How Much Does It Cost To Hire Movers?

Moving is a time-consuming, hectic, tiring, stressful, and challenging job. Many people prefer DIY moving compared to hiring professional movers. While this may seem like a cheap and cost-saving decision, it often results in injuries, damages, and costly repairs.

The cost to hire a moving company ranges from $900 to $2600, with a national average of $1700-$1800. The cost varies depending on home size, distance of the move, and number of movers hired. The rates discussed here apply to local moves that stay within 100 miles.

This guide explains all the factors that affect moving costs and gives tips on minimizing these costs.

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Factors that Affect the Cost to Move a House

Move Distance and Travel Fees

The farther the distance of the move, the higher the cost. Local or intercity moves usually cost around $25 per hour per mover. Long-distance or interstate moves are typically charged based on the weight of your belongings and the distance of the move, and it could range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more. Travel fees might be added to handle the extra time required to get to and from each location.

Home Size

The size of your home significantly affects moving costs. A studio might cost around $200-$500, a 2-bedroom might cost $400-$700, and a 3-bedroom house could cost $600-$1,000. Larger homes or special features like multiple stories or heavy furniture can increase costs.

Moving Vehicle Type & Size

The type and size of the moving vehicle can influence the cost. For example, moving the contents of a five-bedroom house requires a larger truck than a one-bedroom apartment. Larger trucks cost more and may require specialized driving skills, raising the overall price.

Labor Cost

The labor cost can vary, but on average, it’s about $25-$50 per hour per mover. Hiring more movers would speed up the process and increase hourly costs. Also, items requiring special care or equipment may incur additional fees.


If your old or new home has stairs, narrow entries, elevators, or a significant distance from home to the moving truck, it could increase costs due to additional labor and time required.

Time of Year

The moving industry’s peak seasons are summer and weekends when demand increases. Moving outside of these times, like in the fall or winter or on a weekday, could potentially reduce your costs.

Factors that Affect the Cost to Move a House

Additional Costs and Factors to Consider While Estimating Moving Price

Packaging and Unpacking Services

Professional movers often offer packing and unpacking services. While this can increase the cost—typically by $25-$50 per hour—it also reduces the time and effort you must put into the move. The cost also includes the packing materials.

Insurance Coverage

Most moving companies provide basic liability coverage for free, but this only covers a minimal amount per pound of each item. Full-value protection is more comprehensive but could increase the cost by a few hundred dollars depending on the total value of your belongings.

Tips for Movers

While not a mandatory cost, it’s common to tip movers for their hard work, typically around 10-20% of the total moving cost, or $10-$20 per mover for a half-day move.

Specialty Items

Moving items like pianos, artwork, or large furniture might require special equipment or extra labor, increasing costs. This could add several hundred dollars to your moving cost, depending on the item and the specifics of the move.

Storage of your Belongings

This will be an additional cost if you need to store your belongings before, during, or after the move. Prices vary significantly depending on the size and duration of storage, but you might expect to pay $100-$200 per month for a small unit.

Extra Stops

If the movers need to make additional stops, for example, to pick up or drop off belongings at multiple locations, this will likely add to the cost, typically around $50-$100 per stop, depending on the distance and time required.

Additional Costs and Factors to Consider While Estimating Moving Price

Types of Moving Services and Costs

Local Moving Services

These are usually charged on an hourly basis. As of 2024, the average cost is approximately $30-$60 per mover per hour, making the average total cost range between $300-$500 for smaller homes, going up to $1,500-$2,500 for larger homes.

Long-Distance Moving Services

These services are often priced based on the weight of items and the distance to be traveled. The cost for a long-distance move can range from $2,000 to $7,500 or more, depending on the specifics.

Packing Services

Many moving companies offer packing services for an additional fee. This typically costs an extra $25-$50 per hour per packer. This service includes packing materials as well.

Specialty Moving Services

You might need a specialty moving service if you have items like pianos, antiques, or pool tables. The cost of moving these items can range from $100 to $2,000 per item, depending on its size, weight, and the care required.

Commercial Moving Services

For businesses, commercial moving services are available. These can vary greatly in price based on the complexity of the move, the number of items, and the distance, but costs typically start around $1,000 and can go much higher.

Storage Services

Many companies offer storage services if you can’t move all your items at once or need to store items before, during, or after the move. These usually cost $100-$200 per month for a small unit.

Full-Service Moving

This combines all services—packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking, and arranging items at your new home. Prices vary greatly but typically start around $1,000 for small local moves and go up to $10,000 or more for larger homes or long-distance moves.

