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Charges for Moves Within Virginia

Calculation Methods

  • Moves of 30 Miles or Less Moves of 30 miles or less are not subject to tariff requirements and may be billed in a manner determined by the mover. These moves are usually billed at hourly rates. The number of workers and size of the truck required to perform the move usually determine the hourly rate.
  • Moves of 31 Miles or More Transportation rates for moves greater than 30 miles are billed based on the weight of the shipment and the distance between origin and destination. The tariff filed by the mover and approved by DMV provides the method used to determine the distance of the move. Movers should weigh the moving truck prior to loading your household goods to obtain the "tare weight". The truck should be fully fueled and contain all pads, dollies and other accessories necessary to perform the move. After the truck has been loaded, the mover will weigh the truck again to obtain the "gross weight". The weight of the shipment (i.e., net weight) is determined by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight. All weights are to be shown on the Bill of Lading. If it seems necessary, you may request that your shipment be reweighed prior to delivery. Reweighing will be done only where it is practical to do so. The mover may require a reasonable charge for reweighing, which must be provided in its approved tariff. The lower of the two net weights will be used in determining your charges. If a weigh scale is not available between the beginning and end of the move, moves may be billed by "constructive weight", a term used to refer to the volume of the shipment.

Charges for Additional Services

Movers typically perform services other than simply transporting your possessions. The following are examples of services which may add to the cost of the move:

  • Packing/unpacking;
  • Disconnecting/reconnecting appliances (washer, dryer, icemaker, etc.);
  • Loading or unloading bulky articles (motorcycles, sheds, cars, hot tubs, pianos, pool tables, freezers, etc.);
  • Providing a shuttle service between the truck and the residence, when needed;
  • Carrying items long distances;
  • Using stairs or elevators in some circumstances;
  • Transporting boats and their trailers.

In addition, movers may hire a third party to perform certain services. Those charges will be added to the cost of the move.

Getting Cost Estimates or Quotes

  • Quotes by Phone You may request a quote over the phone. Movers vary in their ability to provide good phone quotes, so be honest and up front about what is to be moved and what does not. The accuracy of the quote will depend on the accuracy of the information you provide.
  • Quotes over the Web The web is a valuable tool for investigating movers and comparing moving costs, but you should not commit to using a mover found this way without acquiring a lot more information. For example, you should know the physical location of the mover, in case you later discover loss or damage and are unsuccessful in reaching the mover by telephone. The website may actually be for a moving services broker, who arranges for a moving company to perform the move. As a result, somebody you have never heard of or researched may show up in a rental truck with a crew having a questionable reputation and an unprofessional attitude. These movers may not have the required permit or certificate from DMV. There are a lot of reputable, properly permitted and certificated movers in Virginia performing their work to the highest degree of professionalism. However, movers do not have to establish credibility or prove proper licensing in order to have a website or other internet-accessible advertisement.
  • Getting a Written Estimate You can request a written estimate from the mover. The estimate can only be provided based upon information you provide to the mover or after a visual inspection of what is to be moved, so make sure you understand how the estimate is calculated.. In Virginia, any written estimate must include the name, address, and telephone number of the mover. The mover must also provide a booklet entitled Making a Better Move in Virginia. It may be helpful to get written estimates from several moving companies and compare them before making your selection. Be sure to give all of them the same information so that you can make an accurate comparison. Many movers provide binding estimates, where the mover guarantees that the charges will not exceed the estimate. However, the binding estimate only covers the goods and services listed on the estimate and accompanying inventory. If additional services are required or requested, the binding estimate will not cover these additional services. In this case, the mover may require you to sign an addendum to the original contract.


Payment is expected at time of delivery. Most movers only accept cash, certified check, money order, or travelers check. Many cannot process credit or debit cards or do not accept a personal check. Prior to your move, make sure you understand the forms of payment acceptable to your mover.