Do Gas Prices Impact Moving Costs?

Don’t let rising gas prices stop you from moving

There are many ways high gas prices impact our lives. For most people, it means paying extra at the pump for everyday driving, but for people who are planning a long-distance move, the added fuel expense might make it more expensive than they originally thought. If you’re concerned about what you’ll pay for fuel during your move, consider the different ways gas prices have an impact and how to decrease those effects by moving with U-Pack.  

car at gas station


How fuel costs can impact a move 

How you decide to move your household goods can help determine whether changes in gas prices are negligible or noticeable. Here are the different ways fuel factors into a move: 

Transporting your belongings

Each moving service handles gas costs differently.  

Rental trucks 

Since you pay out of pocket to fill up the truck (both while driving and to return it full), you’ll likely see the most significant change in costs with rental trucks when fuel prices swing. At current rates (at the time of posting), the fuel cost could add a substantial amount to your total moving expenses.  

For example, a 20’ U-Haul gets around 10 miles per gallon (MPG). For an 800-mile trip (like Dallas, TX to Atlanta, GA), you’ll need 80 gallons. Here’s how fuel would factor into that move: 

  • 20’ truck from Dallas to Atlanta: $1,102 
  • 80 gallons at the national average of $4.97 per gallon (according to AAA at the time of posting): $400 
  • Total: $1,502 

Learn more about how moving trucks use fuel with this rental truck fuel calculator.  

Full-Service movers 

While a full-service moving company handles the driving, they will often charge you extra when gas prices increase. Companies will pass their added expenses to you, which can be costly since their equipment uses diesel, which costs more than gasoline. Fuel charges would typically be based on the national average price during your move and can add a percentage to the price for increases. For example, you might experience a 1% increase for every $0.10 over a set amount. So, if the specified amount in your contract was $4.00 a gallon, then the $5.74 current diesel average would mean a 17% cost increase (based on a difference of $1.74 per gallon). Make sure to read the fine print on your estimate to find out whether or not the movers will tack on a fuel surcharge.  

U-Pack self-moving services 

U-Pack handles all the transportation for you, which means fuel is included in your quote. And since any leftover space inside a moving trailer is filled with commercial freight, the overall fuel costs are split between shipments — which means there’s less of an impact with initial pricing. While our rates will shift over time based on the market, rates are set months in advance and your price is locked in when you reserve. You don’t have to worry if fuel prices go up after you book your move — your reserved U-Pack price won’t increase, even if gas prices do.    

*Prices may change if you adjust your move date after reserving.   

See what goes into the moving rate and compare U-Pack costs to other moving companies

Personal travel 

While some fly or take a train to their new home, most folks are hitting the road. You’ll have to pay for gas as you drive, but your car probably gets better miles per gallon than a rental truck, so it should be cheaper to fill up.  

For the same 800-mile move above, a car that gets around 25 MPG would need 32 gallons for a total of $160 (at current fuel rates). 

Ways to save on fuel during a cross country move

Of course, using a service like U-Pack will help decrease your out-of-pocket fuel expenses. But there are ways to spend less at the pump: 

  • Maintain your vehicle. While it may be impossible to do a tune up on a rental truck, you can make sure your own car is running efficiently. Properly inflated tires, a tight gas cap, and regular oil changes can make your vehicle more fuel-efficient. Use this car maintenance checklist to help ensure everything is working properly. 
  • Pick the most fuel-efficient route. The Google Maps app will show you the trip with fewer hills, less traffic and more constant driving speeds. 
  • Drive easy. Accelerating slowly and maintaining the speed limit can help reduce fuel usage. 
  • Compare prices. Use a gas comparison app, like GasBuddy, to find the cheapest rates when you need to fill your tank. Saving even a few cents per gallon at each stop can add up! 
  • Sign up for discounts or rewards. Stores like Sam's Club or Costco offer discounted fuel to members, so if you do any bulk shopping, it can be worth it to purchase a membership. Or check with your credit card companies about fuel rewards. Some offer double points at certain stations, or gas company cards may give you cash back on fuel purchases.  

Want to move without any extra fuel charges?

Know ahead of time what your move will cost with U-Pack. Get a quote above or call us at 844-362-5303844-594-3077. Our prices include the moving equipment, liability coverage and transportation (including fuel).