Moving FAQs: Your Moving Resource Center

At Colonial Van Lines we believe in giving you the resources and information you need to make an informed moving decision. We understand that the moving process can be difficult and we’re here to help you every step of the way. That’s why we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked moving questions below. Read more about our Moving FAQs here or you can find more free tips in our MoveHub. If you have any questions or need further explanations on any of the items below feel free to Contact Colonial Van Lines today. Please click on the topics below to show their corresponding frequently asked moving questions.

What are some reasons that increase or decrease the price of my original quote?

In some instances, the weight from the in-home estimate may increase or decrease significantly for a number of factors.

Increases and decreases can occur when:

  • Weight changes: More items become included or excluded after in-home estimate. Common examples: Could not sell the armoire at the yard sale, gifted bedroom set to neighbors.
  • Weight density inaccurate: An oak dresser weighs substantially more than a dresser made from particle board, a titanium shelf weighs less than an aluminum shelf.
  • Long-carry: Our policy is to up-charge when the distance to the truck from the doorway equals more than 75 feet or if there are flights of stairs. This adds additional steps for the movers, so this is reflected in the price to cover additional labor. If this charge was already factored into the in-house quote, then later determined that the truck could get closer, a decrease in price is in order as well.
  • Packing: Could not get as much packing done as you hoped, or completed your self-packing and no longer need that additional service

Perhaps, we’ve added an extra step to the quote process, but it is to ensure we can deliver you the lowest price possible for your move. In some cases, partial deposits are refunded when our weight quotes are over the actual weigh-in.  This has been a pleasant surprise for countless customers over our five decades in the moving business.

This an extremely important FAQ. As you educate yourself about the pricing policies of your potential moving companies, take these conditions into consideration so you can best prepare and budget for increases/decreases with your move.

Finding a Reputable Mover

The moving industry is cluttered with many movers who are competing for your business. Many of these companies may not be licensed or only operate during high season. These companies appear to be a legitimate moving business and then conduct irresponsible business practices resulting in risks to the consumer.

Other well-meaning novice moving companies may not understand the scope of the moving business, let alone master it. They may believe they can compete with pricing, delivery, packing, and other elements of moving only to find out—at your expense—that they are ill-equipped, logistically or without the proper resources to operate a successful move.

Fortunately for you, Colonial Van Lines has been a top rated long distance moving company for 50 years successfully moving 12,000 customers every year. As a licensed and insured moving company, we provide professional and reliable moving services nationwide through both high and low seasons.

Being that we operate all year, we focus on not just moving you but providing you with all the best resources possible to help you get moving. Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our daily activities or check out our MoveHub where you can find all of the best moving tips.

Our industry has tools accessible for you to conduct your research about the companies you are interviewing. You are encouraged to search sites like the Department of Transportation’s website to ensure your mover is established and trustworthy. We would rather see a consumer choose any reputable mover, than to have them fall victim to a non-established company.

Friendly Moving Team

Above all else, the moving team you choose should be friendly and approachable. After all, you spend a great deal of time with your movers! They should be people you like. Be sure to avoid any teams who seem contradictory or rude, or who don’t exhibit the level of professionalism you’d expect from a business partner. If you get a bad first impression from the team you’re interviewing, you can bet that feeling will continue throughout your dealings with them.

Your moving professionals, starting with the sales team, should be happy to answer your list of questions, no matter how long or in depth that list may be. It is always our pleasure to ensure you understand what to expect when you move. This includes how we determine your quote, the difference between our way and other popular ways that moving companies determine their pricing, and what you are entitled to as a consumer, for starters.

Any moving professional who enters your home should treat it with the upmost respect. Our professionals will treat your home like it’s their own home, with the exceptional care and delicate attention it deserves. We train our movers and equip them with tools and resources necessary to ensure we leave your home in the manner we found it.

Experienced Movers

Another thing you’ll get from a professional long-distance moving company is experienced movers. Colonial Van Lines, for example, has more than 50 years of experience in the moving and storage industry. That means we’ve refined the process hundreds of thousands of times over. We are constantly seeking out ways to improve and streamline our moving process by analyzing each move with solicited feedback from our employees and customers. We never assume the move was successful until it has been confirmed by our team and our customers.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if the items in your home, specifically the irreplaceable ones, should be in the hands of an inexperienced mover.

