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Average Cost of Moving Calculator

Published by Chris Townsend

Average Cost of Moving Calculator

The Cost of Hiring Movers

Almost everyone is aware that moving can be expensive, however, few understand exactly how moving costs are calculated. Whether you’re relocating for a job, a change of scenery, or simply for a fresh start in a new city, knowing how much your move is going to cost will help with planning and ensure that you avoid unpleasant surprises on moving day. In addition to being expensive, moving can be stressful. However, it doesn’t have to be.

Much of the stress associated with moving has to do with the financial strain. For this reason, it is our goal to help you gain a better financial picture of your move. To do this, we’ve assembled all the necessary framework for calculating the average cost of moving. We’ve also outlined how to make cost-effective choices, and identify a reliable and reputable moving company to save you money in the long run.

The Importance of Obtaining Estimates

If you don’t plan appropriately, your moving budget can very quickly spiral out of control. When you prepare ahead of time for moving costs it makes it much easier to remain financially responsible. By obtaining an estimate from a moving company, you’ll gain a secure understanding of what you can expect to spend on your move. Then, armed with this information, you can make the proper preparations to stay within your budget.

Since the cost of moving can vary quite a bit, it is so important to obtain an estimate that reflects the specifics of your move. Each move is unique and moving quotes are intended to be tailored to your individual situation. That way, you’ll have a more exact picture of what the cost of your move is going to look like. Collecting estimates from multiple companies also allows you to compare them and ensure that you receive the best deal possible for your move.

With this in mind, how do you calculate relocation expenses? Estimating moving costs yourself is relatively simple, so long as you input the correct parameters in the correct formulas. Here’s what we mean:

How to Calculate Moving Costs

The actual cost of a move depends on a number of factors, but the distance and the weight of your goods plays the biggest role in determining the final price of your move.

Distance of your move

Logically, the greater the distance between your current home and your new one, the higher the transportation costs are going to be. This has to do with the fact that it takes both more fuel and time to transport goods over a longer distance. Additionally, there are often road tolls, parking fees, and other additional expenses involved.

But that’s not the whole picture – the distance of your relocation also defines the type of move:

  • If your move is within a 50-mile radius or less, it is considered a local move. In this case, moving costs are determined based on the time that it takes for your move to be completed.
  • If the destination is over 50 miles from your current home, this is deemed a long-distance move. For these moves, moving costs are based on the total weight of your goods. Some companies also use the charging by the mile method.

Size of move/ shipment weight

As you might expect, the final cost of moving increases in proportion to the number of items you have to be moved. The more household goods that you’re moving:

  • the longer it will take for your movers to load and unload them. As a result, more movers will be required in order to successfully complete the job. With more movers, the cost of a local move will go up, as the cost of these moves is determined by the number of movers involved and the time it takes them to perform the job.
  • the more space they will take up and the heavier the shipment will be. This will result in higher long-distance moving costs, as a bigger moving truck may be needed to accommodate your goods. Thus, more fuel will be required as well.
  • the more packing supplies will be needed, so you’ll end up spending more money on materials.

With these two factors in mind, an easy way to determine the cost of your move is to draw up a detailed moving inventory. Once you can assess all the goods that need to be moved you’ll be able to determine their weight and then the amount and type of packing materials required to guarantee their safety.

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Additional Factors to Consider

Aside from weight and distance, there are a number of other factors that must be considered in order to accurately calculate average moving costs. These include:

  • Complexity of your move. The complexity of the job is another important factor to consider. Things like special handling, obstacles, and additional services can make your move slower, riskier, and more challenging. As a result, the move will take more time and effort to complete – thus, causing the price to increase. To avoid any surprises, always be as transparent as possible regarding the details of your move. Inform them of any large, heavy or antique items and make sure they are aware of potential obstacles, such as small doorways, narrow roads, stairs, and parking situations.
  • Liability coverage. When you hire movers, you will receive basic liability coverage for free. However, this only covers $0.60 per pound per item. If desired, you can purchase full value protection for an extra fee.
  • Date of your move. Busy season for the moving industry is May to September. Because of the higher demand, most moving companies charge more during this time. This same idea applies to national holidays, weekends, and the first and last days of each month.
  • Special requirements. Any additional services, such as packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly, and storage, will incur an extra fee. In some cases, these extra services may be absolutely necessary, while in others they are simply an option to enhance convenience.

Cost of Moving Formulas

How to estimate moving costs depends on whether or not your move is local or long-distance. With local moves, time is the most important factor as most local movers charge by the hour. A travel fee, which pertains to the time the movers spend getting to the pickup location is also usually included in the calculations. Also, any packing materials or additional services will also be factored into the final price. If you know how many movers are needed to complete your move and how much time it’ll take them to load, transport, and unload your goods, you’ll be able to estimate the cost. For local moves, use the following formula:

(number of movers) x (rate per hour) x (number of hours to complete move) + (travel fee) + (fees for additional services and packing supplies)

Hourly rates will vary based on where you live, when you’re moving, and the unique circumstances surrounding your move. Though, they typically range from $25 an hour per mover to as much as $85 an hour per mover.

For long distance or cross-country moves, distance and the total weight of your shipment will determine final moving costs. While it’s easy to figure out the distance between your current home and your new one, estimating the total weight of your belongings can be rather difficult. A moving inventory will help give you a general idea, but having an in-home survey done by a professional moving company will give you the most realistic estimate. Though, the following formula can be used to calculate the cost of your long-distance move:

(cost per pound per mile) x (total weight of goods) x (distance of move) + (additional moving insurance) + (fees for add-on services)

After you’ve done some calculating yourself, it’s always best to give a professional moving company a call to ensure that your quote is an accurate estimate. Ready to get the process started? Contact Three Movers today by filling out our online request form to receive your free, no-obligation moving estimate.

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Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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