Everybody knows that moving is an expensive affair. And yet, most people don’t give it another thought until the moment when they are faced with a move themselves. Only then does a number of essential questions, such as “How expensive is it to hire movers?” and “How much do professional movers charge?” flood the minds of those who are about to relocate.
If you yourself are getting ready to start the moving preparations, it is only natural that you’ll want to know how expensive moving companies are in general. Also, you’ll surely be interested in learning in advance the approximate price of your move.
How much do movers charge?
The cost of hiring a moving company depends primarily on whether you’re moving locally or across the country. The example rates mentioned below will be somewhat different depending on your exact moving date. For instance, hiring professional help during the high moving season (May – September, beginning and end of months, and weekends) will usually cost you more than having your moving day during the low moving period (September – May, middle of months, weekdays).
For local moves, professional movers charge by the hour. Roughly speaking, expect to pay hired laborers somewhere between $85 and $95 per hour for 2 movers and a moving truck, while each additional mover will cost you extra. Most local moving companies also add a travel fee to the final bill. A travel fee covers the expenses the moving truck and the crew will incur until they reach your home, and that travel time is usually charged as 1 additional hour of labor.
Let’s assume that your local move will take 4 hours to complete. To get an approximate estimation of the price, simply do the math.
5 hours (4 hours of moving labor + 1 hour as a travel fee) x $85 = $425
So, expect a total of $425 in the best case scenario. Have in mind that this price is only an approximation and you’ll need to request a moving quote from your local movers for a more accurate price calculation. Also, see below for additional charges.
For interstate moves, the moving price is calculated based on the total weight of your household goods (your interstate movers are required to provide you with a legal weight certificate) and the distance to your new home. Make sure you request from your cross country movers an in-house visual inspection of your household, and then ask for a written binding estimate for a more accurate price calculation.
Let’s assume you’re moving a 2-bedroom house with a living room, kitchen, garage and basement. On average, the household items inside such a residence will weigh approximately 5000-6000 lbs. Let’s assume, once more, that your new home is located about 1000 miles away. In this case, expect to pay somewhere between $3500 – $4000 for the cross country move without any additional charges. Again, these numbers serve only as a rough approximation, so don’t forget to request an accurate quote from your moving company.
Additional costs when hiring movers
Needless to say, the price of moving companies varies (sometimes greatly) and depends on numerous factors ranging from the company itself, the destination state, the reservation date, the moving date, the specific services requested, the specifics of the move, and so on. And yet, the answer to the question, “How much does it cost to hire movers?” won’t be complete without saying a few words about the usual additional fees that most moving companies charge.
- Fees for handling bulky items: be ready to be charged extra for heavyweight or over-sized items such as pianos, pool tables, motorcycles and so on. Make sure you inform your movers about such goods in advance.
- Long carry fees: if the moving truck cannot park right next to your doorway, you may be charged extra for the additional distance the movers will have to walk back and forth carrying heavy items.
- Elevator fee: if no elevator is present, or if there is one but it’s out of order, your moving crew will have to walk up and down numerous flight of stairs. Be ready to pay more to compensate for their lost time and efforts.
- Cancellation charge: if you decide to cancel your reserved moving date for some reason or another, your movers may and will probably keep the deposit you have left for booking your move with them.
- Storage fee: if you request a delayed delivery of your goods, the movers will have to place your household items in storage for a certain period of time. And of course, that storage service will not be offered free of charge.
So, are moving companies expensive? Generally speaking, the answer is mostly positive, but the exact moving price depends on your allocated moving budget, the number and weight of the goods for transportation, the distance to your new house or apartment, the requested moving services, and on many other additional obvious and hidden factors.