How Much Does A Do-It-Yourself Move Cost?

If you are preparing for a do-it-yourself move, it is possible to save some money. If your budget is so tight, you may be considering that a DIY move is the only solution to save money on your move.

While a self-move will possibly be cheaper than hiring a full-service mover, it is highly important not to forget that it is not a free endeavor. Even if you are using your car to transport your items, the move will surely involve some expenses.

However, while avoiding professional moving services and handling the job yourself may seem perfect, there are lots of expenses to note. If you are wondering what kind of budget will be ideal for your DIY move, this guide will calculate the expected costs so you are properly prepared.

How Much Does A Do-It-Yourself Move Cost?

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What is the Typical Cost of a Do-It-Yourself Move?

We’ve compiled six costs to consider when planning to move by yourself. After checking these moving expenses, you should be able to get a clearer insight into how much your next DIY move will cost.

If you are looking for an ideal match as regards your move. Don’t go with the first option that comes your way. Familiarize with them. Moving trucks are ideas for those bold enough to drive a huge vehicle, whereas, portable storage units are ideal if you need storage for your shipments and don’t have many items to move.

Below is a fast check on each of your transportation options:

Truck Rental

Unless you are moving items from a very small home in your vehicle or truck, you will have to rent a moving truck for your move. The size you need, the distance you are taking it, as well as the duration of time the truck will be with you will dictate the cost of your moving truck rental. The majority of rental providers charge a daily flat fee which varies based on the truck’s size.

  • 10-foot:$19.95
  • 14-foot:$29.95
  • 17-foot:$29.95
  • 24-foot:$39.95
  • 26-foot:$39.95

After this first fee, you will be charged for every mile you travel. This cost can differ based on the time of the year as well as the day of the week you move but often ranges between $0.79 and $1.29 per mile. You may also have to pay rental tax (around 6% and 10% of the rental cost) as well as an environmental tax, which is often around $1 per day.

If you are moving a far distance, you may also have to pay an additional fee for a 1-way rental. Ask any moving truck rental provider you are considering for your relocation about the entire additional taxes and fees you could be charged with your booking.

Read How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Moving Truck?

Moving Containers

This is the latest, new way to move. PODS and 1-800-PACK-RAT are among the big players in this industry. The companies give you a shipping container, usually built from durable material, like steel. You take your time to pack all your belongings into it and then a driver arrives to pick it up and haul it to either a storage center or your new address. You could also hold the container for storage on your property. Irrespective of what you do with the container, only you have the key, which has to make you feel in control and highly safe about the security of your valuable belongings.

The containers typically come in two sizes: 8’ and 16’. But you likely may need more than one if you are packing and moving a big space, like a three-bedroom home. This can be expensive, which is why the better option is to choose portable storage containers for transporting smaller homes and apartments.

Prices start just below $500 for a short-distance move (using the largest container) to around $5,000 for a long-distance move (using 2 of the largest containers).

To make a price comparisons and reviews on various moving companies, read our guide on moving containers, as well as How Much Does It Cost To Move With Moving Containers

Moving boxes and packing supplies

Moving boxes and packing supplies expenses are the most forgotten about but still important DIY moving expenses. Unless you plan to just throw your items in the back of a moving truck anyhow, you will need moving supplies to transport your shipment safely and securely.

Important supplies that may be needed for your move are cardboard moving boxes, specialty boxes, plastic wrap, plastic bins, foam peanuts, packing tape, markers for labeling, and foam pouches. Even though these items are not essentially costly by themselves, they do increase the cost. For example, when you order a 10-pack of the small, medium, and large size moving boxes, it will cost about $25.

You will possibly need beyond 10 boxes, so prepare to spend about $100 on boxes unless you can do the hard work to get them for free.

Read Top Places To Find Moving Supplies 2022

Required Moving Equipment

Another expense that will increase your self-moving costs is when you need to rent relevant moving equipment to efficiently and safely complete a DIY move. An appliance dolly is just essential to have as it will help you easily wheel out large and heavy household belongings like kitchen appliances, furniture, and so on. Also, you will need to factor in the cost of moving blankets, moving straps, and furniture pads.

Gas Prices

Remember the price of gas. Whether you choose to drive your vehicle or rent a moving truck, you will be the one to pay for refiling the gas all through the move. To know the prices of gas near you, check GasBuddy, a useful tool that gives you the price of gas of different gas stations in your area. Understand that price of gas can be expensive if you choose to rent a moving truck.

A typical moving truck rental gets just 10mpg, which implies that for 1,000 miles, for instance, it will consume 100 gallons of gas to reach your destination. Run the calculation, and you can figure out that it is expensive to pay for gas with a self-move. You will possibly have to pay for transportation cost (which covers gas expenses by professional movers for your move. That means no matter your option, you will pay for gas when you move with a vehicle.

Moving Assistance

Unless your friends and family are readily available to give you a hand with the move, you will need to hire professionals to assist with the tougher items. After all, sofa, bed, and other large and heavy items are not what someone should be lifting by themselves. You should check HireAHelper’s online marketplace to hire a labor-only service.

The company lets those moving to find and reserve moving labor professionals near them. These labor-only movers often specialize in load and unload services, or they are just professional moving companies that are ready to send out their workers to perform labor-only services.

Moving help will cost you money. You will possibly be charged an hourly rate, but we suggest you check and compare various mover rates before you hire one. To locate moving labor, see the labor center on powered by HireAHelper.

Check Top 6 Places To Get Moving Labor 2021’s


If you are going for truck rental for your do-it-yourself move, you should always buy truck rental insurance to cover yourself in case of accidents. Different protection plans are offered, but the following are offered by most companies:

  • Damage waiver: Provides coverage for accidental damage to the rental vehicle and equipment because of accidents, vandalism, and theft in some cases.
  • Personal accident (Medical): This covers medical and loss of life of the driver (and usually passengers) leading to injury in an accident.
  • Shipment coverage: Protects your belongings from loss or damage because of a collision or natural disasters.
  • Supplemental liability: Cover you from claims made by 3rd parties for bodily injury or damage to personal belongings resulting from a collision with your rental vehicle.
  • Towing insurance: Covers damage to any vehicle that is towed behind your rental truck, including the towing equipment.

So what is the cost of rental truck insurance? The extra expense can cost from $15 – $30 per day, but will greatly differ based on the company you choose and the level of your protection. Most companies offer various bundles of coverage based on your needs. There will be deductibles too.

Read Is It Necessary To Buy Rental Truck Insurance? 

Food and Hotel

If you are moving on long distances, you may need to stop on your way to get food and rest. These expenses can build up fast, so before you start your journey, research cheaper motels and eateries on your route. This will help you plan your budget more efficiently for these expenses and save a lot of time on your journey.

Hidden DIY-Move Costs

Unlike the obvious DIY expenses discussed earlier in this article, remember to add the hidden costs of performing a DIY move. These hidden self-move costs include but are not restricted to road taxes and tolls, fuel surcharge (if you take the rental moving truck back to the lot with less fuel than originally filled, you may be charged an extra fee), cleaning fee (if you return the moving truck in a dirty condition than it was initially), and so on.


Factoring all the self-moving costs mentioned above, we advise you to obtain accurate moving costs estimates from some local moving companies and find out whether it is indeed worth the money, efforts, and risks to try and pull off a DIY move at all.

Local moving companies are famous for their flexibility, so it is usually a brilliant idea to look into the amount local moving companies cost together with many approximate costs, to determine the likely amount you may spend and make the best-informed decision as regards the present situations.

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