The Hidden Costs of Moving in Winter

Factors like weather delays should be kept in consideration when planning a winter move.

Thinking about moving this winter? That’s understandable since selling your home during the winter and holiday months can be the right option for your family. But making a winter move comes with some hidden costs of moving that you should consider.

Weather Delays

The weather will play a significant role in your moving costs during the winter, says Ryan Carrigan, co-founder of moveBuddha.[link?] The online moving site compares moving company rates.

“Snow can slow down a move, increasing the time it takes to complete the move and, thus, the cost,” Carrigan says. “Snow and ice can also make parking the truck close to a residence trickier. This can lead to long carry charges if the movers have to walk further to reach the truck.”

He adds that snow can also delay deliveries, which could mean a hotel stay. If the stay is more than a few nights, you’re adding hundreds more than what you originally budgeted for. Be sure to speak with your mover before the move about additional charges, like long carry charges, that may come up during a winter move, so you won’t be surprised later.


Another hidden cost of moving in the winter is gas, says Jacob Lunduski, an analyst with the credit-building website, Credit Card Insider. “One big hidden cost is gas. AAA first reported that summer blend gas is actually 1.7% more efficient than winter-blend gas. That's not to add that during the holiday season, gas prices are higher than normal. They were 16 cents higher on average last year than during the rest of November and December."

So, if you’re making a long-distance move, that’s something to consider. Drivers are also more likely to use their car’s features, such as the heater and heated seats or mirrors, and are more likely to idle while they wait for the car to heat up, making their car less efficient than in the summer.

Selling Price

The biggest hidden cost of moving in the winter involves selling your home, says John F. Knolle, a financial advisor and principal in Saranap Wealth Advisors, LLC, in Walnut Creek, Calif. “The dollars left on the table by the seller are the hidden cost of moving during the holidays,” he says. To ensure his clients who are selling get the best offer possible, he often encourages them to put their house on the market in the early spring.

While moving in the winter does have its drawbacks, experts also say it’s a good time to move. Here’s why: Since spring and summer are prime moving times, moving companies are busy. That means you might not have first pick of moving days, making it inconvenient to move during the winter.

Winter is a slow season for moving, which can lead to moving discounts and your choice of moving dates without having to compete with all those other movers.

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