When you start looking into hiring movers for your upcoming move, you might not realize that moving companies use different pricing models. The two most common ones that you might encounter are hourly and flat rates.

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between these two, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start with the basics:

The Up Front Appeal of Hourly Prices

There’s no doubt that hourly prices look good on paper. Let’s say you’re moving apartments, and you get a quote for $140 per hour. You calculate that your move shouldn’t take more than two hours– three at a maximum. You decide that letting professionals handle it, so you don’t have to, is worth the $420. So, you set aside the money and book your move!

It’s the day of the move, and you quickly realize you’ve completely underestimated how long it would take. After what feels like forever, the clock is somehow still ticking… four hours… five hours… six hours.

The final cost turns out to be twice what you had budgeted for, adding a great deal of stress and anxiety to an already hectic day. But how did you end up with a bill this high when you were confident your move would only take three hours at a maximum?

It turns out you’re not alone; 70% of people underestimate how many hours it will take to complete their move.

When booking moving services and agreeing to a price, most people don’t consider that the time the movers spend in traffic, walking from the parking lot to the apartment, and in the elevator or going up and down the stairs, are all factors that dramatically affect the total time, and therefore total cost. Likewise, people tend to underestimate how much stuff they own.

Be wary of hourly prices that sound too good to be true. The false sense of confidence they provide can quickly turn into a shocking final bill.

The Certainty of Flat Rates

It’s Simple and Predictable

After accepting a quote for the move, the pricing does not change. You can easily budget around it and not have to worry about it increasing suddenly. Just remember to provide as much information as possible to help avoid any last-minute adjustments to your fixed rate.

This pricing model is beneficial for both you and the movers because clear expectations are set before the move even begins, giving you peace of mind from the start.

It Won’t Change Regardless of How Long Your Move Takes

There are multiple variables in moving that are simply unpredictable. For instance, your movers could get stuck in traffic while transporting your items, adding valuable time to the move. It’s common for moves to go longer than expected due this type of unforeseen factors. With an hourly price, this could blow your budget and make what was supposed to be a smooth experience go sideways.

However, with flat-rate pricing, no matter what unexpected roadblocks arise, the agreed-upon price will stand, and you will not pay for any additional charges.

It Encourages Quick and Efficient Work

Moves priced at an hourly rate might sometimes be drawn out longer than necessary, increasing the total cost you pay. However, movers are naturally more inclined to work quicker and more efficiently with a flat rate, making the entire move run smoother.

Which Option Is Better For You?

If your move is short-distance, you have a fairly small apartment, and you’re willing to take some risks, there is a chance an hourly rate might turn out to be cheaper. Just make sure to ask about minimum time requirements to avoid any last-minute surprises.

For anything bigger than a two-bedroom apartment, we recommend going for a flat rate so that you have the confidence of knowing upfront what the cost is.

Flat-rate pricing tends to work best most of the time, especially if you’re a planner. Even though the number might not look as attractive when put beside an hourly rate, it provides the predictability and reassurance the latter can’t.

Whether you go with flat rate or hourly movers, make sure you understand what is covered in advance to avoid paying more than what you’ve budgeted for.

Interested in knowing how much your move would cost? Click here to get an instant quote with Gozova.

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