Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (2022)

So, you’re ready to leave the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles? Maybe you’re tired of battling hours of traffic anytime you want to head to the beach or grab BBQ in Koreatown. Or maybe the perpetually rising housing costs are finally too much for your wallet.

Whatever your reason for moving out of the city of Los Angeles, you’re not the only one. A new report shows 33% of apartment hunters in L.A. are looking to move to other cities, with Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Riverside topping the list.

The U.S. Census Bureau also confirms the fact that thousands of people in Southern California are searching for new digs. In 2018, Orange County had 20,000 more people leave than move in. L.A. County saw almost 100,000 people leave, making it the biggest net loss in the U.S.

But not everyone is leaving Southern California entirely, or even moving out of the greater Los Angeles metro area. Almost 19,000 people moved to Riverside County, the fourth-biggest gain in the nation.

If you’re one of the many leaving L.A. County, you’re probably wondering how to get it done and how much it will cost. In this guide, you’ll find details on what to expect with each type of service and cost breakdowns on Los Angeles moving companies, portable container services like PODS, and the total DIY approach. In addition to moving locally to someplace like Riverside, we’ll include cost estimates for popular destinations, like moving from L.A. to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Diego.

Moving is never easy, but armed with some solid intel you have the chance to avoid needless work or stress.

Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (1)

Which type of LA moving service is right for you?

When you’re moving out of L.A. or within the area, you’ll have to decide which type of moving service fits your needs. A lot of this depends on your budget, how much time you have to get out of your current place, and when your new pad will be available.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How much stuff do you have to move?
  • What’s your budget and timing?
  • 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?
  • Do you need storage or scheduling flexibility?
  • Are you moving out of an urban area that has parking restrictions?

Once you’ve done some thinking, it’s time to pick the moving service that’s right for you.

Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (2)

What are your options for moving in L.A.?

There are many different ways to move your stuff from Point A to Point B, whether you’re moving out of the city to the Riverside suburbs or relocating to another state. While many areas of Los Angeles County have room to park a rental truck or moving container, some ultra urban locations can be more of a challenge. If you absolutely hate the idea of driving a huge truck in L.A. traffic, you may want to consider hiring full-service professional movers or using a moving container service.

(Video) Los Angeles: 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Move.

Don’t want to fork over money for full-service? Bribe friends or family members to help you load up a moving truck.

But if you prefer not to rush your moving process, consider a PODS storage container that lets you pack and load at your own pace. Not sure where your next address will actually be? PODS will keep your container — and your belongings — safe in a secure storage center until you’re ready to have it delivered to your new home.

Whatever your moving scenario, you still have five main options for moving:

  1. Traditional full-service mover
  2. Moving container service
  3. City moving service using containers
  4. Rental truck
  5. A combination of the above

Let’s take a look at moving costs, how each service works, and its pros and cons.

Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (3)

How much does a local move cost in Los Angeles?

Are you staying in the L.A. area, but moving to a different neighborhood? Even if you’re moving the nearly 60 miles to Riverside, that’s usually going to be considered a local move for pricing purposes. While you should always get detailed estimates based on your specific move, here’s a general range on local L.A. moving costs based on pricing from PODS and the MoveBuddha Moving Cost Calculator.

Depending on the amount of stuff you’re moving and the number of miles, local moving costs in Los Angeles for a moderately furnished 2- to 3-bedroom home will range from $63* on the low side for a rental truck to $2,321* on the high end for a traditional mover.

If you go with a PODS moving container, the cost to move locally in L.A. for a moderately furnished 2- to 3-bedroom household is usually between $349* to $549*, including one-month built-in storage, either in your driveway or at a secure Storage Center, with standard delivery and pick-up service.

L.A. Moving Costs*: Local Moving Estimates

Household SizeFull-Service MoversPODS
(1-month storage included)
Rental Truck
(plus fuel costs)
2-3 bedroom
(800-1,200 sf)
$1,044-$2,321$349-$549
$63-$122

How much does it cost to move from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Las Vegas, or San Diego?

Some people move out of Los Angeles in search of cheaper housing and less traffic. Or maybe they’re pursuing a job opportunity or want more room to spread out. Whatever the reason, many Angelenos are packing up and moving, and Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Diego are among the most popular destinations.

Below you’ll find estimates on moving to each city, whether you’re using a rental truck, PODS moving containers, or professional movers. We hope this helps you pick the right moving service for you!

Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (4)

Moving Costs* from Los Angeles to Phoenix: 374 miles

Household SizeFull-Service MoversPODSRental Truck
2-3 bedroom
(800-1,200 sf)
$1,620-$3,432$1,700-$2,299$328-$505
Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (5)
(Video) Moving company nightmares: What you need to know before you move (CBC Marketplace)

Moving Costs* from Los Angeles to Las Vegas: 272 miles

Household SizeFull-Service MoversPODSRental Truck
2-3 bedroom
(800-1,200 sf)
$1,620-$3,432$1,449-$1,849$328-$505
Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (6)

Moving Costs* from Los Angeles to San Diego: 121 miles

Household SizeFull-Service MoversPODSRental Truck
2-3 bedroom
(800-1,200 sf)
$1,620-$3,432$890-$1,099$142-$217
Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (7)

How much does it cost to move out of Los Angeles to other parts of the country?

The cost of moving long distance depends on how far you’re going, the amount of stuff you’re moving, and market conditions in your destination city. Truck rentals for long-distance moves average $971 plus incidentals, according to HireAHelper.com. On the other end of the spectrum, Moving.com estimates that traditional full-service moves cost an average of $4,890. Moving long distance with PODS containers will usually cost from $999 to $2,999, including one month for storage.

Now that you have an idea of the costs, here’s a look at the pros and cons to help you decide on moving services.

Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (8)

Traditional Full-Service: Hiring Los Angeles Moving Companies or Long-Distance Movers

If you prefer a hands-off approach to moving, hiring professional movers may be the best choice. The level of service depends on how much you want done for you and how much you want to pay. The basic service covers loading, unloading, and driving, leaving you responsible for boxing everything up and unpacking. Pay more, and most L.A. movers will come in and pack all your belongings into boxes, including your fragile stuff, and reverse the process at your new home. Even without the extras, hiring professional movers in Los Angeles is the most expensive option.

If you’ve decided using pro movers in LA is for you, start out by asking friends and family members for referrals. Remember to get estimates in writing you can refer to later! Be wary of unusually low bids — they could be scams.

Here are some key points to cover with moving companies:

  1. Check their licensing and online reviews.
  2. Ask if they’ll be using subcontractors.
  3. Find out how their scheduling works and how they handle date changes.
  4. Ask about the deposit, cancellation, and refund policy.
  5. Find out if there are any extra fees for stairs, extra-heavy items, or other factors.
  6. If you need storage, ask if it’s available, and get details on costs and access.

Pros for hiring a full-service moving company in Los Angeles:

  • You won’t have to deal with LA’s infamous traffic.
  • If it’s a reliable mover, this can be the easiest moving option.
  • You can choose extra services depending on the company.
  • You won’t have to bribe friends and family members with pizza to help you move.
  • If you have them pack and unpack, you won’t need to get moving supplies like boxes and tape.

Cons for hiring a full-service moving company in Los Angeles:

  • It’s the most expensive option.
  • This is the least flexible option; you’ll have to schedule your movers on a particular day with no room for leeway.
  • You probably won’t have a convenient storage option.
  • You’ll have to deal with people coming in your house and touching your stuff
  • There can be more potential for damage, especially on long-distance moves, when your stuff gets handled multiple times during transport.

How to get estimates for full-service movers:

  • For local moves: You can usually get an estimate by phone (ask for a written copy via email) or sometimes online, based on an hourly rate per moving professional.
  • For long-distance moves: An in-home visit or virtual walk-through is usually required, and the estimate is based on the distance and estimated weight of your belongings, which means the final amount can change.
Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (9)
(Video) Leadway Relocation Services Review | Moving Scam that cost us $$$$

Portable containers: How PODS works for moving in L.A.

If you’re not into hiring professional movers but also don’t want to deal with driving a moving truck, a portable container service like PODS could be right for your L.A. move. Using a PODS container is a lot more affordable than full-service movers, and you don’t have to deal with driving a truck in horrendous L.A. traffic. Plus you’ll have convenient storage options if you haven’t found a new place yet, have a gap between moving in and out, or need to do some downsizing, home staging, or renovations.

There are two service options when using PODS containers in L.A.:

  1. PODS standard service, for those who have a place where they can keep a container overnight
  2. PODS City Service, designed for urban areas that don’t allow containers on the street

Here’s how PODS standard service works:

  • The container is delivered to you.
  • You load the PODS container at your convenience, whether that takes you a few days or weeks.
  • PODS picks it up and takes your container to your new place or to a secure storage facility, where you can access your stuff by appointment.
  • When you’re done unloading, PODS picks up your container.
  • You can take a full 30 days to move, or pay a set monthly storage rental fee for more time.

