Moving Quotes: What You Need To Know

Moving quotes are crucial tools for planning and budgeting any relocation, whether it’s within New Zealand or to an international destination.

These quotes provide a comprehensive estimate of the costs involved in moving from one location to another and typically cover services such as packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and unpacking your belongings.

They may also include additional services that could incur extra fees, such as storage or special handling for delicate items.

Obtaining accurate moving quotes is essential for several reasons:

  • Budget Planning: They offer a clear outline of anticipated costs, helping you effectively manage your finances for every aspect of the move.
  • Service Comparison: Moving quotes enable you to compare services and costs from different providers, allowing you to select a mover that offers the best value and service quality tailored to your specific needs.
  • Avoiding Unexpected Costs: Detailed quotes help prevent surprise charges, ensuring a smoother and more predictable relocation experience.

For international moves, the importance of moving quotes becomes even more pronounced.

Such relocations involve additional complexities like customs clearance, international shipping regulations, and possible quarantine procedures, depending on the destination.

A comprehensive moving quote helps you understand these extra layers of logistics and costs, ensuring that every aspect of an international move is anticipated and planned for accordingly.

In New Zealand, where domestic moves might require logistical coordination such as ferry bookings for inter-island transport and navigating urban challenges, international moves demand even greater detail and precision in planning.

This thorough approach ensures that both the logistical and regulatory needs of moving abroad are met, making moving quotes an indispensable tool for anyone planning a move from New Zealand to overseas.

Getting the right moving quote is not just about finding the lowest price. It’s about finding a reliable service that matches your specific moving needs and ensures your belongings are transported safely and efficiently. Always verify mover credentials and read reviews to ensure quality and reliability.

Whare Are the Different Types of Moving Quotes?

When planning a move, whether domestically within New Zealand or internationally, you will encounter mainly two types of moving quotes: estimates and quotations.

Each serves a different purpose and provides varying levels of cost certainty, so understanding the distinction is key to planning your budget and choosing the right service.


An estimate provides a preliminary assessment of what the moving services are likely to cost.

This type is generally based on the mover’s experience with similar jobs and the details you provide about your move, such as the volume of items, the distance to be traveled, and any special requirements.

However, since estimates are not fixed, the actual price you pay can change based on the actual circumstances encountered during the move, such as additional items not originally accounted for or unforeseen logistical challenges.

An “instant estimate” for a 4 bedroom home sized move from Auckland to Christchurch from New Zealand Movers as of 6th May 2024.


A quotation, on the other hand, offers a more precise pricing commitment.

This is a fixed cost that the moving company promises to adhere to, irrespective of the eventual variances during the moving process.

Quotations are typically provided after a more thorough evaluation, possibly including an in-person inspection or detailed inventory assessment.

This type of moving quote provides more financial security as it guarantees the cost provided upfront, ensuring that you know exactly what you will pay unless you request additional services beyond the scope originally planned.

Both types of moving quotes have their advantages depending on your need for flexibility or financial certainty.

Estimates can be useful for those still finalising details of their move, while quotations are better for those who prefer a defined cost for budgeting purposes.

When receiving any type of quote, it’s crucial to ensure all expected services are included and to ask about potential additional fees that might arise.

This will help avoid unexpected costs and ensure your moving experience aligns with your financial and logistical expectations.

What Factors Influence Moving Quotes?

When obtaining a moving quote in New Zealand, several factors come into play that can significantly influence the overall cost.

Understanding these factors can help you better prepare for the expenses associated with your move and choose the right services to fit your needs.

Distance of the Move

The distance your belongings need to travel is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of moving services.

Moves can be local, inter-city, or inter-island, each varying greatly in cost. Local moves are generally the least expensive, while inter-island relocations, such as from the North Island to the South Island, involve more logistics and thus higher costs.

These might include ferry crossings which add to the overall expense and complexity of the move.

Volume and Type of Goods Being Moved

The amount and type of items you are moving also play a critical role in determining the moving quote.

Movers often calculate costs based on the volume or the number of rooms’ worth of belongings.

Special items that require extra care, such as pianos, antiques, or artwork, may incur additional charges due to the need for special packing and handling to ensure their safe transport.

