Moving cost estimator: Major Factors to consider when planning a moving budget

Alena Rinwi
·4-min read

Moving needs a lot of planning; planning of the moving process and planning of your moving budget. Often we end up paying much more than the estimated budget and wonder where we went wrong in planning our moving cost. This is the core reason why experts suggest using a moving cost estimator to get a realistic estimate about the moving costs.

It is common for us to add up everything in our moving budget, still we get many hidden costs in the end. Though all moves cannot cost the same, certain factors impact the move and make it more or less costly.

Here in this article, we will discuss some of the major cost-impacting factors to have an accurate or at least near reality estimate of your upcoming move:

Size and Distance of Your Move

Though calculating a move is a very complicated process and includes many factors but the major factor that affects your moving cost is the size of your current apartment. You can have an estimate from a professional moving company if you want exact figures but in general moving companies charge $400 to $1400 on average for a local move depending upon the size of your belongings. For a long-distance move, a professional moving company will charge $2500 to $5,000 on average.

The variables that impact the actual moving cost are distance to be travelled, weight and size of your goods, type of moving service (DIY or full-service movers, and time of your move. The moving cost will be higher if you choose to move in the peak moving season and similarly, long distance will cost you extra.

Factors that Affect the Overall Moving Cost:

Total Weight of Your Move

The weight and size of your move will majorly impact your moving cost as the moving company representative will provide you an accurate moving estimate by visiting your home and calculating the overall size of the shipment. If you wish to cut your moving cost to a good extent, lightening the weight is a good way. You can consider donating or selling your unused and unwanted items.

Moving Distance

A long-distance move costs extra as it needs many permissions and documents including insurance, licensing, and regulatory requirements. In a local move, moving companies generally charge on an hourly basis while in a long-distance move, the cost is based on weight and distance. A long-distance move will need extra fuel and mileage for the vehicle. Other expenses that may raise the cost of a long-distance move are food and lodging charges.

Type of Move: DIY or Professional Movers

The type of move chosen by you will also influence your moving cost. A relocation budget has to be high if you want a professional full-service mover to help you on your big day while on the other hand, initiating a DIY move may save you a big chunk of dollars. The add-on services opted for by you will also cost you an extra amount of money.

For example, if you have hired professional movers for only uploading and unloading your stuff along with transportation then they will charge extra for disassembling and reassembling your furniture. They may also charge extra for any moving equipment they have taken on rent for your heavy appliances and furniture items. Be sure when you ask your service provider for a quote as they often don’t mention these hidden costs in their quotation. So, to avoid any such unpleasant experience and moving fraud, it is better to clear these costs in the beginning only.


The location of your current and new home also impacts your moving cost, especially in a long-distance move. Fuel, toll, and parking are some common expenses that vary from place to place. Choosing a storage facility will also cost you extra.

Moving Time

Moving during peak season is always costlier than an off-season move. Summers, weekends, and/or month-ends are the busiest times for moving and companies charge high prices in these times. Most companies offer discounts during off-seasons and these discounts can ease down your moving cost.

Packing Services

Professional moving companies mostly offer transportation and labour services only. Packing is considered as an extra service and opting for this service will also cost you extra and this cost depends upon the size and number of your belongings.


Insurance is one of the most important and mandatory costs that should be included in the moving budget. Though you can opt for basic liability insurance offered by most of the moving companies within their package for the security of your goods, it is worth buying extra insurance for the full protection of your valuable items.

Above-said are some of the major factors that impact your overall moving cost. Though the estimates of each household vary as per the size of their home and the distance they have to move, given details can help you in creating a moving cost calculator.