How Moving Rates Are Decided

Making a big move can be a highly stressful time for anyone, particularly if you have too much stuff and too many heavy belongings to make it yourself without a little hired help. Hiring a moving company is a difficult task, particularly because it is a competitive market. Knowing what to look for in a moving company is critical, because the good ones will stand out from the not-so-good ones. One of the biggest factors that movers are often first concerned with is cost; how can you figure out what estimate is better in moving companies? Going for the cheapest option is not always the best; it’s far more important to look at reputability first and then narrow it down from there by cost. Generally movers calculate cost in the same ways: they charge by the hour (per employee used), distance of the move, and the combined weight of all your belongings. Fuel costs are usually factored in there with distance, including the maintenance toll it takes on their trucks. Deciding what a “fair” price is, is entirely subjective and depends on your own individual circumstances. There are a few things you should know about how moving rates are decided before you attempt to find the cheapest price.

More the service, more the cost

Packing, loading, driving, and unloading can all be done by a moving company if you hope to relinquish the entire responsibility from your shoulders; however, the more services you include in your needs, the higher the cost. When companies charge hourly, they base their estimate on how much stuff needs to be packed, loaded, and unloaded, and how much time they think it will take to do everything. If you require supplies for packing, such as boxes, bubble wrap, etc. then the company will likely account for all of those materials in their estimate as well. It is always good to keep a log of any questions you may have for the prospective moving company in regard to their costs and estimates; unforeseen costs will only add to the stress of a move.

Distance plays a big role

Moving out-of-state, as you may imagine, will cost you a great deal extra. This is another  factor moving companies consider when estimating rates—distance. The farther the move, the more gas the truck uses, the longer the employees must be paid to drive, and the bigger toll on the vehicle’s engine and other vital parts. A lot of these expenses are not considered by potential movers, and can significantly effect the quote the company gives you, as well as what the final costs will be at the end of it all. Keeping this in mind is important because you may consider not hiring a moving company at all. There are ways to eliminate cost that you can tackle on your own—and most of it has to do with another way that moving companies charge for the amount of belongings you own that need to be moved.

A heavy weight attracts fat check

The more stuff you have, the more likely it is that your estimate will be relatively higher. As previously mentioned, another way that moving companies factor their rate per customer is often highly dependent upon the amount of items that need transport. Particularly for interstate moves, companies tend to charge by the pound. This means that you may want to reconsider packing all of those clothes that you haven’t worn in years, the old garage refrigerator, and any other items that can add significant weight to the overall load. Having a garage sale before you move is never a bad idea; it gets rid of a lot of unwanted clutter, it cuts down on the cost of moving, and it puts a little more money back into your pocket to help pay for the move. Another way to lighten the cost-per-pound is to transport some of the smaller stuff yourself, or in a friend’s truck. By doing a little bit of the work on your own, you cut down on hourly mover costs as well as the total amount of belongings to move with the company. Moving companies can be lifesavers; sometimes we simply cannot do it on our own. Knowing how moving rates are decided can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

David Gersh
Author: David Gersh
Author Bio:
David Gersh has been developing products for moving companies and improving online customer experiences in the moving industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of We Are Movers.