A move can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. The team at Moving Feedback did the digging so you don’t have to: We looked through movers and memberships alike to find out how you can save every penny.
In this article, we’ll walk you through all the ways you can save money on your move, including what deals are worth the extra effort. Read on to see our list of the best moving discounts, and start saving for your move with our insider tips!
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While we do recommend downsizing to make your move a little cheaper, you don’t have to sell off everything you own to get a lower price. Take a look at some of these common (and not-so-common) discounts before you start pawning off your heirlooms:
The golden years come with many rewards, including better pricing on your move. Most movers offer a special rate for senior customers. Aside from general senior discounts, a few moving companies also offer special deals for members of some senior organizations. These include:
If you’re in a club or other organization, make sure you ask your mover if they offer any discounts. Make sure you use any membership card to your advantage: Even if you’re just in a recreational baseball league, you may be surprised by what companies sponsor local organizations.
Aside from awesome hot dogs and a very generous return policy, Costco can also save you some money on your move. However, their discount is only available on truck rentals through one company:
Membership in certain unions can also net you a discount on a moving day, but like the Costco discount, this is only available through one nationwide company:
Budget: If you’re a union member (and you pay your dues on time), you can save 20% with Budget Truck Rentals through Union Plus. Retired union members can also benefit from this discount.
If you’re a college student, these discounts can save you a lot of beer and ramen money:
Teaching is a tough job, but at least you can get a sweet deal on your relocation. According to our research, there’s only one nationwide moving company that offers a teacher discount, but it never hurts to ask your local movers to see if they can cut you a deal:
According to our experience in the moving industry, June, July, and August are the most expensive months to move. There’s more demand, and movers typically charge a premium for their services.
Fortunately, if you manage to swing a move outside of summer (and ideally mid-week and mid-month), you can end up saving big. Relocating between October and April can net you the best pricing. Try to avoid major holidays, though.
If you’re a member of the Missouri Synod, you can save a little on your move. From our research, there’s at least one nationwide company that can give you a discount:
The American Automobile Association (AAA) also offers some sweet deals and discounts for your move.
A AAA membership costs between $45 and $165, but it pays for itself if you’re planning a big move. In fact, even if you aren’t moving anytime soon, you can really benefit from their roadside assistance and car rentals if you have car trouble.
Here are some of the moving companies that offer a AAA discount:
If you book your move with Penske, you can get a AAA discount that ranges between 12% – 30%. This discount applies to both moving truck rentals and relocation services.
Penske is a direct partner with AAA on truck rental. There are two ways in which AAA members can save money with this partnership:
We’re always impressed by Penkse’s excellent support and deals for AAA members. As an added bonus, they won’t charge you for mileage on 1-way truck rentals, no matter how long you end up driving the truck.
Penske is a great choice for moves on a budget – even without discounts. Read our Penske Truck Rental Review to see what else they bring to the table.
If you’re a AAA member, you can get free full-value protection with Atlas Van Lines. This adds up to $600 (or more) in savings, but the real prize here is the full value protection itself.
Moving companies are legally required to offer a minimum amount of insurance in the event of damage or loss. However, this bare-minimum coverage is only good for $0.60 per pound of items lost, damaged, or destroyed. This means if your 20-pound flat-screen TV is damaged, you’ll only get $12 back.
On the other hand, if you have full value protection, you’ll be reimbursed the full value of anything that gets lost or broken in transit. It’s great peace of mind, and since most movers offer full value protection at a steep price, it’s great to get it for free with your AAA membership.
SpareFoot offers free first-month rental to AAA members, which is super helpful if you’re searching for a storage unit.
Keep in mind, SpareFoot isn’t exactly a storage company: They don’t own any storage units, and they don’t handle any pickups or delivery. Instead, they’re more like a marketplace for finding reputable storage providers in your area.
SpareFoot offers access to a whole network of vetted and verified storage companies. You’ll be able to compare prices and reviews before making a reservation – and if you have a AAA membership, you’ll get free rent on your first month.
You can save some serious cash with this discount, and they’ll also throw in a $20 Amazon gift card to complement the deal.
If you’re thinking of shipping some of your stuff, the UPS store also offers discounts for AAA members.
You can use your AAA membership at any UPS store to get a 5% discount on shipping. You can also get up to 15% off on some selected products such as shipping and packing supplies.
