Planning for a move and debating the best billing process between a company that charges hourly or a company that provides flat rates? We will go over the advantages and inconveniences for both processes so you can be a better judge of the right billing system for your particular move.

90% of the stress encountered  during moving happens before the move even starts. Planning, budgeting and finally finding a trustworthy moving company to handle your valuables are not only stress-full but time consuming. If you are at the quote request stage of your moving project and still deciding  the right quote among the many you received, learn the key elements on how to quickly sift through them here.  Choosing the right billing system for your move (hourly or Flat rate) will make a huge difference not just in your pocket but also in the overall quality of your moving experience.

Flat rate move vs Hourly rate move

Moving companies in Ontario and in most areas in north America have two main billing processes. The flat rate and the hourly rate. First of all let’s define what these 2 billing system imply

Flat Rate billing System:  This means that the company provides a binding quote meaning that you will know exactly how much you will be paying for the move before it even starts. This billing system requires the company to have all the details about the move as they evaluate the work required, the approximate time the move will take and the material required. They then proceed to provide a flat amount that will be the cost of the move regardless of the time the move takes.

Hourly Rate billing System: Compared to flat rate this process is a more dynamic process as the price you pay at the end is solely based on the time required to complete the move. The company provides the customer with an hourly rate that includes a fixed number of movers, the truck and all the moving supplies that is billed from the start to the end of the move.

The Pro’s

Flat Rate: This billing process provides peace of mind as you won’t have to worry about exceeding your budget. The stress of any surprises is pretty much gone as you can now relax even if the move is taking longer than anticipated. The movers can take their time to give more attention to all the items and can take breaks and get some energy which reduces the risk of any accident. The pressure of time now falls onto the moving company since the longer the move takes the less profit they make. With a Flat Rate billing most moving companies under the pressure of time tend to provide more man power to make sure the move is done as quickly as possible.  This billing system is highly recommended for customers moving large homes and properties relocating far from their current location (over 2 hours of drive) as when moving far, in case of traffic or accident on the road, your move cost would not be affected.


Hourly Rate: As mentioned before this is a very dynamic process as the final amount is not known until the end of the move. It is is the most common for most moving companies as it makes the most sense to keep the cost to profit ratio similar. For the customers, it provides them control over their moving cost.  If you have an hourly rate of 130$, based on your budget you can pretty much evaluate how many hours you can afford to have the movers present for. So if the move takes less time than anticipated, the cost will then be reduced  helping you save money. Hourly rate is mostly recommended for local moves and for smaller size moves because you only pay as the move goes and you can decide to stop the process anytime which can affect significantly the cost of your move. For example if you take care of dismantling your furniture ahead of time and have everything organized the move will take less time. You also have the freedom to add or subtract additional pickups or drop offs location from the move without having to worry about it too much.

The Con’s

Flat Rate: Setting up a flat rate move can be very time consuming and meticulous. Most companies providing this billing system will require a very detailed inventory of the items being moved in advance. In most cases moving companies send an agent to perform an in person visit to have all the information of the move. However this method is costly for the company when they do not have guaranty to be hired, therefore they will then offer you such possibility only against either a small compensation or a small form of commitment. This method will limit customers option to gather different Quotes from different companies. The process to get the final amount from moving companies can be time consuming therefore not a good idea if you are doing a move within a limited time. Another negative side of flat rate is the fact that moving companies by giving a final amount for the move, take into account the possibilities of accidents and the move taking longer than they anticipated. This could result in the final amount being on a higher end of the scale in term of average of the cost of moving in Ontario. In case the move requires less work than anticipated the customer has no other option but to pay the price agreed upon. As mentioned earlier the flat rate billing process comes with a very detailed inventory of the items being moved. When given a price and having agreed to it, no additional items would be accepted by the company. And if the items disclosed are different than what is present on the day of the move, the companies reserve the right to add additional fees to their liking since the customer would then breach the terms of the contract. In this process there is no place for uncertainty. For example if the price was provided without disclosing the presence of stairs, the company can add a stair fee as it was not taken into account in the quote. This makes the flat rate business very complex and very formal with no wiggle room for customers that are not sure of the exact items moving. Taking items out of the equation does not effect the bill but adding definitely will.

Hourly Rate: This billing process can be very unpredictable and could go either way. For example  in the case of an apartment move, if the elevator breaks down during the move or the customer did not arrange an appropriate parking location, this could result in the move taking hours longer than expected.  check this for 10 mistakes to avoid for a successful move.

With the situation being out of the hand of the movers, the customer will have no choice but to pay for the extra time. Also the customer is at the mercy of traffic or any accidents that may happen causing the drive time to be longer. Even tho it is nobodies fault, the company will not stop the billable time for any additional driving time resulting from traffic jams. So Some preparation is required to complete a smooth move but it’s easier for plans to go south if any issues occur. It is more like a gamble under control.


The billing system to choose

If you are moving from a 3- 5 bedroom house  and are moving heavy items that require a lot of dismantling and reassembling with a long drive in between both locations, getting a flat rate would be ideal. This process is  time consuming and will require you to be very accurate with the inventory that you provide as moving more items will most likely end in additional cost or simply those items being left out by the moving company.

If you are moving locally and need movers and a truck to only move the big items, help with dismantling and reassembling and  reach multiple pickup or drop-off location you are definitely better off going with an hourly rate. This will allow you to optimize the spending on your move and be in control the whole time while you prioritize what you need moved and when to stop the whole process if it exceeds your budget. This will allow you to have an impact on your own move by helping organize it and doing different aspect to reduce the move time when the movers arrive therefore reducing the cost of the move.

While we are convinced the billing system does affect the cost of your move it is not the only one. Hiring a reputable company with movers that have your best interest at heart are professional and come fully equipped and ready to move you safely and efficiently really makes the whole process a lot smoother. Mansa Movers are here to provide just that so Get your free moving quote now!


13 Responses

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  2. Moving nov 19.
    11177 Trafalgar road Georgetown. To. 111 John street
    Small 2 bedroom house no appliances no living room couch


    1. Hi Cathy Simply request a quote from our Website and a moving consultant will reach out to you ASAP to provide an estimate

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