Local moves are generally moves that take place within a maximum number of miles. Typically a move of fewer than 60 miles would be considered a local move. Because of federal rules, local moves can’t cross state lines.

Cost Of A Local Move

Pricing for a local move will, obviously, depend on how much you are moving. For local movers, a moving company will take an inventory of the items to be move, estimate how many movers will be needed and how many hours they will have to work in order to complete the move.

The moving estimate will also include transport time, equipment (big truck or little truck), and miscellaneous items (moving pads, floor protectors, etc.

To be sure the moving estimate you are provided is what you pay, review the list of items carefully. If on move day you decide to add items, the movers will have to charge you more. Most moving companies will accommodate this with a fair increase in cost. But, unscrupulous movers may take this opportunity to apply unfair charges in excess of your estimate. So, be safe and be sure your moving quote includes all the items you want to move.

How to save on moving cost

There is little doubt that having a professional local mover take care of your move is ideal. However, there are times when our budgets for moving simply can’t stretch enough to cover the full service. When this happens, there are things you can do to save money.

Reduce what you move

This is an obvious cost savings tactic. But, too often, when people move, they start the process later than they should and don’t really have the time to sort through their items.

To save some money on your move, start organizing your items well in advance. Then, donate or sell what you’re not really going to use. Really, the trick is simply to start early.

Save by moving somethings yourself

Short of a self-service move, you can save by moving items yourself. This is one advantage a local move has over a long-distance move.

It may seem odd, but when you are being charged by the hour, as is done in local moves, moving a bunch of small things can end up costing as much as moving a few large items.

Pack items in boxes small enough that you can easily carry them, and they can fit inside your vehicle. It may be tempting to use just a few big boxes, but they tend to be more difficult to fit in cars or SUVs, and can also be unwieldy. When you can, save money by packing and moving your own boxes.

Be flexible with your move date

If at all possible, being flexible with your move date may help you negotiate a lower moving price. While it is true that peak season moves (early spring to mid-summer), tend to be more expensive than the off-peak season, in either case, you may be able to negotiate lower rates.

Movers don’t want to give up revenue, so they will hire more short-term workers, or pay overtime to full-time movers in order to meet demand. Ask your move coordinator if there are days, or times during the month where they have more pricing flexibility. While no guarantees, you may find lower-cost moving times.

Don’t go cheap on the move

Yes, negotiate the best price you can get, but within reason.

There are reputable movers who will negotiate with you to strike a fair price. But this is usually a give and take. They can advise you on ways you can reduce the move time and save some money. Any mover who simply cuts a big percentage off the price has to cut the service somewhere. It’s best you know where ahead of time and decide if it is worth it.

Unscrupulous movers will come in with a low-ball price. When they do, you will find one of two things typically follow:

1) Your items get broken or lost. This isn’t necessarily intentional. At a low price, they have to cut time. Time to take care of your items. Rather than set boxes in place, they get dropped in place. Padding is not properly set up and items get scratch. And any number of things that can happen when you rush a move.

2) In the extreme, they end up charging you more and demand payment before they unload the truck. This is a worse case, but unfortunately, not unheard of trick.

What to look for in a local mover

When shopping for a local mover, you will have a wide range of options. It could be an independent family mover or a mover affiliated with a national van line. In either case, you’ll want to be sure to check a few things before you sign any agreement.

Online reviews

This goes without say…but must be said: Read the reviews, don’t just look at the stars. A company that does local moves may also do long-distance, storage, commercial, logistics, and other services. Be sure the reviews that have high-star ratings are for the service you are contracting for.

Years in local moving

Years in business can show that a company is successful and knows its services well. When you are looking at years in business, be sure to look back at the name the company used over time. It should be consistent. If a company says they’ve been in business for 15 years but has changed its name several times, there may be a reason.

Get References

Good moving companies happily share references. Be sure to ask for references that are for jobs similar to what you’re going to have the mover do for you.

An aspect of references that goes beyond “did you like the services” is “what are they like to work with?” Understanding how a moving company interacts with customers while on the job can help avoid confusion when they show up at your door. This is simply to be informed and to know what to expect.

Check with State Licensing

Movers in every state have to have a license to provide moving services. The license id should be on their website, but if not, ask for it. Then, contact your state Department of Transportation and verify that the license is current and the company is in good standing.