Moving Cost Calculator

Does a big move have you feeling overwhelmed? We get it. Moving can be stressful for anyone, whether you’re finding a new apartment or moving states away. But here’s a helpful hint: moving is less hectic when you’re financially prepared. Starting the process with a well-calculated budget and an accurate moving quote will save countless headaches along the way.

If you overestimate your budget, you may need to source more funds by selling items you would’ve liked to keep. If you underestimate costs, you’ll endure the stress of unexpected bills. Instead, start your move with a clear picture of the funds you have and those you’ll need.

North American Van Lines offers a precise Moving Cost Calculator to ease your moving process. Ideal for planning household or business relocations, this tool provides a detailed breakdown of moving costs, helping you understand expenses for local, international, or in-between moves. It factors in distance, move size, and other key elements to offer an accurate budget estimate, ensuring financial preparedness for a smooth move. Start with a clear financial picture using North American's moving cost calculator.

Why Use a Moving Cost Calculator?

Before you pack up your things or rent a moving van, it's important that you fully understand how much it costs to move. This is where a moving cost calculator comes in handy. 

Our moving cost estimator uses information about your move to provide a realistic estimate of what you’ll need to spend as you transition to your new home. The moving calculator offers several benefits, including:

  • Accurate Estimates: You should feel informed and in control throughout your move. Having a complete quote upfront ensures you’ll avoid surprise fees and sticker shock.
  • Compare Quotes: A moving cost calculator allows you to compare quotes from different moving companies. This can help you find the best deal and save money.
  • Budgeting: A moving cost calculator can help you budget for your move. Once you know the cost, you can start saving and planning accordingly .

Overall, using a moving cost calculator is a smart choice for anyone planning a move.

How to Get an Accurate Moving Estimate

Many factors determine the cost of moving. Are you packing yourself or hiring professional movers? How far do you need to travel? What is the going rate for movers in your city? Will you need storage services?

When you ask a moving company to estimate your costs, they’ll likely multiply the time it takes to complete the move by their hourly rate. But that estimate doesn’t tell you the whole story .

North American's moving calculator takes into account the distance of the move, the time of year, the size of your space (house or apartment), and other key factors to give you a thorough assessment and a more accurate price. Once you have an accurate cost estimate, you can weigh that cost against factors like:

  • The time available to pack your belongings yourself
  • The size of the moving truck you’ll need
  • Your experience packing fragile items to avoid breakage
  • Whether you need help loading heavy appliances and boxes into the truck

How Much Does It Cost to Move?

Moving costs vary from one move to the next. While each move involves dozens of potential variables, there are a few fundamental factors that will always influence your cost of moving:

  • Distance: Costs rise the further you travel.
  • Load size: A larger load (like a four-bedroom house) will be more expensive than a small one (like a studio apartment).
  • Job complexity: If the moving process is more risky or requires more time and effort (for example, if your items require custom boxes or special handling tools), the cost will increase. 
  • Time of year: If you move during peak season (summer is the most common choice), prepare for higher costs due to increased demand.
  • Moving date: It's more affordable to move in the middle of the month than at the beginning or end of the month, and it gets even cheaper if you move in the middle of the week.
  • Liability coverage: If you work with professional movers, you’ll get some basic liability coverage for your items, but you can pay more to enjoy full-value protection of your items. This means if something breaks, the company refunds the total value of your item.

After outlining all possible costs, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to over $10,000, depending on the distance and size of the load.

Here are some examples:

  • The typical cost of moving from a small one-bedroom apartment (about 2,000 lbs moving weight ) will be $1,500 if the distance is only a few hundred miles. When moving across the country , this cost could go upwards of $4,500.
  • The average cost of moving from a 2–3 bedroom house with approximately 5,000 lbs moving weight comes to about $2,700, but could go beyond $7,000 if you're moving long-distance.
  • For families with a large load, say an average of 7,400 lbs moving weight for a 2 –3 bedroom house, the cost of moving locally is about $3,800, or upwards of $5,300 for a long-distance move.


Additional Costs of Moving

Many people make the mistake of underestimating their moving costs by assuming they only need to consider the cost of the truck and the movers’ hourly rates. Neglecting these lesser-known expenses can cause unpleasant surprises when you receive your final quote :

  • Cost of moving special items: Motorcycles, pianos, safes, pool tables, and other bulky items can be more expensive to move because of their weight.
  • Unpacking services fees: Movers typically transport your items and leave them for you to unbox on your own time, but most are happy to unpack them for you for an additional cost .
  • Elevator fees: You may have to pay the movers extra if your new residence has a narrow elevator that will increase the number of trips. Some companies also charge extra if the elevator ride is lengthy.
  • Stair carry fees: Similarly, most companies charge stair carry fees for each additional staircase after the first one. The cost of this can rack up, especially if the load is large and there are many staircases.
  • Storage fees: If you’re moving long-distance or your new home isn’t quite ready yet, factor long- or short-term storage options into your budget. 
  • Stops: Most moving companies expect to make a one-way trip without any stops. If you need to make a detour to a storage unit or a relative's house, the movers may charge an additional fee.
  • Tips: Moving is a tiring job, so tips are always appreciated to show you value the movers’ hard work. The amount typically depends on the work it takes to move.

Tips to Bring Down Moving Costs

Want to make your move without breaking the bank? Here are some ways to bring down your moving costs:

  • Downsize: Sort through your property and identify items you can trash, donate or sell. This reduces your moving weight and brings down the cost of moving. 
  • Borrow packaging supplies: Free packing supplies could save you hundreds of dollars in expenses. Ask around to see if friends and family have any boxes, tape or packing paper they’re willing to donate to your move.
  • Book early: Book moving services 90 days in advance, if possible. If you wait till the last minute, the mover may charge you high prices or , worse still, not be available at all.
  • Take up the DIY alternative: Many moving companies offer Do-It-Yourself options. Instead of hiring professionals to pack and move your belongings, you can simply purchase moving containers or rent a truck. This option is much cheaper, but requires some heavy lifting on your part.
  • Get multiple quotes: Moving companies’ prices differ, sometimes by significant amounts. Don't just settle for the first mover you find. Consider at least three price estimates and weigh between them. 

When you prepare for your next move, begin the process with the North American Van Lines estimated relocation cost calculator for an accurate assessment based on your moving needs. Getting started is easy: Just enter where you’re moving from and where you’re moving to!

Check out our calculator today or call our customer service representatives for more information. We offer unmatched resources to help you sail through your next move.