Whether you’re moving across the street or the country, chances are you’ll need to get a moving estimate. But did you know that there are three different estimates? This blog post will explain the difference between binding, non-binding, and not-to-exceed estimates. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a binding estimate, and how does it work?

A binding estimate is a type of estimate used in the moving process. It locks into place all prices associated with moving services. It means any additional costs incurred, such as taxes, extra services, or packing materials, will also be included in the estimate and the company cannot charge the customer more than the initial estimate. 

Though it is typically more expensive than other types of estimates, it provides an added assurance to customers that they will not be subject to any unexpected costs down the line. Binding estimates are based on volume rather than time, and while less accurate, they provide peace of mind when making long-distance moves.

What is a non-binding estimate and how does it work?

For moving estimates, a non-binding estimate is a cost estimation provided by the moving company to the customer before loading, which serves as an estimated guide for the customer. It is not a guarantee of the final cost; rather, it can always be adjusted if needed. 

This type of estimate utilizes a calculated weight determined after you have packed and loaded all of your belongings into the truck and factors in items like distance traveled and any additional services that you might require, such as packing, fueling, or shuttles. 

If there are unexpected added expenses during the move, such as additional stops or stairs in a building, your moving company will typically include these in this revised total cost. Be sure to check with your mover ‌about what specific services are covered in their non-binding estimate before booking.

What is a not to exceed the estimate and how does it work?

A not to exceed estimate is a type of moving estimate which allows customers to know upfront the maximum amount that the company will ask them to pay for a service. This type of estimate helps ensure that customers are comfortable and confident in the services they are purchasing, as there is the added security of knowing that whatever price might be given, the highest possible price they will be asked to pay for services and materials is already established. On top of this, if any unexpected charges arise, it stands that these additional fees need not pass to the customer if those costs remain within the range of the approved estimates established through a not-to-exceed agreement.

Which type of estimate is right for you and your move situation?

When planning for a move, choosing the right estimate can help you plan and prepare for success. Knowing the differences between binding, non-binding, and approximate estimates will equip you to make the best decision based on your situation. 

Binding estimates are typically recommended if you’re looking for assurance that your move won’t exceed a budget range, as all charges will be predefined and agreed upon in advance.

Non-binding estimates provide an estimated price range based on recent local moves and approximations of time and services required, but keep in mind that the total cost could end up being higher than the initial estimate. 

Approximate estimates offer rough estimations of costs, but with full disclosure that they aren’t legally binding should the actual cost vary. Ultimately, no matter which type of estimate is right for your move situation, understanding the facts helps you when making an informed decision.

How to get an accurate moving quote you can trust

It’s vital to do your research and ask about these different estimates so you have a full understanding of what type best suits your needs. With the proper knowledge and information, you can trust your decision when picking between the three types of moving estimates. But whatever moving estimate you go with, ask your mover these questions before hiring them to ensure you get an accurate quote and quality service. 

You are now equipped with all the information needed for a successful moving experience! Go ahead, have a wonderful, stress-free move. 

About Interest Moving & Storage

InterWest Moving and Storage in Idaho, Montana, Utah & Wyoming can assist you with relocation services  — from packing to unloading. An agent of Atlas Van Lines, we have been delivering high-quality transportation services to our customers since 1956. Apart from residential packing and moving, we are corporate moving specialists and provide domestic and international corporate, art, and government relocation services. You can call our toll-free number (800) 877-1091 to book our assistance and get a free quote.