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Moving quotes give you an idea of how much your move will cost. Moving APT can help you get the best quote possible from trusted, prescreened moving companies.



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      In this article

      You’ll need quotes from at least three different moving companies to paint a complete picture of how much you’ll spend on your move. But how do you know which companies are even worth contacting in the first place?

      Moving APT makes it easy to get moving quotes from licensed and insured companies, so comparing your options is completely painless – whether you’re moving around the block or crossing an ocean. 

      Read on to learn more about the different types of quotes that moving companies can provide.

      What Types of Moving Quotes Can Moving APT Provide?​

      Federal law requires companies to provide any potential customer with a written cost estimate, even if you’re only moving to the house next door. However, a company can provide three different types of moving quotes:

      1. Binding Moving Quotes

      Think of a binding estimate as a custom flat rate: if a company says they can move your belongings from A to B for $600, that’s what you’ll pay – regardless of how many hours it takes, or the number of movers working the job.

      The moving company must honor that price if nothing changes during the move. To be extra safe, keep a copy of the company’s inventory record in case they refuse to honor their binding estimate later.

      2. Non-Binding Moving Quotes

      A non-binding quote is a moving company’s best guess of what your move will cost. However, the actual price you’ll pay depends on your shipment’s weight, and any additional services rendered during your move like disassembling, packing, wrapping, etc.

      If you’re concerned that movers will increase your price too much after they give you a non-binding quote, don’t worry. Federal law states you’re only required to pay 110% of the written non-binding estimate upon delivery to receive your items.

      3. Binding Not-to-Exceed Moving Quotes

      With a binding not-to-exceed moving quote, the moving company cannot charge anything higher than your initial quote, but they may charge less. Typically, these estimates appear in long distance moving or interstate moves, in which moving companies charge by weight.

      Even if your items weigh more during your move than the company anticipated while calculating the quoted price, they can’t collect payment for the difference. On the other hand, if your actual shipment weighs less than the original estimate, you’ll actually pay less than the quoted price.

      What Influences The Price of Your Moving Quote?

      In the chaos of moving, the last thing you need is a surprise bill for more money than you expected to pay. It’s always a good idea to check your state’s laws before signing any contract so you know what to expect in a worst-case scenario. You can also avoid hidden fees and stretch your budget by getting familiar with how a moving company estimates your quote.

      1. The Size and Weight of Your Belongings

      Size and weight are the first things companies consider when they decide how much it will cost them to complete your move. Truck space, gas, labor, equipment – these costs all hinge on what’s inside your home and what everything weighs. Don’t forget to mention large, bulky, heavy, or unusual items up front during the estimate process.

      2. Distance Between Each Residence

      When estimating interstate and out of state moves, the mileage between your pickup location and destination is the critical factor that dictates your online moving quote. Gas prices, toll roads, and even weigh stations, inspections, or tariffs can also play into the actual cost of your move’s distance.

      3. Time

      A large home of several rooms demands more time for the moving crew to load and unload the truck. National moving companies may tag-team long-distance moves to split up the shifts. Local movers running the same route, however, will often need accommodations, expenses, and overtime pay – all of which you may see reflected in your quote.

      4. Pick-Up & Drop-Off Accessibility

      Stairs, narrow hallways or doors, long walking distances, narrow roads, parking restrictions… the list of accessibility issues goes on. Don’t be surprised to see extra charges in your binding or non-binding quote if your movers will have to deal with these challenges. Check the route yourself and communicate potential accessibility issues with the company.

      5. Storage Expectations and Planning

      Movers don’t typically want or expect to use storage services, so it’s one of the most common culprits behind an inflated quote. If your home isn’t move-in ready or you’re living somewhere temporarily while looking for a permanent residence, the moving company will add extra fees for storing either some or all your belongings as you downsize.

      Pro Tips

      Cost Saving Tip:

      The extra costs of all-inclusive packages from full-service moving companies and/or on-site portable storage containers can end up saving you time and money by avoiding unpredictable storage fees.

