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Factors That Affect The Cost of Interstate Removals

Husband and Wife Calculating Cost Of Moving Interstate Before Moving

When relocating to a new house in Australia many factors affect the rate of removalist interstate, such as the distance, the size, the time, and the mode of the move. In this blog, we will explore these factors and provide some estimates and tips on how to save money and reduce stress when moving interstate.

The Distance of the Move

One of the main factors that affect the cost of moving interstate is the distance of the move. The longer the distance, the higher the cost. This is because the movers have to spend more time, fuel, and tolls to transport your belongings. 

The cost moving interstate will depend on the destination as well as whether it’s a residential or commercial move. As a rough estimate, if you’re moving house with a three-bedroom to Melbourne, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $5,000. However, if you have a smaller 1 or 2 bedroom house, the quote will likely be significantly less. 

The Size of the Move

Another factor that affects the cost of moving interstate is the size of the move. The larger the size, the higher the cost. This is because the movers have to use bigger trucks, or space to accommodate your belongings. 

The size of the move depends on the number and type of items you have, such as furniture, appliances, boxes, or bags. 

Find below a list of factors related to size that have a direct impact on the cost of your move:

  • Number of Items: The most direct factor affecting the size of your move is the number of items you need to transport. More items mean more packing, more labor, and potentially the need for larger trucks. If you have a house full of furniture and belongings, the move will naturally be larger than if you’re just moving a few boxes.
  • Type of Items: The type of items you’re moving also matters. Bulky furniture items, like sofas, dining tables, and refrigerators, take up more space and require more effort to load and unload. Delicate or fragile items might require special packing and handling, which can add to the overall size and cost of the move.
  • Packing and Crating: Properly packing your belongings is essential to ensure they arrive at your new destination intact. The size of your move will determine the amount of packing materials needed, including boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and furniture blankets. Additionally, if you have valuable or fragile items, custom crating might be required, which adds to the overall size and cost of the move.
  • Truck Size: The size of the moving truck needed depends on the volume of your belongings. Larger moves require larger trucks to accommodate everything. Using a truck that’s too small may require multiple trips, which can increase both time and cost. On the other hand, using a truck that’s too large can result in wasted space, which also affects the cost.
  • Storage Requirements: If you have more items than can fit in your new home, you might need temporary storage. The size and duration of storage required will depend on the excess items, adding another cost factor to the move.
  • Labor: The size of the move determines how many movers are required. Larger moves often need more labourers to load and unload items, which adds to the labour costs.
  • Additional Services: Depending on the size and complexity of your move, you might require additional services like disassembly/reassembly of furniture, disconnecting/reconnecting appliances, or hoisting large items. These services can increase the overall cost.
  • Insurance: Larger moves typically involve higher insurance costs to protect your belongings during transit.

The Time of the Move

Another factor that affects the cost of moving interstate is the time of the move. The more urgent or flexible the time, the higher or lower the cost. This is because the movers have to adjust their schedule and availability to meet your needs. The time of the move depends on your personal preference and situation, such as your lease expiry date, your new job start date, or your school term date.

Let’s delve deeper into how the timing of your interstate move can significantly influence the cost:

  • Urgency vs. Flexibility: The timing of your move plays a crucial role in determining the overall cost. If your move is urgent and you have a strict deadline, such as a lease expiry date, a new job start date, or a school term beginning, you may have limited flexibility in choosing the most cost-effective options. Movers may need to adjust their schedules and resources to accommodate your specific timeframe, which can lead to higher costs.
  • Peak vs. Off-Peak Seasons: The cost of interstate moving can also vary depending on the time of the year. Peak moving seasons, typically during the summer months and around the end and beginning of each month, tend to be more expensive due to high demand. In contrast, off-peak seasons can offer cost savings since there is less competition for moving services.
  • Weekdays vs. Weekends: The day of the week you choose for your move can impact costs. Weekday moves are often more affordable than weekend moves because many moving companies charge higher rates for weekend services. If you have flexibility in scheduling your move on a weekday, you may be able to save on expenses.
  • Holidays and Special Events: Moving during holidays or special events can also affect costs. Some movers may charge premium rates for services during holidays or major events when their availability is limited. Avoiding these peak times can lead to cost savings.
  • Advance Booking: Planning your move well in advance can provide cost advantages. Booking early allows you to secure the services you need at a competitive rate. Last-minute or short-notice moves can result in higher costs due to limited availability and rushed preparations.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Depending on your destination, weather conditions and seasonal factors may impact the cost and feasibility of your move. For example, moving during the winter may require special preparations and equipment, which can increase costs.
  • Flexible Timeframes: If you have the flexibility to choose a less busy time for your move, you may be able to negotiate better rates with moving companies. Being open to alternative dates or timeframes can help you find cost-effective solutions.

