Is It Cheaper to Move in the Winter?

Is It Cheaper to Move in the Winter

The summer is the ideal time to move for most people. The weather is nice so you will not be packing in thick clothing, and you will not have to maneuver around snow. Additionally, bad weather can keep you off the roads and delay moving.

Summer is also great for moving because your children will be out of school, and they will not miss classes with the move. In general, many employers loosen hours to summer hours, so packing will be easier.

Even though summer has a lot of pros, everyone is moving during the summer. Renting moving trucks and scheduling with moving companies is difficult because of the high demand.

That being said, moving is expensive. Moving companies take advantage of the high demand and increase prices in the summer.

If the timeframe for your move is up to you, the winter is the cheapest season to move if you can brave a few tough conditions. In fact, it is 20% to 30% cheaper to move in the winter compared to the summer.

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Movers (and Moving Trucks) Have More Availability

Most people move in the summer and so moving companies are booked quickly in the spring. Whether you hire a moving company or simply need a moving truck, you will want to plan to ensure you get exactly what you need.

It is estimated that over 80% of moves happen between April and September. Braving the cold may seem daunting, but you will have a lot less competition for the best movers and equipment.

If you plan to ship your belongings, items may arrive faster because the moving company has fewer deliveries.

You May Be Less Uncomfortable

Thermometer Showing Hot Temperature

Dependent on where you live, the summer heat can be unbearable.

Packing a large moving truck that is blocked from all sides from ventilation makes for a sweaty situation. Not only is the environment tough, but lifting heavy items and large pieces of furniture is a grueling exercise in the summer heat.

Despite the bulky clothing of winter, moving in the cold may be a more pleasant experience. The exercise will be more comfortable for all involved.

It is Cheaper to Move in the Winter?

Probably the best reason to move in the winter is the price tag. Anyone who has moved knows the price associated with it. With a lower demand for moving companies, prices are generally lower. Also, gas prices are lower in the winter than in the summer.

Planning to move in the winter will without a doubt save you money in an expensive situation. Every bit helps for when you arrive at your new home!

The Cons of Moving in the Winter

Moving in the winter is not without its negatives. For most of the northern portions of the United States, predicting safe traveling weather long term in the winter is very difficult.

The summer is safe for further planning. Days are much shorter in winter as well. Finally, just like heat, cold can be a threat to many of your belongings.

Driving Conditions

Driving a moving truck is challenging enough for many of us. Adding snow (and maybe even ice) to the mix and it can be flat-out overwhelming.

Both driving conditions and general weather conditions are consistently worse in the winter.

From snowstorms to ice, winter driving is notably more dangerous. You will want to plan as much as possible for the conditions and know your own limitations. If winter driving a large box truck makes you uncomfortable, hire a moving company with experts in handling the truck.

Additionally, you will want to have a backup plan in case poor weather delays or slows your trip. Alternate routes along major highways (that are typically plowed more frequently) and places to stop for the night should be noted ahead of time.

Flexibility may be your best skill for the move because safety is the most important thing.

Packing in Darkness

Row Homes at Sunset

Winter is dark and gloomy. The short days make it hard to fit anything into your day. When moving in the winter, there is a higher chance you will not only be packing in the dark but also driving in the dark.

This is just a sad fact of the season, and the darkness will need to be embraced if you plan the winter journey.

Plan to start your drive as early as possible in the day to best use your daylight hours. If possible, a late winter move like February will give you a slightly longer day.

Our Sensitive Belongings Hate Extremes

No matter if it is the middle of summer or middle of winter, we own belongings that hate that weather. Books need to be protected from hot and humid weather just as much as electronics need to be protected from both extremes.

Even our indoor plants, wooden furniture, and fine china are sensitive to the cold.

Do your best to wrap up any item sensitive to the cold in wrapping materials and moving blankets.

With long term storage, look for indoor facilities to protect your belongings through the winter months. The moving truck is more difficult to control, but the proper wrapping should be enough.

Final Thoughts

Moving in the winter comes with a lot of benefits. The biggest one is definitely the cost savings. With a lower demand on moving companies, not only will scheduling be a breeze, but you will save close to 25% with a winter moving rate.

The packing and moving might be a bit more comfortable on you. I have only moved in the summer, and the overbearing heat of Florida in June makes for a tough couple of days.

RELATED –> Moving in the Summer vs the Winter – which is better?

As long as it is not too cold out, the cooler temperatures may be nicer. You will also be able to control your layers of clothes to your comfort level.

Be aware, there are cons to a winter move though. First off, the weather is worse, which may lead to unsafe driving conditions. Plan and be ready for your plans to change. Backup plans for both routes and overnight stays are essential.

The short days are also a determent to your productivity. You may need to pack in the dark. If you will accept these minor challenges, a winter move is good choice for the excellent cost savings.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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