How Much Does It Cost to Hire Local Movers?

Average range: $420 - $2,240
Average Cost
(Full-service move of a three-bedroom home)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by

If there is one area where people can agree, it’s that moving can be a pain. Even local moves can be time-consuming, tedious, and require much effort, attention, and manpower that you just might not have to spare. Fortunately, instead of waking up on moving day to find that only one friend showed up and your truck rental fell through, you can hire local movers to handle everything from door to door. Local moving companies offer affordable labor and moving assistance for people moving within a specific city or region, including an array of solutions up to full-service moves so that you don’t have to lift a finger and can focus on the rest of the moving process.

The national average cost to hire local movers ranges from $700 to $2,240. Most people spend $1,820 to move a three-bedroom house with a moving company that provides four laborers and requires five to eight hours of work when you pack your own belongings. On the low end, some people spend as little as $210 for a small studio apartment move that includes two laborers and two hours of work for moving labor only. At the high end, some local movers may charge as much as $5,250 for a full-service move of a four-bedroom home with packing and unpacking included that requires eight to ten hours of work with five laborers.

Local Moving Prices

Local Movers Cost
National average cost$1,820
Average range$700-$2,240

Local Movers Cost by Project Range

Moving a studio apartment with no packing services included
Average Cost
Full-service move of a three-bedroom home
Full-service move of a four-bedroom home with full packing and unpacking services

Average Hourly Rate for Movers

The average hourly rate for movers ranges from $60 to $80 per hour for a local move when you pack your own belongings or $90 to $120 for a full-service move that includes packing and unpacking services. Some movers may charge as little as $50 per hour, while others may charge as much as $300 per hour, depending on the work being done, your location, and other factors. Typically, most movers have a minimum charge of two or three hours of work. So, even if the move is smaller and takes less time, they still charge the minimum amount. This covers their expenses and ensures they aren’t losing money on jobs. Most local movers charge hourly because the distance isn’t a factor. Some charge a flat rate by the house size or other factors.

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Flat Rate Local Movers

Flat rate local movers typically charge $700 to $2,240 for their services, depending on the size of the house or the number of items being moved. Because of the nature of the work, flat rate pricing is usually reserved for long-distance and out-of-town moves where calculating mileage and hourly rates would be far less cost-effective for everyone. Some local movers charge a flat rate for their services, as will some local moving truck rental companies. However, it is far more likely that you will find hourly rates when pricing a local move.

Average Moving Costs Local by House Size

The average local moving costs range from $210 to $3,500, depending on the size of the house. The size of the house typically indicates how much furniture and how many boxes will be involved in the move, as well as how many movers will be required for the job. For example, while a four-bedroom house might take eight to ten hours with five movers, you may only need two movers and three to five hours to complete a one-bedroom move. In the table below, you’ll see the average cost of local movers for various house sizes based on bedroom count, as well as how many movers the job would require and how long it takes to complete.

Local Moving Cost for a Studio Apartment, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, or 4 Bedroom House

Local Moving Cost for a Studio Apartment, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, or 4 Bedroom House

House SizeHours RequiredWorkers RequiredCost (Labor Included)
Studio Apartment2 - 32$210 - $420
1 Bedroom House3 - 52$420 - $700
2 Bedroom House4 - 63$840 - $1,260
3 Bedroom House5 - 84$1,400 - $2,240
4 Bedroom House8 - 105$2,800 - $3,500

In-City Moving Cost by Type

The average in-city moving cost ranges from $100 to $2,000. This varies depending on the type of service that you choose and what the movers provide. There are several options to choose from, but they typically fall into one of three categories. In the subsections and table below, we look at the cost differences between local full-service movers, movers for loading only, and self-packing moving services to help you get a better idea of what your move will cost with each service and what they entail. Bear in mind that in the cost ranges, the lower costs are reflective of what it would cost to move a smaller house, while the higher costs are closer to what you would spend on a larger house with more bedrooms and belongings to move.

Cost of In-City Self-Pack Movers, Movers to Load Truck, and Full-Service Movers

Cost of In-City Self-Pack Movers, Movers to Load Truck, and Full-Service Movers

Moving Service TypeAverage Cost (Labor Included)
Self-Pack Moving Services$100 - $500
Movers to Load Truck Only$180 - $800
Local Full-Service Movers$300 - $2,000

Self-Pack Moving Services

Self-pack moving services typically cost between $100 and $500, depending on how much stuff needs to be moved. This service allows you to pack and prepare your own items. They provide the truck and transport your items, which you can then unload and unpack on your own, as well. These services are more affordable in most cases and are a good choice for people who don’t want others packing or loading their belongings. This can cut costs significantly because the bulk of moving costs are in the labor charges.