The Mode of the Move

Another factor that affects the cost of moving interstate is the mode of the move. The more convenient or complicated the mode, the higher or lower the cost. This is because different modes have different advantages and disadvantages regarding speed, safety, and reliability. The mode of the move depends on your budget and choice, such as air, road, rail, or sea.

In the context of interstate moves in Australia, there are three main options to consider: full truckload (FTL), backloading (BL), and self-pack container (SPC). We, as interstate removalists based in Sydney, offer FTL and BL services but do not provide SPC. Let’s take a closer look at these three options to better understand the differences and help you make an informed choice.

Full Truck Load (FTL)

Full Truck Load involves hiring an entire truck dedicated to your interstate move. This mode is particularly well-suited for larger moves that prioritise speed and secure transport. By reserving the entire truck’s capacity, you can be confident that your belongings won’t be mixed with those of other customers, reducing the risk of damage or loss. 

Backloading (BL)

Backloading is a cost-effective approach for your interstate move. In this mode, you share a truck with other customers who are moving in the same direction. This sharing of resources allows you to pay only for the space your belongings occupy, making it a budget-friendly choice, especially for smaller moves. However, the backloading removals process can be slower compared to other options because you might need to wait until the truck is full before it departs. 

Self-Pack Container (SPC)

The self-pack container option provides a blend of convenience and reliability, making it an excellent choice for medium-sized interstate moves. With SPC, you pack your belongings in a container delivered to your location, which is then transported by rail or sea to your destination. This approach offers more control over the packing process and reduces the likelihood of damage in transit. However, it is generally costlier due to the combination of self-packing convenience and containerised transport. Additionally, SPC can be time-consuming as it involves packing and unpacking at both ends of the journey.

How to Save Money and Reduce Stress When Moving Interstate

Moving interstate can be expensive and stressful, but there are some ways to save money and reduce stress when doing so. Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead: Planning ahead can help you avoid last-minute surprises and expenses. You should start planning your move at least 8 weeks before your moving date and book your removalist as early as possible. You should also check the weather forecast, the road conditions, and the quarantine rules for your destination state or territory.
  • Declutter your items: Decluttering your items can help you save space and money when moving. You should sort your items into four categories: keep, sell, donate, or toss. You can sell or donate the items that are still in good condition but you no longer use and toss the items that are broken or damaged. 
  • Pack smart: Packing smart can help you protect your items and optimise your space when moving. You should pack by room and category, label your boxes clearly, use quality packing materials, and pack an essentials box. You should also follow the packing instructions and tips from your removalist company.
  • Get insurance: Getting insurance can help you cover any damages or losses that may occur during the move. You should check if your removalist company provides insurance coverage and what it covers. You should also check if your home or contents insurance covers your move and what it covers. You should also take photos of your items before and after the move as evidence.
  • Relax and enjoy: Moving interstate can be a stressful experience, but it can also be an exciting and rewarding one. You should try to relax and enjoy the process and the outcome. You should also celebrate your move and look forward to your new life.


Interstate Removals can be a costly and stressful task, but it can also be a smooth and easy one if you know the factors that affect the cost of moving interstate, such as the distance, the size, the time, and the mode of the move. By using online tools and platforms, you can estimate the cost of moving interstate based on these factors and compare different options and quotes from different removalists. By following some tips and tricks, you can also save money and reduce stress when moving interstate. 

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