Cost of Moving Other Items like Cars and Pianos
Moving a piano locally may cost an extra $150 to $800, although it can cost up to $2,500 extra if the movers need to lift the piano with a crane. Heavy, bulky items take up extra space in the moving truck, and they’re often hard to handle. You can expect to pay more for bulky items such as:
- Pool tables
- Swing sets
- Lawn mowers
- Extra large furniture
You may need to hire a separate car transport service to move vehicles. Professional car-shipping companies generally charge according to the distance they need to travel to deliver the vehicle. For a short distance, the cost is typically less than $1,000 per vehicle, and long-distance transports typically cost $1,000 to $2,000 per vehicle. Other options include renting a car-transport trailer, which usually costs several hundred dollars.
Factors That Affect Cost
The amount of money you can expect to spend on moving depends on a variety of factors —most notably, your current location and the distance of your move. Other factors that affect the bottom line include:
Moving and Packing Estimates
The more help you need, the more you can expect to pay. Full-service moving companies provide packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking; best for those too busy to pack their items, or those who need assistance moving quickly. At $25-$50 an hour per mover, you can expect to pay at least $400 additional in hourly costs to pack and unpack your home. The average estimate can differ considerably depending on the size of your home, amount of stuff you need packed, and any special packing material you may need. Whether or not this rate includes standard packing material is dependent on the moving service you hire. Discuss your needs in advance to the move with your moving company. To save money, some homeowners pack their own belongings, disassemble large furniture, and reassemble it once they arrive in their new location.
Moving Van & Truck Rental Costs
Those looking to move on a budget should consider renting a truck or van to complete the move with friends and family. The cost of a truck or van can vary considerably depending on the size of the truck needed, mileage the truck will travel, price of gas charged by the rental company and overall time needed with the vehicle. The average cost of a truck or van can range from just under $50 to over $2,000. While this is the cheapest alternative to hiring a moving company, many factors should be considered before a final decision is made to exclude moving professionals; including the length of the move, size of the vehicle and weight of the household items being moved.
In addition to affecting the flow of the move, this typically results in extra charges, especially if the movers have to carry items over a considerable distance, scale down several flights of stairs, or hoist items into or out of the home through a window. When moving locally, the extra time needed given your specific access limitations can affect the overall cost of the move. It is a good idea to have moving professionals visit both locations prior to the day of the move to provide a quote for any additional costs, provide an estimate of how long the move will take, and to prepare with any additional materials needed on moving day.
The Timing of the Move
Summer is the busiest season for movers. It’s also the season with the highest rates. Often people can pay up to two times more than average for moving services in the Summer as booking time with a popular and reputable company can be competitive. Likewise, moving rates are typically higher on holidays.
Most professional moving services include basic liability coverage as part of the price. This covers approximately 60 cents per pound for each item. For full-value protection, expect to pay more.
While not required, tipping can go a long way to showing your appreciation to the individual moving professional for a job well done. Consider leaving a tip between 10-20% of the cost of the move, adding a bit extra per mover for more complicated or long-distance moves. An average tip can fall anywhere between $10-$40 per person for a local move, depending on the overall time spent, is considered a good tip.
Common Moving Company Estimates
Reputable moving companies provide in-home estimates to give you a reasonable idea of what to expect in terms of pricing. It’s essential that the mover visits your home to see each item that needs to be moved and to get a visual of your home’s layout so they can provide the most accurate estimate. Many movers offer three types of estimates, including binding, non-binding, and not-to-exceed estimates.
- Binding Estimate – Requires you to pay only the stated price, even in cases when the shipment weighs more or less than the original estimate. Does not cover shipping extra goods.
- Non-Binding Estimate – Does not guarantee final moving cost, but the mover cannot require you to pay more than 110% of the estimate amount at the time of the move. You must pay any additional charges for extra services within 30 days of delivery.
- Not-To-Exceed Estimate – Bases the price on the binding estimate or the actual final cost, whichever is lower. Often referred to as “guaranteed prices” or “price protection.”