Which Type of Moving Company Is The Best?

Which Type of Moving Company Is The Best?

A person's hand on the steering wheel in a moving truck

Are you looking to move? If the answer is yes, it’s more than likely that you are bombarded with a long to-do list and a headache. The number of options within the moving company sphere can be overwhelming, but this post will guide you through the selection process to find what moving company is the best for you. Let’s ensure you’ll make a budget-friendly choice most suitable for your personal needs!

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Residential vs. Commercial Services

First and foremost, you should differentiate a residential move from a commercial move. A residential move refers to the relocation of houses or in-home services, while a commercial move consists of a business or company moving their establishment.

It’s important to keep this difference in mind because generally moving companies specialize in one or the other. Commercial moves are considered more complex, as moving office items and fine machinery takes special care. Also, the business has to put their hours on hold during a sometimes lengthy relocation.

Fortunately, some moving companies can take care of both residential and commercial moves. So, determine which kind of move you need assistance with, and then double-check that the company offers those services. Now that this has been taken care of, let’s get into specifics and look at different companies!

Rental Truck Companies

White semi trucks on the side of the road

Did you know it’s possible to simply rent a moving truck and take care of everything else on your own? I’m sure you can imagine that this is one of the most affordable options out there. All you need is a valid driver’s license and to be at least 18 years of age and you are set to drive one of these big vehicles.

Some noteworthy rental truck companies include Penske, Enterprise, and Budget. Typically, you are charged a daily flat rate, as well as an additional price per mile driven. These rates can fluctuate depending on demand, so make sure to check consistently and get the best price possible.

There are various-sized trucks offered, with dimensions provided as well as a rough estimate of how many “rooms” of furniture and possessions it can fit. You definitely don’t want the truck to be too small and not be able to bring all your items. But, you also do not want the truck to have loads of space left as this will waste some of your hard-earned cash. Sizing is a super important factor so make sure to measure large items and rent the appropriate sized truck.

The rent-a-truck route is great for those who don’t mind packing and handling their items without professional help. If possible, it’s a smart move to ask some willing friends and family to help out to avoid potential back injuries. But, if you don’t want to be responsible for this task, you should consider hiring labor-only movers to do the job for you. 


Penske rentals are widely accessible with over 2,500 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Plus, they’ve partnered with Home Depot; you can rent and drop off trucks at participating locations which increases the convenience factor.

They offer discounts like student, military, and AAA discounts as well as special promotions (especially during the holidays). Also, one-way moves with Penske trucks have unlimited mileage, meaning you won’t get charged for a certain amount of miles driven.

If you don’t have experience driving a huge truck, it may be wise to invest in one of their four insurance bundles.


Enterprise prides itself on reliable commercial-grade vehicles, top-notch customer service, and competitive rates. They even sell their used trucks, so if you’re an avid mover that may be a good investment for you.

Unlike Penske, one-way moves are not an option, so you are required to drive the rental truck back to its original location. This makes Enterprise a better option for local moves. Luckily, you’re bound to find an Enterprise near you out of the 500 locations available.


Budget has over 2,800 locations across the nation. They usually have coupons that can save you 20% off on your rental truck. Plus, they offer discounts to students, U.S. military personnel, police, firefighters, EMTs, AARP members, and Motor Club members.

Budget has three optional protection plans if you want to avoid huge potential costs in case of an accident. With four different truck sizes, you should find a rental that fits all your belongings.

Labor-Only Movers

Labor-only moving companies are a good investment if you’d rather have professionals handle the physical part of moving. They will essentially load all of your items into your rental truck and unload them at your destination (or one or the other depending on your wishes).

Because they provide only labor services, you will end up saving some of your precious money and days of soreness! This does mean that you will be responsible for materials including but not limited to the truck, boxes, and packing tape. Additionally, you will have to pack everything on your own. This does give some people peace of mind, as they prefer to have things done their way.

Most labor-only moving companies charge per mover, per hour, so keep this in mind.

Looking to move soon?

Check out UniMovers and save 30-50% on your move as compared with traditional moving!


UniMovers is an excellent option with locations in Iowa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. We offer both residential and commercial services at an unbeatable price. The combination of labor-only movers and a rental truck will save you money compared to booking with a full-service moving company.

If you are located near one of our locations and looking to move, consider booking with us. You’ll be supporting a local business run by hard-working college students and recent graduates! Plus, each move contributes to our working student scholarship fund and local non-profits. Save money, get a hand with moving, and support the community!

Portable Storage Companies

Does the thought of driving a large truck for an extended period make your heart race? If you’re not entirely confident in your driving skills, portable storage companies may have a solution.

To do so, you’ll rent out a storage container and it will be shipped to your driveway. You’ll be in charge of loading and unloading the container with your belongings. Again, if you’d rather not take on that job, labor-only moving companies can take care of the heavy lifting in this scenario too. Then, all your items can be transported to wherever you need them!

Pricing is based on various factors; how long you are using the storage container, mileage from point A to point B, and location. Typically you are charged monthly, so this gives decent flexibility. You can even save a buck if you have the means to transport the container yourself (if you have the proper equipment to do so).

