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Moving Cost Calculator

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Use moveBuddha’s free moving cost calculator above to figure out how much your move will cost. Plus, find helpful tips to save on your next move.

How much do movers cost?

Your moving costs will depend on the type of mover you choose.

Full-service moves with the best moving companies mean less work for you, but you’ll pay significantly more than you would for a DIY option like using moving container companies or rental trucks. Pro movers like Mayzlin Relocation and Safeway Moving handle most aspects of the moving process for you — from loading and driving the truck to delivering your items and unloading your furniture and boxes in your new home.

The average cost to hire full-service movers for a three-bedroom home is $2,100 for local moves and $5,500 for a long-distance move.

Costs for moving containers range from $1,200 for a small local move to more than $7,500 if you have a lot of stuff to move long-distance. Moving truck rentals will run anywhere from $20 to $100 per day, with an average daily cost of $60.

In addition to the type of move you choose, factors that affect your moving costs include how far you’re moving, the amount of belongings you have, and any additional services you choose to purchase, such as full valuation insurance or packing and unpacking.

Here is a breakdown of average costs by move type and distance.

Type of mover ≤50 miles 250 miles 1,000 miles 2,500 miles
Full-service $300–$2,240 $1,050–$5,200 $1,700–$8,900 $2,200–$12,700
Moving containers $225–$650 $760–$1,970 $2,110–$4,110 $3,060–$4,960
Truck rental $130–$190 $710–$1,750 $1,780–$2,410 $2,450–$3,500
*Moving company price ranges are rough estimates based on historical pricing. Pricing and availability are affected by seasonal and economic conditions that these estimates may not reflect. The actual cost of your move will vary. The best way to get accurate pricing is to request a free quote from a professional moving company.
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Cost of local moves

Full-service movers cost from $25 to $100 per hour for local moves, depending on the number of movers needed for the job. So, if you’re hiring a two-person team for a four-hour move, you can expect to pay $200 to $800, but the final cost will depend on factors such as distance, your move size, and any add-on services.

A studio or small one-bedroom apartment typically requires 2 workers and it takes two to four hours to complete, with an estimated cost of $455 to $1,370. A larger two to four bedroom home may take six to ten hours, require three to five workers, and cost $799 to $3,000 for the move.

Home Size Avg. Total Cost Cost/hour # of Movers # Hours
Studio $340 $120 2 movers 3 hours
1 Bedroom $460 $120 2 movers 4 hours
2 Bedroom $725 $170 3 movers 5 hours
3 Bedroom $1,625 $235 4 movers 8 hours
4 Bedroom $1,860 $235 4 movers 9 hours
5+ Bedroom $2,850 $330 5 movers 10 hours
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Cost of long distance moves

Long-distance moving companies charge by the amount of household goods you’re moving and the distance traveled. Average long-distance moving costs range from $1,000 to more than $14,000 depending on the size and distance of the move. The best long distance moving companies conduct a virtual or in-home walk-through to provide an accurate binding estimate.

A small one-bedroom apartment will typically weigh around 2,000 pounds. The cost to move will range anywhere from $1,050 for a few hundred miles to $3,500 or more for a cross-country move . A two to three bedroom, 2,000 square foot home will typically weigh 5,000 pounds with approximate costs ranging from $1,800 to at least $9,000 depending on the distance.

For example, the cost of moving a 2 bedroom from New York to Florida using a professional moving company will typically range from $3,457 to $10,501 for the 1,200 mile move. The cost of moving a 2 bedroom from New York to California using long-distance moving companies will typically range $4,400 to $13,220 for the 2,900 mile move.

Mileage Studio/1 Bedroom 2–3 Bedrooms 4+ Bedrooms
250–500 miles $1,380–$3,085 $2,778–$4,669 $3,088–$6,545
1,000 miles $2,152–$4,643 $3,244–$5,689 $3,906–$7,671
2,500+ miles $2,425–$4,967 $4,940–$7,279 $6,299–$11,266

