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Moving Estimates: What You Need to Know

August 22nd, 2016 - 3:07 PM

Estimating moving costs

If you’re looking for a moving estimate, you may find that each moving company  needs different information to provide a price. You may be asked how many rooms you have in your home, if the house has stairs or if you’ll need help packing and loading. Before you can estimate costs, it’s important to understand how different companies determine the price of a move and learn how you can make the most of your moving budget.  

estimate moving costs

Three things you need to know about getting a moving estimate

Companies use different methods for estimating moving costs. 

In-home vs. online

When most people think of moving estimates, they’re thinking of in-home estimates performed by full-service movers. This is where they schedule a time, come to the house, take a look at everything in your home and approximate the weight of your shipment. Because their prices are based on weight, they have to see inside every cabinet, closet and storage area to be as accurate as possible.

Other moving services avoid coming to your home by providing estimates online. Truck rental companies are one example – you can easily see the price of a truck without talking to anyone from the company. However, because you have to choose the truck yourself, it may be difficult to determine exactly what you need. This could lead to reserving the wrong size – a situation not easily resolved if you’ve already started loading.

U-Pack®avoids both issues by estimating moving costs over the phone or online using online space estimators. An experienced moving consultant will ask a few questions to help determine how much space you’ll need, which is flexible based on how you pack and load your items (more on that below). It’s an easier, less-invasive process than full-service estimates and more accurate than truck rental estimates. It also helps keep costs down by not having to send representatives to your home before the move.

Weight vs. space

As mentioned above, full-service movers use the weight of your items to determine the cost. However, not all moving companies use weight to determine the price. Some use space – but they may use it differently than you’d expect. For example, truck rental companies charge you for the entire truck, regardless of weight or how much room your items take up inside. U-Pack has a slightly different way of using space-based costs:

If you choose our moving trailer option with a three-bedroom home, we may tell you you’re likely to use 17 linear feet of space. However, we also tell you the “per foot adjustment” rate, so if you use more or less space, we adjust your price accordingly. If you fit into 16 feet, your price goes down. If you end up needing 18 feet, we simply add the rate for one foot of space to your total. Since you do the packing and loading, you’re able to monitor and control your costs as you load.

ReloCube moving containers also keep the price flexible. We might quote you 3-4 containers for a three-bedroom home. If you have 4 Cubes delivered, but only use 3, you only pay for 3! It’s convenient, and  also lets you control your price.

There may be additional charges

Make sure you understand what additional costs could be added to your moving estimate. With full-service movers, you may be charged extra for “long carries,” where they have to park farther from your door and carry belongings to the truck. You may encounter fees for stairs as well. If you’re getting estimated moving costs from truck rental companies, it’s important to note that extras like fuel, liability coverage, taxes and tolls are not included. With U-Pack, the price includes the moving equipment, transportation, fuel, taxes and liability coverage – so there are no surprises.

Not everything is included in a moving estimate

There’s more to moving than just the physical transportation of your belongings, and each moving company may include different services in their overall estimate. For example, while full-service movers charge you in their base price for packing, loading, transportation and unloading, it may be better for your budget to add only the services you need. We find that most people can handle the packing part, but may need help loading or unloading. So if the appeal of traditional movers is the loading assistance, there are options to help you save! If that sounds like a scenario you’d like, we can refer you to affordable help for loading or unloading. They can help a little (by only carrying heavy items) or be there to assist with the entire loading and unloading process. You just pay for the help you need.

On the flip side, you might need an extra service that’s not already included in your moving estimate. Another example: while full-service movers can take 4-6 weeks to deliver your belongings, U-Pack typically averages 2-5 business days. If you need it faster, we have other transit options available. You can also add storage or moving boxes and supplies if needed. The ability to customize your move just the way you want allows you to only pay for the services you need.

Ready to check prices?

Get a moving estimate online from U-Pack and see how prices compare. If you’d prefer to talk to someone about moving with U-Pack, understanding your space needs or reading your estimated moving costs, leave us a comment or call 800-413-4799.