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Average Cost of Moving Locally

Published by Chris Townsend

Average Cost of Moving Locally

Financially speaking, there is much to consider when it comes time to relocate. If you’re buying, you have to think about down payments, closing costs, inspections, appraisals, credit check charges, and everything in between. Whereas, if you’re renting, there are security deposits, the cost of first and last month’s rent, pet deposits, and more. All of these costs can add up significantly.

However, there is one thing that you want to make sure that you budget for appropriately – the cost of moving your stuff from your old home to your new one. That said, what is the average cost of moving locally? We’re here to help provide some insight on this exact question. So, continue reading for everything you need to know about how much your local move will cost you.

What is a Local Move?

Local moves, or “moving locally,” usually refers to any move that is under 50 miles. In the moving industry, these moves are the most common type and could range from simply hauling furniture up a set of stairs or transporting an entire four-bedroom home 50 miles away.

What is The Average Cost of Hiring Movers Locally?

The cost of hiring movers can vary quite a bit, based on a number of factors. First things first, local moves are typically charged by the hour and often have an hourly minimum. With this in mind, the cost of hiring movers locally is ultimately determined by how much stuff you have to move and how long it takes to move it. Of course, other factors like moving dates, packing materials, distance, stairs, and fees for handling items that need extra care will also get included in the final price as well.

As each move is unique, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact price for how much local movers cost. However, you can look at estimates and averages to get a good idea. According to Forbes, the national average cost of moving locally is approximately $1,400 but could cost you as little as $800 or as much as $2,150 depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your move.

What Goes into The Cost of Local Movers?

Whether it’s your first time moving, hiring movers, or both, we understand how overwhelming it can be when you look at average costs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot goes into the final total. Let’s take a look at what’s behind the cost of local movers so you know exactly what you’ll be paying for:

  • Hourly rate: An hourly rate simply describes the amount that you pay per hour per mover. Some movers may prorate extra hourly time beyond your reservation, which are prices that will vary depending on your mover and the day that you’re moving. For example, your hourly rate will likely be much higher on a Sunday morning than a Thursday afternoon.
  • Base rate: This refers to a one-time fee for your move, as opposed to an hourly rate. It often includes the cost of your movers, the truck, and any other resources you requested. Although most local movers charge hourly, some may charge a base rate.
  • Cost per mover: This is as simple as it sounds – the cost of each mover that handles your move. Depending on the size and scope of your move, you may need more helpers. Also, the cost may vary based on the mover’s experience level and the service they are providing.
  • Truck fee: This signifies the cost of adding a moving truck to your move, which takes it from a labor-only job to a full-service move. It is typically more affordable and less of a hassle to book your truck directly with the moving company you’re already working with rather than renting your own.

Factors that Can Increase or Decrease the Cost of Local Movers

It’s important to note that there are several ways to increase or decrease the cost of moving locally. While the average cost range of a local move is between $800 and $2,150, a number of factors can cause your unique relocation to fall outside of this range. Let’s take a look

  • Your specific moving day. Most people prefer moving on the weekends because it’s when they have time off of work. However, to accommodate the increased demand, moving on the weekend is often more expensive. In addition to weekends, summer months and dates at the beginning or end of the month are also popular. So, if you can be flexible with your moving day, opt for a weekday in the middle of a winter month.
  • How prepared you are. You can greatly reduce your moving costs by simply being fully packed and ready to go when your movers arrive. Being unprepared means that your move will take longer, thus increasing how many hours you have to pay.
  • Long walking distances and stairs. Overall, the longer it takes your movers to load the items in the truck, the longer the entire move will take. And, the longer your local move is, the more expensive it will be. So, if you have multiple floors in your home, you can reduce the time (and ultimately decrease costs) by moving as much of your boxes and furniture as possible to a location that is close to the moving truck – whether it be in your garage, foyer, or living room. Additionally, make sure that you secure a convenient parking spot for the moving truck that is a close distance to your front door.

How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?

Although tipping is never required, it’s a nice gesture to let your movers know that you are pleased with their work. It’s also something that you’ll want to factor into your local moving budget. Plan to have some cash on hand for moving day. Like tipping at a restaurant, there really is no rule to tipping your movers. Though, moving experts recommend between five and ten percent of the total cost of your move – or, approximately $10 to $20 per mover.

How Much Do DIY Local Moves Cost?

If you’re deciding whether or not you should hire movers for your local move, you should take the time to weigh your options. In this case, knowing the cost of a DIY local move is beneficial. If your decision to opt for a DIY move is purely based on budget, it’s important to keep in mind that moving yourself still costs money.

In fact, there are several hidden costs that most aren’t even aware of at first. So, with that said, here are some items that you’ll need to budget for and consider before you decide to handle the move yourself.

  • Moving Truck Rental: One of the main expenses involved in DIY local moves is the cost of renting the moving truck. Costs vary depending on the size and type of truck you need. You’ll also want to factor in insurance and the cost of gas. Additionally, some companies charge by the mile, which can add up significantly.
  • Gas: Each moving company has their own policies, but most require that you return the moving truck with a full tank of gas. Of course, the cost of fuel will depend on where you live and how big the tank is.
  • Moving Help: Undeniably, you’re going to need help loading and unloading your moving truck. Whether you choose to hire movers for labor-only services or enlist the help of your friends and family, this is an expense you’ll need to consider. Even if you simply ask your friends for help, we recommend that you at least buy them food and pay for their gas.

Aside from the monetary costs involved in DIY local moves, we cannot forget about the mental cost of moving. Unavoidably, moving is very stressful – especially when you choose to handle all the tasks yourself.

Save yourself the stress (and time) by hiring professionals that can take care of all the logistically and physically demanding aspects of your local move. Contact Three Movers to receive your free, no-obligation estimate and find out how you could save up to 20% on your next move.

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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