The 3 Best Movers in San Diego (Based on Customer Reviews, Cost, and More)

By Jon Stubbs

Posted on January 17th, 2023

3 Best Moving Companies | How We Chose | Best Overall | Best for Trusted Reputation | Best for Moving on a Budget | Cost of Movers | Avoiding Scams

best moving companies in San Diego

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If you're looking for a mover in San Diego, you have plenty of options to choose from. There are 343 full-service movers rated 4 stars or above operating in the city.

Local full-service movers such as Movers by the Sea and Mission Movers pack up all of your belongings, load the truck, and then deliver them to your new home, where they unpack everything.

We assessed all of the local moving companies in San Diego and ranked the top three so you know where to begin your search.

🚚 Ready to get moving? Compare top moving companies near you, get custom quotes, and see all available discounts. 100% free with no obligation. Get started now!

3 Best Moving Companies in San Diego (at a Glance)

Company
What We Like
Avg. Customer Rating
Movers by the Sea
Best Overall
5.0 (347 reviews)

Mission Movers
Best for Trusted Reputation

5.0 (1085 reviews)

24/7 Moving and Storage
Best for Moving on a Budget

5.0 (917 reviews)

Our team spent over 100 hours researching moving companies across the United States. We started with a list of more than 25,000 moving companies, then narrowed it down by eliminating companies that:

  • Were not registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA)
  • Had fewer than 10 customer reviews
  • Didn’t have a website
  • Had a relatively high number of safety and service violations according to the FMCSA

The remaining companies were ranked based on the following metrics:

  • 5x: Average customer rating across all platforms (Yelp, Google, Angi, etc.)
  • 4x: Total number of customer reviews (more reviews indicates a more reliable average rating)
  • 3x: Total count of out-of-service violations (as indicated by the FMCSA)
  • 2x: How many drivers a company has on staff per vehicles it has registered
  • 1x: Whether a company is full-service or only offers labor services

Each metric was normalized and then graded on a 100-point scale. The combined weighted average of the scores determined the final ranking score.


We also mystery-shopped to gather quotes from more than 150 moving companies and surveyed our team members — who have moved more than 300 times collectively — on what was most important to them when choosing a moving company.

We recommend full-service movers for people who can budget at least $300 for a one-bedroom apartment and at least $1,600 for a three-bedroom home.


Full-service is helpful if you have large, complicated things to move, can't carry heavy stuff, or have a busy schedule (which may include closing on your new home). Likewise, if you don’t have friends and family available to help, hiring experts can make your move much quicker.


Full-service moving typically includes:

  • Packing your items
  • Disassembling furniture
  • Loading the truck with your items
  • Delivery to your new home
  • Reassembling furniture

If you feel comfortable doing some of the heavy lifting and driving yourself, consider DIY moving or using labor-only movers who help you load your rented truck. DIY will certainly save you money (but maybe not your back).

3 Best Moving Companies in San Diego

1. Movers by the Sea: Best Overall

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
5.0 (347 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
High
⛔ Out of Service Violations*
1
💰 Typical Cost**
Call for estimate
🛣️ USDOT Number
3442723
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

Movers by the Sea is the best overall moving company in San Diego because it offers a wide range of services and has excellent reviews. Movers by the Sea holds a 4.95 out of 5 rating based on 347 reviews. Satisfied customers mentioned expert professional movers and great communication, and many reviewers were repeat customers. The occasional negative reviews mentioned damaged items.

Movers by the Sea received a high-reliability rating from us since it employs four registered drivers for its single company vehicle. That means that whenever you want to book a move, it’ll likely have a driver available.

This company offers local residential and commercial moves, as well as packing and labor services. In addition, Movers by the Sea offers senior, college, and office moves. But Movers by the Sea specializes in moves within California, so if you’re looking for a long-distance interstate move, look elsewhere.

⚡ Quick Tip: We recommend getting custom quotes from independent moving brokers. These services are free to use with no obligation and make it easy to compare multiple options to find the best fit and value. Get instant quotes here.

2. Mission Movers: Best for Trusted Reputation

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
5.0 (1085 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
Medium
⛔ Out of Service Violations*
0
💰 Typical Cost**
Call for estimate
🛣️ USDOT Number
3163187
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

Mission Movers has excellent company reviews, averaging a perfect 5 out of 5 rating based on over 1,000 reviews. Satisfied customers mentioned punctuality and careful, expert professional movers.

Mission offers standard services like local residential and commercial moving, as well as more specialized services like furniture disassembly and reassembly, “white glove service,” and moving box rentals. Mission also conducts interstate, long-distance moves, so it can move you to anywhere in California and beyond.

We gave Mission Movers a medium reliability rating since it maintains a registered driver for each of its three moving vehicles.

