I realize that this is probably going to be one of those "you have to ask the specific company" thing, but I wonder in general.

If I pay a company to move my stuff from the old to the new address when I'm moving, do they generally let me ride with them to the new location? And if so, does that mean me sitting with them in the front, in a real car chair, or inside the cargo space of the truck with all my moving boxes?

The reasons I want to know are:

  1. Paying for a separate taxi ride to the new location would set me back a ton. I have no car/driver's license myself, nor can anyone else drive me there. Taking a train/buses would be very cumbersome.
  2. I'm frankly scared of leaving them out of sight. Even the idea of having a bunch of (well paid) strangers carry my boxes out from my house into some truck, and then out from the truck inside the new home, stresses me out endlessly. Who knows if they just disappear with all my belongings, never to be seen again? Or "just" break it by rough handling, or carelessly allow somebody else to snoop and/or steal items from my boxes, etc.

Maybe I'm too paranoid, but after all, we are talking about 100% of my belongings, minus whatever I can stuff inside my backpack to carry with me. (I will be putting all my storage devices and other critical but small items in there for sure!)

  • 15
    Which country and what kind of distance?
    – Willeke
    May 5, 2021 at 8:03
  • 23
    In most countries in the back of the truck with the boxes would be illegal as well as dangerous. But in some countries it may happen.
    – Willeke
    May 5, 2021 at 8:05
  • 11
    Depending on the jurasdiction, they possibly could only allow you as a passenger if they (or the driver) have/has a license for passenger transportation. May 5, 2021 at 10:28
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Comments are locked for a while, please post in the chatroom.
    – Willeke
    May 6, 2021 at 8:49

6 Answers 6


(This started out as a comment)

You are assuming that the moving company only deals with your boxes, and will immediately drive directly from point A to point B in a timely manner once your boxes have been loaded. Neither of those points are guaranteed.

Unless you have enough possessions to fill the entire truck, it is possible you will be sharing load space with another customer's possessions. In which case point to point travel is unlikely to occur. Also if the truck arrives late in the afternoon, it is unlikely to go to the destination until the next day, because the workers won't want to work overtime. Finally, insurance pays for breakage and loss.

It is unlikely that the moving company will have a spot for you to travel with your possessions for a couple of reasons:

  1. The truck is likely only going to have room for the people who load and unload the truck.
  2. It is unlikely that carrying a passenger is covered by the company's insurance, and they are not going to accept the liability of an uninsured passenger.

However this is all assumptions on my part. The only real answer can be obtained by contacting your moving company and talking it over with them. They may be willing to take you on as a passenger, or they may not. We can't give a definite answer to that question.

  • 9
    This might differ by location, but my impression is that the first two paragraphs could be replaced by the question whether we're talking about a home relocation (across a certain distance) or a general cargo delivery. My impression is that home relocation companies are very much built around the idea that they transport your bulky belongings from A to B while you move from A to B, as well, such that you can live (sleep, eat) at A until they day of the move, and are ready to live in B once the relocation company has fulfilled their duties. ... May 5, 2021 at 14:48
  • 6
    ... That is, you book them for a previously agreed timeslot and they are "fully and exclusively yours" during that timeslot. And if you have fewer things to transport, they'll drive with a half-empty truck (because you pay for the personnel and truck usage by time), or send a smaller truck in the first place. Maybe the OP could also clarify in their question which kind of service they intend to use or what is available to them. May 5, 2021 at 14:51
  • 2
    @O.R.Mapper Unless we have direct knowledge of the company and service provided, then it's assumptions all over the place.
    – Peter M
    May 5, 2021 at 15:14
  • 3
    My parents move long distances a few times when I was a child. On one move, I can specifically remember that there was a second load on the trailer for the move. On the other hand, local moves (within a city) will usually have only one load, as the swampers (the helpers for the driver) will stay with the truck during the drive to the new location. For long distance moves, the swampers are local employees/contractors who show up when the truck arrives. (Canada)
    – user19474
    May 5, 2021 at 17:33
  • 2
    At least in the US, for long distances it is possible for the belongings to be picked up in a smaller truck, taken to a warehouse and left there for a while. Loaded on a bigger truck (or even a container on a train). Taken to a warehouse near your destination & then delivered by local workers when availalble.
    – Dragonel
    May 5, 2021 at 18:05

This is not an answer to the question, but deals with some of your issues.

