About 29 million people call Texas home. But, like the old cowboys that roamed the plains, modern-day Texans are often on the move.
A few are just moving down the street, others are relocating further west, like to California, and some are moving north to cooler climates. Meanwhile, tons of folks are moving to Texas from other states to take their place.
If you’re one of the many people moving in Texas, we’re here to help.
We’ll go through all the logistics and basic costs you need to consider when moving in the Lone Star State, whether you’re coming or going. Read on, or use these links to jump to the sections you need:
- Top questions for planning your move
- Texas moving costs/options: Local and in-state moves
- Moving costs from Texas to California
- Moving costs from Texas to New York and other Northeast cities
- Comparing Texas moving companies
Before you start calling up moving companies in Texas today, you’ll definitely want to know the answers to these questions so you can get the most accurate quote possible.
Questions to ask yourself when moving in Texas:
- How much stuff are you moving (how many bedrooms/boxes/big items)?
- What’s your budget and timing?
- Do you want safe and secure storage?
- Are you looking for contactless moving to reduce risks of COVID-19 spread?
- How much work are you willing and able to do yourself? Do you have friends or family who can help?
- Are you moving to an urban area that has narrow streets or parking restrictions?
But you didn’t click on this article because you wanted to answer a bunch of questions, so let’s giddyup.
Read on for Texas moving options and costs, or click here to go back to the top.
What are your Texas moving options?
The process of moving is, at its core, about making choices. Do you bring the old toaster or give it to the Salvation Army? Do you buy the bungalow with the renovated kitchen or the ranch home with tons of space?
After choosing your home, one of the most important choices is what kind of Texas moving companies you want to consider. Here are the main options.
Texas moving options:
- Traditional full-service mover
- Moving container service
- Rental truck
- A combination of the above
There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these Texas moving companies. We’ll go through all of the factors you need to consider with each one, starting with everyone’s favorite: price.
How much does a local move cost in Texas?
They say money makes the world go ‘round. Well it can also help your stuff go ‘round. But just how much of your hard-earned cash will you have to hand over to movers in Texas?
Before you go ahead and Google “Austin Texas moving” or “Houston Texas moving companies,” consult these average costs for local movers. If you’re seeing quotes that are way higher or lower than these numbers, be cautious.
Local Texas moving costs*
|Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
People aren’t exaggerating when they say Texas is big. The state is bigger than many countries (Germany, Poland, and France, to name just a few). So it makes sense that a bunch of people are moving around within the state.
Some of the most popular migration routes are from Houston to Dallas (and vice versa) and from Austin to Dallas (and vice versa). Here’s a quick look at those moves.
Moving from Houston to Dallas
Houston and Dallas are just 240 miles and a few hours apart, but they represent two distinct parts of Texas. Houston is wetter, but Dallas is hotter. Houston housing costs are a bit cheaper3, but Dallas has The Cowboys. Houston boasts thousands of restaurants, but Dallas is the birthplace of 7-11.
Really, whichever direction you’re going, you can’t go wrong. But you can pay too much for your move. See the chart below for the average costs of moving from Dallas to Houston and vice versa. (Still looking for a place to call home in Dallas? See our guide to Dallas neighborhoods.)
Costs of moving from Houston to Dallas (and vice versa)*
|Direction of Move||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Dallas to Houston||$1,620-$3,432||$1,129-$1,449||$328-$505|
|Houston to Dallas||$1,620-$3,432||$1,129-$1,449||$328-$505|
Since the cities are relatively close together, moving with a rental truck might be a viable option. But it can make for a long, hot day, especially if you’re moving during the summer months. With PODS containers, you can at least spread your loading and unloading out over several days or even weeks — and you also have the option of hiring hourly labor to help you with the heavy lifting.
Moving from Dallas to Austin
Austin may be smaller than Dallas, but it’s the capital city of the Lone Star State, and it’s got plenty to show for it. Austin boasts an unparalleled music scene (it’s the home of the famous South by Southwest music festival), fantastic food, and its very own Tesla car factory (coming soon).4
Those moving to Austin from Dallas have all that, and a lovable, artsy culture to look forward to. If, on the other hand, you’re leaving Austin for Dallas, you can get excited about the cheaper cost of living.5 Dallas’ lower home prices could make it possible for you to get that extra space you’ve been needing.
