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How Much Does It Cost to Move?

Congrats! You’re moving! And unless you’re in the stage of life when you can fit everything you own into the back of a car trunk, you’re probably asking yourself, How much does it cost to move these days?

Well, there are many factors to consider. But we’ll give it to you straight. The average cost for a local move typically ranges anywhere from $240 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,200 for a four-bedroom house.1 Keep in mind, that range is based on the cost to hire a moving company for a local, short-distance move. If you’re doing a long-distance or out-of-state move, the price range goes up.

But fear not! Since there are so many factors to consider, we’ve outlined different moving options and how to find the one that fits your budget and needs.

Types of Moving Costs

Here are some common types of moving options and moving costs people typically consider:

  • Renting a Moving Truck
    • $50 (small truck, local move) to $2,000 (large truck, long-distance move)
  • Hiring a Moving Company
    • $25 to $50 per hour for each worker (local move)2
  • Hiring a Full-Service Moving Company
    • $2,300 or more (depending on distance and square footage)3
  • Renting a Moving Container
    • $700 to $5,000 (depending on brand, size and distance)4

Now, that gives you an idea of moving costs to expect. Let’s take a closer look at some of the options so you can plan your move with confidence!

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Moving Truck?

If you have the muscle (or some friends with muscles), a great way to lower your moving costs is to rent a truck and haul everything yourself. The average cost to rent a moving truck ranges from less than $50 to more than $2,000.5 We know that’s a wide range, but it depends on specific things like:

  • How far you’ll travel
  • How much truck space you’ll need
  • How much your moving items weigh
  • How long you’ll keep the rental (if your move takes several days)
  • How much you’ll pay in gas 

How Much Does Moving a Car Cost?

If you’re driving the moving truck all by yourself, chances are you may have to pay to ship your car, which adds about $950 to your moving costs—with an average of $0.60 per mile for trips of more than 1,000 miles.6 You can probably knock that price down if you choose a truck rental company that offers a car trailer so you can tow the car yourself. Get ready for a wild road trip! 

How Much Do Movers Cost?

Sure, it’d be great to save a bunch of cash by paying your friends in pizza to help you load a U-Haul and move everything yourself. But that’s not so easy if you’re moving a family-sized household of stuff. We get it. That’s why we’re going to break down what it takes to hire a moving company and how much movers cost.

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Typically, movers cost between $240 and $1,200.7 Of course, this range is determined by factors like the size of your home and how far away you’re moving. So, let’s dig into those details.

Short-Distance Moving Costs

What’s the cost if you’re moving to a new town in your current state? Well, local movers usually charge an hourly rate. So, if you’re moving under 100 miles within the same state, you’ll pay an average hourly rate of $75 to $150 for three professional movers.8 For a clearer idea of how much you might have to pay, here are the average costs to hire local movers based on a variety of home sizes and the time it takes to move each one:

  • One-bedroom apartment: 3 to 5 hours, $240 to $500
  • Two-bedroom apartment: 4 to 7 hours, $320 to $700
  • Three-bedroom house: 6 to 8 hours, $480 to $800
  • Four-bedroom house: 8 to 12 hours, $640 to $1,2009 

Long-Distance Moving Costs

Okay, now let’s see what moving costs look like if your journey is beyond 100 miles—including moving to another state. Long-distance moves with a moving company usually cost $2,200 to $5,700 per load.10 The distance of your move isn’t the only thing that will cause a significant change in price. Movers might charge extra to move unique items like pianos. (The average cost to move a piano is $400.)11 So keep a lookout for any heavy items you own and have your moving company include them in the estimate up front so you can avoid the shock of being charged extra.

How Much Does a Full-Service Move Cost?

Too busy to pack? Wondering what it feels like to have a full-service team of movers come to your house and pack everything for you? Well, brace yourself, this is the most expensive way to move. If you’re moving a three-bedroom house, the average for full-service movers ranges from $2,300 to $10,000 or more.12,13 But full-service movers go beyond loading, transporting and unloading. They also pack and unpack all your boxes, disassemble and reassemble large furniture, and even handle cleanup—saving you an enormous amount of time and effort. 

Since full-service movers cost the most of any option, ask your employer about a relocation package. Some companies offer relocating employees a median amount of $10,000 to $15,000 to cover the cost.14 But unless you have a company paying your moving costs or other circumstances at play, you may be better off choosing a cheaper moving option.

Should I Tip Movers?

Let’s say you hired a good moving company and the movers didn’t scratch or break anything. In fact, they showed up on time and did a pretty darn good job! Should you tip them? Sure! A tip that’s 10% to 20% of the cost of your move will show your appreciation for their hard work.15

How Much Do Moving Containers Cost?

What if you don’t want to run the risk of movers mishandling your stuff or deal with the hassle of driving a moving truck yourself? Then you’ll probably want to use moving containers. It’s kind of like having the back of a moving truck dropped off at your house. You load all your stuff into the container on your own time, then you schedule a date for the container company to pick it up. They drop it off at your new location for you to unpack.

The average cost to use a moving container ranges from $700–5,000 depending on the brand, how many you need and how far you’re going.16 But if you’re just doing a local move without too many items, prices don’t have to be that steep. You can often find prices online with companies like PODS for containers that are just under $299 (including transportation costs).17

How Much Does It Cost to Move an Actual House?

One genius way to cut the moving costs on things like containers, movers or trucks is to just up and move your whole freaking house to the new desired location . . . kidding! Moving a house is definitely a real option, but it’s a lot more complicated (and often times expensive) than that.

The total cost of moving a home ranges from as little as $15,000 all the way to $200,000.18 Keep in mind: different factors play into how much it costs to move a house—things like the size, shape, type, foundation and other features like balconies.19

Can I Deduct Moving Expenses?

Oh no. Are they gonna talk about taxes? Yes. Sorry. We know taxes are the last thing you want to think about when you’re moving! But if you’re banking on a tax deduction to reimburse your moving expenses, we want to warn you—it won’t. Unless you’re active in the military, the 2021 tax reform bill dropped moving expenses as an available tax deduction. So make sure you save all the money you can by choosing the most cost-effective moving option for your situation!

Let’s Get Movin’!

There you have it, folks! Now you know how much it costs to move. If you’re ready to put wheels on your moving plans, make sure you use a professional to help with your housing details. Get your house sold for top dollar and find an affordable new home with the help of a trusted real estate agent. To find an expert in the area who shares your values, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We make it easy to find the best agents for you with just a few clicks. 

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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