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Jan 25, 16:24
Question by shaunna (Shaunna)

California to Kansas - hire a mover or rent a truck?

I am moving from California to Kansas. I will be leaving a studio (a one bedroom amount of furniture). I will also be needing my car to be transported as well. How much do you suppose this would cost (about)? OR would it be cheaper to drive a u-haul (with another to drive my car) clear across to Kansas?

Jan 26, 00:31
Answer by alexzehn (Alex Z.)


Lets start with some assumptions:

  1. First of all, if you move out of a studio with one bedroom worth of furniture, I would assume your shipment is around 2000 lbs (or ~300 cubic feet).

  2. Depending on where you are moving from and to, I would assume the total distance is around 1600 miles, or 3 days of normal driving.

  3. You are moving in the next 30 to 60 days.

  4. You will be doing all your packing and unpacking.

  5. Your destination location is accessible for a 51' foot long distance truck.
Now let's consider two scenarios:

First scenario would be for you to hire a long distance mover to deliver your shipment to Kansas, and you will drive the car by yourself. For that route you should expect offers ranging from 55 cents per lb to 70 cents per lb., which brings you to estimates ranging from $1100 to $1400. Assuming your shipment is a bit heavier, plus you might have some extra expenses or fees involved (like tips, or shuttle service in case your destination location is not accessible by big trucks, etc) you are looking at something around $1500.

Of course there are some drawbacks in hiring a moving company: for example, usually you would be required to give them a delivery window of 1-3 weeks, and they might surprise you with a sudden call ("we are here...), so you need to be in touch with the company dispatch and the driver all the time. Another drawback is the fact that you might fall in the hands of not so ethical mover, promising you a nice price and lots of other goodies, just to end up ripping you off. To prevent that use our site to investigate the mover before you sign up for the service, and always insist on a visual estimate and a binding offer. And last thing - never hire a moving broker.

I suggest you to start shopping around for prices by getting some free estimates using this form.

To summarize, by this scenario you are looking at around $1300-$1500 worth of expenses plus what you would spend on the travel to Kansas and the packing materials.

Second scenario is for you to rent a truck, drive it to Kansas, and have a friend drive your car. This scenario is full of surprises. First of all, despite the fact that Uhaul is probably the most recognisable moving brand, I would never recommend using it. The reason - over 3700 complaints listed in the Better Business Bureau in the last 36 months! As far as complaints go I believe most of them have to do with the fact that despite preliminary online or phone reservation people often found themselves without a truck right on the move date.

Nevertheless, for the sake of this investigation I would check their prices as well, together with Budget Truck Rental (a company I would highly recommend).

Since your shipment is around 300 cubic feet you would not need a truck bigger then 10' (those can fit 380 cu/ft). Assuming you will rent a truck on a weekday, one way, and not in the end of the month, you are looking at around $1800 (I am not kidding...) with Uhaul, and $1600 with Budget truck rental.

The advantages of this choice are the fact that you will handle your own shipment (which could be a drawback if you don't know how to load the truck right - check this thread to learn more about it), and the fact that you control all the aspects of your move (unless of course you rent a Uhaul...) and don't need to wait for your shipment.

The disadvantages are that you will need to load and unload the truck, and find someone to drive your car for you. You could also hire an auto transport service, but that would only add more to your expenses (click here for free car moving quotes).

To summarize, by this scenario you are looking at around $1600-$1800 worth of expenses plus what you would spend on the travel to Kansas and the packing materials.

Hope that helps, the decision is all yours.

Good luck with your move,

Alex Z. @

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