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What Moving Company Fees Should You Look Out For

Moving involves many expenses that require careful consideration. While moving companies provide vital services, certain fees may inflate costs if not understood properly. It is important to know what to expect financially so you can plan accurately and avoid surprises. Knowing what fees can be incurred will allow you to make informed decisions and find the most cost-effective options for your relocation needs. Hiring a moving company makes relocating easier but also involves fees. Knowing common charges helps budget accurately. This article covers fees to inquire about.


Moving companies provide cost estimates but not firm prices. Ask if estimates are binding or ranges. Non-binding estimates may increase. Inquire about additional fees for stairs, elevators, or tolls. Fuel surcharges fluctuate with gas prices. Weigh options if estimates vary significantly.


Moving companies require deposits to secure services. Deposits range from $200-1000 based on move size. Pay deposits with credit cards for protection. Get deposit policies in writing. Deposits may be non-refundable if you cancel within 30 days. Check if deposits are deducted from the final payment.

Service Fees

Moving long distances involves packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking. Ask if estimates cover all steps. Hourly charges apply if packing takes longer. Surcharges are added for special items like pianos, plants, or pool tables. Inquire about weekend or holiday rates. Third-party costs pass through.

Overweight Fees

Movers charge extra for loads with overweight allowances. Tariff rates apply for overweight commercial shipments. Get allowances in writing. Weigh belongings to avoid surprises. Packing yourself lightens loads. Understand maximum weights for moving truck types.

Storage Fees

If belongings require storage, costs depend on the time stored. Expect $50-200 monthly for indoor units. Ask about minimum rental periods, insurance, and accessibility. Clarify if estimates include short-term storage. Read contracts carefully for termination policies.

Wait Time Fees

Moving crews charge hourly rates if jobs take longer. Delays cause wait time fees. Examples include elevator rentals, security clearances, or traffic. Prepare homes to minimize wait fees. Pack properly to speed loading and unloading.

After Hours Fees

Moving on weekends or evenings incurs premiums. Expect 50-100% surcharges. Consider the value of paying less versus disrupting the family. Plan weekday moves if possible. Ask about holiday rates.

Fuel Surcharges

Fuel is a large cost for moving companies. Surcharges offset rising gas prices. Surcharges vary with market costs. Ask about surcharge policies before booking. Long-distance moves are especially prone to fuel fees.

Other Fees

Stair carriers, third-party charges, tolls, and permits add to costs. Understand all potential fees. Ask if estimates cover incidentals like tape, paper, and boxes. Consider value-added services like unpacking carefully. Let the moving company explain all fees upfront.


In conclusion, taking the time to understand the various standard and optional fees that moving companies may charge can help you navigate the process smoothly while staying on budget. Asking the right questions upfront and comparing itemized estimates between companies allows you to clarify what is and isn’t included. Being informed about additional potential costs like hourly charges, premium services, and additional inventory items will enable you to make the best choices for your situation. Proper preparation ensures full transparency and prevents unintended expenses from catching you off guard down the road.

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