  1. The cost of getting yourself to your new home is likely to be small compared with the cost of moving your stuff. If you can't drive, use public transport.
  2. If you find a well-reviewed, long-standing, well-known moving company they will not simply vanish with your stuff. They will also be insured against breakage. Do not worry about this.
  3. However make absolutely sure you get a reputable firm to do the move, and get a firm price for it, written down and signed. While companies won't "vanish with your stuff" it has been known for disreputable ones to move your stuff to their storage and then tell you that the price will be much higher than the "estimate" they gave you, and they won't deliver it until you pay. Spend extra money to get a reputable company.
  4. If you know someone who can drive, consider renting a moving van and paying them to drive it and help you load and unload. You can then ride with them, and it will be much cheaper than professional movers.
  • 3
    For the last one, I've had success with it, but preferably find someone with experience in driving a truck/van, because it can be very different from driving a regular car, especially in inclement weather (I still remember one move which coincided with a blizzard during the trip and I was very glad my guy knew how to handle a truck). That said, it's a nice side-hustle for some people, and some people see it as basically a cheap way to get a short vacation in another town, especially if you let them stay over at your place for a few days. May 5, 2021 at 16:09
  • 1
    Those in the Northern hemisphere won't have to worry too much about snow for the next couple of months, @SeanDuggan. Well, until you get to the far Northern latitudes, at least...
    – FreeMan
    May 5, 2021 at 17:02
  • #4 then raises the question of how you get to and from the place where you pick up and return the van. May 5, 2021 at 17:43
  • @NateEldredge: My personal experience? Combination of walking and public transit for me in getting to the moving van. I drove my car over (part of the reason I hired a friend to drive was to avoid having to get a trailer). And at the destination, he hung out for a few days, then I drove him down to the train station, where I bought him a ticket and then he took public transit back home. May 5, 2021 at 19:00
  • @SeanDuggan: Yep, but OP can't drive, can't afford taxis, and says public transit is "very cumbersome". May 5, 2021 at 19:05

No. No license.

Because the companies are not licensed to haul passengers for pay.

There are a bunch of rules for that, including collecting data about passengers, ticketing and tariff rules, safety of accommodations, provision of bathrooms, etc. etc. In a Federal country, there will also be rules at the state level for every state transited, so you get a lot of weird problems like "Can't cut the corner through Oklahoma".

Needless to say, being inside the cargo area is Right Out. When stowaways try to sneak in the cargo area, they are often killed by shifting loads.


Also, a long-distance move will involve stops and driver changes. The next set of drivers might not appreciate the passenger none too much.

Also, because of the human factors, long-distance moves can be quite circuitous. If your load doesn't "cube out" the truck, they may put up a separator and load someone else's stuff behind yours. They may stop at a depot, back your truck up against a wall (so the doors can't be opened) and the drivers head home to their families to sleep in their own bed, and now security has this random person inside the yard to contend with.

Think smaller

Everything I said above applies to general "out of the phone book" long-haul commercial movers. Those guys are full-service turnkey - point them at a house and they will pack up everything in it, and it will show up in boxes in the same rooms in the new house.

There are certainly more informal "movers" that are just "A guy with a truck" sort of deals. They will be much more informal in all respects, and you will have much more flex to negotiate. However, this will shift more responsibility onto you - you will need to buy boxes, pack yourself, and possibly help move furniture. And obviously, the farther you go, the more difficult it will be to get an informal mover.