Average cost of movers by state

State Local move* ~50 miles Interstate move ~500 miles
Alabama $1,140 $4,100
Arizona $660 $3,970
Arkansas $650 $4,050
California $995 $3,950
Colorado $980 $4,030
Connecticut $1,090 $3,680
Delaware $1,220 $3,810
Florida $960 $3,500
Georgia $870 $4,030
Idaho $860 $4,660
Illinois $1,380 $3,800
Indiana $1,120 $3,960
Iowa $1,700 $4,000
Kansas $890 $4,120
Kentucky $740 $4,070
Louisiana $1,220 $3,960
Maine $1,180 $4,660
Maryland $910 $3,690
Massachusetts $1,010 $3,880
Michigan $1,160 $3,960
Minnesota $860 $4,050
Mississippi $910 $4,200
Missouri $1,000 $3,920
Montana $1,050 $4,660
Nebraska $910 $4,000
Nevada $850 $3,850
New Hampshire $1,570 $4,470
New Jersey $1,090 $3,690
New Mexico $660 $4,310
New York $1,070 $3,500
North Carolina $900 $3,730
North Dakota $850 $4,740
Ohio $950 $4,080
Oklahoma $840 $4,040
Oregon $1,020 $4,470
Pennsylvania $1,050 $3,810
Rhode Island $880 $3,690
South Carolina $1,100 $3,730
South Dakota $1,500 $4,660
Tennessee $990 $4,080
Texas $880 $3,960
Utah $1,310 $4,000
Vermont $1,780 $4,470
Virginia $890 $3,730
Washington $1,470 $4,470
West Virginia $1,310 $4,080
Wisconsin $1,170 $4,040
Wyoming $880 $4,660

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How to calculate moving costs

Whether you’re planning a local or long-distance move, a moving cost calculator is a great place to get started. Using key information — such as the size of your move and your starting and ending location — our moving calculator will give you an accurate price range for calculating the costs of your move.

Factors that affect moving costs

Our moving cost calculator considers the same factors that professional moving companies use to provide a quote. Those factors include:
  • Move size: Larger moves are more expensive, as they require more labor and a larger moving truck.
  • Distance: The greater the distance, the more the move will cost.
  • DIY vs. professional movers: DIY moving services like moving container companies are usually cheaper, but require that you do all the packing and heavy lifting yourself. Professional movers take care of loading, unloading, and transportation, but are much more expensive.
  • Time of year: Summer pricing is higher in the moving industry because it’s the peak season for moving companies. The best time to move price-wise is between October and April.
  • Moving date: Moving prices tend to be more affordable during the middle of the week and middle of the month. Prices are higher on weekends and at the beginning and end of the month, when most rental lease turnover occurs.
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Additional moving costs and fees to consider

Full-service movers have a lot of additional fees that can come up depending on the details of your move:

  • Specialty items: Pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, motorcycles, safes, and other bulky items are expensive to move and will increase your overall cost. Companies usually charge a few hundred dollars to haul these bulky items.
  • Packing supplies: If a mover has to use moving supplies like bubble wrap, mattress covers, TV boxes, packing paper, or any other packing supplies, they may charge you. Some moving companies also allow you to purchase packing materials from them directly.
  • Long-carry fees: If the mover can’t park their truck within 100-150 feet of your front door, they may charge a fee due to the extra work required to get your belongings to the moving truck. Depending on the size of the move, long-carry fees can add up to several hundred dollars.
  • Stair-carry fees: If movers have to navigate several long staircases to get to your items, the moving company may charge a fee for each additional staircase beyond the first one.
  • Elevator fees: – some movers will charge a fee if your residence is located on a floor that requires a lengthy elevator ride or if your building has a narrow elevator requiring a lot of trips.
  • Unpacking services: You can pay a full-service mover to unpack all your boxes and put everything away for you. Full unpacking will typically cost a few hundred dollars for a one-bedroom apartment up to a few thousand dollars for a larger home.
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly: Many moving companies can help with disassembling and reassembling furniture, hooking up appliances, and even mounting a TV. Each of these services will increase your total move costs.
  • Shuttle service: If the moving company has to use a smaller truck to park close to your property, the company will usually charge a shuttle fee to transport items from the smaller truck to the tractor-trailer.
  • Storage: Most full-service movers offer the option to store your items, and many provide free storage for up to 30 days. For longer-term storage, it’s much cheaper to use a local personal storage facility.
  • Extra stops: Need the movers to stop by a local storage unit or your in-law’s house? Movers will typically charge a fee for additional stops beyond the primary residence.
  • Expedited delivery: For an additional cost, movers will expedite your delivery and have your items delivered on or before a specific date.
  • Tipping: Moving is a tough job and many customers give their movers a tip for their hard work. The amount you should tip movers can vary depending on the specific move, but generally speaking, you should tip $20 per person for a half-day move and $40 per person for a full-day, eight-hour move. Check out our movers tipping guide for more recommendations.
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DIY move cost

If you’re willing to do all the heavy lifting or drive a moving truck, 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 — especially your moving timeline. The two main DIY options are moving containers and moving trucks.

