How to Compare Moving Company Estimates

people signing and comparing moving company estimates

Moving is a stressful event, and it can be very frustrating to go with a company that doesn’t give
you the accurate moving estimate you were promised. The good news is that there are steps you
can take to make sure you get exactly what you’re promised from your moving company. To help
ensure that your move goes smoothly, here’s everything you need to know about comparing
moving company estimates.

Understand the different types of moving estimates

In order to find the best movers for your needs, you should understand how moving company
estimates work. When it comes to moving estimates, there are a few different types. The most
common are binding and non-binding estimates. A binding estimate is one that movers offer
to you and the customer signs. This means you can’t change it once you’ve signed; if there’s an
error or problem, legally speaking, you’re not allowed to point fingers at anyone else or ask for
compensation. You’re stuck with this price because it was agreed upon by both parties in writing.
An unenforceable contract makes for a “non-binding” estimate. This type will allow both parties
some room for renegotiation before sealing things up with ink.

Know exactly what you’re getting

Once you find a new home and decide to move, you should get to know exactly what you’re getting with your estimate. Be sure to ask the moving company representative these important questions:

  • What is included in this estimate? What isn’t included?
  • How long will it take to complete all of the services outlined in your estimate?
  • Are there any additional charges or fees associated with this move that I should know about? When do they need to be paid, if applicable (for example, a security deposit)?

The move is scheduled to start on the date listed in your estimate. You should receive a call from the moving company representative before they arrive on this date, confirming that everything is still on track and ready to go. After the movers arrive at your home, they will begin by taking inventory of all of your belongings.

Have a written contract that includes your estimate

Be sure to get your moving company to sign a contract that includes the estimate. You’ll need a copy of this contract for yourself and for your new landlord if you plan on renting out your old place, so get it in writing. The contract should also include any additional costs or fees charged by the moving company. 

In addition, make sure your moving company has a valid license and insurance coverage. You can check their credentials with the Better Business Bureau or by calling your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs (or a similar agency).

If you’re getting a binding estimate, you won’t be charged over the original cost

If you’re getting a binding estimate, you won’t be charged over the original cost. A binding estimate is a written contract with the moving company that states the price of your move and guarantees it. It’s often used when your move will take place within a state or country and allows you to lock in your costs before they change.

If you’ve decided on a specific moving date, ask if your movers offer a binding estimate as well. This way, if another option comes along that has better pricing (or none at all), then it’s no longer necessary for them to stick to their original quote since there was never an agreement in place for them to do so anyway!

Ask for a binding estimate from multiple companies

It’s important to remember that not all moving companies are created equal. In fact, the prices you’ll be quoted by different movers can vary widely. And that’s not because some scammers want to trick you into paying more than you should. Once you start looking for moving quotes, you’ll realize that different types are available to you. Depending on the type of move and the value of your inventory, you can choose the one that suits your needs the best.

The price difference is due to several factors: for one thing, there are many different ways that a mover might charge for their service. For example, movers can charge by weight or volume per person instead of per household. Another factor is that some companies charge extra fees for certain things like packing materials or fuel costs; others don’t have these fees at all.

You can protect yourself against other unexpected costs

If you’re considering a move with a mover, be sure to ask about any extra charges they may have. You can protect yourself against other unexpected costs by asking questions such as:

  • Are there additional fees for packing materials?
  • Do they charge for packing labor (the time it takes your movers to pack up your belongings)?
  • What is their travel time rate, and how much will that cost me?
  • Does the company provide movers and equipment for loading and unloading your belongings? If so, what does this service typically cost per hour?
  • How does fuel cost affect my final moving price quote from the company?

Be sure to know all the details before signing the contract

This is an estimate that the moving company is legally obligated to honor, so it’s important to get the details right and ask for a written contract.

Read through the entire contract carefully before signing it. If you are moving your office inventory, you must understand what you’re agreeing to before signing the contract with movers. So, take your time going over each point in detail with the agent who gives you this document.

Don’t accept anything less than what was quoted by your movers in their estimate. If there are any changes made after signing off on an initial quote, then ask questions about how those additional costs will affect your final bill before they start packing up or transporting items from one place to another (so keep asking until everything sounds clear).


Hopefully, we’ve given you some clear guidelines for making your next moving estimate. Creating a budget for the move is not easy, which is why you should choose movers carefully. After comparing different moving company estimates, you’ll know which experts to hire for your needs.