The Average Cost of Moving Across the Country

If you’re considering a cross-country move, you have some important decisions ahead of you. One of the most important things to figure out is what you’re willing to spend. The average cost of moving across the country can vary based on several factors, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

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Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay

Prepare to Spend Upwards of $1,000

At a minimum, you can expect to spend at least $1,000 on a cross-country move. It’s likely that you’ll ultimately spend far more than that. Average costs are generally somewhere between $1,000 and $15,000.

While it’s possible to move for cheap when you’re moving somewhere nearby, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of money when you’re traveling long distances. You may want to get quotes from moving companies you can trust to have a clearer picture of what to expect. 

There Are Many Costs to Consider

There are many different expenses you’ll have to cover when moving out of state. Hiring moving companies or renting a moving vehicle is one of the highest costs, but other expenses can add up quickly. These expenses may include:

  • Loss of wages from time off work 
  • The cost of moving supplies 
  • Gas 
  • Food costs 
  • Hotel stays 

When you’re budgeting for a move and trying to see what you’re likely to spend, you’ll want to make sure you include these expenses in your calculations as well. If you overlook major expenses, the cost of your move could wind up spiraling out of control. 

You’ll Spend More If You Have More

The more you’re bringing with you, the more costly a move is likely to be. It’s possible to move a studio apartment for as little as $1,000. However, if you’re moving to a four-bedroom home, you’ll likely be spending at least $6,000 on your move.

Of course, there’s an upside to this. Selling and donating some of your old things can be an effective way to reduce your move’s cost. With that said, if you’re planning on selling items that you’ll need to replace, like a couch, you’ll want to compare the cost of replacement against the cost of moving that item. 

Distance Can Impact Moving Costs

Another factor that can significantly influence the total cost of a move across the country is the distance you’re moving. Moving from the east coast to the Midwest is more affordable than moving from the east coast to the west coast.

Traveling more miles means you’ll be consuming more gas and putting more strain on your vehicle. This will cause your costs to rise. While it’s possible to move for as little as $1,000 if your move distance is less than 1,000 miles, you’ll be spending a minimum of $2,000 on a move of 2,000 miles or more. 

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Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

DIY Isn’t Always the Most Cost-Effective Option

Many people believe that they can cut the total costs of moving across the country by handling everything themselves. Unfortunately, DIY moves can actually be more expensive when you’re traveling long distances. One of the most challenging things about running a cross-country move on your own is that a lot of expenses are difficult to predict.

If you look at the cost of renting a truck and compare that against what you’d spend to hire movers, you might think that a DIY is more cost-effective. However, you’ll need to look at everything else you would need to pay for. If you can’t drive your vehicle to your new home, you may have to pay to have it transported. What will that cost? What are you going to have to spend on gas? How long will it take to reach your destination? Will you have to stop at restaurants and hotels?

When you work with movers, you’ll typically be given a fee that includes many different expenses. This means there will be fewer surprise expenses, which means it will be easier to budget for your move. 

There Are Plenty of Ways to Save

These costs may seem daunting, but there are several steps you can take that will make your move more affordable. As mentioned above, you can cut costs by moving fewer items. Moving during the right season can also help you save. Rates tend to be lower in the fall and the winter.

Planning ahead is crucial. When you book movers early on, you’ll have the chance to compare rates and find your best options. You’ll also be able to lock in lower rates ahead of time. 

The average cost of moving across the country can be high, but moving can be affordable with a little extra planning. Working with a legitimate moving company that you’ll be able to rely on. Make sure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.