How Much Is It to Hire a Moving Company in 2023: Costs & Tips

Published: 10 May, 2023

Last Updated: 14 Jun, 2023

Serik Baimoldayev

Serik Baimoldayev

When pondering the expense of employing a relocating firm, there are numerous components to take into consideration. The cost of hiring professional movers can vary greatly depending on the type and distance of your move, as well as additional services you may require.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss local vs. long-distance moving costs, off-peak season savings, obtaining accurate estimates from reputable companies, and additional services offered by movers. Furthermore, we will delve into verifying mover credentials to ensure accountability and provide tips for reducing moving costs through downsizing or DIY packing strategies.

Lastly, we’ll explore portable container rental pricing for those seeking an alternative solution and specialized item transportation considerations when deciding whether or not to hire professionals. We’ll also cover tipping etiquette so you know how much is appropriate to reward your hardworking moving team. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision regarding hiring a moving company based on your individual needs.

Table of Contents:

Local vs. Long-Distance Moving Costs

Moving company costs varies depending on whether you’re relocating locally or long-distance.

Average Costs for Local Moves

When planning a local move, it’s essential to consider the various expenses involved in your relocation process. Most professional moving companies charge an hourly or flat rate that typically ranges between $25-$50 per hour per mover plus travel fees based on mileage and fuel consumption. If you live in California, moving companies are obligated to charge double drive time by law.

It’s important to note that while hourly rates may seem like a significant expense, hiring movers can ultimately save you money in the long run. Movers are accountable for your belongings and can help ensure that everything is transported safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of damage or loss. 

When planning your moving budget, be sure to factor in any additional costs, such as travel fees or packing costs. By obtaining multiple quotes and evaluating each company’s reputation and experience, you can find a professional moving company that meets your needs and budget.

Local Moving price depends on:

  • Size of the move – if you move out from a big house with a lot of stuff, it can cost bigger.
  • Travel/Truck fee – an additional fee added to your standard pricing. Often, travel fees vary based on the distance one travels. The further one travels, the higher the travel fee.
  • Parking – if there is no parking near the building, movers have to carry items farther which results in long carry fee.
  • Stairs fee – if there is no elevator, than movers have to carry items themselves by stairs which results in stairs fee. 
  • Additional services included, such as custom crating or handling special items like pianos, sculptures, paintings, etc.
  • Peak season – the demand for movers are high between June and August, so moving during these months is usually more expensive.
  • Peak days – the demand for movers are higher on weekends, so moving during the weekends is usually more expensive.
  • Peak dates – leases are being started and terminated at beginnings and ends of the months, so moving during these days is also more expensive.

For local moves within a 150-mile radius, the pricing starts at $450 for full service flat rate moves in NYC but the actual price depends on size of the move and additional services included, as we said below. For hourly moves, the total depends on the number of hours and extra charges too. The most expensive would be moving in the weekends of June-August at the beginning or end of the month.

Factors Affecting Long-Distance Move Pricing

For long-distance moves, the overall cost is determined by factors such as distance and volume of belongings being transported.

  • Origin and Destination: Which state are you moving from and moving to? How often do people move similarly?
  • Mileage: The further you need to transport your belongings, the higher your moving costs will be due to increased fuel usage and wear-and-tear on the moving truck.
  • Total Weight/Volume: Heavier items require more effort and resources from movers, thus increasing their charges accordingly.
  • Packing Costs: If you opt for full-service packing services offered by professional movers, this will add additional expense onto your total bill.
  • Date Flexibility: Your chosen moving date may impact pricing if it falls during peak seasons when demand is high.
  • Deadlines: If you need your items to be delivered as soon as possible, it will be significantly expensive if you get a dedicated truck just for your item.

Key Takeaway: It’s important to note that movers are accountable for your belongings, so it’s crucial to hire a professional moving company that you can trust. SEKA Moving is a reliable and professional moving company that specializes in personalized full-service moves across the United States with locations in NY, NJ, CA, and WA.

Generally, relocating within the same area is typically more economical than shifting to a distant location as there are fewer expenses related to travel and labor. Moving during off-peak seasons can help you save money on your move; let’s explore the benefits of moving during these times as well as some tips for avoiding peak season rates.

Off-Peak Season Savings

To reduce your moving expenses, consider scheduling your relocation during off-peak seasons like winter or early morning hours on weekdays. Peak season rates in late spring and summer tend to be higher due to increased demand for professional moving company services. By choosing a less popular time for your move, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars.

