Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Moving homes is an expensive affair. It’s true that you have
to brace yourself for the financial load that you’re going to encounter with
relocating. But on the plus side, most figures are foreseeable and in your
hands, such as moving costs. This is one of those expenses that you get to
control in the earlier stages of your moving project. Your main goal with this
is to weigh different moving services out there to direct your finances in the
right places. This way, you’re not dealing with some monstrous bills at the end
of your moving saga.
One way of managing your moving budget is to find cheaper
quotes from moving companies or settling down on the costs by making some
reasonable compromises. The other standard most cost efficient ways to move is
by approaching the field of moving pods and rental trucks. These are the two
most sought after methods for those specifically moving on a budget.
We’ll discuss these in detail along with the drawbacks and other options you possibly have. This would also help you get a realistic picture of the financial savings you are bound to make, as opposed to hiring full-service packers and movers. Consider all the information we’ve gathered below as your most practical guide on the cheapest way to move.
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Now, this is the good old way of cutting down on moving
costs. Although, there's a catch with regards to not receiving that monstrous
bill we spoke about earlier. There’s also tons of work that you will be putting
up with. For instance, there’s loading, unloading, dismantling heavy furniture
and even driving the rental truck yourself. These are just a few of the demands
of renting a moving truck.
Overall, the most demanding factors of renting a moving truck are the long hours, heavy lifting and driving that comes along with taking this approach of moving. However, something that makes this DIY method appealing is that you’re 100% saving on a considerable amount of money by going down this road. Let’s get down to figures so that you are able to understand if it’s a good trade-off.
See also: How to Plan a Moving Road Trip
Renting a moving truck could cost you anywhere from $130 to
$1780 per day. While the price range for hiring movers falls in the higher
bracket of $1250-$4890. Without a doubt, there is a big margin between the two.
However, this is just a rough estimate to give you a price point. The price
would vary depending on the distance and size of the rental truck you’re
Let’s not forget, the more the miles you’re covering, the
higher the cost can get. More importantly, there will also invariably be a big
difference in cost between a 12 foot truck rental, in comparison to a 22 foot
one that gives you more loading space. You simply cannot discount how big a
truck you would really need and even the complete duration you would need it
For further emphasis, this means that if you’re travelling from
Point A to B, and the distance being covered is 132 miles, then your mileage
costs amount to $132. Although, this would be assuming that they charge $1 per
mile (it can be way lesser). Apart from that, you would also be paying them
somewhere between $130-$1780 to rent the truck. This is the base fare, assuming
it’s a 12 foot truck you’d probably pay around $250.
Your costs have now amounted to $382. Aside from this, you
would also need to factor in the insurance and supplies you hire, like a dolly
for heavy boxes or furniture pads. And of course, gas costs! So, on an average,
you can expect the cost to go upto $509-$609. This is still way lower than
hiring full-service movers and packers, which fall in the above $1000 mark. You
can expect your rental truck costs to also cross the $1000 mark if it is a long
Hiring a rental truck does get expensive if this is a
long-distance move. Costs are almost triple the standard fare when the truck is
rented out for a one-way trip. This makes hiring a truck a more ideal option
for short distance moves, since it is much more economical when you return the
truck from the place you hired it. A long distance move with a rental truck, on
an average could go beyond the $3,250 mark. Also, keep in mind that moving
trucks don’t often give good mileage, so you may be shelling out a good sum on
gas. To avoid fines, you also have to ensure you’re returning the truck with
the same amount of fuel that was in it.
Few of the top notable companies that can help you out with hiring rental trucks are:
You potentially save a good sum of money, because you are not paying anyone the labour costs of loading, unloading and driving the rental truck. Yes, it is way cheaper, but we suggest making a judgement on total costs after taking into consideration all the add-ons of gas, supplies, insurance and lodging, that eventually makes this approach expensive.
