The Hybrid™ Move

Hybrid Moving is the cheap moving option endorsed by your wallet and your back

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What is a "Hybrid™ move?" Well, it may sound fancy and exotic, but really, it's for the practical and budget-minded because it is both convenient and affordable - the cheap moving option that doesn't feel cheap. For a few hundred dollars, you can hire local moving professionals through HireAHelper, who will load and unload a truck or container for you. You could even have them pack, if you'd like. By foregoing the full-service move, which literally costs thousands of dollars, you are saving money. As a bonus, you will be saving your back, too.

Besides, professionals have a lot more experience, so they will do a better job of securely loading a truck or packing grandma's antique vase. If they are able to keep more of your stuff intact by packing or loading and unloading it better, or perhaps fitting your goods in one container rather than renting two, then investing in their services could be of real value and could even bring on some savings in the long run. There's a few different hybrid moving options which will affect how much time you have to invest in your move, which you can check out below. Whichever you choose, you'll be saving yourself a lot of time versus the D.I.Y. moving option, and a ton of hard earned dough versus the full-service moving option.

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Hybrid Moving Options

The beauty of the Hybrid™ move is its flexibility. You pick the transportation option that works best for your wants and needs: rental truck, portable storage container, or freight trailer. Then you can hire movers to do as much or as little as needed. You can hire furniture movers to load up just the heavy items or hire movers without a truck to have them pack, load, unload, and even unpack every last piece, from your game-day recliner to your I Love Lucy commemorative plate set. The first option we call the "standard hybrid" and the second we call a "full-service hack." Check them out:

Standard Hybrid

As described above, a Hybrid™ move is one in which you do some of the less taxing work, say packing, and your hired helpers to do the other more taxing stuff, say loading and unloading the rental truck. In this case, you'll have to rent a truck (and drive it) and pack up all your worldly possessions. Your friends and family might pitch in, too, which could speed things up, but your hired help will be doing the heavy lifting. You can hire help for both ends of your move, or just one. This comes in especially handy when you don't know anyone in your new city--well, at least no one you feel comfortable asking to help you unload (we all know those relationships need to be deeper to survive helping your friend move).

Full Service Hack

A traditional full-service move has professionals doing it all - packing, loading, unloading, and driving. They even disassemble and reassemble furniture for you. The hefty price tag (thousands and thousands of dollars) makes it accessible only to bankers, ballers, and those "real" housewives from Bravo. Really clever folks can hack such a move at a fraction of the cost. You can rent a portable storage container unit or space in a freight truck (read: your stuff will get driven by professionals) and you'll hire helpers from HireAHelper to load and unload. Perhaps, you'll even have them do some of the heavier packing, too. And you'll do whatever is left, which shouldn't be that much. Voila, you have yourself a full-service move, and you still have money in your pockets.

Moving Trucks and Containers Costs Comparison

Hybrid Move

with Rental Trucks
Average Cost $504
Local Move: $687
Medium Distance: $290
Long Distance: $1,084
Avg. Review 4.20
Packing & Unpacking Movers
Loading & Unloading Movers
Driving You

The most cost effective and flexible option. You control your own moving day schedule.

You have to drive a ginormous truck. How fast should you take that speed bump, or that turn?

Hybrid Move

with Rental Containers
Average Cost $1,804
Local Move: $687
Medium Distance: $1,457
Long Distance: $3,268
Avg. Review 4.50
Packing & Unpacking You
Loading & Unloading Movers
Driving Container Company

The most convenient option if you need temporary storage for your move. It's delivered straight to your home and transported to your new location by pros.

How much is all of this added convenience worth to you? That is the question.

Hybrid Move

with Freight Trailers
Average Cost $1,991
Local Move: $1,375
Medium Distance: $1,631
Long Distance: $2,966
Avg. Review 4.48
Packing & Unpacking You
Loading & Unloading Movers
Driving Freight Company

It's the most affordable way to have the pros drive your stuff to your new home.

Two words: air-ride suspension. They don't have it. Your stuff needs to be expertly wrapped and loaded to survive this ride intact.

