Moving Cost Calculator
How Much Does it Cost to Move?
|Distance||Studio or 1-bedroom||2-3 bedrooms||3+ bedrooms|
|<50 miles||$325 – $700||$720 – $1,650||$1,750 – $4,795|
|250 miles||$800 – $2,425||$1,520 – $3,975||$2,125 – $5,110|
|500-1,000 miles||$975 – $2,125||$2,200 – $7,900||$4,875 – $8,200|
|>2,000 miles||$1,325 – $1,975||$3,550 – $7,985||$9,500 +|
Average Cost for a Local Move
On local moves most moving companies charge based on an hourly rate, with costs dependent on how many movers you need and the number of hours required.
Depending on where you live and when you’re moving, the cost-per-mover is generally between $20 and $40 per hour.
In other words, if your move requires 3 movers for 8 hours, your estimate will look something like this:
3 men + 1 van @ $90 per hour x 8 hours = $720
But keep in mind, other charges may apply, like:
- Travel time charge and/or fuel surcharge
- Packing and unpacking
- Additional moving services like crating and appliance disconnect/ reconnects
- Insurance (valuation)
As a general rule, studio and one-bedroom apartment moves usually require 2 movers for a few hours and cost between $200 and $500.
Larger apartments, condos, and single-family homes often require 3 or 4 movers, take between 6 and 10 hours, and cost anywhere from $700 to more than $2,000.
Average Cost for a Long Distance Move
When moving from state to state, charges are almost always based on:
- The weight of your household goods
- The mileage between your old and new homes
- Additional services like packing, crating, shuttles, appliance disconnect/reconnects and extra stops
- Insurance (valuation)
On long-distance moves, prices often range from as little as $700 or $800 for small apartment moves going a few hundred miles, to well over $10,000 for 3 or 4-bedroom homes moving from one side of the country to the other.
But keep in mind…
Move costs vary significantly, so use the above figures for reference only.
Factors Affecting Move Cost
To avoid mid-move sticker shock, consider the following:
1. Move date – Moving during the peak season (between May and September) is almost always more expensive than it is during the fall and winter months. Likewise, the last few days of the month and weekends are often pricier too, so schedule your moving date accordingly if you’re flexible.
2. Move size – Whether you’re moving locally or long distance, the more “stuff” you have the more it’ll cost to move. Downsizing is one of the best ways to reduce move cost.
3. Packing – Having the pros provide packing services is convenient, but in some instances it can double the cost of your move. Making (and sticking to) a packing schedule that starts weeks before move day is a great way to save money without feeling overwhelmed at the last minute.
4. Extra services – Things that often result in additional costs include:
- Extra labor for disassembling home gyms and entertainment centers
- Moving specialty items like hot tubs, pool tables, motorcycles, and expensive artwork
- Extra stops (pick-ups or drop-offs) between residences
- Elevators, long carries, and shuttles
5. Packing supplies – On relatively small moves scrounging up free cardboard boxes may be a feasible option, but for large ones it’s often necessary to buy moving supplies. Boxes are the largest expense, but if you’re doing most or all of the packing yourself, you’ll also need plenty of plastic bins, packing paper, tape, bubble wrap and specialty cartons for mirrors and art, glassware and hanging clothes.
6. Storage – Though you may not think you need it, storage is sometimes necessary. Even short-term storage can be surprisingly expensive, so getting quotes from the companies you’re considering is a great way to know what to expect if it becomes necessary due to unforeseen circumstances like construction delays, leasing mix-ups, or financing issues. Also look into how much a storage unit would cost just in case.
7. Insurance (valuation) – Nearly all movers offer free basic coverage for both local and out of state moves. However, it’s usually minimal at best. For peace of mind many customers upgrade to pricier policies like Full-Value Replacement Coverage, which can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your move.
8. Travel expenses – Especially for those moving long-distance, travel fees can add up at an alarming rate. Here we’re talking about lodging, gas, meals, and flights on house hunting trips, when traveling between residences, and waiting for your household goods to be delivered (which can take weeks on a cross country move)
Minimize Your Moving Costs
These days we’re all interested in keeping more hard-earned dollars in our pockets.
