How to Find the Best Cheap State to State Movers
If you're among the 40 million Americans moving each year, you're probably looking for a way to do it cheaply. Especially if you're moving to a different state, it's easy for moving costs to add up. But you don't want to cut corners when you're transporting your belongings.
From packing to driving, a good moving company will provide prompt professional services. Stick around to learn how to find the best cheap state to state movers!
Ask for Free Moving Estimates
When it's time to move, you can begin by searching online for moving companies who transport across state lines. Some moving companies only do local moves or limit their service radius. So, be clear that's you're zeroing on the right movers.
As you shop for moving companies, start by making a list of ones that offer free, no-obligation estimates. After all, if you're trying to sell your old house while taking on a new mortgage, you want to minimize extra burdens to your bank account. During an estimate, each company should do a walk-through in your home, with the estimator noting all inventory.
As the homeowner, you should be clear on what items won't be traveling with a professional mover. In other words, if you're planning to take the cat condo and stained glass windows in your vehicle, tell them. This will help the estimator arrive at a more accurate quote.
Look at a Company's Experience Level
When moving out of state, it's critical that you hire experienced movers. Going with the absolute cheapest way to move out of state may mean you're skimping on experience and quality. If you want your family heirlooms to arrive in one piece, choose movers with experience.
It's fair to ask how long a moving company has been in business. And you should verify that they have experience moving people across state lines. The logistics are more complicated as the mileage increases, so you need to know you have a company that knows how to stay organized.
Many moving companies, even the cheaper ones, will require internal training for their employees. You should take the time to ask about this in any company you're considering. Better-trained movers will be more efficient, too.
Ask a potential mover if they'll wrap furniture and how they plan to secure items in the truck. They should be able to provide answers without skipping a beat.
Know the Transportation Choices
With 4.4 million injuries from vehicle accidents, the last thing you want is to drive a big and unwieldy moving truck. It's smart to make your move a little easier by outsourcing the driving to the pros.
But you also don't want to blindly hand over the vehicle selection to a moving company. Paying for a truck that's too big won't help your bottom line. Know the options within a moving company's vehicle fleet — and how the prices differ.
Also, check the condition of the vehicles. Rusting vehicles that look like they're 20 years old won't provide the protection you need. Ask about the age and condition of the truck that will be transporting your belongings.
While truck size can impact your final bill, be aware that many movers charge by weight for an out of state move. Work with your movers to see if you can get a cheaper estimate by scaling back your inventory.
Are They Licensed and Insured?
A good moving company will have general liability insurance. If a mover is injured while lifting your items, you don't want to be stuck paying the medical bills. With this insurance coverage, you won't be!
On top of insurance, movers need to be licensed. They'll need to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and their license number should be searchable in the online database.
Before you sign anything, you need to confirm what kind of liability coverage is available, as well, to protect your belongings. Ideally, you'll want to go with Full Value Protection coverage. This means that the movers are on the hook for the full value of items that are damaged or lost.
Released Value Protection is another type of liability coverage. While less expensive, you'll only get about 60% of the value of a broken item. There's always a risk of items breaking during the packing and traveling, so be certain you know what the moving company does if that happens.
Understand Hidden Fees and Cancelation Policies
For an out of state move, there's always a possibility that the timeline will shift. You might need to close on a new house sooner than expected, for instance. And as a result, it's possible you'll need to delay or cancel the move.
When those circumstances arise, you need a moving company that offers some flexibility. Don't hesitate to ask what the cancelation policy looks like with a company. There may be a deadline by which you have to cancel to get a full or partial refund.
Will you need to pay more if you're moving to a fifth-floor walk-up apartment? You could be stuck paying a fee if movers have to ascend a lot of steps. And if movers need to hold your belongings — and protect them — overnight, you'll be paying a little more, too.
Is your destination in a very remote area that's tough to access? Location challenges can result in extra fees for your move. And so can needing to move bulkier items, like pianos or big armoires.
If you own delicate antiques or fancy artwork, consider choosing special handlers. You might be able to request special handlers within a particular moving company — and you should ask. Though you'll pay extra, they'll know the best way to wrap and protect your most vulnerable and expensive items.
