Money Saving Tips

Top 3 Alternatives To Hiring Movers

Written by David Johnson

Nothing beats the relaxation and quality of hiring movers. Sadly, this peace of mind is a luxury that usually comes with a higher price tag than other ways to move. If you still can’t find a quote that is in your price range, you will want to know your next best options.

In my professional opinion, these are the top 3 alternatives to hiring movers in the USA:


1. Rent a Moving Truck & Drive

moving truck rentals

If you really want to save big on your move, it might be a good idea to consider renting a truck and moving on your own. You can rent a moving truck for a flat fee and this will cost you a lot less than hiring a full service moving company. Every move can be broken down into two components that include labor and transportation. If you rent a truck, then you’ve got the transportation part covered. You might have to bribe some of your closest friends and family to help you load the truck and pack all of your belongings. Even though doing the labor of packing and loading your belongings is not a fun part of any move, it is possible to handle this on your own.  A lot of savings come from doing the hard work yourself…remember that!

Renting a truck and taking care of the labor involved in loading is a great way to save big.

Recommended Rental Companies

Budget is my favorite company for moving truck rentals.  They almost always have the cheapest rates and offer great specials year round.

U-haul is a great option if you want to rent a small, tow-able trailer, as Budget doesn’t offer any rentals this small.

Penske is a good option if you are moving your small business.


2. Portable Storage Containers

portable moving containers

One of the most popular alternatives to hiring movers that you can consider are portable moving containers. Many people refer to these as moving pods and storage containers. They are essentially portable storage units that can range in size, but are made of extremely durable materials.

A company will drop off the required amount of storage containers to your home.  Then you will be required to do all of the packing and loading. Once it is all loaded, the company will come back and pick up your containers and drive them to your new home. When they arrive, they will drop them off for you to unload.   They will return to pick up the empty containers in a couple of days. That’s it!

In most cases, using storage pods for moving is the best alternative to movers because it is easiest and most cost-effective.

Recommended Companies

U-Pack is my favorite company when it comes to “drive-only” movers and portable storage containers.  They have a huge network of locations in every state.  This gives them the ability to provide better service at cheaper prices than their competitors.

PODS offers equal service for higher prices but they aren’t bad.


3. U-Ship Specialty Moving Service

U-ship Move Anything

This is a clever new age way of moving anything and everything. While it won’t be the cheapest way to move your whole household, it can be your best option if a few possessions are holding you back from a cheaper move. For example, maybe you can handle moving everything yourself in your vehicle but can’t figure out how to move your pets or 2nd vehicle. You can find people or truckers with extra space and the ability to move whatever you need for a price you both agree upon.

This service is great for moving awkward, heavy, or living (animals only) possessions.

People use this service to move anything from large furniture, pool tables, pianos, vehicles, and pets. Make a listing and see what options are out there!

The drawback with this service is that it can potentially take a long time to find a suitable match for your needs. The longer you have to check around, then the better your outcome will be.

Check out U-Ship here –


Remember that time is money, and nothing is faster than hiring movers.

If you have a tight budget for your move, it makes sense that you would consider all of your options. I hope this article helps you choose the best choice for your situation. For even more cheap alternatives to hiring movers, make sure to check out this post. If you have any questions, then make sure to leave a comment below!

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About the author

David Johnson

I am a (former) professional mover and industry expert. I blog about the tips and tricks for moving your household and possessions safely and cheaply from A to B. I stay up to date on the moving industry odds and ends. Follow me and bookmark this site to make sure you don't spend more than you have to on your next move!

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  • Cheapest way to move.. IF you have the means.. buy a used cargo van or box van… then when you’re done, sell it..
    You don’t the obscene rental fees. .. you only pay for the fuel… I know people that sold the van for more … they came out ahead….

    Just had a friend move from Las Vegas to Tampa, FL.. packed their house and a car trailer.. over $5000 !!
    That’s INSANE …. You could buy ALL new stuff.. Plus they have it in storage now.. C R A Z Y
    I plan on moving soon.. I’m selling ALL my furniture, and 90% of my possessions.. Pack my car.. and send a few boxes via Greyhound Bus…..

    • Thanks for the comment Dennis! That is one way of moving that I actually HAVEN’T heard of before! My thoughts though, are that if someone has the money to BUY a cargo can, then they probably don’t mind the cost of hiring movers. But if it works and you can buy and sell a cargo van easily, then more power to you! The way you plan to move sounds more reasonable to me. Thanks again for stopping by and adding your 2 cents to the conversation!

  • What a great read. I agree that finding other alternatives when moving can save both money and headaches. But sometimes hiring moving help can make a huge difference, with time, energy and family. In a local moving I would rent a truck, U-Haul has some great prices for truck rentals. but when doing long distance moving, I definitely prefer hiring a professional mover. It was worth it for me and I got an awesome discount from a local company. Local moving, without a doubt storage or truck rental, does it. Get a friend or two for 50 bucks and the job is done!

    • Thanks for the great feedback and comment Jeff! Any move is definitely easier with help, but I agree that long distance moves between states are best for professionals! There is just so much work that goes into moving yourself, that if aren’t against the wall financially, I think pros are the best choice. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Long distance moving is one of the most stressful activities in a human’s life, no matter where you are living. Major moving companies have excellent insurance coverage, so you don’t have to worry about losing your furniture or other stuff because of a road accident or poor-handling. This was an excellent article full of interesting and useful information. Thanks for such post and keep it up David!

    Remember to be careful when hiring movers. Do your homework. Ask friends, neighbors, family, co-workers who they’ve used. Also, call up 3-4 movers and get quotes from all, and chat with them a bit to make sure they’re not scammers.

    • Hi Sateesh!

      Wow that is awesome that you found my post useful all the way over there in India. I guess moving is pretty universal, aside from active warzones or crooked regimes. Comparing quotes is a great way to find the cheapest rates from movers. A great way to reduce costs even further is to approach the companies with more expensive quotes directly by letting them know that “Company A” offered you a lower quote and seeing if they can beat the price directly. Many times, this kind of active pursuit of a good deal will payoff with “Company B” giving you a new, lower quote than originally offered after learning about the competitor’s price and wanting to secure your business. This works great with truck rentals and portable shipping containers / freight services as well. Everyone wants to beat their competitor, and in the end, the consumer wins!

      Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving the kind feedback! Take care.

  • NOT TRUE!! I hired a local moving co. And it actually saved me money, time, aggravation; not to mention my back, lol. And they came in 20% less than the original quote. I could never have done it as quickly, economically and efficiently as those guys did.

    • Hi Victor,

      You are right that hiring movers can be cheaper, and I don’t disagree! That is why I always encourage people to get free local & long distance moving quotes before committing to anything else. Prices between companies and service fluctuate a lot and there is always the chance to catch a smoking deal from movers. This article was meant to present the other viable options besides hiring movers. Thanks for your comment and congrats on that amazing moving deal!