Extra Fees and Costs Movers Can Charge When Moving House

Find Out What Service Fees You Might Be Responsible For When Moving House

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Whenever you hire a moving company, make sure you understand the extent of the additional charges that might be billed to you in additional to the estimate the mover provided. These moving company fees depend on the conditions of your move. So, before you book a mover, find out which charges might be applicable for your move from and to your new home then get a moving quote and make sure that quote holds.

Accessorial Charges

Some moving companies lump all extra fees that don't fall under any of the terms below and call them "Accessorial Charges." These charges may include packing or unpacking services, extra pick-ups at a storage facility or disassembling furniture. To avoid this charge, make sure you’re ready for the movers before they arrive and that you ask the right questions.

Advanced Charges

These are fees for services provided by a professional other than the mover and can include a craftsman, or other third-party at your request. It includes a specialty piano mover, appliance preparation or appliance installation. If these services are arranged through the moving company, the charges are billed to the mover who in turn, bills you.

Appliance Service

It is a fee that is charged if the mover needs to prepare the major appliances for moving, which includes disconnecting at the original residence then reconnecting at your new home.

In most cases, appliances included are washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.

Auxiliary Service

An auxiliary service charge refers to an extra fee that is rated per hour should the move be delayed because your goods need to be transferred to another truck. As previously mentioned, this can happen if you don't have adequate parking or if you live in a home that is not accessible by a large moving truck (a long narrow driveway).

This means that the moving company has to transfer your goods to a smaller truck then to your home (or from your home).

Avoid these extra fees by ensuring the moving truck can park close enough and that nothing is blocking the truck's access. If you're unsure of accessibility, call the mover first and ask questions that pertain directly to your move, such as the appropriate distance from your home or building's entrance to the truck.

Customs Clearance

There are always custom fees associated with international moves. However, the mover might also charge you for clearing your goods through customs. Many international movers include this fee in their overall cost already but ask, just in case. If it is included, make sure this is clearly marked on your estimate.

You’ll also need to check with the country you're moving to for details on what documents you will need and the import costs involved. Your international mover should also be able to provide you with more information on regulations and procedures surrounding the entry of your household belongings into another country.

Elevator Carry

If you live in a walk-up apartment or high-rise condo, you might be charged an additional fee for the moving company to transport your goods in an elevator either at the pickup point or destination.

To ensure the movers are aware of your particular moving needs, let them know if an elevator will be part of the move. Keep in mind that not all moving companies charge for this service and particular those that are charging you by the hour (if doing a local move), but many do. It does take longer and more energy to load an elevator and unload it again than it does to move directly from a home to the truck, so the fee is not unexpected.

Expedited Service

If you want a guaranteed date of arrival, then you may be charged a higher minimum rate. The best way to avoid this charge is to be flexible on the move in date. Most people can work around a move in date, and if you pack your essentials and take them with you, you should be able to survive for a few days or week without your household goods.

Flight Charge

Like the elevator carry charge, flight charge is a fee for carrying items up or down flights of stairs either at the place of origin or at the destination. For example, a third-floor residence would equal two flights since the mover begins on the first floor. If there are elevators available, and they are large enough to transport your goods, there should be no flight charge. However, an elevator charge may apply. Again, ask your mover.

Linehaul Charges

This is a basic charge for a long distance move, which is calculated by mileage and weight of your shipment. Linehaul charges are usually on top of your initial estimate. Since moving companies provide you with a weight estimate and distance estimate before booking their service, they should be able to give you the cost of the linehaul charge. Ask upfront.

Long Carry

This is an additional charge that is applied when the mover has to carry goods from the truck or van to your residence over a longer distance than is typical. Normally there is a distance limit between the rear of the moving truck/van to your residence's entrance. When this limit is exceeded, you are charged an additional fee. Ask the mover how far they will carry before the long carry charge is applied. If you’re concerned about the distance, either have it measured or ask the mover when they come for their interview/appointment. If you’re concerned about the distance at your new home, try to find some way of measuring the distance. Ask your realtor or apartment/condo manager. If the company says that they will charge you, try to negotiate the price. I did this once, and said that my husband and I would assist with the move in lieu of charging this additional fee. The mover agreed. You don’t know unless you ask!

Shuttle Service

This is a fee that is charged when your goods have to be transferred to a smaller truck because the large moving truck cannot access your home. Some movers, if they know ahead of time, don’t charge you extra. Again, ask and negotiate.

Specialty Movers

If you have larger items to move such as piano, items that require a specialty mover, then the moving company will charge you an additional fee. Pianos are difficult to move, so make sure you speak to your mover about this charge and if they’re equipped to handle this kind of specialty item.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)

This is a fee charged if and when your goods have to be stored before being moved to their new home. This type of service may be necessary when your new home isn't ready to occupy and your items must be stored. When booking your mover, you must specifically request this service. Additional charges apply, including warehouse handling and final delivery charges. Before booking a mover find out exactly when your new house will be ready so that this timeframe can be built into the cost. Extensions on this timeframe may incur extra charges.

Storage Extension Coverage

In case your belongings need to be put into storage you will probably need to purchase extra insurance or if you've already purchased moving insurance, this can usually be extended. This is called storage extension coverage. Check with the moving company or insurance company on the details of your policy to ensure you’re covered. Also make sure you have a definitive storage timeframe established, or if you're unsure, provide a longer coverage period than you think you'll need. It’s always better to be over-insured instead of under.

Warehouse Handling

This is a fee charged whenever the storage-in-transit service is provided. This charge refers to the physical movement and removal of items within the warehouse.