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How Much Do Moving Companies Cost?

Hiring movers for an upcoming relocation? Our experts explain the different costs involved with hiring moving companies for local or long-distance moves.
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How Much Do Moving Companies Cost
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Getting ready for a large move is something that many of us get nervous about and, because of that, we may be trying to determine just how much is involved in the process.

How can you be sure that you are able to take care of everything properly? How much can you expect when it comes to the cost to move? And what is involved in the process? We’re going to take a look at all of those questions in this article.

Different Moving Companies, Different Costs 

As you may expect, national moving companies are going to have a very different cost schedule than what you’ll see with a local option. More often than not, national companies are going to end up costing a little less, since they’re making a lot more money on average. But, that doesn’t automatically make national companies your best choice.

But, with local moving companies, you may get more personalized service. Many of them typically have more services available (for a cost) and they are more willing to have a flexible schedule.

So, it all depends on what you’re looking for from a moving company and what options you have available in your local area.

1. Local or Long Distance 

A long-distance move is going to cost more than a local one, because your movers may have to drive long distances, stay overnight, and deal with all sorts of other details.

Typically, the movers will weigh your items out in the truck and make you pay based on how much it weighs and how far you are going.

Now, this can get even more complex if you’re looking at interstate moves. The minute you cross state lines, you are going to be dealing with some more complex information, which could cost you more than intrastate moves.

Some states require all large vehicles (including moving vehicles) to get checked the minute that they come into the state – it’s typically regarding potentially invasive species. As a result, sometimes you are going to have to pay a little extra to move across state lines.

For a local move, things are a little less complex. You are typically given an hourly rate for hiring movers. The labor costs end up being much lower because you don’t need to move things as far, you don’t need to worry about state and local issues, and it just doesn’t take as long as a long-distance move would. 

2. How Many Bedrooms 

Knowing how many different types of household goods you have is also going to be helpful in determining the cost of your move.

Typically, a moving company will do their quotes based on an estimate of these numbers – for example, a 3 bedroom house is typically considered to be “average” and they will adjust their numbers around that.

This is about the amount of “stuff” that you’re going to be taking with you during your move. The more items that you have, the longer that it’s going to take, and the more you’re going to have to pay. So, the moving company is sure to calculate that as a part of their overall estimate for your move.

3. Additional Services 

If you’re seeking out additional services for your move, then you will have to pay additional costs in order to take care of things. Here are some of the additional services that you may be able to pay for from a moving company.

  • Packing Services: Some companies will have their movers pack and unpack for you for an extra fee. And this includes everything, from packing and unpacking to assembly and disassembly, and everything else. 
  • White-Glove Services: If you have any fragile or specialty items, you want to be certain that they are going to be handled with care. In those instances, you’re often better off if you go ahead and get white-glove services so everything goes your way. 
  • Storage Options: Many moving companies are going to also have some sort of storage unit available if you need it. They can talk to you about your storage options and let you know their weekly and/or monthly rates.
  • Moving Supplies: Some moving companies will even sell moving supplies as part of their services. You can get moving boxes, packing material, or whatever other things that you may need in order to get everything packed and ready to go. Sometimes, this is included in the cost if you decide to pay for packing services. 

When you get your quote from your movers, be sure that you talk to them about the potential options that you have regarding additional services. They can give you an idea as to how much more these may cost for you.

Time of the Week, Month, and/or Year

Timing is everything when it comes to the cost of your move. In general, keep these things in mind when you’re getting ready to schedule your move.

  • Mid-week prices are typically somewhat cheaper than what you would pay on a weekend (Friday through Sunday).
  • If you move between the 10th and the 20th of the month, you will typically get your lowest rates. Mid-month is much less busy for movers than the beginning and end.
  • The busiest times for moves are June, July, August, December, and January. The “off-season” ends up having lower rates because business for movers is that much slower. Typically, your cheapest options are in October, November, February, and March.

So yes, as you may expect, the cheapest time to move is in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month, during the “off-season” for moving.

Average Costs

So, now that you know what goes into the average cost of a move, it’s time to look at just what you may be looking at in terms of your budget.

Here are some of the numbers that you may expect to see when you’re getting moving quotes from different moving companies.

For out of state movers , you end up paying around 65 cents per pound for what you’re talking to your new home.

This cost isn’t only including the weight of the items that you’re taking – it’s all of the other factors that we’ve listed in this article as well.

All of that together ends up averaging 60 cents per pound for most people who are moving 100 miles or more from their original destination.

Local moves average about $25 per hour, per mover that is working on your move. Some moving companies will definitely give you a lower cost, especially if you’re only moving a one or two-bedroom apartment.

But, if you budget out $25 per hour, per mover, then you’re going to end up having plenty of cash to take care of things.

Obviously, this doesn’t include any damages or losses. You may want to buy insurance (even if it’s not offered to you) so that you can make sure that you have something keeping all of your items safe. Look into the options that you have and be certain.

Overall, sorting out the cost of moving is going to vary greatly, but knowing the factors that may fall into consideration can be really helpful before you get started.

You won’t be surprised by what the cost ends up being and you’ll have a much easier time sorting out exactly what you need to save before moving day comes along.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I get a moving quote ahead of time?

Absolutely. Most moving companies will give you a complimentary moving quote so that you can sort out your budget and other needs ahead of time.

Is it more affordable to do it myself?

It all depends. For most people, they find that it ends up being almost the same, except they typically need to enlist a lot of other people to help them out.

On top of that, you need to be able to take care of every bit of the logistics. So, in most cases, time is money, and you save a lot of time if you choose to hire out.

How long does an average move take?

It depends on the distance and the size of your load. On average, a local 3 bedroom move will take around 5 hours. Long-distance moves can take multiple days; smaller and bigger homes could take less or more hours to complete.

Do I have to rent a moving truck if I hire movers?

Most moving companies will have a moving truck that they use for their moves. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, so you want to look into that before you decide on which moving company you’re going to hire.

Do I have to tip my movers?

Like any service, if you’re happy with the results, then you definitely want to go ahead and tip them. It’s suggested that you do at least $5 per mover, per hour, if you’re able to do so. Some companies don’t want you to tip, and they’ll let you know that ahead of time.

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