The Hidden Costs of Moving and How to Avoid Them

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Moving can feel like an overwhelming, stressful event in any household, and the logistics of a long-distance or cross-country move can bring about unexpected costs associated with hiring movers, packing materials, a storage unit, and plenty of other possible requirements throughout the process.

The moving process has changed dramatically over the years, and currently, moving expenses are the one thing that can deter Denver residents from booking with professional moving companies.

Crafting a moving budget is essential so you don’t get stuck paying extra money for hidden moving costs, a high-security deposit, or other assorted fees that can arise during the relocation procedures.

pennies budgeting long distance move
Counting your pennies when budgeting for your long distance move is crucial as you need to be aware of any ancillary expenses

The Real Cost of Moving

Cross-country movers in Denver cultivate quality options for clients to ensure all household goods are transported safely to their final destination. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to moving house, and any extra cost puts you over the edge of your moving budget.

moving boxes cost of relocating
There’s more to moving costs than simply the boxes themselves. Here are a few examples of expenses you must consider:

Unexpected Moving Costs: What You Might Not Consider

There are plenty of unexpected costs associated with hiring long-distance moving companies. Still, a truly professional moving company should be open, honest, and straightforward about what it would cost to rent a storage unit, if necessary, how much space you will take up on the moving truck, packing materials, overnight fees, long carry fees, stair fees, etc.

Generally, people like to think about things in terms of how much they have – and they assume that in hiring a professional mover, they are guaranteed a premium packing service and storage space without any surprise expenses.

There are, unfortunately, a multitude of additional fees that can be associated with your moving day, and it is what people ask Denver movers.

packing boxesPacking Supplies: More Than Just Boxes

Packing services do not come for free; hidden fees can sometimes be in plain sight when you are hoping to snag a few extra cardboard boxes, tag along perishable food items, and soft crate valuable items – you will need bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, etc.

Securing quality packing supplies and professional movers to complete all the work is a part of the extra costs associated with moving. You aren’t going to find cheap movers that provide good quality supplies that will protect your household goods in transit. Packing supplies are more than just boxes; an array of materials is required to defend your belongings.

fragileSpecialty Items: The Cost of Moving Fragile or Large Items

While some people are concerned with whether or not they can transport perishable food items – which you cannot – others have to worry about moving valuable and fragile belongings. Most moving companies will require more money for bulky items and anything that must be soft or hard-crated.

These are exceptional circumstances; sometimes, it can even need hiring separate professionals for assistance, but it is critical in developing the final costs of moving.

insuranceMoving Insurance: Protecting Your Belongings

Planning a long-distance move requires homeowners to review their current home or renters insurance coverage. Movers often will allot additional moving insurance purchase options, and the more protected your things, the more peace you have for your entire household.

Every moving company should carry moving insurance and must do so per the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Insurance is meant to protect the moving company just as much as to provide a safety net should any of your belongings become damaged on the moving truck in transit. While movers spend a tremendous amount of time training and gaining experience so that accidents do not occur, accidents can happen, and purchasing additional coverage for protection is necessary to have multiple layers of security.

shipment volume in truck
Some movers charge by the weight of your goods. The best carriers however, will charge according to volume as it’s easier to quantify. The size of your shipment, coupled with the distance to your new location, will play a major role in calculating your quote.

The Impact of Distance and Time

Long-distance moving costs should be provided to you in an itemized list before moving day. Still, most of your moving costs are calculated by the volume or weight of your household goods and the distance you travel. You must consider your travel expenses, food budget, lost wages, and other circumstances that may impact you throughout the process.

Time is of the essence because when you are waiting for delivery, your driver will provide certain hours for both pick-up and arrival. They typically hire separate movers to assist them in the moving process or maintain set crews.

They have to assess gas costs, labor costs, additional insurance, proof of insurance required by building management, the possibility of parking tickets, a needed parking permit, wait time for holding stuff overnight, etc. There is a multitude of unknown factors that can impact the moving experience and the final moving costs.

additional costsLong-Distance Moves: Additional Costs to Consider

Starting the process for a long-distance move requires a security deposit, and that deposit should never be something that puts you out of pocket; however, on the other end, you have to remember that your movers are providing a service, and it is commonplace to tip movers according to how the moving experience was.

There are many things to consider about how your final bill can be affected.

calendar Time of the Move: Seasonal and Day Rates

There are different rates for moving depending on when you are moving within the year, month, week, and even the time of day can affect your cost. The warmer months of the year are the busy seasons for renting, buying, and therefore moving, and when the demand is up, so are the prices.

Looking for cheaper? Fall & Winter months during weekdays are your best bet!

packing charges
Company packing is sometimes a necessity if you have fragile items requiring some TLC.

Additional Services and Their Costs

packing boxesPacking Services: Convenience at a Price

The average cost of a long-distance move is approximately $2,500 to $18,000. That is an extensive range because there are an assortment of additional expenses that can be incurred, especially if you are hoping for your movers or a separate moving company to come in and complete all the packing for you.

The cost of packing can also vary greatly, but most moving companies will provide various packing options.

storageStorage Services: When You Need Extra Space

Storage fees depend on how much room you are taking up within the warehouse or storage facility and how long you want to be there. Moving businesses will provide storage options if required because things do not always go as planned.

If your house falls through, you cannot find an apartment or home suitable for you and your family, or you run into other circumstances – storage units are necessary.

service elevator

Accessorial Services: An Added Expense

long carryLong Haul or Long Carry

A long carry fee is designated if your household goods are carried from the moving truck to the door past the measurements listed on your contract. The time charge is paid per the carry length as the moving crew commits to additional labor for the pick-up or delivery.


