Should You Hire Hourly Movers or Flat Price Movers?

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Are you thinking of moving?

As the customer, it makes sense for you to review each company and the prices. Flat-rate movers may sound like the best deal. You pay one moving rate, no matter what. But when hiring a moving company, you want to save money, right? 

Sometimes hiring the flat-rate movers can end up sending your moving costs through the roof.

It turns out that the whole movers by the hour versus flat-rate moving question largely boils down to the size of your current home and the distance you are traveling. 
Here’s how to weigh each moving company option and decide which one is right for you (the customer!)—plus measures to take to keep the price low and get the best offer in either case.

Couple unpacking in their new home

Why is this an important decision?

Moving usually means having to plan and organize your entire relocation process. Of course, doing this will mean that you will have a successful and positive relocation experience. However, there are many factors that will determine how well our relocation process really is. 

One of those factors is choosing which movers to hire. One thing is certain, hiring moving services from professional moving companies, like Philadelphia Movers, is a huge boost to the relocation process. However, choosing whether to hire flat-rate movers vs hourly movers can play a vital role in your process.

Consequently, your choice of movers can help you lower the moving expenses and have an, overall, positive relocation experience. It might seem like a simple choice, but on the other hand, it is far more than that. Hence, today, we help you choose the right type of movers for your relocation.

Before deciding which company is right for your move, it might be a good idea to consider the following:

  • Will you do some or all the packing?
  • Do you know exactly what you will and will not move?
  • WIll you need any additional services such as crating, hoisting or storage?
  • When are you planning to move?

Where are you moving from and to?

Packing glasses in a box

Flat rate movers vs movers by the hour –
which to choose?

Obviously, each of these two options will bring different advantages, and disadvantages, to the table.

 Lucky for you, today we are going to talk about the pros and cons of both of these movers. 

These pros and cons should be more than enough to allow you to have a much better understanding of which type of movers you should hire.

Again, both types of movers will offer you similar services, but with different approaches. 

Moreover, did you know that the distance you move to, can determine which of these two movers you should hire? Before we discuss all of the pros and cons of both types of movers, we are going to introduce you to them first. Know that every type of mover specializes in different relocation or items. For instance, Philadelphia Movers will be a good choice for when you move into an apartment.

Man thinking what to do

Flat rate movers

How do you know that you hired flat-rate movers instead of hourly ones? Well, one of the main telltale signs is the moving quote you received. The moving quote will be the best way to learn in which method a company operates.

 So, if you were to hire flat-rate movers, that would mean that you hire a moving company that offers a binding moving estimate. This type of estimate means that you have a fixed price you have to pay, depending on the weight of your items. This means that, whether you decide to take more, or even fewer, items with you, the price will remain the same. 

Hiring these types of movers can help you save money in the longer run, but can also lead you to fraudulent moving companies. Nonetheless, if hiring such movers, be vary of the company.

girls throwing box

Movers by the hour

Now, paying by the hour might seem like a more logical thing for you. Well, it might be. However, hiring hourly movers does not need much explaining, does it? 

It is relatively simple. You hire Philadelphia Movers and pay them per hour for as long as they have to work. Now, this might seem like the ideal choice when moving, but is it?

mover holding items

Hourly movers are a great solution when moving a small household or on short distances. However, moving over larger distances can often lead to high expenses. Especially if you forgot to include that into your moving budget. 

You will still get your estimate, but that estimate does not have to be set in stone. In fact, the majority of the flat-rate movers vs hourly movers debate revolves around the type of your relocation. Hourly movers are safer than flat-rate movers, but it really depends on the company.

Flat rate vs Movers by the hour –
Pros and Con

Logically, both of these types of movers will have their advantages and disadvantages. So, how do you decide which one to hire after you receive moving quotes in Philly? What are the things that each of these mover types have that attracts or appalls people? 

