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A Comprehensive Guide to Flat-Rate Movers and Their Services

Not all flat rate movers are FlatRate Movers, but FlatRate Movers are flat rate movers you can trust. Confused yet? Don’t worry - all you need to remember is that flat rate movers offer a firm price for your move, and Moving APT can put you in touch with the best of the best.
Flat Rate Movers - Moving APT

To compare the best flat rate movers in the industry, Moving APT used customer feedback and face-to-face business with the licensed, vetted, and highly-reviewed movers in our network. We came up with a list of the best of the best, and insider information you can’t find anywhere else.

If you’re planning on moving but want to keep your budget in check, read on to learn more about flat rate moves, and see our picks for the best flat rate movers in the industry.

Our Most Recommend Flat Rate Movers:

Native Van Lines - Best Flat Rate Movers

Native Van Lines

Adams Van Lines - Best Flat Rate Movers

Adams Van Lines

iMoving - Best Flat Rate Movers



In this article

How Flat-Rate Moving Companies Work and What to Expect

A flat rate moving company is any mover that offers a concrete, non-adjustable price estimate for your move before they pick up a single box. This means they’ll give you a number, and they’ll stick with it before, during, and after your move.

If you’re interested in a flat rate move, you need to remember a few points:

You Won’t Pay Any More – But You Won’t Pay Any Less.

The price estimate of a flat rate move is agreed upon before the move begins. If the move takes more time than expected, you won’t have to pay extra. But, if the move is faster than expected, you’ll still have to pay the agreed-upon price. You’re locked in to the price, so think of it like insurance against overpaying, rather than missing out on a few saved dollars.

You Need to Be Sure You’re Getting a Binding Estimate.

In the moving industry, there are three types of price estimates: binding estimates, non-binding estimates, and binding, not-to-exceed estimates.

  • Binding estimates: These price estimates are set-in-stone. They can’t be changed once they’re issued by the mover.
  • Non-binding estimates: These estimates can be changed up to, and beyond, your actual date of moving. This means your price can vary depending on how your move goes. Don’t worry – movers can only add up to 10% of your initial estimate.
  • Non-binding, not-to-exceed estimates: These are a little more rare. Think of it like a non-binding estimate, but it can only get cheaper. This means if your move takes less time than expected, your mover may knock a couple bucks off the price.

Binding estimates are what you get from flat rate movers. Some moving companies may not use the exact terms “flat rate” or “flat-rate”, so you can ask them whether they offer binding estimates instead.

You’ll Have to Invite the Mover to Your Home Beforehand.

In order to come up with an accurate estimate, a moving company representative will have to come to your home to take inventory of all your stuff. They’ll also take note of any challenges for the moving team, whether it’s stairs, elevators, or long carries. This helps them make their estimate, and it gives them an idea of what they’re in for on moving day.

You Can’t Sneak In Extra Items After the Estimate.

Flat rate movers will take stock of everything they have to move. This means if you suddenly add a couch after you’ve all agreed on an estimate, they’ll know – and they’ll definitely charge you more. Make sure you know what you’re moving by the time they come in for an estimate.

You Need to Find Movers You Can Trust.

A flat rate move means a flat rate move, no ifs, ands, or buts. When you’re shopping for flat rate movers, make sure they don’t try adding any extra fees after they give you a binding estimate. Fortunately, Moving APT can help you find flat rate movers who stick to their word.

A flat rate mover gives you the price beforehand, and won’t change your price on moving day. If you’re ready to plan your move, read on for our list of the best flat rate movers in the industry.

Native Van Lines - Best Flat Rate Movers

Native Van Lines


Native Van Lines has been moving homes and businesses for decades. They’ve built up a solid reputation as an award-winning moving company you can trust, and their customer reviews can prove it. 

If you’re looking for ‘movers near me‘ for a local or long distance move with a flat rate estimate, Native Van Lines has you covered.



Why We Recommend Native Van Lines

Aside from flat rate moving, Native Van Lines offers a whole range of moving services depending on what you need. They’re a versatile company, and we love their options for customized moves.

Adams Van Lines - Best Flat Rate Movers

Adams Van Lines


Since 2002, Adams Van Lines has ranked as one of the highest-rated flat rate movers in the country. They place serious emphasis on customer service and satisfaction, and they’re known for their attention to detail when it comes to long distance moves, storage, and packing. Adams Van Lines also offers custom moving plans to suit your needs.



Why We Recommend Adams Van Lines

Adams Van Lines is a great option if you need to move long distance. Whether you’re moving a home or moving a business, we appreciate their flexibility and commitment to providing you with the quality services (and customer service) you’ll need.

iMoving - Best Flat Rate Movers


iMoving is like the Expedia of moving. When you use their website, you’re able to search through hundreds of movers and choose the best flat rate movers for your needs. 

As an added bonus, iMoving’s online utility allows you to pick and choose what items of furniture you need to move, so you get a more accurate price estimate when it’s time to book a mover.



Why We Recommend iMoving

iMoving gets a great score for ease of use. Their website utility is thorough and informative, and we really appreciate that you won’t need to make a single phonecall to request a mover. It’s a one-stop shop for searching and reserving movers, and they make it easy.