Are you moving for the first time? You might not have a lot of experience with the basic steps in the moving process.
And it's easy to be persuaded that all moving companies are the same. They aren't, however, and you're better off asking for references.
It won't cost anything to ask a potential mover for a list of recent customers. You should be able to contact them for an unbiased appraisal of their experience. A company that is unwilling to give you some references is one to cross off your list of considerations.
A reputable moving company should have a website that shares some customer testimonials, but you probably won't get the most honest perspective. That's why it's also good to look on search engines for reviews. If you see a lot of negative reviews, look elsewhere.
You also can see how a company has done with the Better Business Bureau. By doing a search, you'll be able to see if the company has been the subject of complaints.
Get Organized to Save Money
Ultimately, it's in your best interest to stay organized as you move. As you're in the planning stages, use a checklist to track responsibilities. That way, you can keep track of how much you're spending on different materials and tasks.
Find ways to save money in the process. Consider shipping smaller items cheaply. And look into driving a load of items to your new location if it's not too far.
Look at other ways to save, too. Packing can be a tedious task that chews up your time. You can save money taking on the work yourself — but consider the circumstances first.
You might be on a tight timeline or starting a new job. And you probably have other moving responsibilities, like enrolling children in new schools. In these situations, it's better to hire cheap state to state movers for the packing and maybe even the unpacking.
And work with a removal company to unload junk and other non-essential items that shouldn't make the move. You'll lower your inventory, as well as the weight of items on the truck.
Check for Discounts
Another way to trim costs is by getting discounts. It can pay to be pushy and ask for a lower price or perks. If you're moving during a less popular time of year, such as the winter months, you might have some leverage.
During October through April, you can expect rates to be lower. It can pay to make your move then, versus the summer when you'll be competing with a lot of other people.
If you're a veteran, you may be able to score discounts with some moving companies, as well. Likewise, some movers offer discounts to senior citizens or people holding AAA memberships.
It never hurts to ask movers if a particular day of the week offers any discounts, too. For instance, opting for a move in the middle of the week could be cheaper. Moving in the middle of the month, and not when leases are starting or ending, also could bring savings.
And the pay structure can be a source of savings, too. Going with cheaper movers who offer a flat fee can be the best way to go for your budget. Otherwise, if movers go by weight, you might end up being surprised by the final bill.
Get the Details in Writing
Once you've settled on a moving company, get your contract in writing. Don't agree to anything unless you have the terms in print!
You may be offered a non-binding estimate or a binding estimate. With a non-binding estimate, you won't need to pay more than a small percentage above your original estimate. With a binding estimate, what you see on the estimate is what you'll need to pay.
The contract should indicate the itemized inventory list of everything that will be on the truck. It also should outline how long the move will take, as well as how you can get ahold of the driver or other personnel.
Know the timeline for payments, too. And know what types of payments are accepted. For example, you may need to pay half of the cost upfront, and then the second half immediately upon completion of the job.
And assess the status of your inventory as you unbox it. You'll want to put any problems on the bill of lading, which is like a receipt that inventories all items.
Consider Tackling Some Tasks Yourself
The cheapest way to move out of state is to take on some tasks yourself. And, of course, you can let the pros handle the trickier parts.
Many moving companies will let you choose which services you want. While you might not want to drive a big truck 500 miles across state lines, you can keep your budget lower by doing the packing, for instance.
Gather old boxes, newspapers, and bubble wrap. You can visit appliance stores or other organizations to ask for extra boxes. Use old blankets and towels to help with cushioning as you pack fragile items.
You might want to reconsider relying on friends and family to help with the unloading. Yes, you can save some money by doing this. But cheap state to state movers can offer economical services — and you won't have to worry about your aging uncle breaking his back.
Find the Best Cheap State to State Movers
With the help of cheap state to state movers, your belongings can make it to their next destination safely. Make sure you get estimates from a handful of companies and know what hidden fees and cancelation policies look like. Get details and contracts in writing, and make sure that you're hiring a reputable company with good references.
You can save some money by packing yourself, but you're better off leaving the heavy lifting to the pros. Ready to get moving? Contact us and we can help!