If there’s one thing that is consistent across human nature, it’s that people love saving money. If we can DIY-it, we will. Moving is no exception.’ In attempting to “hack” moving, we cram the family Subaru so full of boxes that we can’t see out the windows and still don’t have room for everything. […]
Hiring professional movers for a local move will cost from $300 to $3,500 depending on the size of the move. Long distance moving companies charge by weight and prices can range from $2,500 to $11,600 depending on the size of the move and the distance. Cross-country moving costs are significantly more than moving to a nearby state.
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 approximate the costs of moving. In the table below you’ll find basic ballpark ranges for local and long distance mover pricing. Even the best movers don’t always get their estimates completely accurate. Use the moving estimate calculator form at the top of the page for a more specific breakdown of moving costs.
How much do local moving companies cost?
If you’re moving down the block or within the same city, local moving companies charge by the hour with rates ranging from $65 up to $250 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 a moving estimate cost of $295 to $732. A larger 2-3 bedroom home may take 6-10 hours, require 3-5 workers, and cost $750 to $3,203 total for the day.
|Home Size||Avg. Total||# of Movers||Cost/Hour||# Hours|
|Studio||$295 – $612||2 movers||$95/hr||3 hours|
|1 Bedroom||$401 – $732||2 movers||$95/hr||4 hours|
|2 Bedroom||$750 – $1,935||3 movers||$122/hr||6 hours|
|3 Bedroom||$1,020 – $3,203||4 movers||$156/hr||7 hours|
|4 Bedroom||$1,230 – $4,950||4 movers||$156/hr||9 hours|
|5 Bedroom+||$2,100 – $6,555||5 movers||$199/hr||12 hours|
How much do long distance movers cost?
Long distance moving companies charge by the amount of household goods you’re moving and the distance being traveled. The approximate cost of moving a house long distance can range from $920 up to $15,000+ depending on the size and distance of the move. The best moving companies will give you a free estimate over the phone or through a virtual or in-home walkthrough.
A small one-bedroom will typically weigh around 2,000 pounds and cost anywhere from $900 for a few hundred miles to $3,500+ for a cross-country move. A 2-3 bedroom, 2,000 square foot home will typically weigh 5,000 pounds with approximate costs ranging from $1,900 to $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 $2,100 to $7,800 for the 1,200 mile move.
The cost of moving a 2 bedroom from New York to California using a professional moving company will typically range $3,200 to $9,700 for the 2,900 mile move.
Other fees like shuttle trucks, specialty packing, crating fragile items, 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. Popular moving routes will be more competitively priced.
Check out our list of the best long distance moving companies to get quotes from different moving services.
|1 bedroom||2 – 3 bedrooms||4 – 5 bedrooms|
|<50 miles||$401 – $612||$750 – $3,203||$1,230 – $6,555|
|250 miles||$920 – $2,700||$1,900 – $4,815||$2,750 – $9,700|
|1000 miles+||$1,900 – $3,925||$3,320 – $9,800||$4,950 – $15,100|
|2500 miles+||$2,900 – $5,800||$4,410 – $12,700||$8,400 – $17,800|
*Moving company price ranges shown are very rough estimates based on historical pricing info. Pricing and availability have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and may not be reflected in these estimates. 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.
moveBuddha offered guidance where most others would or could not.
To calculate the cost of a local move, you’ll need to take the Number of Hours estimated to complete the move and multiply that by the Hourly Rate the moving company charges. You may also have to add on additional charges for things like Travel Time, Packing Materials, and Tips for the movers if you so choose.
Estimating the cost of moving long distance to a new home is harder to calculate. We recommend using the moving calculator at the top of the page as a starting point. Here are some major cost factors for intersate moves.
- Move size – larger moves are more expensive
- Distance – the longer the distance the more the move will cost
- Do-it-yourself vs Professional Mover – DIY moving services are usually cheaper but involve more work and stress
- Time of year – summer pricing is higher because it’s peak season and movers are busy
- Moving date – moving prices tend to be more affordable middle of the week and middle of the month
Additional moving costs and fees to consider
Moving companies have a lot of additional fees that can come up depending on the details of your move. Below is a list of the biggest costs to consider when estimating the cost of a move.
- Specialty items – pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, motorcycles, safes, and other bulky items are expensive to move and will add to your overall cost. Companies will usually charge a few hundred dollars additional to haul these “bulky items.”
- Packing supplies – if a mover has to use bubble wrap, mattress covers, TV boxes, packing paper, or any other packing supplies they will charge you for the supplies. It’s a good idea to coordinate with the moving company ahead of time on which supplies will be needed.
- Long carry fees – if the mover can’t park their truck within 100-150 feet of your front door they may charge a long carry fee. Depending on the size of the move, long carry fees can add up to several hundred dollars.
- Stair carry fees – if you have several long staircases to get to your items the moving company may charge a stair carry fee for each additional staircase beyond the first one. Depending on the size of the move, stair carry fees can add up to several hundred dollars.
- Elevator fees – some movers will charge an elevator 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 Service – although it’s rarely purchased, you can pay a moving company to unpack all your boxes and put everything away for you. This will typically cost a few hundred dollars for a one-bedroom apartment up to a few thousand dollars for a larger home.
- 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 “shuttle” items from the smaller truck to the tractor-trailer. Shuttle fees can be significant.
