Sure, you’ll save money by packing and hauling your own stuff when it’s time to move to a new apartment. But let’s be honest: Moving is hard, time-consuming work, and sometimes it’s worth paying someone else to do the heavy lifting – literally.
If you’ve decided to hire professional movers, they can do some or all of these tasks: Pack your stuff, haul it to the truck, drive it to your new place and unload the truck for you. The only thing you need to worry about is the cost.
It would be nice to tell you one figure that you can expect to pay when you hire movers. But it’s not that simple. The amount you pay depends on a lot of things – how much stuff you have, how far away you’re moving and how much you want the movers to do for you.
The cheaper options
According to Carter Schimpff, marketing manager for Simple Moving Labor – which often provides moving labor for people who rent trucks through Penske – many people opt to rent the truck separately, drive it themselves, and hire movers just to load stuff on and off the truck.
“One of our most popular packages is two ProMovers for a three-hour minimum for $377,” Schimpff said. “If the job takes longer than three hours, we charge $120 per hour, pro-rated to the half-hour.”
As far as the movers are concerned, with this plan, it doesn’t matter how far away you’re moving. How much you pay for mileage depends on the truck you rent separately.
If you choose to hire College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving, prices vary slightly depending on where in the country you are located, according to Nick Friedman, co-founder and president.
“Our average national per-man rate ranges between $45 and $65 per man per hour, but it does vary per location,” Friedman said. “This includes a fully licensed, insured, uniformed, collegiate professional with the proper tools and training to get the move done in a stress-free manner.
“In addition to the hourly rates, we do typically have a flat-rate truck-and-travel fee that covers the cost for the crew to travel to and from the job sites,” Friedman continued. “The truck-and-travel fee includes all necessary standard equipment such as floor dolleys, handcarts, tools and property protection.”
College HUNKS – an acronym that stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable Service – usually provides a two-man crew, unless the customer has a large amount of stuff. You just call your closest franchise location to receive a free, non-binding estimate of how much your move will cost. The estimate is based on how long College HUNKS expects the job to take.
“Because we are a national franchise with over 50 locations throughout the country, our rates will vary slightly by market since labor costs and associated state regulations influence the costs of doing business in each market,” Friedman said. “For example, packing and moving rates in Washington, D.C., are likely to cost more than packing and moving rates in Fort Myers, Fla., simply because of the differences in costs of doing business in those two markets.”
More moving advice on the AG Blog:
- Learn How to Estimate Moving Costs
- How Much Should You Tip Professional Movers?
- How to Not Suck at Driving a Moving Truck
- Moving Safety Tips: Take Care of Yourself When You Move
The full-service move
Both SML and College HUNKS offer full service moving packages that take care of all moving tasks — the company provides the truck, packs all your belongings, loads the truck, drives it to the new home and unloads it.
With SML, customers get a binding quote before booking this service, and the exact cost depends on mileage and how long the company estimates it will take the movers to pack and move your stuff.
“Once the customer signs on the dotted line, that price will never go up (unless the customer decides to add additional services after the fact), meaning if we underestimate how long it’ll take our crews to load or unload the truck, the customer still gets charged the amount we originally quoted,” Schimpff said.
To determine how much to charge you, the movers will come to your place and assess the amount of stuff you have. That will determine how much time they’ll need to pack and move all of it. Then the company will take into consideration how far away you’re moving in order to determine how much to charge for mileage.
College HUNKS provides full-service moving, packing, unpacking, loading and unloading, as well as pickup and delivery of unwanted items such as donations or haul-away of junk that is not being moved to the new residence.
With College HUNKS, the charge for packing is simply added to the cost of the other services. It’s an hourly per-man rate, Friedman said.
Tips for hiring movers
Research the company to make sure it’s legit. Ask your friends and family if they’ve used a moving company that did a good job. Rely on word-of-mouth and online research to find a company that’s on the up-and-up.
Get more than one estimate. Moving cost estimates are usually free, so ask two or three companies for a ballpark figure of how much they’ll charge to move you. A binding quote means the company can’t charge you anything other than what they quote you, while a nonbinding quote means the price can change if the company under- or overestimates the amount of time the move will take.
Consider moving insurance. You can choose among full coverage, which ensures you’ll be reimbursed the full value of anything that’s lost or broken over the course of the move; released value, which pays you 60 cents per pound for everything that’s lost or broken; or third-party insurance coverage. Never sign a blank form or any form that waives your right to standard protection.
Know your moving contract. Pay attention to the little extra charges that can add up to big money. Your costs can vary depending on whether your cost estimate is binding, non-binding or not-to-exceed, so know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
What are your tips for hiring movers?