Expected and Unexpected Costs When Moving

Expected and Unexpected Costs When Moving

We are focusing on moving here this week on Military Crashpad®. We know that as military members moving consistently can be part of your experience, and we want to help you make the best of it. If you are coming to an area where we have a Crashpad, stay with us and make your experience on TDY or if you have a PCS. You’ll be glad you did. When you have to move, there are going to be costs. There are many you anticipate, but some that will surprise you. Preparation is crucial to making sure you have a great moving experience.

Expected Costs


Whether driving your own vehicle or a rental gas is going to be a big expense for your move. If you want to get a handle on how much it will cost one of several fuel cost calculators listed below can help you estimate it.

AAA Gas Price Calculator


Fuel Economy Trip Calculator

Fuel prices fluctuate quite a bit depending on where in the U.S. you are. Currently the cheapest gas in America on average is found in South Carolina ($1.91 per gallon), the most expensive in Hawaii ($3.12 per gallon) so prepare based on where you’re moving.


When you’re driving a huge truck (if you choose to use one), the most important thing is that you don’t EVER have to back up. So when you find a perfect place to get gas and it happens to be lunch time, you’ll find yourself eating at whatever place you can walk to from the station. It may be good for your wallet to eat at fast food joints at every stop, but your waistline might not love that. Spending money on good food while your traveling is worth it. It will keep up your energy and you’ll arrive at your destination feeling ready to go. Plan to spend about $10 per person per meal if you want to get good clean healthy food. 


If you have good connections you may be able to stay with family and friends as you travel. If you don’t then you will need to find reasonable lodging while you move. Hotels are like shoes, you can spend as little or as much as you want on them. A good starting point for a decent hotel room is $100 per night. This can vary depending upon location and quality. You can spend less and stay in sketchy places, or spend more if you really want to splurge. The very best cross country hotel network is Choice Hotels. They have hotels all over the U.S. at various price points, and they have an excellent rewards program. If you want to search multiple hotel websites at once, Trivago is a comprehensive site that scopes out hotels on hundreds of other websites. 

An often overlooked option when moving is Airbnb. You have to be particular about what you are looking for (especially if you need truck parking) but great deals can be found on Airbnb. You can book anything from a couch, to a whole house whatever your style.

Unexpected Costs

What you don’t always consider when you’re moving are all the costs that are waiting for you on the other side. Here are a few expenses to be prepared for.


This expense may be more or less depending on where you’re moving, but if you are moving from a rural to urban area expect to pay more. Insurance is a pure numbers game, the more of a risk you are the more you are going to pay. Moving to a big city means more people and more chances for you to get in an accident or file a claim. 

Car Details

Depending on the state you’re moving to getting everything for your vehicle switched over can be costly. You’ll need to change your license, registration, and pay for inspections for your car. Certain states or cities require emissions tests and you may have to pay for repairs if you don’t pass the test. 

Just Stuff

Moving into a new place (especially a bigger place) means more stuff. If you are moving into your first house, prepare for big expenses as you buy furniture and accessories for your space. You’ll also probably find you left something behind that has to be replaced. 

Depending on where you’re moving there may or may not be different expenses that come up. It’s important to consider all the possibilities and leave some emergency or contingency money in your budget. Like so many things expect to spend more than you think you will. 

What are unexpected costs you ran into in your last move? Are there other items you would add to this list?

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