Let’s face it: moving is expensive. After all, you’re uprooting your life and packing up everything you’ve accumulated over the years. Whether you’re moving across the country or to the next town over, budgeting plays a key role in properly planning for your big day.
Many homeowners have the same questions circulating through their minds when it comes to the cost of making a move.
To help make your relocation a seamless one, here’s everything you need to know about the moving costs and fees associated with moving. This way, there are no surprises when you receive your final bill.
Hidden Fees To Watch Out For When Moving
#1. The True Cost of Hiring Cheap Movers
Who wants to save money? Most likely, everyone’s hands are eagerly raised in the air. However, simply hiring a moving service because the upfront costs are cheap and alluring, isn’t the safest path to journey down.
Not every company is transparent, or even ethical, when it comes to presenting all the hidden costs. Always do your homework and ensure you’ve got a clear picture of all the details surrounding what you’ll be charged. For example, hourly charges are fine, but it’ll make an enormous difference if the company sends three movers versus one.
#2. Temporary Storage Fees
When it comes to moving, as much as we wish everything went as planned, that’s not always the case. Maybe the closing on your new home was unexpectedly delayed.
What happens to the loaded moving truck packed with your treasured belongings? In this instance, you may have to rent a storage unit to temporarily house your personal possessions. According to CostHelper.com, a 10×20 self-storage unit can range from $95 to $155 a month. Should you need a climate-controlled space, that cost increases to an estimated $170 per month.
#3. Utility Costs
There’s a good chance you’ll need to set up new services for your gas, electric, TV, and internet in your new home. Added costs will ultimately depend on what kind of utilities you require and the location of your new residence. Always phone utility companies in advance to inquire about set-up fees and budget accordingly. It’s important to note that some companies will charge termination fees when you cancel your old contracts.
#4. Restocking Your New Home
Throwing away perishables is a common occurrence when it comes to moving. After all, if you’re not moving down the block, you likely won’t be able to transport your milk or frozen meals. After settling in your new place, you’ll need to restock your kitchen with all the items that didn’t make the cut.
In addition, your new location might require you to purchase something new. Whether you need to replace carpeting, gardening tools to care for your first yard, or require some other necessary appliances, chances are, you’ll need to account for stocking up on new goods.
#5. The Pesky Broken Items
Despite adequate preparation, something always breaks. It could be something as small as a drinking glass that didn’t survive the journey, but it’s a cost you should account for.
#6. Fuel-Related Costs
One of the larger add-on fees that many homeowners are unaware of is fuel-related costs. Some companies charge up to 33% of your entire moving cost to cover fuel expenses. So, how do you protect yourself from received unexpected fuel charges? When your moving company provides you with an estimate, ask if it covers the cost of fuel.
#7. Trip Charge
A trip charge encompasses the cost of getting movers to your house at the start of your move and their return trip back to headquarters when the move is complete. Some moving services charge a flat fee, while others add an hour or two onto your total rate.
Be careful of the companies that try to sneak the cost into your regular hourly rate without exercising transparency or providing an upfront explanation of the fee. Always confirm the amount required for the trip charge when you receive your initial quote.
#8. Equipment Fees
Anything you can expect to find on a moving truck, such as dollies, bungee cords, moving blankets, or ratchet straps may be used throughout the moving process. While it comes in handy, as purchasing equipment on your own can be expensive, you should gain insight on what to expect for equipment fees before hiring a moving service. If you wait until your belongings are already loaded onto the truck, you run the risk of being charged an arm and a leg for a few blankets.
There are also additional moving charges that you can incur from using stairs vs elevators or having to move bulkier items, such as a piano.
How to Protect Yourself from Hidden Fees
#1. Obtain a Written Contract
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people receive information over the phone and forget to get it in writing. Any extra fees or charges that the company may impose should be clearly outlined in your contract.
#2. Check Out Company Reviews
Reading through a company’s online reviews is a good way to gauge whether or not they have a good reputation. Remember, it’s okay if there are a few disgruntled reviews. If you stumble across a company with only positive reviews, it could be a red flag that they are offering customers discounts to write positive reviews or paying off unhappy clients to remove negative ones.
#3. Expect a Home Visit
Many movers like to do an on-site visit to evaluate the size, quantity, and weight of your belongings. This is a much more accurate way for a company to produce an estimate than simply providing one via phone.
#4. Leverage the Better Business Bureau
A legitimate moving service will have its own profile on the Better Business Bureau. From there, you’ll be able to look at any complaints filed against the company. If you find a company you’re interested in has one or two complaints, don’t automatically rule them out. Even the most trustworthy and reputable businesses run into a few hiccups from time to time – that’s just a part of doing business.
Now that we’ve gone over all of the hidden fees of moving and what to look out for when deciding on a reputable moving company, you should be more prepared for your next adventure. Whether you are moving a few streets over or across the country, moving can be a headache. Hopefully, with your new insight, it can make your process that much easier.