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Long Distance Moving Cost Calculator: The Cost of Movers

Knowing how much your move is likely to cost will help you plan your move and avoid any unpleasant surprises on moving day. We understand how stressful a move can be, whether it's around the block or across the country, but it doesn't have to be. That's why we've devised this long distance moving cost calculator to help you factor in all of the variables that go into pricing this type of move. What's a long distance move? In general, moving companies define a long distance move as a move of 1,000 miles or more.

Long Distance Calculator

How much do movers cost?

The cost of moving a household full of possessions can vary widely. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of moving a 2-3 bedroom household of possession within the same city is around $2,300. The average cost moving these same items more than 1,000 miles is around $4,300. Both figures are based on 7,400 pounds of moving weight. However, the cost of moving can vary widely, so we suggest that you use our moving calculator to get an estimate that reflects the size and specifics of your household.

Just a few of the things that can affect the cost of your move include the distance you are moving, whether you need packing services, whether you have more than the average amount of possessions and/or a larger home than 2-3 bedrooms, whether you have items that require special handling (such as a hot tub or a pool table), whether you have a lot of heavy items and when you're moving. Weekdays are usually less expensive than weekends and moving mid-month is generally cheaper than the beginning or end of the month. You'll usually pay a premium for moving in the middle of the summer, the most popular time for people to move.

Local moving companies usually charge by the hour and base the total cost of the move on how many people it will take to complete your move. This rate can vary between $50 and $200 per hour. Long distance movers base their rates on time and distance.

Additional costs to factor in with both local and long distance moves include packing materials, labor and time to assemble your furniture when it arrives at your new home (if desired) and special packaging, such as dish boxes, wardrobes and mattress bags.

Shipping vehicles as a part of your move will also add to the cost. You can expect to pay between $150 and $600 to ship a car 200-300 miles. Shipping a vehicle coast-to-coast will double or even triple that amount. The larger (and heavier) the vehicle, the more it will cost to ship.

Another factor to consider when budgeting your move is storage. Sometimes your new home won't be ready when your possessions arrive in your new home city. This requires that the moving company store your items until you are ready to take delivery. This storage comes at a daily cost.

Something else to consider in insurance. Most moving companies offer multiple levels of protection, such as basic release value protection and full value protection. However, if you have a lot of expensive, unique items, you may want to purchase insurance from a third party to cover your belongings during the move. If so, you'll want to take with your insurance agent to get an idea of what this will cost.

To get a more exact estimate for your moving costs, we suggest you use our long distance moving calculator above.

What is the average cost to hire a long distance moving company?

As we discussed above, the average cost of moving a two-three bedroom household 1,000 miles or more is around $4,300. The average cost of moving a smaller household, such as a one-bedroom apartment, 1,000 miles or more is around $2,500.

Professional moving companies can help make your long distance move easy. With a professional move, you get the services of a personal moving coordinator who will make sure that all parts of your move are well coordinated. Your moving team will load, transport and unload your possessions. They will even pack up your belongings (for an extra cost) if you desire. Once at your new home, your moving team will place your furniture in the rooms and will even re-assemble things like bed frames and tables, if desired. Do you want your boxes unpacked and everything put in its new home? Your moving team can take care of that, too. They will even return in 30 days to pick up and recycle your unpacked boxes and packing materials for a modest additional cost.

Again, we invite you to use our long distance moving calculator to get an estimate that more closely reflects your household's situation.

How are long distance moves calculated?

Long distance moves are calculated using a formula that takes into account the number of miles your possessions need to travel to your new home and the total weight of all of those possessions. Other factors that help determine the final cost of your move include where you are moving (states like Montana and Wyoming with fewer moving companies are more expensive), your moving date and if you require any additional services.

Use our easy long distance moving cost calculator to get an estimate that more closely reflects your family's situation.

What is the average cost of a "do-it-yourself" move?

"Do-it-yourself" moves are not always the most cost effective or easiest option. For example, you need to rent a moving truck, which can run up to $100 a day. You'll also have to pay a substantial one-way fee, usually several hundred dollars, if you don't return the truck to the same location, something that's difficult to do if you're moving across the country. Keep in mind that things like furniture dollies and furniture pads come at an extra expense.

Consider driving even a moderate-sized moving van across the country. Have you ever driven a vehicle that size? Would you feel comfortable and safe driving it across town, not to mention across the country? Remember that you'll have to pay for gas for the moving truck, and a full 26-foot truck will likely only get between 7 and 8 miles per gallon. Most trucks take diesel fuel, which is more expensive than the fuel that most passenger vehicles use.

One other thing to factor in when costing a DIY move is the cost of not having your possessions insured against any damage that might occur during the move. Even the most careful packing and driving can go awry if someone hits your moving van on the road or if your load shifts unexpectedly. With a commercial moving company, any damage to your possessions en route is covered by the company's insurance policy. That means we'll give you money to replace any item that's damaged during the move. (Keep in mind, though, such damage is very rare.) You choose whether you want insurance for fair market value of your belongings or the full replacement value.

Some people opt for renting a portable storage container for their DIY move. With this option, one of these containers is dropped off at your home. You load it with your possessions, and the container is picked up and driven to and dropped off at your new location. For a local move, renting a portable storage container can run between $400 and $700. For a long-distance move, the price increases substantially, and can average between $900 and more than $4,500, depending on the distance you are moving. Most companies include 30 days of free storage in the rental price.

Keep in mind that portable storage containers range from 7' to 20'. If you have a large household, you may need more than one container to transport all of your possessions. You may get a discount on the second container, but using more than one container will still increase your moving cost considerably.

Before you decide on a DIY move, we suggest you get an estimate for a full-service move using our long distance moving cost calculator. You might be surprised at how little cost difference there really is between doing it yourself and having a professional moving company handle your move. Plus, with a professional moving company, you'll be able to take advantage of the personal door-to-door service such a company offers.

Are moving rates negotiable?

In most cases, you can negotiate the price of your move with your moving company to some degree. Most moving companies offer periodic discounts and specials. In addition, most companies will match a written quote from a competitor. It's a good idea to ask your sales consultant how you can save money on your move. Sometimes small changes, like switching the day of your move by a few days or leaving a bulky item like a pool table behind, can yield big savings.

What items can't I move using a professional moving company?

There are a few items that you'll need to move yourself or leave behind, even when you have a commercial moving company handle your move. These include perishable food, live plants, hazardous and flammable materials like paint and propane, explosives like fireworks and extremely valuable items like cash, fine jewelry and financial documents.

Having a good idea of what your final moving bill is going to look like before you leave your home can go a long way towards reducing the stress of a move. Get a close estimate for your next move by using our moving cost calculator. And, don't forget to figure in the add-ons like packing materials and boxes.

Use our long distance moving calculator above to get an instant cost estimate today!

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