Is it Cheaper to Hire a Full Service Local Moving Company vs Doing It Yourself?

long distance move best prices

How Much Money is it to Hire a Full Service Local Moving Company?

best prices for local moving companies

Are you one of the nearly 10 percent of Americans who will be moving this year? If you are, your main focus is probably on the cost of the move. How big a price tag will it be to move across town, interstate, or maybe across the country?

Here’s what some recent statistics tell us:

  • The national average for moving costs is approximately $1,400, with a range of $800 to $2,500. That’s based on a two-person moving team. When it comes to long-distance moves, the typical cost of movers rises to a range of $2,200 and 5,700
  • A local move will likely will cost you $300 to $1,500 if you hire a moving company. 
  • Based on the prices of 55 reviews, a rough estimate for moving within Washington State is between $1,600 and $4,800

At this point, you might be conflicted about which way to go when it comes to paying for your upcoming move. Will you get the most value from a DIY move or by hiring a full-service local moving company?

Your budget will play the biggest role in deciding whether to hire a company to move you or do it yourself. But, in order to fully understand what the best financial choice is for your move, you need to also consider how physically taxing it could be, how far your new home is from where you’re living now, and the skills needed to safely and efficiently transport your personal belongings, and that includes heavy items. 

Let’s begin by looking at the costs of hiring a full service local moving company. 

Costs to Hire a Moving Company

long distance move best prices


While a moving company is required to carry liability coverage for your belongings, it normally won’t cover the expense of replacing a damaged or lost item. You’ll want to buy full-value insurance from the moving company or from an insurance company. This gives you the most comprehensive protection. 

Basic Charges

You will pay the moving company to transport your personal belongings from your old residence to your new one. Movers normally base the cost on the weight of your cargo. 

If you’re moving locally, you will probably be charged by the hour. 

Miscellaneous Charges

You can expect the moving company to charge you for several services. An example is having to use a smaller van if they are unable to drive their large van into your neighborhood. There may also be the need to use special equipment for certain items to ensure the safe delivery of all your personal belongings. 

This makes it important that you thoroughly understand the moving quote, so you don’t overlook any of the charges. 


Standard practice calls for tipping movers. You would be expected to tip each person on the moving crew. It is recommended that your tip come to 15 percent to 20 percent of the total moving cost for moves that are local and interstate. 

Costs to a DIY Move


It doesn’t matter if you’re renting a moving truck or driving your own car, you need to think about the cost of fuel when creating a budget for moving yourself. With gas prices soaring over the past few months, fueling your car could become quite expensive. For example, the average cost for a gallon of gas in Washington State recently was $4.81. 

Truck Rental

If you opt to rent a truck, how much you pay will depend on the truck size and how far away your new home is from where you’re currently living. It will cost you significantly less if you rent a smaller truck for a local move than if you rent a bigger truck for an interstate move. 

You will also need to consider the expense of truck rental insurance. 

Moving Assistance

You can enlist the assistance of your friends and family to move your stuff. But the cost comes in if you require extra help, and you need to hire independent moving helpers. 

Other Factors to Consider – Cost of a Moving Company vs. DIY


There is a saying that time is money. This may prompt you to think about what your time is worth.

For example, if you choose to do a DIY move, you need to be honest with your yourself about the many hours you’ll need to organize, pack, and transport your personal belongings to your new home. 

How much time do you need to devote to your move? Do you have set timeframes for being out of your current home and being at your new residence? If you do, your best choice may be to hire a full-service local moving company. 

Professional movers will be much faster and more efficient, and make sure all your stuff arrives safely to your new home. A moving company will also complete the job within the turn-around time that you need. 

As you calculate the costs of a full-service local moving company versus a DIY move, begin by getting several quotes from a moving company. Take a quoted price and factor in how long it will take them to move you and your belongings. 

You can then work up an estimate of how much time it will take – with the assistance from friends and family members – to do a DIY move. This will include packing, loading a vehicle with all your personal items, and other miscellaneous tasks related to moving. Clearly, it will take substantially more time for a DIY move than if you hire a moving company. 

The dollar amounts – for a DIY move – come into focus when you multiply an hourly rate by how many hours you think it will take to move. For example, if you earn $40 an hour at work, multiply that by your estimate of a 10- or 12-hour day. You don’t want to forget to include your partner’s time and hourly rate. Also keep in mind the expense of moving supplies, the cost of renting a truck, and the fuel expenditures for driving it. 

After you’ve added all these costs to your hourly rate, you may find that it will cost you less to hire a professional moving company. 

local movers vs diy what is better for long distance move
local movers vs diy what is better for long distance move

Distance of Your Move

If you are moving a few hundred miles, or to the other side of the state, then it would make more sense to go with a professional moving company. This is especially true if you’re moving cross country. 

A DIY move might be appropriate if you are relocating to a different town nearby. You could take your personal belongings in short trips from your current home to the new house. This will lessen the work that has to be done on moving day. 

Packing Skills

When determining if it’s cheaper to hire movers or move yourself, you need to think about how good a packer you are. Packing is a skill. The time it takes to pack for someone who is not adept at it could be significant compared to a person who can do it efficiently and not damage anything. 

It helps to know how to pack delicate and oddly shaped items. Do you know how best to move large pieces like furniture or beds? What about knowing how to carry a sofa down a staircase without damaging the walls?

If all of this seems outside your comfort zone, then it would be smart to hire a full-service local moving company.

Your Physical Condition

There’s no doubt about it, moving takes a lot of energy and puts you to the test when it comes to endurance and strength. If you have physical limitations, such as lower back discomfort or a bad knee, you might want to hire professional movers. If you’re older and don’t have the same level of stamina you used to have, then a moving company could be the best choice. 

When it comes to dollars and cents, you could even compare the cost of paying for medical care after injuring yourself during a DIY move. Compare this to the time – and money – you’ll save by having professional movers take care of all the heavy-lifting for you and in a much shorter time span. 

best local moving company larsen transfer

Let Larsen Transfer Take Care of All Your Moving Needs

Are you planning to move locally? Our expert, certified crews at Larsen Transfer can assist you with your local moving needs from initial packing, to loading, to the transport of your precious cargo.

For those of you who will be moving long distance, Larsen Transfer is your mover of choice. We simplify long-distance moving. As a leader in the long-distance moving industry, we integrate the latest technologies, provide sophisticated customer service, and abide by federal highway safety regulation standards. All of this is done to best serve all your moving needs.  

We will make it simple and easy to move from your old home to your new residence, and in a timely, safe, and efficient manner. 

Trust Larsen Transfer – the industry leader – to make your next move happen seamlessly! 
The next time you need a moving company for a local, national, or international move, call on the moving mavens at Larsen Transfer at (509) 943-9139.


More Posts

Message Us!