Moving Labor Guide

Studio or Small Apartment

Studio/Small Apt
100-800 sq ft


2 movers for 2 hours


2 movers for 2 hours

Loading & Unloading:

2 movers for 4 hours
2-3 Bedroom Apartment

2-3 Bedroom Apt
800-1200 sq ft


2 movers for 3 hours


2 movers for 2 hours

Loading & Unloading:

2 movers for 5 hours
2-3 Bedroom House

2-3 Bedroom House
1000-1500 sq ft


3 movers for 4 hours


3 movers for 3 hours

Loading & Unloading:

3 movers for 7 hours
3-4 Bedroom House

3-4 Bedroom House
1500-2000 sq ft


4 movers for 4 hours


4 movers for 3 hours

Loading & Unloading:

4 movers for 7-8 hours
4+ Bedroom House

4+ Bedroom House
2000-3000+ sq ft


4+ movers for 5+ hours


4+ movers for 4+ hours

Loading & Unloading:

4+ movers for 8+ hours

Hybrid Moving
Time Estimate

You might not realize how much time you actually spend planning and executing your move. Breaking down where all that time goes can be tricky and tough to agree on, but we've seen over 100,000 moves, so we've got a pretty good estimate of where it disappears to. One thing we can agree on is that your time is valuable. So, to help you decide whether it's worth it to just pay someone else to do this or that part, here's a breakdown of where your time will be spent.

Total Time Estimate

Based on an 1,100 mile move of a 3 bedroom home.


Quoting & Planning Time

3 - 6 hrs.

The research and gathering of quotes will take longer than DIY because there are more options to consider and more parties to work with. Truck rentals tend to have an easier rental process than portable storage units because for something like PODS®, you'd have to get on the phone for a long-distance move. A phone call with either a truck rental company or a portable storage container company could last you anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes, depending on how complicated your move is. As far as booking movers, you can literally see prices for movers in seconds on, but the whole booking process will take you about 10 minutes if you're quick on the keyboard. That leaves planning the other logistics of moving day, but because of your hired help, whose schedule will somewhat revolve around your move for that day, you won't have as much planning to do.

Packing Time

12 - 14 hrs.

Again, this is based on packing up a 3 bedroom home, so scale accordingly for yours. If you hire movers to pack as well, you can drop this down to only 2 or 3 hours of your time, which will be spent packing up your valuables and any other extra important items.

Loading & Unloading Time

3 - 4 hrs.

If you're doing a standard Hybrid™ move, you might be doing some of the loading on your own, but with your hired furniture movers to load the heavy stuff, the total time you spend on this should be greatly reduced, and your overall move will go much faster.

The Perfect Match

This may sound weird, but are you and a Hybrid™ move a perfect match? A Hybrid move is great for someone who is smart, efficient, and frugal. Plus, you've got to have a little of the DIY spirit in you as well. You need to be willing and able to do the necessary homework – finding and pricing out transportation options and helpers. And you will get the best deal if you're willing to do some work, say packing up your stuff yourself and leaving the rest to professionals.


Alright, so, if you've gotten this far, it might mean you're ready to start planning your own Hybrid™ move. So, let's get you goin in the right direction. I, Francesca, will walk you through the steps of planning a Hybrid move using my own imaginary move of my three-bedroom home from Fort Lee, N.J. (just outside Manhattan) to Kissimmee, Fl. (just outside Orlando) because I'm familiar with both areas.

  • Choose Your Ride

    This is a vital part of planning a Hybrid™ move or full-service hack. After all, driving is the most expensive of all the services you can hire someone else to do, so you have to decide if you want to do this yourself. Here are all your options:

    Moving Trucks - This option has you taking control of the keys and driving. It is the most affordable option for Hybrid movers. Driving tends to be the costliest part of a move, which is why you can bring down your costs by doing it yourself. You will pay, on average, around $155 for a local move, $225 for a short move, and $971 for a long-distance move. In my research, I learned Budget® was the cheapest option among U-Haul® and Penske® (by a very small margin) at $2,071 for this New Jersey-Florida move. Add the cost of the help I'd book through HireAHelper in both states, and the cost is $2,529. This is a pittance compared to the nearly $8,000 price tag on a full-service move as quoted by an agent of Mayflower®. Keep in mind, however, that you have to budget for gas when you go with the rental truck because that is NOT included in the estimate.