Benefits of Moving During Off-Seasons

  • Lower costs: Moving companies’ costs are generally lower during off-seasons as there is less competition for their services.
  • Better availability: You’re more likely to secure the desired moving date and time when booking outside peak periods.
  • Potential discounts: Some professional moving companies may offer special promotions or discounts during slower months to attract customers.

Tips for Avoiding Peak Season Rates

  1. Plan ahead: Start researching local moving companies well in advance of your planned move date so that you have ample time to compare quotes and find the best deal available.
  2. Be flexible with dates: If possible, avoid weekends and holidays when scheduling your move since these times typically command higher hourly rates from movers.
  3. Sign your lease during off-peak months: If you sign your apartment lease during September – April, 12 months will end during the off-peak time as well. If you would have to move, you will be moving during the off-peak season. If your lease ends in June-August, you can pay rent month-to-month.
  4. Ask for a detailed breakdown of costs and any potential additional fees, such as packing materials or storage.

Key Takeaway: When hiring movers, keep in mind that the cost will depend on several factors, including the distance of your move, the size of your home, and the amount of belongings you need to transport. Professional moving companies typically charge on an hourly basis, with additional travel fees for long-distance moves. Packing costs and moving rates may also vary depending on the level of service you require.

Saving money on your move by taking advantage of off-peak season rates can help make the transition easier and more affordable. However, it is important to obtain accurate estimates from reliable movers before making a final decision. By doing your research and planning ahead, you can find a professional moving company that fits your moving budget and ensures a stress-free move.

Obtaining Accurate Estimates

It’s essential to obtain at least three quotes from reputable moving companies with several years of experience when determining the cost of hiring professionals for your specific move requirements. Comparing estimates will help ensure that you get the best possible price tailored to your needs and budget constraints.

Importance of Multiple Quotes

  • Gives you a better understanding of the market rates for moving services in your area.
  • Allows you to compare different movers’ offerings, such as hourly rate, travel fees, and additional services like packing costs or storage options.
  • Makes it easier to identify potential red flags or inconsistencies among providers that may indicate a less reliable company.

Evaluating Reputation and Experience

In addition to comparing prices, it’s crucial to assess each prospective mover’s reputation and level of expertise. Here are some tips on how:

  1. Check Online Reviews: Look up customer feedback on websites like Yelp or Google Reviews. This can give valuable insights into past clients’ experiences with each company under consideration.
  2. Contact References: Request contact information for previous customers who had similar moves (e.g., local vs interstate) so you can ask about their satisfaction levels directly.
  3. Check License Information: they have to have a USDOT number.

Additional Services Offered by Movers

Professional moving companies offer various additional services that can make your move more convenient and stress-free. Considering your needs and budget, extra services offered by professional movers may be worth the cost.

Cleaning Service Fees

Moving out of a home often requires thorough cleaning to ensure it’s ready for the next occupants or to secure your security deposit if you’re renting. Some professional movers offer cleaning services. This added service can save you time and energy during an already hectic period.

Storage Unit Prices

If you need temporary storage for some of your belongings during the moving process, many moving companies provide storage unit options. The prices vary based on factors such as location, size, climate control features, and duration of rental. Make sure to inquire about storage costs when obtaining quotes from potential movers.

Insurance Options

To protect your valuable possessions during transit, consider purchasing insurance coverage through the moving company or a third-party provider. By law, Basic Released Value Protection covers 30 cents per item per pound for local moves and 60 cents per item per pound for long-distance moves; however, more comprehensive plans are available at higher premiums if desired. At SEKA Moving, if you need to buy additional insurance we recommend using Baker’s International.

Reducing Moving Expenses

When hiring a professional moving company, there are several ways you can save money and stay within your moving budget. By downsizing possessions beforehand through donations, sales, or gifting items away, you can reduce the overall weight and volume of belongings being moved. This results in lower charges associated with transportation and storage needs.

Downsizing Possessions

Downsizing your possessions before the move not only saves on costs but also helps to declutter your new home. Consider donating unwanted items to local charities or organizing a garage sale to get rid of excess belongings.

DIY Packing and Enlisting Help from Friends or Family

Packing smaller personal items yourself can further decrease expenses related to packaging supplies and labor provided by hired professionals, which is often charged on an hourly basis separate from the main service fee. Learn how to pack efficiently for a move, then enlist friends or family members’ assistance during this process as well. Remember that items that your moving company doesn’t pack, it not covered by their insurance. If you bought a third party insurance, ask them if their insurance covers it.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep moving companies costs under control while still benefiting from their expertise in handling larger items like furniture pieces that require disassembly/reassembly upon arrival at your new residence.

Moving expenses can be cut back on to save money, but other alternatives are accessible too. Portable container rentals offer several benefits and may prove more cost-effective than traditional moving services.

