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San Francisco Moving Costs | 🚚 How Much Do Movers Cost in San Francisco? [Tips, Data, Calculator]

Last Updated on: 2nd November 2021, 11:12 pm

Relocating is one of the most difficult things you will ever do, and you probably have many questions along with a long to-do list. One of the biggest concerns is the cost and whether you should hire professional movers or handle everything yourself.

How much does it cost to move in San Francisco? Here is a complete guide covering the factors that affect San Francisco moving costs and what a moving company will consider when preparing an estimate.

Just note that this guide is intended for local moves within the San Francisco area. These moves are completed same-day by the same crew and usually have an hourly rate while long-distance moves have a per-job price.

Factors That Affect Your Moving Costs in San Francisco

Your San Francisco moving costs are based on many factors, some of which may not be within your control. Once you know what these factors are, you can make adjustments where possible to control your costs.

How much are movers in San Francisco? For a local relocation, you will pay an hourly rate. Your cost will depend on how long your relocation takes. The larger your home, the more services you need, and the greater the distance, the higher your cost. Some factors also affect your San Francisco movers rates. The hourly rate may depend on the number of movers and even the day of the week.


The most obvious factor impacting your moving cost is the distance between your origin and destination. This distance determines if your move is classified as local or long distance with an hourly or flat-rate price.

Moving Dates

Did you know planning the day you’re going to move can affect moving rates in San Francisco? It’s generally more expensive to move during the summer because this is peak season. Rates tend to be higher with more people trying to relocate while kids are out of school. The beginning and end of the month also tend to be busy with people moving as leases expire. As a general rule, weekend mover rates are usually higher than rates on weekdays because most people want to move on the weekend when they are off work and kids are out of school.

Volume of Belongings & the Size of Your Home

How large is your home and what are you planning to move? The more belongings, the higher your moving cost as it will take more time for the specialists to pack, move, load, and unload.

Accessibility and Home Type

The type of home and accessibility issues are definitely important considerations. Remember that the time it takes to complete your relocation is more than just the packing and loading – the movers also need to transport everything from your home to the truck.

If you live in a house, can the truck be parked close to the front door? With an apartment or condo, does the building have an elevator or stairs? Special protocols like the use of a loading dock? What floor are you on, and how far is your home from the stairs or elevator?

Packing Services & Packing Supplies

Are you going to do your own packing or get help from the pros? If movers are going to pitch in, it will be done at the same hourly moving rates in San Francisco as other services like loading and transportation. The more belongings, the longer it will take to pack. You can choose from full packing services with your entire home packed, partial packing to get help with certain items or rooms, or unpacking services once you arrive.

You may be comfortable handling your own packing for at least some of your belongings to save money. Professional packing services can be a convenient and cost-saving solution, however, to protect fragile items.

The packing itself will be done at the hourly rate, but the cost of packing materials will be added on top of this rate. Fortunately, moving companies usually offer high-quality packing materials at lower costs than big box retailers!

Furniture Assembly/Disassembly

Relocation specialists can do more than heavy lifting, packing, and loading; they can also disassemble and prepare furniture for the move. If you don’t handle the disassembly yourself of items that need to be taken apart somewhat, the movers will need to do it at the same hourly rate.

Make sure you consider which items need to be disassembled to fit safely through doors, downstairs, and to avoid shelves or drawers from falling off or being damaged. Items that commonly need to be disassembled then reassembled at your new home include:

  • Sectionals
  • Sofas (feet removed)
  • Large dining room tables
  • Bed frames
  • Dressers with attached mirrors
  • Vanities

Specialty Items & Requests

Do you need to move with belongings that are very heavy, oversized, or delicate? Items that need special attention will increase your San Francisco moving costs. This is because it will take longer to prep, move, and load items like pool tables, pianos, antiques, and fine china.

Be sure you mention any items that need extra attention when you get moving quotes in San Francisco. This ensures your quote is as accurate as possible – and that the crew brings any special equipment or supplies necessary!


Will you need to store belongings before or during your relocation? You may be waiting to close on a home but need to move because your lease is up, or you may be downsizing and need time to decide what to do with your belongings.

If the relocation company offers storage, you may find it more affordable and convenient than using self-storage. You won’t need to move twice, after all, and your belongings can be delivered right to your door on your schedule. Storage will not be included in an hourly rate.