Whatever you decide to do with the money you save, don’t blow it on an overpriced move. Make sure that the Austin, Texas moving company you’re working with isn’t charging you much more than the average prices listed in this chart.
Costs of moving from Dallas to Austin (and vice versa)*
|Direction of Move||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Dallas to Austin||$1,620-$3,432||$1,299-$1,649||$328-$505|
|Austin to Dallas||$1,620-$3,432||$1,000-$1,619||$328-$505|
Read on for moving costs from Texas to California, or click here to go back to the top.
How much does a long-distance move to or from Texas cost?
Every location and move is different, but we’ve charted the costs of some popular routes out of Texas ( and the reverse) to help you get an idea of what to expect.
Moving from Texas to California
We’ll start with some figures for those moving West. California — places like San Francisco, Oakland, San Bernardino, and Monterey — can offer a more moderate climate and diverse culture to those who are ready to leave Texas.
Average moving costs* from Texas to California
|Route||# of Miles||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Dallas to L.A.||1,439||$2,200-$4,632||$2,200-$2,890||$1,142-$1,763|
|Houston to L.A.||1,550||$2,200-$4,632||$2,150-$2,580||$1,142-$1,763|
|Dallas to San Francisco||1,731||$2,200-$4,632||$1,900-$2,700||$1,200-$1,733|
|Houston to San Francisco||1,926||$2,434-$5,480||$2,100-$2,990||$1,580-$2,282|
The prices should be about the same if you reverse the moving direction (if you’re going from L.A. to Dallas, for example). You might see a slight price increase due to the fact that more people are moving to the state of Texas than leaving it.
Read on for moving costs from Texas to New York and other Northeast cities, or click here to go back to the top.
Moving from Texas to New York and other Northeast cities
As nice as California may be, not everyone wants to head west. So, here’s a look at some of the other popular destinations for those leaving Texas for the Northeast. While we can’t help you prepare for the snow and ice, we can offer some guidance on neighborhoods in these major Northeast cities:
Average Moving Costs* from Texas to Northeast
|Route||# of Miles||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Houston to NYC/Long Island/New Jersey||1,663||$2,200-$4,632||$2,000-$2,700||$1,200-$1,733|
|Dallas to Washington D.C.||1,328||$2,200-$4,632||$2,000-$2,600||$1,107-$1,706|
|Dallas to Baltimore||1,367||$2,200-$4,632||$1,850-$2,500||$1,107-$1,706|
|Dallas to Philadelphia||1,465||$2,200-$4,632||$2,000-$2,700||$1,142-$1,763|
|Dallas to Boston||1,769||$2,434-$5,480||$2,350-$3,050||$1,200-$1,733|
As we mentioned above, the prices for reversing the direction (going from Boston to Dallas, for example) should be similar, if not a bit pricier.
Now that you’ve seen the numbers, it’s time to take a closer look at your moving options in Texas.
Read on to compare Texas moving companies, or click here to go back to the top.
Using a full-service company for your move in Texas
Texas boasts some of the best retirement spots in the country. If you’re a retiree moving down to the Lone Star State to take it easy, then you’ve probably ruled out rental trucks and may be comparing full-service movers vs. moving containers.
There are plenty of full-service moving companies in Texas that would be happy to pack, load, drive, and unload all of your stuff for you while you sit back and sip on lemonade (or something stronger). They’ll even assemble your furniture. … All for just a few thousand bucks.
Yes, the numbers in your full-service mover quote will look a lot like the ones on a Texas thermometer in July: high. But if the price doesn’t scare you away, then full-service local movers might be the way to go for some folks who are relocating. Just be sure you’re going with a reputable company.
Here are a few things to check before you hire a full-service moving company.
- Make sure the company has proper licensing and good online reviews.
- Ask about the company’s scheduling and cancellation policies. Do they offer refunds?
- Find out if there are any extra fees for stairs, extra-heavy items, or other factors.
- Figure out if there are any storage units available in case you need to store your stuff while you wait to close on your new house.
