How do moving companies charge?

A local move, commonly called an intrastate move, requires a moving company to relocate your items within the same state. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, a nonprofit representing members of the professional moving industry within the United States, noted that the average cost of an intrastate move could be anywhere between $2300 for four movers at about $200 per hour. The cost of a local move will mostly be dependent on a flat dollar amount per hour. But that is also a variable that isn't fixed – for example, if a customer is moving more than 50 miles away, the cost to transport will typically be based on the weight of the shipment instead of a standard hourly rate. When in doubt, inquire with the moving company that you're working with, and they should explain what constitutes a local move and its corresponding price structure.

An interstate move is a long distance move that typically traverses states. The American Moving and Storage Association states that the average cost to move across state lines can be anywhere between $4300 and $4800 with an average distance of about 1200 miles.  Unlike an intrastate move, the price to move across state lines is based on the weight of the shipment, the distance, and any labor costs associated with contractors. Then you will need to factor in the cost of valuation and additional services to ensure the safe travel of your goods across such large distances.

Regardless if you're moving intrastate or across state lines, other factors come into play that will affect the quote that you will receive. Here are the factors that affect how much a moving company charges you.

The add-ons. The cost of moving will be affected by the number of movers involved, services like dissembling furniture, and packing materials, which represent labor costs. These add-ons will be added to the original quote since these represent raw materials and labor hours that you will have to foot.

The time of your move matters. The time of the year can also affect the quote that will be given to you. Moving company rates are much higher during the summer months, where there is a larger demand. Moving off-season will significantly reduce your moving costs.

Keep in mind that moving companies tend to be swamped during the warmer months, so there may be time slots that may be difficult to secure due to demand.  If you want to secure an affordable quote, try to move during the second half of the month where there will be plenty of available movers and less hassle. Tuesday is also the least preferred day for a move, so you may receive a significant discount if you can relocate on a Tuesday.

Charges and surcharges. A materials charge for packing paper, boxes, mattress bags, and tape will also be factored in, with the sales tax being included into the price. Typically you will be subjected to the sales tax of the company's home state, regardless of the state that you're moving to.

Who pays moving valuation? Moving companies are required by law to provide some form of valuation. There are currently two generally applicable levels for interstate household goods moves, one that reimburses the consumer for the replacement value of the goods, and one that reimburses the consumer at a rate of 60 cents per pound.  It's important to understand that moving companies do not offer insurance – movers provide tariff based loss and damage liability, which moving companies call "valuation." Although the moving company's "valuation" functions similarly to insurance when loss or damage occurs, it is distinct. Valuation adheres to the series of transportation laws, and it is a level of liability that the carrier agrees to assume, and may result in higher transportation rates depending upon the valuation option you choose. Unlike insurance, valuation is regulated by the Department of Transportation. Insurance, on the other hand, was developed to spread the risk of loss and represents a contract in which the insurance company – in exchange for a premium – agrees to reimburse the shipper against loss. It's worth noting the difference between insurance and valuation so you will know how your items are covered in the case of damage or loss during a move.