One of your options when choosing a local mover is whether you want a flat rate or an hourly rate. There are both advantages and disadvantages to both. This subject is open to much debate by consumers and movers alike. Hopefully I can help shed some light on the benefits and disadvantages of each to decide which might work better for you.

moving quote

Hourly rates pros:

One of the advantages of booking your move by the hour is in the quoting process. Here is where this option has a distinct advantage in time spent in getting an estimate. This option is very fast since you only need to convey a general idea of the size of your move and the conditions involved. Usually only needing detailed descriptions of exceptional items, ie: pianos, hot tubs, pool tables, lawn tractors…….

Well basically exceptionally bulky items in general. They will also need to know about uncommon conditions and circumstances such as hoisting and extremely long carries. This is a very fast checkout line when compared to a flat rate.

home moving quote

Another advantage is that all disassembly and assemblies are covered during the move…sometimes not the case with basic flat rates. Removal and insertion of large and clumsy items also has an arguable advantage over a flat rate. Arguable because although you’ll have to pay either way, the hourly movers will be much happier about it! With the hourly rate you wont have to barter for your best rate, as all but special charges are covered in time spent. This is also where many consumers have a problem with the hourly rate though.

Hourly rates cons:

However, as easy and quick the quote is to get, the final price can vary greatly from estimate to payment time. You’re at the mercy of the crew dispatched and their speed and skill can make an huge difference from one crew to the next. Another disadvantage is the minimum hours requirements, although this is usually only apparent on very small moves. Even if your movers finish in under the minimum time allowed (good luck with that), you’re still liable to pay the full charge. Traffic jams and many other hold ups will be added to the bill once the clock starts. Oftentimes flat rate movers only charge for time lost at the customers negligence.

Another disadvantage of hourly rates is the quality of the movers available. The driver is oftentimes the only real skilled mover in the crew. Crews often consist of day-labor and even temps with little to no experience in moving. This is certainly not a blanket statement and there are many qualified hourly crews available, I’m only noting this from personal experience over the last 20 years. Answer this and it’ll illustrate a valid point; does the hourly crew benefit from slow work practices, or even worse yet, practice at slow work? This type of charging can have huge potential and hard to see scams built right in! I’m not recommending against this type of move pricing schedule, but be aware of the pitfalls inherent in it.

I’ve moved many people who swear by the hourly rate, and have received reliable and timely movers making for an efficient and affordable move. From the ultra quick quote to the convenience of having a crew for the entire day, sometimes it’s hard to beat an hourly move. On the other hand, many others have been burned by hourly companies and would never use one again. So with any type of fee schedule, it remains first and foremost to find an honest and established company. One who realize that your next move is most likely not your last, and looks to earn future business and referrals.

Next, lets look at the other common type of charging system in local moving, the flat rate. In my next post, I will offer my experience in flat rate moving as opposed to hourly rates to hopefully help make consumers better able to pick the right method for their next move.