Factors That Influence the Cost of a Move

If you plan to relocate soon, whether across the city or to another state, you, like many others, may be concerned about the potential costs. Creating a realistic budget for the move may seem challenging, but understanding the factors influencing the cost can provide significant clarity. Multiple elements can affect the final quote you receive from moving services, including the season, distance of the move, and the size and quantity of your belongings. 

This article aims to demystify these factors, shedding light on what influences the cost of a move to help you be better prepared financially when using professional moving services.

Moving Company Quotes: Factors That Affect Them

You've decided on a moving date and are now seeking quotes from moving companies. The struggle to find the best moving company for the lowest price is something everyone faces on the way to their dream house.

You'll need to have a few options, whether you are comparing quotes in person or online. Before you choose a company, you should know the reasons for price differences.

Size and Distance

The size and distance of your move largely determine moving costs. Moving to a three-bedroom house with a living room, dining room, and bathroom is more expensive than moving to a small studio apartment with just one room and a bathroom.

Local moves are calculated based on their weight and their time to move. Long-distance moving is primarily based on distance and weight. You'll pay the movers per hour if you move within 100 miles of your original home.

Dates are Important

It is important to note the day of the week and the actual date. Moving is most popular from late spring to early summer. Companies will raise prices to meet the demand. Weekends and national holidays will also be more expensive, so you may consider moving on a weekday during the fall or winter.


The information that you provide will be used to generate most online or draft moving quotes. A quote may change after a company representative has walked through your home.

When you are ready to receive a quote for moving, arrange a time to have someone come and look at your items to give you an estimate. You are leaving the potential moving quote incomplete without a walkthrough, as you will not know the final cost until the day of your move.


Many companies offer packing and unpacking as an extra charge on top of a standard moving quote. The full service will cost more than doing it yourself.

A moving quote will include the time spent packing and the materials. You could pack your boxes for free if people will give you some.


Moving quotes are based on the drop-off and pick-up locations. The higher the cost, the harder it is for movers to get to your home. You may be moving from a street too narrow for a truck to fit into another street with similar dimensions.

You may see the extra shuttle or haul charges since the movers must load your items into the truck.

Stairs or Elevator

Undoubtedly, if you have stairs available at your new location, they will cost more than the elevator. However, it is included in any moving quote. You will also be charged a fee if your furniture is too large to fit through standard doors and requires a rigger.

Storage Fees

Storage fees are only sometimes necessary, but some people can incur them. Storage fees will be added to your quote if the moving company needs to hold onto your items before delivery. To avoid these fees, try to time the move-out and move-in dates.


Companies can offer insurance to protect your possessions. Moving companies will carry basic insurance that covers any losses along the way. However, more is needed depending on the move's size and distance.

Extra insurance from the moving company is wise if you're moving long distances. It will reduce the overall cost.

Labor Costs

The labor cost will vary by state, so your quote will be based on the location of the moving company. This is usually only a charge for long-distance, cross-country moves.

Additional Services

Many moving companies offer an array of additional services. These may vary from company to company. These services will include everything from packing to unpacking and disassembling your furniture. Some companies will charge flight fees for long-distance moves if you want to do something other than wait for a moving truck or pay a long haul fee. Avoiding all these fees is impossible, but it's better to be prepared when you get a quote.


When preparing for a move, it's important to realize that many factors contribute to the overall cost. By understanding these factors, such as the size, distance, and timing of your move, availability of elevators or stairs, packing materials needed, labor costs, additional services, and insurance needs, you can better anticipate and manage the cost of your move. 

A walkthrough with the moving company can ensure more accuracy in the quote you receive, and choosing off-peak times and doing some of the work yourself can also help keep costs down.

At 5 Star Movers Rochelle, we take the cost of moving seriously and strive to provide affordable, transparent quotes that reflect the caliber of our services. Our experienced moving professional team is fully equipped to handle your items carefully and efficiently, facilitating a smooth moving experience. Choose 5 Star Movers.


What factors influence the cost of a move?

Several factors affect the cost of a move, such as the season, distance of the move, the size and quantity of your belongings, the difficulty of access to your home, stairs or elevator use, necessary storage fees, the type of insurance you select, labor costs, and any additional services you require.

How does the date of my move affect the cost?

If you move during a peak time such as late spring to early summer, weekends, or national holidays, you may pay more because moving companies increase prices due to high demand. Moving on a weekday during fall or winter could be cheaper.

How do location and accessibility contribute to moving costs?

The drop-off and pick-up locations can affect moving quotes. If movers need help accessing your home or navigating through narrow streets to reach your home, or if there are stairs or elevators to consider, you'll see increased costs. 

What is a walkthrough, and why is it important?

A walkthrough is when a moving company representative assesses your home and the items you plan to move. This helps them provide more precise quotes. With a walkthrough, quotes may change based on the information you initially provided. The final cost might not be clear until the day of the move. 

Could packing my items reduce the moving cost?

Yes, packing services are typically an additional charge on top of a standard moving quote. If you pack your items, you're reducing the workforce and the materials the mover would have otherwise used, resulting in a lower cost. But remember, it's crucial to pack your items carefully to prevent damage.