Every move is related to lots of work to be done, spending time to find reliable movers, hire a truck or van, or moving labor, get packing supplies, etc. It is time and cost consuming and it could be quite stressful. Undoubtedly one of the most important questions when you are planning a relocation is how much do moving companies charge to move cross country or locally and what are these charges based on. Here we will discuss not only specific numbers but also how the cost for your move is formed. Knowing the prices of services is important because it will help you prepare your moving budget.
How to Determine How Much a Move Costs?
The moving price will vary depending on the amount of things to be moved, the distance of the relocation and the services that you will request by the relocation company. Any extra service will lead to extra charges (storage, moving delicate items like musical instruments or sensitive equipment, etc.) If you want to save on your move, on the other hand, you can hire students or look at Craigslist for moving companies but have in mind that these options may not be able to provide the best quality relocation that you most naturally may want.
When it comes to estimating how much does a moving company charge locally or interstate, there are several options which will lead to different moving budgets:
- You can do the packing yourself, rent a truck and hire movers only to drive it to your new home. Still, there’s lots to be done by yourself – that is pretty much everything related to the move.
- If you want to save some efforts and time, you can do the packing on your own, but hire movers not just for the driving, but also to load/ unload the truck. The moving company will come to the address you give with the truck and do the job. If you do the packing and not the movers, you may not be liable for valuation.
- The best time and effort saving option that you have is let the removals not just load and drive the truck, but also do the packing. That is, in other words, if you want a full move.
- In case you want not only a full move, but more, you have luxury moving services. Such a moving company will also make your home exactly how you want it to be up to arranging your wardrobe and hanging the pictures on the walls.
It is good to consider what you pay directly for the move depending on the services you wish to use by movers, but you may also want to consider your own time and effort which you will bring in, if you don’t hire movers. So, instead of just monitoring the moving labor and having a break from work as you certainly need once in a while, if you do the move yourself to save money the little free time you have away from work goes out of the window right away. But before you take a decision, here are some average numbers regarding approximate moving costs to give you an idea of what you can expect to be asked to pay.
How Much Do Movers Charge to Pack?
When you ask a moving company for a quote for packing, they will give a price for putting your things in boxes, crates, etc. (loading/ unloading and transportation will not be included). Packing will cost you a minimum of $30 – $35 per hour and this price should include the necessary packing supplies as well. You can be charged by the box or by the hour. If you choose a moving company that charges by the hour, it will give you a quote for packing and the packing supplies may be included in it or you may be asked to pay extra for them.
If you want to organize the move yourself or you want to do the packing on your own, there are varieties of cardboard boxes you could purchase which come at different prices. A box with a size of about 16”x12”x12” could cost you between less than a dollar up to $3 – $4, a larger one that is 24”x18”x24” may cost you from around $2 up to $6 – $7 depending on where you will get them from. There are stores that offer packs of boxes should you wish to purchase more. Wardrobe boxes may cost you about $15 each and a TV box could be about $20 to $50.
How Much Do Moving Companies Charge for a Local Move?
When you want to move within the same state and to a distance less than 100 miles it means that you are relocating short distance (locally). You will be asked to pay by the hour. So, how much do movers charge per hour? You could be asked to pay a lump sum that includes a few hours of work like 3 or 4 hours for a start, which means that even if the movers work less time, you will still be charged for this amount of time of work. The cost per hour per mover is about $25 – $30. How many hours of work will the movers do depends on the size of your home, how much stuff you’ve got in there, and if the movers are hired to pack or load/ unload.
Hiring only moving labor could cost you about $50 to $70 per hour. A small apartment would need a couple of hours of work which means about $150 – $200, which will include transportation, loading and unloading. A two bedroom apartment or house will need 3 movers and about 5 – 6 hours of work which means an average of $350 – $400 total charge. A three bedroom flat or house would take approximately 7 – 8 hours of work which means that the movers charge could go up to about $800 – $900. Homes that are larger than that may need up to 6 movers and up to a day and a half of work, and the cost would be about $1,500 – $2,000 on an average. These charges are the minimum of what you can expect to pay. There are moving companies which will ask for $50 an hour or even as much as $120. What you decide to pay depends on how experienced you wish the relocation company you hire to be and on the differences between the costs set by those companies themselves. These prices mentioned here above will not include special packing like crates, they are paid extra. If you wish to relocate in the summer, during the weekend or on a holiday, you may be asked to pay up to 20% more than you would during off season. If you wish to leave a tip, it is an average of about 10% of the final cost for the move. Any other circumstances that would make the move slower or more difficult may cause extra charges (flights of stairs to climb, difficult access to your home by the truck like a narrow street, dismantling furniture, disconnecting/ connecting appliances, etc.). There are moving companies that could charge not only more than that but the prices could also vary slightly depending on location.
How Much Do Movers Charge for a Long Distance Move?
Any move that goes to another state or is at a distance larger than about 100 miles (some movers would give a smaller distance to this definition) is considered by the movers to be an interstate (long distance) move and the charges here are a bit higher than they are for a local move. Usually movers charge based on the volume or weight of your household goods. How much do movers charge per pound will vary depending on whether the moving company considers the move to be a local or an interstate one. If you choose a moving company that charges per weight, you can expect to pay an average of about $0,50 per lbs, packing excluded. The cost for such a move will be determined over the phone or by email once you contact a moving company. They will ask you for an inventory list so that they could make those calcutions and give you an approximate estimate. Hiring a moving company that charges by weight is better because this is an exact method for determining the cost of your move. The movers that charge per volume cannot give such precise estimates because the volume of your household goods is estimated by the moving crew that loads the truck. Being charged by cubic feet will lead to large differences in the moving cost depending on the moving company and moving crew, and there is also a bigger risk for you to be scammed if you choose to be charged this way.
Getting a Quote to Estimate Moving Charges
If you want to know how much do moving companies charge to move cross country or intrastate, you would be best to ask for a quote. It is free and very simple to do, but understanding it could be tricky. The first thing to do when asking for an estimate is to have determined what you want to move so that you can inform the moving firm. Otherwise how are they going to calculate how much your move costs? Next, make sure that you understand well what your quote includes. Does the quote include packing? What extra charges apply? How much is the cost of each service in the quote? Knowing this will give you the opportunity to compare moving companies not just by the services they offer but also by the price for each service which will help you determine the most economical one. Still, choosing the mover that gives the lowest quotes, especially if it is much lower than what the others offer, may not always be the best option. Often scammers operate this way – they give a very low quote to attract a customer and then various charges begin to come up and at the end of the day you end having to pay much more than you’ve expected. Usually selecting a company that gives you an average price is the best option – there is a smaller chance for you to have chosen a rogue moving company and you still you don’t get to pay the highest possible price for your move.
How to Select a Mover to Avoid Moving Scam
One thing that can also help you understand moving costs and avoid moving scam is knowing more about the moving company. You can look up the USDOT of a mover to see their history like for example any road accidents. If you want a more reliable moving company, you can also check some movers with the BBB or AMSA as well. They have quality rules that all members agree to follow which will significantly decrease the possibility for you to stumble upon a rogue moving company.
Hopefully these approximate numbers and the tips we give you will help you understand how the total cost of a whole move is formed and what you will need to plan in terms of a moving budget if you wish to relocate. If you find this article useful, please share it from the bar to the left so that others could get advantage of it as well. Thank you.
Posted on Jan 11, 2015; Last updated: Jan 23, 2015
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