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Understanding hidden moving costs

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The moving process is not only about you going from point A to point B. It is actually a lot more than that. This whole process makes you turn on your detective skills, especially if you are moving alone. To pack your things is easy, but finding a reliable moving company is something else. You need to be aware of various scams, and how to avoid them. You also need to be aware of all hidden moving costs, that you were not told about earlier. For example, if you are moving to Monterey California, you need to make sure you can trust the company you hired. Read the fine print in your contract, to avoid any unpleasant surprises when the bill from the moving company comes in.

How to avoid hidden moving costs?

For starters, you need to ask for a minimum of 3 estimates, followed by an in-house survey. Estimates among moving companies might not vary too much but the final bill is what counts. And there can be a lot of difference between the original estimation and final charges. Only on the final bill, you will be able to see what costs you actually had. Make sure you hire California professional movers for a better and cheaper experience. Some of the unexpected costs moving brings are non-related to the moving companies, but certain unpredictable situations.

Duct tape and click pen
You can provide your own packing material if you want to save money

An organization such as Worldwide ERC states that the average moving cost is around $ 12,500. If you are moving only your clothes and furniture but leaving everything else behind, it will cost you. It will be less expensive in terms of paying for packing. But when you arrive at your new home, you will need to buy all that you have left in your old home. If for any reason you cannot get all your new stuff in the house, you will need to look for storage options. And that is also an additional cost you might have not counted on. Don’t forget about your utility bills from the previous place you lived in. Put that on paper as well when planning moving costs.

Top 5 hidden moving costs

1. Packing service and packing supplies

Packing service does not fall under regular moving fee, but movers can provide it if needed. You have several options at your disposal. You can ask a moving company to provide packing materials only, and you will do the packing. Another option is for you to supply the materials and movers will pack your things. The third option is DIY and the last but not the least is to leave everything to the movers. The last one might cost more than you expect, so make sure you ask the movers what will fall under the packing service. Be aware that movers will not vouch for things they did not pack themselves.

2. Moving insurance

Not all companies offer moving insurance. There is something called Bill of Lading, basic insurance you do not need to pay. But if something should happen to your valuables, compensation will not happen in full, but maybe only a third of the original value. If you are moving things such as music instruments, arts, or some highly valuable sports equipment, you should buy the insurance. The one that will cover the full cost in case of any damage or loss during transport. This is maybe an unexpected moving cost, but it will save you from a headache in case something happens.

Man signing a contract
Read the fine print in your contract to avoid hidden costs

3. Disassembling and re-assembling furniture, managing heavy and bulky objects

You probably never thought about this, but in order to safely pack your furniture, movers will have to pack them in pieces. It should be no surprise if you find out about this charge when you see the bill. It can creep up on you as a hidden moving cost, but if you do your research right, you will know this will appear on the final bill. Items such as pianos, pool tables and such will cause different charges due to the size and complexity. Sometimes you will have to hire a whole another company just to move these bulky items, which will result in extra charges.

4. Long carry and cancelation fee as hidden moving costs

If your new home does not own a proper driveway for the moving truck or your new building does not own parking, you can expect some additional charges. The distance between the moving truck and your entrance will be longer, therefore the extra charge. If for some reason your building does not own an elevator, another charge will arise. And it will grow with each flight of stairs. If it happens that your moving plans change, or you decide to go with another moving company, make sure you don’t end up with a cancelation fee. Canceling more than a week before the move will usually save you from paying any fee, but anything less than that will not. Read carefully what kind of cancelation policy your company has, so you know what you are dealing with.

5. Storage fee as a result

A lot of things can be unpredictable during the move. Therefore there are numerous reasons for the delay in delivery. If that happens, you will need to store your things. Luckily the majority of local moving companies offer storing service. Unluckily, this will be the cost you have not predicted. Try and negotiate with the movers on costs for this. If on top of this all you cannot sleep in your new home you will have to rent a room in a hotel. And this means nothing but another cost you did not count on.

Storage facility as one of the hidden moving costs
The storage fee is inevitable if your delivery is delayed

Honorable mentions among disguised moving costs

Except for the top five hidden costs we elaborated on, here are some honorable mentions. If you want to expedite your delivery you will be charged extra. This usually happens with a long-distance move. A lot of companies will charge a travel fee, which is the time they need from their office to your home. After the move is over and you want to get rid of all those boxes and trash, you can pay your moving company to do so. This is what they call an environmental fee. Some hidden costs are more obvious than others. The obvious one is tipping your movers if you are satisfied with their service. If you have paid all other fees by now, don’t hold back on the tip.

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