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Estimating the cost of a move is tricky. We know, we’ve spent years developing cost predictor algorithms and moving cost checklists to try and answer these questions. In the table below you’ll find basic ballpark ranges for move pricing. Use the cost calculator above for a more specific breakdown on moving costs.
On average, hiring professional movers for a local move will cost from $300 to $1,500 depending on the size of the move. Long distance movers will cost on average $2,400 – $5,000 depending on the size of the move and the distance. Cross-country moving costs will be significantly more than moving to a nearby state.
Moving Cost Calculator Updated Pricing 2020
|1 bedroom||2 – 3 bedrooms||4 – 5 bedrooms|
|<50 miles||$250 – $670||$730 – $1,400||$1,200 – $4,900|
|250 miles||$840 – $2,200||$1,450 – $3,900||$2,000 – $4,800|
|1000 miles+||$950 – $2,900||$2,000 – $7,900||$5,000 – $8,200|
|2500 miles+||$1,300 – $3,900||$3,450 – $7,500||$8,500+|
*Ranges shown are very rough estimates based on historical pricing info. The cost of your move will vary. The best way to get accurate pricing is to request a free quote from a professional moving company.
If you also have vehicles to ship you’ll want to factor car shipping costs into your overall moving budget. Shipping a car 200-300 miles will cost anywhere from $150 to $600 while shipping cross country will cost between $1,100 to $1,900 depending on the distance and type of vehicle. For more accurate vehicle shipping quotes check out our best car shipping companies page.
For in town moves, local moving companies charge by the hour with rates ranging from $50 to $200 per hour. The hourly moving rate is based on the number of guys needed to complete the job.
A studio or small one-bedroom apartment typically requires 2 workers and takes 2-3 hours to complete with an approximate final cost of $150 to $400. A larger 2-3 bedroom home may take 6-10 hours, require 3-5 workers, and cost $600 to $2,000 total.
Long distance moving companies charge by the total weight (per pound) or volume of your household goods. The cost of moving a house can range from $600 up to tens of thousands depending on the size and distance of the move.
A small one-bedroom will typically weigh around 2,000 lbs and cost anywhere from $600 for a few hundred miles to $2,500+ for a cross-country move. A 2-3 bedroom home will typically weigh 5,000lbs with approximate costs ranging from $1,700 to $7,000 depending on the distance.
Other fees like shuttle trucks, specialty packing, bulky items (pool table), and more can add significant amounts to a moving quote. Moving in or out of less populated areas like Montana or the Dakotas will typically cost more since fewer movers travel to these areas.
Check out our list of the best long distance moving companies to get quotes from different moving services.
- Move size – larger moves are more expensive
- Distance – the longer the distance the more the move will cost
- Do-it-yourself vs Pro Mover – DIY is usually cheaper
- Time of year – summer pricing is higher because it’s peak season
- Moving date – moving prices tend to be more affordable middle of the week and middle of the month
- Specialty items – piano, pool tables, hot tubs, motorcycles, safes, etc. are expensive to move
- Additional costs – packing supplies, long carry charges, full packing, unpacking, shuttle truck fees, travel fees
Yes, you can definitely negotiate with moving companies. Moving companies usually have some discounts or options to lower your quote. You can also bring them quotes from competitors to see if they’ll outbid other companies.
You can also always ask your sales rep for advice on how to further reduce your costs. Examples, such as being flexible with your move dates or ditching high-cost items like pool tables or heavy safes, can help reduce overall moving costs.
Moving companies can charge by weight or volume but as a general rule of thumb if you haven’t worked with the mover before then it’s best to avoid cubic footage estimates. We recommend weight-based, binding estimates because they can be verified by the Department of Transportation. For more info, we’ve also written a full article on weight vs cubic footage estimates.
The best way to ensure you’re getting a good price on your move is to get at least 3-4 estimates from reputable moving companies. Similar to airlines, moving company pricing can vary drastically from company to company and prices are always changing.
In order to compare estimates fairly, you’ll also want to make sure every company lists the same details. The item list, weight, volume, packing requirements, and any other details should be listed on every quote so you can be sure you’re making an apples-to-apples comparison.
Moving companies are expensive. If budget is your primary concern then you’ll want to consider some alternative options to full-service movers. Luckily, we have an article that lists a ton of cheap ways to move out of state. To give you a few ideas:
- Moving containers
- Rental trucks
- Shipment marketplaces
- Ship by bus or train
- Tow behind trailer
If you’re trying to ship a single piece of furniture like a couch or mattress moving companies will not be your best option. Most moving companies have weight minimums and won’t be interested in shipments this small. Better options for shipping single items include LTL carriers or shipment marketplaces like UShip.
If you’re willing to do all the heavy lifting and driving you can usually save yourself a good chunk of change on the total cost of the move. You’ll also have more control over the moving process which some people prefer.
The two main DIY options are rental trucks and moving containers. Let’s take a quick look at the estimated costs for each option.
How much does it cost to rent a portable storage container?
Moving containers are like a portable storage unit that can be delivered to your house, loaded, and then shipped or stored local or long distance. This “DIY move” option does not include the labor or any packing services. Although, you can hire local movers to help with the loading as an additional service.
The average total cost to move within 50 miles with a portable moving container is typically around $400 to $700 for one container. For local moves, most companies charge a fee every time you move the container. The typical move involves 3 container charges: a drop-off fee, a transfer fee, and a pick-up fee. If you plan on moving the container more than 3 times, costs can add up quickly.
For interstate moves, average moving container prices can range from $900 to $4500+ depending on the distance and size of the move. Generally, the longer the distance, the more expensive things get. If the company doesn’t have a nearby location at your destination, that can also ramp up the price. Ideally, find a company that has nearby locations on both ends of your move.
Most portable storage companies, such as PODS, offer 30 days of free storage included in their price. Container sizes range from 7 feet long up to 20 feet. Larger containers will cost more to rent and move. If you’re moving a large home, it’s likely you’ll need more than one container which can add significantly to your overall cost.
Moving containers are a good option for moves requiring storage. Check out our list of the best moving container companies to get price quotes.
How much do moving truck rentals costs?
The average price for a local moving truck rental can range anywhere from $30 to $500 Depending on the size of the truck and the duration of the rental. For instance, Budget Truck Rental typically charges $20-$60 per day as their base rate to rent a truck.
The average price for a one way moving truck rental can range from $200-$300 if you’re moving a few hundred miles to $2,000 – $4,000+ if you’re moving cross-country. Long distance move truck rental rates are based on the distance between locations and size of rental truck you need. Rates typically include a set number of allowable miles and days.
For instance, if you’re moving long distance from New York to California, the rental truck rate would most likely include around 3,200 miles for driving and 6-8 days rental time. Additional rental days and mileage can be purchased for a fee.
Another, major cost you’ll want to calculate ahead of time is fuel. Moving rental trucks typically get on average 8-12 miles per gallon depending on the size of the truck and whether it’s full or empty with home goods. For example, a fully loaded 26-foot rental truck is likely to get no more than 7 or 8 miles per gallon, while an empty 10-foot truck will get closer to 12 to 15 MPG. Fuel costs can easily add up to hundreds of dollars.