Hiring a Moving Company vs Renting a Moving Truck


Never again! This phrase is something nearly everyone utters at some point during the process of moving. Moving is perhaps the most stressful thing you will ever do and if you are planning to move house soon deciding to do-it-yourself or hire a professional moving company will affect the work, stress level and cost involved.

For short distance relocation doing it yourself is probably a less expensive option. If your family is moving to a new home far away it probably makes sense to hire a reputable moving company.

DIY Moving

Before renting a moving truck and doing it yourself, there are some important things to consider. Can you legally drive a truck big enough to move your belongings? How much is insurance going to cost? What about fuel? Most rental companies expect the tank to be filled when you return the truck. If you are moving more than a short drive away the cost of fuel could easily run to several hundred dollars.

Expenses can add up quickly as little unexpected must-have items add to the cost of the rental truck. Soon what started out as $100 per day and .40 cents a mile can become a major cost. There are always unforeseen costs but a little homework and planning can give you an idea of the real cost of DIY moving and help you get ready.

Expenses involved with a DIY move:

  • Renting a moving truck-$100/Day and sometimes much more
  • Boxes, cartons, and bags
  • Sealing tape and markers
  • Packing peanuts and foam pads to protect your stuff
  • Box knife, markers and bubble wrap
  • Food for the friends you talked into helping you move

Everything considered, renting a moving truck added to the costs of fuel supplies, packing materials, and moving equipment can cost up to several thousand dollars depending on how far you are moving and if you need hotel accommodations before you get to your new house.

Hiring Professionals

The first step to hiring movers is doing some research. Ask friends for referrals, look online and visit moving company websites. Angie’s List is a good place to look for reputable firms and look through the reviews to see which firms have a reputation for quality work done in a timely fashion.

For interstate moves, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a good source of information. You can look up the company you are interested in to discover if they have any complaints from customers.

Look for:

  • American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) symbol
  • Better Business Bureau listed logo
  • Angie’s List symbol

The cost of hiring a professional moving company varies depending on the size of the company and their quality of work. The cost will likely be anywhere from $500 for a short move and up to several thousand or more for long distance relocation. Talk to several and ask for written estimates so you can compare cost and exactly what is included in the estimate. The key is getting a reputable firm which provides the most comprehensive service for the money.

Renting a moving truck is a good bet for short moves or with limited amounts of goods like moving a child back home from college housing. Big moves will receive greater care and be accomplished more quickly by professional movers. True, moving is stressful but working with professionals is the most cost effective solution.