Fair Prices

Long distance moving companies price their services differently, depending on who they are, where they’re from, and what services they offer. With this in mind, you’ll want to do some research to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Most long distance moving companies offer free quotes, so be sure to shop around for these before you settle on any one company. We always recommend getting at least 2 quotes in addition to ours, so you can feel confident in your final decision. To ensure an accurate quote, have the details hammered out before you call.

  • Is there flexibility with your move dates?
  • Are there any big pieces of furniture that do not need to come with you to your new destination?
  • Are you self-packing or looking for a full-service move?
  • Do you have any special items such as oddly shaped furniture or glass table tops that require special packing?
  • Will you need to purchase packing supplies?
  • Will your new home be ready directly after pick-up or will you also require storage in transit (SIT) for your household goods before moving in?

All of these questions will help to determine the overall cost and value of your move. After these questions are ironed out, the next factor determining the price of your move is a quote based on the belongings in your home. Some companies charge price based on square feet, whereas Colonial Van Lines charges by weight. You pay for exactly what you bring and nothing else.

With a weighted quote, it makes no difference how your items fit in the truck. The overall weight, (weighed at the nearest weigh station for accuracy) provides us more accuracy and allows us to offer competitive pricing while still providing premium service.

Not sure what a fair price is? Check out average moving costs from Home Advisor.

Professional Moving Services

Professional moving services come with the experience, skills, insurance, and contracts you need to enjoy a safe and straightforward move. This means that if the movers break your items, you’ll have access to coverage.

It means you have a guarantee that your items will arrive at your destination. It also means you’ll have a foundation of customer reviews and professional services to help determine the best mover for you. These benefits allows you to rest easy knowing your move is in good hands.

While hiring someone on Craigslist may seem like an easy way to knock out your move, it’s bound to be more of a headache than it’s worth.

Full-Service Movers

Not all long-distance moving companies are full-service movers. Here’s what a full-service mover does:

  1. Long-distance moves
  2. Packing services
  3. Short and long-term storage services
  4. Corporate relocations
  5. Automobile moves

Even if you don’t need all of these services, it’s smart to enlist a full service moving team. Here’s why:

Not only are these movers faster and more experienced than ultra-niche companies, but they’re versatile enough to help you with any moving situation you run into. Trying to figure out how to lower costs? They’ll be able to help you. Need to store some of your items while you downsize? They do that for you.

Having a versatile company on your side makes it easy to focus on getting settled in your new location, while they handle the heavy lifting.

Finding a Long Distance Mover

Finding a long-distance moving company is one of the best things you can do to streamline and simplify your move. While lots of people believe they can handle their relocations by themselves, the truth is that this is a problematic approach, and it’s often more time-consuming and expensive than the alternative.

When you hire a long distance moving company, you get access to a team of skilled professionals who understand the ins-and-outs of moving and are willing to work with you to help you avoid potential pitfalls. They also have the equipment and skills you need, which saves you from buying items you don’t need!

What’s this mean for you? It means your move will go faster and more efficiently, with less stress for you in the process.

Where can I find out whether a mover is registered with FMCSA?

The FMCSA is the leading federal government agency responsible for the regulation and safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Their mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

FMCSA partners with industry, safety advocates, and state and local governments to keep our nation’s roadways safe and improve CMV safety through regulation, education, enforcement, research, and technology.

At Colonial Van Lines, we have partnered with the FMCSA to ensure the safety of our workforce. We approach our business with the philosophy that if we take care of our employees and put their needs first, they will, in turn, do the same for our customers.

You can find out if a mover is registered with FMCSA by visiting the Protect Your Move Website.

Where can I get a copy of my moving rights and responsibilities and other consumer information?

A move is no small deal, even if it’s just across town. We highly recommend getting well-acquainted with your rights as a consumer. You can find out if a mover is registered with FMCSA by visiting the Protect Your Move Website.

