Moving Quotes – Easy Ways for You to Get the Best Moving Deal
By MovingQuotes.com Staff
To understand moving quotes,
you need to understand 'tariffs'.
Before January 2008, the tariff was an industry-mandated list of charges that
moving companies used to charge you for a long-distance move – everyone had the
same tariff. So when you received a quote for a long-distance move, it was based
off of the tariff that all other movers used.
But in an effort to spur competition, governments allowed companies to
‘discount’ the tariff. So in essence, the lowest price was the one with the
As the government aimed to dismantle deregulation in the moving industry even
further, it eventually did away entirely with the tariff, requiring individual
moving companies to file their own.
Now that moving companies have to make their own tariffs, it's still an
intricate part of the lexicon of getting a moving estimate for your move, and
you should understand this document and how relates to setting a moving quote.
The Basics of the Moving Quote
That estimate will vary depending on the type of move you are doing and the type
of moving company you hire.
Local moves (generally under 50 miles) are usually quoted by the number of crew
members needed to complete the job at a flat hourly rate per crew (e.g. 2 men at
$100 per hour). Long-distance moving quotes are priced by the weight of your
shipment, and the types of services you require.
A local move estimate should be fairly straight-forward, but a long-distance
estimate is more complicated.
On moves out of state, if you are not sure what you are taking with you and what
you are leaving behind, the mover can give you a non-binding estimate with a
guaranteed discount. But if you know exactly what you are panning to move, ask
for a guaranteed price or a “Not-To-Exceed” Price, and make sure you get the
moving quote in writing. (For moves within the state, ask your moving company
representative about the rules and regulations in your particular state. Not all
states allow guaranteed prices or discounts.)
A move state to state is regulated by the Federal Department of Transportation.
The price of moving interstate is fairly standard and is normally calculated on
a combination of the shipment’s weight and miles traveled from old address to
new address. However, some movers base their charges on the volume or cubic feet
the shipment takes up in the moving van. Be sure you know which your moving
company uses, and why.
There is usually more leeway on price when moving state to state. Movers can
discount their rates and/or give you a guaranteed price or “Not-To-Exceed”
Price. Some states require that you be given specific literature pertaining to
the rules and regulations for movers within that state. If you are moving
interstate, read the federally mandated publication, "Your Rights and
Responsibilities When You Move" and the “Ready to Move” brochure. Movers must
give customers copies of these booklets.
Some Charges You Might Pay
Long distance move estimates should have the charges for each type of service
clearly broken out on the estimate. Here are how the items are broken out – ask
about any item or charge you don’t understand, and remember most items are
• Transportation charges include an origin and destination service charge. These
charges are determined by the weight of the shipment, and the origin and
destination. Labor costs vary in different areas. Because the origin and
destination service charge is primarily to help with these costs, they will not
be the same in each location.
• Packing charges include carton cost, labor to pack, and unpack. If mattress
cartons and certain other large cartons are needed, the estimate will most often
include unpacking these cartons – at your new home, the mover will need to set
up your beds, and will have to unpack those cartons.
• Examples of third party charges are appliance servicing, crating of fine
items, disassembly and reassembly of certain exercise equipment, and outdoor
play equipment. (These types of services are not generally performed by the
mover and an outside company is hired to complete them; these charges are
typically just pass-through charges from the third-party company to your movers.
• Insurance-related surcharges became necessary because of the high costs of
trucking insurance. The insurance surcharge on your moving estimate does not
offer protection against lost or damaged goods; it allows the carrier to off-set
some of the trucking insurance costs that they pay the moving trucks that
actually transport your household goods.
• Valuation charges are what protect you against lost or damaged goods, and they
are based on the dollar amount on your shipment. Moving companies are required
by law to have a minimum of protection. The coverage for local moves is commonly
30-60 cents per pound per article but varies state by state; for interstate
moves it is 60 cents per pound per article. This isn't a lot -- ask about