How Much Do Movers Cost in 2019? Moving Costs Explained.

We get it, moving can be expensive. There are deposits, mortgages, new furniture, and all of the little costs in between. So when you try to decide if it makes sense for you (and your budget) to hire movers, we understand that it may require a bit of window shopping first. We’re going to talk through how much movers cost and other factors worth weighing as you reach your decision.

How much do movers cost?

The cost of hiring movers can vary for a number of factors. It can also get confusing with all of the different charges some moving companies will throw at you. Some terms you may see include base fee, hourly rate, truck fee, and the cost per mover. 

The size of your move, whether you’re moving local or long-distance, and specifications of your home can all play a part in your total cost, as well. For instance, going up two flights of stairs will take your moving team much longer than the same move would at a one-level home. 

We’re going to break down these terms and the costs you can expect for different sized moves.

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Man signing his mortgage.

How Much Do Movers Cost? —Common Price Ranges

Like we mentioned earlier, a number of factors contribute to the total cost of your move. We understand you’re probably working on a moving budget though and need a starting point. For that reason, we’ve given you some ballpark ranges that you can begin with as you map out the cost of hiring movers.

If the moving services you’re looking at quote you lower prices—we’re happy for you! If you receive an estimate that falls above the range we provided, please don’t send us hate mail. Read our section below about the factors you can control to change the cost of your move.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

Man meeting his mover. Is it worth the cost for you to hire movers? Check out the price ranges we've provided.

Price ranges for a full-service (truck included) move:

  • Studio: $350-$600
  • 1 bedroom: $400-$650
  • 2 bedroom: $550-$850
  • 3 bedroom: $600-$1,150
  • 4+ bedroom: $850-$1,350
  • Long-distance move: There are a number of factors that contribute to the price of a long-distance move. Therefore, the range can vary widely. Let’s just say you’ll need to save up enough to cover a price that has, at a minimum, four digits.  

Price ranges for a labor-only (in-home or loading/unloading) move:

  • Studio: $150-$300
  • 1 bedroom: $200-$350
  • 2 bedroom: $250-$450
  • 3 bedroom: $300-$550
  • 4+ bedroom: $350-$800

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What’s Behind the Cost of Hiring Movers?

If this is your first time hiring movers, we understand that seeing these prices could trigger some sticker shock. But remember that there’s a lot baked into the total. Let’s explain those new vocabulary terms so you know what you’re paying for. 

Hourly Rate – An hourly rate is an amount that you’ll pay per mover or per hour. Depending on the moving company, some will prorate additional hourly time beyond your reservation. Bellhops pro-rates in 15-minute increments. These are the prices that are most likely to vary depending on the time of day or day of the week that you are looking to move. For instance, your hourly rate might be higher on a Saturday morning than on a Wednesday afternoon. 

Truck Fee – This one is pretty self-explanatory, this is the cost of adding a truck to your move. This will take your move from labor-only to full-service. It is often cheaper—and less of a hassle— to book your truck through your moving company than renting one on your own.

Cost per mover – Fortunately, this one is as simple as it sounds. This is the cost of each person working your move. With some services, some people may cost more than another. The cost often depends upon their experience level.  

Base Fee- This is a one-time charge for your move. This is typically a concessionary cost to organize your truck or any other moving resources you request. This is different than an hourly rate.

How much do you tip movers? You can keep cash on-hand. Or, if you booked with Bellhops, you can tip online afterwards.

How much do you tip your movers?

It’s always nice to tip for a job well done. Plan to have a little cash on hand for the day of your move. However, if you booked Bellhops, you don’t have to make a trip to the ATM—all payment can be done online at the end of your move.

Just like when tipping at a restaurant, there’s not a perfect rule. However, we like Consumer Report’s advice in their tipping guide. They recommend 5-to-10 percent of the total cost or $10 to $20 per person. 

