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.
How much do you tip movers?
It’s recommended that you tip your movers individually around $4 to $5 per hour. For example, if a team of four movers spends a half-day (four hours) on your move, tip each mover $20. Or, some people tip 5% to 10% of their total bill for small moves and 15% to 20% for larger moves.
If you’re moving across state lines, you may hire different crews to load and unload your goods. In that case, divide the tips between both crews. It’s also a good rule of thumb to add a bit extra for tipping movers if you have special circumstances that have made the move harder, like a spiral staircase or an exceptionally heavy sofa.
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.
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.
A move under 50 miles
A move over 50-100 miles or over 400 miles; may also be called an “interstate move” or “out-of-state move”
A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “interstate move” or “long-distance move”
A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “out-of-state move” or “long-distance 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.
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.
What is the cheapest way to move?
Scheduling your move during the off-season is typically the cheapest way to move. Avoid moving in May, June, July, August or September, when moving company rates are typically much higher. If you’re moving across the country, research how the moving companies in your city charge. You might save money if you hire flat-rate movers instead of hourly movers.
Of course, you can save money moving if you DIY by renting a moving truck or moving pods. However, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of moving all of your belongings and valuables by yourself. Factor in the cost of a moving truck (including fuel), the cost of moving equipment, the labor involved and the time it will take to complete your move by yourself.
What do full-service moving companies provide?
Full-service moving companies can help take the stress out of moving by supplying a moving truck and handling your entire move from start to finish. These professional movers can also provide packing services, materials and supplies. Full-service movers also load your belongings into the truck, drive it to your new home, unload the truck and (in some cases) offer to help you unpack your belongings. If you're interested in hiring full-service movers, compare the top-rated movers near you and ask for estimates.
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.
Are there ways to be safe if I hire a mover when social distancing?
If you decide to hire a mover, consider making adjustments to accommodate current guidelines. This may involve staying outside while the mover works inside your home or letting the mover handle only parts of the move.
It’s important to follow social distancing guidelines while performing any service work. For example, do not make physical contact with the movers, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you at all times, and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.
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.