      6. Packing and Unpacking

      No matter the company, time is money. Packing and unpacking your items takes plenty of time. It’s certainly well worth the money in most cases, but it costs money nonetheless. Some companies charge per hour, others per item. Either way, you’re on the hook for boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing supplies.

      7. Time of Year

      Memorial Day through Labor Day is the busiest time of year for moving companies. The first/last days of the month and national holidays are also considered peak days. Planning a move during the peak season will mean higher rates for the same service, fewer choices, and less flexibility. Move in late autumn, and on a Wednesday, ideally.

      Pro Tips

      Cost Saving Tips

      If affordability is your top priority, renting a moving truck and providing your own moving labor is the best way to keep costs down. Rental trucks are reasonably cheap, always available, and easy to book.

      How Much Will a Local Move Cost?

      On average, local movers will cost anywhere from $80 to $160 per hour, depending on how many rooms and how many movers are required. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that each mover will require $40 an hour, and you’ll need about one mover per room.

      You’ll also need to factor in the cost of a moving truck, fuel, refreshments, and tips. Budget for an additional $6 to $12 for tips, and don’t forget your driver.

      Type of Service1 Bedroom2-3 Bedrooms4-5 Bedrooms
      DIY/Truck Rental$125 – $375$150 – $570$210 – $750
      Moving Container$300 – $550$450 – $900$700 – $1400
      Full Service$400 – $800$750 – $1900$1200 – $4500

      * Cost for a local move < 100 Miles

      How Much Will a Long-Distance Move Cost?

      The average cost of a cross-country or long-distance move can range from $1600 to $7000 and way beyond. The exact cost will depend on what kind of moving services you’ll need, the amount of rooms, and the overall weight of all your stuff.

      Type of Service 1 Bedroom 2-3 Bedrooms 4-5 Bedrooms
      DIY/Truck Rental $1600 – $2400 $2200 – $4100 $3500 – $5200
      Moving Container $2000 – $2900 $2500 – $5200 $4500 – $8200
      Full Service $2200 – $3900 $3400 – $8700 $7200 – $16650

      While it may be tempting to DIY your move, you can save yourself a ton of stress by contacting a cross-country mover. It may seem more expensive on the surface, but if you schedule you move during an off season and don’t have a particularly heavy load, hiring professional long distance movers is the way to go.


      How do I get a moving company quote?

      It depends on the company that you’re working with. Some moving companies offer moving quotes on their website; other moving companies will come into your home to take a look and then provide you with a moving quote.

      How many moving quotes should I get?

      The best way to ensure that you get all of the information you need is to compare moving quotes with at least three different moving companies. Most people will get quotes from between three and five different companies in order to get a good idea of their potential budget.

      How long is my moving quote guaranteed for?

      For the majority of moving companies, a moving quote is going to be valid for 7 to 10 days. This is so people don’t sit on a quote indefinitely. Large moves and moves during peak season may be valid for less; be sure to ask your moving company for details.

      Why are moving quotes so different?

      Different companies use different information in order to determine the approximate cost of a move. For example, one company may count bedrooms, another may count all rooms, and yet another may use a home’s square footage to provide an estimate.

      What does an in-home moving estimate involve?

      A representative from the company will come and do a walkthrough of your home in order to determine the approximate size and weight of your items. They’ll also ask you a few questions. Then, they’ll use that information and get you a written estimate before they leave.

      How much will it cost me to move?

      Moves are usually broken down into local (100 miles or less from your current home) and long-distance. Local moves typically cost somewhere between $300 and $2000 to complete. Long-distance moves can be between $1000 and $5000, with the largest homes costing about $10,000 or more to relocate.

      Are Moving Quotes Negotiable?

      Yes, moving quotes are often negotiable. You can discuss your specific needs with moving companies and try to negotiate a better deal based on factors like the distance, timing, and services required. It’s advisable to compare quotes from multiple providers to leverage your negotiation power.

      Get a Quote and Get Started

      The sooner you request your free moving quote, the sooner you can start building your moving budget, planning your official moving date, and checking more items off of your to-do list.

      Get your completely free and no-obligation custom quotes right now from prescreened, insured, licensed, and reputable companies with Moving APT. We’ve already started the research!

      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.
      Green Group

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