PODS standard service is probably easiest if you have a house with a driveway or live on a street or in an apartment that will accommodate a container. If you need to keep your container in the street or live in an apartment, check with your local government or your building manager about what’s allowed.

If a container can’t be left at your location, that’s where PODS City Service comes in. This is really handy if you live in a denser part of Los Angeles where it’s out of the question to park a container on the street. With this service, your container stays on the truck while you load it up, assisted by a built-in hydraulic lift that allows you to load at ground level. The driver stays with the truck at all times, guarding against tickets and protecting your stuff. When you’re done loading, the truck takes your container to your new place, or to a nearby storage facility.

You can combine City Service with PODS standard service, depending on the parking availability in each location. For example, you might be moving from a city apartment to a home in the suburbs.

Pros for using a PODS moving container when you’re moving out of Los Angeles:

  • The most flexible option for dates and storage
  • You don’t have to deal with driving and parking in Los Angeles
  • You can really take your time loading and unloading the container
  • More affordable than full-service movers
  • PODS standard service is contactless; nobody will touch or move your things
  • You can add hourly labor to help with specific tasks, like packing or loading heavy items
  • It’s easy to combine containers with another service such as a rental truck to customize your move

Cons for using a moving container:

  • You need to arrange for your own help for loading and unloading
  • Usually more expensive than truck rentals if it’s a small, local move
  • If you can’t keep a container overnight, you may need PODS City Service or full-service movers
  • You’ll need multiple containers for larger moves
  • You may be less familiar with using moving containers than other services

How to get estimates for PODS moving:

  • For local moves: You can get a detailed quote online or by phone at 877-350-7637 (followed in writing via email)
  • For long-distance moves: You can get a detailed quote by phone at 877-350-7637 (followed in writing via email)
Leaving L.A.? What You Need to Know About Moving Costs and Relocation Services (10)

Getting a rental truck for your move out of Los Angeles

Some people prefer moving with a rental truck because they can usually save money, and they don’t mind driving a big truck. Plus, you have flexibility with the size of the truck, your rental dates, and who helps you with your L.A. move.

On the flip side, this is the most stressful method, because you’ll have to first deal with Los Angeles traffic, and second, drive the truck to your new destination. You’ll also have to decide where you’re going to park the truck, and either hire movers or find friends or family who are willing to help. For information on how to park legally and avoid tickets, visit L.A. Parking.

(Video) I"M MOVING OUT OF TEXAS! Moving back to California | COST: PODS, movers, flights, supplies

For long-distance moving, renting your own truck and using a container service is a toss-up in terms of price, especially when you factor in costs for transporting your own vehicle while you’re driving the rental truck, as well as gas, mileage, and other expenses.

Pros for using a rental truck for your L.A. move:

  • For smaller, short moves, trucks are usually the cheapest way to go
  • You’re in charge of your move and who handles your things
  • It’s easy to see pricing options and book the rental online
  • There is usually good availability and a lot of rental trucks on the market

Cons for using a rental truck:

  • You’ll have to deal with parking the truck and driving on harrowing L.A. freeways
  • You’ll have to figure out all the loading and unloading on your own
  • If you need storage, you’ll probably need to rent a truck and load/unload multiple times
  • Rental trucks are usually the most stressful experience
  • High late fees
  • If you’re moving long-distance, it can cost nearly as much as a moving container, and you’ll still have to drive the truck.

How to get estimates for rental trucks:

  • For local and long-distance moves: You can get a detailed quote online or by phone (followed in writing via email)

Los Angeles Storage Units

When you’re moving out of Los Angeles, you may be headed to a smaller house or apartment. Or maybe your move-in or move-out dates don’t quite align, forcing you to figure out where to keep your stuff in the interim.

That usually means finding a temporary storage unit in L.A.

You can either choose self-storage, where you’ll have to rent a truck and move all your stuff to the storage unit yourself, or rent a portable storage container.

A PODS portable container simplifies storage, especially when combined with a move. You choose between three container sizes, and a PODS truck shows up and drops it off for you. After you fill the container, PODS picks it up and drives it to a secure storage facility, where it will wait until you need your stuff. You can easily access your container and items by appointment. When you move into your new place, PODS will deliver the container to your doorstep.

Moving day in Los Angeles

Moving day is tons of work, but there are definitely ways to cut down on the stress and hassle. Make sure to stay hydrated and take breaks! If you’re well prepared and pick the right L.A. moving option for your circumstances, moving day can be an exciting transition to your new life.