Let’s look at a few ways to save money on your move:
1. Discard, donate, downsize – Bar-none, reducing the number of items you move is the best way to minimize cost. Instead of waiting until the 9th hour, start the purging process weeks or months beforehand. Items may be thrown away, sold, or donated – the latter of which may include free pick-up and tax deductions.
2. Rent a moving truck – Renting a moving truck and doing a DIY move may save you big money, but in some cases (like if you’re moving out of California where truck rental prices have gone through the roof) that may no longer be the case. Always compare prices for rental trucks (like U-Haul and Budget) and full-service movers. In some instances the difference is negligible.
3. Consider other options – Though rental trucks and professional movers used to be the only games in town, that’s no longer true. Don’t forget to look into moving container companies (like PODS) and freight moving companies (like ABF U-Pack). They’re often more flexible and less expensive options that warrant a closer look.
4. Look for moving discounts – Teachers, active and retired service members, students, and senior citizens may be eligible for moving discounts. In addition, members of organizations like AAA and AARP may get preferred pricing and services, so don’t be shy about asking.
5. Move when it’s cheapest – Since most moving companies are booked to capacity during the summer, moving during off-season non-peak times (between September and April) is a great way to save money. The last few days of each month and weekends typically see big spikes in demand too, so moving during the week in the beginning or middle of the month will usually cost less.
6. Pack yourself – Doing your own packing can reduce move cost by half. That said, it’s tedious and time consuming, so start weeks in advance by packing things you rarely use.
7. Save your receipts – Especially if you’re moving for work, your moving expenses may be tax deductible. Check the IRS’s website or consult a tax professional to make sure you take advantage of all possible deductions.
8. Get friends and family involved – If you decide to go the do-it-yourself route you’ll need moving labor. If friends and family are willing to help, give them ample notice and only assign tasks they’re capable of handling.
9. Get multiple quotes – When moving, finding the best deal is as simple as getting multiple quotes.
10. Ask moving companies for tips – Reputable moving companies have a vested interest in providing their customers with a positive experience. To that end, they should gladly suggest money saving tips. If they can’t or won’t, it’s a huge red flag.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
How much does it cost to move?
Small, local DIY moves often cost just a few hundred bucks, while long distance interstate ones including services like packing and storage can be between 15,000 and $20,000. Of course, your actual move cost will depend on a number of factors, so be sure to include them when getting estimates and preparing a budget.
Are moving prices negotiable?
Yes, they usually are. The best way to negotiate the best price is to be flexible, and schedule your move during low demand periods like the fall and winter, the beginning or middle of the month, and during the week.
How much is moving insurance?
If your mover’s free released value coverage option seems woefully insufficient, you’ll have the option of upgrading to Full-Value Replacement coverage with a number of deductible options. Depending on the size of your move and how far you’re going, this can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your move. Just make sure to read the fine print beforehand so you know what to expect in the case of loss or damage. You may also be able to purchase a moving policy from your renter or homeowner’s insurance company.
How much does it cost to ship a car?
Shipping a standard family car a few hundred miles on an open trailer can cost as little as $300, but coast-to-coast car transport service during peak times can cost more than $2,000 or more if you have an oversized vehicle or need enclosed transport.
What are intrastate moves?
Intrastate moves are moves within one state. They’re almost always handled by local movers, but may be very long distances like from San Diego to Redding, California, which is nearly 700 miles.
Do moving companies charge by weight or volume?
Both, but for interstate moves you should ask to have an estimate based on weight. It’s much easier for nefarious moving companies to scam unwitting customers with an estimate based on volume (cubic feet). Nearly all reputable moving companies provide interstate estimates based on weight and miles. For local moves, expect to be charged by the hour.
What is the American Moving and Storage Association?
AMSA is an industry trade group made up of local, interstate and international movers from all over the world. Their website is a great resource for:
- Learning about the industry
- Finding reputable movers
- Lodging a formal complaint if you’ve been the victim of fraud
What kind of moving estimate should I get?
On interstate moves there are three types of estimates:
Non-binding-estimates are those in which the actual move costs may be more or less than the quoted price.
With binding estimates, cost is fixed before the move, so if you haven’t added items or requested additional services that weren’t included your price won’t go up or down.
With not-to-exceed estimates movers give you a maximum price, but if the actual weight and services are less than expected your cost may go down.
Remember, a local moving company may only offer hourly non-binding estimates, whereas long distance movers may give you any one of the three estimate types listed above.