Moving Deposit Fees Explained

7 years ago in Moving Tips
Jeremy Baker
Moving Specialist

Considering the work involved and the upfront costs to a moving company, it is only natural that many will ask for a deposit before the move. This is usually a percentage of the entire cost being charged to you and will be deducted from your final bill.

A deposit fee is a guarantee to the moving company that they will be recovering the cost to them once the move is complete. This is a legitimate request that you will have to honor in order to use the service. Don’t make the assumption that just because they want a deposit they are running some type of scam. When you consider the cost of the gas they are going to use, the truck and the man hours, it is easy to understand why they would want some type of guarantee.

You also have to consider that the moving company is allocating a space in their schedule for you. If you cancel at the last minute or don’t even tell them that your plans have changed, they potentially lost money with a different customer. The deposit is their insurance that you will keep your commitment.

What you should ask though is what the cancellation policy is before you commit with a deposit. Most will refund your money if you cancel the service with more than one weeks notice, or if you need to change the date to one that they cannot fit into their schedule.

They will not refund your deposit if you try and cancel less than a week before the scheduled date or if you are not there when the movers arrive. Make sure that your plans to move are completely set before you hand over your deposit to avoid losing any money unnecessarily.

What is a Reasonable Deposit for a Moving Company?

For a local move you should expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 as a deposit. The exact amount is likely to depend on how big of a move it is, and the day of the week. Weekend rates tend to be higher.

Long distance movers usually base their deposit rate on your total estimated cost. This could be anywhere from 20 to 30%. That means if your move has been quoted at $4,000 expect to be asked for a deposit of at least $800.

If the deposit being asked for seems excessive, do your research and get quotes from other movers in your area. This will help you in deciding if the movers are being reasonable or not.

Like with any service, movers have a right to insure their commitment to you and your total payment by asking for a deposit. So long as it is reasonable and being deducted from your grand total, there is no reason why you should not honor that.


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