Movers to Load Truck Only

If you prefer to transport your own items or just want a cheaper option, you can hire movers to load the truck only, for an average of $60 to $80 per hour, or $180 to $800 for three to ten hours of work. These movers charge by the hour and the number of laborers that are needed. Larger homes cost more because there will be more to load and unload. Heavy items, bulky items, and specialty pieces like pianos may also incur an additional cost, which will need to be considered. Some companies offer discounts for combining services, so it may only be slightly cheaper for you to pack and transport your own items, depending on the service you choose.

Local Full-Service Movers

Local full-service movers typically cost between $300 and $2,000. This depends on the size of the move, how much stuff you have, and how long the job takes. If you have delicate or specialty items that will incur an additional charge, that is something to consider. Typically, it is most effective to choose full-service companies if you want a hands-off experience for your move. They take care of everything from packing to loading and unloading, transporting your items, and then unpacking them in the new home.

Average Price for Local Movers

The average cost range of $700 to $2,240 for local movers is broken down into several factors. It is usually divided into the cost of labor, the cost of a truck, and any materials required for the job. For example, in the average cost provided above, approximately 60 to 75% of the cost is attributed to labor and man-hours. The other 25 to 40% goes toward the cost of the moving truck and any tools, materials, or equipment needed for the move. Some companies offer flat-rate services that combine these elements without providing a breakdown. But when you inquire, they should be in line with these numbers.

The process of moving locally when you hire local movers is a fairly painless one. The moving company should call a day or two ahead to confirm your move and ensure everything is in order. This is a good time to double-check the truck size and the number of laborers coming. On the day of the move, they arrive with a truck and prepare to work. First, someone will go over the estimate with you, explain the process, and advise on any concerns or questions you may have. Then, they will start packing and loading your items. Once the work is done, they transport the items to your new location, unload them, and have you sign off on the moving contract confirming that the job is complete.

There are also different types of estimates offered by moving companies: binding, non-binding with a price ceiling, and non-binding. The binding estimate means that the price is locked in, and all parties have agreed on the costs. If either party breaks their end of the deal, the contract is nullified. A non-binding estimate is truly an estimate. It is flexible and may go up or down upon completing the move. There is no limit on how high it could go. Some movers offer a non-binding estimate with a price cap, which means that the quote may change, but only within preset limits. This gives you peace of mind that you’ll never pay more than you can afford.

Several different factors impact what it will cost for you to hire local movers for your move. The size of the house and how much personal property you have will be two of the biggest factors. Large pieces and unusual items like appliances, hot tubs, or pianos incur a premium cost. You also pay a premium charge for stairs or other obstacles, such as narrow hallways or dangerous passages of any kind. If the moving company has to park further away due to parking limitations, this may add to the cost. Be sure to address all charges before agreeing to an estimate so that you know what each charge means.

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Local Moving Companies Prices

The average local moving companies’ prices range from $90 to $2,000, depending on whether they are a local service or a bigger chain or multinational brand that offers local moving services. These companies typically charge based on an hourly rate for labor and may charge a flat rate for additional fees or services, such as a truck fee, fuel fee, or other charges. In the table and subsections below, we look at the most popular local moving brands and what they charge for their services, including labor, materials, and included services.

Cost of U-Haul, Two Men and a Truck, and Firehouse Moving Services

Cost of U-Haul, Two Men and a Truck, and Firehouse Moving Services

Moving CompanyAverage Cost (Labor Included)
U-Haul$90 - $400
Two Men and a Truck$240 - $1,000
Firehouse Movers$500 - $1,100
United Van Lines$800 - $2,000

U-Haul Local Move Cost

U-Haul local move costs with laborer help range from $90 to $400, with an average rate of about $45 per hour for labor in addition to the cost of the truck rental. If you choose local movers to help with your U-Haul move, you must pay for the truck rental and the laborers’ work. The company allows people to search local companies and choose the labor they want to ensure reputable people are doing the job. Most people use U-Haul for self-moving and don’t enlist the assistance of the labor services. However, they are an option that’s relatively affordable when compared to other companies. U-Haul is available all over the country.

Two Men and a Truck Local

Two Men and a Truck local moves have an average cost of $240 to $1,000 for three to ten hours of work, with an average hourly rate of $80 to $100 per hour. This includes all labor and materials, as well as the truck and transportation. Some local discounts and specials are available from time to time, but the average rates are still fairly competitive. This company is a chain that has locations all over the country. They offer everything from simple labor assistance to full-service moves and more.

