Budget for a Move

If you’re moving, you may be excited about relocating to your new home, but stressed about the big task that lies before you. You may be wondering how to complete it on time and without breaking the bank. 

One question that may be top of mind is, how much will it cost? How much should you budget for a move?

The average cost of a local move using a moving company is $1,700, and the average cost of a long-distance move is $4,800. But those are just averages. Your actual cost may be very different. Numerous factors determine the cost of a move.

This post will give some common items that affect the cost of relocation, and some ideas of how much to budget. If you have a move coming up soon, whether it’s across town or across the country, this post may be of interest.

How Much to Budget for a Move?

This table gives some price ranges for common moving costs:

Item How Much It May Cost Depending on …
Renting a moving truck $50-$2,000 Distance traveled and truck size
Hiring a moving company $900-$2,300+ Total weight and distance
Renting a moving container $700-$5,000 Container size and distance
Shipping a vehicle $1,200-$2,100 Type of carrier and distance

Self-Service Moves

If you don’t have that much furniture and other property to move and have some muscular friends or relatives who don’t mind helping out, you could move yourself. Do-it-yourself moves are typically less expensive than full-service moves, but there are some costs.

Unless you really don’t have much to move, you’ll probably need to rent at least a small truck. You can check local truck rental companies in your area for the cost. Rates will depend on how big a truck you need, where you’re renting, where you’re going, and how long you plan to keep the truck. You’ll need to estimate the total volume and weight of the items you’re moving to decide what size truck you’ll need. The average cost per day is in the table below.

Size of truck What It Can Transport Average Cost Per Day
Small: 10-12 feet long Studio or 1-bedroom apartment $20-$30
Mid-Size: 14-20 feet long 2-3 bedroom apartment or house $40-$80
Large: 22-27 feet long 4-bedroom house $60-$100

You’ll also need to fuel the truck. Consider about 20 miles per gallon and $4 per gallon for gas, so gas will cost about $4 for every 20 miles traveled, depending on where you live. You may also opt for insurance for the truck, which adds another $20 to $40 per day. 

You’ll need packing boxes and supplies like packing paper and tape to carry all your belongings. You can expect to spend $35-$50 on moving boxes for a studio apartment. Moving a one-bedroom apartment will cost $60-$85 in boxes, and a two-bedroom apartment, $70-$100. Packing supplies will run an additional $50-$300 depending on how much you need to get.

Moving Containers

Instead of renting a truck, another option is to rent a moving container like PODS. With this option, the container is dropped off at your home. You load the container with your belongings, and the company then moves it to your new home where you unload it. Or they can store it until you’re ready to move in. The cost for a container is in the table below; it ranges from $850 for a one-room container moving 100 miles to $7,260 for a five-room container moving 1,000 miles.

Size of container Cost to move 100 miles Cost to move 1,000 miles
One room $850 $3,280
Two to four rooms $1,340 $3,840
Five rooms $1,940 $7,260

Moving Companies

What if you don’t have the time or ability to move everything yourself? Then you can hire a professional moving company. Moving companies offer a range of services and prices. The average price is from $900 to $7,000 and up. 

If you’re moving within the local area, you can count on paying a local moving company $25 to $50 per hour for each mover. If you hire three movers, the price could range from $300 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,200 for a large house, as shown in this table.

Size of move Time Cost
One-bedroom apartment Four hours $300-$600
Two- to three-bedroom house Six hours $450-$900
Four-bedroom house Eight hours $600-$1,200

What if you’re moving long-distance, like to another state? Long-distance moves range from $1,400 to over $10,000, depending on the size of the move and the distance. The table below shows the average cost to move 1,000 miles.

Size of move Cost
One-bedroom apartment $1,400-$3,000
Two- to three-bedroom house $3,100-$5,900
Four-bedroom house $6,300-$10,000+

Moving companies do more than just load and unload your household goods from the truck. They can also pack up everything for you. This is called a full-service move, and is the most expensive option. For a three-bedroom house, the average cost for a full-service move can be $2,300 to over $10,000. For this price, the movers will pack and unpack all your boxes and disassemble and reassemble furniture. You hardly have to lift a finger.

As you can see, there is a wide range of moving choices. How much to budget depends on your situation and the tradeoff you make between time and cost. If you’re moving for work, you can ask your employer whether they will subsidize your moving expenses.

We hope you found this post, How Much to Budget for a Move, useful. Be sure to check out our post, How to Make Your Move Less Expensive for more great information.

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