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How Much Does a Local Move Cost?

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While moving locally may not strain your wallet as much as a trek cross-country, any move comes with a variety of expenses. The volume of your goods, the services you require, and the distance you are traveling (a local move is anything under 100 miles) are all factors that contribute to the final price on your moving bill.

Find out more about the typical costs associated with a local move so you can begin planning your moving budget today!

How do local movers charge?

Local movers typically charge am hourly flat rate -- approximately $100 an hour for a two-man moving crew. This is usually sufficient for an average-sized, three-bedroom home, but you may require a three or four-man crew for a larger home (which can cost about $50 more per mover an hour).

This means the cost of your move is directly proportional to the amount of time it takes the movers to load up the truck, drive to your new home, and unload your goods when they arrive. If you have a large amount of furniture that requires disassembly and reassembly, stacks of boxes, or a lengthier distance to travel, you will obviously pay more than someone moving out of a small one-bedroom apartment to another rental up the street.

Additional services

In addition to your hourly rate, you may incur extra fees for the moving services you request. These can include:

  • Stair carries
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Disconnecting or reconnecting appliances
  • Elevator carries
  • Long carries
  • Shuttle service (when goods need to be transferred to a smaller truck because the larger truck cannot fit down your street or park near your home)
  • Moving specialty items such as a piano, grandfather clock, pool table, artwork or antiques
  • Packing supplies, such as furniture blankets, shrink-wrap, bubble wrap, boxes, and tape

When receiving an in-house estimate from the movers, be sure explain the services you need and inquire about the possibilities of any extra costs. The more information you divulge to the surveyor from the company, the more accurate your quote will be.

Packing services

If the mere thought of organizing, wrapping, and boxing up your entire household of belongings makes you shudder, you may be considering packing services. If you enlist packing assistance from your movers (or a separate company), it will often cost you between several hundred and several thousand dollars (in addition the costs of your other moving services). Packing costs are calculated by the amount of your goods, the time it takes to pack them, and sometimes the costs of supplies (some companies include supply costs with labor, so always ask before you obtain your own in an attempt to save).

The following table can provide you with typical packing costs for a variety of residence sizes. Keep in mind all of these numbers were generated with an online moving cost calculator and are not indicative of any particular company's prices.

Size of Residence Packing Labor Packing Materials
One-bedroom apartment (3,500 lb) $218 $105
Two-bedroom apartment (5,000 lb) $320 $150
Three-bedroom apartment (7,500 lb) $468 $225
Three-bedroom house (10,000 lb) $625 $300
Four-bedroom house (15,000 lb) $937 $450
Five-bedroom house (20,000) $1250 $600

Packing supplies

If you pack your own goods, you will have to obtain the proper supplies. If you chose to buy these from a moving supply retailer, it can be costly. Packing kits for a standard three-bedroom home can cost several hundred dollars. That doesn't include bubble wrap, specialty cartons like mirror boxes or wardrobe boxes, or protective blankets for your furniture.

Depending on the services you enlist from your moving company, some of these supplies may be included. Be sure to ask the movers what they will supply and what extra costs you may see on your bill as a result.


The standard liability coverage movers are required by law to offer is known as Released Value Protection. This insurance will only compensate you a mere $0.60 per pound per article for lost or damaged goods. For increased protection, you should purchase additional coverage, either through your mover or a third-party carrier. Ask any mover you are considering for hire about their insurance options and the associated costs.

Truck rentals

If you are planning a DIY move, you may be considering renting a truck. While renting a truck is usually more cost-effective (especially for a local move) it requires much more time, energy, and strength to pull off successfully. It's always a good idea to ask friends and family for help when moving without professionals--especially when it comes to the heavy lifting.

The costs of a rental truck will vary depending on the size of your home, but the following are some prices from a leading truck rental company's website:

  • 10-foot (suggested for an apartment move): $19.95
  • 17-foot (two to three-bedroom home): $29.95
  • 20-foot (four-bedroom home): $39.95

After this initial rate per day, you will be charged about $0.99 a mile traveled. You may also be expected to refill the gas tank (usually half way) before you return the truck.

Some other costs associated with truck rentals include:

  • Insurance
  • Rental tax
  • Environmental fee
  • Moving tools (dollies, straps and hand trucks to move furniture and appliances) which can often be rented from the truck rental agency

Ways to cut costs on your local move

  • Get free supplies. Rather than buying expensive professional moving boxes, you can be resourceful and find free supplies. Check grocery, liquor and book stores for sturdy cardboard cartons, use blank newsprint to wrap and protect belongings, use towels as cushioning inside boxes, and wrap furniture in old blankets and linens. However, be cautious of packing fragile glassware and other breakables with used boxes--be sure to reinforce the bottom with plenty of tape to ensure they don't collapse.
  • Downsize your belongings. The easiest way to save money on a move is to sort through your junk and lighten your load. The less you have to move, the more quickly the movers can load the truck, the less packing supplies you'll have to buy, or the smaller rental truck you'll need. Donate unwanted items to charity, have a garage sale, or sell your stuff online to make a little extra cash for your moving budget!
  • Compare quotes. Get started comparing quotes from moving companies as soon as possible to shop around and save! Remember not to hire the cheapest mover--a drastically low quote can often be a red flag for a moving scam. Make sure to get at least THREE in-house estimates from unique moving companies to find the best price and service for your move.

Get quotes from local movers now!

Ready to start comparing quotes from reliable local movers near you? Simply fill out our fast and easy quote form and receive up to seven FREE, no-obligation quotes from local moving services in your area.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on January 27, 2014

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