Firehouse Movers Cost for Local Move

The average cost of Firehouse Movers for a local move is around $500 to $1,100, depending on how much you need to move and how long the job takes. The company generally doesn’t use distance as a factor in moves considered local because they have an allowance for a certain distance. There may be instances where they charge hourly, which is on point with the standard average rate of $60 to $80 per hour for labor or $90 to $120 per hour for a full-service move. They may charge a flat rate based on the job after seeing what needs to be done. This company is limited to local moves in and around Texas.

United Van Lines Moving

United Van Lines moving services typically cost around $800 to $2,000 for full-service moving with door-to-door service and all materials and labor included. Although their prices are some of the highest on the list, they offer some of the most high-quality, comprehensive moving services for people who want a truly hands-off experience. This company is much more familiar with long-distance and out-of-state moves, but they have local services available for residents across the country who need them. United Van Lines is a national brand.

Local Move Truck Rental

Those who want to save money can opt for a local move truck rental. The cost averages $40 to $600, depending on the size of the truck, where it is rented from, and how long the truck is needed. Those looking for a truck alone can find several companies providing this service with different rates for local moves, intrastate moves, and truck rentals without labor services. In the table and subsections below, we’ll look at the most popular local move truck rental companies, what they charge, whether they charge a flat rate or by the hour, what mileage or fuel fees are involved, and more.

Cost to Rent U-Haul, Penske, Budget/Avis Moving Trucks

Cost to Rent U-Haul, Penske, Budget/Avis Moving Trucks

Truck Rental CompanyAverage Cost (Rental Only)
Local U-Haul$40 - $150
Penske$75 - $300
Budget/Avis$80 - $600

Local U Haul Truck Rental

Local U-Haul truck rental typically costs between $40 and $150, depending on the size of truck that you need and how long you need it. Local moves from U-Haul include unlimited mileage. You will only pay for the fuel to refill the truck in addition to the rental charges. While many people see the $19.95 rental specials for U-Haul, that’s the base price for the smallest truck and doesn’t include extras like taxes, fees, moving insurance, truck insurance, and other costs. These extra costs can easily almost double the cost of the advertised specials in the end. Still, it remains one of the most affordable moving truck rental options. U-Haul is available throughout the country.

Penske Truck Rental Rates Local

Penske is a little more expensive than U-Haul, with people spending about $75 to $300 on their truck rental from this company. Penske has newer equipment and provides a variety of truck sizes. They are better for their large truck pricing than most companies, but their smaller trucks may be comparatively more expensive. In some cases, you may be able to find specials or get discounts for booking a certain time frame or agreeing to a different return day or time, which is a helpful bonus. Penske rentals are available nationwide.

Budget Moving Truck Rental

Budget moving truck rental and Avis moving truck rental both operate through Budget, which costs about $80 to $600 for a local move rental, depending on the size of the truck and how long it is needed. Avis works directly through Budget Truck, so those interested in either company should go directly through Budget to save time and money and avoid variances in the cost of rentals. Budget and Avis offer moving trucks in all sizes and cargo vans for those who want something easier to maneuver. Budget and Avis offer services around the country.

Moving Truck Sizes

The other factor in choosing a truck, whether it is with moving labor or a rental alone, is the size of the truck that you need. The size of the house and the amount of contents affect the size of the truck needed and the cost that is incurred as a result. Most companies charge more for larger trucks. Some brands have size ranges where two or three sizes are the same price, or they offer a discount for upgrading to a larger rental. In the table below, you’ll see a comparison of the average moving truck size and the size of the house or apartment it will accommodate to give you a better idea when planning your own move.

Average Moving Truck Sizes for a Studio Apartment, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, and 4 Bedroom Home

Average Moving Truck Sizes for a Studio Apartment, 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, and 4 Bedroom Home

Truck Size in FeetAverage House Size
10’Studio apartment
15’1 bedroom home
17’2 bedroom home
20’3 bedroom home
26’4 bedroom home

Moving Packing Service Cost

You can hire a moving packing service to assist with your local move at an average cost of $60 to $80 per hour. The average cost ranges from $170 to $2,200 to move a two-bedroom home. The exact cost that you pay varies depending on how much you have that needs to be packed and unpacked and other factors. Companies can come in and pack all of your belongings and follow your instructions or wishes to ensure that things are packed according to your preferences. Several companies provide this service, but if you allow the same company to handle the rest of your move, it may be cheaper than hiring another service.