With over 4,500 UPS locations across the US, it’s good to know you can save a little bit of money at each branch. While you may not want to ship everything in your house, it’s a helpful service if you forgot one or two items at your old place.
We always recommend downsizing and selling off some of your stuff before you move. But if you can’t find a home for that worn-out sofa or ratty mattress, 1-800-GOT-JUNK has you covered.
Arrange a pickup with 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and they’ll haul off the stuff you don’t need. They’ll make sure everything gets responsibly recycled or disposed of, and they’ll cut you a nice 10% discount if you’re a AAA member, as well.
Consumers Relocation Services can help you find the right mover for the job. You can use their online utility to enter all the details of your move, and they’ll put you in touch with vetted experts that are up to the task.
If you have a AAA membership, you can save up to 64% on the cost of a state-to-state move. It’s a huge discount, but keep in mind it depends on your exact carrier. Fortunately, CRS negotiates on your behalf to find a better price for your move in the first place.
First responders have a tough job. Fortunately, many moving companies offer a sizable discount to make your move a little easier on your wallet.
North American Van Lines offers discounts of up to 50% for members of the American Legion. If you’re a member of Veterans Advantage, you’ll also get a hefty discount.
Oz Moving & Storage provides secure storage options in select locations. If you’re a member of the armed forces, you can get a 10% discount on relocation services in California, New York, and New Jersey. You can also get a 5% discount on long distance relocations.
Penske Truck Rental has over 2,200 locations across the US, and they offer plenty of discounts to make your move even easier. You can get a 10% discount on 1-way moves just for using their online platform to book a rental. However, if you show your veteran or military ID during pickup, they’ll give you an additional 10% off.
Penske also offers direct call center assistance for military members and veterans. It’s really useful if you need any extra intel before, during, or after moving day.
Budget Truck Rental offers active military members a sizeable discount on truck rentals. If you’re traveling on orders, they’ll knock 20% off the cost of your rental – just use the code USMIO when you’re making your reservation.
If you need a short or long term rental, CubeSmart has you covered. They offer a 10% discount for all active military members, and they also have seasonal promotions on self-storage. Show them your military ID when they deliver your storage container, and check in beforehand so they know you’re a service member.
Another great moving container company, U-Pack provides a range of different storage options and a solid military discount. Using code MIL50, you can save $50 on your relocation. As with CubeSmart, we recommend checking their website for more seasonal discounts and promotions.
PODS provides 10% discounts for active, veteran, and retired members of the US armed forces. They also offer 1 month of free storage for any long-distance relocations. When you call PODS to make your reservation, tell them about your veteran status and they’ll provide you with more info.
1-800-PACK-RAT also offers discounts for active and retired military members. You can use the discount code MILIME10, or just call in to book your container and mention you’re interested in their military discount.
Whether you’re moving local or long distance, SmartBox provides secure storage and a military discount. Apply the discount code MILOFF20 during booking, and they’ll knock $20 off the price of your moving and storage – you just have to be an active military member from any branch.
10% of Go Mini’s employees are former military, so it only makes sense that they offer military discounts as well. Their discount plans differ between locations, so get in touch with your nearest branch and see how they can help you save.
This moving container company provides moving and storage discounts to any current military members who are dealing with a DIY move. However, your discount may differ depending on the time of the year and the branch through which you’re making your booking. Call ahead or check their website for more information.
As an online marketplace for movers and carriers, uShip can help you find the right team for transporting your boats, moving boxes, cars, or mattresses. uShip has partnered with TroopID to offer discounts to current and former members of the military and their families. You can save up to 50% on your moving services.
Even if you aren’t a first responder or a member of AAA, there are still plenty of ways you can save. Take a look at these deals and offered by different moving companies:
U-Haul has great storage units. You’ll get unlimited access, a weather-proof unit, and a clean storage facility. Plus, they offer 30 days of free storage with any 1-way truck or equipment rental at select branches.
If you book storage with CubeSmart, you can get a 15% discount on your monthly rate – and you’ll get the first 30 days of storage free. They also offer a free moving truck (with a driver!) if you need to move stuff from your home to your storage unit. You’ll just have to handle the loading and unloading yourself.
Mini U Storage offers complimentary moving truck rentals for new tenants. You’ll get the first 50 miles free, and then it’s $0.99 per mile. Keep your schedule tight, though, because you’ll only have the truck for 6 hours on weekdays and 4 hours on weekends.
