Kayla Coco-Stotts
August 11, 2021
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Local Moving

Your Ultimate Guide to Pricing Local Moves

An often-overlooked component of the moving process happens to be one of the most essential parts: getting your stuff to your new residence. Sure, there’s getting your deposit or down payment ready and finding wherever you packed your TV remote. But getting your household goods from one place to the other is a vital part of the experience, and if omitted from your overall budget, could spell disaster in the days leading up to your move.

As such, we’ve compiled a guide to how local moves are priced. From your options to additional expenses, the content below will serve to make your moving day hassle-free.

Different Methods of Local Moving

When it comes to local moving, you can accomplish it in three different ways: renting a moving truck, utilizing a portable moving container, or hiring a moving company.

All three methods offer a variety of pros and cons, and pricing for each is determined by different factors.  

Rental Trucks

Often regarded as the most cost-effective option for DIY movers, local truck rentals are typically priced by day rates or mileage. If your chosen truck rental company charges by day rates, expect to pay around $20-$50 per day. This number is affected by the size of the rental truck you require and their availability.  

Mileage rates can vary a bit more, but range on average from $0.69 per mile to $0.99 per mile. Factors like timing and availability influence the price. So expect to pay higher rates for local truck rentals during peak moving season or on the weekends.

Though rental truck companies often advertise the prices listed above, there are additional costs you should consider if you’d like to rent a truck for your DIY move. Things like truck rental insurance (which some companies require), padding, packing materials, blankets, hired moving help, moving dollies, ramps, and gas are not included in the initial price.  

Additionally, keep in mind that the final cost of your moving truck rental will not be determined until you’ve completed your move and returned the truck. To ensure you’ve budgeted enough for the move, expect to pay over the initially estimated price of the rental truck.  

Portable Moving Containers

Portable moving containers are a great alternative for people still wanting the DIY move experience who don’t want to manage the hands-on nature of rental trucks. The cost varies between companies, but as a standard, portable moving containers cost an average of $4.50/mile when factoring the cost of storage, fuel, and transportation.  

They’re more expensive than renting a moving truck, as the price is built around the convenience of getting to move at your own pace. The main perk here is that you don’t have to drive the container to your next destination. Things like parking, gas, maneuvering tight corners, and lifting heavy furniture into a box truck are null with this local moving option. Also, most portable moving containers provide you with about a month to move your belongings from your home to the container.

As with moving trucks, portable moving containers come with additional costs. These include packing and padding materials, insurance coverage, moving equipment, and parking permits. In regard to parking permits, apartment complexes and HOA rules often require you to pay an additional fee to place a portable moving container on your property.

Again, the final cost of your move won’t be calculated until you’re done with the portable moving container. Storage, transportation distance, and weight all influence the price, so make sure you can be flexible with the initially estimated price.  

Moving Companies

Finally, the most convenient and cost-affirmative option for local moves is through moving companies. The pricing is determined by crew size, load size, and time it takes to complete the job (which starts once the truck leaves the warehouse). As a standard, most jobs utilize a two-man crew and one truck, and the rate is about $100/hour to $130/hour.

Included in that price is gas, truck mileage, hired crew, padding, blankets, and moving equipment. All you have to do is pack your household goods (though most moving companies offer this as an add-on service) and the crew handles the rest. Also referred to as door-to-door moving, hiring professional movers saves on both time and physical strain.  

As always, there are additional costs to consider with moving companies. Among those are valuation coverage for your belongings, packing materials, and “intangibles.” Intangibles are circumstances that can increase the time it takes the crew to move your items, and includes things like stairs and parking, or additional items not listed on your initial itemized inventory.  

Unlike with truck rental and portable storage containers, reputable moving companies quote you for everything you’ll end up paying before your move. As such, this option is the best for movers who want to keep to a strict budget.

Cost vs Convenience

Pricing for local moves comes down to two main factors: cost vs. convenience. With increased cost comes an easier, more regulated move. And while you may pay less upfront, more of the burden of moving your household goods will be on your shoulders.