- Ask if they use subcontracted labor.
Pros and cons of full-service movers
|No heavy lifting||Expensive|
|No driving a huge truck||Schedules can be rigid|
|Less hassle if you choose a good company||On long-distance moves, your belongings are often combined with other customers’, which leads to high damage and loss rates|
|Extra services available||Potential for extra fees|
|You don’t have to guess how much space you need||Storage may not be available or may be too costly if it is|
Using PODS moving containers
If you like saving money, need storage, and prefer more flexibility for your move, then portable containers like those from PODS are an affordable and convenient way to get your stuff where it needs to be.
Here’s a basic rundown of how PODS works when you’re moving in Texas.
- Your container is delivered to you.
- You can take your time loading (you rent the containers by the month).
- You have the option to hire hourly professionals referred by PODS to help with packing, loading, or both.
- PODS picks it up and takes it to a secure PODS Storage Center or your new place, whether that’s local or out of state.
- When you’re done unloading, PODS picks up your container.
Most Texas cities and suburbs offer plenty of parking space for a moving container, whether it’s in your driveway or on the street. Just be sure to check the parking options for your destination.
Here’s a breakdown of pros and cons of moving to Texas using portable containers.
Pros and cons of moving and storage containers
|Less expensive than full-service movers||Usually more expensive than rental trucks|
|No driving a huge truck||Parking room required|
|Flexibility to set your own pace||You need to decide which size containers to hold all your stuff|
|Option to hire hourly labor to help with loading and unloading||You’re responsible for the loading and unloading process|
|Built-in storage options|
Using rental trucks
While schlepping all of your worldly possessions across the country might not be your ideal road trip, it can save you some dough. Doing a self-move with a rental truck is definitely cheaper than using a full-service mover.
Just be prepared for a busy few days. Here are the steps you can expect to go through when renting a truck while moving in Texas:
- Figure out the truck size you need.
- Choose a rental truck company.
- Get a price estimate.
- Reserve your truck.
- Load your possessions.
- Drive (hopefully you’ve got some good audiobooks!).
- Unload your possessions.
- Repeat steps 5-7 for extra loads, if needed.
- Fill up the gas tank.
- Return rental truck and pay for any additional fees.
It’s worth taking some time to research rental truck moving companies in Texas. While all the trucks may look alike, some companies have better policies than others.
Another factor to consider: driving. Unlike full-service movers and moving container companies, who do the driving for you, and PODS, you’ll be in the driver’s seat when you opt to rent a truck.
If your move to or from Texas involves an urban city like Los Angeles, DC, or New York, then you might want to reconsider the rental truck option (have you ever driven a 16-foot box truck in Manhattan?).
Pros and cons of rental trucks
|Usually cheapest option for local moves||Subject to high late fees|
|Easy online pricing and reservations||Most stressful option|
|You set the schedule||Driving and parking a huge truck in a major urban city|
|Wide availability||No storage available|
There are so many moving options to choose from, why not use more than one if your relocation involves some unique complications? With a hybrid move you can utilize the best parts of multiple moving companies in Texas. Here are a few examples of what a hybrid move might look like:
- Use a moving container to declutter your home and send smaller items into storage, then hire full-service movers for the heavy and fragile stuff.
- Hire hourly labor to help pack and load your moving container. It’s basically like a full-service move, but often cheaper and more flexible.
- Load most of your big items into a moving container and then rent a small truck or moving van to grab smaller leftover items.
Hybrid moves are kind of like your favorite ice cream shop: the possibilities are basically endless. So go ahead, create the dessert (or move) of your dreams.
Whichever way you choose to move, we highly recommend using our detailed moving checklist to help you break down tasks week by week.
- Best Places, “2020 Compare Cities Overview: Houston, TX vs Dallas, TX”
- Urban Observatory, “Texas Population Inflow”
- Axios, “Tesla announces new Austin factory after pulling in $104 million profit in Q2”
- Best Places, “2020 Compare Cities Overview: Austin, TX vs Dallas, TX”
Easton Smith works as a freelance writer and researcher, reviewing technology trends and the moving industry.