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.
Access to the Pickup/Dropoff Locations
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.”
Tips on Hiring Movers
A little preparation and planning go a long way when it comes to finding and hiring movers. Although you can find moving companies online or in the phonebook, it’s even easier if you seek reputable online reviews and ask friends, family, or local real estate professionals for referrals. Other helpful tips for taking the stress out of hiring movers include:
- Checking the credentialsfor each company on your list of possible movers by contacting them to get their license numbers, doing business as (DBA) names, and the number of years they’ve been in business. Then, head to the FMCSA’s website or your state’s transportation department website to verify the license and other credentials. Checking EasyGo PRO’s online reviews of pre-screened companies is a good place to start when identify local, reputable business to consider for hiring.
- Getting estimates
- from multiple movers. Some experts suggest comparing 10 different companies. Get estimates from at least three or four to make sure you’re getting the most competitive prices and to find the movers with policies that meet your needs.
- Asking questions!Get as many details as you can about factors such as the rate structure and payment terms, extra fees and hidden costs, the history of the company, and whether it works with subcontractors. Other helpful things to know about include packing services, storage services, insurance, and what to expect on the day of the move.
- Getting references:Don’t be afraid to ask for references from prior customers to get feedback from other people just like you. They can give you firsthand knowledge of what they liked or didn’t like about the company.