How To Calculate Long-Distance Moving Costs

As you may already be aware, relocating your home or office across long distances can get quite expensive. However, there is a world of difference between “quite expensive” and “prohibitively expensive”. Unless you know how to calculate long-distance moving costs, you might not figure out what category your move falls into before the moving deadline. Even if you plan on hiring one of the best long distance movers in your area, you still want to know how much your move is going to cost in advance. While your movers will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate, this is a somewhat lengthy process. Furthermore, the money you spend on hiring movers is only a part of what you need to spend on your relocation. By learning how to calculate the moving costs, you will be able to make better plans and create a more enjoyable relocation experience.

Average long-distance moving costs

To start with, you will want to know some “baseline” statistics. Knowing what the average moving cost is might allow you to figure out your costs at a glance. When it comes to professional movers and the cost of the relocation, there are two primary factors: The number of miles between two places and the size of your home.

several cardboard boxes
The more boxes you have, the more expensive your move is going to be.

For example, a move that involves a driving distance of 250 miles would cost anywhere between $1,123 and $2,260 for a 1-bedroom home. For a 2-3 bedroom home, this number would increase to anywhere between $2,272 and $4,343, while a 4-5 bedroom home would incur up to $5,553 in moving costs.

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Here is the full breakdown of average long-distance moving costs:

  • 1000+ Miles / Studio-1 Bedroom = $1,442 – $3,024
  • 1000+ Miles / 2-3 Bedroom = $3,145 – $5,958
  • 1000+ Miles / 4-5 Bedroom = $6,378 – $10,002
  • 2500+ Miles / Studio-1 Bedroom = $1,920 – $4,272
  • 2500+ Miles / 2-3 Bedroom = $4,236 – $8,546
  • 2500+ Miles / 4-5 Bedroom = $9,546 – $14,107

Have in mind that these costs are averages across the entire country. It is entirely possible that your relocation costs much less (or much more), depending on your location and other circumstances. Many moving companies also carefully monitor the moving trends in 2023 and adjust their prices accordingly. Do not get overly “attached” to these numbers, they are only there to serve as a frame of reference.

How to calculate long-distance moving costs 101

It is quite impossible to 100% calculate your long-distance moving costs without getting a binding estimate from your movers first. That being said, what you can do is account for anything that you know your relocation will require. Therefore, you will want to verify any expenses for:

  • Travel fees
  • Packing services
  • Storage services
  • Moving supplies
  • Insurance
  • Moving date

A local move is rather easy to calculate, as the only thing you need to do is multiply the estimated number of hours to complete the move with the hourly mover rate. There is always a possibility of common moving day problems and other issues, of course, but your calculation will mostly remain intact. Long-distance moves, on the other hand, are much harder to calculate. Let’s take a look at how various things influence the total moving cost.

person looking to calculate long-distance moving costs
If you want to calculate long-distance moving costs, you will need to take note of many factors.

Travel fees

Any long-distance move will have associated travel fees. These include fuel costs and labor costs. The more time it takes for the movers to get from one location to another, the greater the overall cost.

Packing services

Hiring packing services from professional movers will increase the overall move cost. The exact increase depends on how many items are there to pack, whether you need to prepare outdoor items for moving and storage, and similar factors. While packing services may be extremely handy and can save you a lot of time/energy, you may want to be rather careful with them. They can ramp up the overall cost rather quickly. 

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Size of the move

The primary cost component in long-distance moves is the size of the move itself. The heavier your shipment is, the costlier the move. It is no wonder why holding a pre-move sale is one of the best ways to cut down on moving costs. With long-distance moves, you want to try and minimize both the volume and the weight of your shipment. That will not only make it easier to calculate long-distance moving costs but it may also allow you to spend more money on time/energy savers, such as:

Storage services

If your move happens to be of a complicated variety, meaning that it requires storage services, this will also increase the cost. To minimize the additional cost, you might want to try and understand the different types of storage and when you need them. Always ask for storage specifics and make sure that your company provides any storage agreement in writing.

Moving supplies

Every move, local or long-distance will require plenty of moving supplies. The fact of the matter is that you are going to need boxes, bins, bubble wrap, and many other supplies when you start packing your home for relocation. While none of these supplies may present you with a considerable investment on their own, their combined cost may prove to be quite alarming. It is best if you make the cost calculation on time!

person packing an item
Make sure to account for packing materials!


If you are planning on hiring professional movers to help you relocate, there is one more thing that you will need to account for: Insurance (otherwise known as Liability Coverage). You will need to talk to your moving company to see what kind of liability & protection options you can get. The closer you get to Full Value Protection, the more expensive your moving insurance will be.

Moving date

Lastly, taking the moving date into account is extremely important when you want to calculate long-distance moving costs. Moving during the peak season (usually Summer) is more expensive than moving out-of-season. Furthermore, weekend moves usually cost more than moves on a weekday.

Once you account for all these variables, you will also need to take additional costs and fees into account. The list is quite long, including elevator fees, stair carry fees, specialty moving services, long carry fees, extra stops, etc. And, of course, you can’t calculate long-distance moving costs without accounting for tips! Due to these reasons, the best way is to simply use a moving calculator. Most moving companies will offer you one, and you can find various calculators on the internet, as well.

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If you want to know how to make your long-distance move cheaper, or how to find the best long-distance moving company, you can find all the answers right here, at the Consumer Opinion Guide! Using our extensive knowledge database is absolutely free and will allow you to save more money on your upcoming relocation!


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