Flat vs. Hourly Rate Moving – Pros and Cons

Full-Service moving quotes most commonly come in two forms:  Flat rate or hourly rate.  The flat rate moving company fee is a guaranteed estimate based on information you provide about items, distance and size of house involved in the move.  The hourly rate is, as its name implies, charged by the hour.

Flat rate moving companies provide their quotes after gathering as much information as possible as to your moving needs.  Hourly rates are quoted based upon the actual time involved in the moving process and each mover that shows up to help will expect their portion of the hourly fee.  USA Moving Companies wants you to make the best decision as to whether flat rate movers or moving companies that charge by the hour are best for you.

Flat Rate Moving Companies Pros and Cons

A flat rate moving company charges a flat rate that is at or near the original estimate with everything explained and in writing before moving day.  To get the most accurate flat rate moving quote, it will be your responsibility to provide the most detailed inventory list and expectations from the start.  The more details you provide, the more accurate the flat rate moving estimate will be.  While this is time consuming up front, it saves a great deal of time and unpleasant surprise charges on moving day.  Flat rate mover estimates work best for time-consuming long distance moves or for extremely short moves that would otherwise require an hourly minimum charge.  Flat rate movers are more motivated to work quickly and carefully when hired than when being paid by the hour.

Take Your Time and Get it in Writing

You will want to get your flat rate moving company quote in writing.  Don’t assume that your desires were understood.  If the initial quote estimate process seems cumbersome this is a very good sign that you are dealing with a professional flat rate moving company who wants to be sure to accurately quote you a flat rate moving fee that will cover any unexpected surprises come moving day.  Know ahead of time if your flat rate mover quote will cover dis-assembly and reassembly of furniture or any additional services you may wish you had asked about from the start.

Hourly Pros and Cons

While the initial hourly quote seems fast and painless compared to those of flat rate movers, there is no guarantee of your final cost.  One downside to hourly rates is if you hire a moving company whose movers take their time resulting in hours accumulating on your time-based bill.  This could mean they bill you for unexpected traffic delays or for smoke or lunch breaks.  Once the clock starts ticking, it is like the ticker on a taxi cab.  It will not stop until the job is done.  Another downside is unpleasant surprises such as additional movers showing up to help at the last minute.  Sometimes, this hourly rate will mean paying each mover per hour for their time.  The movers may seem very willing to take their time to help you disassemble that water bed or complex built-in stereo system.  However, you will be charged for every hour these extra serves take to perform.

Weigh the pros and cons of flat rate moving companies vs. hourly movers

Once you have looked at all the pros and cons, you can decide whether an hourly service or one of the flat rate moving companies is best for you.  Both have their benefits, and both have potential downsides.  The best way to make sure your decision is one you won’t regret is to ask friends and relatives about their moving experiences.  Did they use a flat rate mover or pay by the hour?  What moving company would they recommend for best service and cost?  Then, gather as many free estimates through USA Moving Companies as you can to compare which one is best for you.

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