    Freight Trailers - The freight trailer prices are generally comparable to moving trucks but someone else would be doing the driving for you. These companies include ABF U-Pack®, Old Dominion Household Services®, and Estes SureMove®. They most often cater to long-distance movers, and they estimate you would pay about $2,649 (U-Pack), $1,979 (OD), or $2,970 (Estes), for the New Jersey-Florida move. You pay only for the space your stuff occupies in the trailer. If you went with OD® and the HireAHelper help I chose, you would pay a total of $2,437. Again, it's a steal, compared to the full-service move. And you would probably only have to do the packing. Others would do the rest.

    Portable Storage Containers - The portable storage containers are a little pricier. But they are really convenient, especially if you're moving a small house or apartment or you'll need storage during the move. The companies deliver a container to your house, you load it (or hire someone to do it for you), and call them to pick it up and deliver it to your new address or a storage facility whenever you're ready. You can usually keep the containers for storage right at your place, so you can get to anything if you need it. You pay by the month for storage, and the first month is baked into the original price for the entire move. Prices range from about just under $500 for a local move (with the largest container) to more than $5,000 for a long-distance move (with two of the largest containers). For instance, 1-800-PACK-RAT® quoted me $4,450 for the move from Jersey to Florida. So, if you add the movers I'd hire through HireAHelper, you would pay $4,908. Even though that's a bit costly, it's still more than $3,000 less than the full-service move.

  • Compare And Book Your Hybrid Movers

    Head over to Enter the zip code where you need the help and the date when you need the help (if you don't have a firm moving date yet, just use an approximate date). In seconds, you'll be greeted with a list of potential helpers who service your area, replete with customer reviews, ratings, and the full scoop on the company, including whether it is insured, provides certain kinds of equipment, or has uniformed crews. Because my imaginary move is a long-distance move between two destinations that are more than 50 miles apart, I had to do two searches on HireAHelper for each location in order to find separate helpers at each end for the load and unload.

    For the New Jersey portion of the move, I could choose among 33 helpers. Their prices ranged from $136 to $617 for two helpers for two hours. I settled on Q's Moving Corp, which would cost $230. If they ended up working past the two hours, I would be paying $60 for every additional hour, according to the quote on the HireAHelper site. (You can use their labor guide in the checkout process to estimate how many movers for how many hours you'll need to get the job done.) The time starts upon arrival. Even though Q's wasn't the cheapest option, it is a licensed, insured business with a uniformed crew. Most importantly, Q's had backing from its former clients. Of the 224 customer reviews on the site, 181 gave the company five stars.

    For the Florida portion of the move, I could choose among 18 helpers. Their prices ranged from $155 to $372 for two helpers for two hours. I chose Sebastian Moving, which would cost $228 for the first two hours and $60 for each additional hour. It is a licensed, insured business with Workmen's Comp. Of the 177 reviews, 157 had given Sebastian Movers five stars. I find that highly attractive in a mover. Hubba. Hubba.

  • Pack Up Your Stuff

    If you're hiring help, you're going to be mindful of time since these companies charge by the hour. You can have them pack for you. But you might be better off having them load and/or unload the truck or container and do the packing yourself. You could also pack most of the stuff yourself, and leave the delicate or heavier items to the professionals. Just keep in mind that you'll have to add hours of work to the helper's bill, which means you'll pay more. Full-service movers are willing to let you do some of the packing, too. But you're still going to pay a hefty price. That agent of Mayflower® told me I could cut only about $1,000 from the price by packing some of the lighter items myself. In other words, the full-service move would still cost me more than $6,000. The bottom line is that you're probably going to be doing at least some of the packing yourself. In the DIY section of this site, you can find tips on how to properly load up your things in boxes. If putting stuff in boxes seems like a drag, just sing that Happy song while you do it. It's the modern version of whistling while you work.


Price out your hybrid options.

By comparing prices of the various components of your move, you can best determine what fits your budget and needs. It's worth the extra time (and calculation).

Plan ahead of movers' arrival.

You need to prepare for the big day. Be ready to delegate responsibilities to people as soon as they arrive. Be organized. For example, to keep costs down, have all your boxes and furniture packed or wrapped and ready to be loaded when the labor arrives. If you're going to need equipment, such as a dolly, then get a hold of it ahead of time.

Find out about equipment.

