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Final Verdict

The key to acing a New York move is being aware of your priorities and planning ahead. Overall, Atlas Van Lines is our pick for the best NYC mover. Not only does it contract with 13 different local agents, ensuring that you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs, but its comprehensive national and international network means that you’ll be able to easily relocate anywhere. The highly rated app keeps everything — including customer service — in one place, ensuring that you can stay organized throughout the entire process. 

If storage is a top priority, PODS or Allied Van Lines may be your best bet. If you’re hoping to hire a full-service move, check out United Van Lines or JK Moving Services. A company like Mayflower and its comprehensive protection plan provides peace of mind protection if your items are traveling long distances. And if you find yourself signing a lease on the same day that you view a New York City apartment — a not-uncommon occurrence — Bellhop is our pick for accommodating your last-minute moving needs.

Compare the Best Moving Companies in NYC

Company Nationwide Availability   Packing & Loading Options Vehicle Relocation? Tracking Option?  Type of Quote
Atlas Van Lines
Best Overall
50 states Full service, partial service, and self service Yes Yes Binding and non-binding
United Van Lines
Best for Long-Distance Moves
50 states Full service, partial service, and self service Yes Yes Binding
Best for Storage
46 states Partial service and self service Yes No Non-binding
Allied Van Lines
Best Full-Service Mover
50 states Full service, partial service, and self service Yes Yes Binding
Best for Moving Antiques
47 states Full service and partial service Yes Yes Binding
Best for Last-Minute Moves
25 states Full service and partial service No No Binding and non-binding
JK Moving Services Best for Sustainability 50 states Full service, partial service, and self service Yes Yes Non-binding
Wheaton World Wide Moving
Best Budget-Friendly Mover
50 states Full service, partial service, and self service Yes Yes Non-binding

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Moving Company in NYC

There are few life events as stressful as moving within New York City. Between the crowds, the traffic, the parking regulations, and the idea of squeezing your furniture around tight stairwells or into a closet-sized apartment, it’s enough to make you reconsider your plans! Luckily, hiring an experienced New York City mover can help ease some of the pain. Before choosing your movers, consider the following:


Many factors go into the price of hiring a moving company in NYC. The first thing to consider is distance, and whether you’re moving to the city, from the city, or within the city. Secondly, you’ll have to factor in the number of items you have and whether you want to hire a full-service moving company or save money by taking a DIY approach. Many companies also charge a premium if you’re moving to/from a walkup building versus an elevator building. Lastly, consider any add-ons you may need, like storage, packing specialty items, or vehicle relocation. The best way to ensure you’re getting a reasonable price is to get quotes from multiple companies and compare.

Services Offered

Before you pick a moving company, consider your needs and the services offered. If you want to sit back and watch as your items are safely whisked away to your new residence, a full-service moving company is best. If you want to DIY the move or have help with only certain items, consider a partial-service company, or one that allows you to just rent a truck. You can also choose add-ons like storage, vehicle relocation, valuation services, and specialty packing. 


Movers offer varying degrees of flexibility, depending upon where you need it. PODS, for example, provides flexibility with its storage solutions if you’re unsure of when you’ll need to access your items. A company that offers a non-binding quote offers more flexibility than one with a binding quote. If flexibility is important to you with your move, discuss it with your moving agent, and they’ll be able to tell you how they can best accommodate your needs.

Company Reputation

It’s important to always select a reputable company to assist with your move. If you’re hiring an interstate mover, be sure to check that they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is required by the U.S. government. Outside of that, research your company online, paying attention to online reviews like Yelp and Google. Calling a company and chatting with a customer service representative can also help you to determine if a company can fit your needs and is right for you.

Certifications and Accreditation

States have different rules and regulations that govern movers. Specifically, the New York State Department of Transportation has a list of accredited truck and motor carriers. In addition, the American Trucking Associations offers a number of certifications and accreditations for moving companies to continue to build their skills. 

Liability Insurance

When moving, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing moving insurance. (Note that your existing homeowner’s insurance or renters insurance policy may not cover your items while they’re being moved.) Federal law mandates that a moving company offer two insurance options: full value protection and released value. Full value protection is the most comprehensive plan and means that your mover is liable for the replacement value of a damaged item. Released value is offered at no additional charge, but the coverage is much more limited. You can also consider buying insurance from a third party. 

