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How much do moving companies usually cost?

August 24th, 2015 - 2:23 PM

Moving Company Prices

If you’re trying to make plans for your upcoming move, it’s important to start with your budget – how much should you set aside to make sure you don’t overspend when moving day comes around? And that’s where the challenge lies. As you may know, moving company costs vary company-to-company and service type-to-service type. The price you pay for your move differs based on the type of moving company you choose, how much you’re moving, where you’re moving from and to, and when you’re moving. The way to figure it all out is to start getting quotes and compare. 

While you're measuring up potential moving company candidates, consider this rule of thumb: on average, full-service movers are the pricier option—which makes sense considering that you're paying for both labor and transportation. On the other hand, do-it-yourself services are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Self-moving services, like U-Pack, normally offer lower moving costs in exchange for you doing some of the work yourself.

Let's explore the different moving options and what you can normally expect in terms of cost.

moving company typical costs

To compare moving company costs, we got online estimates from several companies for moving a 2-bedroom home from Pittsburgh, PA to Kansas City MO (840 miles). It’s important to note that prices can change based on date, locations, and the amount being moved.

Cost of Full-Service Movers

While some full-service movers offer the option to get moving company costs online, all should require an in-home assessment to get a binding estimate. This is because the cost for full-service movers varies based on several things, including the weight of the items you’re moving, the types of items you’re moving, the services you need (packing, creating, etc.), whether you have stairs, and how far your door is from where the moving truck parks (is it a “long-carry”?).

The sample online moving estimate we got from full-service mover, Atlas, was for $5,190—but, again, an in-home estimate would be required for a binding quote.

Cost of DIY Moving

Because you do all the work, truck rental is usually on the opposite end of the cost scale from full-service. You pack, pick up the truck, load the truck, drive the truck, put fuel in the truck, unload, and return the truck. In exchange for doing all the work, the price is normally lower.

While truck rental is undoubtedly cheaper than full-service moving, it’s not always the lowest cost way to move—especially if you’re moving long distance. When “you pack, we drive” services entered the marketplace several years ago, it changed the way people move. U-Pack is a great example of this type of option.

We bring the equipment to you, you pack and load, then we deliver it to your new home. That means you don’t have to pick up, fuel, drop off OR drive the truck. The savings in fuel alone often makes U-Pack a more affordable option than truck rental.

(Side note: If you run across a full-service mover that’s cheaper than truck rental, definitely investigate their reputation).

Let's compare the cost of our sample move with different DIY moving companies

The cost of a 17’ U-Haul truck was $1,365. Then, when you factor in $322 for fuel (using the Rental Truck Fuel Calculator), $90 for optional Safemove® coverage and the $5 environmental fee, the total comes to $1,782.  

The cost of 13 linear feet of space in a U-Pack trailer for the same move is $1,631 (a little more space than a 17’ rental truck). The price includes transportation from your old home to your new, and there’s no extra charge for fuel!  And, no problem if you need more space, or you can fit into less – your quote comes with a per-foot adjustment rate that you can add or subtract based on the space you need. It’s incredibly convenient.

So to sum up, the typical moving company costs for this sample move were:

  • Full-service mover: $5,190
  • Truck rental: $1,782
  • U-Pack: $1,631

While U-Pack offers the lowest price for this scenario, we know there are some instances where renting a truck and driving it yourself is the cheaper option (especially when it’s a shorter distance move). When that’s the case, our customers tell us that the convenience of driving to their new home in the comfort of their own vehicle while letting the professionals drive the moving truck is worth the slightly higher price. What do you think?   

Figure out your U-Pack moving costs

U-Pack makes getting an online moving quote easy. Start with a little self-assessment—one of our Moving Space Estimator Tools are a perfect way to figure out how much space you'll need. Then, just enter the cities you're moving from and to and an estimate of when you're moving, and voila! You'll see the price instantly.

And, by-the-way, if you like the idea of a self-move, but need help with the big stuff, just let a U-Pack moving consultant know. We can refer you to a moving labor service to help (and still be more cost-effective than a full-service mover).

If you have questions about your moving company price, or you're ready to reserve your move, we're also available by phone—just call 800-413-4799 and a helpful, knowledgeable moving consultant will be happy to help.


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