How do I move my stuff from the Bay Area to Los Angeles?
September 7, 2017 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved to LA and have a bunch of my belongings in a 25 sq. foot storage unit in the Bay Area. (Mostly boxes, a few small furniture type items.) I am about to sign a lease on a house and want to figure out the cheapest and/or easiest way to haul my stuff down here, ideally about ten days from now.

My family is up there and they are willing to help coordinate things on that end if needed. My options as I see it are a) fly up, rent a moving truck, and drive it down myself or b) pay movers to haul it down here. Is there another way I'm missing? I would appreciate advice or recommendations.
posted by Dilemma to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can also fly up and rent a truck, hire movers to load it, drive it down, and hire other movers to unload it. I've done that for an inter-state move.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:52 PM on September 7, 2017

Best answer: Amtrak offers station-to-station freight service, my sister recently shipped 250 pounds of boxes from California to Missouri for $150. I'm not sure about your furniture, if you can put it on a pallet they can probably ship it.
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:19 PM on September 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are also the PODS moving boxes that are dropped off, filled and picked back up. A quick look at their website says those start at about $800. Budget rental trucks are between $200 and $300, depending on the size of the truck. UHaul tends to be expensive. Not sure if Penske still rents trucks, but you might check with them as well.

Your regular car rental insurance almost certainly doesn't pay for a commwercial truck, so be aware of that.
posted by cnc at 8:27 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Penske does rent trucks. I have one right now.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:10 PM on September 7, 2017

Renting a truck locally and then driving it both ways can sometimes work out cheaper than a one way rental.
posted by Mitheral at 10:23 PM on September 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also, go onto craigslist and see if anybody has a load they are moving the other direction and would like to avoid driving back with an empty van? Clearly you'd have to vet such a person but you can't be the only person looking to move stuff between the two areas.
posted by koahiatamadl at 11:59 PM on September 7, 2017

I recommend Amtrak freight as often as I can. It's slow but super-cheap. My last experience with it was in 2001 so you must find the current details yourself.
posted by bendy at 12:08 AM on September 8, 2017

Thirding Amtrak -- it was absolutely stellar and insanely cheap. I forgot to put one tiny box on my pallet of 30 boxes, and shipping that one box through regular mail cost the same amount as the pallet.
posted by knownassociate at 8:46 AM on September 8, 2017

Best answer: Amtrak Express is good, but by the time you get your stuff from storage to the SF station, and then from downtown LA to your place it might be just as easy to drive it to LA. They won't take loose furniture though.

U-Haul has it's MovingHelp site, which is for booking freelance movers for loading/unloading, if that's an issue.

You don't have to actually be renting a U-Haul to use it if Penske or someone else has better prices. There's also Budget Truck Rental. You can rent a cargo van if you don't need an actual truck. Or maybe ship boxes Amtrak and take the furniture in a cargo van or a pickup.

There's also U-Ship, which is a way for commercial truckers to pick up extra jobs. It might work instead of movers if your stuff is mostly boxed. You'll negotiate directly with the trucking company. There's plenty of freight between SF and LA so you might want to give it a shot and see what the bids look like.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:15 AM on September 9, 2017

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