Moving to a new location brings about many positive emotions: The feeling of freedom as you leave your old home behind, the excitement of new possibilities, and the sense of relief you get to look forward to once the move is complete.
Unfortunately, before you get to congratulate yourself on a move well done, you first have to get everything packed and shipped off to your new destination, and that can be a major project — in terms of time and effort. For many, the solution is to hire movers.
Movers supply the expertise, packing materials, physical capabilities, and transportation resources you need to get your stuff from point A to point B. But hiring a moving company costs money — more money than if you were to just handle everything yourself.
If you’re preparing for a move and are interested in hiring some help, keep in mind several important factors. The good news is the costs of working with a moving company may not be as steep as you’d expect.
When you consider the stress you’ll avoid and the time you’ll save (to say nothing of the reduced risk of moving-related injuries), partnering up with a trusted moving company may be your best option all around … provided you choose the right one.
We’ll share a detailed breakdown of moving company costs in 2023.
Moving Company Costs Per Type of Move
When calculating moving costs, the first aspect to recognize is most movers charge based on three factors: weight, mileage, or time. The more — and the heavier — the belongings and the further they need to be transported, and the longer it takes, the more it’s going to cost.
At the same time, different moving companies may provide different levels of service, with some charging extra for materials, equipment, furniture disassembly/reassembly, extra pickup or delivery stops, shuttle services, etc.
When all of the different elements are taken into account, it’s possible to get a general idea of what kinds of expenses you can expect.
“The national average cost of moving is about $1,400,” according to Forbes.com. This range fluctuates between $800-$2,500 for a 2-person local move for less than 100 miles.
A longer-distance move will naturally cost you more money than a local move. The cost range jumps between $2,200-$5,700 for moves greater than 100 miles.
Moving Help® Moving Company Cost
Simply put, hiring a full-service moving company will likely end up setting you back at least about $1,000 (give or take). Again, this may be money well spent, particularly if you have the cash resources and are looking for a general one-and-done solution to moving.
But between bringing on full-service movers and just taking care of it all yourself, there’s another option that you should consider: Moving Help.
Moving Help is an online Marketplace powered by U-Haul designed to reduce moving company costs by connecting customers with local moving labor providers to help with moving services, such as loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, cleaning, and other moving services.
Depending on where you live, a local moving labor team from Moving Help on average can cost you $114-$260 for two helpers for two hours where they load or unload your items.
Moving Help also provides an easy-to-use Moving Help Marketplace where you can quickly locate local Service Providers who are ready and available for hire. Search for providers based on area, price, reviews, and services, so you can be sure that you’re getting the assistance you need without putting your moving budget at risk.
Moving labor from Moving Help are labor-only Service Providers, so you’ll still need to provide a truck, furniture pads, and any other moving equipment. If you’re looking for strong backs and reliable moving expertise, Moving Help is the cost-friendly answer you’ve been needing.
Other Cost Factors to Consider
When you hire movers, there could be a variety of other factors that’ll increase or decrease your final cost. With Moving Help, you can get an instant, upfront quote of the total moving labor costs depending on what services you select for your move.
Some cost factors to consider when hiring a moving company include:
- Are they a labor-only company or a full-service company?
- Do they complete local moves only or do they complete local and long-distance moves?
- Are you using your own moving truck, moving container (Like a U-Haul U-Box container), or are you using the moving company’s truck?
- Do you have any specialty or heavy items?
- Do you have stairs? (Moving Help doesn’t allow additional stair fees.)
- Do you need packing services? (Some Moving Help Service Providers offer packing services.)
- Do you require other services such as cleaning or unpacking all your belongings? (Some Moving Helpers offer cleaning and unpacking services.)
- Do you need help assembling and reassembling furniture?
- What is the size of your home? (A 1-bedroom apartment will be quicker to load than a 4-bedroom house.)
You’ll need to decide what factors apply to you and which factors you can handle yourself — such as packing — if you don’t want your moving company to take care of it. You’ll also want to get multiple quotes, so you can compare prices.
What Are Some General Factors When Searching for a Moving Company?
One of the best things about moving is there are many different moving companies to choose from for your move. This creates a buyers’ market, where the increased availability of moving services helps ensure competitive pricing. When looking for a moving company, you’ll also have some additional aspects to consider before you can get started. Some of these considerations include:
- Time of year: If your climate and availability allow for it, you’ll want to move during the winter months vs. the summer months. Because most people would prefer to move during the warmer months of spring or summer, winter moves tend to cost less. As an added bonus, moving company schedules are usually more flexible due to lower demand.
