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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much do movers cost?

When accounting for moving costs, you can generally expect to pay around $30 to $50 per mover, per hour. However, these costs could change and you should compare movers in your city to estimate the true cost of your move.

Moving companies usually provide a team of at least two individuals depending on the size of the job and the objects to be moved. This hourly rate also changes with driving distance. And, moving specialty objects such as pianos can also drive up the cost. Some moving companies may provide a free estimate even offer a flat rate if the job.

For more information on moving costs, read Thumbtack’s cost guide on movers.

What is considered a local move vs. a long-distance move?

Local moves are among the most common moves. Unlike a long-distance move, a local move is typically less than 50 miles and does not cross state lines. Generally, a local move only takes one day, and movers tend to charge by the hour. 

The definition of a long-distance move may vary depending on the moving company. Generally, a long-distance considered to be any move of 400 miles or more. However, some say a long-distance move is over 50-100 miles. 

Local Move

A move under 50 miles

Long-Distance Move

A move over 50-100 miles or over 400 miles; may also be called an “interstate move” or “out-of-state move”

Out-of-State Move

A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “interstate move” or “long-distance move”

Interstate Move

A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “out-of-state move” or “long-distance move”

Intrastate Move

A move that begins and ends in the same state, typically beyond 50 miles

Interstate moves require additional legal preparation and will incur additional costs for distance, the amount and weight of your items, the preparation required and various other factors. Moving companies tend to do an initial weighing of the truck, which you should be present for.

A move that crosses state lines is considered an interstate move or an out-of-state move. Contrast this with an intrastate move, which begins and ends in the same state, but is typically above 50 miles. 

To determine whether your move is local or long-distance, contact the best movers in your area.

 

 

How much does it cost for long-distance movers?

Long-distance movers transport your belongings across the country for you. No more renting a trailer and road-tripping from state to state with your entire house hitched to your bumper. Long-distance movers make the move happen so you can fly to your new home, suitcase in hand, and wait for your furniture to arrive. Nationally, the average price range for long-distance movers is $1,490-$2,230. The distance you are moving and the number of cubic feet the movers have to transport will both affect cost. Another factor in long-distance moving costs is whether you choose to pay for an exclusive move or a consolidated move.

In an exclusive move, which is more expensive, your belongings are the only cargo on the moving truck. The movers travel directly to your new house and deliver your belongings on a scheduled day. A consolidated move is more affordable because the movers transport your belongings along with those of other people, saving them time and gas — which means you save money. The downside is that your belongings typically arrive with a two-week delivery window rather than on a prescheduled day. Read reviews to make sure you can trust the company with your possessions to ensure a peaceful moving process.

Can I use digital payments to pay for moving services?

Most local moving companies are likely to accept some form of digital payment. Particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are likely to conduct transactions through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Square Cash, Venmo, Google Pay and more. 

To ensure the mover accepts a platform you can use, you can peruse the mover’s online profile and see what is listed there. You can also ask the mover about payment policies during a consultation call.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you’re trying to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to use digital tools to avoid exposure. When searching for movers online, ask if they’d be willing to do a video chat to assess the size of your move. This will be in place of the typical “walk-through” they perform, and they may be able to give you a price quote. You can also discuss safe strategies for completing the job during your call or video chat.

How can I find out if a mover is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Your local city or state’s government website is a great resource if you’re trying to figure out whether a mover is considered an essential service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a source of national guidelines, visit the CISA website’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. On this page, you’ll find 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors. But note that some -- not all --  jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Does a mover need to enter my home?

A mover will likely need to enter your home -- unless you’ve placed all of your belongings outside beforehand. To stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might to consider keeping all (or most) of the work outside and/or having at-risk individuals leave the house while the movers work. 

You can minimize exposure by doing a preliminary walk-through by video call instead of in person. Discuss your options with the top movers near you before hiring one.

Do movers offer remote or virtual services?

Movers generally need to be present to do their job. But if you come across a mover’s profile that states they’re offering remote services, you can contact them to see what those services include. 

How do I choose the best moving company for my move?

To find the best moving companies, research the top movers in your area and ask yourself a series of questions, such as:

  • Does the company show up on time or are they late?
  • Does the moving company charge by the hour or is it a flat rate?
  • What are people saying about their movers?
  • Does the moving company offer insurance?
  • Does the company provide specific moving services, like packing or storage?
  • How does the moving company charge for long-distance moves?

On Thumbtack, you can easily spot the best moving companies by looking for the blue Top Pro badge. You can find more tips on how to hire the best movers with Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring Guide

Should I buy moving insurance?

Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may or may not protect your belongings if they get lost or damaged during a move. If you’re moving valuable items, or if you’re moving a great distance, it could be a good idea to invest in moving insurance.

Interstate movers are required to offer you full value protection and released value protection to help reimburse you in case of damage or loss. If you’re moving within your state, check with your state’s consumer affairs agency to see if your state has rules and requirements regarding moving insurance and valuation coverage.

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