Couple moving into a new home.

How Much Will It Cost You To Move?

Patrick Chism6-minute read

November 16, 2020

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Pricing out your move is one key element in your moving checklist. To start, you should know that the average cost of a long-distance (over 100 miles) household move is currently $4,300. For a local move, the average is $2,300.

Costs will vary greatly, however, depending on the amount of belongings you plan to move and the type of moving service you choose.

The good news is that although moving costs typically exceed initial estimates, you still have a great deal of control over the general price range for your move. If you’re willing to put in some sweat, you can save thousands of dollars.

Costs Of A Full-Service Move

A full-service move means that you’ve hired a moving company to take your belongings from your previous residence to your new home. For a local move, you can typically expect to pay $600 – $2,000. For a move of 100 miles or more, it can cost as little as $2,000 or as much as $8,000. Some of this variation in price will depend on the moving company you choose (be sure to get a few different quotes!), but much of it will depend on the size of your current residence.

A full-service move can include a packing service but doesn’t need to. If you want a full-service move but want to save, packing yourself may be a good compromise. According to Home Advisor, adding a packing service adds $1,000 – $2,000 on average to a full-service move. The information in the table below is also compiled from Home Advisor’s averages.

 

 

1 Bedroom

 2-3 Bedrooms

4-6 Bedrooms

Full-Service Move Without Packing (Local)

$240 – $500

$320 – $800

$640 – $1,500+

Full-Service Move Without Packing (100+ miles)

$700 – $3,000

$2,000 – $7,000

 

 

$4,000 – $10,000+

 

 

Full-Service Move With Packing (Local)

$510 – $1,050

$860 – $1,700

$1,640 – $3,200

Full-Service Move With Packing (100+ miles)

$970 – $3,550

$2,540 – $8,000

$5,000 – $12,000+

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Costs Of Moving A Pod/Storage Container

Pods, or movable storage containers, popularized by the Pod company, are often a less expensive alternative to a full-service move. If you choose this moving method, the company will deliver a large container (or containers) to your current residence. You can then pack the container yourself. When you’re done, the company will come and transport the pod for you. You can choose whether to have it delivered to your new home or to a storage facility. This is a great option if you haven’t reached the final stage of your house buying journey.

Packing a storage container is generally no more difficult than packing a moving truck, and it has the added bonus of sitting at ground level. Although more expensive than renting a truck and driving your belongings yourself, this method is generally much less stressful, and still a major source of savings.

You will have options to rent 7-, 12-, and 16-foot containers, although 7- and 12-foot containers are available for local moves only. For long-distance moves, you'll have to rent 16-foot containers.

For a local move, expect to spend $500 – $1,500 on a storage container rental. For a long-distance move, expect to spend $1,500 – $5,000.

As with a full-service move, you’ll want to get quotes from several companies before making your decision.

Costs Of A Truck Rental

Truck rental is the most cost-effective method of moving, but it is also the most labor and time intensive. Truck rental generally costs $140 – $350 for a local move and $500 – $1,750 for a long-distance move. For local moves, there is generally an additional of around $0.72 per mile. For distance moves, mileage is typically included in the cost.

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Your Options Compared

Let’s look at the four main moving options (full-service with packing, full-service without packing, storage container, and truck rental) side by side. For this example, we will assume a cross-country move for a 2 – 3-bedroom home.

 

Full-Service With Packing

Full-Service Without Packing

Container

Truck

$2,540 – $8,000

$2,000 – $7,000

$1,200 – $3,000

$500 – $1,750

Tips To Save Money On Your Move

  • Plan ahead. The sooner you start, the more time and energy you’ll have to compare offers and also to execute more time-intensive projects, such as packing yourself.

  • Ask for advice from friends. It's possible that you can learn about local opportunities through the grapevine.

  • Carefully evaluate whether it will be more expensive to move an item or to replace it. Of course, you won’t want to trash your grand piano, but a backyard playground set may be another story.

  • Look out for cash discounts. Many companies provide a discount if you can pay in cash. It’s important to avoid companies that request a cash deposit in advance, however. This is a red flag!

  • Ask about extra costs. Find out in advance what might cause the final price to exceed the initial bid you received.

Moving Cost FAQS

The following are some of the most common questions regarding moving costs.

What About Craigslist?

In general, although Craigslist can be a great way to save money on your move, it's not recommended for a long-distance move or a move that contains property that you would be devastated to lose or have damaged. Craigslist movers will likely not be professional movers and will likely not have references or credentials. You'll be gambling on your choice.

Should I Get Movers Insurance Through My Moving Company?

Your current homeowners or renters insurance might provide some coverage. You should check first to make sure this isn't the case in order to avoid paying double. If you don’t already have coverage, however, it may be a good idea to get insurance. It's generally a relatively small cost and could save you a lot of money if something does go wrong and your belongings get damaged.

What Results In Additional Moving Fees?

Generally, an underestimate of the weight or volume of your belongings will be the main cause of a higher final bill. It's particularly common to end up paying more with a company that charges by volume rather than weight, so look out for this when choosing your movers.

Are Moving Costs Tax Deductible?

Unfortunately, for most people, moving costs are no longer tax deductible. If you’re currently an active member of the U.S. military and your move is related to your service, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. If you have any questions as to your eligibility, speak with a professional tax preparer.

Final Thoughts

When considering how much it will cost to move, you should also factor in new furniture purchases and even the cost of restocking a pantry from the ground up. Remember that although the statistics are clear that you should expect to spend a little more than your initial calculations show, you have power over the general price bracket of your move. Consider your options and decide how much time, effort and stress you’re willing to trade for a less-expensive move. 

Have more questions about buying, selling, and moving? Check out our Learning Center to get answers.

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Patrick Chism

Born and raised on a farm in the Ozarks, Patrick has a knack for making the best out of the worst situations. Where others see flooded farmland, he sees lakefront real estate. Where others see an infestation of bees, he sees free pollination and a upstart honey shop. Patrick’s articles will help you make the most out of the least, maximizing your returns while keeping a close eye on the wallet. When he’s not writing for Rocket Mortgage, Patrick likes hiking, gardening, reading and making healthy foods taste like unhealthy foods.