What Factors Affect Long Distance Moving Costs?

Long-distance moving costs can vary significantly. Factors like distance, the amount of belongings, packing, and time of the year all play a role in determining your final expenses. Learn more in our guide.
What Factors Affect Long Distance Moving Costs - Adams Van Lines

Long distance moving sounds exciting, but at the same time, it brings a lot of stress. Whatever the reason for moving, understanding all the points influencing long distance moving costs is essential.

With that in mind, jumping into long distance moving without gathering information and insights wouldn’t be the best decision.

You’re probably curious about a lot of things. What affects the long distance moving price the most? Is moving during peak times a good idea? All the answers you need are here. Explore the guide below and make your long distance move affordable and smooth.

Difference Between Local and Long Distance Moves

When hiring professional movers, remember that every move comes with a label. It’s either local or long distance.

A rule of thumb for most moving companies is they’ll consider a move to be long distance when it’s over 50 miles.

In addition, if you’re moving across state lines, it’s also considered a long distance move.

Factors That Affect Long Distance Moving Costs

If you’re planning to hire long distance movers and wondering about the price of moving services, getting the answer won’t be simple. For long distance relocation, there’s no one-size-fits-all option. It’s because many things have an impact on final moving expenses.

1. Distance

Relocation distance is one of the primary factors affecting moving costs. The greater the distance from point A to point B, the higher the price. Transportation fees level up with every mile. With greater fuel costs, the moving price goes up.

Companies calculate cross-country moving costs per mile while they charge local moves by the hour. In situations where long distance travel is needed, other costs may include accommodation or food for the movers.

2. Weight and Size of the Household Goods

The weight and size of your household goods strongly influence the moving price. Movers will estimate the price according to the volume of your belongings. If the volume of goods is higher, so is the price. Logically, the price of moving a four-bedroom home will be greater than the cost of moving a small studio.

3. Time of the Year

Moving companies are busiest during the summer months. That’s a peak period with a higher moving demand. Moving during off-peak times will be easier on your budget. November and December are usually the slowest months.

Thus, moving during that time can significantly reduce long distance moving costs. Weekends and holidays are more expensive. Once you accept the offer, any delays may lead to extra costs.

4. Number of Movers

One of the things to know about long distance movers is that, in most cases, two team members can handle a move. However, depending on the size of your home, the number of movers could be higher. In such a situation, moving expenses tend to be higher as well.

5. Long Distance Moving Insurance

Moving companies have basic insurance, but that might not be enough as it usually doesn’t cover much. For long distance moves, getting extra insurance could be a great investment.

Buy additional coverage if you own artwork, antiques, jewelry, and other high-value items. Also, getting protection against accidents or damages along the way will increase moving costs.

Yet, it’ll give you peace of mind. Remember that insurance costs vary from one provider to another.

6. Packing Services and Moving Supplies

Do you want movers to pack your belongings, or do you want to do it all by yourself? It’s a critical question, as the answer affects the price.

If you do it on your own, you’ll reduce the moving costs. On the other hand, if you opt for packing and unpacking services, you’ll pay significantly more.

If you decide to hire packing services, moving supplies is another factor that will increase the moving price. For example, moving blankets, quality boxes, and other moving materials can range from $100 to $200 or more, depending on the size of your home. Doing it yourself can help you save by packing in repurposed boxes.

7. Access

Access to your home is another factor that can significantly increase the overall moving costs. Moving requires more effort and time if you live in an apartment on the fifth floor of the building without an elevator. In contrast, if the building has an elevator, or you live on the ground level, things are much easier and simpler. As a result, costs will be lower.

8. Additional Services

Moving companies offer additional services. Some of such services are storage, specialty item management, furniture disassembly and reassembly, truck loading and unloading, etc.

Using any of these services plays an essential role in determining the costs. If you’re looking for the cheapest ways to move, avoid additional services, as they will increase the cost of your move.

What to Look for When Choosing Long Distance Movers

Now you know more about factors that affect long distance moving costs. It’s also important to understand that not every moving company is alike. There are certain things to look for when choosing long distance movers.

1. Select a Reputable Company With Experience

Before moving any further, ensure the company you’re about to hire has a license. You can check a mover’s license on The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

Choosing a company that has years of experience ensures everything will run smoothly. Experienced movers will keep your belongings safe and secure.

2. Check Reviews

Ask your family members, friends, or co-workers for a recommendation. Also, check online reviews on third-party sites. Read comments on social media profiles. Feedback of previous customers says a lot about the company.

Pay Attention to Rates, Extra Costs, and Insurance Coverage Various factors affect the price, and rates vary from one company to another. When browsing the options, compare the prices of each service. Check whether there are extra costs. Ensure the company offers insurance coverage and check what it includes.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

Hiring a moving company is more complex than it seems. The market is highly competitive. Before making a final decision, ensure you get multiple estimates. Before accepting an offer, get the terms of the agreement in writing. One of the most important mistakes to avoid is hiring a company without written agreements.

4. Look For Flexibility and Good Communication

Long distance moves are far from simple. At any given moment, many factors can change. Can you reschedule the move without being charged extra? Do you need to book months ahead of the move? Long distance movers that offer flexibility make everything easier.

When choosing the company, give preference to those with excellent communication skills. Great communication during a long distance move turns a daunting task into a stress-free one. Everything will be concise and clear, from the moving date to the unpacking location.

Preventing Unexpected Costs During Long Distance Move

When hiring long distance movers, some unexpected costs may pop up. We’ll list several simple tips to help you stay on a budget:

  • Ask for written quotes from multiple moving companies. It’ll make the comparison easier.
  • Always read the fine print to get familiar with any extra fees that could apply to your long distance move.
  • Ensure the moving company knows you have large or specialty items such as a hot tub, piano, exercise equipment, antiques, etc.
  • If the company has the lowest rate, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Ensure there are no hidden fees.

Tips to Reduce Long Distance Moving Costs

Staying on a budget, especially during complex undertakings such as a long distance move, is challenging. But it’s not impossible. We’ll share some tips on how to reduce long distance moving expenses. By following these, you’ll manage to save some money.

  • Carefully choose the timing of the move. Long distance moves are more affordable from September to April.
  • Book moving services as early as you can.
  • Do as much as possible on your own. Rely on family and friends for packing and unpacking.
  • Get rid of unnecessary items. It’s the perfect time to declutter. You can donate and discard the things you no longer need. You can also host a garage sale.
  • When you find long distance movers you like, try negotiating. You may get a better price.
    Borrow packing materials such as moving boxes and blankets.
    Ask for discounts and special offers.

Considering Long Distance Moving Costs

Getting ready for a long distance move requires a lot of preparation. One of the crucial points is understanding that many factors affect the overall moving price. Properly planning the move and staying within the budget is achievable. However, it is important to know what can affect moving costs. Then you’ll be on your way to a smooth long distance move.

Adam Palme - Author
Adam Palme

Adam grew up in military family, which meant he moved more than 20 times before he graduated high school. The experience taught him a lot about adaptability (and loading boxes), which he leveraged into a career in the moving and storage industry 7 years ago. He’s been working in sales and customer service management for 20 years, and he uses his own experiences to write content about moving, storage, leadership, and teamwork. Outside of work, Adam enjoys coaching youth football in Miami and enjoying some beach time with his dog. Go Dolphins!

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