What to Look For in a Moving Estimate

Are you preparing for moving or even just toying with the idea of selling your home and relocating? Getting a moving estimate is one of the first steps! We’d love to help you streamline the moving process!

Here are some tips for getting an estimate for your move:

Understand What Factors Go into the Cost of Your Moving Estimate

Moving estimates may not be exciting reading, but the information they contain can have a huge impact on how you decide to move forward! An estimate is essentially a list of services, with their local or long-distance rates, which result in the estimated cost of your move. Be sure to review all line items carefully, with special focus on labor, deposits, mileage thresholds, weights, tariffs, fuel, travel time, packing materials, and any extra charges for special care items.

Learn How a Moving Estimate is Calculated

Do you feel like the moving company pulled an estimate out of thin air? Far from it! Your written moving estimate comprises specific factors custom-calculated just for you.

An accurate, thorough estimate contains these items, where applicable:

  • The origin and destination addresses (and the number of miles in the route between) 
  • The number of laborers, trucks, and hours involved in your move, along with the estimated number of hours for the process (local moving) or weight of the shipment and applicable tariffs and discounts (long distance moving)
  • Cost of fuel
  • Amount of valuation protection provided (usually basic protection or full valuation coverage)
  • Travel time
  • The approximate weight and volume of the belongings
  • An estimate of the number of objects moved (Televisions, mattresses, boxes, armoires, etc.)
  • Moving and delivery dates and applicable time window (i.e., “Delivery spread”)
  • Packing materials or labor for packing (if the service is provided for you)
  • Optional services for large, heavy items, crating, special handling, shuttle requirements, or appliance setup and servicing
  • Storage and crating (often called “Storage In Transit”)
  • Terms of contract and payment, and payment methods accepted
  • Your rights and your mover’s responsibilities related to the move

Ask Questions About Your Moving Estimate

Double-Checking & Fine Print

It’s perfectly okay to ask questions about things you aren’t sure about! If you don’t see something on the estimate, it’s important to point out the discrepancy or inquire about the reason. If you see line items, fees, and charges that you don’t understand, the moving company representative would be happy to break it down or double-check that the fee applies to your relocation.

Negotiation & Special Pricing

Some items in your estimate may be negotiable, but you won’t know until you ask. Additionally, many companies also offer incentives for customers like discounts based on referrals or monthly specials. Perhaps a discount on moving boxes or packing materials? Make sure to ask the representative if there are any applicable deals! Often, the best rates come seasonally or with availability. Plan and book your move as far ahead of time as possible!


The season in which your move takes place could have a big impact on the bottom line! If you can push off the move until cooler (non-peak) months, or try for mid-week instead of a weekend, you likely can see your estimate drop!

Ready to start your moving process?

Get a FREE MOVING QUOTE. Contact us to speak to a member of the CMMS team about the details of your move!

From Our Happy Customers