Helpers list the equipment they have in their HireAHelper profiles. Discuss what you'll need with them ahead of the move. If they don't have a dolly, for example, then you'll need to rent or buy one on your own. Also, most helpers only offer funature pads for local moves, be sure to ask your transport company about rentals because this is one area you DO NOT want to skimp on. Furniture pads are key to having your furniture arrive un-damanged and intact. Be sure to provide enough for all the items you want protected.


We get it. Moving is really, really stressful. But you have hired helpers to do the hard stuff for you. And you're not spending all that much money. So, soak up the moment of leaving your soon-to-be old place behind and live the excitement of heading on to new pastures, cause by going hybrid, you can breathe a sigh of relief and move on, literally.

Recent Customer Reviews

Harris C
Los Angeles, CA
Wrote a review on 6/29/2020
Uhaul Truck Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Very quick and painless pick-up and drop-off process for the truck. I appreciated how modern it all was with much of the check-in, verification, and vehicle inspection done via my phone. The truck itself was also great, no problems and fit our needs well. I would highly recommend getting moving supplies from u-haul also. Depending on the pick-up location, u-haul often has boxes, tape, etc. for sale right there and their boxes were much better than the other store I got boxes from (built-in handles, better labeling). U-haul also has great box return policies (buy as many as you want and return any unused boxes, used box exchange, box recycling), although due to covid they're understandably not doing much of the box redemption at the moment.

Distance: 400 mi
Cost: $500
Per. Mile: $1.25
SqFt. Moved: 900
Kristen F
Greenville, SC
Wrote a review on 6/24/2020
ABF U-pack Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Excellent service. Every person we spoke with or dealt with was professional. I was able to call after regular business hours. I would absolutely recommend ABF.

Distance: 800 mi
Cost: $2,200
Per. Mile: $2.75
SqFt. Moved: 2,000
Bruce M
Jonesborough, TN
Wrote a review on 6/23/2020
ABF U-pack Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Delivery was on time and all the equipment I needed to get my items in the trailer were there (the ramp and separation sections). The drivers are all experienced and capable of getting into tight spots. The trailer solution was the best option for me since I did not want my shop items mixed with my household items. They give you an excellent amount of time to pack and unpack. Trailers are in good shape and clean. They may look rough on the outside but inside it's dry and clean. After all these trailers are on the road constantly unless they are in storage with your items. Good company very nice people to work with and eager to please.

Distance: 560 mi
Cost: $850
Per. Mile: $1.52
SqFt. Moved: 1,700
Mark N
North Attleboro, MA
Wrote a review on 6/22/2020
PODS Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

The Pods worked out well. Initially only ordered one based off the room recommendation, but ended up ordering a second one. I was impressed how easily they were able to make the arrangements and deliver the second pod in such a short notice. We did have a little complication on the delivery of the second pod and removal of the first one, but once I contacted them they quickly remedied the situation. Both containers were clean and in great condition. Dealing with customer service was easy and they worked with me to meet all my needs. We went with Pods to reduce costs and professional movers were so much more expensive. Using hired helpers associated with pods made the move economical and easy for us. I would definately use them again.

Distance: 20 mi
Cost: $1,300
Per. Mile: $65.00
SqFt. Moved: 2,000
Laura C
Mckinney, TX
Wrote a review on 6/17/2020
Budget Truck Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

The truck was fine. However, I reserved furniture pads and was informed when I arrived that morning to pick up the truck that none were available. I had to scramble to find enough blankets to cover my furniture because my movers were arriving in less than 1 hour and I had zero notice to make other arrangements. It would have been better to receive a phone call to notify me ahead of time that I needed to buy or rent furniture pads elsewhere. The cost of the truck was very reasonable but the cost of the insurance was exorbitant. Checking in at Prestige Rent-a-car in McKinney, TX was not the smoothest, but drop off (at a different location) was extremely easy and Randy at Eastex Rentals was very accommodating for us.

Distance: 250 mi
Cost: $430
Per. Mile: $1.72
SqFt. Moved: 1,400
Rebecca S
Williamsburg, VA
Wrote a review on 6/13/2020
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Pack Rat was outstanding. The staff is professional, hardworking, friendly, trustworthy. Price was very fair. Nothing was broken in any of the containers and we shipped 19,000 pounds of breakables. All promises kept. I would highly recommend. I’d give them an A+.

