Cost Of Hiring A Moving Company

Moving company - Cat in boxes

Whether local or cross country, the idea of moving can be equal parts exciting and stressful. Knowing how your mover determines the cost can help to alleviate tension and uncertainty with this new chapter. 

Average Cost of a Local Move

If you are moving across town, it’s important to know how the moving price is determined.  Local moving costs vary greatly depending on your exact location. Finding a moving company you’re in sync with is a key to fewer hassles when you move.

Local movers generally charge per hour regardless what they are doing. You cost per hour stays the same whether they are packing, carrying and staging your items outside your home, loading these items into the van, driving to your destination, or unloading your furniture, appliances and the various boxes.

Travel Fees. These fees cover the expenses of fuel and time for your local moving company to arrive at your pick up location and then return back from your drop off location. Generally, your Travel Fee will be equal to one hour of standard move related work.

Costs of a Local Move 

The national average for a local move is $25 per hour per mover. This price can be higher depending on your location in the country and the complexity of the move. 

  • A studio apartment or single room entails two professional movers working between 3 to 5 hours. Your cost averages $250 for completing the entire moving job.
  • A two-bedroom apartment will be three local movers working between 5 and 7 hours. The total should top out between $375-$525 to get the job done.
  • A three bedroom house requires four professional local movers working for a between 7 and 10 hours or more. Plan to pay $700-$1000 to complete the task.
  • Larger homes, those 5,000 square feet and up, rise sharply and can reach values around $1500-$2000, and even more.

On top of your moving cost, most moving companies don’t include packing.  If you are willing to self pack, your moving bill will be much lower versus hiring professionals to do it.  Costs of packing correspond to the cost of moving. Packing and/or unpacking services will cost you $25-$35 per hour, with packing materials such as bubble wrap and boxes included. Excessive flight of stairs, extended distances between where the moving vehicle is parked and the residence, a surplus of bulky and heavy items will also increase your costs. As part of your estimate, discuss in advance these additional items with your local moving company so you are clear in advance.

To Insure Promptness – Tipping Your Movers

Tipping local movers is not mandatory but shows your satisfaction to the crew you’ve hired.  Your acknowledgement of a job well done is always appreciated by every hard working crew member.  It’s considered best practice for you to have cash on hand for a gratuity. Hand the money to the foreman of the crew and let him disburse it. The act of tipping is an increase for the average moving between 10-15% of your total cost

Costs of a Long Distance Move 

Understand how long distance moving costs are figured and you will be able to save on your move. The price of long distance relocation is calculated entirely differently than a local move. You shouldn’t expect to be charged per hour for using the services of a long distance mover. Instead, the final price will be determined by three major factors:

  • Distance:. The longer the distance is between your current home and your new residence, the higher the relocation cost will be. In the age of GPS, this is non-negotiable. Since you won’t be able to change the mileage between the two homes, look at the next two price items to better manage your costs.
  • Shipment weight: The greater the number household items you to move, the more your entire shipment will weigh. The end result is the greater overall expense. Be brave and smart by paring down the amount of your belongings to their absolute minimum. By doing this, you will save hundreds of dollars in moving expense. 
  • Additional services: An estimate from long distance movers will include all the standard move parameters, plus any additional moving services you have requested. These can include packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and re-assembly. Know which items are considered extra in advance of the move date.  

Examples of costs when moving across country

Like so many things in life, no two moving experiences are exactly the same. Precise costs for long distance moves are impossible to generalize, since all final moving prices are calculated on per case basis.  Your final price will determined by various factors including what items they haul and the specific company you use. 

If you base your move to a new city with a distance of 1000 miles, then you can use these examples as a guideline:

  • A studio apartment or single room.  Generally, the contents weigh about 2000 pounds.  You can expect to pay $1500 or more including any extra services.
  • A one bedroom apartment. The items found in a one bedroom apartment weigh around 3000 pounds or more. You can expect to pay in the range of $1800-$2500 for a cross country move without any accessorial moving services.
  • A two bedroom home. The combined weight will traditionally be between 5000 and 6000 pounds. With your move of 1000 miles, expect to pay around $3500 to$4200 as a starting point. Extra professional relocation services can move this cost significantly higher. 

Whether you are moving just down the street or making a major relocation three states over, knowing how the costs of your move are figured can take some of the stress out of the whole moving process. 


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