Types and Contents of Moving Quotes Explained

When moving to a new home, one of the crucial details you must look into is the moving quote or estimate. This document will give you an idea of the cost of your move based on the requirements of the job. Whether you’re moving for the first time or it’s your first time hiring professional removalists near you to get the job done, it is highly recommended that you acquire estimates from at least three companies to see which one is able to provide you with the best deal that covers all your moving requirements.

As you continue planning the move and looking into different companies, you may have encountered the terms binding, non-binding, or guaranteed not=to-exceed. It’s better to have some kind of understanding about these terms before you sign any agreement or contract with the moving company. This way, you can make guided decisions in choosing the best service provider for you.

What are the different types of Moving quotes?


A binding estimate or quote is a type of estimate where the moving company guarantees a fixed cost estimate based on the approximate weight of your belongings. Once you agree to the binding estimate, you will pay for the exact amount provided in the quote. The advantage of agreeing to a binding estimate is that you won’t have to pay more if the actual weight exceeds the approximate amount stated in the quote. However, the same principle applies when the actual weight is lower than that of the estimate. No matter the difference in weight, you have to pay for the fixed cost indicated on your quote.


If you encounter a moving company that offers a non-binding estimate, it’s best to exercise caution and properly check the inclusions of the quote before agreeing to it. If you agree to this quote, there is a chance that the amount indicated in the quote will not be honoured and you will have to pay for extra fees upon the completion of the uplift or delivery. This type of estimate is usually based on the weight of the items you wish to bring with you.

Unlike a binding estimate, there is no guarantee that the amount indicated on a non-binding estimate is the final cost, but it has to be reasonably accurate. According to the guidelines provided by the FMCSA, “A non-binding estimate is not a guarantee of your final costs, but it should be reasonably accurate. The estimate must indicate that your final charges will be based on the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the mover’s published tariff. Therefore, the amount of your mover’s non-binding estimate may be different from the amount you ultimately have to pay. A non-binding estimate must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment and all services provided. Under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than 110% of the original estimate at the time of delivery. This does not excuse you from paying all of the charges due on your shipment. The mover will bill you for any remaining charges after 30 days from delivery”.

Binding not-to-exceed

Binding not-to-exceed or Guaranteed not-to-exceed is probably the top choice for customers who require a long-distance or interstate move. If the moving company offers this type of estimate, you won’t be charged additional fees if the actual weight of your shipment exceeds the original estimate. You will only pay for the services indicated in the original quote. In case your shipment weighs less than the estimate, you only need to pay for the actual weight of the shipment. Depending on how many items you are moving, there’s a chance that you will have to pay less than the amount stated in the quote if you agree to a binding not-to-exceed estimate.

What is included in your moving quote?

If you’re hiring professional removalists to help you move across the street or to another state, they must be clear about the type of estimate that they will provide for your move. Once you receive your moving quote or estimate, allot enough time to thoroughly check its contents to make sure that you will not end up paying hidden fees.

Whilst every move has its unique requirements, most moving quotes for long-distance moves must include the following:

name and address of the moving company

  • tariff cost
  • miles travelled
  • minimum weight
  • estimated weight
  • discounts applied (if any)
  • packing/unpacking services fees
  • storage fees
  • fuel surcharges
  • transportation charges
  • insurance
  • other specialised services

If anything is unclear to you, don’t hesitate to ask your movers about it so they can explain what those terms or fees are for. Whilst most reliable movers only charge you for the required services and other services you have requested, you must be attentive to the items included in your quote. This way, you can avoid paying extra for services that are not needed for your move. Once everything is clear, you can sign the agreement and proceed with other moving preparations.