You are about to move to another home but you don’t really know what to expect in terms of pricing?
This can be really frustrating because when you are unsure about the cost to hire professional movers, you won’t be able to set up your moving budget accordingly.
Even worse, you don’t even know if the money you have saved up will be sufficient to cover the inevitable moving expenses.
There are just too many unanswered questions in your head that won’t let you focus on the myriad of moving tasks ahead of you.
How much does it cost to hire movers?
What is cheap and what is expensive?
You do need a good comparison base in order to know what your viable options are when seeking professional moving assistance. Moving companies provide free moving quotes, but what does the final amount tell you?
How much do movers charge?
Your house move falls into one of the two main pricing categories – Local Movers or Interstate Movers.
Read on to learn the estimated cost to hire movers so that you are better prepared for the financial aspect of your upcoming residential move.
Understand how the moving price is formed and you’ll be able to save big on your move.
How much does it cost to hire movers for a local move?
Local movers charge by the hour – this is the very first thing you need to remember when you’re moving locally.
But what does that mean for you and your budget? It means that the price estimate you receive from local moving companies should be based on an hourly cost and estimated hours to complete the move.
The average cost to hire movers for a local move is $60 per hour per mover but the precise hourly charge will depend on your exact location in the country, the season and day of the month you’re moving home, and the local moving company you’ve decided to use.
|Home Size||Number of Movers||Number of Hours||Estimated Cost|
|Studio / 1-bedroom||2||4-5||$480 – $600|
|2-bedroom||3||5-6||$900 – $1,080|
|3-bedroom||4||7-8||$1,680 – $2,160|
- 2 men and a truck. For hiring 2 men and a moving truck, you should expect to be charged from $90 per hour to $120 per hour. As mentioned above, the exact date of your move will have a considerable influence over the professional local movers’ rates. Move-out dates at the beginning and end of the month, especially during the summer, are more expensive.
- Studio apartment. How much does it cost to hire movers locally? Moving out of a studio apartment should take 2 movers about 4-5 hours to complete the job, which means it’ll cost you approximately $480 – $600 on average without extra services.
- 1-bedroom. When moving out of a 1-bedroom apartment, local movers should charge you about $480 – $600 on average for the work of 2 professional movers for the duration of 4-5 hours.
- 2-bedroom. When moving out of a 2-bedroom home, you should be ready to shell out more money. Let’s assume that 3 movers work for 5-6 hours to pack up and load your household items. Then, you should be ready to pay roughly $900 – $1,080 for the job, with no extra services included.
- 3-bedroom. When moving out of a 3-bedroom home and moving locally, you should expect to be charged around $1,680 – $2,160 for the work of 4 professional movers for 7-8 hours.
NOTE: Bear in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, actual moving prices may be higher than the average moving costs mentioned above.
Sometimes local movers charge additional fees and you should ask in advance about those charges to make sure the estimate you get is as close to the final movers’ cost as possible. An example of such an extra charge is the travel fee – the time the movers require to get to your location and back to their base of operation. That fee is often charged as 1 additional hour of labor.
Most local movers will ask for a deposit when scheduling the move so that they can reserve the date for you. Contact your local moving company to learn more about their deposit policy.
Keep in mind that it’s important to know in advance how much local movers charge. Click here to get a free moving cost estimate by professional local movers.
How much does it cost to hire movers for a cross-country move?
As already mentioned above, the cost to hire movers in town and the cost to hire movers out of state will be rather different. And because of the numerous price factors that influence a house move across the country, it’s virtually impossible to calculate on your own the cost to hire movers for an interstate move.
Therefore, you will have to request cost estimates from various cross-country movers and get the company representatives to visit your home so that they can provide you with accurate moving quotes that will reflect the amount you will pay after your household items are delivered to the new home.
Nevertheless, for referential purposes, it can be useful to get familiar with the average moving costs of moving long distance. Do yourself a favor and ask reputable cross-country moving companies for in-house surveys, followed by the issuance of precise quotes.
So, how much does it cost to hire cross-country movers?
|Home Size||Move Distance||Estimated Cost|
|Studio / 1-bedroom||1,000 miles||$1,500 – $3,200|
|2-bedroom||1,000 miles||$3,500 – $5,200|
|3-bedroom||1,000 miles||$6,300 – $7,800|
- Studio apartment. When moving out of a studio apartment, you should expect to pay an average of $1,500 – $3,200 with no extra services. In this case, the interstate moving cost is calculated for a move distance of 1,000 miles and an approximate weight of household goods of 1,800 lbs.
- 1-bedroom. When moving out of a 1-bedroom apartment, you should expect to be charged around $1,500 – $3,200 with no extra services. In this instance, the interstate moving cost is calculated for a move distance of 1,000 miles and an approximate weight of household goods of 2,200-3,200 lbs.
- 2-bedroom. When moving out of a 2-bedroom home, expect to be charged around $3,500 – $5,200 without any extra services. In this house moving case, the interstate moving cost is calculated for a move distance of 1,000 miles and an approximate weight of household goods of 5,000-6,000 lbs.
- 3-bedroom. When moving out of a 3-bedroom home, you should be ready to pay $6,300 – $7,800 without any extra moving services. In this case, the interstate moving cost is calculated for a move distance of 1,000 miles and an approximate weight of household goods of 9,000 lbs.
NOTE: Keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, actual moving prices may be higher than the average moving costs mentioned above.
Use the moving cost estimator at the top of the page to get accurate price quotes from top-rated cross-country movers.
Should you happen to receive a moving quote for an amount that’s A LOT less than those average moving costs, you could be dealing with rogue movers who have deliberately lowered the costs just to secure your move. Beware of moving scams – click on the link below to learn how to protect your move by recognizing fraudulent techniques used by dishonest moving companies.
