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How to Get the Most Accurate Moving Quote

If you’re moving, then you’re likely thinking about hiring a moving company to assist with the packing, loading, and/or transporting of your belongings. Getting a moving quote – or several – is one of the first steps in the moving process. Not only do you get an estimated cost, but reviewing the whole moving process upfront with professionals gives you a greater sense of what to expect when you are actually packing and moving your belongings. Here’s what you need to do to get an accurate moving quote:

  • Do your research. Before even getting a moving quote from a company, make sure it is licensed and insured. Interstate movers are required to be licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – you can check a mover’s status at Don’t do business with an unlicensed moving company, so as to avoid fraudulent companies that lure customers in with a low moving quote and then raise it drastically upon arrival at your new home.

  • Secure an in-home, written estimate. Federal regulations require movers to offer in-home estimates unless you’re located more than 50 miles away from their offices. An in-home moving quote is the most accurate kind, since moving companies can see first-hand how much you own, what type of belongings you have and any obstacles, like stairs, that might raise the estimate. Furthermore, ensure the moving quote is given to you in writing, as verbal quotes are unreliable.

  • Ask whether there are any hidden fees. Sometimes the initial moving quote doesn’t include “extras” the moving company intends to charge for, such as moving heavy or odd-shaped items, tolls, driver fees, additional packing materials and more.
  • Ask how long the quote is good for. A moving quote can change based on several factors, such as the time of year and week, how busy the company is at present, etc. Be sure to ask the company whether there’s an expiration on the quote they’ve given you.

  • Understand the difference between a binding and nonbinding moving quote. A binding estimate is a written agreement that shows the total cost of the move based on the weight/cubic feet of your belongings and the services needed. However, if on moving day it seems like you have more items to move than was agreed upon, the moving company does not have to honor the estimate. A nonbinding estimate gives you a general idea of what you’ll pay for the move. According to, “Movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above the price of a nonbinding estimate.”