Moving Estimates: What You Need to Know

Quick guide to moving estimates 

Getting quotes from multiple companies is one of the first steps in planning a move. But if you’re new to long-distance moving, the differences in how you get estimates and what the details mean can be a bit overwhelming. We’ve broken down some of the biggest questions and concerns about moving estimates to help you navigate the process with ease. 

Five brightly colored piggy banks, showing you the different options for moving estimates.


3 things to consider when getting an estimate 

Companies have different processes for providing a quote

Getting a moving estimate can happen in a few different ways: online, over the phone, through a video call or with an in-home visit. In-home and video estimates are most common with full-service movers because they need to see all your belongings to provide an accurate quote. This is because their prices are based on weight (which is difficult to estimate yourself). They also need to make sure to put your household shipment on equipment that will have enough room — full-service movers typically combine shipments unless you need the entire trailer. Moving options like truck rental, portable storage and U-Pack can provide quotes without an in-home estimate because yours is the only shipment in the equipment. 

U-Pack makes moving estimates quick and easy! We’ll determine the space you’ll need in our equipment based on your home size and give you an instant quote. It’s an easier process than full-service and more flexible than truck rental because you’ll only be charged for the space you use (rental trucks have a flat rate for each truck size, so using less space while loading doesn’t reduce the rate). It also helps keep costs down by not having to send representatives to your home before the move.

Your estimate isn’t necessarily the final price 

While it’s certainly possible to pay exactly the amount you were quoted, there are a few things that could impact the final cost. The most common is moving more items than you thought, but things like going over the allotted mileage in a rental truck or needing additional storage time can also increase the price. With full-service movers, you may be charged extra for “long carries,” which happen when they need to park farther from your door and carry belongings to the truck. You may encounter fees for stairs as well. 

With U-Pack, the price includes the moving equipment, transportation, fuel and liability coverage. And you can keep track of the price as you load so there are no surprises. Learn more about what’s included in a U-Pack quote

Details make a difference 

Moving companies want to provide the best price, but that’s only possible if they have all the info. Make sure to provide accurate information when getting a quote and be up-front if any details may change. This will allow the company to give multiple estimates for different situations so you can budget and plan correctly.  

Be as accurate as possible on these details to avoid surprise charges:

  • The number of belongings. If you have a storage facility or an attic full of holiday decorations, you’ll want to account for those items when you get quotes. Those extra places can make a big difference in how much your move costs since they’ll add on to the space you need/the weight of the shipment.
  • Delivery address. If you’re not 100% sure of your new address, let the company know up-front so they can walk you through how different destinations could change your price.

Common questions

What kind of moving estimate is best?

There isn’t really a “best” type of moving estimate since the type you get will really depend on the services you’re interested in using. Instead, it’s more important to focus on getting quotes from reputable companies and making sure you understand the details. Having all the information about what’s included in the quote and why the price could change will help you stay as close to the estimate as possible.

How much time does it take to get one?

The time requirement will depend on the service. In-home and video estimates can take several hours, and they usually need to be scheduled in advance to ensure an agent is available. Online and phone quotes can happen in just a few minutes as long as you have all the information about the move (dates, home size, zip codes, etc.). 

Are moving estimates free?

Yes! Getting a quote from a moving company should always be free. If a company is asking you to pay for an in-home visit or make a deposit before getting a rate, you’ll want to steer clear.   

Have other questions about moving costs? Check out these FAQs

Get an estimate from U-Pack

Get a moving quote online from U-Pack or give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077. We’re here to walk you through the details and give you the most accurate rate!