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Long Distance Moving Cost Calculator: The Cost of Movers

Moving long distances and starting a new life is not one of those situations where you can “cross that bridge when you get to it.” Before you move, you should be ready physically, emotionally, and of course, financially. Living a new life in a different city or state is a big adjustment, and the process of moving brings with it a ton of expenses.
Before you book your moving date, it’s essential to note down all the expenses you will incur so that you can move without any delays due to economic reasons. Let’s look over at some of the costs you may encounter in the process of moving.


Moving Costs at a Glance

Here is a summary of all the costs you will encounter for your move:

  • Moving truck rental
  • Moving crew hourly cost
  • Insurance fee
  • Auxiliary services (packing, storage, etc.)
  • Expenses associated with moving (toll fees, parking permits, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Basic Long Distance Moving Costs

Let’s take a look at the core long-distance moving costs, which usually involve transportation (a moving truck) and moving assistance (movers and packers).

Truck Rental

Many long-distance moving companies offer truck rentals as their most basic moving service. This means that you rent the truck and nothing else. You have to pack, load, unload and unpack all your items yourself. Some companies may give you a driver for your truck, while others let you drive the truck yourself.
The total cost of moving truck rental depends on how far your destination is and the number of belongings. If you’re moving items proportional to a studio apartment, you can rent a smaller truck (10 feet), while a larger truck 22-26 feet) will be needed for a 4-5 bedroom apartment.
Here is a breakdown of moving costs for long-distance truck rentals:

House Size Truck Size Needed 100 Miles 1.000 Miles
Studio to 1-bedroom 10-12 feet $150 - $250 $800 - $1,200
2-3 bedrooms 16-20 feet $170 - $300 $900 - $1,400
4-5 bedrooms 22-26 feet $200 - $500 $1,000 - $2,000

Basic Comprehensive Moving Service

Basic moving services involve renting a truck and a group of 2-3 movers on average to help you load and unload your items. Remember that the movers will only load and unload your items and transport them to your new home. This does not include packing, which is a service that most companies offer as an add-on. Some companies will also assign you a moving manager to help you go over moving preparations and supervise the actual moving process.
According to the American Moving and Storing Association, the average cost of long distance moving (moving over 100 miles) is around $4,300. Of course, this is an estimate, and values will change depending on a number of factors:

  • Total mileage (distance between the point of origin and the destination)
  • The number of movers needed
  • The total number of hours consumed before the move is completed (movers are paid by the hour)
  • Total weight of all items
  • Moving date (March to September is moving peak season, which means moving slots are more expensive as they are in demand)

Hourly Rate vs. Flat Rate

Almost all moving companies charge you on an hourly basis for moving services. However, some companies switch to a flat rate for long distance travel. This is done to protect the consumer from excessive moving costs.
Moving always comes with a lot of uncontrollable circumstances. Weather, traffic, accidents, and human error can cause delays in the moving process, and even if you’re fully prepared for your move, there are things outside of your control. Moving delays often mean you need to pay for the extra hours. This can end up costing more and more with every passing hour.
This is why a lot of consumers ask for a flat rate when moving long distances. With flat rates, the company conducts an inspection of all your belongings and hands you a written estimate of your move. This estimate is your final moving cost, give or take a few dollars, which means you don’t have to worry about your moving costs.

Moving Cost Charge Limit

A moving charge limit is another way that moving companies can protect customers from exorbitant moving costs. Under these terms, companies still charge hourly for long distance moves, but they have a point at which they stop charging extra even if the move is not yet completed.
For example, the moving company estimated that the move would take 12 hours to complete. However, after 12 hours, the truck is still on the road due to traffic. The company may continue charging hourly after the first 12 hours, but they give themselves a limit. For example, if they decide to stop charging at 15 hours, after 15 hours, the customer won’t be charged any further even if the move is not yet completed.

Moving Storage

How Much Does Packing Cost?

Packing is one of the most common add-on moving services offered by long distance movers. With this extra service, the movers will not only load and unload your items, but they will also pack and unpack them for you. Additionally, they will also provide packing materials and clear away these materials once your items are unpacked at your new location.
If you have the budget for it, packing services are a great convenience. You don’t have to tire yourself out with packing your belongings. You also don’t need to purchase packing materials, and you don’t have to worry about these materials lying around, cluttering up your new home.
The cheapest packing service you can is around $90 - $100. This is for a studio apartment using the most basic packing techniques. Basic usually means you won’t see a lot of packing fillers like air pillows and packing peanuts. You can avail of this type of packing service if you are on a tight budget and don’t have many fragile items. Packing services can go up to $1,200 - $1,500 for 4-5 bedroom apartments.

Cost of Storage Services

Aside from packing services , another common service paid for by customers is storage services. This usually happens if the customer needs to downsize when moving to their new home. They take the basic and essential items, while decorative items and others are sent to a storage facility. Customers can also temporarily send their items to storage if their new home arrangements haven’t been finalized yet.
Computation for storage costs usually go by the cubic meter, so a small storage unit measuring around 4’x4’x3’ can cost as little as $20 per month. This size is perfect for studio and 1-bedroom apartments. Larger storage units measuring 12’x10’x’8’ can cost around $500-$600 a month. The prices can go higher or lower depending on how secure and advanced the storage facility is.

Moving Insurance Cost

Should you purchase moving insurance? If you are moving long distances, the answer is definitely yes. This doesn’t mean that you don’t trust the moving company - even the most experienced professional movers can’t control everything during a move, especially while in transit.
By default, all moving companies offer basic insurance coverage. However, this only covers 60 cents for every pound of damaged items. This means that the perceived value of your items does not matter, only their weight does. This does not seem all that bad if the damaged items are clothes, but what if the damaged items are valuable? For example, for a flat-screen TV costing around $ 1000 and weighing around 35 pounds, the company will only compensate you $21 if the TV is damaged.
If most of your items are valuable, it’s better to avail of your moving company’s full insurance coverage. This gives you protection for the total value of your belongings, instead of simply basing it on item weight. Full insurance protection compensates you for 1%-2% of your items’ total value. This means that if the total value of your items is $50,000, your total insured value will be around $500 - $1,000.

Long distance moving services cost

Tips on How to Keep Your Moving Costs Low

To save on moving costs, a lot of people cut back on moving services. However, if you’re moving long distances, add-on services like packing, loading, and unloading will make the experience less stressful on your part. Here are some ways that you can cut down on moving costs without cutting corners and depriving yourself of important moving services:

  • Book your move during the off-season - Weekends and summer months are busy for moving companies, so moves during these times will be more expensive.
  • Book your move in advance - advance notice can get you some really low moving costs. If you book your move last minute, your move may get quite expensive.
  • Downsize before the big day - Before the big day, segregate your items and leave out items for donation or disposal. This way, the movers will need to pack less.
  • Be prompt - professional movers will always come on time. Because moving companies are punctual, being late or causing delays will only mean higher moving costs.
  • Make preparations for your destination - In most cases, you will need a parking permit at your new home. This needs to be secured beforehand. If you forget to secure a parking permit, you will need to apply for it on the day itself, which will only cause further delays.


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