How to Pack for a Local Move

There are a few differences between packing for a local move and a long-distance move. With both, you’ll need to ensure that all of your items are safely stored during transit, which either means that you’ll have to pack everything yourself or hire full-service movers to complete the task. One important difference, however, could come with specialty items. With a local move, you may have the option to take a fragile item or antique to your new residence on your own, thereby eliminating the expense of packing it in a truck. Below are some additional tips for packing for a local move:

  • Prepare ahead of time to take some of the stress out of moving day. Start by packing items that you know you won’t need on a day-to-day basis, like seasonal clothes and items.
  • Make sure that you’re clear with your movers on what (if any) items you will be packing, and what items you’ll want them to pack.
  • Consider sourcing your own boxes from local businesses like grocery stores as a way to save money. Alternatively, some moving companies provide packing materials to their customers at a discount.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Full-Service Movers Cost in NYC?

The cost of a full-service move really depends upon your specific needs: how many items do you have, will you need the movers to pack specialty items, and do your movers need to move up and down stairs in an NYC walkup building? Generally, a local move within NYC will cost less than a long-distance move to or from New York. The best way to guarantee that you’re getting a fair price is to call and get quotes from a few reputable companies, and then compare the costs and the types of service offered. Typically, local moves can range from $600 (small moves with fewer movers) to $2,000 (for larger homes that require more movers). Of course, those costs will be higher for longer-distance moves.

Are Moving Containers Allowed in NYC?

Moving containers are not allowed for storage on New York City streets, as per local New York regulations. However, you can use them to move, provided they’re only temporarily outside of your building. Because New York City has so many street regulations (see below), companies like PODS have a specific City Service that protects your container from ticketing or thieves while it’s being loaded.

What Is the Cheapest Month to Move in NYC?

Winter is the cheapest season to move to New York City. Rents tend to peak between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and it’s easier to find deals or to negotiate on a broker’s fee during the off-season. Specifically, February is typically the cheapest month to move, as hiring a moving company during the holidays can increase the price.

How Can I Save Money During an NYC Move?

If you’ve heard that everything in New York City is expensive, you’ve heard correctly. However, if your move is flexible, there are a few ways to save:

  • DIY as much as possible. A full-service moving company will be the most expensive, so packing all of your boxes yourself will help you save on costs
  • Move during the off-season. New York City rents rise in the summer, as do the costs of hiring a moving company. If possible, move during the winter and make sure you’re able to avoid any holiday festivities.
  • Be prepared to follow local laws and regulations. Unexpected expenses can come up if you don’t know the rules and regulations of your specific move. Be sure to contact your building prior to your move to make sure that you have everything you need, which could include a certificate of insurance. Also check that your building allows the move on the day and time you’re planning. Otherwise, you could be turned away — a costly mistake!
  • Connect with people. A unique part of moving in NYC is the idea of “stooping,” which is an easy option if you’re strapped for cash or don’t want to spend money moving large items to NYC. People often leave usable pieces of furniture or other household items outside, free for the taking. Also consider joining your local “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook, where people post items they no longer need, also for free. 
  • In general, Manhattan is the most expensive borough. As a rule of thumb, you can save money by sticking to the outer boroughs for things like storage.

Are There Any Moving Restrictions in NYC?

There are few restrictions around an actual NYC move, but many restrictions surrounding where rental trucks and commercial vehicles are allowed. 

If you’re driving a truck yourself, be aware that trucks and commercial vehicles are not permitted on parkways. 

Once a truck has made it to your building, there are rules regarding parking. In general, the rules are set up so that you’re not blocking traffic and that you’re not parked for more than three hours. Pay attention to the signage on streets, as they could indicate whether standing is allowed and whether you need to pay for street parking. For a complete list of NYC commercial parking rules, visit nyc.gov.

If you’re hiring a moving company, also note that many buildings in New York require a certificate of insurance (COI) to move. A COI is a legal document that lets building management know that the moving company is insured to handle any potential damages or issues during moving. This means that the building will not be responsible if anything happens to your property during the move. It’s important to know if your building requires a COI prior to your move, as many buildings won’t let you step inside without one.


To find the best moving companies in NYC, our research team reviewed 19 nationwide services, collecting a total of 589 data points. Ratings were created by assigning weights to each of the 31 moving criteria we considered.

Our top picks received high scores in heavily weighted areas such as customer experience (23 percent), pricing structure (20 percent), location coverage (20 percent), and moving services (20 percent).

The information presented here was verified by at least two data collectors through customer service calls. For more details on our research process and scoring system, head to our complete moving methodology page.