Cary has just moved to New York. She wrote to our moving experts that she has discovered some additional moving costs she never expected.
Sympathizing Cary’s case we decided to create a complete list of all the unexpected moving expenses that could drain your moving budget completely and beyond. Feel free to add something we’ve missed in the comments below.
Hidden Costs of Moving a House
- Packing labor and packing supplies
Packing materials and the packing service is a part of what a full moving service contains. However, these two may not be included in the estimated final cost of your move. Often companies decline that packing labor and supplies are counted in the estimate, but you end up with extra moving fees for the additional boxes. Usually what the companies tell you is that the type or your items require special packing materials and much more packing boxes for extra safety during transportation. True or false, you are charged with hidden moving costs, you can’t avoid. Unexpected moving expenses like extra packing fees are really frequent. It should be mentioned in the moving documents you sign prior moving that the quoted price doesn’t cover additional packing supplies and we warn you to expect your estimated moving cost to increase dramatically. Always read the fine print to avoid moving scams.
- Moving Insurance
When you sing your Bill of Landing, you automatically get basic coverage (called valuation) from $0.30 to $0.60/lbs for items. You are calm you have an insurance (which is not the case), but all too often the final amount of the valuation coverage doesn’t reply to the value of your belongings. You may have to require additional moving insurance for full coverage. Many companies offer Full Value Protection – the ultimate moving insurance that guarantees reinstatement and replacement valuation for damages and missing items. Keep in mind that purchasing moving insurance costs extra and it depends on the declared value of you items and the reputation of your company.
- Extra charges for handling bulky items
If your items appear to be heavier or over sized you will be charged with additional moving fees. This is another hidden moving expense you should be aware in advance. Unexpected moving costs springs up if you are moving piano, pool tables, motorcycles, wall units, playgrounds, lawn mowers and other hard to transport items that take up a lot of space in the moving truck. Many people who are moving are concerned how to move with their pianos. If your piano needs to be lifted by crane, it will cost you around $800 -$2500 extra. If you are moving a piano locally it will probably cost you from $150 to $600. Price variety depends on the access to your house or apartment. You will be charged for every ascended flight of stairs to your floor with approximately $60 per flight of stairs (the first flight is usually indicated to be free).
- Long carry fees
If your movers cannot park the truck in a certain distance to your doorsteps you will be charged like $90-$120 for every 75Ft from the truck to your door. This often happens due to the impossibility of parking near the door to your building. It is hard to rely on free parking spots in the big cities like New York of San Francisco for example. In such circumstances you’ll suffer the consequences, leading to unexpected moving expenses. To protect your budget from hidden moving costs, see if there is a way to assure parking spot for the truck. You can also issue a parking permit from the city town hall for your movers for the specific day and time of the move. If not, speak directly to your movers to find out their long carry fee terms when booking.
- Elevator fees
In case of an elevator a one-time fee of $75 will be charged. This is an approximate charge since the actual hidden moving fees differ depending on your company. This charge is similar to the long carry fee. Some companies will not charge you this fee if you have reserved an elevator exclusively for the move with the building management.
- Moving cancellation fee
Your moving plans may change or you have decided to go with another company in the last minute. But this will cost you money. Every moving company has their own cancellation fee policy. Moving companies declare they have really lenient cancellation terms. But you should know this is one of the most common hidden moving costs.
- For more than one week notice, there may be no unexpected moving expenses.
- If you notify your company one week in advance, you may be charged $50 – $100.
- For a cancellation in less than five days, you will be charged with average cost of $300 or the full moving deposit.
- Storage fee
Storage is usually included in your estimated moving cost. The thing is, you’ll have only 30 days of the so-called free storage period. Further that time limit you will be additionally charged for storage. It will approximately cost you around $50 to $60 a month per vault (the average capacity of a vault is around 1500 lbs). Other possible charge is by cubic feet per month. Prices usually start at 1.00$ per foot.
- Extra stops charges
Moving companies will charge you for any extra drop-offs or pick-ups in the route. $75 is the common starting price for an extra stop.
- Travel Fee
If you are moving locally, most movers charge travel fees. This is the time needed for them to get from their office location to your address. The usual charge is one extra hours or more.
Uncommon or Rare Hidden Moving Charges
- Environmental charges (disposal fee)
Some moving companies may try to inflate the overall moving costs by adding some fees like environmental fee (also called as disposal fee). They claim that this fee covers the disposal of the used moving boxes, tape and garbage that is left after the move is complete.
- Hoisting fees
If you have some items like a large sofa or an elliptical machine that does not fit the door and should go through the window, movers usually charge a hoisting fee for that. If you have such items you should contact the moving company and research their hoisting charges in advance.
- Express delivery fee
Some moving companies charge additional express delivery fees if you need your items delivered in a tight delivery window. Usually for a long distance move if you request a delivery within a week or less this additional charge may apply.
- Fuel surcharge
Another illegal moving fee charged be some movers is the so called fuel surcharge. The prices of the fuel should be included in the cost of the moving service itself and should not be added to the bill.
- Travel expenses
Your traveling expenditures are not hidden moving fees, but are additional moving expenses. You have already calculated your expenses and you are planning your budget don’t forget you have to move yourself too.
If you are moving with your family, you should know moving companies generally don’t offer traveling extras for families. You have to foreseen all motel taxes, meals, tolls, gas expenses, plane and bus tickets. Plan your route carefully to make the most of your outlays.
The hidden costs of moving out are revealed. Gain valuable information from our advices. We understand it is difficult to plan a big move by yourself. Follow expert guides to assist you when moving and working out a moving checklist. Remember getting more information is always a way to protect your budget from unexpected moving expenses. Defend your right to be informed for every aspect of your move. Stay alert and seek for more info.
To calculate your moving expenses fast and easy, try our free moving calculator to receive customized price quotes from licensed moving companies.
Don’t let any moving problems occur on your way. Ask for free online estimates – you will comprehend all moving costs that might occur. Pay attention to the fine prints. Now you know what to watch for. If you have suffered any hidden moving expenses share your case in the comments below. You can also write a review on your moving company. You will help others from getting scammed.
Posted on Dec 14, 2011; Last updated: Apr 14, 2014
Topics: Paperwork & Regulation