Binding or Non-Binding Moving Estimate?

19May 2016

moving estimate

A big part of moving house is handling the finances. Money will play a big part in your move as basically you cannot do anything without the proper planning. You will need to sit down with a pen and paper and make sure that you have done the maths to affix a proper budget to your relocation. Even if you are using a smaller moving service such as the man and van to save money, never leave anything to fate – do your homework on this matter. A big thing about the long-distance moves, however, is the moving estimate. It is a written estimate of the price you will be required to pay. It is something required of moving companies by law, and it is something you should absolutely have a physical copy of and never accept one from an email or any website or over the phone.

Another trick that the estimate poses is that it comes in two types: binding and non-binding. Read below to fully grasp what these estimates entail and what it will mean to sign any of them – and, most of all, which one of the two you want to sign for your move.

binding removal estimate

The Binding Estimate

As the name would suggest, this is a contract that requires you a pay a specific price for the job at hand, estimated based on the distance between locations and cubic feet or weight of the belongings you require loaded and moved. Its very name is a bit tricky. While you are supposed to pay a specific sum, you might also pay a bit more in case of any inconsistencies between the move and the agreement – such as added boxes after the contract has been signed, a longer trip, emergency charges for certain situations, like far or difficult parking and so on. Yes, the price might get higher, but it cannot go lower than what is stated on the contract. The final price is estimated by the house movers who come and you have to sign for it, or the move will not take place. Accessory services like parking far from the address of moving will be paid as well prior to unloading your belongings. Also, the binding estimate has a price itself and cannot be issued without paying for it.

non-binding estimate

The Non-Binding Estimate

This is the standard estimate, which is usually not used for long distance moves. This estimate, as its name implies, only gives you an estimate and not a binding quote for a certain price. The movers who will handle your relocation are required to state without any ambiguity that the price will probably not be the same as the estimate and it could go either way (usually – and most probably – more than the estimate). It sounds similar to the binding agreement, yes, but while the binding agreement will only slightly vary, based on changes and events, the non-binding estimate might go as far as 110% over the estimated price. This might not be a problem for smaller moves handled by a man with a van where there is very little to estimate, but big scale relocations will definitely prove to be costly.

man and van

At the end of the day, you want to choose the binding estimate. While it has a charge, you should always demand it from your removal company, especially for jobs that require more than a man with a van. You want a hard estimate on what you are supposed to pay and the only changes being made to be those which you do yourself by adding boxes or requesting longer routes. And then the move will not be at all as pricey as it might be with the non-binding one.

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