FYI: 5 Hidden Costs of DIY Moving

Photo (cc) by CarbonNYC [in SF!]

Moving is stressful. There’s so much time that goes into deciding what’s worth keeping, what’s worth selling, and what needs to be ditched completely. There are also additional costs involved, many of which aren’t obvious.

I recently moved from Philadelphia to a small town in New Jersey, and even though I tried to save by moving myself, I was blindsided by additional fees. Next time you try to move yourself, be aware of these potential extras:

1. Insurance for your possessions

Insurance is typically optional, but you can’t not buy it when your belongings (some presumably fragile) and money are on the line. I paid $14 for basic insurance on a 10-foot U-Haul truck.

2. Mileage

The cost of a moving truck alone can run into the hundreds, depending on the size of the van and the distance. But if you think it’s like renting a car — unlimited mileage — think again. Many companies charge per mile after you’ve driven an allotted distance. For instance, after I drove 50 miles, I started getting charged $0.40 per mile.

In addition, you have to return the truck with the same amount of gas as when you picked it up. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a hefty fee.

3. Environmental fees

U-Haul charges a $1 environmental fee for those who rent moving vans. According to its website:

“U-Haul is committed to pursuing practices that support and foster the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly business operations.”

While nobody can really complain about a dollar, it’s still an extra fee.

4. Using movers? Don’t forget the tip

If you hire movers, you already know what you’re getting yourself into financially, but what you might not know is it’s also appropriate to tip. According to SaveologyMoving.com, a $20-$50 tip is appropriate for a move that involves more than 10 items and/or stairs, a cramped elevator, narrow passages, or large and/or heavy items, such as appliances.

5. Save a little for utilities

While this technically isn’t a cost of moving, something else to remember: utility deposits.

For some, deposits to get utilities turned on may be obvious. For me, it wasn’t. I hadn’t paid deposit fees for utilities in the past. When I called my new electric company, I learned I had to pay a $140 deposit (luckily, one that will be returned to me when I move again). I was also told I’d be charged a one-time $14 service fee when I received my first bill.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them
2 Costly Rewards Credit Card Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

If you commit either of these credit card sins, you are likely losing money every time you use a card. Here’s how to easily right this wrong.

16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances
16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances

These items put an end to the daily irritations that bug you the most.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Generic products are a great way to save money, but sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.