FlatRate Moving - Best Flat Rate Movers

FlatRate Moving


As their name suggests, FlatRate Moving is a great resource for flat rate moves. They provide a wide range of special moving services, including long distance moves and international relocations. 

They’re also super thorough, including all sorts of extras when they write up your overall estimate.



Why We Recommend FlatRate Moving

We’re huge fans of the inclusive package you get with FlatRate Moving. They offer you a flat price, and it comes with packing, wrapping, floor and corner protection… the list goes on. They make it easy to budget out the rest of your move, and they provide tons of helpful services, too.

Two Men and a Truck - Best Flat Rate Movers

Two Men And A Truck


Two Men and a Truck started small and grew huge – all based on their nationwide infrastructure and serious dedication to their customers. 

Don’t let the mom and pop name fool you – Two Men and a Truck is a high tech company, and they’ll even provide GPS tracking so you know exactly where your stuff is, and when you can expect it to arrive.



Why We Recommend Two Men and a Truck

With Two Men and a Truck, you’re getting quality service and small-town attention to detail, with a national reach. We love that they offer junk removal, and that GPS tracking is super useful for easing your stress on longer moves.

How Much Do Flat-Rate Movers Charge?

Professional movers can cost as little as $278, and as much as $8500 and beyond. It’s a huge window, but  there’s a reason your flat rate movers may throw you a different price than what you were expecting.

It’s important to remember that every move is different, and flat rate movers will need to take a look at your home before coming up with a price. When you invite their moving representative into your home, he or she will take note of everything that might rack up additional fees.

When you choose flat rate moving, you get a custom estimate based on how big your house is, and how far you’re traveling. However, there are several other factors that will affect the final cost of your flat rate move…

Factors Included in Flat-Rate Pricing

1. Size and Distance

This is the big one. How far are you moving, and how much stuff do you have to move? Your flat rate movers will have to run the numbers in order to come up with an accurate binding estimate.

2. Shuttle Fees

If you’re moving in (or out) of a major city, you might have to pay a shuttle fee. Your big semi truck full of stuff may not be allowed on the street, so you’ll have to park it elsewhere and rent a shuttle to get your stuff to and from the staging area.

3. Long Carries

Long driveway? Or maybe the hall to your apartment happens to be extra long. Anything longer than 75 feet counts as a long carry, and movers will typically charge an additional fee for the leg workout.

4. Stairs and Elevators

Just like a long carry, you can expect to pay an additional fee for any flights of stairs or elevators your movers will have to navigate. This fee can depend on the amount of staircases or elevator rides required to finish the job.

5. Complicated Items

Pianos, pool tables, and sectionals, oh my. These complicated items may require a bit of out-of-the-box (or out-of-the-window) planning to be moved, and your movers may charge extra for the service.

6. Disassembly and Reassembly

Sometimes those big items just need to be disassembled first. Flat rate movers may offer disassembly and reassembly services, but expect that to factor in to your overall estimate.

7. Packing Services

If you aren’t planning on packing everything yourself, your movers can step in and take care of it for you. They’ll box your stuff with care, but like all other extra services, this usually comes with an extra cost.

Flat-Rate Moving FAQ

How Do Moving Companies Charge?

Local moving companies charge per hour and per mover, and long distance movers charge by the weight of all your stuff and the distance it has to be carried. Your final price is charged depending on the type of move you’re dealing with, and the extra fees that might be tacked on to your final bill.

What is the Cheapest Way to Move Stuff?

The cheapest way to move is to DIY, either by renting a van or finding a family member or a friend with a vehicle that’s big enough to haul all your stuff. While it’s definitely cheaper than full-service movers, remember you’ll have to factor in the price of fuel, food, and even hotel stays if you’re moving long distance.

Do You Tip Movers?

Yes. It’s also a good idea to provide some refreshments. Remember, your movers are the ones handling your items, and a tip goes a long way to ensure everything gets done right. 15-20 percent of the overall price of your move is a good amount for your movers to split between themselves. Don’t forget the driver!

How Many Moving Quotes Should I Get?

At Moving APT, we recommend you get at least three different moving quotes. This provides you with a clearer picture of what you can expect from movers in your area, and what movers are communicative enough about their pricing. It’s always a good idea to have too many quotes rather than too little.

Which Type of Moving Estimate is the Best?

A binding, not-to-exceed estimate means your mover may reduce your price after the move, but it’s not a guaranteed discount. If you’re trying to avoid hidden fees and unpleasant surprises on moving day, try to get a binding estimate from your moving company. A binding estimate is set in stone, and you and your mover will both know exactly what to expect from each other.

Get in Touch with Flat-Rate Movers Today

If you’re ready to get serious about your move, flat rate movers will allow you to plan out your budget without any surprises or hidden fees. 

They’ll also be able to give you a great idea of how long your move may take, and what challenges your movers might be able to help with.

Flat rate movers are a great resource for easy and stress-free moves. To get started, check out our moving calculator, and get quotes from the best movers in our network.

Harrison Gough

Harrison Gough

Harrison has spent the last three years writing for real estate and moving companies, but his moving experience goes beyond sitting behind a keyboard. He’s had to move more than a dozen times (sometimes with pros, and sometimes DIY) and he’s learned the hard way about what makes a move easy, and what makes a move stressful. When he’s not writing, he’s researching how to make his next move easier.
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