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How Much Does It Cost to Move Locally in Los Angeles?

How Much Does It Cost to Move Locally in Los Angeles?

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Los Angeles is a huge city with lots of counties and neighborhoods. You can choose any area you like, whether you want to live closer to the Hollywood Hills or by the beach. There are plenty of interesting areas for you to explore. And the area you’re in will affect your moving experience and total cost, If you’re planning to move locally within Los Angeles. There are also several factors, we’ll talk about all of them. I’m sure that after reading this post, you will have a better understanding of your average local moving costs. Let’s dive right into it.


So What Are the Factors That Affect Your Moving Cost in Los Angeles?

  • Size of your house and volume of your belongings. These are the main factors. The total cost depends on the size of your house, how many bedrooms you have, and the type: is it a studio apartment, condo, or loft, etc. It also depends largely on the total volume of your possessions. Obviously, if you are moving from a studio apartment you will be spending less than if you are moving from a bigger 2-3 bedroom house.
  • The season when you’re moving. In Los Angeles, the season of the year affects the cost too. The busiest seasons for movers are spring and fall when the temperature is warm and mild. That means it’s harder and more expensive to book a move during these seasons, unless you’re doing it as early as possible in advance. If you want to save your money, consider moving in the less busy seasons: in summer or winter.
  • Moving dates. If you are planning to move from May to September, try to book your moving dates as early as possible, or you should be flexible with the dates to move when fewer people are moving at the same time. Also keep in mind that the weekends, the first and last days in a month, and the national holidays are usually pricier.
  • Location inconveniences. Expect spending extra money, if there are excessive stairs and narrow entries in your house or apartment building. Or if your movers will have to walk quite a distance from parking to the entrance, or the moving truck has to be parked far away.
  • Specialty items. If you have bulky, heavy, or valuable items and antiques such as safes, pianos, pool tables, pieces of artwork, you’ll have to pay extra fees to protect them during the move. Your movers will offer protective stretch wrap, felt pads, and mattress bags, as well as professional packing services to protect the specialty items.
  • Extra services. Moving companies charge fees for extra services such as professional packing and unpacking, furniture assembly and disassembly, long carry charges, and travel fees, extra moving insurance (full coverage), etc.
  • Tips for your movers. You probably should tip them around 5-15% unless they are completely screwed up. Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s the common way of letting your movers know that you are satisfied with their service.
    Read more about tipping your movers.
  • Premium/ luxury packages with special services. There are some moving companies that go above and beyond, offering services with special luxury packages with cleaning services, pet sitters, etc.

So How Much Do Moving Companies Charge for a Local Move?

If you are moving down the street, somewhere within your town, or maybe even a neighboring city, you fall into the category of a local relocation. Moving companies determine estimates based on the home size, average weight of the belongings and the number of hours it will take to load and unload. Thus, full-service moving companies offer flat-rate estimates and hourly estimates. We will also use Do-It-Yourself (DIY) expenses to calculate the cost of moving in Los Angeles:


1. Full-Service Moving Costs.

The total cost usually depends on the distance you’ll move and square footage. Full-service move might take the process over a week or two, and it includes the following services:

  • Packing
  • Furniture disassembly
  • Loading
  • Transportation
  • Unloading
  • Unpacking
  • Furniture assembly

1 a. Flat-Rate Estimates.

The price of flat-rate estimates usually depends on the size of your move, the distance you are moving, and your moving company. The month of the year, day of the week and time of the day also affect the pricing. Try to be flexible with moving dates, especially if you are moving between May and September. The earlier you book your move, the cheaper it will cost you.

Moving special items like fine art, antiques, and piano requires a whole new level of expertise. Also, it needs special moving equipment and experienced hands. That’s why moving those items will cost you extra and are not included in the pricing above.

Based on our experience, flat-rate costs start from $400 and up depending on the above-mentioned criteria. For a more accurate calculation of the flat-rate cost of your local move in Los Angeles, contact our salespeople.


1 b. Hourly Estimates.

Another way of estimating the cost of your local move in Los Angeles is by using hourly estimates.

Full-service moving companies usually charge by the hour for a local move. For all the selected services: packing, unpacking, loading, unloading, transporting, etc – the same hourly rate will be applied.

On average, it takes two moves and a truck to complete a local move. Keep in mind that adding extra movers will cost you more. The average duration of the move is 4-5 hours.