Types of Moving Services and Costs

Tips to Minimize Costs while Hiring Movers

  • Downsize: Get rid of items you don’t need before the move. Fewer items mean less weight and less space needed, reducing moving costs.
  • Pack Yourself: If you have time, pack your belongings to save on packing costs.
  • Collect Free Boxes: Check with local retailers or online marketplaces for free moving boxes instead of buying new ones.
  • Off-Peak Move: Schedule your move during off-peak times such as weekdays or off-seasons when rates can be cheaper.
  • Compare Quotes: Get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services.
  • Negotiate: Don’t hesitate to negotiate. Some companies might be willing to offer discounts to secure your business.
  • Book Early: Booking your move well in advance can sometimes secure a better rate.
  • Make a Quick Move: The less time the move takes, the less you’ll pay hourly charges. Be prepared and organized on moving days to speed up the process.
  • Insurance: Review your homeowner’s insurance to see if it covers moving to avoid paying for additional coverage.
  • Tax Deductions: If you’re moving for work, your expenses may be tax-deductible. Check with a tax professional.

Tips to Minimize Costs while Hiring Movers

Benefits of Hiring Professional Movers

  • Efficiency: Professional movers have the experience to pack and load items quickly and efficiently, saving time and minimizing potential damage.
  • Safety: Movers are trained to handle heavy and awkward items, reducing the risk of personal injury and damage to your belongings.
  • Stress Reduction: Having a professional handle the details of the move can significantly reduce the stress of moving.
  • Equipment: Professional movers have the right equipment to handle all items, including heavy furniture and fragile items.
  • Insurance: Professional moving companies offer insurance options to protect your belongings in the event of damage or loss.
  • Storage Options: Many moving companies offer short- or long-term storage services if you can’t move all your items simultaneously.

Benefits of Hiring Professional Movers

Questions to Ask a Moving Company

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Can you provide references from past customers?
  • What is included in the quoted price?
  • Do you offer packing and unpacking services?
  • How do you handle specialty items?
  • What coverage do you provide if an item is damaged during the move?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Are there any additional fees that might apply to my move?
  • How long will the move take?
  • What measures do you take to protect my belongings and home during the move?
  • How do you handle disputes or claims?
  • Do you offer storage services, and what are the costs?

DIY vs. Professional Moving Costs

Choosing between a DIY move and hiring professional movers often involves a trade-off between cost and convenience.

DIY moving can be more cost-effective, especially for local or smaller moves. The primary costs of DIY moves are the rental fee for a moving truck, gas, and moving supplies such as boxes and packing material. You may also have to invest in tools to disassemble furniture, and you’ll need to account for the value of your time. However, there are indirect costs to consider, such as potential damage to items due to improper packing or moving, personal injury, and the stress and effort of managing the move yourself.

Hiring professional movers, on the other hand, can be more expensive upfront but provides a range of services that can make the moving process smoother and less stressful. They handle everything from packing and loading to transport and unloading and have the expertise to move items safely and efficiently. Additionally, professional movers offer insurance options to protect your items unavailable for a DIY move. Despite the higher cost, many people find the convenience and peace of mind provided by professional movers to be worth the expense.

DIY vs. Professional Moving Costs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth hiring movers?

Hiring movers can be worth it if you value convenience, efficiency, and the assurance that your belongings will be handled safely. It saves you time and effort, reduces the risk of damage, and provides professional expertise during the move.

How much advance should you pay to a moving company?

The advance payment amount can vary depending on the moving company’s policies. Typically, it’s a small percentage of the total cost, ranging from 10% to 20%, but it’s best to clarify this with your chosen moving company.

Can you negotiate with moving companies?

Yes, you can negotiate with moving companies. While they may have standard rates, you can inquire about discounts, promotions, or flexible pricing options. It’s worth asking if there’s any room for negotiation based on your circumstances.

How to find a moving company in my area?

You can find moving companies in your area by conducting an online search, checking local directories, asking for recommendations from friends or family, or using websites that provide listings and reviews of moving companies.

How much does it cost to rent a moving truck?

The cost to rent a moving truck depends on factors like the truck’s size, duration of rental, and location. On average, rental costs for moving trucks can range from $50 to $150 per day, excluding additional fees such as mileage and fuel.

How much do moving boxes cost?

The cost of moving boxes can vary based on size, quality, and quantity. On average, moving boxes can range from $1 to $5 per box. Consider checking with local retailers, online marketplaces, or moving companies that may offer discounted or free boxes.

Which day is the cheapest to hire movers?

Typically, weekdays (Monday to Thursday) are cheaper than weekends for hiring movers. The demand is lower, and some moving companies may offer discounted rates or promotions for weekday moves.

How much does it cost to move a mobile home?

The cost to move a mobile home can vary depending on factors such as the distance, size, and complexity of the move. On average, it can range from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, but obtaining quotes from mobile home moving companies for accurate pricing is recommended.

How much does it cost to move a car?

The cost to move a car can vary depending on the distance, location, and method of transport (open or enclosed). On average, it can range from $500 to $1,500, but prices may be higher for longer distances or specialized services. Requesting quotes from auto transport companies will give you a more precise estimate.

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