Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with the right moving company. The key is finding a reputable, experienced mover that handles your personal belongings like their own.
Finding and hiring the right moving company is like scouting and interviewing job candidates. You’ll want to find a mover that puts your needs first and specializes in your required services for a smooth, stress-free move.
Keep reading to get some insider tips and learn the pivotal information you should know when hiring a mover.
5 Essential Tips for Hiring Movers
When you’re ready to look for the right mover, consider these fundamental tips:
1. Think About Your Needs
Before you hire a mover, consider what your needs might be. Do you want to pack your items yourself but need packing supplies? Or, would you prefer the mover packs, transfers, and unloads your personal items so you can turn your attention to other parts of your move? Knowing how you want to move will help you find an experienced company that will streamline your experience.
2. Ask for Recommendations
If you’re looking for a reputable mover, turn to your friends, family, and acquaintances first for their recommendations. It’s important to look at references, online reviews, and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, but having a firsthand account of an experience with a company from someone you trust can be helpful — especially if your moving needs are similar to theirs.
3. Review Your Budget and Get Multiple Quotes
Before you begin looking for quotes, make sure to assess your budget. Knowing exactly what you can spend will help you compare and contrast the quotes you receive from movers. Then, we suggest getting a few quotes to ensure one company isn’t attempting to charge you more than what is standard for your needs.
Related > How to Move on a Budget and Save Money
4. Get an In-Person, Written Quote
Meeting up with a mover to receive an in-person quote will ensure your estimate is accurate. We recommend asking about additional costs, like fuel surcharges or service and equipment fees.
5. Know Your Rights
Reading up on your moving rights from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is vital. Knowing your rights ensures you’ll steer clear of companies with certain red flags, like no licensing, too good to be true estimates, refusal to provide a written quote or demands for upfront payment.
Crucial Questions to Ask Movers
When you find a mover that might be the right fit for your needs, we recommend asking the following questions to weed out contenders that aren’t as experienced or credible as they claim to be.
Are You Licensed and Insured?
A professional interstate moving company will be licensed by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). You should be able to check a mover’s license number online and view the company’s complaint history. Likewise, intrastate moving companies should be licensed by the state. Always avoid companies that are not licensed or insured.
What Kind of Liability Coverage Do You Offer?
You’ll want to ensure your personal belongings are thoroughly covered by insurance if they are lost or damaged during transit. Always double-check to ensure your preferred mover offers liability coverage no matter the distance you intend to travel.
The USDOT requires interstate movers to provide at least two kinds of liability coverage — Full Value Protection and Released Value. With Full Value Protection coverage, your mover is responsible for reimbursing the total replacement value of any lost or damaged items. Released Value coverage ensures your mover accounts for 60 cents per pound per article of any missing or damaged goods.
Do You Offer Binding Estimates?
Next, we advise asking if your mover offers binding estimates. A binding estimate is a fixed-price written quote that includes any potential additional fees like service add-ons. Requesting a binding estimate ensures the final cost of your move doesn’t exceed your initial quote, so you aren’t confronted with a final cost you haven’t budgeted for.
Are You a Broker or Carrier?
A broker arranges for your items to be moved with for-hire carriers. In other words, they hand your items over to someone else — a company or contractor you don’t know and haven’t explicitly hired to handle your personal items. On the other hand, a carrier manages the transit of your belongings from beginning to end with their own professional, full-time employees.
Other Considerations and Questions to Ask Movers
Aside from the high-priority questions outlined above, consider asking the following to get a better idea of what working with the mover will be like:
- What services do you provide?
- Do you handle specialty items?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- What is your claims process like?
- Can I track my shipment?
- What payment forms do you accept?
When Should You Hire Movers?
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge you need to find and hire a trustworthy mover, you might be wondering when you should hire your mover. The answer to this question will depend primarily on the distance and time of year you plan to move.
Generally, we recommend shopping around for quotes at least two to three months before the big day. The longer the distance you plan to travel, the sooner you should begin to gather quotes. For example, for a cross-country move, you should start looking for quotes a minimum of two months ahead of time. But if you’re moving a shorter distance, like across town or to a nearby city, finding a mover at least a month in advance should offer sufficient preparation time for you and the moving company.
That being said, the sooner you can get a quote and hire the mover, the better the deal you’ll likely receive. Why? In our experience, many popular and sought-after moving companies are booked out several months in advance. Movers are typically busier during the spring and summer, so begin looking for quotes well ahead of time if you’re planning a move during these months.
Contact David McCarthy Moving for a Free Quote
Each move is unique, so we offer a range of moving services to meet your needs at David McCarthy Moving. Our fully licensed and insured full-time movers can assist you with any aspect of your interstate or intrastate move, from consulting and self-packing to crating and custom packing.
Contact us for your free quote today! We’ll streamline your move to make it the hassle-free experience you deserve.