Portable Container Rentals

If you’re considering a more cost-effective and self-moving approach, portable container rentals might be the right choice for you. These containers offer flexibility in terms of packing and moving at your own pace while still providing professional transportation services.

Benefits of using portable containers

  • Flexibility: You can pack and load your belongings at your leisure, allowing for better organization and less stress during the move.
  • Affordability: Portable container rentals are often cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company, especially if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself.
  • Safety: Your items will be securely stored in a weather-resistant container that’s locked until it reaches its destination.

Comparing costs to traditional moving services

To determine which option best suits your needs and budget constraints, consider factors such as time availability, willingness to handle tasks like packing/unpacking, and the heavy lifting involved in the relocation process. Ultimately, the decision whether to use a traditional service or rent a portable container depends on personal preferences and circumstances surrounding the specific move date requirements. Check the difference beetwen PODs and moving company.

For more information about the various types available and companies offering rental services, check out this comprehensive guide on best moving container companies.

Portable container rentals are an efficient and cost-effective way to move, especially for larger households. However, when it comes to moving specialized items such as pianos or antiques, a professional mover may be the best option – let’s explore that next.

Moving Specialized Items

When transporting specialized items like pianos, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional moving company versus attempting the task yourself. Professional movers offer efficiency and expertise in tasks such as packing, disassembling furniture, and safely transporting delicate or heavy objects. However, self-moving may be a more cost-effective option if you’re confident in your ability.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Movers for Special Items

  • Pros:
    • Expertise in handling delicate or large items;
    • Saves time by efficiently disassembling/reassembling furniture;
    • Holds movers accountable for any damages during transportation;
    • Safer – avoid potentially getting injured;
    • Saves energy/stress.
  • Cons:
    • Potentially higher costs compared to self-moving options.

Hiring professional movers for specialized items is an important decision that should be made carefully. Next, let’s discuss the etiquette of tipping your movers to ensure a successful move.

Tipping Your Movers

When it comes to hiring a professional moving company, don’t forget to tip your movers. The industry standard suggests tipping 15% of the total bill, distributed evenly among the crew members. This gesture shows appreciation for their hard work and efforts during the relocation process.

How Much Should You Tip?

  • Average cost: If your moving costs are around $1,000, consider tipping $75 per mover (assuming there are two).
  • Moving rates: For hourly rate moves, you can base your tip on how long they worked – e.g., if they spent four hours on your move at an average of $30/hourly rate, that’s a total of $120 in tips.
  • Percentage of the price of your total moving expenses: For instance, you would pay each person 10-15% in the case of a four-hour-move. If the move took longer than twelve hours, consider leaving the moving crew with a 25-30% tip for such a laborious work.
  • Travel fees: Don’t forget to factor in any travel fees when calculating tips; these should be included as part of the overall cost.

Factors Affecting Tips

Beyond just considering the basic percentage or hourly basis approach for tipping, other factors may influence how much you decide to give. These include:

  1. The complexity and difficulty level of your move: Were there heavy items like pianos? Did they have to navigate tight spaces or stairs?
  2. The quality and efficiency of service provided by each mover: Were they punctual? Did they handle belongings with care?

FAQs in Relation to How Much is it to Hire Movers

How much should a moving budget be?

A moving budget depends on various factors, such as distance, size of the household, and additional services required. On average, local moves cost around $1,250 while long-distance moves can range from $2,000 to $5,000. It’s essential to obtain accurate estimates from multiple companies and plan for potential expenses like packing materials or insurance coverage.

How do you calculate the cost of moving?

To calculate the cost of moving:

  1. Determine whether it’s a local or long-distance move;
  2. Estimate your belongings’ weight (most movers charge based on this);
  3. Consider any additional services needed (e.g., packing assistance);
  4. Add in costs for packing supplies and insurance if desired.

To get a precise cost of your move, get a quote from multiple moving companies.

What is the cheapest day to hire a moving company?

The cheapest days to hire a moving company are typically weekdays during the off-peak season mid-September through April. Weekends and holidays tend to have higher rates due to increased demand. Scheduling your move during less busy times can help reduce overall costs.


In conclusion, hiring a moving company can be costly, but it is worth the investment to ensure a smooth and stress-free move. By understanding the cost breakdown for local and long-distance moves, off-peak season savings, obtaining accurate estimates, additional services offered by movers, verifying mover credentials, reducing moving costs, portable container rental pricing, and specialized item transportation considerations, you can make an informed decision when selecting a moving company.

At Seka Moving, we offer full-service moves with upfront quotes and transparent pricing. Contact us now to get your free estimate on how much it costs to hire a moving company for your upcoming move!

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