This helpful resource will provide you with tools to research your mover, protect yourself and home from fraud, and file a moving fraud complaint. There is also a helpful “Ready to Move” brochure and checklist to help you prepare for your move and understand your role in the moving process.

At Colonial Van Lines we also provide information on your consumer rights.  You can click here to visit “your rights and responsibilities when you move” brochure.

What is a Bill of Lading?

A Bill of Lading is a very important document. It is a contract between you and the mover as well as a receipt of your belongings.

Will the movers load all the boxes I pack?

Yes, as long as the moving company deems your items safe for transport.

What should I do with my valuables?

If you are opting to pack your valuables yourself, then it is important to note that you are personally liable for those items. If you have opted to include insurance for your professionally packed belongings, you can take an extra safeguard and make sure that the mover is licensed and insured. This information should be readily available on the mover’s site and materials. If they are licensed they have to offer limited liability protection. If you may need full coverage of your belongings, additional coverage is an option with some movers.

Are moving deposits required in order to book my move?

Many moving companies do require that you pay a deposit, a portion of your total cost, in order to lock in your move date. Requiring a deposit is a typical policy for most moving companies. Pricing depends on the size of your move; the large your move is, the higher the deposit may be. Make sure you ask that question to understand each moving company’s policy regarding deposits.

Should I pack my residence or let the movers do it?

You can do as much or as little packing as you would like but it is important to note that if you are packing your own items you are liable for those items. At Colonial Van Lines we offer many different packing and storage options for your move. View our full list of Colonial Van Lines Packing and Storage Services.

What’s the best time of year to move?

In the moving industry there are two main seasons, peak and non-peak season. If you have the ability to be flexible with the date of your move, it can save you money. Peak season generally runs from Spring through Summer. Non-peak season is the late Fall months through Winter.

What is a non-binding estimate?

A non-binding move estimate is an estimate that is not guaranteed. In other words, this should be considered as a ball-park estimate of your relocation cost. Your final moving costs are based on the actual weight of your items and any additional or optional services that were provided at the time of your move. If your final weight exceeds the initial estimated weight, for example, you might be obligated to pay additional charges for your move. If you need a binding estimate for your cross country move, speak with the experts at Colonial by calling 800-970-7498.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding moving estimate is a contract that details the exact cost based on the services you request at the time of the estimate. If you select this option, your final charges will not decrease if your final weight is less than originally estimated. If additional services are requested or required at the time of your move, the total cost will increase to accommodate the changes.

Is moving on the weekend possible?

Relocating on the weekend is always a possibility but, at times, it may be more expensive. There are some companies that do not schedule any moves on Sundays so be sure to ask this question during the scheduling process. Overall, we recommend planning your move as far in advance as possible to avoid running into any scheduling issues. Keep in mind that the time of year that you move may also affect the price.

How long before my move should I begin to contact moving companies?

Early preparation for your long distance move is always recommended. As an industry standard, you want to give the moving companies as much notice as possible. Though there may not be an exact move date, you can contact your moving company and obtain and lock in pricing for around the time of your mover. Movers should be contacted about two months in advance to ensure a smooth moving process. This gives you time to research different moving companies, compare prices and the flexibility to schedule your move when it’s convenient for you.

Is there a moving checklist that I use to prepare for my move?

Yes, Colonial Van Lines has a FREE long distance moving checklist that contains tips to keep you on the right track for your move. Colonial Van Lines FREE moving checklist.

How is the price of my move calculated?

the price of your quote depends on the size of your move as well the moving services you require. We recommend getting a free estimate, to see how much your move will cost you. Colonial Van Lines offers a FREE online moving estimate Colonial Van Lines that can be completed in a few simple steps.

We also have an app that will walk you through every step of documenting, photographing and shooting video of your rooms and furniture that needs to be moved and submitting it for a reliable and more accurate quote.

Download for iOS or Android today.

Note: When receiving a quote, don’t be afraid to ask what services are included within the quote. Be sure to also ask about any special services such as packing and storage if applicable to your move. 

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