Defining a Long-Distance Move

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Any moving company considers Cross-country moves long-distance, but what if you’re only moving to a new city in the same state? What determines a long-distance move when hiring a company for moving and storage services? While the definition of a long-distance move can vary from company to company, some basic factors go into categorising short-distance and long-distance moves. Knowing these factors can help you set your budget and develop your plan.

General Distance Guidelines

Again, the mileage determining a long-distance move varies among moving companies, but any move over 50 miles is generally considered long. Fifty miles may seem like a little, but most are likely well within the 50-mile limit if you consider the places you regularly visit. Fortunately, even if that 50 miles takes two hours to reach because of traffic, it’s still considered a short-distance move (though you may have to rent a truck longer).

Additionally, any move crossing state lines is usually considered long-distance. This can be a bit of a grey area if you live in a city spanning two states (like Kansas City), but some moving companies don’t consider distance for a multi-state move. If their truck crosses a state line, it’s a long-distance move.

Some moving companies have three tiers of moves: local moves, short-distance or intrastate moves, and long-distance moves. Typically, anything 50 miles or under is considered a local move, while moves over 50 miles but under 400 miles and in the same state are considered short-distance moves. Long-distance moves begin at 401 miles or cross state lines.

Other Differences Between Long- and Short-Distance Moves

Besides actual mileage, you should know other differences between long- and short-distance moves before booking a moving company. The main difference is the price. Long-distance moves naturally cost more than short-distance moves because of the labour involved. Not only will a truck be in use for a longer time, but if you hire someone to drive the moving truck instead of just renting it, the company has to pay that driver for more hours on the road.

Short-term moves are often priced according to the labour involved in moving your belongings. For example, if you live alone in a one-bedroom house, you’ll pay less for your move than with two other people in a three-bedroom house. You’ll usually pay a surcharge for the additional fuel required to power a truck that is weighed down with more belongings, even if you don’t have enough belongings to fill all the rooms they’re calculating in the price. You may also pay a different price for two movers instead of three or more.

Long-term move pricing is often based on more factors, such as the actual weight of your belongings that you are moving, the distance between your current house and your new house, and the number of employees involved in the move. You can’t do anything about the distance between your houses, but you can keep the weight of your move down by getting rid of any belongings you don’t want to move with you before you hire a moving company.

Interstate moves are even more expensive because of the regulations governing each state’s moves. In many cases, additional paperwork, special licenses, and insurance for long-distance moves are involved. The costs associated with those extras are passed on to customers, increasing your overall price.

Check First

Only some companies offer long-distance moving services, so make sure the one you hire does if your move is over 400 miles or you will cross state lines during your move. If you don’t check first, you could pay even more because your belongings must be offloaded when your mover’s service area ends and stored until a second company arrives to finish the move.

This is a logistical nightmare for you and can all be avoided by hiring a company that specialises in long-distance moves in the first place. Many people use storage facilities during a move. Still, this situation is not ideal, especially if you know where your belongings are stored during the layover.


Significant differences exist between a short-distance and long-distance move regarding actual mileage and cost. If you’re planning to move more than 400 miles away from your current location or move to another state, begin planning your move as soon as possible so you can carefully research your choice of moving companies to hire the one that meets all your needs.

Ref: 3370.29485

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