While some aspects of moving stay the same whether you are moving a mile or a thousand miles, there are differences between local and long that you need to keep in mind. Moving long distances is more complicated than moving short distances, for example. We will cover some of the key differences below to help you make informed decisions as you move forward with your next move.

Comparing Local and Long Distance Moves

Whether moving a mile or a thousand miles, planning your move is vital to ensure you get where you are going with minimal hassle and expense. But before making any firm plans, you need to know what factors are involved. You know local and long-distance moves are different – but how different?

Local Moves

Technically, local moves do not cross state lines. That’s right. No matter how far you travel within a state, the move could technically be considered a local move if you don’t cross state lines.

Movers must have licenses based on what types of moves they are doing. For example, if they are only making local moves, they only need local licenses (and some states don’t even require licenses for local moves).

With that being said, moving companies treat local moves differently depending on the distances traveled. For example, many moving companies will charge a local move rate only for moves within a 50-mile radius. Anything beyond that is considered an intrastate move and will charge differently due to the longer distance.

Besides cost and categorization, a few other things distinguish local moves from long-distance ones. These include:

  • Can usually be completed in a day or two
  • Easier to plan due to limited time commitment
  • Can often get movers to help on relatively short notice

Long Distance Moves

Long-distance moves are technically considered any move that crosses state lines. However, due to the crossing of state lines and the potential for differing regulations, long-distance movers must obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). As you can imagine, getting the license takes more effort on the part of the moving company than getting local permits in many states (especially if the state does not require a license to move).

Movers calculate the cost of a long-distance move based on the weight of the belongings you are transporting and the distance you are transporting them. The fact that you are charged based on weight is a solid motivator to cut down on what you are transporting if possible. Many people planning a long-distance move will try to get rid of anything they are sure they won’t need.

Long-distance moves are usually more expensive than local ones, but other things also distinguish them. These include:

  • Require extensive planning
  • Usually have to be scheduled months in advance
  • Have to plan for your and your family’s travel as well, including hotel stays and routes