Apartment Advice

How Much Does a Moving Company Cost?

Choosing a moving company can be a tough and expensive decision. Learn more about what exactly is factored into the price your mover quotes.

So, you’ve decided to move to another home?

Moving is a great milestone. However, it can be a stressful period of time for anyone that doesn’t have the tools or resources to get the job done. Even for people who live in a small apartment, moving can be a very challenging process if you decide to do it on your own.

For this reason, many Americans choose to hire a moving company to make the process easier. However, if you’re new to the experience of hiring a moving company, understanding the way they price their services can be tricky.

Whether you’re planning an interstate move or to moving abroad, it’s important to realize how much you’ll need to spend to ensure a smooth transition. Otherwise, you could be in for some unexpected moving expenses.

If you’re new to moving, you can consult this in-depth guide to find out how much you’re moving expenditures will cost depending on a variety of factors.

Thinking about the Cost of moving
Every dollar counts!

How Do Moving Companies Charge for Their Services?

Most moving companies charge an hourly rate for their services. The standard hourly rate for moving services is usually $90, but this can always vary depending on the company that you choose for the job.

It’s important to remember that moving companies will also charge you based on the amount of effort it takes to complete the move. This means that even if your move is quick, you will see a higher bill if there is more effort involved.

This is why it’s important to be mindful of all the internal and external factors that can impact the average cost of your moving services.

What Are the Factors That Influence Moving Costs?

Moving a Dog in a Box
Furry friends need to be factored in too!

As was previously discussed, there are a wide array of factors that can influence the average cost of a moving service. These factors include:

  • PrestigePrestige matters in both business and commerce. This is why larger companies are more likely to charge higher rates than smaller ones. Simply put, their name carries weight. Therefore, if you choose to work with a corporate mover instead of a local one, you can expect to pay a higher rate.
  • Specialty ItemsIt’s essential to realize that the size of your home or the number of items you have doesn’t always influence your final bill. If you own many specialty items that are difficult to pack and move, your bill is going to increase. What are considered specialty items? Pianos, pool tables, and antique furniture are examples of specialty items that will need special care from movers.
  • Home SizeMany movers will quote you based on the number of rooms you have in your home, or the size in square feet. This often happens if you have an average number of items in your home.
  • Number of ItemsThis is the most common factor that will influence the price you will have to pay a mover. The size of the items in your home does matter, but if you have a home with average space, you can expect a reasonable quote.

All of these factors will determine how much you will spend in moving costs. Every moving company is different. Therefore, you will have to consult with the companies that you receive a quote from and ask what they value most in regards to a price.

This will help you to better prepare for your move and eliminate the possibility of any surprise fees popping up and causing headaches.

What’s the Cost of Hiring a Local Moving Company?

Here’s the good news. If you plan on staying local, you should expect a reasonable price from a quality, full-service moving company.

Local movers typically charge by the hour. If you want to hire two professional movers with one truck, it will cost you between $90 and $130 per hour.

On the other hand, you will pay an average price of $60-$90 per hour if you want to hire moving laborers without a truck. Depending on where you live, the overall cost to hire movers will vary.

The hourly rates above apply for moving services that include wrapping and loading items and then transporting them from point A to point B.

Also, travel fees may become a factor depending on the pickup location. These fees are negotiable between you and the moving company. Make sure you keep this in mind and ask your prospective moving company about these fees before you commit to one company.

The size of your home matters as well if you are calculating the costs of local moving services. Taking into account the average rate of $25 per mover, you can expect to pay the following costs depending on the size of your home.

  • Studio ApartmentWith the help of two local movers, expect to pay between $150 and $250 if the packing, loading, transportation, and unloading procedures take less than 3-4 hours.
  • Two-Bedroom ApartmentMoving out of a two-bedroom apartment or house (usually at least 1000 square feet) will likely cost you around $375 – $450 if you hire a team of three movers and complete the job between five and six hours.
  • Three Bedroom HouseIf you’re moving out of a three-bedroom house or apartment, you can expect to spend roughly $800 – $900 if you hire four movers and finish the local move in about eight to nine hours.
Big Snowy House Surrounded By Trees
Climate can affect the cost of your move as well.

The price of a local move can increase because the move will require more time and assistance.

There are also additional costs you may have to prepare for, such as:

  • A $25 fee for each additional helper you need.
  • If you want to have the movers unpack your items, that’s an additional $25-$30 on top of their hourly rate.
  • On the other hand, if you’d like your movers to assist with packing your items, you can expect an additional charge for packing services as well.
  • If you are really satisfied with their work, you may tip your movers. Traditional tip amounts are usually $5 each mover per hour. If you plan to tip, remember to give each mover their fair share instead of handing a lump sum to one mover.