  • For a studio apartment, it takes about 3 to 5 hours.
  • To move a 2-bedroom apartment, it takes three movers, and around 5-7 hours.
  • If you have 3-4 bedrooms to pack and move, it might take your movers as long as 8-10 hours.

Considering the average hourly rate of movers in LA, which is between $85-120, an average hourly estimate will be around $300-600, excluding the packing supplies, some of the fees, and tips.

Read this article if you want to protect yourself moving fraudulent movers.


2. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Costs.

Do-It-Yourself moving costs include rental truck expenses, packing materials, and maybe some moving help. We calculate the DIY cost of moving locally in Los Angeles by the following formula:

Packing Materials + Truck Expenses + Labor Expenses = DIY Cost


Packing Materials.

You will need boxes, duct tape, and maybe some stuffing materials.

Go to Home Depot, Walmart, or similar stores to buy heavy-duty moving boxes. For smaller boxes, you can go to different stores and ask them for extra boxes. They will give you those for free.

Again, you can buy a lot of duct tape and packing supplies at Home Depot. You can buy moving blankets to protect your furniture from scratching. They also have packing paper, bubble wrap, and dozens of different packing supplies.

If your move is small and you have all the supplies at home, you might spend nothing for packing materials. Otherwise, your packing materials could cost you as high as $50-100.


Truck Expenses.

U-Haul is a very convenient option for a truck rental when it costs to move by yourself.

While vans and pick-up trucks cost $19.99 per day, the larger trucks cost extra $10-20 per day. If you can finish your move within a day, you will save a little.

Also, add the mileage expenses: $0.59-0.99 per mile. If you drove the truck for 50 miles, it would cost you $29.5-49.5.

Allocate, roughly $20-30 for gas since you are moving in-town. Don’t forget to put gas before you return, otherwise, they will charge you more than it costs.

So, if you are moving locally, your truck expenses would be around $60-150 unless you are driving very far.


Labor Expenses.

Having friends and family who are down to help you both at the origin and destination, will significantly lower the costs.

Otherwise, you can hire movers for labor-only moving services. They can help you to disassemble the furniture, safely pack your belongings, and load everything in your truck. At the destination, you can either unload it with your friends or hire labor-only movers again. Remember that some packers could have a 2- or 3-hour minimum.

So, your labor expenses could go from free to $160-$255 if you have a lot of items to pack.

So, according to our formula below, your DIY local move in Los Angeles could cost your $60-$505: Packing Materials (Free-$100) + Truck Expenses ($60-150) + Labor Expenses (Free-$255) = DIY Cost ($60-505)


If You Are on a Budget, Here Are Some Tips for You to Save.

  • Schedule earlier. Make sure you receive your estimates, choose a mover, and book your moving date as early as possible. At least 2-4 weeks in advance, even if it’s a small move. Early booking might help you save money, since most companies will get booked up fast especially in busy seasons.
  • Choose the best moving dates. Consider moving in summer or winter – the less busy seasons in Los Angeles. But keep in mind that moving especially on hot and stuffy days might be inconvenient and hard for you. Also remember that the holidays, weekends, the first and last days in a month, are always pricier.
  • Downsize and give away. Arrange a garage sale, post your extra stuff on Graigslist, LetGo, eBay, and other marketplaces. You can also donate your unnecessary items and claim tax deduction. It’s better and even cheaper buying new things for your new house and starting fresh.
  • Consider full or partial DIY. Make a plan, take a look at this local moving checklist and try to organize every step. For example, you can pack yourself, hire a truck and moving labor to help load everything onto a vehicle, and unload your possessions at your new place. Calculate how much you’ll spend on moving labor, transportation, and other expenses, and see if it fits your budget. Or, ask your friends or relatives to help you pack and load, and get a van. Consider cutting extra services that you can do yourself and don’t spend money.

Make Your Decision: Choose a Mover.

Take recommendations from people you know if they can suggest any movers they hired before. Or try to find a reliable moving company in Los Angeles on the Internet, analyze customer reviews, and check their license and insurance information.

Ask for free in-home estimates from moving companies. Movers also offer online estimates for smaller moves. We recommend getting at least 3-5 estimates from different moving companies in order to compare prices and find the moving company that fits your budget and works best for you.

Moving is not as hard and stressful as people and lots of different blogs say. You just have to do some preparations, organize it in advance, and choose a professional team that will handle everything from start to finish. Contact Rockstar Pro Movers for a free quote, and we’ll help with your upcoming relocation, whether it’s a local move within Los Angeles, or across the country.