A Self-Service Move: You Do the Loadin’, They Do the Drivin’

By MovingQuotes.com Staff

Lots of people want to save money on their move, but they balk when it comes to actually navigating a big moving truck through narrow city streets, backing it up, or performing any other somewhat complicated maneuver.

There is another way.

A self-service move strikes a middle path: you pack, load and unload the truck, and leave the driving to someone else.

So you save on a full-service move, but you save yourself the hassle of renting a truck, picking it up, driving it and returning it.

There are two basic types of self-service moves.

The first involves the use of a commercial trailer, which is moved from your current residence to your new residence.

The second type of self-service move involves the use of special containers that you pack your items into – often called PODS after the industry leader. The containers are then picked up and shipped to your new home.

If the company provides an empty trailer for your items, you pay for the linear feet or cubic feet that you use.
If you work with a special container for your items, the amount you pay depends on the number of containers you use and how far the containers will travel. These containers are a good option because you know only your stuff will be in the container; with other options, the trailer can be shared by other people who are moving to a nearby area.

One caveat: Many people underestimate the time and expense involved with packing their own stuff. Moving is a specialized chore and many items require special packing techniques and supplies to offer the maximum protection possible when transporting items. In any long-distance move, there is some risk of damage.

And self-service moving is normally only available when you are transporting your household goods out of state because the companies handling the service are licensed with the Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees this kind of moving.