- Day of week: Many people aren’t interested in trying to facilitate a move in the middle of the work week. This means it’ll be less busy (and possibly less expensive) to move between Monday through Thursday vs. Friday through Sunday.
- Holidays and end of the month: As with seasons and days of the week, you also should be aware of any holidays that might fall on your moving days. Holidays are busy times for moving companies, as they try to be available when their customers aren’t working or in school. This also is true for days at the end of the month.
- Early scheduling: You have a life and responsibilities, and that means there are probably only certain, specific dates you can dedicate to your move. Unfortunately, moving companies also have schedules to keep, and if you don’t book early enough, your movers might not be available when you need them … or they may just charge you more for the short notice.
- Location: If your area has more movers, you’ll have a wider range of prices from moving companies, which could mean more competitive prices. If your area has fewer movers, you might have to choose among a limited set of options.
These general cost factors can increase or decrease your total cost when selecting a moving company.
10 Simple Ways to Lower Moving Company Costs
1. Reduce your belongings down to the essentials.
2. Look into free moving boxes and supplies like the U-Haul Take a Box, Leave a Box program.
3. Ask your friends and family to help.
4. Rent a moving truck.
5. Search for moving discounts.
6. Find a less expensive move date.
7. Get multiple quotes from different movers.
8. See if your moving expenses are tax-deductible.
9. Rent a portable moving container.
10. Ask for a price match.
How to Avoid Fraud
Many legitimate, professional, experienced moving companies exist, but some fraudulent ones also exist. Criminals may try to scam you into thinking they run a legitimate company, so to avoid rogue movers, here are some red flags to keep in mind.
- The contract they provide doesn’t go over valuation coverage.
- The movers lack professionalism.
- The mover only agrees to the job if they’re paid upfront.
- The company or movers can’t or won’t provide references.
- A significant number of negative reviews and customer complaints exist.
- The quote you receive is a little too good to be true.
When you hire a moving labor company, you should always research multiple options and thoroughly look into the companies you’re considering. That research should tell you whether the organization is promoting authentic services — and if you see any of the above red flags, run the other way. It’s not worth sacrificing your belongings to a fraudulent business, even if their prices seem competitive.
What Can You Hire a Moving Company for Your Move?
Find a Moving Company in Your Budget
A moving company can cost a little bit or a lot more depending on how many services you need, when you’re moving, what you need help moving to your new home, and other factors. When you search the Moving Help Marketplace, you can find multiple quotes quickly and easily so you can compare each moving labor providers.
Ready to find help for your upcoming move? Enter your address(es) at MovingHelp.com today to find competitive costs for Service Providers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How far in advance should I book a moving company?
A: If you’re doing a long-distance move, it’s best to book your moving labor team well in advance — we would recommend at least about two months before your move date. The same goes for hiring a large, well-known brand that has plenty of business. You don’t want to have to compete for their business, and their bookings usually fill up fast, so the sooner you can contact them, the better.
For a local moving company, you most likely don’t need to provide months of advance notice. Many local movers can work with a month’s notice or sometimes even a week from your target move date in a pinch.
The time of year you move will increase or decrease any company’s availability, so it may be easier to hire a company on a weekday or during the winter months rather than on weekends or in the summer.
Q: What if I only need to move one piece of furniture?
A: Not only will it be needlessly expensive to hire a full-service moving company for a smaller move, but your situation may not even qualify for their services since most full-service moving companies have minimums.
Even if you only have one large item to move, you will have to pay the company’s minimum amount, so if you want to save your money, use a moving container, rental truck, labor-only providers, etc.
Q: How much should I tip movers?
A: How much you tip movers depends on the amount of labor they do and the time it takes to complete the job. If you have everything packed before the movers even arrive and their only job is to load and unload your belongings, you might tip less compared to moving labor who packed, loaded, unloaded, and unpacked your belongings.
If you’re satisfied with their work and you can afford to, a good tip is best practice.
Q: How much do moving boxes cost?
A: You can easily find moving boxes at your local U-Haul store or online, so the price will vary based on who you buy from and the size of boxes you need. On average, boxes are usually priced between $1-$3, depending on the quality of the box or whether or not you buy in bulk.
Q: How much does car shipping cost?
A: Transporting your vehicle comes with its own shipping costs that you’ll want to work into your overall moving company costs. Vehicle transportation costs can run anywhere from $600-$3,000 or more.
What you need to budget for car shipping costs will depend on the distance traveled, the type of car you own, the condition of the car, the time of year, and whether or not you want to pay for an open or enclosed trailer during transportation.
Enclosed trailers are more expensive but offer more protection to your vehicle. If you’re on a limited budget, an open car carrier is probably the better option since they’re more available and less expensive than the alternative.