Distance: 1,508 mi
Cost: $4,800
Per. Mile: $3.18
SqFt. Moved: 2,900
Roxanne J
Monroeville, PA
Wrote a review on 6/6/2020
1-800-Pack-Rat Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

I was coming from a 2100 sq ft home to a much smaller home and had to down size. I ordered a 16' u pack rat container. When I opened the container after it sat for 3 months, I had boxes that had shifted and fall toward the center. My fault. I did not want to have a lot of wt on some items so the packing of the container was sub par. Even though pack rat states the move carefully, things will shift. Again, I take full responsibility. So watch there videos and do what they say, Ha Ha. Set up of container and delivery went smooth, If you have an e-mail address, you can do pretty much everything on there. U Pack Rat will keep in touch with you via e mails.

Distance: 2,360 mi
Cost: $2,600
Per. Mile: $1.10
SqFt. Moved: 800
Andrew H
Santa Monica, CA
Wrote a review on 5/31/2020
Uhaul Truck Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

I rented a 15' UHaul truck from the Santa Monica Lincoln Blvd location and my experience was great. The folks there are terrific, and the truck ran very well on a 7 hour drive with 100+ temperatures. Very happy with my experience.

Distance: 400 mi
Cost: $600
Per. Mile: $1.50
SqFt. Moved: 650
Wayne D
Marysville, OH
Wrote a review on 5/26/2020
Budget Truck Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

My only complaint is that there is not a size between 16 and 26 ft length. With a 2 bedroom apartment it recommended 16 but it was a challenge to get everything on.

Distance: 800 mi
Cost: $1,100
Per. Mile: $1.38
SqFt. Moved: 950
Fred S
Winter Park, FL
Wrote a review on 4/29/2020
PODS Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

PODS is a very efficient outfit. Times of pickup and delivery were spot on, notifications arrived as promised. The container was clean and our stuff arrived without any breakage, despite our less-than-professional do-it-yourself packing job.

Distance: 600 mi
Cost: $1,200
Per. Mile: $2.00
SqFt. Moved: 500
Ryan F
Cambridge, MA
Wrote a review on 3/31/2020
ABF ReloCube Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

I really like working with ABF UPack. They were flexible with their dates and adjusting after I initially reserved them. They don't charge until they pick up the Relocubes, which I appreciate. Their drivers are also friendly and excellent at navigating narrow city streets with empty and loaded cubes. This is the second time I've used them, and I would not hesitate to use them again.

Distance: 2,000 mi
Cost: $3,117
Per. Mile: $1.56
SqFt. Moved: 1,200
Linda M
Johnson City, TN
Wrote a review on 11/21/2019
Penske Truck Review
(4 out of 5 rating)

Truck ok but service extremely slow or nonexistent at that Home Depot. Took at least an hr. Just to get truck...paid $50 for flimsy and shredding moving blankets (ripped off). Nice truck I would rent it again but buy lots of blankets elsewhere! Also if you’re going up hill the passenger might have to get out and push at 20mph ??. Pricey at $200/day but it does the job and that’s what’s important.

Distance: 300 mi
Cost: $600
Per. Mile: $2.00
SqFt. Moved: 1,000
Dianne or Jim J
Seattle, WA
Wrote a review on 9/25/2019
Penske Truck Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

Picked up our truck at Home Depot. There were there with the truck we requested and were very courteous. The truck worked well, no problems. We got a 16' truck, but a little smaller one would have worked also. I would use them again.

Distance: 134 mi
Cost: $165
Per. Mile: $1.23
SqFt. Moved: 700
Deborah L
Elkhart, IN
Wrote a review on 8/23/2019
ABF ReloCube Review
(5 out of 5 rating)

UPack was on time delivering two boxes each 8x7x6 ft and they placed the containers with a forklift so they did not damage the grass. We could still park in our garage.

Distance: 1,700 mi
Cost: $4,100
Per. Mile: $2.41
SqFt. Moved: 1,500

U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Budget Truck Rental®, LLC is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.® is a trademark of Penske System, Inc.

U-Pack® is the registered trademark of Moving Solutions, Inc. U-Pack® is a registered trademark of ABF, Freight System, Inc.

PODS® and the PODS® logo are the registered trademarks of PODS Enterprises, Inc. (PEI). U-Pack® is the registered trademark of Moving Solutions, Inc. ReloCube® is a registered trademark of ABF, Freight System, Inc.

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