moving quotes online

Average Moving Costs Per Hour: Moving Company Prices

Before you start looking for the right moving company you need to make a rough estimate of your moving costs. For that, knowing the average moving costs per hour is necessary.

Note that, beyond the baseline hourly rates, there are other factors in a move that will impact the costs. So, consider all the points that come into play for estimating potential costs and choosing a moving company.

How Much Do Movers Cost Per Hour?

The cost for a single mover can vary between $25 and $125 per hour, the average being $80. Most moves for a medium-sized apartment can be completed by a team of two movers. The majority of the domestic moves in the US are short-distance moves that can be covered by two movers and a truck. For that, expect a charge of around  $100-$160 an hour.

The total time required will depend on the size of the move and the packing services you need. In case you have specialty items, the time needed for moving and packing will go up. Some moving companies have a three-hour, $300 minimum policy for a team of two movers. 

The costs will vary depending on whether the move is local or long-distance. The cost to move cross country will be higher than moves within 100 miles. The season and the type of services needed will also affect the cost. Beyond that, there are add-on expenses like insurance and tipping.

Moving Cost Per Hour Chart

We have added a simplified chart indicating the moving cost of moving for different home sizes.

Home/Apartment SizeMoving DistanceAverage Moving Cost
StudioShort (Local – up to 100 miles)$600 – $1,500
Long (Over 100 miles)$1,500 – $3,000
1 BedroomShort$800 – $2,000
Long$2,000 – $4,000
2 BedroomShort$1,200 – $2,500
Long$3,000 – $6,000
3 BedroomShort$1,500 – $3,000
Long$4,000 – $7,500
4 BedroomShort$2,000 – $3,500
Long$5,000 – $10,000

Studio Apartment Shipping Costs Per Hour

If you choose a labor-only service from a moving company, the per-hour cost for every mover will be between $40-$80. The average time needed to move a one-bedroom apartment is between three to five hours. With studio apartments, it is easier to cut costs by planning a DIY move or taking help from your friends to do the packing on your own.

2 Bedroom House Shipping Costs Per Hour

The per-hour cost of shipping a 2-bedroom house is between $25 to $110 depending on the location. For long-distance moves, the total costs can be as high as $8,000 if you need special services and temporary storage. Choosing a “You Pack, We Drive” service, where you do the packing, can help cut costs.

3 Bedroom House Shipping Costs Per Hour

The per-hour cost for moving a three-bedroom house can be between $25 and $125 per person. The overall costs can be between $2,000 to $15,000 depending on various factors.

For full-service moves that include services like packing and unpacking, furniture assembly, and disassembly, the charges will be higher. The minimum per-hour charge for a mover can be around $70 in that case.

4 Bedroom House Shipping Costs Per Hour

For a local move, you can expect each mover to charge around $50-$80 per hour. In case the house is heavily furnished with multiple large items, expect higher per-hour charges. The total cost for a long-distance haul should be between $4,500 to $21,000. The average cost is around $7,000.

When it comes to handling a move of this size, it is best to seek help from a professional moving company. Tackling such a large job through the DIY route can lead to disorganization.

Car Shipping Costs Per Hour

One common question is how much does it cost to move a car. In general, car shipping costs are calculated on a per-mile basis and not on a per-hour basis. The average costs are between $0.60 and $1.70 per mile. 

Open carrier transport is a more budget-friendly option. If you prefer enclosed shipping to keep the vehicle safe from the elements, the charges will be higher. The total shipping cost between 500-1500 miles can range between $850 to $1,473.

Estimating the costs of international car shipping is more complicated. Depending upon various factors, the costs can be between $1,000 to $5,000. 

The average shipping cost of a motorcycle is $800. To ship your favorite motorcycle in the best possible manner, get support from one of the best motorcycle shipping companies.

Direct Transport vs Consolidated Moves

Before you use a moving cost calculator for an estimate, you need to understand the terms consolidated and direct moving. This concept is mostly valid for long-distance moves and most long-distance movers offer both of these two services. Choosing the right option between the two can significantly impact your moving cost. Since every move is different, the right choice depends on your specific requirements.

In direct transport, the moving company will exclusively haul your possessions to the destination in a truck. The company loads your items in a truck or freight container at a chosen time, and it gets driven directly to the unloading point. While this type of move is more expensive, the process can be personalized based on your preferences.

Direct transport gives you more flexibility in the loading and unloading of the items. Since it offers exclusivity and takes less time, most homeowners prefer a direct transport service.

In a consolidated service, you share cargo space with other customers. Once collected, all the items are shipped together in a truck. This will need additional time as the items are gathered from and delivered to different locations. Besides, your cargo will also come in contact with that of the other customers. This may lead to a mix-up of the items due to handling errors. 

Compared to direct shipping, dealing with consolidated moves can need more management from your end. Moreover, you will have less direct control over the transport process.

That said, if you are not strapped for time and do not mind sharing cargo space with others, consolidated transport can result in significant cost-saving. Unlike direct shipping, the total transportation cost gets shared between all the customers. 

Picking a consolidated move makes sense for smaller shipments. For larger shipments, direct moves can be more economical as you pay a flat rate for the entire truck.

However, if you are moving items that need special handling, it is best to stick to direct transport. Since the items are handled less in this case, the risks of damage or loss are considerably less.

How Much to Tip Movers?

More than often, tipping is one hidden cost of moving that many of us forget to consider while estimating a moving budget. Offering a tip is a great gesture to appreciate the efforts of the moving team. 

In truth, the movers expect a tip at the end of the job and moving companies consider this as the standard etiquette. However, tipping is not an obligation and you may not offer a tip if the service provided is unsatisfactory. 

Deciding the tipping amount is not an easy task as it depends on the specifics of the move. A thumb rule is to offer between 15 to 20 percent of the total moving bill as a tip. This rule can be applied for both short and long-distance moves. Generally, all tips are paid in cash.

You can give the entire amount to the foreman and request an equal division between every worker. In some cases, the loading and unloading is carried out by two teams. Then you can split the total amount equally between the two teams.

The downside of this method is that the percentage value may not accurately reflect the effort of the moving team. The other option is to consider a tip of $20 to $30 per mover for local moves involving 4-5 hours of work. You can go as high as $50 per mover for 8 hours of work in a day for long-distance moves.

Here are some factors you should consider while calculating a tip for the movers.

  • To start with, consider the complexity of the move. Handling items like heavy furniture, pianos, and fine art requires special care. If the movers have handled such items appropriately, offer a higher tip.
  • Some movers deliver timely service and offer extra help with the moving process. If the movers were courteous and efficient you can offer a generous tip. In case the movers were rude and inefficient, lower the tip amount.
  • If the location has to be approached by a flight of stairs or the items have to move through narrow corridors, the movers need to be extra careful. Likewise, conducting the move during a freezing winter or a pouring rain can be extra challenging. Movers navigating through such conditions deserve a generous tip.

Lastly, tipping is not the only way to show appreciation. You can buy the moving team some snacks or lunch in the form of a pizza. Also, do not forget to thank each worker after the move has been efficiently completed.

Final Thoughts

While going through the average moving costs per hour, keep in mind that moving is a  labor-intensive process. Plus, the total costs are influenced by various factors. That means it is never going to be cheap. 

So, answering the question of how much it costs to move is not easy. Make sure to carefully consider all the factors and cut costs wherever possible.

In case you do not have the time to estimate and pick the right mover, why not use the convenience of AI-driven software to get the job done? The Agoyu app allows you to make the most cost-efficient moving choices without compromising service quality.

Connect with the free Agoyu app to get accurate and up to the minute mover pricing!

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.