Binding versus Non-Binding Estimates

In the moving industry, there are two types of moving estimates. It is important to understand the difference so that you can choose the right type of estimate for your next move!


  • A binding estimate is a locked-in rate and a customer cannot be required to pay any more than this amount.
  • Movers may or may not charge a binding estimate fee.
  • Clearly describes the shipment and all services provided.
  • If customer requests to move more items, additional charges will be added to the binding estimate.
  • Binding estimates must be in writing.
  • The estimate should be given to the customer prior to the pickup/delivery of their items.
  • The customer is responsible for paying the moving charges using appropriate funds.
  • If the customer is unable to pay at time of delivery, the customer’s shipment will be placed in storage at customer’s expense.


  • A non-binding estimate gives an estimate of the cost of the move, but it does not bind the mover to the estimated cost.
  • Movers will not charge a fee for a non-binding estimate.
  • It is not a guarantee that the final cost will not be more than the estimated moving expense.
  • The actual cost will be in accordance with the mover’s published tariffs.
  • Non-binding estimates need to be written clearly describing the shipment and services provided.
  • The mover cannot require the customer to pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus 10 percent at time of delivery.
  • The customer has 30 days following the delivery to pay the charges.

By understanding the differences of these two types of moving estimates, you will be able to pick the estimate that works best for your needs and moving budget.

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