3. 24/7 Moving and Storage: Best for Moving on a Budget

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
5.0 (917 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
Medium
⛔ Out of Service Violations*
0
💰 Typical Cost**
$1,322
🛣️ USDOT Number
2717601
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

If you’re relocating on a budget, consider using 24/7 Moving and Storage. The $1,322 estimate the company gave us for a three-bedroom move within San Diego is dramatically lower than the area average of $3,520.

This company has excellent reviews, too, holding a perfect 5 out of 5 rating with over 900 company reviews. Happy customers noted fast, efficient work and great communication, while the very rare negative reviews touched on damaged items.

24/7 Moving and Storage offers local and long-distance (within California) moving services, as well as packing and loading. It also offers a 5% military discount.

Finally, this company got a medium reliability rating from us since it employs one registered driver for its single-moving vehicle. If that driver is available when you want to book your move, you’re in luck. But if they’re not, you may have to look elsewhere.

Next Steps: Compare Moving Companies in San Diego

How Much Do Movers Cost in San Diego?

The average cost for professional, full-service movers in San Diego ranges from $506 for a studio apartment to $3,420 for a 3-bedroom home. A typical 5-bedroom home will cost about $6,370. Long-distance and interstate moving is even costlier, so if you're moving out of San Diego or leaving California altogether, expect to pay more.

Full-service moving rates can vary widely depending on the specifics of your move, so reach out to a moving company for an accurate quote.

Typical Cost Breakdown

The cost of your full-service move depends primarily on four key factors:

  • Size of your home
  • Number of movers and hours you’ll need them
  • Driving distance from door to door
  • Charge for use of truck (if not included in hourly rate)

At base, most companies charge an hourly rate per mover, then tack on additional fees for other factors.

Bedrooms
Home Size
Number of Movers + Hours
Studio
400–650 sq. ft.
2 movers, 4 hours
1–2
700–1,000 sq. ft.
2 movers, 5 hours
2–3
1,100–1,500 sq. ft.
3 movers, 6 hours
1,600–2,000 sq. ft.
3 movers, 8 hours
3–4
2,000–3,000 sq. ft.
4 movers, 9 hours
5+
3,000 sq. ft. or more
6 movers, 10 hours or more
Source: "How Many Movers Do I Need?" moveBuddha

Don’t forget to tip 💸

It’s common courtesy to tip your movers 10–20% of the total cost. For a three-bedroom home, that could be upwards of $300.

Other Things That Could Increase Your Cost

Circumstances and challenges specific to your move could cost you more money.

🕰️ Timing

Companies often charge higher rates for weekends, holidays, and jobs that require movers to work overtime.
🎹 Specialty items

Moving pianos or other heavy and awkward pieces might require additional time and movers.
🧳 Packing supplies

Extra bubble wrap for fragile items, large wardrobe boxes for clothes, and other packing supplies can add up. Save by providing your own.
📦 Unpacking service

Some companies offer unpacking as part of full-service moving. You can save money by doing this yourself.
🏢 Difficult circumstances

Stairs, narrow hallways, elevators, and distant parking can incur additional time and fees.
🗝️ Storage

If your new home isn't ready, you'll need to store your items until you can move in.
🛡️ Insurance

If your renters or homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover transport of your possessions, you can buy insurance from your moving company or a third party.

How to Get a Quote

You can get a quote from most movers by calling or filling out an online form to provide details about your home.

For the most accurate estimate, ask the mover to stop by your home in person or virtually to take a look at your belongings. This will allow the mover to take note of more complicated items, such as antique furniture or extra heavy items.

Alternatively, a moving broker can do the work for you, providing a quote from a carrier in your area.

How to Avoid Moving Company Scams

Check your mover's Federal registration. You can check the company's registration, violations, and complaint history by searching on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

Look for complaints on the Better Business Bureau website. Searching the company's BBB profile can give you an idea of what kinds of complaints have been filed against the company and how the business resolved them.

Understand your rights and responsibilities. By law, every interstate mover must provide documentation about your rights as a consumer and the mover's responsibilities. Make sure you read it carefully!

Know about your insurance options. If you're moving within the same state, your mover may offer you coverage, or you can purchase a moving insurance policy independently. According to Federal law, interstate movers must offer two different types of valuation coverage: full value protection and released value.

🚩Common red flags

  • The movers provide a low estimate over the phone without visiting the home or seeing the goods to be moved.
  • The moving company insists on cash or a large deposit before the move.
  • The mover does not provide a written estimate.
  • The company's website doesn't provide a local address or any information about its registration or insurance.
  • The mover asks you to sign blank documents.
  • The mover claims you have more items than the original estimate.
Source: FMCSA

If you notice one or more of these red flags when researching a moving company, it's probably best to avoid it.

How Far in Advance Should I Reach Out to a Mover in San Diego?

If you're moving locally within San Diego, look for a moving company about one month before your move — or two months ahead of time if you plan to move during the peak season of May through August. For interstate moves, start looking two to three months out, depending on the season.

Sources

We drew from the following sources to write this article:

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Posted in Moving