How to Estimate Long-Distance Moving Expenses

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Long-distance moving involves a lot of interstates.
Long-distance moving involves a lot of interstates. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Moving to another city relatively close by is usually stressful, but you can do it in a few trips with minimal cost. Long-distance moving, however, is a different story. You can’t afford to make four trips back and forth if you’re moving 10 states away. Unless you own a semi-truck, hiring a moving company is usually the best way to go. You’ll have to factor in additional costs plus the cost of hiring a moving company to find a true estimate of your long-distance moving expenses.

Obtain a quote from a moving company. Unless you plan on hauling all of your items yourself, you need an estimate. Make sure the estimate includes the loading and unloading of your items.

Ask about discounts. Some moving companies offer discounts if you order their service online or if you belong to certain groups, such as AAA. Any discount will factor heavily into your estimate price.

Estimate how much gas you’ll use when you move. If you are hauling any items yourself, such as a couch and boxes in the back of a pickup truck, your miles per gallon will decrease, so expect less gas mileage than usual. Look up the gas prices in each state you’ll travel through so you can get an idea of the money you’ll spend on gas.

Factor in hidden costs, such as insurance and tips. Mover’s insurance costs an average of $7.50 per $1,000 of item value, according to the Cost Helper website. You should also tip the movers about $3 to $5 per hour for each mover, according to the website Moving A to Z.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan your move in fall, winter or early spring if you can. Moving companies charge an average of 20 percent more from May to September, according to Cost Helper.

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