The volume of your household goods, measured in cubic metres, is the primary factor determining the cost of your move.

When comparing moving quotes, ensure you check the cubic metre volume each mover has quoted. This is often where the most significant price differences originate.

Important Note: Please note that the volume estimation provided is subjective and should be used as a guideline only. 

Timing of the Move

The timing of your move can affect moving costs due to seasonal demand fluctuations.

Peak moving periods in New Zealand typically include the end of the year and the beginning of the year, coinciding with the close of the fiscal year and school holidays.

During these times, moving services are in higher demand, which can lead to premium pricing.

Conversely, planning a move during off-peak times might secure you a lower rate.

Access and Setup at Properties

When obtaining moving quotes, one critical factor that can significantly influence the cost is the accessibility of the property you are moving from and the property you are moving to. Here’s how access issues can impact the overall moving expenses:

Impact of Property Access on Moving Quotes

  • Shuttle Vehicle Requirement: If the main moving truck cannot access your property directly due to narrow roads, low overpasses, or restrictions in residential areas, a smaller shuttle vehicle may be needed to transport your belongings from your home to the larger truck parked at a distance. This additional service incurs extra costs.
  • Stairs and Elevators: Properties with multiple levels or those that require the use of stairs or elevators can complicate the moving process. Movers may charge more due to the extra time and labor needed to safely transport items up or down stairs, or the coordination required to use elevators.
  • Long Carry: If there is a significant distance from your home’s entrance to where the moving truck can be parked, known as a long carry, additional fees may be applied. This is due to the increased labor and time required to move your belongings to or from the truck.
  • Parking and Permits: In some urban settings, securing parking space for a moving truck might require special permits or parking fees. If the moving company handles these logistics, the costs might be passed on to you.

Additional Services

Additional services such as packing, temporary storage, or special handling also impact the overall cost of moving quotes.

If you require professional packing services, this will add to the quote since it involves extra labor and materials.

Similarly, if your new home is not ready and you need to store your items temporarily, storage fees will apply.

Each of these services adds layers of convenience but also increases the overall cost of the move.

By considering these factors, you can have a more accurate expectation of the moving costs and make informed decisions about the services you really need.

Discussing these aspects with your chosen moving company will also help ensure that you receive a comprehensive and accurate quote, tailored to your specific moving requirements.

Getting an Accurate Moving Quote

Obtaining an accurate moving quote is crucial for planning and budgeting your relocation effectively.

Here are some key elements that can ensure the accuracy of your moving quote:

Importance of Inventory Accuracy

The accuracy of your inventory directly influences the precision of the moving quote.

A detailed list of items being moved allows the moving company to estimate the required resources accurately, such as the size of the moving truck, the number of staff needed, and the amount of packing materials.

Ensure that every item, from large furniture to small kitchen appliances, is accounted for.

Also, mention items that might require disassembly or special handling.

Benefits of In-Home Estimates

While online or virtual estimates can be convenient, in-home estimates provide a far more accurate assessment of your moving needs.

During an in-home estimate, a moving professional visits your home to visually inspect your belongings.

This enables them to assess the volume and nature of items firsthand, identify any potential challenges such as narrow stairs or doorways, and discuss specific requirements you may have.

This interaction not only ensures a more precise quote but also helps in building trust and understanding between you and the moving company.

Crown Video Quote
Crown Relocations video quotation service.

Essential Information Homeowners Should Provide to Movers

To facilitate an accurate quote, provide the moving company with comprehensive information, including:

  • Detailed Inventory: List all items, specifying large or heavy items, and note any that require special care.
  • Access Details: Inform about the ease of access to your current and new home. Mention any potential obstacles like elevators, narrow driveways, or significant distance from the house to the parking area.
  • Service Requirements: Specify if you need additional services such as packing, unpacking, storage, or furniture assembly/disassembly.
  • Preferred Dates: Communicate your preferred moving dates and any flexibility you might have. Dates can influence costs due to varying demand.
  • Special Considerations: If you have fragile items, antiques, or items of sentimental value, discuss how these should be handled.

Understanding Volume in Moving Quotes

When obtaining quotes for moving services, it’s crucial to recognise that not all volume is equal.

