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Average Cost Of Movers In 2024 – Forbes Home

On top of the main cost factors, some additional costs and services can sneak up on you when planning a moving budget.

Movers and Packers Cost

Moving companies offer a variety of add-on packing services beyond the standard service of loading and transporting packed boxes.

You can save a lot of time by paying for a full-service move in which the movers pack your items into boxes for you as well as unload the packed boxes at your destination. Full-service moves can also include disassembling and reassembling furniture.

Moving companies may charge per hour or per box, but on average you can expect to pay about $700 for full-service packing and unpacking.

Moving Add-Ons

Many moving companies offer add-on services that can increase the total cost of your move by a few hundred dollars. A handful of examples of add-ons include:

  • Disassembling furniture
  • Reassembling furniture
  • Felt pads
  • Stretch wrap
  • Specialty items

It’s important to note that some of this equipment may be included or you may be able to purchase it ahead of time for less. Be sure to ask about any extras when you book a moving company.

Specialty Moving Services Cost

Some items require special packaging equipment or special care. For example, moving a piano, hot tub or motorcycle could add between $300 and $2,000 to your move. Be sure to inform your movers of any specialty items before asking for a quote—especially if you’re getting a quote over the phone.

Auto Moving and Shipping Cost

If you’re planning a long-distance move, you might also need to move your car. The average cost to ship a car is $1,150, but you could spend as little as $550 or as much as $2,450 if you need to rush the shipment.

Moving Date

Summer is the peak season for moving companies in most areas, and most are fully booked one to two months in advance between June and September. You can save by waiting until the off-season to move, but keep in mind that winter weather can end up causing delays and may add to costs as well.

Another way to save is to opt for a mid-month, mid-week move. Many moves happen on the first or last day of the month when most lease terms end. Many people also opt to move on weekends to avoid taking time off work. If you have the flexibility to move mid-week, doing so can help you avoid high-demand, high-cost weekends.

Storage Rental

Sometimes, you need to move all of your stuff out of your old place, but you don’t have room to put it in the new place yet. In this case, you might want to put your items in a storage unit. Storage units cost between $75 and $300 a month. Larger storage units cost more to rent than smaller storage units and upgrades like temperature-controlled storage units can drive up your cost.


While you don’t have to tip, tipping is a great way to show appreciation for the hard work your movers put into safely moving your belongings. You can tip any amount, but the most common amounts fall between 10% to 20% of the service cost.

“If you haven’t planned a large or long distance move before, you may not realize your packers and movers work in your home for multiple days, including meal times. Professional moving companies do not expect you to feed your crew (some prefer to leave the property for a break), but it’s common for customers to provide food and drinks in addition to tipping. The crews I’ve worked with appreciated inexpensive sandwich platters and salads from grocery or warehouse stores instead of the pizza most clients offer. I always have water or sports drinks available, too.”
— Dawn M. Smith, Moving Expert

Liability and Contents Coverage

All interstate moving companies are required by law to provide two standard options for liability protection:

  • Released Value Protection: Basic coverage that comes at no extra cost, but only covers items at up to $0.60 per pound
  • Full-Value Protection: Costs extra, but requires your mover to replace lost or damaged items or reimburse you for their full cash value

If you’re moving heavy or high-value items, consider purchasing full-value protection. Costs vary by mover, so ask about a company’s insurance and liability policies before signing a contract. You may also wish to purchase separate moving insurance from a third-party provider.

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