Kristin Hanes is a California-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in SF Gate, Marie Claire, and Realtor.com, among other publications.

(Video) Relocation Packages - Part 1

FAQs

What is an acceptable relocation package? ›

A typical relocation package usually covers the costs of moving and storing furnishings, household goods, assistance with selling an existing home, costs incurred with house-hunting, temporary housing, and all travel costs by the employee and family to the new location.

How much should I ask for relocation costs? ›

Relocation packages can range in worth from $2,000 to $100,000. What services and the amount of money you decide to cover is entirely up to you and your company. However, keep in mind that the more you are willing to give, the harder it may be for a candidate to refuse your offer when you negotiate moving expenses!

Do you have to pay back relocation money if you quit? ›

Most relocation contracts require you to work for the new company for one to two years, and repay if you voluntarily leave, or are fired for cause.

How much do companies usually pay for relocation? ›

How much are you given to relocate? The full costs and figures can vary depending on the individual and their package however, as an example, payments are typically between $2000 and $100,000.

What can you negotiate in a relocation package? ›

The following advice should help you handle this negotiation as effectively as possible.
  • Focus on your interests. Think of relocating for work as a massive opportunity to make improvements in your life. ...
  • Find out what assistance is typical. ...
  • Develop ideas that benefit both sides. ...
  • Get it in writing. ...
  • Maintain your sanity.

How much does it cost to relocate a tenant in Los Angeles? ›

2021-2022 Los Angeles County Relocation Assistance Fees For Tenant in Los Angeles County
Type of Tenant Eligible or QualifiedStandardSenior, Minors, Disabled
Studio$7,654$9,272
1 Bedroom$8,662$10,675
2 Bedroom$10,797$13,359
3 Bedroom$13,115$16,043

What is a generous relocation package? ›

A generous relocation package covers all moving expenses and will give employees ample time to find their new home. ARC Relocation can help with various factors associated with relocation. This includes finding movers to assist with your employee's relocation, packing and unpacking services, and vehicle shipping.

Do landlord's have to pay for relocation in California? ›

Under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), a landlord is only required to pay monetary relocation assistance payments to tenants being evicted through no fault of their own. Without a RSO cause, a tenancy may not be terminated.

How do you ask for relocation assistance examples? ›

Just Ask the Question

If so, that's easy: request a copy of the relocation policy, wee what's covered, and if necessary, start negotiating accordingly. If not, thank them, consider the offer—and if you're interested, ask—directly and courteously—if relocation benefits can be included.

How does paying back relocation work? ›

Under a payback clause, a transferred employee agrees to reimburse the company all or part of the employer's expenses for the transfer if the employee leaves the company within a specified time, typically within a year after the move.

Can a company make you pay back moving expenses? ›

A Repayment Agreement is a legally enforceable contract stating that if the employee resigns or is terminated by the Company within a certain time frame following relocation, the employee agrees to repay the company any relocation expenses that were paid by the company.

Can employer deduct moving expenses paid to employee? ›

Qualified Moving Expenses Reimbursements No Longer Excluded from Employees' Income, with Two Exceptions. For 2018 through 2025, employers must include moving expense reimbursements in employees' wages. The new tax law suspends the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements.

How much should a lump sum relocation package be? ›

Of those companies, most companies are providing anywhere from $2,500 to $4,999. If the company was going to cover the entire relocation, they'd offer anywhere from $10,000 - $14,999. So if your company is going to offer you a lump sum, you should expect to see somewhere within that range.

Does relocation expenses include rent? ›

Rent and utility fees are typically included for rental housing. Moving. The cost of a moving truck and other related expenses may be included. Full Pack / Unpack.

How are moving expenses calculated? ›

You can use a moving costs calculator or the following formula:
  1. (Hourly rate) X (Number of movers) X (Number of hours to complete the move) + (Travel fee) + (Charges for additional services and packing materials you have requested)
  2. Good to know: Most local moving companies have a minimum charge of 2-4 hours.
5 Jan 2022

How do companies pay for relocation? ›

Reimbursement. Reimbursement relocation packages allow transferees to pay for all moving expenses with the notion in mind that their employer will reimburse them with a specific amount of money after they have relocated. In doing this, a company covers most if not all moving expenses.

What is the process of relocation? ›

Relocation, also known as moving, or moving house, is the process of leaving one's dwelling and settling in another. The new location can be in the same neighborhood or a much farther location in a different city or different country (immigration).

How do I ask HR for relocation allowance? ›

The only way to ask for relocation expenses is to ask directly or be upfront about your needs. If receiving relocation assistance is non-negotiable for you, it's best to be upfront about it. You can ask the HR what the relocation policy is in your company.

