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Cost Comparison For A Long-Distance Move

Cost Comparison For A Long-Distance Move

Once you've decided to move, you will need to figure out how to move. Below are four options to help you determine the budget for your pending relocation.  

Sell All Your Stuff 

If you are looking for a fresh start or want to avoid hiring a moving truck, selling or giving away all the belongings that don’t fit in your car is one way to do it. You can have a garage sale, sell on Facebook Marketplace or eBay, but it takes time and energy to list, take pictures, and arrange for pickup from your buyers. You likely will get less than what you expect as buyers like to negotiate. Identify people or charities that can accept the things you don’t sell. Before you decide whether it’s worth selling or buying new furniture, price out how much you will need to spend on furniture in your new location. 

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

For the do-it-yourself move, you rent a truck and generally load it the same day. After disassembling your furniture and packing your boxes, you can load a truck in a couple of hours with a helper or two. Then drive the truck to your new destination and unpack.

Below is a comparison of the two best DIY companies ranked by move.com. The list includes a quote for a 16-foot rental truck in Stamford, Connecticut, to move to Bloomington, Indiana, on August 4, 2021. This size truck has a capacity of 800 cubic ft. (average for 2-3 bedrooms) and 4,300 pounds and includes a loading ramp.

Penske Truck Rental
Budget Truck Rental
Move.com ratingBest overall moving company Best for local prices 
Price$1,429.02 (includes $95 fee to drop off Bloomington, IN and 10% discount)  
Online quote 7/22/2021
$938.16 (includes 10% discount)
Online quote 7/22/2021

Discount code on websiteFIREWORKS21 (10% off for moves booked in July 2021)STS10 (10% off)

If you choose a DIY move, remember to budget for gas and tolls. Both companies allow you five days of travel time and unlimited miles, but keep in mind that the truck gets about 12 miles per gallon. Vehicle towing is also available with these options for an additional fee. Also, keep in mind other costs you might incur, including insurance, hand truck, boxes, and moving blankets.  

Need More Time?

If you want more time to load your DIY move, a container might be your answer.

Below is a comparison of the two highest raking companies in this class by move.com.  The list including a quote for a 16-foot space within a tractor-trailer or container.  You will want to be sure you have room in your driveway for a big truck to deliver. There is no rush to fill the space, although additional fees will apply if you keep it longer than a month. Just call up the company when you are ready to move.

Move.com ratingBest overallTons of Deals
Type28-foot tractor trailer (you fill 16-foot space)16-foot container
Price$3,618 (all-inclusive) Online quote 7/22/2021

$4,237.56 + $295.42 for 1st month’s rental and insurance (willing to negotiate with competitor price) comparison.

Phone quote on 7/22/202
Delivery Time5-7 Days10 Business Days

Hire Movers

If you are physically strong or have helpers who are, then the do-it-yourself option might be best from a cost perspective. Those who want to delegate the heavy lifting to the professionals hire movers to do the job.

Summertime is moving companies’ busiest season. If you try to book with less than six weeks’ notice, your preferred date may not be available. You might also get better rates if you schedule more time in advance or during the off-season.

The list below includes quotes from the top-rated professional moving companies (are rated by move.com) to relocate from Stamford, Connecticut, to Bloomington, Indiana, on or around August 4, 2021 using 800 cubic feet of space.

International Van Lines
American Van Lines
Move.com ratingBest overallBest for up-front pricing
DatesAug. 4-5 (two-day window)Aug. 4-6 (three-day window)
Full-service (includes packing)$5,915*$6,100 - $6,500 + $700-$800 packing*
You pack and supply boxes$5,115*$6,100 - $6,500*
Delivery time2-21 days3-5 days (guaranteed within 2 weeks)
*Prices quoted over the phone on July 22, 2021

These companies also charge additional fees if they cannot get the truck close enough to the house or if the mover has to climb more than seven stairs to access the door (inside stairs are included). If you decide to pack your own boxes, make sure they are not too heavy, because that could also be an unexpected fee.

Before You Decide

All the estimates above are just that, estimates. It isn't easy to gauge how many boxes you will need, but if you work with a moving company, that's what they will ask you. You likely have more stuff than you think you do. Moving presents a great time to purge, but it also takes time to sort through everything. Be sure to shred sensitive documents. Decide if you need all the clothes that are two sizes too small, or the contents of a box that you haven't opened since your last move. When budgeting, prepare for the approximated box count to go up, and size does matter! What one company considers a large box, another might think it is extra-large.

If you decide to hire a company to pack for you, be careful to separate valuable items like jewelry that you want to take with you. Also, remember to discuss with your movers any items that you don't intend to move. Otherwise, you might be surprised in a couple of weeks when you unpack your kitchen garbage can to find it was packed with a full garbage bag too!

Moving out of state is a major financial decision. Consult with your financial advisor if you need help creating a budget or want to set aside funds for your move. For nearly two decades, the dedicated advisors at Hurlow Wealth Management Group have helped clients find clarity, feel confident, and achieve comfort in making major financial decisions like moving by modeling goal-based scenarios as part of their overall financial plans. Schedule a FREE consultation today to discuss your unique situation.  


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