- Storage – most moving companies offer the option to store your items. For short term storage, moving companies are a good option. For longer term storage, moving companies are more expensive than storing your items at 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 agree to 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 tip for the hard work. The amount you should tip movers can vary depending on the move.
- 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.
- 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 quotes: it’s not unusual for moving company estimates to differ by thousands of dollars, especially if you’re moving long distance. Get at least 3 estimates to ensure you’re getting a fair price on your move.
- Flexible pickup & delivery: moving is a tough business and movers often face unexpected delays like weather or traffic issues. Customers with flexible move dates enable moving companies to build some cushion into their schedule. Often times resulting in a better price for you.
- Book early: book your mover 30-60 days in advance. Moving companies will increase prices for moves booked last minute or worst case they may not have any availability at all. 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: 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 containers can be significantly more affordable if you’re willing to do some of the heavy lifting yourself. If you’re unable to do the heavy lifting that comes with moving, or simply don’t want to, you can always hire labor only moving helpers to assist with the loading and unloading.
- Ask for price matching: the moving industry is competitive and most companies will have some kind of price matching policy to try and win your business. Don’t be afraid 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. Boxes, packing paper, and tape can all add up to hundreds of dollars of expense. Thing is, a lot of this stuff can be found for free online from people who just finished moving. Check out our article on finding free boxes for a lot more options.
- Insurance coverage: check with your existing homeowners or renters insurance to see if moving is covered under your policy. If moving is covered you can avoid spending money insuring your items through a moving company.
- Weight equals money: consider selling or giving away heavy items like fitness equipment and book collections. If you have old appliances moving may be a good time to get rid of them.
- Cancel services: transfer or cancel all your utilities one to two days after your move date to avoid paying any unnecessary bills.
Check out our article on how to save money when moving for more cost saving tips.
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 or offer price matching. You can also use the moving cost calculator at the top of this page to get an idea on what your move should cost.
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 expenses.
If you have vehicles to ship you’ll want to factor car shipping costs into your overall moving budget. The distance, type of car, and whether you want an open or enclosed trailer are the biggest factors that determine car shipping cost. For more accurate vehicle shipping quotes check out our best car shipping companies page. The table below lays out some average costs for different distances.
|Distance||Open trailer||Enclosed trailer||Average cost|
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. The cost to insure a one bedroom apartment at Full Value Protection will typically cost around $500 to $700 depending on how valuable the items being moved are.
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:
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. Check out our list of the best moving companies for single item moves.
Storing your furniture with a moving company is a great way to avoid the hassle of moving everything in and out of storage. The monthly cost to store with a mover will depend on the size of your move. The typical one bedroom apartment move will cost around $90 to $150 a month to store with a moving company. A 3 or 4 bedroom house will cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per month for storage.
Keep in mind, moving companies will store the items in their warehouse so you won’t have access to any items while stored.
Full packing services on average cost $900 to $1,500. Packing costs are calculated based on the size of the move. Specialty items like chandeliers or expensive art can significantly increase packing costs.
For example, full packing for a one bedroom apartment will range from $250 to $500. The cost of packing for a 3 bedroom home will range from $1,000 to $1,800 depending on how much is being packed.
One major benefit of having a mover pack all your items for you is insurance. If you pack your boxes they are not covered under the mover’s insurance. But if the mover packs the boxes for you, then the mover will be liable for any damages.
Many people forget to include the cost of tipping your movers when calculating their move budget. The general rule is to tip movers about five dollars per person for every hour the move takes. So if your move takes five hours, each worker should get a $25 tip at the end.
Tipping certainly isn’t required. And if the movers do a bad job by all means do not tip. But keep in mind how hard lifting furniture all day can be. If the movers do a good job you should tip them.
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 volume (cubic footage) based estimates. We recommend weight-based, binding estimates because they can be verified by the Department of Transportation. Most of the national van line moving companies like Mayflower Transit charge by weight. 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 with years of experience in the industry. 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.
International move pricing is complicated and prices can range from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on the countries involved, the size of the move, and whether you ship by land, sea, or air.
For example, moving a one bed apartment from New York City to Paris by sea shipping will cost $5,400 to $7,400. Moving a one bedroom from New York City to Sydney will cost $6,700 to $9,100.
For accurate international move pricing, we recommend getting a free quote from the companies on our best international movers list.
Short answer, no. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made moving expenses no longer tax-deductible except for active military members. Depending on the state you live in, moving costs may still be deductible on your state tax return.
The average person will spend roughly $10,000 on moving related expenses during a move. This includes things like hiring a mover, buying packing supplies, replacing furniture, paying security and utility deposits, and the million other expenses that come up while moving.
Obviously, the amount you need to budget for moving really depends on your situation. If you’re moving a big house long distance, your moving budget may be way higher than $10,000. If you’re moving a studio apartment across town, you may be able to get away with only spending a couple of hundred bucks to move.
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 locally or long distance. This “DIY move” option does not include 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 PODS pricing. Container sizes range from 7 feet long up to 20 feet. Larger containers will cost more to rent and move. If you’re moving to 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 cost?
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 the size of the 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.
Read & Learn
How do movers calculate moving quotes?Imagine this scenario – You get a moving company referral from your obnoxious brother-in-law. Site-unseen, you hire them to relocate you and your family across the country. In other words – No virtual or in-home surveys are done The company doesn’t provide a detailed moving quote They know nothing about […]