of comparing local vs. interstate moving comes down to helping you pull off either as smoothly as possible. If you combine doing enough research with other ways to simplify the process of moving, such as decluttering, you will indeed have a pleasant moving experience.

Alt text: A pair of glasses on a notebook in front of a laptop Caption: Like everything, proper research and understanding of this dilemma will help you be better prepared for either.

The type of move you’ll be having, whether it’s local vs. interstate moving, will significantly impact how the movers charge you, the process they follow, and the regulations they must abide by. Always ensure they follow the standard practices you want to see done during your move. All in all, try picking a moving company that is first and foremost reputable.

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Let’s go through some misunderstandings that come with the local vs. interstate moving dilemma so that you can get a better understanding of the differences.

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