A common mistake is to assume that the volume capacity of a transport container directly correlates with the actual packing needs of your belongings.

For instance, when requesting a quote for a 20′ sole use container, which typically holds around 28m3 of household goods, it’s essential to consider the composition of that volume.

Breakdown of Volume: Cartons vs. Furniture

1. Composition of Volume:

  • Cartons: If a significant portion of your volume – say, 50% – consists of items that need to be packed into cartons, this requires more materials, labor, and time. Packing cartons involves not just physical packing but also organising, labelling, and securing the contents to prevent damage.
  • Furniture: In contrast, if the majority of the volume is comprised of furniture, the required service mainly involves wrapping and protecting each piece for transport. This process is generally less labor-intensive than packing cartons, as it primarily focuses on protection rather than compartmentalization.

Impact on Moving Quotes

Understanding how your volume breaks down is critical for several reasons:

1. Accuracy of Quotes: Movers can provide more accurate quotes if they know the composition of the household goods.

Detailed information helps prevent surprises in terms of additional packing materials or labor that might otherwise not have been accounted for.

2. Resource Allocation: By knowing the breakdown of your move’s volume, moving companies can better allocate the appropriate resources, whether that’s more packing materials, additional labor for packing, or specialised equipment for handling large pieces of furniture.

3. Time Management: Understanding the composition of your move also helps in estimating the time it will take to pack and load your belongings.

Moves involving more carton packing might take longer than those primarily consisting of furniture.

4. Cost Implications: The type of items being moved and their preparation requirements directly affect the overall cost.

Moves with a higher volume of cartons may incur higher costs due to the need for packing materials and labor.

When requesting moving quotes, it’s advantageous to provide detailed information about what exactly comprises the volume of goods to be moved.

This clarity not only ensures more accurate pricing but also prepares both you and the moving company for a smoother relocation process.

Remember, a well-informed move is a well-executed move.

How Do I Compare Moving Quotes?

When planning a move, obtaining and comparing quotes from various moving companies is essential to ensure you receive the best service at the most competitive price.

Here’s how to effectively read and compare moving quotes:

How to Read and Compare Quotes

  • Understand the Services Included: Carefully review what each quote includes. Look for details such as the number of movers, hours estimated, and services like packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. Ensure that each quote you compare covers similar services to get a fair comparison.
  • Examine the Fine Print: Pay attention to the fine print in the quotes. Look for any additional fees that may apply, such as charges for heavy items, long carry fees if the truck cannot park close to your home, or fees for dismantling and assembling furniture. Understanding these details will help you avoid unexpected costs on moving day.
  • Total Cost Breakdown: Ensure the quote provides a detailed breakdown of all costs. This breakdown should include labor costs, transportation fees, and any potential surcharges or insurance fees. A clear breakdown helps you understand exactly what you are paying for and facilitates easier comparison.

The Importance of Checking Mover Reviews and Credentials

  • Read Customer Reviews: Before making a decision, read reviews from previous customers to gauge the quality of service provided by the movers. Look for comments about their professionalism, punctuality, care for belongings, and how they handle unforeseen issues. Platforms like Google, Trustpilot, and local business directories are good sources for customer reviews.
  • Verify Credentials: When selecting a moving company, verifying their credentials is crucial to ensure that you’re working with reputable professionals. Reputable international movers often hold accreditations from global organizations like FIDI (Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux), which sets rigorous quality standards for overseas moving.
  • Insurannce Coverage: Ensure that the moving company also has valid insurance to protect your belongings in case of damage during the move. This coverage is essential for peace of mind, particularly for international relocations where risks can be higher. Checking these credentials and insurance details not only confirms the legitimacy of the mover but also their commitment to providing secure and professional services.
  • Experience and Specialization: Consider the experience of the moving company, especially if you have special items like pianos, fine art, or antiques. Ensure that the movers have specific expertise in handling such items if required.

International Moving Quotes

When planning an international move, obtaining a detailed moving quote is crucial due to the complexities involved in crossing borders.

