Spotting Hidden Fees / Expenses of Your Move

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Spotting Hidden Moving Fees

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Moving is almost always expensive, but many people are shocked by how much they have to pay at the end of a move. There are many easily overlooked hidden fees that most moving companies will charge you with little or no warning.

Before you move, remember these charges as part of your moving expenses, despite the quote provided by the moving company.

Size matters

Movers will charge you for moving heavy items based on their weight. It is a good idea to weigh heavier items on your own or on a third party scale before submitting them for the movers' judgment.


There can be an additional charge because the move is taking place in a metropolitan area. This is because most big cities tend to pay higher labour rates.

Inconvenience fees

The harder the job is for the movers, the more they'll charge you.
  • Do they have to walk more than 75 feet from the street to your house? That's an extra fee.
  • Do they have to go up stairs? That may cost you some extra money.
  • Is the street you live on too narrow or hard for a moving truck to navigate?
  • Movers may charge extra if they have to go up an elevator.

Specialty items

Some delicate, large, or complicated items need to have moving specialists come in to move them. Pianos are the most notorious, but there are several other items that could carry a specialist's fee.
  • Pool tables
  • Large art pieces
  • Appliances that need to be disassembled and reassembled
  • Pets

Packing materials

Some moving companies assume you will be providing packing materials like boxes, tape, and Styrofoam and then charge extra for you to use their materials in the move. Obviously the moving company is prepared to use their own materials, you may be able to get free used boxes from friends or at local stores if you want to save money.

The cost of the ride

Occasionally moving companies will charge you for gas costs and tolls for their moving truck. A long ride can mean a big, sometimes unexpected, bill. Ask your movers if tolls are included in your moving estimate.

That time of year

There are "moving seasons" and movers tend to raise their prices during these periods. Summer is the most popular season so it is best to move at another time of year if possible. Also, it is a good idea to keep things like leases in mind and avoid the beginning and end of the month.


There are often many levels of insurance to buy when moving, but the base may not be enough coverage for you to be comfortable. There are obvious risks when moving your belongings, and if you want to be completely reimbursed for damage or property loss, you'll have to extra for additional insurance than what the moving company includes in the cost.

Don't forget to tip

Drivers, movers, and anyone who performs a physical service for you may expect a tip. If you are happy with the way they handled your property, a tip is often appreciated. Just keep in mind that tips can add up when you have to deal with several different movers and drivers.

Finding a trustworthy service

Moving can be surprisingly expensive, especially with hidden fees lurking around every corner. It is important to be thorough when reading moving companies' contracts. Not all companies will charge you for all of these fees and some will be more upfront about them than others. It pays to have a trustworthy moving company that can to give you an accurate quote without hiding any costs.
If only there was a place where you could quickly compare multiple moving companies, read customer reviews, and get multiple free estimates--oh wait, this very website, does all of that!

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on June 18, 2014 - Moving Expert
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