When you’re moving cross-country instead of just across town, there are far more logistics to consider. You’re starting a new life in a new state! You will need to get settled in a new job, a new home, find a new favorite coffee spot, and perhaps get your kids set up in a new school system… all before you even know your way around town.
As you begin to get quotes from moving companies, you may find that the prices can vary widely. Luckily, this is one logistical headache we can help with. Here is a general breakdown of the cost of long-distance moving. Keep in mind that there are an array of factors that can influence your final quote. The best way to find out how much your move will cost is to let us provide a quote!
Start with the averages
First, let’s get the lingo. A “long-distance move” is generally a move of 400 miles or more — not just one that crosses state lines. On average, this type of move costs somewhere between $850 and $5,000. Of course, these are two very different distances and shipment sizes! Across the board, the national average for a long-distance move is $4,102.
Type of quote
Long-distance moving companies typically use one of two assessments: weight and distance, or inventory. This can make a significant difference in the cost of the move if you are transporting a lot of heavy furniture, or if the weight of your shipment changes significantly from the estimate. However, a weight- and distance-based cost is verifiable by the DOT, which does the weighing.
An inventory-based cost uses the cubic feet of space that your shipment occupies in the truck. This can also change on the day of the move if you decide to move more than your allotted “cubes”, so it is best to get as accurate of an inventory as you can.
Method of shipment
- Consolidated Shipping. If you have a flexible schedule, consolidated shipping offers the most savings on your move. Shipments are loaded into a truck with 4-10 other customers’ items and delivered within a window range of 6-10 days depending on the destination. That means you have to be available to receive the delivery within that timeframe,
- Express Trips. If you’re moving between major FlatRate hubs, we offer weekly express trips with a delivery window of 3-9 days. You will still share the truck with other clients, but your shipment will arrive faster. Because this method requires a shuttle to transfer your items from the shipping location to your new home, some companies will add another fee. At FlatRate, we include the shuttle in your quote.
- Exclusive or Direct Service. When you have a deadline or need a guaranteed pick-up and delivery date, this type of service means you have a truck to yourself. This is the more costly of the options but can meet your very specific needs.
The moving services themselves are only one part of the cost equation. You might also need to consider things like:
- Storage In Transit (SIT). If your new home isn’t ready yet, or you experience travel issues that require your movers to delay the delivery of your shipment, you may be charged storage fees. Rates vary depending on the size of your shipment and the duration of storage. The average cost of one month of storage for a two-bedroom home is $580.
- Shuttle Fee. If you move to an area that won’t accommodate a large moving truck, you may need a shuttle. Your belongings may need to be transferred to a smaller truck or van, and then to your new home. Sometimes your moving company can anticipate this and include it in your quote, but sometimes it may come as a surprise.
- Insurance. Your moving company likely has a few options for moving insurance on top of the basic coverage. At FlatRate, you’ll pay $50 for $10,000 in Full Value Protection coverage with a $500 deductible. Third-party insurance is also an option if you want a higher level of coverage.
- Gas/Mileage. When you receive your quote, find out if gas and/or mileage are included or will be added on at the end. For a move under 50 miles, most companies don’t charge for gas. Long-distance movers, however, will include it somewhere — in the quote, or at the end of the move as a final fee.
Long Distance moving tips
One of the best ways to make your move efficient is to pare down your belongings! There is no need to have your mover’s transport boxes full of items you don’t want. It’s more hassle for both you and them. So before your move, do a deep clean and choose what you want to take.
Finally, make sure you fully understand what costs are covered in your quote and what will be assessed at the end of the move. A professional, reputable moving company will happily answer all of your questions. Avoid surprise moving fees and make your move stress-free!