Demystifying the cost of moving companies
Relocating long distance can be exciting and challenging, especially when trying to figure out your moving price. With average expenses ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the company you hire and the distance, it can be complicated to plan a moving budget. To narrow down the cost, it helps to understand how prices are determined. Let’s explore how companies figure their rates and look at some real quote examples to help you compare movers.
What determines how much moving companies charge?
From DIY services like U-Pack® to full-service companies, movers often base their prices on similar factors.
Date of the move
Moves during peak season (summer months and around holidays) usually cost more than ones during other times of the year due to equipment demand.
Equipment size or shipment weight
The rate is based on the size of equipment needed to transport your things. Typically, the larger the equipment (or the more space used), the higher the cost will be.
While U-Pack doesn’t consider the weight of shipments, it’s a factor for many full-service companies. Since it’s estimated before you load everything, there might be extra costs if belongings weigh more than the estimate.
Transportation distance (fuel)
How far you’re traveling will impact the price. Some companies include transportation and fuel costs in the rate, while others might have an extra fuel surcharge fee. Fuel prices can affect the cost of moves, and keep in mind that gas or diesel are not included in rental truck quotes.
Extra fees or services
Additional services not covered in the base rate will add to the cost. Here are some common ones:
- Liability coverage: It’s included in U-Pack’s rate, but some companies charge separately for coverage.
- Moving labor: Full-service rates often include packing, loading and unloading, but labor will cost extra for DIY services.
- Storage: Some companies charge for a month of storage or equipment rental whether you need that much time or not. U-Pack only charges for storage if needed.
Learn more about U-Pack pricing.
Long-distance moving cost examples
The best way to budget for an out-of-state move is to get quotes from different movers.
Let’s look at some example quotes for DIY services to help you get a feel for costs. We looked at moves for a studio apartment and a 3-bedroom home at distances of around 500, 1,500 and 3,000 miles. Full-service prices are typically 2-3 times higher than DIY solutions.
Pro tip: Make sure you understand moving estimate include so you can compare similar services.
Check out the range of prices for a studio apartment move in January 2024 using each company’s recommended equipment. Prices were accurate at the time of posting, but actual costs will vary.
|Kansas City, KS,
to Louisville, KY
|Tucson, AZ, to
|Albany, NY, to
|U-Pack (5 linear feet in a moving trailer)||$1,202||$1,875||$2,533*|
|U-Haul (10-ft truck)||$1,132.62**||$2,209.17**||$3,550**|
|Budget (12-ft truck)||$1,247.41***||$1,683.75***||$4,115.80***|
*Price is for one ReloCube® moving container, equivalent to 5 linear feet in a moving trailer.
**Includes estimated fuel based on 12MPG at $3.46 per gallon for listed mileage plus 50 miles for in-town driving.
***Includes estimated fuel based on 8MPG at $3.46 per gallon for listed mileage plus 50 miles for in-town driving. Does not include liability coverage.
Below are quotes for moving a 3-bedroom home in January 2024, using each company’s recommended equipment. Prices were accurate at the time of posting, but actual costs will vary.
|New York, NY, to
|Albuquerque, NM, to
|Sacramento, CA, to Wilmington, NC
|U-Pack (17 linear feet in a moving trailer)||$1,654||$3,114||$5,765|
|U-Haul (26-ft truck)||$1,636.85*||$5,420.76*||$8,414.42*|
|Budget (26-ft truck)||$2,102.34**||$5,758.26**||$9,608.64**|
*Includes estimated fuel based on 10MPG at $3.46 per gallon for listed mileage plus 50 miles for in-town driving.
**Includes estimated fuel based on 8MPG at $4.45 per gallon (diesel) for listed mileage plus 50 miles for in-town driving. Does not include liability coverage.
What did the quotes include?
It’s important to note that U-Pack prices included equipment, delivery, transportation and standard liability coverage. Taxes do not apply.
U-Haul® prices included truck rental, Safemove® damage coverage, SafeTrip® roadside assistance, taxes and fees. Projected fuel costs were based on AAA’s average gas prices and U-Haul’s estimated MPG of the truck.
Budget® rates included truck rental, roadside assistance, taxes and fees. Projected fuel costs are based on AAA’s average fuel prices and Budget’s estimated MPG of the truck. Liability coverage was not included and must be added when you pick up the truck, which could add approximately $100-$300 to the price.
Which long-distance mover offers the best value?
While U-Pack isn’t always the cheapest option in those examples, when you consider the pros of not having to drive a rental truck, tow a personal vehicle or pay extra for liability coverage, you’ll find that U-Pack is often a better deal, and here’s why:
- The prices are all-inclusive. This means you don’t have to spend an extra $100-$300 to add liability coverage later, like with Budget, or pay separately for fuel for a rental truck.
- You can save money by booking online — an instant $25 off — and using the coupon BLOG 25 for an additional $25 off the cost of the move.
- You don’t have to drive long distance in a bulky rental truck or pay an extra $100-$200 to tow a personal vehicle behind the truck.
Try U-Pack’s free moving cost calculator to check rates!
Learn the cost of your move
Ready to plan an out-of-state move? U-Pack’s here to help! Get a free, no-obligation quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. Don’t forget to use the code BLOG25 to save $25.
If you have any questions about moving company costs or how U-Pack works, let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help!
Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC.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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