Cost of Moving Boxes

The average cost of moving boxes and other packing supplies is $150 to $800, depending on how many boxes you need, what sizes, and whether you need specialty boxes like wardrobe boxes or odd shapes. The cost also depends on whether you need supplies like bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, or other supplies, adding to the cost. You can reduce this cost by getting free boxes wherever possible. However, there are no guarantees about the shapes, sizes, or durability of the boxes you find. Several different types and sizes of moving boxes are available to buy from local home improvement and big-box retail stores and the companies that provide moving services like U-Haul, Penske, and others. These companies often have estimating tools that estimate how many boxes you need to get an accurate cost.

Local Movers Loading Packed Boxes into a Truck

Moving Insurance Cost

You can expect to pay $100 to $500 for the average moving insurance cost when added to your move, which gives you between $10,000 and $50,000 in protection for your belongings. You may purchase moving insurance to protect your belongings and furnishings from damage during the move or liability protection against the moving company or truck rental provider. Several moving insurance products are available. Your belongings will typically be covered under your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance policy. The coverage may not extend to damage caused by movers, which makes moving insurance a good investment. You may also purchase extra insurance for a moving truck if you rent one to DIY your local move to prevent a huge bill if damage is caused to the truck while it is in your care.

Local Moving Checklist

When you are moving, several things need to happen. Taking the time to make a checklist can be helpful. While everyone’s move will be different, there are basic steps and tasks that everyone should have on their list. First, you need to choose what type of service you need: full-service, partial service, or DIY truck rental. Then, you need to find the best service and decide what to move and what to discard. You always want to sort and organize your items before moving so that you don’t take anything with you that you don’t want or need.

You will also want to create an inventory list and ensure that you have all of the custom packing supplies and materials that you need for your belongings. You might want to save boxes from fragile items or sentimental pieces so that they can be repacked safely for transit when you move. Make sure that you optimize the space in your boxes and plan your packing to keep it organized. Label boxes with the room they go in and a few notes on what’s inside so that you have an easy time unpacking when you arrive. Speaking of easy, make sure that you take pictures of all electronics and assembled items before you take them apart to move to have a diagram of how to reconnect or rebuild everything when you arrive.

Leading up to moving day, you should be preparing as much as you can. Pack along the way as much as possible if you aren’t hiring someone to do it for you. Try to get rid of as much stuff as you can so that you don’t take it with you. Start making a to-do list for moving day so that you can delegate tasks and keep everything organized. Make sure that you keep important documents in a safe place and with you at all times during the move. Never pack anything of value or anything with sensitive or important information.

During the move, if you’ve hired full-service movers, you’ll simply step back and let them do the work. If you have a truck, you’ll want to load it carefully and maximize space so that you aren’t making more trips if it isn’t necessary. If movers are doing the work, be available to answer questions but stay out of their way. Once they are done, make sure that you are satisfied with everything before you sign off and allow them to leave. After you move, you’ll be ready to settle in and enjoy your new life if you take the time to take care of things ahead of time.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Cost to Move a Piano Locally

The average cost to move a piano locally is $350 to $1,000. Piano moving is generally charged as a premium service because of the delicate nature and size of these items. The national average cost of moving a piano varies from one state or region to the next. Other factors that could impact what you pay include the style of piano (upright vs grand/baby grand/ vs organ), whether it has to be moved up or down stairs, and if it is on wheels, such as in the case of an upright piano, where a separate dolly may not be needed to assist with the move. The more difficult the move and the larger the piano, the more expensive it will be.

Storage Unit Cost

The average storage unit cost is between $50 and $300 per month, depending on the size of the storage unit, whether it is indoor or outdoor, climate controlled, offers security, and other features. You may need to rent a storage unit for your belongings if you are moving out of your old home before the new one is ready or if you have items that you don’t want to move into your new home until certain things are done. Several sizes of storage units are available, ranging from as small as 5 x 5 feet to as large as 10 x 30 feet, with larger units costing more.

