How to Estimate the Cost of a Move

Calculating the cost of a local move requires taking the estimated number of hours to complete the move and multiplying it by the hourly rate charged by the moving company. Additional charges may be necessary for travel time, packing materials, and tips for the movers. A moving cost estimate provides more than just an idea of what you can expect to pay; it also allows you to compare hiring professional movers with DIY moving options, such as renting a moving truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (DOT) requires that if the prospect lives within 50 miles of their location, an in-person evaluation of the contents of the home must be conducted in order to prepare a budget.

However, the customer can waive this right if they wish, according to Consumer Affairs. During busier moving seasons, such as summer, you should charge twice the average rate. Additionally, set a time limit for the quote, such as 30 days. If the customer does not make a decision after this date, draft a new one and add additional charges if the new relocation date falls on a busier season.

Legitimate moving companies charge based on the weight of contents sent for long-distance moves rather than by volume (measured in cubic feet). This practice is illegal in most states and it is easy to overcharge customers in this way, which will damage their reputation, according to Consumer Affairs. The average rate is 50 cents per pound, according to Home Advisor. When trying to decide on a moving company, it is a good idea to get more than one moving cost estimate.

Always be sure to ask for information on how your costs are determined and what type of moving estimates you receive before choosing which moving company to hire. Complete the information below and you'll instantly see a list of estimated quotes for all available moving options that fit your move. When looking for a moving cost estimate from a moving company, always be sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of how your estimate is calculated and also what type of moving estimates you receive. However, no matter how accurate the weight estimation is, your shipment will be weighed once again at the time of the move: the empty truck will be weighed before the move and the moving company will give you a receipt or certificate of “empty” weight, then the loaded moving vehicle will be weighed again and with a weight tag (the vans moving scales are always weighed on certified scales).

Based on that information, moving companies will prepare estimates of moving costs and it will be up to you to compare offers and choose the best moving companies for you (be sure to consider not only the price, but also the additional services included, the deposits requested, the cancellation policies, the insurance options, time frames and any other relevant details and special conditions). To get in touch with several reputable carriers and see what they have to offer, complete a moving quote. Check their credentials to make sure you're dealing with licensed and reliable professionals and ask three or four of them (the ones that best fit your moving requirements and budget) for on-site estimates. You can use this estimation process to evaluate other aspects of the moving company, such as their level of customer service and cost transparency.

Writing a formal budget also helps a moving company analyze costs in detail so that they end up making a profit. A moving cost estimate gives you valuable information about how the prospective moving company conducts its business and potentially identifies any obstacles associated with making your move. Save time on billing and get paid twice as fast with FreshBooks.