Top 10 Hidden Costs Of Moving And How To Avoid Them

Top 10 Hidden Costs Of Moving And How To Avoid Them

It can be generally agreed upon that no one likes to lose money. There are varieties in the spectrum of frugality, but they come with a simple fact, the majority of people don’t like to pay for things they no longer want or use.

Moving brings about the chance to spend so much money, but also a chance to find savings. Packing up and moving costs money, approximately an average of $1,200 to $6,000, based on the distance to your new address and whether you move or hire a mover.

While you’ve likely planned a budget for your move, you may not be aware that several unplanned factors can add to your general cost.

Things like extra charges from the movers, issues you leave behind, or snags you face after you get to your new address can add to your budget. To be ready for any little surprises in the process, check our list of hidden moving costs and how to avoid them.

1. Timings Count Costs

Plan out the kind of your move, and the kind of moving company you need. The day of the week you pick and the time of year can add higher rates of about 20% because of demand, holiday, or weather disruptions. Ask for discounts from your movers for a less-demand day of the week and the calmest time of the month to relocate, if there is some flexibility in your arrangement.

  • Emergency or last-minute: These moves occur usually than you can expect. That is why we are always available all days of the year. While your moving company will work hard to ensure they have a team and the right size of vehicle for your last-minute move, these resources may add an extra few so they can be provided on short notice.
  • End and start of every month: As the majority of leases end on the final day of the month, it is no surprise that these are the most demand days for moving companies. Reserving a move in the middle of the week at a time of less-demand timing is an easy way to avoid.
  • Weekday or weekend: To prevent missing a working day to perform their move or disrupt the school routine of a family, a lot of customers prefer to move on the weekend. Since they are in much demand; that can cause a higher reservation fee as well as longer wait times. If you plan to move on a weekend, the earlier you can reserve your date the better chances you will get the moving company you want.

One limitation about moving on the weekend is that more of your neighbors will possibly be at home and the disturbance from being busy with a lift and moving furniture via common spaces will possibly be higher. In general, Monday – Wednesday are lower in demand with activity leading up to Friday as people plan a weekend move and unpack as well.

  • AM vs PM: During summer, early morning moves are common because the weather is much cooler than late in the day. Evening moves are also popular since customers can monitor their moves. When moving to NYC, you may not have sufficient control over the time of day your move is performed because Building Management teams schedule elevator reservations and coordinate moves so there are no mix-ups during moves.

2. Fees for Moving Bulky Items

You may think you have everything planned out as regards the financial aspect until your mover charges you extra for taking care of large items. Bulky furniture items, big and heavy household appliances, a hot tub, a pool table, a heavy metal safe, and so on are all eligible for that additional fee that you won’t be happy to pay. Sure, one of the popular large items that professional moving companies often transport to another address is a piano.

So, if you own a piano and you’ve chosen to move it with you, then you only have to prepare the transportation costs. Usually, your piano mover will provide you a piano cost estimate that should contain all expenses related to piano moving. Yet, to be safe, contact your movers in advance and ask them whether or not you will be charged additional money by them for transporting large items in your home.

3. Long Carry Fees

Long carry fee is one of the hidden moving costs. The moving company will charge you more if the movers are not able to park the moving vehicle so close to your doorsteps. If your moving company cannot park the moving truck a particular distance from the front door of your home or apartment building, then you may get charged between $90 and $120 for every 75 feet from the moving vehicle to your door.

The long carry fee – which is one other hidden moving cost, is a direct outcome of the moving crew not being able to park the truck close to your home’s entrance. It is difficult to trust free parking spots in big metros like NYC, for instance. To save your budget from being affected by hidden moving costs, check if there is a way to book a parking space for the moving vehicle.

You can also endeavor to get a parking permit for your moving company for the actual day and time of the move. If that is impossible, speak with your full-service moving company directly to determine the terms and conditions of their long carry fee.

4. Monthly Storage Fees

If you plan to transport your items into storage, you will need to add the cost of monthly storage to your budget, which is extra to your moving service costs. If you are not sure of how long your items will be in storage, you will get charged every month per the Terms & Conditions of your moving & storage company.

Storage centers need enough notice to move you out, be specific on whether they need that in writing and what they expect of you as regards terminating the agreement when you are set to move to your new address.

The best way to reduce your storage fees is to pick a storage solution that is based on the volume of belongings you are storing, not a large space that you may not use but still have to pay for. Warehouse storage is the best match for the bill for the method and offers security features like 24/7 monitoring through video surveillance.

