How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers in NYC?

Relocating to New York is both a huge adventure and stressful occasion. Regardless of whether you’ve lived in NYC for years or are just moving here, moving is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of steps to take and you’ll also find that you might need to spend a lot more money than you might expect.

Before you jump headfirst into a move, you should take some time to plan out exactly what you will need to move. That includes things like professional NYC movers or a rental truck and packing materials as well as security deposit for your new apartment and new furniture or decorations for your home.

How Much Do Movers Cost?

Many people think hiring professional movers would cost a lot of money and that’s not always the case. Still, if you have an incredibly tight budget (say under $100) then your best bet is to rent a truck and do everything yourself. However, if you have some money to spare, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of work and pain by hiring NYC movers.

So how much do movers actually cost? It depends on what you need them for. For basic moves, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200-$500 for a one bedroom apartment. The price changes based on how long the movers are on the clock. The more stuff you have, the more expensive it will be. It’s one of the many reasons why it’s a good idea to declutter your apartment first before moving. Not only do you reduce the time the movers need to spend on loading and unloading your belongings, if you can sell some items you’ll have a little extra money for your budget.

When you talk to NYC relocation professionals, give them as much detail as possible when it comes to your move including things like stairs, amount of boxes, etc. They will then provide you with an estimate and you can compare with other companies. Most moving company estimates should be similar to each other. If there’s one that is significantly cheaper, it’s a sign that the company is either unprofessional or a scam, or both.

Your Moving Budget

The first thing you should do before you call anyone is to set a moving budget that includes every part of the move. That includes things like:

  • Security deposit and broker’s fee (if applicable) for your new apartment
  • Packing materials and boxes
  • Cleaning and patching materials for your old apartment
  • New furniture, decorations, groceries, etc. for your new apartment
  • Rental truck or moving company
  • Tip for moving crew

All of these items add up and can end up costing you more than $5,000. That’s why you should start planning your move well in advance. Unless you broke up with your significant other or you are getting evicted, you probably know when your lease expires. Ideally, you should think about renewing your lease or not at least 6 months before your lease expires. That way, if you decide to move, you have 6 months to save up some money. Otherwise, it can be hard to scrape together the cash to make the move. If you live with roommates, you should all discuss whether you plan on living together at a new location or if you will go your separate ways as that will affect your options.

Additional Fees

Before deciding on the moving company, you should ask about any hidden/additional fees that they might not have added to the initial estimate. Reputable moving companies will provide either a line item for everything in their estimate or, at the very least, outline additional fees that will be included in the final bill of lading. Some common fees that surprise customers are:

  • Stair fees – if you’re moving to and/or from a walk-up you should expect to pay around $20 per flight of stairs
  • Travel time – movers will charge you for the time it takes to get to and from their parking lot and your old and new home.
  • Long carry fees – charged when the moving company has to park their truck far away from the entrance. This happens more often than you might expect in NYC considering parking rules and lack of parking spots
  • Materials fee – includes the cost of extra boxes, tape, and packing materials used for packing fragile items

Extra Services

When you hire professional NYC movers, you can expect a basic level of service. Aside from loading and unloading your items, they will also provide:

  • Wardrobe boxes
  • Basic disassembly and reassembly of some furniture items
  • Dismounting window AC units and wall mounted TVs
  • Packing of bulky fragile items such as glass tabletops, artwork, and lamps
  • Padded blankets to protect the walls of your new and old home

If you need more help with your move, you should ask the moving company what additional services they offer. Many provide extra options, for a cost of course. The most typical services are packing and storage.

Packing is a great option if you don’t have the time to get everything done. While it won’t be cheap, you can reduce costs by opting for partial packing and have the movers pack up certain areas such as the closets or kitchen. If you have the money, spring for the full service packing option. The professional movers will pack everything up for you and clearly label all the boxes. You can also have them unpack everything as well, though you’ll probably still need to rearrange things so they are exactly where you want them.

If you can’t move into your new place immediately, you can ask the moving company if they offer storage. The benefit of using your movers over finding your own storage solution is that the movers will bring everything to and from the storage unit. As well, their storage units are under 24/7 surveillance and they do not allow anyone besides the moving crew to enter the storage space. Costs will vary depending on how much you have and how long you need to rent out a unit.

Moving Insurance

All licensed moving companies must provide released value protection for your items for free. What this means is that your belongings are covered for up to $0.60 per item per pound should something go missing or get damaged while in transit. You can also spring for the full value protection option, but it will cost you extra money around 1 percent of the total valuation of your items. So if you claim that everything you own costs $50,000 you will have to pay $500. Should something get damaged or go missing, the moving company can either replace an item of the same value or try to get the item repaired in the case of damaged goods.

There are some caveats. The movers will not be responsible for any damaged items that they did not pack themselves unless the box itself shows significant damage. You are also not covered if items get damaged during a natural disaster or when placed in a storage unit the moving company does not own.

If you want extra protection, you can always spring for third-party moving insurance. These can provide higher coverage for your belongings and can also provide additional protection from catastrophes such as fires, robbery, theft, accidents, etc.

Save Up for Your Move

Moving in NYC isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great experience. All it takes is a bit of planning and budgeting. And with the help of our customer service representatives we can find a custom moving solution that meets your needs.



Do I need to put down a deposit to hold my moving date?

Yes, in order to hold your date with the moving company you will need to put down a deposit. The amount is dependent on who you work with but usually it’s between $50-$100.

The final bill of lading is higher than the initial estimate, what can I do?

You should check over all the line items to make sure there aren’t any errors. When using reputable NYC movers, the final bill should not be higher than the original estimate. The only times it is higher is if the movers had to do extra work that was not requested in the initial call. This could include extra packing, extra stops, significantly more boxes, etc.

Do I need to pay for parking for the moving truck?

No, you do not need to pay for parking for the moving truck. If you are using a rental truck you will have to pay for the parking for that.