What is the relocation fee in California? ›

If you qualify for a relocation payment under California Civil Code Section 1946.2, you will receive payment for one month's rent within fifteen (15) calendar days after service of this Notice.

How much money does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in California? ›

If your landlord evicts you for one of these reasons, they must first give you one month's rent or waive one month's rent to help you move out.

What is the Ellis Act in Los Angeles? ›

The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict tenants in rent-controlled units if they are planning to “go out of business.” The public excuse for the law was that it would protect small “mom and pop” landlords who wanted to retire.

What is a generous relocation package? ›

A generous relocation package covers all moving expenses and will give employees ample time to find their new home. ARC Relocation can help with various factors associated with relocation. This includes finding movers to assist with your employee's relocation, packing and unpacking services, and vehicle shipping.

What is a typical executive relocation package? ›

Typically, all moving expenses will be covered in the executive relocation package. This includes packing and shipping household goods (usually up to 18,000 pounds), vehicle shipment, short or long-term storage, short-term housing, transportation expenses (airplane/train tickets), and one or more home-finding trips.

What is a lump sum relocation package? ›

If you're not familiar with the concept, a lump sum relocation typically consists of a single, fixed amount provided to an employee by an employer to move to a destination. Global mobility professionals often view this as a simple way to get employees into a new role quickly.

Does relocation expenses include rent? ›

Rent and utility fees are typically included for rental housing. Moving. The cost of a moving truck and other related expenses may be included. Full Pack / Unpack.

How does relocation pay work? ›

Reimbursement relocation packages allow transferees to pay for all moving expenses with the notion in mind that their employer will reimburse them with a specific amount of money after they have relocated. In doing this, a company covers most if not all moving expenses.

How are moving expenses calculated? ›

You can use a moving costs calculator or the following formula:
  1. (Hourly rate) X (Number of movers) X (Number of hours to complete the move) + (Travel fee) + (Charges for additional services and packing materials you have requested)
  2. Good to know: Most local moving companies have a minimum charge of 2-4 hours.
5 Jan 2022

Do landlord's have to pay for relocation in California? ›

Under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), a landlord is only required to pay monetary relocation assistance payments to tenants being evicted through no fault of their own. Without a RSO cause, a tenancy may not be terminated.

What are the pros and cons of relocating? ›

Pros
  • 1) Career advancement.
  • 2) Some employers will offer relocation assistance.
  • 3) Exploring a new culture.
  • 1) Expensive to relocate.
  • 2) Partner may struggle.
  • 3) Uprooting children's lives.
  • 4) You have to make new friends.
  • 5) Loss of stability.
25 May 2020

How long do companies give you to relocate? ›

What's a reasonable amount of time to relocate? Typically, employers will give you between 4 weeks from accepting the offer to starting the job. But if they need to fill a position immediately, they may only allow a couple of weeks or less to move.

Why do companies relocate employees? ›

The reasons for relocating an employee can include to open a new location, fill an open position in another location, career development, and more.

What is a standard relocation fee? ›

How much do employee relocation packages cost? Relocating an employee can be a costly endeavor for companies. The average relocation package costs between $19,309 and $24,216 for renters and between $72,627 and $97,116 for homeowners, according to American Relocation Connections (ARC), a corporate relocation group.

How do I maximize my relocation bonus? ›

Here are a few ways to stretch a lump sum relocation package to cover the entire moving process.
  1. 1) Plan Ahead for Taxes.
  2. 2) Understand the Relocation Package.
  3. 3) Create a Lump Sum Budget.
  4. 4) Reduce the Amount of Stuff to Move.
  5. 5) Broaden the Home Search.
  6. 6) Remain Flexible.
  7. 7) Use Portable Shipping Containers.
2 Jul 2020

How is relocation money taxed? ›

Tax gross-ups are employer-made payments that cover employee tax obligations. Essentially, when employees are given relocation benefits, the benefit amount becomes taxable income, which normally means they would have to pay income and FICA taxes on the amount received.

Is new furniture a relocation expense? ›

Moving costs for new furniture.

If you buy furniture on the way to your new home, you cannot deduct the price of moving it. You also can't deduct the cost of the furniture -- no matter how good of a deal you get.

When should you ask for relocation assistance? ›

Ask directly or be upfront about your needs: If receiving relocation assistance is non-negotiable for you, it's best to be upfront about it. It doesn't hurt to ask what the policy is – just hold off on asking for something specific until you have an offer.

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