Anyone facing a long-distance move usually has one question: how much is it going to cost? Well, it’s not as easy to answer as you might think. A lot of different factors come into play when determining the cost of a move. 

Understanding what all of these factors are can make it easier for you to calculate moving costs. When estimating a budget for your move, consider the answers to all of these questions.

Q: How many items are you taking with you? 

The size and weight of the items you are moving plays a significant role when you calculate moving costs. Whether you are hiring a moving company or renting a truck, the vehicle needs to be large enough to carry all of your belongings. The more items you bring with you, the more your move will cost. That is one of the primary reasons why experts recommend paring down your belongings as much as you can before moving. Taking fewer items can significantly reduce the cost of your move.

Q: How far are you moving?

The total distance you are moving will also affect the price. Traveling further requires more fuel, adding to the total cost. It also takes longer to cover more distance. If you are paying a professional mover, they will naturally charge more to cover the wages of the driver while they are on the road.

Q: How much of the work are you willing to handle yourself?

Doing most of the work yourself is usually a lot cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company. If you want someone else to pack all of your belongings into boxes for you, for instance, you will naturally need to pay more than if you pack your items yourself.

Similarly, driving a rented moving truck on your own is usually cheaper than using professional movers. Since you are loading and driving the truck yourself, it decreases the amount of labor that you need to pay for during the move.

Another way you can save is by taking care of extra tasks yourself. For instance, if certain pieces of furniture need to be broken down before they can be moved, taking them apart yourself can decrease the cost. Taking on small projects like these yourself is a good way to keep the cost of your move as low as possible.

Q: Are you going to buy packing supplies?

Purchasing moving boxes is a convenient option since you can choose the exact sizes that you need. However, it can be quite costly. Each box can cost several dollars. Even though that doesn’t sound like much, once you consider how many boxes you need to buy, it can take a big bite out of your budget.

A smarter option is to look for free boxes. There are plenty of resources available. One option is to save boxes that you get any time you order something through the mail. You can also ask your friends and family members if they have any boxes you can use, or you can make a request online through social media or a classified ad site.

Q: Which time of the year are you going to move?

Most people move during the spring and summer. Moving companies charge higher rates during these peak seasons, which can lead to a higher total cost for your move. If you have a lot of flexibility with your moving date, moving during the fall or winter could wind up saving you a bundle since rates tend to be a lot lower during the off-season.

Q: How much insurance coverage do you need?

If you own precious items like fine art, jewelry, or collectibles, you may need to purchase additional insurance coverage. Most movers are insured up to a specific dollar amount. High-dollar items may exceed that amount. Even though it can increase the cost of your move, paying for extra insurance is worthwhile if you need it.

A lot of factors come into play when determining how much long distance move costs. Since every situation is different, the only way to figure out exactly how much your move will cost is by adding up all of your unique expenses.