What are the price factors when moving across the country?
If you’re moving to another state, be it a neighboring one, then you’re about to complete an interstate household move. And, because of that, the first thing you should know is that the price of your cross-country move will be calculated rather differently than moving locally – it’s all about the price factors and how they will influence that final moving bill.
And more importantly – why should you care? Well, the good news is that once you’re familiar with how your interstate moving cost is formed through the interconnection of the various long-distance price factors, then you will be able to find and use good cost-saving techniques to your advantage.
Home size + shipment weight. Generally speaking, the larger your home is, the more items it will hold, and therefore – the heavier the shipment will become. In contrast to the local movers price /calculated on an hour basis/, the cost of all interstate moves /state-to state-moves/ are determined by the weight of the items to be shipped.
- Special items. The general cost to hire movers will suddenly go up if you own an upright piano, for example, and you decide to take it with you to the new home. The same is true for other types of specialty items as well – a pool table, a hot tub, a big metal safe, antique furniture, and so on. Make sure you show your moving company everything that you plan to move to the new house or apartment.
- Extra services. In order to have your price calculated with a higher degree of accuracy, you will need to inform beforehand your cross-country mover whether you will require any additional moving services – packing, unpacking, temporary storage, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, custom crating for extremely valuable items, and so on. Only then will your long-distance moving company be able to give you an accurate price estimate. And only then will you have the peace of mind that you won’t run into any bad surprises when it’s time to pay the moving company at the end of the move itself.
- Move distance. Of course, the actual distance between the two homes will affect the cross-country moving cost. However, that factor is not something you should really worry about because you don’t have any direct control over it.
How much does it cost to hire movers? The extra charges
As you can see from the example moving company costs above, this question can have very different answers depending on your move parameters such as location, type of move (local or interstate), and the professional moving company itself.
Here are some additional and often unexpected fees and charges that come into play when calculating the average cost to hire movers:
Charges for handling bulky items – this category includes pianos, organs, canoes, and other items with either extraordinary dimensions that take a lot of space or very heavy items that weigh more than most items for the same volume. Some companies have a flat fee for moving pianos and organs. It is very important that the company knows about these items in advance as the movers may be unable to move them if they come unprepared on moving day.
- Long carry fee usually applies due to the impossibility to park near the door to your building or because the walking distance from your apartment to the moving truck is very long. Having too much distance will prolong the move significantly and movers may charge you more. If possible, try to reserve a parking spot or arrange a parking permit to reserve the best parking spot prior to the move.
- Cancellation fee might be charged if you cancel your move after having booked it already. Sometimes that could apply also when you want to change the moving date and the mover cannot accommodate you on that new date. This fee is usually equal to or less than the deposit amount you have with your mover to book the date.
- Storage fee usually applies when you request delayed delivery of your items. In such cases, moving companies will have to store your belongings for a specific period of time. Depending on the moving company, this fee could be a significant charge.
There are also some uncommon charges that you should be aware of. The best practice would be to ask your moving company about them and try to negotiate better terms in advance.
- Express delivery charge or Exact delivery date charge – this usually applies when you want a fast delivery with a state-to-state move or when you request an exact delivery date for your cross-country move.
- Disposal fee (environmental charge) usually applies when you request unpacking of your belongings and the moving company will have to dispose of the used moving boxes and additional packing materials left from the relocation.
- Extra stop charge usually occurs with local moves, when you pick up or drop off furniture from multiple locations. This will cause the movers to drive additional distances and spend more time.
This is why you are strongly advised to get estimates from multiple moving companies as every company has its own set of parameters when estimating the move cost. Also, negotiating a discount in advance is another option worth exploring.
How to bring down the moving price: Top 3 cost-saving methods
As you can see from the average moving costs mentioned above, moving house is an expensive affair.
The good news is that you can use proven cost-saving techniques to cut moving costs. In fact, not only can you do it, but you should definitely do everything in your power to reduce the final moving price – after all, why pay more when you can pay less?
As soon as you learn how much your movers will charge you, you should use these top 3 methods to save money on your move:
1. Pare down your possessions
Move ONLY the household items you do intend to use in the future (practical stuff) and the things that you love (sentimental stuff). By moving fewer items with you, you’ll pay less money in the end simply because the interstate moving cost is calculated on the basis of your shipment weight.
Don’t hesitate to get rid of all unwanted items by giving them away to friends, donating them to charitable organizations, selling them online or at a moving sale, or throwing them away for proper recycling.
Remember: the less stuff you’re hauling, the more money you’ll be able to save.
2. Pack up your things by yourself
Requesting the extra service of packing from your full-service moving company will cost you additional money – anywhere from around $300-$450 for packing a 1-bedroom apartment to $600-$750 for packing a 3-bedroom home. And those packing costs don’t usually include the price of the packing materials.
Therefore, one excellent way to cut moving costs is to make an effort to pack up whatever you can by yourself. Provided that you have enough time until Moving day, you should be able to safely wrap up and box most of your possessions.
Leave any specialty items to professional packers to minimize the risk of damage or personal injuries.
3. Negotiate a better deal with your movers
One unusual way to pay less for your move is to try to negotiate a lower price with your moving company.
The thing to remember here is that moving company prices are not set in stone and there’s nothing to lose and only to gain if you choose to put your negotiating skills to good use.
Ask your movers about any ongoing promotions, deals, or discounts that you can take advantage of. Also, claiming that a competitor of theirs has offered you a better deal may work in your favor and convince your moving company to revise their estimate in order to secure your job.