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Moving containers

Moving containers are like portable storage unit that are delivered to your house, after which you pack everything up and load the containers yourself. Moving container companies will take care of transporting the containers. This offers a good middle-ground solution for people who want to save money but aren’t comfortable driving a moving truck.

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 three container charges: a drop-off fee, a transfer fee, and a pickup fee.

For interstate moves, average moving container costs can range from $900 to $4,500 or more depending on the distance and size of the move. Generally, the longer the distance, the more expensive things get. Moving container companies generally charge a single flat rate for these moves, even if you order multiple containers.

Moving Container Size Best For Similar To
8 feet Studio apartments 10-foot truck
12 feet 1-bedroom homes 15-foot truck
16 feet 2-3 bedroom homes 20-foot truck

Moving truck rental?

Rental trucks are the cheapest option for a DIY move , but you’re responsible for all the work — including driving the truck to your new location.

The average price for a local moving truck rental can range anywhere from $30 to $500, depending on the size of the truck and duration of the rental. For instance, Budget Truck Rental typically charges $20 to $60 per day, plus a per-mile fee, as their base rate to rent a truck for local moves.

The average price for a one-way moving truck rental can range from $200 to $300 if you’re moving a few hundred miles to $2,000 to at least $4,000 for cross-country moves. Rates are based on the distance between locations and the size of the moving truck you need, and typically include a set number of allowable miles and days.

Additional rental days and mileage can be purchased for a fee. Another major cost you’ll want to calculate ahead of time is fuel. Rental trucks typically get on average eight to 12 miles per gallon (mpg) depending on the size of the truck and whether it’s full or empty. For example, a fully loaded 26-foot moving truck is likely to get no more than seven or eight mpg, while an empty 10-foot truck will get closer to 12 to 15 MPG. Fuel costs can easily add up to hundreds of dollars to your moving expenses.

Moving Truck Length in Feet Current Home Size in Square Feet
6 600 or fewer
7 600 – 1,000
13 1,200 – 1,500
17 1,500 – 1,800
23 2,000 – 2,400
35 2,800 – 3,200
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9 Tips for cutting moving costs

There are a lot of ways to save money when moving. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Sell, donate, or trash: Downsizing is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to reduce moving costs. The less you move, the less you’ll pay. Take time to consider which items are actually worth moving. Sell, donate, or trash anything not worth moving. This is especially true of heavy items like fitness equipment, old appliances, and book collections.
  • Adjust your move date: Moving companies charge more during popular times to move. If you can, avoid moving around holidays or near the end of the month. The summer months can also be 20-30% more expensive, so if you can avoid a summer move, do it.
  • Get multiple moving quotes: It’s not unusual for moving estimates to be different by thousands of dollars, especially if you’re moving long-distance. Get at least three estimates to ensure you’re getting a fair price on your move.
  • Be flexible on pickup & delivery times: Movers often face unexpected delays like weather or traffic issues. Customers with flexible move dates enable moving companies to build some cushion into their schedules, often resulting in a better price.
  • Book early: When possible, book your mover 30 to 60 days in advance. Full-service movers will increase prices for moves booked last-minute, or worst case, they may not have any availability. If you plan on moving during the summer or around a holiday, consider booking 90 days in advance to be safe.
  • Consider DIY moving services: Full-service moving companies take a lot of the work out of moving, but they also are expensive. Do-it-yourself moving options like rental trucks and moving container companies can be significantly more affordable if you’re willing to do some of the heavy lifting yourself. If you’re unable to do the loading and unloading, you can always hire labor-only moving helpers to assist.
  • Ask for price matching: The moving industry is competitive, and many companies have a price matching policy to try to win your business. Don’t hesitate to ask for a price match if you’ve found a cheaper quote elsewhere.
  • Get free packing supplies: When budgeting for a move, people frequently overlook the cost of packing supplies. Buying boxes, packing paper, and tape can all add up to hundreds of dollars. However, you can get free moving boxes and other supplies from people who just finished moving. Check out our article on finding free boxes for a lot more options.
  • Use your pre-existing insurance coverage: Check with your existing homeowners or renters insurance to see if moving is covered under your policy. If it is, you can avoid spending money on the moving company’s add-on full-valuation coverage.
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Can you negotiate your moving costs?

