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Congrats! You’re moving! Before you pack up a pile of books and appliances into cardboard boxes, you may wonder whether you should move everything yourself or hire a moving company. It’d be nice to sit back while a team of movers does all the heavy lifting—unless they drop your 50-inch LED TV. But there’s a bigger risk at hand: not budgeting enough money for moving costs.
So how much does it cost to move these days? Well, there are many factors to consider. But we’ll give it to you straight. The average cost for a local move typically ranges anywhere from $500 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,400 for a four-bedroom house.(1)
Keep in mind, that range is based on the cost to hire a moving company for a local, short-distance move. If you’re doing a long-distance or out-of-state move, the price range goes up. But there are always ways to save money.
Since there are so many different factors to consider, we’ve laid out the common types of moving costs so you can find a way to move that best fits your budget and needs. We’ve got it all covered below!
Types of Moving Costs
If you’re past the stage of life when you can fit everything you own into the back of a car trunk, here are common types of moving options and their costs:
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- Cost to Rent a Moving Truck
- $50 (small truck, local move) to $2,000 (large truck, long-distance move)
- Cost to Hire a Moving Company
- Short-Distance: $80 to $100 per hour
- Long-Distance: $2,000 to $5,000 per load(2)
- Cost to Hire a Full-Service Moving Company
- Cost to Rent a Moving Container
- $250 (small container, local move) to $4,500 (large container, cross-country move)(5)
The average cost for a local move typically ranges anywhere from $500 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,400 for a four-bedroom house.
Okay, that gives you an idea of moving costs to expect. Now let’s take a closer look at some of the options so you can plan your move with confidence!
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Moving Truck?
If you have the muscle (or some friends with muscles), one of the cheapest ways to move is to rent a truck and haul everything yourself. The average cost to rent a moving truck ranges from less than $50 to more than $2,000.(6) We know that’s a wide range, but it depends on specific things like:
- How far you’ll travel
- How much truck space you’ll need
- How much your moving items weigh
- How long you’ll keep the rental (if your move takes several days)
- How much you’ll pay in gas
How Much Does It Cost to Move a Car?
If you’re driving the moving truck all by yourself, chances are you may have to pay to ship your car, which adds about $950 to your moving costs—with an average of $0.60 per mile for trips of more than 1,000 miles.(7) You can probably knock that price down if you choose a truck rental company that offers a car trailer so you can tow the car yourself. Get ready for a wild road trip!
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers?
Sure, it’d be great to save a bunch of cash by paying your friends in pizza to help you load a U-Haul and move everything yourself. But that’s not so easy if you’re moving a family-sized household of stuff. We get it. That’s why we’re going to break down the cost of hiring a moving company, which ranges between $500 and $1,400.(8) Of course, this range is determined by factors like the size of your home and how far away you’re moving. So let’s dig into those details.
Short-Distance Moving Costs
What’s the cost if you’re moving to a new town in your current state? Well, local movers usually charge an hourly rate. So, if you’re moving under 100 miles within the same state, you’ll pay an average hourly rate of $80 to $100.(9) For a clearer idea of how much you might have to pay, here are the average costs to hire local movers based on a variety of home sizes and the time it takes to move each one:
- One-bedroom apartment: 3 to 5 hours, $200 to $500
- Two-bedroom apartment: 5 to 7 hours, $400 to $700
- Three-bedroom house: 7 to 10 hours, $560 to $1,000
- Four-bedroom house: 10 hours or more, $800 to $2,000(10)
Local movers usually charge an hourly rate. So, if you’re moving under 100 miles within the same state, you’ll pay an average hourly rate of $80 to $100.
Long-Distance Moving Costs
Okay, now let’s see what costs look like if you’re moving beyond 100 miles—including to another state. Long-distance moves with a moving company usually cost $2,000 to $5,000 per load.(11) The distance of your move isn’t the only thing that will cause a significant change in price. Movers might charge extra to move unique items like pianos. (The average cost to move a piano ranges between $150 to $800.) So keep a lookout for any heavy items you own and have your moving company include them in the estimate up front so you can avoid the shock of being charged extra.
The distance of your move isn’t the only thing that will cause a significant change in price. Movers might charge extra to move unique items like pianos.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Full-Service Moving Company?
Too busy to pack? Wondering what it feels like to have a team of helpers come to your house and pack everything for you? Well, brace yourself, this is the most expensive way to move. If you’re moving a three-bedroom house, the average cost of a full-service moving company ranges from $900(13) to $10,000.(14) But full-service movers go beyond loading, transporting and unloading. They also pack and unpack all your boxes, disassemble and reassemble large furniture, and even handle cleanup—saving you an enormous amount of time and effort.
Since this is the most expensive moving option, some companies offer relocating employees a median amount of $10,000 to $15,000 to cover the cost.(15) But unless you have a company paying your costs or other circumstances, you may be better off choosing a cheaper moving option.
Should I Tip Movers?
Let’s say you hired a good moving company and the movers didn’t scratch or break anything. In fact, they showed up on time and did a pretty darn good job! Should you tip them? Sure! A tip that’s 10% to 20% of the cost of your move will show your appreciation for their hard work. For an average local move, a good tip ranges anywhere between $10 to $40 per mover.(16)
Should you tip movers? A tip that’s 10-20% of the cost of your move will show your appreciation for their hard work. A good tip ranges anywhere from $10-40 per local mover.
How Much Are Moving Containers?
What if you don’t want to run the risk of movers mishandling your stuff or deal with the hassle of driving a moving truck yourself? Then you’ll probably want to use moving containers. It’s kind of like having the back of a moving truck dropped off at your house. You load all your stuff into the container on your own time, then you schedule a date for the container company to pick it up. They drop it off at your new location for you to unpack.
The average cost to use a moving container for a cross-country move is $4,500.(17) If you’re doing a local move without too many items, you can find prices online with companies like PODS for containers that are just under $225 (including transportation costs).
Can I Deduct Moving Expenses?
Oh no. Are they gonna to talk about taxes? Yes. Sorry. We know taxes are the last thing you want to think about when you’re moving! But if you’re banking on a tax deduction to reimburse your moving expenses, we want to warn you—it won’t. Unless you’re active in the military, the 2018 tax reform bill dropped moving expenses as an available tax deduction. So make sure you save all the money you can by choosing the most cost-effective moving option for your situation!
Let’s Get Movin’!
There you have it, folks! Now you know how much it costs to move. If you’re ready to put wheels on your moving plans, make sure you use a professional to help with your housing details. Get your house sold for top dollar and find an affordable new home with the help of a real estate agent. To find an expert in the area who shares your values, try our Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) program. We make it easy to find the best agents for you with just a few clicks.
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