Many different factors affect the cost of a long-distance move. Firstly, any move that takes you across state lines is considered to be a long-distance move, even if your destination is close. The prices, however, may vary a lot. Even though the distance is one of the most crucial ones as it affects the expenditure of the company, there are other things to keep in mind as well.

The general cost of a long-distance move

Moving cross-country varies greatly in costs. The national average of a cross-country move is around $3,700, with the typical range of costs between $1,900 and $5,500. This, however, as we mentioned, may vary greatly. For example, the cost of moving from Phoenix, Arizona to Boston, Massachusetts might range from $7,000 to $10,000.

The best way to be sure is to hire a company that could send employees over to asses your belongings. This will possibly give you a closer estimate of the move cost. It is also a good idea to ask several moving companies to get the best deal, as the companies can provide you with a non-binding or a binding cost estimate. Not sure about the difference?

  • A non-binding estimate must always be provided to you free of charge, but means that the final cost may exceed the initial estimate
  • A binding estimate is a more detailed agreement between the moving company and you, giving you a final cost that is not to be exceeded, although the company might charge a fee for making a binding estimate
Two people discussing a contract while planning the cost of a long-distance move
It is very important to agree on the chosen estimation when planning the cost of a long-distance move

How are the costs calculated?

The companies calculate the cost based on mainly the total weight of your belongings and the move distance. Also, you should consider that moving special or bulky items, such as antiques, pianos or freezers, may cost extra. You can also try to use an online moving cost calculator to get a general idea before taking the next steps in organizing your long-distance move.

Keep in mind that choosing the cheapest option might not always be the best idea. This sometimes means sacrificing the quality and reliability of services. Also, “discount movers” companies may charge more for extras that would be included in the price of a higher-priced company for a long-distance move.

Hiring long-distance movers vs. moving on your own

One of the main dilemmas when calculating the cost of a long-distance move is whether to hire a moving company or try to do the move on your own. While moving on your own might sound like a more cost-effective option, you should be aware of all the pros and cons that come with both options.

Cost of hiring movers

In the previous segment, we generally described the costs of hiring moving companies. Another way to calculate an estimate and understand the reasoning behind the prices is to know that long-distance movers normally charge $2,00-$5,000 per load and $0.50 per pound. Still, the price is highly depending on the amount of stuff that you own and want to move.

Moving companies charge several other expenses for long-distance moving. These can include gas and mileage, insurance (normally around 1% of your total moved belongings value) and, as mentioned above, extra fees for specialty items, all affecting the total final cost of a long-distance move.

Cost of moving on your own

The first thing that comes to mind is that in this case, you are responsible for driving to your new home yourself. To do so, moving truck rental is almost in every case a must-do. The prices for truck rentals also vary depending on the truck size, moving mileage and time. For example, you would pay around $30-$40 per day plus $0.69-$1.10 per mile for a 14-feet truck. You should plan the necessary gas costs, but also, if the trip takes several days, there would be food and accommodation costs to cover as well. Finally, paying for insurance in a private company is another costly expense. Insurance can cost around $10 per $1,000 of valued items with a deductible of $250 to $500.

Always take into account some of the less obvious expenses that are difficult or impossible to measure. This can include the time that you need to invest in moving, including packing, loading, driving, and unloading. This would often mean taking several days off your job to accomplish the move. Packing an essentials box is also a great idea, whether moving on your own or through a company, picking the most important things to keep close and safe during your relocation.

Moving can sometimes also be an emotional burden: we tend to get rattled by the stress of moving. If you plan on doing everything on your own, be sure you can handle the stress that comes with the endeavor.

A moving truck driving on a road while moving long-distance
Be ready for long-distance driving if you are planning to move on your own

In summary, while the cost of making a long-distance move on your own might be lesser, there are many other challenges you should take into account. So, when making the decision, make sure to evaluate and calculate all the possibilities thoroughly beforehand.

Additional moving costs

While moving services make up the most of your expenses, when moving long-distance there are several other things to consider.

You might require shuttles to transport your belongings. If you are moving in or out of a densely populated area, trucks might not reach your destination. Depending on the size of the truck, the services can cost from $250 to $500.

Densely populated urban area of residential and business building blocks
If you are moving to an urban area, be sure to check out the shuttle options

During the moving process, you may need short-term storage for your items. For example, the home you are moving into is not yet ready to be furnished with all your belongings. We refer to these services as Storage in Transit (SIT), and, depending on the size of your apartment, can vary from $150 up to more than $1000. Most of the SIT providers charge the storage on a monthly or bi-weekly basis.

Most of the movers will give a timeframe for your belonging’s delivery. If you need your items delivered at a specific date, you have to ask for a guaranteed delivery date. The prices for these services vary between $300 and $1,500.

You now hopefully have a better overview of the cost of a long-distance move. We wish you luck and patience with your preparations and a great new beginning in your new home!

Leave a Reply