The Skinny on Researching Moving Companies

The Skinny on Researching Moving Companies

Choosing a reliable moving company should be at the top of your moving checklist! Why? Just think about what you would do and how you would feel if that moving truck, filled with all of your prized possessions, didn’t make it to your new house.

Getting Started

Most movers have websites that list all of their products, services, history, moving destinations, and estimate on what their services cost. (Remember, you can’t get an accurate quote without the moving company paying you a visit to see all that you have to move!) The moving company’s website is a great place to start your research. Use the contact information on the website (phone numbers and/or email addresses) to ask questions as you narrow your search down.

Another good thing to do when choosing a moving company is to ask around. Most of your friends and neighbors will have moved at some point in their life, so don’t be afraid to ask. They’ll be able to give you moving company names and what they thought of their experience with them. This is a great way to find a moving company you don’t want to work with!

A Deeper Search

Sure, asking around and reading websites is a great starting point, but you really do want to look a little deeper at any moving company you consider. Check out online sources such as and the Better Business Bureau. The former is actually a website dedicated to revealing various moving scams while the latter covers many different industries. Both are excellent sources.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Many people don’t even think about the United States Department of Transportation when they are getting ready to move, but they should. The U.S. DOT has a branch known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), which lists all companies registered with it. Not all, but most reputable moving companies will have a DOT registration number. There are however a number of reasons why a good company would not have such a number, including state regulations.

The FMSCA offers a great website for people like you to narrow your search for a moving company. The site lists a bunch of tips and tricks as to how to identify a possible “rogue” or “scam” mover. Here’s the gist of what they suggest looking for:

  • Avoid moving companies that don’t agree to onsite inspections.
  • An estimate should always be given in person, not over the phone, and in writing. It should be clearly either binding or non-binding.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of paying a large deposit before the move or being asked to pay in cash only.
  • All moving companies are required to give consumers moving across state lines a leaflet called, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” If you don’t get a copy, head the other way.
  • Avoid companies where there is no local address or other contact info on the moving company’s website.
  • The moving truck arrives and it is a rental truck rather than a company-owned vehicle. (You don’t have to let them load your things!)

Remember, a lot goes into finding the right moving company. We hope we’ve pointed you in the right direction.

Lance Grooms