Moreover, remember, this is just one, out of many important decisions you will have to make during the process of relocation. Furthermore, each of those decisions, much like this one, can either make or break your entire process. So, without further ado…

Movers standing in front of a van


  • You are aware of the price you have to pay for your relocation
  • Great for moving long distance or with a large household

Flat rate movers allow you to move your entire household, regardless of size or distance, while controlling your overall expenses. As we were saying, the binding estimate disallows the moving company to change the price when the weight of the item changes.

Mover taping a box


  • If you decide to change something, it will not lower the price of the move
  • These types of movers usually cost more than hourly movers

Pros and Cons of movers by the hour

If you have an unstable process of relocation, hourly movers will do great for you. What do we mean by “an unstable process of relocation”? Well, mostly we mean the things that you do not know will occur or change. The unexpected, if you will. 

For instance, if you need to hire storage pickup and delivery services, the movers will gladly wait. Basically, these movers will only charge for the amount of time they spent helping you.

couple high fiving


  • You only pay for the service, equipment and the time the moving company spent moving you
  • A budget-friendly solution when moving long distance


  • Long-distance relocation will devastate your budget
  • There are factors you can’t control such as traffic or weather, can impact the process and create larger expenses.

Summary – when to hire hourly movers

Here’s a sample scenario: If you are moving across New York state to a new home or within the same New York City apartment building, this is considered a local move, and therefore the hourly option is better.

A price based on time, which can range from $100 to $150 for two or three movers, often starts with a minimum of three hours, plus an hour for travel. A two-bedroom apartment might take three to four hours to move; a three-bedroom house could take seven or eight.

If you are worried about your moving costs spiraling out of control, ask the moving company whether it can cap the cost for customers at a certain amount, even if the time spills over.

Items covered in brown paper

When to hire flat price movers?

A flat rate is exactly that—a number that’s determined after an in-home or virtual assessment by the moving company of the size of your space and the amount and type of furniture you own.

A flat rate is typically the right choice if you are planning an interstate or cross-country move, or moving a greater distance, like to a new apartment a couple of hours away, since moving like this contains more unknowns.

If your moving truck gets stuck in gridlock traffic, we doubt you’ll enjoy paying your movers an hourly rate for this added time.But don’t be fooled: The flat-rate price or flat offer you get from a mover may not include all the costs associated with your move.

Couple packing items in boxes

To avoid getting blindsided by hidden company fees or a surprise rate from your movers, it’s better to take the time and have an in-home estimate of your move. This way the movers can’t say that you hadn’t mentioned you have a piano when they saw it for themselves.

Also be sure to ask the movers or the customer service office if there are any extra fees if they end up moving certain items or providing extra services or spending more time (like unpacking your belongings, hauling away packing materials, or disassembling furniture).

The more details you can provide about your move, the less likely it is that you’ll end up being surprised by unknown moving charges from the company.

To get an estimate of how much it will cost to move into your new place, check out this moving cost calculator, where you can punch in your number of bedrooms, beginning and ending ZIP codes, and move date.

movers carrying couch

If you are leaning towards an hourly service, be sure to ask about any minimum time requirements. Many hourly moving companies require at least three hours  Of course this could be a bummer if you have prepared for your move in a way that it’ll only take a couple of hours.

Whether you go with a flat-rate or hourly move, make sure the company details what’s covered in advance.

By all means, check the reputation of whoever you hire. 

Mover checking the inventory

Call us and get your free quote today!

The best way to move your apartment is by having professionals move you. 

That is also moving the stress from your checklist and there is a reason behind the fact that so many people contact movers for assistance. 

In addition to heavy lifting of your furniture items, movers are also able to pack your whole apartment in just a day or two. 

They will be able to pack your valuables such as pictures, lamps, your flat screen TV and other things much better than you would do it. 

But the most important thing when hiring movers is to choose a reliable and efficient moving company such as Philadelphia Movers.

Otherwise, you may end up having more stress than ever. Call us today and get your quote and let’s enjoy together!