Self Service and Full Service Moving Companies Compared

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Moving companies vary greatly in the size of moves they handle and the other services they offer. In an effort to offer customers a less expensive option, many moving truck companies have begun self service programs. This type of service, however, drastically differs from a typical full service moving company, and prior to deciding which to use, it is wise to understand their distinctions.

Self Service vs. Full Service Essentials

In a self service move, the customer is responsible for packing and loading the items into a large metal crate. At a prearranged time, the movers will deliver the crate and then pick it up again, drive it to the new residence, and then, once unloaded remove it. Sometimes, storage companies also offer this service.

In a full service move a moving truck company will pick up, load and deliver your belongings. Moving companies also offer storage and packing services. While a customer can pick and choose the specifics of their move, there is much less control over it than in a self service move.

Cost Differences

The cost of a self service move changes depending on whether the customer is using their own, individual crate or a portion of a crate that will be shared by other customers. For an individual crate, the cost will be a set price. If the customer is using a portion of a crate, the cost will be based on the amount of feet inside the crate the customer uses. In both situations, the customer will also be charged for the distance the movers will be transporting their belongings.

A full-service moving company’s charge differs depending on the type of services the customer purchases and, typically, the distance of the move. A local moving company may charge by the hour, while long distance or multi-national moving companies typically charge on the weight and distance of the move. Packing and storage services will result in additional charges.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Self Service Moving

Self service moving is often cheaper than full service moving. Because the customer is packing and loading the crate themselves, all they are paying the movers to do is drive the crate. Additionally, because the customer themselves loads the truck, items may be stacked or wrapped better, meaning less damage.

However, the responsibility of packing their belongings and loading the truck means that self service moving is often just as difficult as renting a truck. Heavy furniture, boxes and other items will be difficult and time consuming to load onto the crate. Furthermore, unless the customer has extensive moving or truck loading experience, improper packing may result in damage to furniture and other items.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Full Service Moving Companies

Hiring a full service moving company will significantly reduce the amount of stress the customer will experience just because they will have less responsibility. However, the longer the distance of the move, if the items will be stored and who packs the residence can still make the move worrisome. Because a full service mover will pack, load and possibly store the belongings, full service moving is often the most expensive option. However, because of experience, a full service move may be the least damaging to belongings.

Prior to deciding on either method of moving, thoroughly investigate every company. Anything agreed to should be in writing and signed, and do not hire a company that refuses to answer questions or says it will determine costs at a later time.

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