Hourly vs. Flat Rate Movers

When you first start hiring a mover, you might be surprised about the amount of options you have to customize your move. Do you want full service, deliver, pickup? Are you getting your own packing materials, or is the company supplying them? And finally, do you want to negotiate a flat rate price, or go with an hourly one. Well, this depends on what your moving details are. Here’s a guide from our moving experts on when it’s best to choose an hourly rate, and when it’s best to go flat.


Choose an hourly rate if…

  • You’re moving nearby and are packing the house yourself

  • If you’re moving a tiny studio or partial household


Hourly rates are usually set at least for 3 hours, and small moves like these might take only 3-4 hours if the moving company sends enough staff. Make sure to ask how many movers in this instance will be there to help you, as they might intentionally send less people so the move takes longer. Once you get a set time estimate from the moving services company, make that the agreed limit – or consider negotiating a clause in the contract that sets a maximum cost limit. If you are attempting this sort of move, a flat rate will probably be much higher than what the move should actually cost based on the amount of work. Try scheduling your move to avoid traffic, as that time will be factored into the charged hours as well.


Choose a flat rate if…

  • You’re making a long distance move

  • You’re moving a large house or apartment, or have lots of boxes or furniture

  • You’re moving in a heavy traffic location


If any of these categories apply to you, your moving process will likely take longer, and have wild variation in time – so choosing a flat-rate quote will be much better for you. This flat rate can be set before the move based on an inventory of what you need to have transported – and it will allow you to stay relaxed even if you get caught in traffic or take a while to transport furniture. The fee is set and you can expect it exactly, and the movers will efficiently complete their job with motivation – and there’s no discomfort or worrying about the calculations of full charges. Just make sure to have clarity about what your move requires down to the final detail.