How Much Do Long Distance Movers Cost in 2023?
Long-distance moving generally runs between $3350 – $8,455. A step-by-step guide to comparing mover costs, and finding the best moving companies near you.
A Guide to Hiring the Best Moving Companies
Professional, affordable moving companies save your friends a visit to the chiropractor and help you get settled into your new place quickly. Moving companies of all shapes and sizes offer low rates to accommodate the 35 million Americans who move each year.
Keep in mind that affordable doesn’t mean nearly free. Steer clear of companies advertising dirt cheap rates to avoid scams.
The benefits of having quality professional help far outweigh the high cost of doing it yourself. Check out this guide to finding reliable moving companies in your area.
How Much Does a Local Moving Company Cost?
The cost to move locally varies based on the size of your home and the services you need to complete the job. A studio apartment, for example, costs less to move than a 3-bedroom house.
The average cost of a local move is $700, vs $2400 for a long-distance move. In order to understand whether you will fall below or above this average, it this important to know how moving prices are calculated.
How Are Moving Prices calculated?
Moving companies usually charge between $50 and $200 per hour. Large jobs require more labor which drives up the hourly rate. Smaller moves can be done with a small team which means you spend less. Moving farther than 50 miles from your current residence can cost more.
The length of the job is determined by the size of your home. On average, a studio apartment takes 2 to 4 hours to move. A 2 bedroom home takes 4 to 6 hours to move and a 3 bedroom house takes 6 to 8 hours to move.
Long-distance moves are calculated by the weight of your belongings and the distance to the drop-off location. Any items that require special attention or packaging will cost you an additional fee.
Average Cost to Move Cross County?
The average cost to move a one-bedroom cross country is $3,560 to $7,300. These rates may vary based on whether you choose to move during the busy season.
The summer months are usually the worst time to do a cross-country move because movers are busiest and rates go up. Get quotes before moving specialty items like a pool table. They may fall in the category of items that need special packaging before being transported.
Cost to Move 2 Bedroom Apartment?
The cost to move the average 2 bedroom apartment ranges between $540 and $1,900 for a local move. Out of state moves can cost anywhere between $1,600 and $6,500 depending on how far you go and the time of year.
Confirm with your moving company whether you are charged extra if you live on a top floor. Some companies add a surcharge for transporting items up and down more than two staircases.
How Much Does It Cost to Move a 4 Bedroom House?
The average cost to move a 4 bedroom house is $1,000 to $2,900. If you are moving cross country, the pricing is steep. Set aside between $2,000 and $10,700 if your stuff is being shipped at a normal rate.
Those prices can increase if you need your furniture expedited before a specific date. Trash any old or unused items before moving a large home to keep the weight down.
How Much Do Movers Charge For Storage?
Moving companies don’t always own their own storage facilities. This does not mean the mover can’t transport your things to storage. Self-storage facilities are a common option for movers looking to store customer belongings.
The cost to rent a storage unit is based on the amount of space needed. Prices range between $43 and $235 per month on average. If this isn’t the mover’s last stop, an additional fee might be added to your invoice.
Movers with storage facilities onsite charge one lump sum to move and store your stuff. Pricing may vary based on the length of time you need storage and the amount of space needed.
How Much Do Moving Companies Charge to Pack Your Stuff?
A full-service packer is responsible for packing all items in your home and making sure furniture is disassembled before moving day. The average cost per hour to pack a home is $70.
This cost may be lower if you only need some of the items in your home packed. The moving company sends someone to review all your stuff before deciding how many packers to send and how long it will take to complete the job.
Why Hire a Moving Company?
Moving is expensive no matter whether you are buying a house or going from one apartment to another. Adding on the cost of professional movers can seem like a luxury when tallying up security deposits, down payments, and cleaning services.
Most people don’t get paid time off, however, because they are moving. Moving furniture costs you time. The average move takes 6 to 8 weeks when you factor in house search, packing, moving day, and unpacking.
Hiring a good moving company eases stress on moving days freeing up your time to take care of last-minute needs. Not all movers can be trusted with your valuables. Vet your moving company heavily before trusting them to care for your belongings.
Get Organized Before The Move
Before you can begin a meaningful search for a professional moving company, you need to have a clear understanding of the services you need. If your strategy is to start packing the day before you move, choosing services is impossible.
Even if you aren’t ready to seal them, pack boxes so that you have an idea of how much there is to move in your home. Break down beds and other furniture in rooms that you don’t frequently use.
Going through the process helps you see what small tasks might arise on moving day that can drive up the balance on your invoice. For example, if movers assume they need to take apart a bed frame to get it through the door, they could charge for this service.
Organize your move in advance so that you don’t have to stalk the movers on moving day to avoid service add-ons. Throw away old junk, donate furniture and pack your belongings until you have a clear picture of how the move will be managed.
