The moving industry is notorious for low ball estimates and extra fees. If you hire a bad interstate moving company they will often play games with their estimates and end up charging you more when the actual bill arrives. Good moving companies will try to estimate the cost of your move as accurately as possible. Be sure to work closely with your mover and take the time to provide them with all the necessary details about your move. Our article on legitimate ways a mover can increase your final cost is a good way to make sure you’re fully prepared. Understanding Moving Estimates and Contracts for Interstate Moves When booking an interstate move, you’ll receive either a binding or non-binding estimate from the moving company. Here’s the key difference: Binding estimates lock in the price you’ll pay for the move, as long as your belongings and move details stay the same. If extra services or costs come up, you must approve them. Non-binding estimates provide an estimated price, but the final bill may be higher or lower. The company can charge you more if unforeseen factors occur. Binding estimates offer price protection, while non-binding give more flexibility. Be sure to understand which type you’re getting from any interstate mover. What types of additional fees do movers charge? A good moving company will always try to include all charges in their initial estimate. But details can change so it’s important to know any possible extra charges that may arise during the move. Extra fees are added to the upfront moving estimate and are typically reserved for additional services that make the move stress-free. There are also additional charges if the move is complicated by access issues. Long carry Most movers will charge an additional fee if the distance to your front door from the truck is over 75ft. If you live in an apartment building, the distance is measured from the front door of your actual apartment, not the building. Stair carry If there are more than 1 or 2 flights of stairs leading up to your residence, movers will typically charge a fee per additional flight of stairs. Elevator Some movers will charge an elevator fee if your residence is located on a floor that requires a lengthy elevator ride or if your building has a narrow elevator requiring a lot of trips. Extra stops Need to stop by a local storage unit or your in-law’s house? Movers will typically charge a fee for additional stops beyond the primary residence. Handling fees Movers will typically charge a fee for items such as heavy safes, riding lawnmowers, pianos, hot tubs, large tool chests, etc. These items typically require additional equipment and labor to ensure safe transport. Connecting appliances Some companies may charge an additional fee to disconnect and reconnect appliances such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Storage-in-Transit (SIT) For long distance moves, most movers offer 30 days of free storage. For storage longer than 30 days, typically a monthly fee applies. If you require 6 months or more of storage you may want to consider delivery to a local storage unit or using a portable storage container for your move. Additional valuation coverage While every long distance mover includes $.60 per pound of valuation coverage in their base price, it’s highly recommended you consider increasing this amount. Expedited delivery For an additional cost, movers agree to expedite your delivery and have your items delivered on or before a specific date. Shuttle services Most long distance moves will be done with a ’53 tractor-trailer (like you see on the interstate). If a full-size tractor-trailer can’t get to your residence, a smaller, shuttle truck may be necessary. Shuttles are frequently required in urban areas and can increase move costs significantly.