If you think you will want to access your items in storage, find out the conditions around access fees as well as written notice if you go for a storage unit with the access-as-needed feature, you may also be required to buy the lock and key for your storage bay and get charged admin fees for onboarding as well as your security card for the storage center while you are a customer.

Read How Much Does It Cost to Rent A POD Per Month?

5. Packing and Packing Supplies Costs

The packing service and the packing supplies are important and extra services offered by full-service movers. It is now up to you to choose whether you wish to pack your belongings by yourself (the movers cannot cover any potential damage to your items unless they have one the packing) or you choose to have your household goods packed by professional packers. The needed packing supplies may or may not be added to the cost of the packing service.

Check the cost estimate carefully to determine that detail or just reach out to the company for confirmation. To increase the packing cost, some moving companies could try to convince you that most of your items need special packing supplies and more packing boxes than is necessary for safe packing and transportation. After all, unexpected moving costs can come out from any angle, so you should be so much care about the packing expenses.

Read Best Packing Checklist When Moving

6. Furniture Disassembly Fee

Speaking of hidden costs during your move, you may not know that your decision to move some of your bulky furniture pieces with you may include additional costs when those furniture items need to be disassembled safely for better protection for the journey and to be performed and loaded easily into the moving truck.

If you’ve determined in your mind to move any of your large furniture in your home, after much consideration you should be prepared to pay professional furniture moving company additional cost for disassembling your bed, desk, dresser, wardrobe, or sofa for safe transportation.

Proper disassembly of furniture requires time and effort so you shouldn’t be supervised when your movers you an additional fee for that extra moving service. To avoid unexpected moving cost, you can either decide not to move some of your bulky furniture or you can ask reliable friends to assist you with the furniture disassembly task.

7. Extra Stops Charge

Additional moving company cost that you may consider until you are required to pay it is known as extra stops charge. You will have to pay it when you ask that your movers make additional stops for picking up or dropping off extra belongings along the moving route. The number of the extra stop fee will mostly base on the unique moving tariff of the movers you’ve hired. On average, you should prepare to pay about $75b for additional stops along the way but the actual price can be higher based on several factors like distance, time of year, and nature of items.

8. Cost of a Parking Ticket

Parking a large moving truck closer to your home can cause problems. As mentioned earlier, one of the unplanned costs of moving out is when your moving company arrives on the day moving day and parks the moving truck illegally because of a lack of reserved parking space for their large truck. And in a situation like that, then you will possibly be charged an additional cost for the parking ticket.

The best way to prevent such unimportant costs is to get a parking permit from the City Hall some weeks in advance. That is even true in big cities where parking is often a huge problem. So, as long as you know the actual date and time when your moving teams are expected to arrive, you should handle the tough but important task of getting a parking permit for the moving truck.   

9. Tipping Costs

After you’ve made it to the end of the day, your moving company will ask you to sign any final document and hope to get a tip for their services. Most movers don’t add a tip to their quote. The general rule is to base your tip on a percentage of your overall cost of the move, 15% to 20% is the average in the industry. Don’t feel obliged to pay a tip if you don’t feel the need, however, movers often appreciate the appreciation for their efforts.

We recommend you consider:

  • The difficulty of the move
  • Quality of the service
  • Size of your move
  • Number of movers moving you on the day

Also, there are some other factors to consider when calculating the tip; they are contained in our guide on how much to tip your movers.

10. Move Cancellation Fee

Paying a deposit to reserve a certain moving company is one of the popular moving expenses. In reality, most movers ask for deposits from their customers as a 2-way guarantee that the household move will be performed and completed as arranged. However, life is so unpredictable and you may have to adjust the master plan in some cases before the Moving Day. In other words, you may be coerced into cancellation of the reserved move for one reason to another, and if that is the case, then you will probably be charged a cancellation fee for your move for breaking the original agreements.

In general, if you cancel the move with over 7 days left until the moving day, then you shouldn’t be charged a cancellation fee. If you cancel your move nearly seven days before moving day, your moving company may charge you around $50 to $100. However, if you have to cancel your reserved move in less than five days, you may be charged nearly $300 by your movers or they keep your deposit. Move cancelation policies differ from one moving company to another, so you should know the cancellation policy of your chosen mover.  


Also, your best solution to reduce your moving costs is to talk about every additional cost, and fees of your movers before you decide to hire their services. Ask for an accurate estimate from the professional that will include all costs and expenses of the moving company that you may encounter during the move.

The best way to avoid hidden moving cost as much as possible is to hire trusted long distance moving company that is experienced in handling moving processes affordably.

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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