What’s the Cost of Hiring Long-Distance Movers

The distance, shipment weight, and any extra services will form the cost of long-distance moving services. You can expect to pay at least $0.60 per pound of household goods moved over 1000 miles. This estimated price does not include any additional services.

Weight is the major factor that influences the cost of a long-distance move. In some rare cases, the cubic footage of your items will determine the cost. It’s important to know that long-distance moving companies will calculate your costs on a case-by-case basis.

It’s also important to ensure that you’re working with full-service movers if you’re going to need additional services like unpacking.

To get an estimated cost before your move, you’ll need to schedule an in-house estimate with your mover. Then, a representative from your moving company will visit your home, assess the moving situation, and give you a proper estimate.

The best way is to reach out to several different cross-country moving companies and asking them for in-house estimates.

It’s essential to secure a binding estimate that will guarantee that the moving company will not exceed the estimated amount. Although the moving company can still exceed the estimate that they provide you, a binding estimate won’t allow them to send you an insane final bid.

Furthermore, rule out any moving company that refuses to give you a visual estimate. Also, watch out for estimates that are much lower than other companies. Suspiciously low moving estimates are often a sign of moving fraud. Therefore, proceed with caution.

Long Distance Moving
The farther you’re moving, the more it is going to cost.

If you want to get a general idea of how much you should spend on a long-distance move, take a look at these approximated values.

  • Studio ApartmentIf you are moving out of a studio apartment, (estimated weight of items: 1800 lbs., distance: 1000 miles) you will pay at least $1200.
  • One-Bedroom ApartmentMoving out of a one-bedroom apartment (estimated weight of items: 2200 – 3200 lbs., distance: 1000 miles) should cost around $1500 – $2200.
  • Two-Bedroom ApartmentIf you plan to move out of a two-bedroom apartment or house, (estimated weight of items: 5000 – 6000 lbs., distance: 1000 miles) expect to spend roughly $3500 – $4200.
  • Three Bedroom HouseIf you’re moving out of a three-bedroom house or apartment, (estimated weight of items: 9000 lbs., distance: 1000 miles) you can expect to spend around $6000.

Remember that all of these values are approximations. To receive a precise quote, you’ll need to request an in-house estimate.

Are There Any Additional Moving Costs?

For both local and long-distance moves, additional costs are likely to accrue. It can be difficult to calculate these costs in advance because every mover has a distinct process around pricing.

Nonetheless, here are the most common additional costs you’ll be likely to incur during your move.

  • Packing MaterialsMany moving companies offer packing materials, such as moving boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper to protect your items during the move. (Depending on the number of items you have, you may be charged for these materials. To avoid any additional costs, try packing your items on your own. You should also consider finding some packing materials for free and have your friends and relatives assist you if possible.)
  • Long Carry FeeIf the distance between your front door and the moving truck requires more labor from your movers, you can expect to pay what’s known as a long carry fee.
  • Elevator FeeIf your movers are forced to go up and down many flights of stairs due to the lack of an elevator, expect an elevator fee.
  • Extra Stop FeeDo you need to make an extra stop during your move? If so, your mover will charge you an additional fee for that as well.
  • Storage FeeIf your items need to be placed in storage before they are delivered to your new home, an extra fee will be added to your bill.


Counting Money for an Additional Cost
Hidden costs can sneak up on you very quickly when it comes to moving.

As you can see, many additional costs can increase the amount of money you will spend on moving services, both local and long-distance.

It’s important that you speak with your mover to avoid being caught off guard by hidden costs.

How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?

Before your move, you should thoroughly research your insurance options. Accidents do happen, and it’s paramount to keep your belongings protected at all times.

After you sign your moving contract, you will receive basic protection for your household goods. This means you don’t have to pay for what many movers call “Basic Limited Liability Protection.”

If you desire this type of protection, you could pay up to $0.60 per pound each for each item, which is unacceptable in many moving instances.

Talk with your mover to discuss any other affordable insurance options. You can also contact a third-party insurance provider to get the coverage you need if your mover is unwilling to cooperate.

Calculating Moving Insurance
Moving insurance is a significant cost that you’ll need to consider early on.


There are a wide array of factors that influence the cost of both local and long-distance moving services. To recap, here’s a rundown on the main points of this article.

  • How Do Moving Companies Charge for Their Services?
  • What Are All of the Factors That Influence Moving Costs?
  • What Is the Cost of Hiring a Local Moving Company?
  • What Is the Cost of Hiring Long-Distance Movers?
  • Are There Any Additional Moving Costs?
  • How Much Does Moving Insurance Cost?

To ensure a smooth transition from your previous home to your new one,  take all the necessary steps to learn about how your mover will charge you. Learn about what will they charge you for and any additional costs that you can expect to pop up.

Doing research about your moving company will set you up for a pleasant moving experience, while at the same time staying within your budget.

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