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.
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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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.)
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.
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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