Estimating the Mileage Fees for Your Move

If you’re about to embark on your very first DIY move, then you may be wondering how to budget for your move. In this post, we’ll explain how to figure in the cost of renting a moving truck based on mileage fees for the distance traveled during your move.

Calculating Moving Mileage Fees

One Way vs. In-Town Moves

The cost of renting a moving truck is based on the point of origin and the destination. If you are moving to a different city, then you will likely want to opt for a one-way move. This means your pick-up location and drop-off location are not the same. For moves within the same city, most companies offer a local or in-town move. This means that you will pick-up and drop-off the truck at the same location.

Typically, one-way moves are priced by the trip. Each trip includes a mileage allotment with fees that are incurred if exceeded. In-town or local moves are priced based on flat rate and mileage. It is very important that you consider both of these factors when choosing which size moving truck to rent.   If you make many trips, your cost will be higher than if you limit your move to one or two trips.

It is possible to save money by renting a larger size truck that will accommodate all of your items in fewer trips, or by renting a trailer, which has no mileage fees associated with it. It is important to note that trailers require a hitch and a hitch ball mount to be installed on your vehicle,  if not already equipped with one. This cost, however, may be offset by the money you will save in mileage fees and come in handy in the future.

Calculating Mileage Fees_ Trucks

Once you’ve decided that a moving truck is the best option for you, and you’ve selected the appropriate size, you are ready to estimate the mileage cost for your rental. Each rental company may have a different method of charging for rentals, so it’s important to keep this in mind when allocating your budget.

Moving Quote

Most truck rental companies make the process of receiving a quote very easy through their website or 1-800 number.  Receiving a quote directly from the rental company is the most accurate way to estimate the cost of renting your truck, especially if you are doing a one-way move. 

The company will generate a quote that may be based upon one or both of the following:

a) total distance (mileage)
b) rental period (in days)
c) seasonality (when is the best time to move?)

Begin by calculating the total distance (in miles) between your point of origin and your destination. You can do this quickly and easily by using an online map service such as Google Maps.

Next, decide how many trips back and forth you want to make. You will need to use your best guess, however, most truck rental companies will provide an estimate of how many room’s worth of furniture will fit in each truck (below). Count each one-way trip as one. For example, from point A to point B is 1 trip,  point B back to point A is 1 trip. Round trip = 2 trips.

Calculating Moving Mileage Fees

Once you have calculated your total mileage fee, you are on track for estimating your total truck rental cost. Other important expenses to account for include:

  • base rate: this is the flat fee for renting the truck in addition to mileage. These fees vary by company.
  • the cost of insurance
  • the cost of moving supplies and equipment rental, such as dollies or furniture pads.

When it comes to renting your moving truck, plan ahead and make your reservation in advance.  This will save you time, money and hassle in the long run, and will also ensure that the rental company can plan in advance to satisfy your and others reservations.

Do you have any experience with planning for or managing mileage fees? If so, let us know below in the comments section!