Also See: How to Move a Boat When Relocating
This is a pretty peculiar moving method, where a ground
level container is dropped to your doorstep, and you get to pack it at your own
convenience. The storage container could be somewhere between 8-22 foot in
size, and it is practically an on-site storage unit. If you select the Pods
approach, you can choose between moving the container or using it as a storage
unit. Once you load the container with your belongings at a time that’s
feasible for you, it will be driven to the new location. Not everyone is
comfortable with driving a rental truck, so this works as a great alternative
to let someone else take the wheel.
In most cases, a full-service move goes beyond $1,000. If
anything, it could very well even go upto $12,000, depending on how big the
move really is. But taking a moving pod, unlike rental trucks, are relatively
cheaper. With moving pods, you can expect the average low to fall between $349-$549
(short-distance) and the average high to be somewhere around $999-$2,999
(applies for long distance).
the short distance budget is even more economical than rental trucks. If you’re
covering 100-250 miles, your costs could fall between $450-$800 for a 1 bedroom
apartment. It’s also relatively easier to load, since the container sits right
on the ground. So you’re not really breaking your back lifting boxes, like you
would do with a rental truck.
pros of opting for Pods is that you get enough flexibility with your move. For
instance, with a moving truck, you would need to unload stuff into a storage
unit if your house is not ready. And then load the truck again when things are
ready. It’s just too much of back and forth.
Pods, both your storage and moving boxes needs are fulfilled with one service.
And the plus point is that in most cases, it does work out to be cheaper than a
standard storage unit. The Pod container will wait for you in your driveway
until you’re ready to unpack. In addition to that, you also save yourself from
lodging and fuel costs, along with the hassle of driving a rental truck.
Few of the top notable companies that can help you out with hiring moving pods are:
See also: United Van Lines' National Pods Service
Moving Pods sure is an inexpensive option, especially if
you’re considering a long distance move. The large containers are convenient to
pack, primarily because they are set at ground level and also serve the purpose
of storage units. The fact that pods also offer monthly rentals is great,
because it gives you the chance to pack at your own pace.
If you have too many time sensitive tasks clashing, you could use the Pods, so that you’re not stressing yourself to have everything packed when the rental truck arrives. It is an ideal option for those who would like to sell their house because they’ve got a good offer, but haven’t yet closed down on a new house yet.
See also: PODS vs Full-Service National Movers
The only drawback is that the quality of the move could be a
hit and miss with both these options. Think about it, you would be packing,
doing the unloading and loading of your boxes all by yourself. You would need
to chalk out time to learn about things like how you would load the boxes
smartly to prevent them from moving around. With full-time jobs, it can be
stressful to do your homework on everything before the big day. Sometimes,
going pro full-service mover has its own benefits, since they would be more
experienced and with their intervention you can save time.
Professional movers also have more insight with things like
keeping an eye on the doorways while lifting large furniture. Or assembling the
truck as securely as a sardine container that doesn’t have spills. But if you
personally feel you can take command and efficiently pack your moving
container, you can opt for moving trucks and pods to save a ton of money.
Although, there are certain risks that come with a self-move, since you’ll be putting a tremendous amount of physical
pressure on yourself. So do weigh the pros and cons before you come to a
In A Nutshell: You run the risk of damaging your belongings if it isn’t packed properly. Lifting heavy boxes and furniture is more than a two-person job, so you would have to make arrangements for helping hands. Always take into consideration all the add-ons, so that you know if it really appeals to your budget.
By opting for rental trucks or
moving pods, you would have a surprisingly low bill to clear. Roughly speaking,
there’s a high probability that your expenditure won’t cross the $1000 mark if
we take the lower average. But the higher average could go upto $4000. At the
end of the day, factors like size of the house, distance and a few others are
what will determine the final price. These are factors that can be found upon
reading between the lines.
Overall, the amounts can surely be way lower than confirming full-service packers and movers. It’s an ideal approach to take for short distance moves, since costs drop even further which is assuring. But at the same time, one can’t ignore the fact that there are quite a few variables at play with both these approaches. And that’s exactly the reason why this can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. The good thing is that it doesn’t even have to be that way.
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