How to Search For Moving Companies
The process of finding a moving company doesn’t begin by looking at businesses with the lowest prices. Value comes first. Weed out companies without established legal entities or no customer reviews.
Start your search way before you need moving services. The extra time allows you to perform background checks on moving companies and check customer reviews.
Moving specials offering deep discounts can come from companies who want to attract shoppers looking for a fast, solution.
When checking the background of movers, confirm they are licensed and insured. This may not mean all your valuables can be replaced dollar for dollar but it does provide assurance that the movers will take greater care than if they are not insured.
Find Cheap Moving Companies
Referrals are one of the most reliable sources for finding cheap moving companies. Friends who can vouch for a company’s credibility can save you big headaches down the road.
Ask as many details as you can about their moving experience including the size of the home, the included services, and when they move took place.
Their review of a company reflects an opinion of their specific services which might be different from what you need. If you have a four-bedroom home, you won’t get a comparable rate to someone moving a one or two-bedroom apartment.
Also, your realtor or local cleaning company may also have referrals to cheap, reliable movers. Realtors have the benefit of working with clients at a variety of budget levels. They may have trusted moving partners or offer other solutions to get your move done efficiently.
Online reviews are a second option that gives you the flexibility to compare the services you need between companies. Just know that companies who run scams do make their way to the first page of search results online.
Here are a few online leads to help you vet your mover:
- U.S. Department of Transportation. If you are using a mover across state lines, they must be licensed with the Department of Transportation. Check the company’s DOT number to ensure its status is up to date. The DOT website includes searchable information on moving companies in your area.
- American Storage and Moving Association. Established professional associations hold members to standards of ethics and best practices in order to maintain membership. Use the AMSA website to check the moving companies in your area to create a shortlist of members of AMSA.
- Movers’ Websites. Movers often list their licensing information and memberships on their websites as a way to market their credibility. Always check the movers’ website to get more information. Cross-reference any affiliations of the organizations listed.
The offer of a ridiculously cheap moving rate is usually a bait and switch. Once you’ve signed onto a contract, hefty fees are added for services beyond your agreement.
How to Negotiate Moving Company Prices
The best way to negotiate your move is to get firm pricing in advance. Getting a moving company to come to your place and inspect the number of boxes and furniture in advance is a sure bet. Just be sure to get the quote in writing to avoid misunderstandings after the move is complete.
Not every company will offer or be receptive to a home visit. Once you get one quote in person, however, you can leverage this information when talking to other moving companies. Always aim for three detailed estimates from moving companies to give yourself the best chance at choosing a good rate.
Talk through the services you need with the mover in detail. Allow them to consult you on the most efficient way to get furniture in and out—whether an assembly is recommended or if an oversized item will require an additional mover.
Without an advance conversation, you may not realize there are costs added for services like:
- Moving up and down a staircase
- Preparation of appliances for moving
- Switching items to smaller trucks so that your entry is more accessible
- Moving furniture a longer distance from a parking spot than expected
Opt-out of services you can do yourself. With advance notice, you can rearrange your schedule to allow yourself additional time to take on more tasks.
Getting more involved with the move takes up more time but saves you money. Arming yourself with the ability to make that choice before moving day, however, is invaluable.
Choosing a Season to Move
If your move isn’t urgent, consider choosing an off-season time for your move. Moving during the offseason puts you in a better position to negotiate with moving companies.
Usually, the warmer months when children are leaving or entering a school year reflect peak moving times. Rates are higher during these months as more families relocate to accommodate school schedules.
Cheaper moving rates may also be available during the week since most people move on weekends. The same may be true based on the time of the month. Talk to the movers to see where price cuts can be made to lower the cost of your bill based on their seasonal schedule.
There are a few considerations when dealing with a company even after vetting them. Changes in staff or company policies do happen which can affect your experience.
Never pay for an estimate or provide payment information to a moving company before you hire them. Most moving companies offer free estimates so there is no reason to spend an additional fee.
Clauses in the contract that seem vague and hard to understand even after you’ve asked questions should be removed. If the moving company refuses, consider another mover.
Changes are simple before moving day, but once the services are provided it will be much harder to resolve conflicts that arise. Invoices you refuse to pay will be sent to a collections agency and may reflect on your credit report.
Hiring the Right Mover
Finding high-quality moving companies is no easy feat. The quest for the best begins well in advance of your moving date in order for you to get the best deal.
Don’t expect movers to automatically mention available discounts for things like being a student or in the military. Always ask for additional perks to keep the balance on your estimate as low as it can possibly go.
Moving expenses are a big investment and worth the money if you can rest easy that your valuables are safe. For more information on pricing professional services, please get started below.