Five Common Surcharges to Watch for When Booking Your Move

It’s no secret that hiring professional movers can take the stress out of relocation. However, moving contracts come with unexpected expenses. Look for these hidden fees before signing the final paperwork.


1. Insurance

Many people assume that insurance is included when you hire moving services. While a professional move does include basic limited liability protection at no extra charge, it only covers 60 cents per pound. This means that a 30-pound item is only protected for $18 in damage, regardless of how much the article is worth. In this case, it’s a good idea to pay extra for full value protection.

2. Long Carry Fee

When the movers can’t park their truck close enough to the door, you will be charged a long carry fee. This assessment usually runs between $90 and $120 for every 75 feet. It is based on the distance from the door to the truck, and it applies to the starting and ending point. If you live in or move to big cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, it’s difficult to rely on free parking spots. To avoid this hidden moving fee, try to reserve parking or get a parking permit for the time and day of your move.

3. Disposal Fee (Environmental Charge)

You can save money by unpacking your things yourself at the new house. That’s because movers will charge for this task and the removal of the packaging materials. You can avoid extra fees by throwing out your boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap and other materials, once the move is completed.

Moving companies might claim this assessment as a disposal fee or environmental charge. If you don’t have the time to unpack, ask the moving company to explain exactly what they will charge for this task. Before signing, check that the moving contract matches what the representatives say.

4. Extra Cost for Bulky Items

Large or heavy items can incur extra fees because they take up space and are hard to transport. This applies especially to hot tubs, pianos, metal safes, and pool tables. If you have items that require lifting by crane, you can expect to pay as much as $2,500 extra. You will also incur additional costs for stairs. To keep costs down, evaluate if you can perhaps sell the bulkier items before the move.

5. Flights, Steps, and Elevators

When you are moving into or out of a place on the upper floors of a building, moving companies will assess stair charges. They will either set up a price per step or calculate the cost per flight of stairs. If the building has an elevator, you won’t have to pay this cost.


However, the company will assess an elevator service fee. Since this charge only applies when there is a wait, try to reserve the elevator ahead of time. To avoid this fee altogether, you could have the movers unload your items and call in some friends to carry all the things upstairs.

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