If you rent a portable storage container, 1-800-PACK-RAT provides free pickup and delivery if you reserve it for 3 or more months. This offer is only available on short-distance moves, and you’ll have to call them to schedule your pickup.
With a little searching, you may be able to find some helpful coupons to reduce the price of your move. Here are a few good places to start your search:
Aside from searching for discounts and deals, you can do a lot to make your move even cheaper. Take a look at these tips, and maximize your moving day savings.
We can’t emphasize this one enough: Reduce and downsize as much as possible before your move. Long distance movers charge by mileage and weight, and local movers charge per hour. Either way, you’ll end up paying more if you have to move more stuff.
Now’s the perfect time to get rid of some unused (or barely-used) items. Hand them down to family and friends, or pawn them off to get a bit of extra cash for your move. If there aren’t any takers, check out local donation centers and see how you can give back to the community.
We always recommend getting at least three different moving quotes from three different moving companies. This will give you an idea of how much your move will cost on average, and you’ll also get a decent spread of different quotes to choose from.
When you’re shopping for quotes, don’t forget to factor in the extra services you may need. Sometimes full-service moving is more expensive, but you’ll save big on sanity, effort, and stress.
You usually have to pay for packing, so if you want to really pinch some pennies, do the packing yourself. But before you reach for the bubble wrap, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Firstly, packing is a pain. You’ll have to box up everything you own, and you’re assuming all the risk in case anything gets broken or damaged in transit. Secondly, you won’t be able to pay for full coverage insurance if you DIY your packing. Movers only provide full-coverage insurance policies if you pay for their packing services, as well.
If you trying to maximize your savings (and you don’t have anything particularly fragile) feel free to do your own packing. Your wallet will thank you for it.
Keep an eye out for these other hacks for a low-cost move:
In the moving industry, there’s a few different types of estimates (sometimes referred to as “quotes”) that are offered to customers: Binding, nonbinding, and nonbinding, not-to-exceed.
A binding estimate means that your price is set in stone. You won’t pay any more than the amount shown on your quote. Unless you throw in a surprise piano or neglect to tell your movers about other major pieces of furniture, you’ll pay what’s on the quote, and not a cent over.
A nonbinding estimate means that your movers can adjust your final price before, during, and even after your move. While movers aren’t legally allowed to raise the price by over 10%, it can still be an unpleasant surprise to find out you actually owe more to your moving company.
Nonbinding, not-to-exceed estimates are a little rare. They work like a nonbinding estimate, but the price can only be adjusted downwards. If it turns out you didn’t need a particular service or the move was faster than expected, you can get some money back.
If you’re moving local, you’re paying by the hour, so it makes sense to keep things as efficient as possible. Try to clear an easy path for your movers, and stage all your boxes in one corner or room. Also, when you schedule your move, try to avoid rush hour and weekends.
Fortunately, there are many great alternatives if you forgot to buy bubble wrap. You can use socks for very small items. Clothes, sweaters and towels are helpful for decoration pieces and slightly larger stuff.
If you have larger appliances, try to find their original packaging. Using the original box (and the original styrofoam inserts) will keep appliances protected and safe. You can also wrap up furniture and large appliances in blankets if you are worried about them suffering damage during transit.
It’s a lot harder to save money if you’re booking a last minute move. In fact, most movers charge a premium for short-notice moving.
If you’re trying to get out of town fast and on a budget, call movers in your area and ask if they had any recent cancellations. You can take one of those time slots, and the moving company would be more inclined to offer you a discounted rate.
Keep in mind that it’ll be harder for you to get a last minute move during peak season – and even more challenging to get a lower rate. If you are planning to relocate anytime from June to August (and in some places May to September), it’s best to book the moving date at least two weeks in advance.
Whether you bought a set of boxes online or you managed to find some for free, you may not want to hang onto them after the move is complete. You could choose to donate the moving boxes, perhaps even to the same place where you got them in the first place.
There are also businesses such as Container Exchange and Box Cycle that allow you to trade in lightly-used boxes. They’ll even provide information about the selling rate for boxes of different sizes and conditions.
You made it to the end – and hopefully you learned a thing or two about how to save money on your big move. Now that you know some important money-saving tips, it’s time to start looking for movers!
If you’re ready to get packing, check out our reviews and recommendations for best moving companies. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for discounts, and check back in with the team at Moving Feedback for more tips and tricks to make your move even easier!