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How to Avoid Hidden Fees from Moving Companies

Hidden Fees from Moving Companies

You’re a diligent planner – you have laid out your timeline, hired the movers, and you’ve created your budget. You even accounted for any potential costs you might have missed, like packing materials, long-carry charges, and fees for heavy items (if you haven’t, read this blog post!). Unfortunately there are still plenty of opportunities for hidden charges in the fine print, so we will lay out the trickiest of the bunch so you know what to look for and be fully informed on moving day!

Charges for paying with a credit card

These days it is generally assumed that payment with credit card is par for the course, but in some instances companies will charge an additional fee to cover their credit card costs. If the fee for the move is significant, as in a long distance move with full service movers, that fee can end up being more than trivial change! Make sure you are clear on your moving company’s payment options, including how they expect you to tip, and get a receipt when you pay to ensure you have proof the money was exchanged and in what form.

Extra fees for an “out of the way” location

You thought the roads to your destination would be covered in your quote? Guess again. If the roads to your new home involve rural roads that aren’t navigable by a large moving truck, you have a long and narrow or steep driveway, or if your home isn’t easily accessed by the movers for some other reason, a shuttle van may need to be used as an intermediate step or the load may need to be broken into two smaller trucks. This will add to the cost of the move, so be sure to ask plenty of questions about access issues in the area.

Extra charges for last-minute moves or off-hours

Moving companies like to be able to plan ahead and work within their usual hours, so if you need something outside the norm you can expect to pay more for it. Moves in the evening or early morning are fine with some companies, but some will charge an additional fee or higher rates overall. Last-minute moves will likely have the same results, so when scheduling your move don’t assume the usual rates apply – always be sure to clarify.

Surcharges for gas for the moving truck

Obviously a moving truck requires gas, but would you think to include it when you estimate moving costs? Perhaps you should. Some moving companies will tack on the cost of gas for a move that goes beyond a certain distance, or if the truck needs to leave city limits. It doesn’t make sense, we know — so whether you book a mover online or go the old fashioned route, be sure you’re 110% clear on what is and isn’t covered for the truck.

Incidental permits and/or parking tickets… oops

If you are moving into a city where traffic and parking can be challenging, put in the leg work ahead of time to secure your permits for the truck to park on the street at your new residence on moving day. Otherwise, any parking tickets or violations that the truck receives may be passed along to you by the company — or you’ll be hit with a long carry fee if the truck has to park far away due to lack of availability of a large enough parking space.

Surprise “Storage In Transit”

If you schedule a same-day pickup and delivery move but for some reason are unable to receive the shipment at your new home, the company will need to store your belongings “in transit” until you are able to access your new home for delivery. Charges will likely be assessed on an hourly basis, and then an additional fee added for redelivery on another day. This potential fee is one important reason to be completely clear about access to your new home and when deliveries and moving are permitted if you’ll be moving into an apartment building!