how much does it cost to move

Moving Services Cost: How Much Does It Cost to Move?

Moving to a new location is an exciting but potentially daunting task. One of the most critical aspects to consider when planning a move is the cost involved. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the various factors that influence moving services costs, providing you with valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.

How Much Do Movers Cost?

When planning a move, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the potential costs involved. The expenses associated with hiring professional movers can vary significantly based on various factors, including the type of move and the distance to your new location. Let’s break down the costs for different types of moves.

Local Moves

Local moves typically encompass relocations within the same city or a relatively short distance. The cost of a local move is primarily influenced by factors like the size of your home, the number of belongings you have, and the time required for the move. 

Long-Distance Moves

Long-distance moves involve relocations across state lines or to a location that’s a considerable distance away. These moves come with higher costs due to the increased logistics and transportation involved. 

Accessibility also impacts the cost of your move. If your current or new location involves stairs, elevators, or narrow hallways, movers might require more time and effort to navigate these spaces.

Here is a table with estimates of moving company prices:

Type of MoveLow EstimateHigh Estimate
Local $200-600$800-2,000

Factors in Determining Your Moving Services Cost

Several factors contribute to the overall cost of moving services:

Move Distance

The distance between your current and new locations is a key determinant of moving costs. The longer the distance, the higher the transportation expenses. This includes fuel costs, tolls, and the time required for the movers to reach your destination. 

For local moves, costs are generally lower as the travel distance is shorter. However, for long-distance moves, costs can significantly increase due to the extended travel time and potential overnight accommodations for the moving crew. 

The location of your move will impact the average cost of movers as well. For example, mover prices in Los Angeles will be higher than movers in a rural area. 

Cost of Labor

The cost of labor is a substantial portion of moving expenses. It includes wages for the movers as well as the time required for loading, unloading, and transportation. 

Factors that influence labor costs include the number of movers needed and the complexity of the move. For instance, if you have heavy or bulky items that require special handling, it might take longer to load and unload, thus increasing labor costs. Additionally, moving during peak seasons or on weekends may lead to higher labor rates due to increased demand.

Size of Your Home

The size of your current home and the volume of belongings you’re moving directly impact the cost. Larger homes tend to have more items, which require more time and effort to pack, load, and transport.

Movers often provide estimates based on the number of rooms or square footage of your home. A three bedroom house is generally more expensive than a two bedroom. 

It’s essential to accurately communicate the size of your home to the moving company to receive an accurate cost estimate. Downsizing before the move can help reduce costs by minimizing the number of items to be transported.

Add-On Services

Additional services beyond basic transportation can contribute to moving costs. These services include packing, unpacking, and assembling or disassembling furniture. Opting for professional packing services can save you time and ensure your belongings are packed securely. 

However, this convenience comes at an extra cost. If you require specialized services such as moving fragile items, antiques, or a piano, these will also add to the overall cost.

Time of Year

The timing of your move can affect costs. Moving during peak seasons, such as the summer months, can lead to higher demand for moving services, resulting in potentially higher prices. 

If you have flexibility in your move date, consider planning it during the off-peak seasons when moving companies may offer discounted rates to attract customers.

Does It Cost Less Move Yourself Vs Hiring a Moving Company?

While a DIY move may seem cost-effective at first glance, it’s essential to consider the time, effort, and potential risks involved. Hiring a professional moving company offers benefits such as convenience, expertise, and peace of mind.

Average Hourly Rate for Movers

Movers typically charge hourly rates based on the number of movers required. Here’s an overview of average hourly rates:

Number of MoversHourly Rate
1 to 2$60-80
4 Plus$120-160

Additional Costs and Services Not Included in Most Moving Services Costs

Beyond the basic moving costs, you should be aware of additional expenses that might arise:

  • Packing Services: If you opt for professional packing services, there will be an additional charge.
  • Moving Supplies: Boxes, tape, and other packing materials may incur extra costs.
  • Insurance: While most moving companies offer basic coverage, you might consider additional insurance for valuable or fragile items.
  • Storage: If you need temporary storage for your belongings, this will add to the overall cost.

Moving Services Cost: FAQs

Is shipping a vehicle included in the average moving services cost?

Vehicle shipping is typically not included in standard moving services. It’s a separate service that comes with its own cost.

Are moving costs negotiable?

In some cases, moving costs can be negotiable, especially during off-peak seasons. It’s worth discussing with the moving company.

How far in advance should I plan my move?

Ideally, start planning your move at least 2 to 3 months in advance, especially for long-distance moves.

Is it more affordable to hire movers or have a DIY move?

While DIY moves might seem cheaper initially, considering the time, effort, and potential risks, hiring professionals can provide better value.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the various factors that influence moving services costs can help you budget effectively and make informed decisions. Whether you’re moving locally or long-distance, evaluating your needs and considering the benefits of hiring professionals can lead to a smoother, more cost-effective move.

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.