How much does a moving company cost?

Moving is one of the most stressful life events, and often the first question homeowners want answered is how much do movers cost? No matter how far you are moving and how much you’re moving, hiring movers won’t be cheapest option. While hiring a moving company is usually quite pricey, many will tell you that it’s also well-worth the cost. In the end, moving to a new home is intense and physically exhausting. Working with a professional moving company can take a lot  of that stress off your plate. So how much does it cost to hire a moving company? Let’s take a look at the usual cost of a local and long distance move as well as some other factors to keep in mind when using movers for the job.

Local or Intrastate Move 

A local move, also known as intrastate move, is technically defined as a move within the same state. So how much do moving companies charge for a local move? The average cost is $1,250, based on a two to three-bedroom move of approximately 7,500 pounds. However, if you are moving a house with less than two or three bedrooms it will probably require fewer movers, which would inevitably save money in labor costs.

What is considered a “local,” hourly-rated move varies from state to state, but the price of local moves is based on a flat dollar amount per hour.  For example, in some states, if you are moving more than 50 miles, the cost will be based on the weight of the shipment rather than the standard hourly rate. However, every state’s rules are different, so make sure to investigate your state’s moving policies first. If you have any doubts, your moving company can explain what is considered a local move and a long distance move within your state.

In addition to usual hourly rate option, some local moving companies might offer a flat rate option for local moves. This is usually the estimated number of moving hours multiplied by the company’s hourly rate.

Long or Interstate Distance Move 

Any long distance moves from one state to another in considered an interstate move. So how much do moving companies charge for a long-distance move? The average cost of a long-distance move is $4,890, based on a two to three-bedroom move of approximately 7,500 pounds with a distance of 1,000 miles., The price of a long distance move, unlike a local move, is mostly based on the weight of the shipment. Other cost considerations include distance traveled, labor costs, packing services and insurance. Your movers should provide you with a written estimate of the total cost of your move. Please be sure to ask for a binding not-to-exceed estimate, as this guarantees you won’t have to pay more than expected once the shipment comes.

Key Considerations that Impact the Cost of Moving

  1. Moving add-ons

The cost of hiring movers will be influenced by labor costs (how many movers are needed); services needed, like disassembling and reassembling furniture; and any add-ons provided by the movers, like stretch wrap, felt pads and mattress bags. These add-ons might already be in your original quote, so make sure to check first.

  1. Moving supplies

Remember the moving supplies you will have to buy. You will have to make sure that you add cardboard boxes, storage bins, plastic wrap/packing paper and any other supplies needed for the move into the equation. 

  1. Moving date

The date of your move can have an impact on the price of your move. There are some general guidelines keep in mind when selecting your moving date:

  1. Move during the morning hours.
  2. Avoid moving on a weekend. Saturdays and Sundays may increase your costs because of the high demand for movers. A weekday move is generally more affordable.
  3. Look for a mid-month move when there is less demand, given that leases usually start and end at the beginning and end of the month,
  4. Avoid late spring and summer moves if you can. Peak moving season is May to early September. Families often pick this time to move because of school schedules and activities. Due to high demand, moving company rates may be higher during this time frame.
  5. Travel fees

Travel fees can quickly add up, particularly for a long-distance move. Your movers should include travel fees in your moving quote. These fees consider labor costs for the time it takes to get from house A to house B. They also cover fuel costs. Local moves will probably have a travel fee equivalent to one hour’s worth of work.

  1. Liability and valuation coverage

If you are hiring a moving company, you’ll likely have to purchase some sort of liability coverage. Most moving companies offer multiple levels of protection, including:

  1. Basic Released Value Protection, which covers .60 cents per pound cargo liability. For a local move, this type of bare-minimum coverage will be included in the hourly rate.
  2. Full Value Protection, which is more thorough than Basic Released Value Protection. This type of coverage holds the movers accountable for any items damaged and requires them to replace the item or reimburse you with the item’s current, depreciated value.

Gratuity for Movers

When considering moving company costs, rember to budget for gratuity as well. Most customers want to reward movers for a job well done. After all, moving is hard work. Assuming the company showed up on time and used the utmost attention and care when moving your belongings, you’ll likely want to thank them with a nice tip. Here are some recommendations for tipping movers:

  • In general, the industry standard is tipping 5 percent of the total moving bill. Remember to divide up the total tip between the number of movers. 
  • If you choose to tip based on a flat fee and not by percentage, remember the complexity and distance of the move. For local moves, a $20 tip per mover is appropriate. If the move is more complex $30-40  is fair. For long-distance moves, you could tip the foreman or driver a bit more, between $50 to $100, depending on their level of involvement.
  • Tipping advice varies from one person to another. At the end of the day, the choice of how much to tip a mover comes down to your budget and degree of satisfaction with the service.

Do I Need to Hire Movers or a Moving Company?

Is it really necessary hire professional movers in the first place? Not everyone needs or wants to spend the money for moving company services. If you are wondering whether or not to hire movers to complete your upcoming move, ask yourself these questions:.

  1. Can I afford to hire movers?

It is not cheat to hire a professional moving company. It is like to cost over $1,000 – even for local moving services. If a moving company simply isn’t in your budget, then opt for a DIY move.

  1. Do I have specialty items that need to be moved?

From pianos and hot tubs to appliances and artwork, specialty items often need special attention when moving. If you cannot move these items, you’ll need to find a mover who can.

  1. Am I able to meet the physical demands of moving?

A DIY move is not for everyone. Lifting heavy boxes, loading the truck and navigating steep stairs can be a problem for those who aren’t in good physical shape. If moving to a new home is going to impact your health and well being, consider hiring professional movers.

  1. Do I want the flexibility of moving on my own timeline?

Not everyone likes to depend on someone else’s timeline. If you’re looking for the flexibility to begin and end the move whenever you want, then a DIY may be the best option.

  1. Am I comfortable with strangers handling my belongings?

Are you uncomfortable with the idea of turning over all of your belongings to a moving company? If hiring movers seems too impersonal, you may want to consider moving your own items.

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