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How Much Does a Moving Company Cost?

The answer to this question is, it depends. Are you moving local or are you moving to a new state? How much stuff are you moving? Do you need help packing? These are just some of the questions that go into determining the cost of your move. If you are lucky and you find a particularly cheap mover during an off-peak time of the year going a relatively short distance, an interstate move could cost under $1,000. But peak time moves going far distances can cost thousands. A local move on the other hand is almost always less expensive than interstate move and will likely not go above $1,200-$1,500 in most cases.

Let’s analyze all the different factors that go into determining your moving costs.

Long Distance (Interstate) vs. Local (Intrastate):

Long Distance moving costs are typical determined by how much you are moving and how far you are moving it. So, a studio apartment move from Manhattan to Northern Jersey may only cost between $1,000 and $1,600, while a 4 bedroom move from Miami to Seattle could run anywhere between $8,000 and $12,000. Long Distance movers can offer you full or partial service. A full-service move can include packing, loading, moving, unloading, and unpacking, whereas a partial move will include at least the loading, moving, and unloading, with packing and unpacking usually being left out. Packing is always an additional fee and consumers may cut this service out in order to save a few dollars.

Local moving costs are usually determined by the manpower the moving company uses (number of trucks and number of movers) as well as the time that is spent moving. So, a mover that takes 8 hours and uses a large truck and 4 movers will cost more than a move that takes 4 hours and uses a medium sized truck and only 2 movers. Most movers have a minimum hour requirement, so even if your move takes only 2 hours, the mover might have a minimum of 4 hours which you will be liable to pay for.

What Factors Determine the Price of a Move?

These are the factors that determine the cost of a move:

  • Move Size & Wright: The more items you move and the heavier the items are, the more expensive your move will be. This is one of the primary factors in determining the cost of a Long Distance move.
  • Distance Traveled: The farther your movers have to travel, the more expensive your move will be. This is the other primary factor in determining the cost of a Long Distance move.
  • Manpower: How many movers and trucks needed as well as hours worked are the driving factors in calculating the price of a Local move.
  • Materials Used: Did your movers provide you with boxes, packing peanuts, tape, or anything else to aid in your move? You are likely liable to pay for these packing materials.
  • Added Fees: If your movers pack for you or move need to move a specialty item (like a piano), you will likely have to pay an additional fee for these services.
  • Seasonality: Be aware that there is a peak and off season to moving. The peak moving season runs from the spring through the summer, with the moving off season running from the fall through the winter. The peak moving season usually carries a higher moving cost since the demand for movers is much higher.
  • Day of the Week: Continuing the theme of being in demand, the weekend is usually costlier than the middle of the week as most people want to move over the weekend when they are off from work and the kids are off from school.


How Do I Get a Deal from a Moving Company?

Like all businesses, moving companies need to make money too. They have payroll expenses, rent to pay, maintenance costs, and a slew of other things to pay for. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to garner a deal from a moving company. The first thing you should find out is if they are running any promotions. Sometimes a mover might run a deal on packing materials or a certain time of the year where they aren’t busy (a Wednesday in the winter). It never hurts to ask.

Another way to potentially save money is on small moves. Movers may offer to bundle your small move with the moves of others. This let’s a mover move several people at once (you share the moving truck with other people), which makes small movers profitable for the mover and more affordable for the consumer.

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