GO
Loading...

To cut moving bills, scrutinize your mover

Moving takes its toll, emotionally and financially—particularly if you pick the wrong mover.

These days, the average in-state move costs $2,300, according to Angie's List. Heading out of state? Expect to spend about $4,300. (Watch the video for tips to cut the bill.)

Read MoreLessening the financial pain of moving

There's a lot of variation depending on the details, but researching your mover carefully can pay off. Consumers made 1.4 million inquiries about movers through the Better Business Bureau in 2013, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. Over the same period, complaints about movers fell 7 percent, to 7,306.

The American Moving & Storage Association recommends getting at least three in-person estimates, so you know what's a fair price. (Why in person? So the mover can see just how much stuff you have, and gauge challenges like how easy it'll be to maneuver a big dresser down a narrow flight of stairs.)

Read MoreKeeping your college student on a budget

But don't necessarily go for the lowest bid. Check licensing, reviews and complaints with AMSA, the Better Business Bureau and sites like Yelp or Angie's List. That helps limit the chance you'll end up with a problem mover who will show up late, handle your items roughly, or worse—hold your possessions hostage until you agree to pay hundreds or thousands extra.

Once you have an estimate, be sure to ask what, if any, factors could result in a bigger bill. Some, like time spent disassembling furniture, could be solved on your end with a little elbow grease. Others, like unexpected summer traffic en route to your new place, would be important to budget for.

—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant

Contact Digital Workshop

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More

Ask the Car Chasers

Off the Cuff

Big Data Download

Selling the American Dream

Death & Dishonor: Crisis at the VA

  • A pedestrian walks past the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

    The Veterans health care system has come under fire as officials reap big bonuses while patients suffer. CNBC's Dina Gusovsky investigates.

  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and that opens up the door for companies to have a captive market -- literally. One of those companies is JPay, which provides electronic money transfers and other services to about 70 percent of state prisons. But in order to get that lucrative state prison contract, the state takes a commission as well. Critics argue all the costs are passed down to families and inmates, often burdening them financially. CNBC's Dina Gusovsky Reports.

  • This photo shows the aftermath of the accident, including the burned out shell of a truck. The Lindner minivan was so crushed its wreckage cannot be seen.

    Fatal truck accidents happen nearly 11 times a day. CNBC looks at the causes, who's to blame, and why it gets little attention.