It makes sense to opt for portable containers if you’d like to take your time with packing and loading, you like the idea of a pretty much contactless process, and your move is long distance. Good portable storage companies are PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT, and UPack.


PODS offers flexible services with upfront, clear costs. You can rent their storage containers for as low as $149 a month with delivery and pick-up fees being $74.99. Fortunately, they usually have special promotions to lower costs even more. You can keep the weather-resistant container on your property or have it shipped off to a nearby facility once you’re done loading.


1-800-PACK-RAT has been dubbed the “best value moving container company” by Move.org. With three-sized containers available to rent out, you can determine which size you need, and if you’ll need multiple containers with their space calculator.

Customers report having a great experience with 1-800-PACK-RAT, praising their customer service, timely delivery, and affordable pricing. They will also store your container in a facility if you would prefer to keep it somewhere secure.


UPack’s portable storage container called the “ReloCube” is high-quality and weatherproof. It is only available in one size, so if you need more storage you can always rent multiple.

On average, customers can expect to spend $2,500 on a ReloCube and the transportation services that come with it. UPack encourages customers to give them a call to find the best time to rent a container to get the best bang for your buck.

Storage Companies

Traditional storage units are definitely more affordable compared to portable storage companies. They can be rented for as low as $11 a month but prices can vary depending on whether or not it is climate-controlled and the size of the unit.

Storage units are especially no stranger to college students who need to keep their belongings in a space for a few months between semesters. Additionally, people who are between lease agreements or closing on a home may need to move items in increments.

You are a fitting candidate for this kind of rental if you need a place to store your items for an extended period. However, if you don’t like the idea of extra work you should opt for a different kind of company.

You’ll have to load everything into the unit, unload the unit once you are ready to move, transport everything, and then unload once more at your new establishment. Because of this elbow grease, people usually select this option if they have just a few bulky items.

There is an abundance of local storage units available. But more well-known companies with widespread facilities are U-Haul, Public Storage, and Life Storage. Consider renting a unit if you want to keep your items safe and secure for an extended period.


With thousands of U-Haul self-storage facilities around the country, you’ve likely driven by one. U-Haul offers a large variety of unit sizes to secure your items away efficiently. You can easily pay online and you’ll even get your first month of rent free.

Public Storage

Public Storage’s climate-controlled units can store away your personal items, vehicles, and business items. With their app, you can manage everything you need such as access to your gate and payments. Plus, you can pay $1 for the first month of rent.

Life Storage

Life Storage offers promotional codes up to 40% off of rent. Many customers praise this company’s friendly and accommodating employees. The process of renting a storage unit here can be totally contactless; just get started online and you can access your unit.

To add to the accessibility factor, Life Storage’s hours are 6 am-10 pm. There are also 24/7 surveillance cameras, so don’t be afraid to go to your unit late at night.

Full-Service Moving Companies

Full service moving company employees carrying a couch in a room

Last but certainly not least are full-service movers. This is usually what people think of when they imagine a moving company. As the name suggests, these movers will handle pretty much every part of the process for you; this includes packing, loading, transporting, unloading, assembling, and disposing of materials. How convenient does this sound?

Well, as you might expect, it is the priceiest out of all the options! If money isn’t an issue then this might be the best route to go. You can sit back and relax while the movers do all the work for you.

However, the high cost associated with these services and broken items are common complaints. Most of the time these companies will provide insurance coverage so definitely be on the lookout for that.

Some highly rated full-service moving companies are United Van Lines, JK Moving Services, and Mayflower. These companies offer local, long-distance, and international moves. They also have storage add-ons if needed. You should look more into full-service movers if you don’t mind putting more money down and getting a ton of assistance on move-in (and out) day.

United Van Lines

United Van Lines has helped over one million people move; they have lots of experience when it comes to their services. They are often rated as one of the best full-service moving companies. Users of United Van Lines report great communication, transparency with costs, and a high level of professionalism.

JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services drives to achieve customer satisfaction and thorough employee training. This company gives back to the community through its volunteer-led community garden. They also seek to hire veterans and value diversity in their company.

JK Moving Services upholds sustainability through green moving practices, ultimately minimizing waste. They also emphasize that you can trust their team to assist you with their move.


Mayflower offers full value protection with each move. If any of your items are damaged or lost, you can rest assured that you’ll be reimbursed.

They offer highly customizable services, allowing you to select whatever additional services you need based on your situation. Customers enjoy Mayflower’s attention to detail, simple booking process, and high level of expertise. After all, they have been in business for over 100 years.


Hopefully, you have a better idea of what moving company is best for you. There’s definitely a lot to take into consideration. Ultimately, you have to factor in things like distance, flexibility needed, willingness to DIY some parts, how much money you can spend, and the equipment you have on hand.

If you’re starting to lean towards a specific kind of move, look into several companies and which special services they might offer. Get a personalized quote and compare each. You should also read reviews of any companies you are considering booking with to ensure customers have had good experiences.

This should lead you to select the best moving company for your situation. Good luck with your move!

Olivia is an undergraduate student at University of South Florida studying Health Sciences and pursuing the Physician Assistant career. She is from a small town in Massachusetts and enjoys taking day trips to Boston! Olivia's interests include health, weightlifting, writing, and watching movies.