Yes, you can definitely negotiate with moving companies. Moving companies usually have moving discounts or other options to lower your quote. You can also bring quotes you’ve received from competitors to see if they’ll outbid other companies or offer price matching.

Ask your sales rep for advice on further reducing your costs. For example, being flexible with your move dates or ditching high-cost items like pool tables or heavy safes can help reduce overall moving expenses.

Do moving quotes include car shipping?

No, moving quotes do not include car shipping. Not all moving companies provide car shipping services. If you need to ship your vehicle, you’ll typically need to get separate quotes from car shipping companies. Our car shipping cost calculator can give you a better idea of how this will affect your overall moving budget.

Car Shipping Costs (Updated 2024)
Distance Open trailer Enclosed trailer Average cost
<500 miles $605 $935 $760
500-1,000 miles $915 $1,155 $1,005
1,000-1,500 miles $1,190 $1,715 $1,315
1,500-2,500 miles $1,505 $2,020 $1,710
2,500+ miles $1,700 $2,305 $2,005

How much does insurance cost for a moving company?

The cost of moving insurance will depend on which type of insurance you elect to get and how valuable you declare your items to be. Full-service moving companies typically offer two types of insurance: released value protection and full value protection.

Released value protection is the minimum amount of insurance mandated by federal law and is included for free on every move. However, it only covers your items at a rate of $0.60 per pound per item.

Full value protection is an add-on insurance option that provides reimbursement based on the value of each item rather than weight. This additional coverage can provide extra protection, especially for high-value items, but it will also significantly increase your moving costs.

What is the cheapest moving company?

The cheapest moving company depends on the type of move you choose. For DIY moves, renting a truck with U-Haul is one of the cheapest options. For moving containers, U-Pack offers the best prices and quick, transparent quoting.

If you’re looking for a full-service mover, North American Van Lines and Mayzlin Relocation are among the most affordable options. Don’t just look for the absolute cheapest rate you can find — make sure a cheap moving company also has a solid industry reputation.

How much does it cost to have a moving company pack you?

On average, it costs $900 to $1,500 to have a moving company pack you. Packing costs are calculated based on the size of the move. For example, full packing for a one-bedroom apartment will range from $250 to $500 while the cost of packing for a three-bedroom home will range from $1,000 to $1,800. Fragile, specialty, and bulky items like expensive art or a safe can significantly increase packing costs.

One major benefit of having a mover pack all your items is insurance. If the mover packs the boxes for you, then they will be liable for any damages resulting from improper packing.

How do I get the best deal on movers?

To get the best deal on movers, we recommend getting estimates from at least three experienced moving companies. Similar to airlines, moving company pricing can vary drastically from company to company and prices are always changing. 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 make an apples-to-apples comparison. Be sure to ask about available moving discounts with each company, as well as other options that could lower your rate, like flexible move dates.

How much does international moving cost?

International moving costs vary greatly based on the specific details of the move.Prices can range from $1,000 to $20,000 (or more) depending on the countries involved, the size of the move, and whether you ship by land, sea, or air. For example, moving a one-bedroom apartment from New York City to Paris by sea shipping will cost $5,400 to $7,400. Moving a one-bedroom apartment from New York City to Sydney, Australia will cost $6,200 to $9,900.

How much should I budget for moving expenses?

You budget for moving expenses based on three main factors: the size of your move, the distance of your move, and the type of mover you plan to use. For example, renting a moving truck for an in-town studio apartment move may only cost a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, you may need to budget up to $15,000 when using full-service movers for a four-bedroom home. The moving cost calculator on this page provides price ranges for each type of move based on the planned size and distance of your move so you can budget appropriately.

Should I try to move myself to save money?

You can certainly try to move by yourself if you want to save money. A DIY move can save you thousands of dollars in comparison to using full-service movers. Be aware that while you’ll save money, your move will cost you in terms of time and effort. If your note sure about doing all the work yourself, consider a moving container company. With moving container companies, you’re still responsible for packing and loading the container, but they will take care of the transportation.

How far in advance should I book my move?

You should book your move at least six weeks in advance. Start researching options for your upcoming move around eight weeks in advance. Be sure to get quotes from at least three different movers to compare prices.

Is the moveBuddha moving cost calculator reliable?

Yes, the moveBuddha moving cost calculator is reliable. It is designed to capture relevant details about your move, and transform these inputs into a reliable cost range. Its accuracy and dependability are a result of years of refinement based on real-world data and moving cost trends. While your actual moving expenses may vary, this cost range should give you a good idea of what to expect so you can budget appropriately for your move.

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