Here’s what you should consider to ensure you receive a comprehensive and accurate international moving quote:

  1. Shipping Line Freight Rate: Inquire which shipping line’s freight rate is included in your quote. Freight rates can vary significantly between shipping lines, and knowing this detail helps you gauge whether the quote is competitive.
  2. Exchange Rates: Confirm which exchange rates have been used since international moves involve cross-currency transactions. Fluctuations in exchange rates can significantly impact the final cost.
  3. Sailing Transit Time: Ask about the expected transit time – how long your belongings will be at sea. This is crucial for planning your arrival and any necessary accommodations.
  4. Inclusions and Exclusions: Ensure the quote specifies what is included. This should cover all services from packing to unpacking, including any additional fees like customs clearance, port handling charges and delivery charges.
  5. Customs and Duties Information: Check whether the quote includes handling customs and any potential quarantine inspection fees, which can be a significant expense in international moves.
  6. Insurance Coverage: Given the increased risks in international transit, ensure your quote includes comprehensive insurance to cover potential damages or loss.
  7. Destination Services: It’s essential to know which company will handle your belongings at the destination. This includes unloading, customs clearance, and transport to your new home. Different movers may have partnerships with various local agents, so knowing who will manage these destination services will help you assess the reliability and smooth handling of your items upon arrival.

Why Extra Vigilance is Necessary

Being vigilant about the details of an international moving quote can prevent unexpected charges and ensure proper handling of your belongings.

Understanding the basis of the costs, the specifics of the service provided, and the timeframe of your move allows you to plan more effectively and mitigate potential challenges.

Focusing on these aspects lets you compare quotes not just based on price, but also on the value and comprehensiveness of the services offered, ensuring a smoother transition to your new international home.

What Are the Common Pitfalls to Avoid?

When obtaining moving quotes and planning your move, certain common mistakes can lead to unexpected costs, delays, or complications.

Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

Not Checking Insurance Details

One of the most crucial aspects to verify when choosing a moving company is the insurance coverage.

Not all policies offer the same protection, and failing to check the specifics can leave you vulnerable if your belongings are damaged or lost during the move.

Ensure that the insurance provided is adequate for your needs and that it covers all phases of the moving process.

Underestimating the Importance of Accurate Inventories

An accurate inventory is vital for obtaining a precise quote and ensuring a smooth move.

Underestimating the importance of listing every item can result in incorrect estimations of required resources like the size of the moving truck and the number of movers needed.

This oversight might not only increase the cost but also cause logistical issues on moving day.

Make sure your inventory is detailed and complete, including the sizes, quantities, and special requirements for each item.

Not Comparing Multiple Quotes

Another common mistake is accepting the first quote you receive without comparing it to others.

Different movers can offer varying levels of service and price points.

By not comparing multiple quotes, you may miss out on finding a better deal or a company that more closely aligns with your specific moving needs.

Gather at least three quotes to compare and consider each company’s services, reviews, and credentials before making a decision.


What should I do if a moving quote seems unusually low?

Be cautious with significantly low quotes as they may indicate hidden fees or lack of proper services.

Verify the mover’s credentials, read customer reviews, and compare the quote against others to ensure it includes all necessary services.

A low quote might not cover essential aspects like adequate insurance or professional packing, which could cost you more in the long run.

How far in advance should I get moving quotes?

It’s advisable to start obtaining quotes at least two to three months before your planned move, especially if you’re moving during peak season.

This timeframe gives you enough opportunity to compare different quotes, check mover availability, and book your preferred date without rushing.

Can moving quotes be negotiated?

Yes, more often than not, moving quotes can be negotiated.

This is more likely if you have flexibility with your moving dates or if you’re considering various additional services.

Don’t hesitate to ask the moving company if there are any discounts available or if they can match a lower quote you’ve received from another reputable mover.

What happens if my moving needs change after receiving a quote?

If your moving needs change, such as adding more items to move or changing your moving date, contact your moving company as soon as possible.

Most companies are flexible and can adjust the quote based on the new requirements.

However, this might affect the final cost, so it’s important to communicate these changes early.

Is there a difference between weekday and weekend moving rates?

Yes, moving rates can vary between weekdays and weekends.

Weekends are typically more expensive due to higher demand.

If you’re looking to save money and have a flexible schedule, consider scheduling your move on a weekday.