Cost of Professional Organizer

The average cost of a professional organizer is $200 to $800, with most people paying around $450 for a consultation and three hours of service. Hiring a professional organizer during a move could be a good way to declutter and downsize your old home and set up your new home in a functional way that makes it more enjoyable and comfortable from the start. These professionals generally charge hourly, although they may offer discounts on larger jobs or project rates for big decluttering and organizing tasks. In addition to helping you better organize your space, they can teach you tips to stay more organized and improve your own habits.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Tipping the movers. When you hire movers, they are providing a service for you. Therefore, some people suggest that you tip your laborers for their work. Some companies do not permit this, so be sure to inquire before tipping to avoid causing problems. If you do tip, most sources recommend $4 to $5 per hour per mover or $20 per person for a half-day move and $40 per person for a full-day move.
  • Living costs for transition time. Don’t forget to factor in any expenses you may incur during the transition between homes, such as costs for dining out, staying in a hotel if your new home isn’t ready in time, and even boarding pets or hiring babysitters. These costs impact your moving budget, too.
  • Moving date. Consider moving in the middle of the week and the middle of the month, as these are usually less busy times and therefore cheaper to move. Also, move between October and April to avoid the spring and summer price hikes.
  • Saving tips. Sell and give away as much as you can before you move so that you’re not paying to move anything you don’t want to keep. You should also look to get at least three estimates from moving companies.
  • Permits. Some cities throughout the U.S. require a moving permit. Most of these are major cities like Seattle, Portland, and Philadelphia. It will be important to check with your municipality regarding any required permits and considerations for parking and loading or unloading on moving day to avoid fines and tickets.
  • Travel fees. In addition to your other moving expenses, you will also have to factor in travel fees, such as fuel for your vehicles and fuel for the moving truck. In a local move, the travel fees should be minimal, but they still need to be factored into your budget.
  • Packing materials. In addition to boxes, you may want to invest in packing paper, bubble wrap, plastic bags, storage totes, and other items to make your move easier and protect your belongings. These incur an additional expense. Movers typically provide furniture pads and dollies to transport furniture and larger items safely, which will be included in the cost of their services.
  • Seasonal rates. Moving is in high demand from May until October in most places throughout the country. You will pay a premium for moving during these months and if you move on the weekend or at the beginning or end of the month. The cheapest moves are done in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month, and in the fall or winter.
  • Obstacles for movers. If there are stairs, steep driveways, narrow walkways, or other things that make a move take longer, those add to the cost. When getting estimates, you must let the movers know about any potential obstacles so you can get an accurate estimate. Typically, movers will charge $50 to $100 for each flight of stairs or obstacle, depending on the difficulty.
  • Avoiding scams. Moving companies are scarcely well-regulated, and local fly-by-night companies are always a risk. Be sure to check movers for proper licensing, reviews from other customers, and other details. You should also check their ratings with the BBB or the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association). If a company is lacking this information or unwilling to share it, it could be a red flag.
  • Regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates moving trucks as commercial vehicles and requires DOT registration for all interstate moving trucks. As of 2020, 30 states require DOT registration for in-state and local moving companies. This registration allows the federal and state governments to track moving companies and hold them accountable to DOT regulations and driving laws.
  • Friends and family. These people can be an invaluable asset if you are trying to save money to move. However, you will want to make their work easier by labeling boxes so that they know where things should be placed or what should be packed in each. Also, provide snacks and drinks to keep them going throughout the day.


  • How much do movers cost for a local move?

The average cost of movers for a local move is $700 to $2,240, depending on the size of the house and how much needs moved, along with other relevant factors.

  • What is the cheapest way to move locally?

The cheapest way to move locally is to do it yourself. You can obtain boxes from free places such as cardboard dumpsters and others who have moved recently. Recruit friends and family to help with the moving process. If you know people with trucks, you can even save the cost and hassle of renting a moving truck and make it even cheaper. At most, you’ll pay for food, drinks, and maybe some gas money for those who are helping you out.

  • How much does it cost to have movers pack for you?

The average cost to hire movers just to pack your items is $60 to $80 per hour or $170 to $2,200 for a two-bedroom home. This is in addition to any moving services, although you may be able to get a discount when you hire movers for a full-service job that includes packing, moving, and unpacking your belongings.

  • Is it worth paying for movers?

Paying for movers is worth it for those who want to save time and hassle or don’t have the means or desire to handle the labor. Plus, since there are so many options, you can pick and choose the moving services worth it to you.

  • What is a good hourly rate for movers?

Typically, you can expect a good hourly rate for local movers to be around $60 to $80 per hour for moving labor only, or $90 to $120 per hour for a full-service move where the company provides a moving truck, labor, and packing services.

  • How much does it typically cost to hire movers?

The average cost to hire movers is between $700 and $2,240 for local moves. Long-distance moves typically cost between $4,000 and $8,600, depending on the distance and size of the move.

  • How much should I pay someone to move furniture?

The average cost to move furniture ranges from $50 to $400, depending on where the furniture is being moved (within the building or to another location) and how much furniture is being moved.

  • Can you negotiate with moving companies?

In some cases, you may negotiate rates with moving companies. This is typically more feasible with small local companies than with chains or national/international moving companies. They may refuse, but it never hurts to ask.

Cost to hire local movers varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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