The Real Cost of DIY Moving Vs. Hiring Professional Movers

Written by Christofferson on . Posted in Blog, Moving

Many people think “doing it yourself” (DIY) and saving money are one and the same. But this isn’t always the case. There are many other real life scenarios where DIY just doesn’t make sense, (haircuts, tattoos, and surgery), or where hiring professionals costs the same amount or less than doing it yourself, (oil changes, large printing jobs, and moving).

overloaded truck

It’s easy to assume that a DIY move with a rental truck will be cheaper and less stressful than hiring professional movers. After all, getting your friends and family to pitch in and help sounds simpler, and will only set you back the cost of beer and pizza right?


Not quite.

In many instances, hiring professional movers can be cheaper and they will do all the work.

As professional movers ourselves, we are aware of everything that factors into a successful relocation. Naturally, we were curious to find out the cost difference between the DIY rental truck move or professional full-service option, so we went ahead and crunched the numbers.

On average, a family of four packs up and moves about 5,000 lbs worth of goods during their relocation. To accurately compare the costs of a DIY vs. professional long distance relocation, the following estimates were calculated for a family of four relocating 1,300 miles from Wisconsin to Florida, (who wouldn’t want to relocate to the “Sunshine State” this time of year?!).

The Do-It-Yourself Option



  • Truck rentals
  • Equipment and destination labor.
  • Fuel for rental truck and/or personal vehicle
Truck Rental$1,987.00
Equipment and Destination Labor$333.71
Fuel ($2.00 gal @ 7 MPG)$371.43
Total Cost$2,692.14

Other Unaccounted For Costs:

  • Asking, (i.e. begging), friends and family to help you load and unload the rental truck.
  • Being held liable if your friends or family injure themselves.
  • Paying to replace any goods your friends or family might damage while loading or unloading.
  • Taking days off of work to pack, load, and transport your goods.
  • Risk of personal injury.
  • Risk of damaging furniture or other household goods during the move.
  • Additional $250.00 cost for towing your personal vehicle behind the rental truck. (This also reduces fuel efficiency or average MPG.)

mover unloading truck

The Professional Full-Service Option


  • Door-to-door service.
  • Professionally trained drivers and labor.
  • Equipment and pad wrapping.
  • Disassembly and reassembly of goods.
  • No risk of personal injury.
Total Cost$2,744.49

Based on our estimates, the total cost of a DIY rental truck move is only $52.35 less than hiring a professional moving company to do the work for you, without including any of the other expenses associated with doing it yourself, such as:

  • Towing your personal vehicle behind the rental truck.
  • Visiting the chiropractor. (Despite lifting with your legs, not your back.)
  • Treating friends and family to a nice dinner for all their help.
  • Replacing any household goods that were broken or damaged during relocation.
  • Feeling obligated to help your friends and family move when they ask you to return the favor. (Or feeling guilty if you make up an excuse as to why you can’t.)


Request an estimate or contact us today to learn how we’ll make sure your next relocation is both affordable and stress-free.

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