Understanding moving company prices
Moving services are a lot like vehicles: the price depends on the features you want included. With cars, you have add-ons like heated seats, lane assistance and blind-spot detection. But with moving, you have options like storage, loading help and packing. Each of those factors contribute to a moving company’s total price. Understanding how all the costs fit together is crucial for determining how much you can expect to spend.
Not sure how each service differs? Check out this moving company comparison to get the details.
What goes into the rate?
Moving company rates are based on factors like:
The distance you’re moving makes a big impact on transportation costs with each company. And it’s not always included in the price. Many moving companies include transportation in the quote because it’s part of the standard service. But some, like U-Haul® with its U-Box®, make it optional since you can choose to tow the equipment yourself. Make sure to understand what the price covers and factor it in if it’s separate.
Fuel is part of the transportation cost for companies that provide it, but it’s an extra expense for truck rental. And it can really add up with an out-of-state move. Learn how fuel impacts moving costs and be sure to add it to your truck rental rate when comparing quotes from different movers.
While storage is a great service if you need it, some companies will automatically include storage time on every move. It may be cheaper to add storage when it’s needed rather than pay for time you don’t use.
Insurance and liability coverage
These might be included in the rate or could be an additional cost. For example, rental trucks typically don’t include liability coverage, but U-Pack rates do. If you choose not to add damage protection to the services that make it optional, you could have additional costs in the event of an accident.
Loading and unloading services
This fee is included in a full-service move, which is why it’s usually the most expensive type. If you need assistance but want to keep this cost low, choose to add loading services to a DIY moving option and only pay for the help you need.
Packing is usually included with full-service, but some companies will charge extra for it. Because of the time and labor involved, packing services can add thousands of dollars to a moving company’s rate. Doing that work yourself can really pay off!
How do they determine the cost?
Costs will depend on the factors above, but the way the company gets that information will change depending on who you use. Many services (like U-Pack) allow you to enter all your info online, but others may require a phone call, video call or an in-person visit to provide an estimate. And there may be some differences in your quoted and final price depending on the method used. Read more about moving estimates.
Compare rates from different moving companies
One of the easiest ways to understand rates is to compare prices for an example move. Take a look at how much a 1,850-mile move from Pittsburgh, PA to Salt Lake City, UT would cost. Prices are based on the equipment each company recommends for a three-bedroom home.
Bekins Van Lines® gives ballpark estimates online, which makes it easy to get an idea of how much you’d spend with a full-service mover. For loading, transportation and unloading, Bekins estimates $5,882 to $7,084. Adding full packing services brings it up to $7,569 to $9,192.
For this sample move, U-Haul® would charge $2,684 for a 26-foot truck and damage protection. Fuel will cost an additional $463 (based on current gas prices). In total, you’d be paying $3,147.
To move a three-bedroom home, we recommend three ReloCube containers, which would cost $3,121 for this move. And you don’t have to drive with all your belongings in-tow!
Check out these other articles to see more price examples:
Ready to check prices for your move?
Bekins Van Lines® is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. PODS® is a registered trademark of PODS Enterprises, Inc.U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.
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