Nobody expects moving to be cheap. Between the costs of the new place you’re moving into, renting a truck, or possibly hiring a moving company, moving can be a very big expense. But the real killer is the small, unexpected costs that most people don’t take into account but add up quickly. Whether you hire movers or choose to go DIY, these costs can blind side you if you’re not prepared. This list is designed to give you an idea of what hidden costs to expect so you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises along the way. The best way to prevent unexpected expenses is to be as clear as possible regarding all details of your move, and be sure to choose a dependable moving company.
When renting a truck, the rental and gas fees alone can be pretty daunting by themselves. But there are a few hidden fees that can add to this and make the truck rental process even more expensive. Truck rental insurance is one of these, and this can reach up to $150. And this may not even cover every type of damage; overhead damage is usually not covered by most truck rental policies.
Speaking of gas prices, these are usually separate from truck rental fees and are up to the renter to cover. Since most rentals have pretty low gas mileage (7 to 10 miles per gallon), the diesel fuel burned can add up very quickly. This can make gas a huge chunk of your moving expense, as you need to fill up the truck once you’re done or you can be hit with additional fees.
Lastly, being on the road for a long move might mean you’ll need to stop at a hotel for one or more nights. This could be add up, as many hotels can charge $100 or even more.
Actual Costs of “Cheap” Movers
If you hire a moving company, it can be easy to be enticed by the cheapest offer out there. But these “cheap” movers will usually cost you in other ways; as with all businesses, not every company is transparent. If a moving company advertises a very low fee, then they’ll most likely make up for it with their hourly rates and other details they don’t always mention.
While movers that charge hourly aren’t necessarily a bad option, some companies will multiply that hourly rate by the number of movers you hire to help. So if you choose to hire 3 people, you’ll be hit with 3 times the hourly rate that’s advertised. Researching the companies you’re considering thoroughly is the way to avoid these surprises.
Sometimes, it’s impossible to sync up your move-out date with the time to move in to your new place. If this happens, many people have to place their furniture and belongings into storage until they can move in, and this can be another unexpected but significant expense. Storage isn’t always cheap, and a tiny 10×20 foot unit costs over $100 a month and up to $180 a month if it’s climate controlled. This is certainly a surprise you can do without.
Utilities & Deposits
The fees don’t end once you move in to your new place, either. Many utility companies require you to pay initial fees for setting up accounts, and these fees can be pretty brutal when stacked on top of final utility fees you still owe from your old place. This along with pay-in-advance bills can make it feel like you’re paying 2 sets of utilities at once
This is not to mention security deposits. In the chaos of moving out, it can be easy to overlook the need to clean out your old place before you leave. This is not only courteous but will also ensure you get your security deposit back if you’re renting an apartment. Because chances are you’re already paying a new security deposit at your new place, the last thing you need is to lose the one you put down on your old apartment.
Moving is stressful enough without being blindsided by hidden fees and unexpected expenses. So next time you plan a moving budget, be sure to anticipate all of the things mentioned above to ensure that you have a fairly accurate picture of what everything will cost and can plan accordingly. If you do hire a moving company, it helps to find one that’s transparent and won’t hit you with any unexpected fees. Hiring the right movers will take a lot of the weight of moving off your shoulders.