If you are planning a DIY move, it is most likely to save
a little money. However, while forgoing professional moving services and
tackling the task yourself may seem cost-effective, there are many expenses to
consider. If you are wondering what kind of budget you'll need for a DIY move,
the following guide will help you calculate expected costs so you are properly
Unless you are moving the contents of a very small
apartment in your own vehicle or truck, you will require a rented moving truck
for your relocation. The cost of your truck rental
will depend on the size you
need, the distance you will travel and the length of time you require the truck.
Most truck rental agencies charge a flat fee per day which varies by the size of
- 10-foot: $19.95
- 14-foot: $29.95
- 17-foot: $29.95
- 24-foot: $39.95
- 26-foot: $39.95
After this initial fee, you will be charged
per mile you travel. This cost can vary depending on the time of year and even
day of the week you move, but typically ranges from $0.79 to $1.29 per mile. You
may also be charged a rental tax (between 6 and 10 percent of the cost of the
rental) and an environmental tax, which is usually about $1 a day. If you are
moving long-distance, you may also be charged an extra fee for a one-way
Ask any truck rental agency you are considering for your move
about all extra taxes and fees you could incur with your reservation.
Whether you are renting a truck or moving in your own
vehicle, you will have to consider the costs of fuel in your moving budget. If
you are moving locally, fuel may not be a significant expense, but for
long-distance moves, it can surely add up.
Truck rentals are usually
provided with about a half tank of gas. No matter how much of that gasoline you
burn during your move, you must replenish it before it is returned. If not, the
agency will charge you for the gas anyway, and most likely at a much higher
To determine what you can expect to pay in fuel for your
move, calculate the miles you will travel and consider the gas costs in the
regions you will pass through. You should also consider the fuel efficiency of
the truck, which will be carrying a heavy load and may burn more gas than you do
driving your personal vehicle.
If you are renting a truck for your DIY move, you
should always purchase insurance
to protect yourself in case of an accident.
Protections plans offered will vary, but most companies offer the
The protection plans offered by truck rental companies vary,
but they all offer some form of the following basic types of coverage:
- Damage waiver: Covers accidental damage to the rental truck and
equipment due to accidents, vandalism, and sometimes theft.
- Personal accident (Medical): Provides medical and loss of life
coverage to the driver (and often passengers) resulting from injury in an
- Cargo coverage: Offers protection for your goods from loss or damage
due to collision or natural disasters.
- Supplemental liability: Protects you from claims made by third
parties for bodily harm or damage to personal property caused by a collision
with your rental truck.
- Towing insurance: Covers damage to any vehicle being towed by your
rental truck, as well as the towing equipment.
So how much does rental
truck insurance cost? The added expense can range from about $15 to $30 a day,
but will ultimately vary depending on the company you choose and the extent of
your protection. Most companies offer different bundles of coverage depending on
your needs. Deductibles will apply.
If you will be packing and wrapping all of your
own items, you will have to acquire the proper materials. Moving boxes, packing
paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, tape, markers--these supplies are all
essential to effectively protect your belongings. While you can obtain free
boxes and supplies for some of your possessions, your valuable electronics,
fragile glassware and other delicate items should be packed in new,
New moving boxes can vary in cost
depending on size and type of container. Medium moving boxes can cost about $5
each, and specialty boxes like mirror boxes or wardrobe boxes can be about $9
You can also purchase moving boxes in bundles or moving kits by the
number of rooms in your home. For example, a kit for a three- to four- bedroom
home (complete with supplies such as tape, labels, and bubble wrap) will cost
you about $250.
There are also some essential tools needed to haul and
load your furniture and appliances on moving day. Dollies, hand trucks and
moving straps can all be rented from your truck rental agency. You may also need
furniture blankets to wrap and protect your furniture from scratches or damage
during the move.
Food and hotel stays
If your move is long distance, you may need to make stops
along your route for food and rest. These expenses can add up, so before you hit
the road, research affordable eateries and motels along your route. This will
help you budget more efficiently for these expenses and save time during your
If you want to balance cost with convenience,
you can opt for a partial DIY move by renting a portable storage unit. Portable
storage containers are delivered to your property, where you can load them with
your items and furniture at your convenience (initial fees typically cover up to
one month). Loading is also easier because the unit is ground level, unlike a
moving truck. When loading is complete, you simply call the company and a driver
will pick up the unit and deliver it either to your new home or storage facility
until you are ready for it.
The cost of portable storage depends on the
size of the unit, the length of time you need it, the distance of your move and
the company you choose. Smaller units will cost about $100 a month, and larger
units can reach up to $200 per month. You will also be charged delivery fees and
mileage charges for a long distance move. Make sure to ask any portable storage
company you are considering using for your move detailed questions about fees to
calculate an accurate cost.