Before you embark on your long-distance move, it’s wise to arm yourself with as much information as you can gather about how much it will all cost. That will save you the headache of costs you hadn’t planned on, as well as keep you from hiring a mover who doesn’t give you the best rates. You should also be fully versed in the differences between types of estimates, what states allow movers to charge in what ways, and so on — so we’ve done the research to give you a head start.
Let’s start with data from the American Moving & Storage Association, which shows that long-distance movers bill you based on the actual weight of your shipment (which can change from your estimate), the distance that you need to move, and other add-on services that you utilize. For example: based on their data, the average cost of an interstate move is about $5,630, calculated based on a weight of 7,100 pounds and distance of 1,220 miles.
Here at Unpakt, we’ve collected data on a variety of long-distance movers — and the price tag for moving a one bedroom home can range from $840 and $4460. For example, moving from NY to LA or the other way around will cost you an average of $2586 or $2863, and moves to and from larger cities will generally be a bit less expensive due to the number of local moving companies. But keep in mind that prices can vary widely, so your best bet is to get a quote. We can help with that! Here are little more data and insight on planning the finances of your move.
How much does it cost to move to a different state?
Now that you’ve got a handle on what it will actually cost to hire the movers, you need to consider all of the other costs: will you fly to your new home while your belongings ride on the truck? Or will you road trip, meaning you could pack more of your stuff in your car? Either way, you’ll need to consider the cost of plane tickets or the price of gas and staying in hotels along the way if your journey will be significant.
Keep in mind the little costs:
- Preparing your old home to hand over to its new residents. If you need to paint or have it cleaned, that is an added cost.
- Setting up your new home can get pricey, especially if you’re taking the opportunity to buy new furniture or electronics. You may also want to paint, or have a cleaner give it a deep scrub — put a little extra in the budget, just in case.
- If you’re selling your home, you’ll certainly need to budget for lawyer fees. Similarly, you may need to hire a realtor or broker to help get you into your new dream home, and those types of services aren’t cheap. Plan ahead!
- You’re moving to a new state, so you have to get a new license, register your car, etc.– and all of these things cost money. Find out what it will cost to register your vehicle(s) by checking the DMV site in your new home state.
Also, keep in mind that different states and cities have different regulations on what kinds of estimates movers can provide, and how movers can charge clients. For example, for a move under 40 miles in Chicago, you will pay per hour plus a fee for the truck rather than be charged by weight or distance. Many cities have a similar law for shorter distance moves, even if they are across state lines. Some cities also forbid movers from giving binding estimates, so you’ll have to be willing to work with an estimate that may change.
How much does it cost to move 1,000 miles?
Let’s start with some simple numbers, collected through Unpakt’s online moving estimates:
- Boston to Atlanta (937 miles): $2,480
- NYC to Miami (1283 miles): $2,464
- Denver to San Francisco (1254 miles): $2,213
The prices, as you can see, vary — and aren’t necessarily based on mileage alone. The size and weight of your shipment will largely determine the price though the distance itself and corresponding gasoline prices will also play a role. Reputable movers will often get their estimates from a rate book published by the Household Goods Carriers Bureau. The book, Tariff 400-M, provides estimates for all long-distance moving transactions based on the weight of your belongings and on the distance they are shipped.
You’ll also likely get a lower price if your move is taking place along a major moving corridor and you opt for a consolidated shipment — for example, moving cross country between New York and Chicago may just be cheaper than moving to Maine, even though the distance is shorter, because there are more trucks traveling that route.
When is the busy season for moving?
As you might guess, the days around the first of the month, as well as weekends, are the busiest times for movers. If at all possible, schedule your move mid-month or mid-week if it must be near the first of the month.