Full-Service Movers vs DIY Moving in San Francisco

Moving is expensive, whether you do it yourself or hire experts. However, the best affordable movers in San Francisco don’t cost as much as you may think and offer a great value to save you time, worry, stress, and heavy lifting during your relocation. You’ll enjoy a seamless and efficient moving day without the hard work and logistics in exchange for an affordable hourly rate and a crew of licensed, trained specialists.

Before you consider handling your own relocation, consider this recent survey. 43% of people surveyed who did a DIY move said they would never do it again. 94% of the people who worked with a moving company said it was absolutely worth the cost.

Average Moving Costs in San Francisco | San Francisco Moving Estimates

How much do movers cost in San Francisco? You will generally pay an hourly rate for a specific number of movers when hiring movers in San Francisco for a local relocation. Additional moving specialists can be added to the crew for a higher hourly rate. That means your moving cost will be determined by how long it takes to complete your relocation plus additional expenses like packing materials.

Here’s an overview of the average amount of time it will take depending on the size of your home. This can give you a rough idea of how much you’ll need to pay for hourly movers in San Francisco.

Cost to Move a 1 Bedroom Apartment in San Francisco

How much does it cost to move an apartment in San Francisco? As a general rule, a one-bedroom apartment will require 3 to 6 hours with two movers. Most relocation companies include two movers in their standard hourly rate which you can multiply by 3 to 6 for a quick estimate.

Cost to Move a 2 Bedroom Apartment in San Francisco

A two-bedroom apartment will also require 3 to 6 hours but with three movers instead of two. There will be a slightly higher hourly rate for the larger crew.

Cost to Move a Home in San Francisco

Smaller homes usually need 4 to 7 hours with 3 to 4 movers. If you have a larger home with three or four bedrooms, expect an even larger crew to take at least 10 hours to complete your relocation.

Make sure you request a free moving estimate in San Francisco to get a more accurate idea of your cost. This estimate will consider the many factors above as well as the size of your home after a free assessment over the phone or at your home.

Tips to Save Money on a San Francisco Relocation

Want to reduce the cost of moving in San Francisco? These tips can help.

  • Sell, donate, or give away anything you don’t want to move to reduce your San Francisco moving costs. Getting rid of large and/or heavy items is especially important. Here’s our guide to the best places to donate furniture in San Francisco.
  • If possible, avoid moving during the weekend or the first and last few days of the month.
  • Handle as much prep work as possible such as unplugging and prepping electronics, disconnecting appliances, and disassembling furniture.
  • Find out if you need any approvals or special instructions ahead of your relocation from your landlord, property manager, or HOA.
  • Taking care of your own packing is one of the most important ways to reduce the cost of movers in San Francisco. For the best value, consider partial packing services to get help with the fragile items and things that need special care.
  • Do what you can to assist the movers. You may want to oversee the process somewhat to give guidance or directions as needed. Having snacks and bottled water available for the crew helps them work as comfortably and efficiently as possible.

How to Choose the Best San Francisco Moving Company

Rates are definitely important when choosing professional movers in San Francisco, but they should not be your primary consideration. After all, that lower rate won’t feel like much of a savings if your belongings are damaged by an inexperienced crew, your move is way off schedule, or you are charged outrageous hidden fees!

Here are the crucial things to look for when choosing affordable movers you can trust.

  • Licensed and insured in case anything happens
  • Positive reviews and referrals
  • Long track record in the industry and region
  • Uniformed, trained, and background checked movers, not temporary crews
  • Specialized equipment and a fleet of dedicated trucks
  • Low claims rate
  • Services you need
  • No large upfront deposits, hidden rates, or confusing terms

AMS Relocation is an award-winning moving company that has served residential and commercial customers in the Bay Area for more than 65 years. Our fourth generation, family-owned business is a Bekins Van Lines agent with hundreds of 5-star reviews on Google and Facebook. We take pride in a job done well with a reputation for professionalism and excellent customer care.

Additional San Francisco Moving Tips

  • Tipping movers in San Francisco isn’t required, but it’s recommended for a job done well! The general guideline is $25 per mover or $5/hour per mover.
  • Have your utilities turned on a few days before your move-in date. Check our San Francisco utilities guide to find out how to have utilities transferred/turned on.
  • Our Ultimate San Francisco Moving Checklist is a great resource to make sure you don’t forget anything!

If you’re preparing to relocate within the next few months, give AMS Relocation a call to discuss your needs and request a free San Francisco moving quote. We take pride in our competitive rates and 5-star service!


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