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How Much Does a Moving Company Cost?

12/15/20 Moving Tips

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Relocating to a new city or house can be exciting and scary. There will be new opportunities and new challenges to face. This, however, is primarily dependent on the reason for moving. Nonetheless, regardless of the reason, moving is always stressful. There are a lot of things to plan for in the weeks before the move.

For most people, the biggest challenge to moving comes in the form of cost. Even if you are moving within the state, the costs can be high and present a significant obstacle, especially if you did not have a lot of time to plan for the move.

Are you thinking of moving? If yes, it’s vital to prepare financially to avoid unnecessary stress. Let’s take a look at the costs.

Do You Want a Full-Service Company?

The first choice you have to make, one that can affect costs significantly, when hiring a moving company is whether you want a full-service moving company. With the additional services, like packing your belongings, a full-service company is a more expensive option.

The formula used to calculate how much moving will cost depends on whether you are moving to another state or not. Usually, an hourly rate will be applied for moves within the same state, with the charges varying from one company to the next. The total cost will also depend on the number of additional services required to complete the move.

If you are moving to a different state, the charges will be based on the weight of your belongings and the total distance between the old and new house. The cost of the additional services will also be included.

Full-service companies can reduce the hassle of moving. Some of the additional services they offer and will incur extra charges include:

  • Provision of packing materials and supplies
  • Disassembling furniture
  • Packing up your things before the move
  • Loading and offloading the truck
  • Transporting your property
  • Unpacking your belongings on arrival
  • Packaging material disposal

Intrastate Moves

Also known as local moves, intrastate moves occur when a person relocates to a different house within the same state. The rate for such moves is based on an hourly flat rate. To avoid any unnecessary last-minute surprises, there are three key things you should take note of:

  • The cost for local moves can vary significantly as the charges and rules vary from state to state. Therefore, it’s crucial to get estimates based on the exact distance of the move and your state’s hourly rates.
  • Rates for local moves are calculated on an hourly basis regardless of the tasks movers perform.
  • Expect a term travel fee that’s equal to the cost of one hour of standard move-related work. The purpose of this fee is to cover the cost of fuel and the time spent by the moving company to get to your house and the new location.

How to Calculate the Cost of Moving from Your House for a Local Move

Another crucial element that influences the costs you will incur is the type of house. Hourly rates for local moves vary from state to state and can range from $25 to $60.

For the example below, the applicable rate is $30. Make the necessary adjustments for more accurate calculations.

  • Studio apartment: Two professional movers can complete the task in 3-5 hours, bringing the cost for each to $90 to $150.
  • 2-bedroom apartment: The task can be completed in 5-7 hours with 3 local movers. The cost for each will be $150 to $ 210, bringing the total to around $450 to $630.
  • Larger Houses: For houses at least 5000 square feet, moving costs can increase significantly and reach up to $2,000.

The costs indicated above only include moving costs. If you want packing services, the costs will increase, and the cost usually comes close to the moving cost.

Interstate Moves

Long-distance moves that involve relocating to a different state are referred to as interstate moves. Such moves are charged differently than local moves. The major cost factors include:

  • Weight of shipment: With weight, the more belongings you have, the more expensive your move will be.
  • Distance: Of all the cost factors, distance is the one that you have the least control over. Undoubtedly, the cost increases as the distance increases.
  • Additional services: When moving companies give you a quote, it includes the basic services involved with moving. If you want other services, they’ll come at additional costs.

Interstate moves can be very expensive, with costs reaching $5,000. If the costs rise beyond the estimates, you may find yourself with unnecessary stress. As such, it is crucial to request your moving company to give you a written binding not-to-exceed estimate. With this, you can rest assured there won’t be any major variances between the estimates and actual cost.

Additional Factors That Affect the Cost of Moving

Moving accounts for the most significant cost factor when relocating. However, there are also other costs you may incur, especially if you do not hire a full-service company.

1.      Moving Supplies

When moving, you will require a wide range of supplies to help you with packing and protecting your belongings. These include plastic bins, cardboard boxes, and packing paper/plastic wrap, among others. These costs may seem negligible, but they can impact your budget.

2.      Moving Related Add-ons

When the moving company finally comes to help you relocate, some factors, such as the number of movers, may affect the cost. Other add-ons that may be provided by the movers and increase the costs include mattress bags, stretch wrap, and felt pads.

3.      Date of the Move

One thing that most people are unaware of when it comes to relocating is that the date and time of your move can affect the cost. To keep costs low, use the following tips when selecting a date and time for moving.

  • Schedule the move during the morning hours.
  • Try moving between Monday and Thursday as weekend moves will be more expensive due to the higher demand.
  • Leases usually start at the beginning of the month and end at the end of the month. Try moving during the middle of the month when there is less demand for moving services.
  • Most people relocate during late spring or summer, with the peak moving season lasting from May to early September. If you are not moving due to an urgent reason, try scheduling your move during other periods of the year.

4.      Insurance Costs

Among your household belongings, there are items that are valuable. With moving comes risks such as damaged or lost property during transit. Getting extra coverage can help cushion the effect of such losses should they occur. To this end, moving companies offer different types of protection. They include:

  • Basic Released Value Protection: This is the bare minimum coverage for moving. It offers protection of .60 cents for each pound of cargo liability.
  • Full Value Protection: This is a more comprehensive cover that offers greater protection for your belongings. Under this cover, your moving company is required to issue compensation for damaged belongings at their present value.

5.      Tip for Movers

There is a lot of work involved in moving and packing your belongings safely without damage. When movers do a great job and get your property safely to your new house, it is customary to offer them some gratuity.

On average, tips range from 5-10% of the total cost of moving. However, you can also use other methods to determine how much to tip them. When deciding the appropriate amount, consider the distance and complexity of the move. Add something extra for the foreman and driver, especially for interstate moves.

Keeping Costs Low

Costs are undoubtedly one of the primary concerns when relocating. As you try to find out how much you will need to move, you can also take some steps to reduce the costs.

  • Get rid of all the items that you no longer use
  • Select moving dates and times wisely
  • Start packing weeks prior to the move to avoid packing costs
  • Compare quotes from different companies

Choose the Right Company

There are a lot of challenges and risks that come with moving. Some include dealing with unprofessional movers or having your belongings stolen along the way. As you weigh up moving companies based on cost, you should also consider how reliable they are. This can be determined by how long they’ve been in the industry and reviews from customers. You are better paying a little more for a reliable company than having to deal with damaged or lost goods.