How to Estimate Moving Costs

How to Estimate Moving Costs. Moving all your worldly possessions from Point A to Point B is often more costly than you originally think. Here's how to estimate those costs more accurately.

Step 1

Ask a representative of your chosen moving company to give you an estimate if you are using a moving company. Note what this estimate does or does not include.

Step 2

Estimate the size of truck or trailer you will need if you are moving yourself. Make a list of any extra equipment you'll need: dollies, furniture pads, tow bars, rental cars and packing materials. Call a truck rental company and ask for prices.

Step 3

Add in the cost of labor to help you pack and load if you don't do it yourself.

Step 4

Include the costs of moving your family members by air, train, bus or car.

Step 5

Remember to factor in lodging and gas costs if you will be traveling for more than a day.

Step 6

Add in the cost of food for the trip, as well as entertainment costs if you plan to sightsee while you travel.

Step 7

Include the cost of keeping things in temporary storage, if necessary.

Step 8

Add in costs for temporary lodging (such as a corporate apartment) if your new home is not immediately available.

Step 9

Add in the costs to transport pets, and delicate or special items. There may also be fees to disconnect or connect utilities, and insurance costs.


When you get an estimate from a moving company, find out whether it is a binding (final price) or nonbinding (other charges possible) estimate and exactly what services will be performed for that price. Your current or new employer may cover or help with moving costs. Ask. Truck rental companies estimate that you can save as much as 50 percent by renting and driving a truck yourself. Is the extra hassle worth it to you? If you pack everything yourself, you may save money with the movers. Ask.


If you use inferior materials/equipment in your move, broken objects may end up costing you more than the movers would have. Shop around carefully before choosing movers and equipment. Be wary of fly-by-night operations.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone Books

  • Calculators

  • Cardboard Boxes

  • Moving Companies

  • Ink Pen

  • Notebook Papers

  • Cardboard boxes