The 3 Best Moving Companies in San Francisco (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 Specialty Moves | Best for Long-Distance Moves | Cost of Movers | Avoiding Scams

best moving companies in San Francisco

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San Francisco draws people from all over the country and the world. The city has over 1,000 moving companies ready to help you make the move.

We researched the best movers in the area and narrowed it down to three of the best. Our team spent 100 hours researching and comparing the top movers in San Francisco. Then we ranked them based on criteria like price, reliability, and customer experience.

Read on to see our top picks for best overall, best for specialty moves, and best for long-distance moves.

🚚 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 Francisco (at a Glance)

Company
What We Like
Avg. Customer Rating
One Big Man and One Big Truck
Best Overall
4.8 (882 reviews)

Corrib Moving & Storage
Best for Specialty Moves

4.9 (662 reviews)

NorthStar Moving Company
Best for Long-Distance Moves

4.6 (2552 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 β€” who have moved more than 300 times collectively β€” 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 Francisco

1. One Big Man and One Big Truck: Best Overall

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.8 (882 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
Medium
β›” Out of Service Violations*
0
πŸ’° Typical Cost**
$2,500
πŸ›£οΈ USDOT Number
2915610
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

One Big Man & One Big Truck is our top pick for local moves because of its affordable rates and excellent service. It performs full-service and labor-only moves in the San Francisco, East Bay, Marin, and San Mateo areas.

The company's rates are affordable. We got a quote of $2,500 for a three-bedroom house, β€” a bit lower than the city’s average of $2,756. It also offers packing materials with free delivery with a purchase of $50 or above.

One Big Man & One Big Truck gets above-average ratings online. Reviewers mention that its team is punctual, friendly, and efficient. There are a couple of negative reviews about miscommunication and damage, but they're pretty old.

It has one driver per company vehicle, which means there might be some delays or scheduling issues if someone is out sick.

⚑ 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. Corrib Moving & Storage: Best for Specialty Moves

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.9 (662 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
Medium
β›” Out of Service Violations*
0
πŸ’° Typical Cost**
$2,980
πŸ›£οΈ USDOT Number
3266994
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

Corrib Moving & Storage is a great choice if you need to move heavy or unusual items in the Greater Bay Area. This family-owned moving company handles full-service commercial and residential moves, packing, and specialty moving.

Corrib Moving & Storage's pricing seems reasonable, if a bit above average. Our quote was $2,980 to move a three-bedroom home, which is a bit more expensive than the city average of $2,756. But it also moves items that other companies might not deal with.

Corrib has a ton of positive company reviews. Most customers seemed to have a good experience. Reviewers said that the team was friendly, efficient, and communicative. There were a few negative reviews that were typical damage complaints. We didn't see any major red flags.

The company's medium-sized fleet only has one registered driver per vehicle. That's not bad, but it might cause delays or scheduling issues if a worker calls out sick.

3. NorthStar Moving Company: Best for Long-Distance Moves

⭐ Avg. Customer Rating
4.6 (2552 reviews)
🚚 Reliability Rating
Medium
β›” Out of Service Violations*
1
πŸ’° Typical Cost**
Call for estimate
πŸ›£οΈ USDOT Number
1836576
*Between 2020–2022, FMCSA
**Estimate based on a move distance of 5–20 miles from a 3-bedroom home

NorthStar Moving Company has over two decades of moving experience, including long-distance moving. The company started in California and has since expanded to Arizona and Texas.

NorthStar has a wide variety of moving services. It offers typical full-service moves, as well as storage, packing and unpacking, and specialty-item services. In fact, it even moves celebrities. But the service that placed it on this list is its excellent long-distance and international moving.

NorthStar Moving Company reviews are mostly positive. Reviewers praised its speed and efficiency, as well as the friendly and professional team. Some people complained about damage and miscommunication. But these complaints are pretty common for moving companies. And NorthStar Moving customer service has responded and tried to resolve the issues.

The company has quite a few vehicles, but it only has around one registered driver for each. That's not bad, but it could potentially cause delays or scheduling issues if a driver gets sick.

Next Steps: Compare Moving Companies in San Francisco

How Much Do Movers Cost in San Francisco?

You can expect to pay $494 for a studio apartment and up to $2,756 for a full-service move of a 3-bedroom home in San Francisco. Larger homes will cost more. Professional movers for a 5-bedroom home, for example, will cost around $4,892. Long-distance and international moves will be even more expensive.

Full-service moving rates depend on how much stuff you have, how far you're moving, how fast you need to move, and how much help you'll need. We recommend reaching out to a moving company for an accurate quote.

⚠️ Reserve your parking spot: You can request temporary "No Parking" signage to reserve a spot for your moving truck. Contact the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority at least five business days in advance.

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 πŸ’Έ

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.

πŸ•°οΈ 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.
πŸ“¦ 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.
πŸ—οΈ Storage

If your new home isn't ready, you'll need to store your items until you can move in.
πŸ›‘οΈ 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 Francisco?

If you're moving locally within San Francisco, look for a moving company about one month before your move β€” 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