Honestly, you may be making too much out of the risk here. Nobody wants some random person's stuff. If you doubt that, then go watch some of the TV shows about people who buy random storage units at auction. Those guys are the best in the business at getting value from random personal possessions, and even they can't get much for random stuff.

  • 2
    I assume this is about the USA, not world wide, as licenses to move people are not uniform world wide.
    – Willeke
    May 5, 2021 at 18:27
  • I'll note that informal movers can handle buying boxes, packing, and moving furniture. That's just something to negotiate. Similarly, not all professional moving are full service. There are plenty of platforms designed for negotiating "a guy with a truck" deals, but personally I'd only consider such an approach if your stuff was small enough to fit in a large van. Even then, I'm not a fan: such deals are at higher risk of failure due to poor service, scope disagreements, inaccurate estimates, etc. I prefer working with companies that are vulnerable to reputation damage.
    – Brian
    May 5, 2021 at 19:23
  • This is the correct answer for developed/bureaucratic countries but in many nations regulations are not particularly respected so you could easily hitch a ride in a delivery truck. I.e. I don’t imagine movers in Egypt being too concerned with insurance or licensing.
    – JonathanReez
    May 5, 2021 at 20:06
  • 2
    @Brian yeah I'm assuming OP is trying hard to pinch pennies, since "hiring an Uber" seems to be a hardship. Honestly OP is on a difficult road, refusing to get a license or have a car, yet not living urban enough for public transport to be viable. This generally leads you to being a "shut-in". May 5, 2021 at 20:06
  • 2
    @JonathanReez Such places also have much better public transport options than what OP is up against. OP appears to be in a transit desert where "being carless" is abnormal. May 5, 2021 at 20:08

I'm frankly scared of leaving them out of sight.

You have the reason right there why they won't let you.

Put yourself in the position of the movers. They want to get the job done, they don't care about your stuff anymore than exactly the level of service they offer (varies from mover to mover). The price they quoted you is the price for doing it like they usually do. With a given percentage of breakage and associated penalty. There's also the perception of the boss of how they do it and how they actually do it.

If you go with your stuff:

  • You'll want the level of care you expect for your stuff, not the one they expect to give
  • You'll nag them non-stop during the ride to be more careful
  • You'll know every little dent they may have made to your stuff and ask for penalties, coverage, etc...
  • The boss might get to learn, through you, how careful they were, how fast they ride, and how long they stopped in which shady establishment along the way.

Heck, if they were going to check for valuables to "lose", they won't be able to.

There's so many problems, it won't happen. If it could there probably would already be "Move with your stuff and see how nice we are" product available, at a price $$$.

Also consider that many (most?) long-distance movers actually outsource to some random groups of people (typically on the destination side where they may not operate). They probably don't want to outsource moving people and the extra risks.

  • 2
    Their are services that will identify a specific person who will accompany the freight from origin to destination, know as courier-accompanied shipment, but they are $$$$$. Used for things like museum art and racehorses. May 5, 2021 at 18:47

As others have said: no, and only the most fly-by-night outfits would even consider it, commercial carriage of people is a whole regulated thing.

You do have an option: rent a truck and hire a crew or arrange friends yourself. Obviously you can ride in a truck that you rented, you can choose the route and the time, and you have full control over what gets packed. Be prepared to pay extra for damage insurance on the truck, because a driver's normal insurance won't cover a commercial vehicle. You'll need to tell the rental company which of you will be driving; you should be able to list more than one person, possibly at a charge.

Talk to your own property insurer about coverage for loss or damage while in transit, especially if it's an overnight trip for which you'll need to leave the truck parked at a motel. Which is probably best avoided.

(Incidentally, I would not expect the movers to be "well paid"; apart from the driver, they may be odd-job workers hired for the job at each end of the trip, almost certainly at minimum wage or close to it.)


I do not know about other moving companies, but Sing Movers, Removalists Melbourne Company move your things and would allow you to go with them.

but only one person is allowed to go with them.

  • Thanks for your company experience answer.
    – Willeke
    May 6, 2021 at 8:12

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