How Much do Movers Cost? A Comprehensive Guide to Plan Your Move

It’s true that hiring movers is generally more expensive than taking a DIY approach. However, there are perks for those who go that route.

This guide from United Van Lines aims to demystify the cost of moving so you can confidently decide what’s right for you.

What Factors Impact Moving Costs?

When putting together an estimate, a moving company considers a number of things to determine the cost of your move, such as:

  • The distance of the move
  • The size of the move
  • The moving date
  • Additional moving services

Ultimately, there are three types of long-distance moves and the type you choose plays a big role in the cost of your move.

Local moves are typically within 50 miles of your original address, specifically across town or city to city. Interstate moves — a.k.a. long-distance moves — are moves across state lines. Intrastate moves, on the other hand, are longer distance moves that occur within state lines.

Of course, the cost of a moving service considers not only how far you’re moving but also the size of your move. This can be measured by the weight of your belongings or the number of bedrooms in your home. 

The date you’re moving also affects the cost of the move, especially if it’s during a busy season. Moving companies see an influx of moves during the summer and fall, when the housing market is busy, students are on summer break and the weather is all around ideal. In other words, moves are usually more expensive during peak times.

Mind you, companies, particularly local or labor-only movers, can also calculate the cost of moving by factoring in  an hourly rate for each employee assisting with the move.

So, are there ways to reduce the cost of hiring professional movers? The answer is yes!

When planning your move, think of the parts of the move you want to do the least. This could be anything from driving your car to your new home or transporting bulky or specialty items to your new address. Many professional moving companies can provide these services to you. If budget is a concern, though, taking some of these on yourself will save money in the end.

Because cost calculations vary by company, knowing what you will and won’t tackle yourself helps ensure a more accurate move estimate, never mind which moving company is right for you — and your budget. It’ll also help you spot lowball estimates, which can end up costing you — and causing frustration — in the end.

Relocating for a new career? Ask your new company if they provide financial assistance to cover a portion of the cost to move. 

Unsure where to start? With access to over 500 locations across the United States, United Van Lines has helped 1.2 million families efficiently make their move in the last decade. We can help you find reputable movers today.

Is It Cheaper to Hire Movers?

When deciding whether to hire a moving company, cost is usually a determining factor — especially since a moving company can cost more than taking a DIY approach. That said, there are many additional benefits to working with pros.

All types of moves require a substantial time commitment and physical labor, making it hard to find helping hands. A moving company like United Van Lines has a nationwide network of experienced movers ready to not only take on the job, but to successfully, smoothly move you from point A to point B.

That expertise saves you time and effort that can be devoted to other things, like family, work and fun.  What’s more, a moving company already has the equipment and vehicles fit for the task so there’s no rentals involved. This combined with the team’s experience allows them to efficiently, professionally load and transport your belongings, limiting the hassle and time commitment on your part.

Many professional movers also offer additional services, such as packing and unpacking. That makes a huge difference if you want to take tasks off your plate. Plus, hiring professional movers to handle additional to-dos means you can quickly settle into your new home.

Then there’s the matter of moving stress. Hiring a moving company that offers a full-service moving package minimizes some of the physical — and, by virtue, emotional — aspects of a big move. A full-service move with a leading moving company, such as United Van Lines, includes:

  • A personal move coordinator to assist with organizing the move
  • The loading, transportation and unloading of belongings
  • Full-Value Protection for peace of mind
  • Standard furniture placement
  • Qualified drivers and reliable moving supplies
  • A variety of optional add-on services, such as storage, packing and unpacking services

Want to learn more about the cost of moving? Check out United Van Lines’ helpful guide on moving costs.

Estimating the Cost of Moving

In addition to the time it takes to move, a successful move also requires additional planning, organizing and coordinating. This is all taken into account by a professional moving company when you ask for a moving quote.

It’s important to note there are different types of estimates a company can give you.

An instant ballpark estimate is typically the first estimate you receive. This estimate is loosely based, often shown as a price range at first. 

A moving quote or moving estimate, on the other hand, is more accurate, as it involves an in-home or virtual walk-through, which lets estimators see your belongings, your home’s size and layout, and how movers will enter and exit your home. Be prepared for the company to ask you more detailed questions about the move, including the number of bedrooms you have or the specialty items you need to move. 

The moving quote you receive helps you compare potential moving companies and offers a clearer picture of how each company determines the quoted cost so you can make an informed decision that fits your situation and budget.

To learn more about the different types of estimates, read United Van Lines’ helpful guide on moving quotes. 

Ready to Get Moving? Let United Van Lines Get You There!

United Van Lines is proud to be America’s #1 Mover® for 90 years. Since our start in 1933, we’ve assisted with countless moves nationwide. Worried about leaving your belongings in someone else’s hands? We have your back. And our customer satisfaction rating is an average of 4.43 out of 5 stars, a testament to our professional moving expertise. If you’re ready to start planning your move, services from United Van Lines can be customized to your needs. You can view our full list of moving services and complete an online moving quote to get started.

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