Elevators can be a charge implemented if necessary on either end of your move. It takes additional time to access any location with an elevator, and this can push back other customers on the schedule.

flight of stairsStairs

If there is no elevator, companies will have a different fee for stairs accessed at your move’s pick-up or delivery point. A minimum stair number should be set on your paperwork included in the move, and anything additional is charged per flight.

shuttle truckShuttle Service

Shuttles are required when there is a parking situation or accessibility issue. Per the DOT, cross-country drivers can only travel the interstate in a full-size semi-truck. Suppose they cannot legally access the pick-up or delivery location with their semi-truck.

In that case, they are at risk for parking tickets during the service or will end up grid-locked – the driver will rent a smaller truck, transfer your items from the semi onto the box truck, and deliver from there. They cannot risk getting a parking ticket, violations, causing damage, or getting stuck!


If your belongings are in transit for delivery and your closing date is pushed back, or suddenly the apartment you were hoping to rent cannot be accessed until later – you are still required to receive the delivery.

Redelivery can occur when you cannot accept or refuse delivery, and your belongings are then placed in storage and charged for both storage costs and redelivery fees, which can be incredibly pricey.

parking permitParking Permits in Downtowns

A parking permit may be required for pick-up or delivery if you live in the city near a heavily populated area. It is essential to check with your local government agency to ensure you have the permits necessary!

long distance moving quote

Understanding Your Moving Contract

Estimates vs. Actual Costs: Know the Difference

When approaching any long-distance move, it is essential to be an informed consumer. This means getting multiple quotes and reviewing the paperwork in detail before signing any documents. A moving estimate is intended to provide clients with an understanding of the cost of their move, but this is never a definite total.

Extra Fees: Reading the Fine Print

Any additional fee that could occur during your move should be listed in your initial moving estimate and again in the paperwork you sign on the day of your move. Pay close attention to the details. Otherwise, you may be surprised when the big day arrives.

asking mover questions
Your mover is there for more than just taking your credit card info….asking as many questions as you like about your move is important.

Practical Tips to Avoid Hidden Moving Costs

Eliminating Hidden Costs: Asking the Right Questions

A significant part of being an informed and responsible consumer is asking questions. Never be afraid to ask about anything unclear, confusing, or downright off.

If something seems way too good to be true, it most likely is, and if something looks extremely strange. Ask questions before you get into a situation you cannot escape.

Planning Ahead: The Key to Save Money

The best way to budget is to ensure everything is planned ahead of time. Sit down with your partner and everyone in your household to properly prepare for your needs before you relocate.

This will give you a great understanding of your budget, allow you to set aside wiggle room for additional charges, and inevitably set you up for success.

Doing Your Research: Choosing the Right Moving Company

Moving is almost always immediately associated with stress, but it doesn’t have to be. Denver City Movers has been proving customers autonomy in their moving procedures and remains transparent to ensure their clients are never surprised or blindsided by additional fees.

Do some digging and get a few moving quotes before making a decision; consider asking people you are close to for referrals, and always read reviews to verify the company’s reliability and validity.

Negotiating Your Moving Costs: It’s Possible!

Don’t forget – you are in control of your moving destiny. This is your journey for the taking, and it is your responsibility to negotiate and ensure that the estimates you receive work for your household and will uphold your wants, needs and establish a foundation for this next chapter of your life.

self packing saving moving costs
The best way to save on costs is to pack your belongings yourself. You could save hundreds, possibly thousands, in labor fees!

People Also Ask

hidden costsHow do you avoid hidden costs?

Avoid hidden fees by booking with Denver City Movers, a family-owned and operated company homegrown in Denver. They are here to service their friends and neighbors in Colorado with an honest, reliable, and transformative moving experience instead of covering the hidden costs of moving.

CHEAP PLACES TO LIVEHow do I keep my moving costs low?

Knowing the best month to move coupled with the best day to move can’t hurt your total moving costs; moving expenses can increase and decrease throughout different times of the year.

Consider doing a partial pack instead of having the moving company complete it on your behalf. Work closely with your moving representative to ensure you can cut costs and stick to your allocated budget.

long distanceWhat is the true cost of moving?

Whether you are moving to Arizona, moving to Texas, moving to Ohio, or moving to Illinois – moving costs are determined by how much you need to take and where you need to take it.

The true cost of a long-distance move is calculated by how much stuff you have and how far you need to go, but all the details should be accounted for to rule out additional expenses.

shuttle truckWhat is an example of a hidden cost?

The most common costs people do not plan for are shuttles because their delivery location isn’t accessible to a full-size semi or the need for a long carry because the driver can’t park properly anywhere nearby the property and is then required to complete an extremely long carry to the home or truck.

denver city mover
All of our movers are fully fledged employees and have years of moving experience!

Conclusion: Making Your Move Cost-Effective and Stress-Free

Don’t allow hidden moving costs to drag your budget into the following line of zeros – long-distance relocations should be a time in your life when you get to create and develop new memories, nest in your new home and enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

Long-distance, cross-country, and local moving companies in Colorado should always be straightforward about any additional charges that could be encountered during your move.

Denver City Movers is committed and fully dedicated to ensuring their clients feel safe, secure, and in control of their relocation needs.

Budgeting is critical, and Denver City Movers understands how essential crafting an affordable, accessible moving experience is for Coloradans today. Having a moving company you can rely on to maintain integrity, openness, and honesty through your relocation process makes all the difference during a long-distance move.

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