Remember, Your Mileage May Vary

We should also note there are a number of ways to increase or decrease the cost of your move. So although we’ve provided ranges for the types of moves listed above, understand that some factors can cause your move to fall outside of this range.

Decrease how much your movers cost

  • Be fully packed – You can significantly reduce costs by ensuring you are prepared for your move. That means all boxes all taped and secured, and all bags are packed. Your home is as clean as it can be. When the movers show up, you should be ready to just point to where things go. Read some tips on packing best practices to ensure all of your items arrive safely following your move.
  • Move on a weekday – Most people want to move on the weekends, which makes sense. However, moves are more expensive on the weekends to accommodate the increased demand. So if you have the wiggle room in your schedule, opt to move on a weekday.
  • Be flexible with your move date- Similar to weekends, people move the most in accordance with lease cycles. The first weekend and last weekend of each month are the busiest. So if you aren’t bound to a lease, choose to move in the middle of the month.
Check your calendar to see what days work best for your move. Staying flexible can keep the cost of hiring movers low.

What could increase the cost of hiring movers?

  • Stairs or long walking distances – The longer it takes the movers to transport your items to the truck, the longer the overall move. If you have a multilevel home, we recommend moving as many of your boxes and bags as possible to one location close to the truck. That could be your kitchen, living room, or even your garage. This will reduce the amount of transportation time. It’s also important to try to secure a parking spot for the moving truck that is close to the entrance of your home.
  • Being unprepared – If being fully packed can reduce the cost of your move, then the inverse is also true. When it comes to moving, procrastination will cost you major bucks. Be fully packed and ready or expect to pay for your movers to wait on you to finish up. You can read our moving preparation guide for tips on how to best prepare for your big day.
  • Moving during peak times – As we mentioned, people tend to want to move all at the same time: during the weekend at the beginning or end of the month. If you move during these peak times, you can expect to have a more expensive move. 

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How Much Does it Cost to Move by Myself?

If you’re still deciding whether or not to hire movers, it’s best to weigh your options. The only way to do that is to know the cost of choosing to move by yourself. If your decision to move by yourself is budget-based, remember that moving all on your own isn’t free either. 

There are a number of hidden costs to moving that you may not think about at first. So we created a list of some items you will want to price-out and consider before you commit. 

Moving Truck Rental -The costs vary by the size of the moving van or truck that you need. You should also consider the cost of gas and insurance for the vehicle. Some companies will charge you by the mile. 

A gas pump that you'll have to use if you rent your own truck for your move.

Fuel for Truck – Rules can vary by the rental company, but most will require that you return the truck with a full tank. Here’s a handy calculator you can use to help you budget how much gas will cost you: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/trip/

Moving Supplies– There are a few moving equipment items that not everyone has on-hand, but they’re extremely useful on moving day. Moving blankets, plastic wrap, and dollies are all items that we highly recommend you obtain. Typically you can rent or purchase these supplies from your truck rental company. 

Convincing your friends to help – Look, we don’t recommend asking your friends. But if you must, we suggest you at least buy them some fuel in the form of food. (We recommend pizza—and maybe some drinks.) 

Two people eating pizza after moving into their new home.

Opportunity cost – Let’s face it. The longer you spend moving, the less time you have to unpack and get settled. Moving is already one of the most stressful things you can experience, so it’s best to rip the bandage off and get it over as quickly as possible 

Stress – We can’t neglect to mention the mental effects of moving. We get it—moving is incredibly stressful. Save yourself the stress by hiring people to take care of the physically and logistically demanding aspects of your moving day.

So, Should You Hire Movers?

Considering many people consider moving as stressful as a divorce, you owe yourself a plan that makes moving into your new home as enjoyable as possible. There’s an idea that hiring movers is something that’s reserved for the ultra-rich.

We hope that our exploration of how much movers cost has shown you that you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to use moving services! Remember, you have a lot of control of the variables that can increase or decrease the cost of hiring movers.

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