Of course, another important part of estimating moving costs is distance. A neighborhood move probably won't entail mileage costs, but it probably will require a vehicle. Whether you pay a moving van, rent a truck, or simply buy gas for your own vehicle, distance is important.
Calculating crosstown miles is easy. But how far is it from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Reedsport, Oregon? A moving company will figure transportation costs from a schedule of fees that gives the mileage between two points and the transportation charge per mile. It may be something like $1.00 per mile per 1,000 pounds. So getting the correct mileage is important.
A rental truck charge will be based on estimated mileage as well as the number of days it will take to get there, unload, and return the truck somewhere. Again, the correct mileage is important.
How long will it take you to get there? Larger road atlases include estimated time as well as mileage between points. If you estimate traveling 50 miles per hour, you will be allowing for stops every couple hours. A day's driving should be limited to 500 miles in a car or 350 in a rental truck. Your mileage may vary.
The shortest route between points may not be the best. Remember to consider road conditions, mountains, rivers, weather, and other obstacles as you plan your move from here to there. Map books are available at truck stops and will show you the preferred truck routes and help you calculate mileage. They will also identify routes that aren’t open to truck traffic.
Not only is mileage to your destination important, but the location is also important. For example, a 1,000-mile move to North Carolina may be more expensive than a 1,000-mile move to North Dakota. Why? Because two-thirds of the North Carolina moves are into the state while about two-thirds of the North Dakota moves are out of the state.
What that means is the moving van or rental truck in North Carolina might have to travel a bit for the next moving job. And guess who pays for the "deadheading"? Yup, you! That's why moving companies and rental truck firms charge a premium or offer adiscount for moves between certain locations.
How can you tell if you live in a lopsided state? Ask a moving agent or moving truck rental firm. They have the latest facts and figures regarding what the move may cost you.