4 Tips to Help Choose a Moving Company
Moving is tough. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a study conducted in the UK revealed that 6 out of 10 adults deemed moving as the most stressful event in their lives, even more so than break-ups and divorce. Triggers included remembering to redirect mail, lifting and moving boxes, furniture that needs to be reassembled, wiring electronics and everything that a big move entails.
Many people think that doing it themselves saves them money, but in reality, a DIY interstate move could cost up to $1,500 more than hiring a moving company between truck rentals, moving supplies, gas, truck rental insurance, and hotel expenses.
Choosing the best moving company can be a daunting task, so hopefully these 4 tips to help you choose a moving company will help you narrow down your list.
1) It’s all about your budget
The first order of business before even considering contacting a moving company should always be determining your budget. How much are you willing to spend on this service?
Average costs for a local move usually hover in the $1,250 range, while an interstate move can rack up to $5,000 if it’s a long-distance overhaul, like say, 1,000 miles.
2) One word: Reputation
Whether you are using a carrier (the company itself actually handles your entire move) or a broker (they don’t move you themselves, but rather pair you up with a carrier partner and handle the billing and payment), you should always choose a moving company with a stellar reputation.
Research things like:
● How long ago was the company established?
○ Are they new or well known?
○ Have they ever been in trouble for damaging private property?
○ What are customers saying online?
● Do they have the required state licenses and proper accreditations?
● Are they insured? How are their safety records?
Companies that handle interstate moves are required by law to be licensed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This ensures that you have access to current driving records and complaints filed against the moving company using their unique DOT number.
3) Ask questions
Besides checking a company’s reputation, make sure you understand how the carrier or broker comes up with your quote or estimate to avoid any surprise costs. Likewise, if you can’t find their DOT number online, accreditations or insurance policy, contact them directly and get the information in writing as evidence of your due diligence.
4) Compare quotes
Moving is so stressful that there’s a real temptation to just go with the first moving company estimate. Refrain from doing this!
Comparison shopping with a minimum of three different companies will save you from wasting money and potential headaches. It’s never a good idea to get a quote online or over the phone, because some specialty items carry extra costs. The best moving companies will send an agent to your place to measure and weigh your items for the most accurate quote possible. If you’re not sure if the company you’re potentially hiring does this, ask!
Also, make sure you have a moving date in mind because weekends and holidays might change your fee. Remember to inquire about penalties in case of date changes or cancellations.