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Use Uber to Move: A Cheap Way to Move Stuff

Last updated: August 14, 2021
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vector graphic showing a person using uber to move his stuff into a truck through the uber app

Uber is one of the most convenient ways to get around town, but can you use Uber for moving?

Finding an affordable moving company or a friend with a truck free during moving day can be a challenge, so many turn to rideshare apps to help them settle into a new place.

Here’s how you can use Uber to move and save money on transport costs:

An Overview of Why Somebody Would Use Uber to Move

The main reason for using Uber to move is simple: pricing.

The cost of an Uber or Lyft is significantly lower than renting a U-Haul or moving company for a day – even if you order several rides throughout your move-out process.

Another benefit of using a ridesharing app to move is convenience.

Ubers work around the clock so that you can request a ride at 9 a.m., 5 p.m., or even 2 a.m.

You can also schedule a pickup location if you know ahead of time when you need to move.

What Can Uber Help Move?

Before you unlock your Android or iPhone and start scheduling rides on your Uber app, it’s essential to know you can and can’t move in an Uber.

People

People are the easiest to transport in an Uber, of course!

If you have more than one or two people moving with you, you may need to request more than one Uber ride and most likely will need at least an UberX (especially if you all have boxes).

Electronics

Small electronics like computers and gaming systems will fit into any size of Uber.

Mid-size to large televisions may also fit in the backseat, though you may need to order an UberXL to ensure everything will fit.

Boxes

Depending on their size and weight, you can easily pack boxes into the back of an Uber, particularly an UberXL.

Keep in mind that when you use Uber to move, drivers aren’t entitled to help you, so it may be up to you to fit your boxes in the trunk or backseat.

Furniture

Furniture is one of the most challenging items to move with an Uber or Lyft, and drivers may not be up to the task to help you.

If you need to move furniture, substantial items like beds or sofas, it’s best to get a truck rental or moving company.

Things to Consider

An Uber driver’s primary focus is transporting people or delivering for Uber Eats, so it’s essential to consider when you drop a moving trip on them.

Whether you’re moving across San Francisco or New York, here’s what you should consider before using Uber as your moving company.

It’s the Driver’s Choice to Help

Not every Uber driver will be willing to help you move things, and some may even be reluctant to let you pack their car full of random boxes, furniture, and electronics.

They are independent contractors with an agreement that they can decline rides of their choosing.

Unfortunately, they are able to decline your request to use Uber to move if they choose to do so.

Be prepared to request several rides before finding a driver who will let you move all your things using their car.

Damage Won’t Be Covered

When you hire a moving company or sometimes rent a truck, any damages to your things are covered in the agreement you and the company sign.

When you use Uber to move, there is no agreement to move stuff in the insurance.

The driver is only obligated to get you to your destination safely, and there’s no coverage should your skis fall out an open window, a nightstand breaks in the trunk, or your things fall out when you open the door at drop-off.

There are some implications and cases where you potentially get coverage, but it will be a fight.

The Cost Adds Up

If you have a lot of stuff to move, you’ll need to request multiple Uber rides.

You’ll be riding back and forth between destinations and tipping multiple drivers for their troubles.

Uber rides are inexpensive, but not necessarily cheap.

If you have enough boxes and furniture to constitute more than four or five Uber rides, a rental truck will be cheaper.

Consider Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Suppose you’re moving states or cities.

Finding an Uber driver willing to take you that far will be near-impossible.

Rideshare drivers try to stay close to their homes to save on gas and mileage.

If your 100-mile trip pops up on their app, they’ll likely decline it.

Long Uber trips are also expensive, and the cost can be higher than renting a box truck or cargo van.

How to Use Uber to Move

moving boxes - how to use uber to move

If you decided that using Uber for your move-out or move-in is the best way to save money and haul your stuff across town, here are tips to be courteous and successful:

Order the Right Type of Ride

Make sure you order an UberXL for your trip when you’re requesting a ride.

A standard Uber doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the right size car.

If you only have a few boxes and bags, you may be able to get away with UberX.

Still, it’s best to go for the UberXL to ensure there are no surprises when you can’t fit all your things into the back of the car.

Above anything else, do not order an UberPool.

Explain Your Plans to the Driver

When your driver confirms the ride, immediately disclose your plans using the message service and explain how you need to pack the car.

Depending on the driver, they may cancel the ride and move on.

Be friendly, and let them know that you’ll tip them well for their efforts.

While tipping is never required for a rideshare app, it’s essential in this case as you’re asking the driver to do something outside of their regular responsibilities.

Be Prompt and On Time

Be ready for the driver as soon as they arrive.

Have your boxes and bags outside next to you instead of making trips in and out of your living space.

Remember that your driver is not obligated to help you, so don’t make that an expectation.

Be Incredibly Careful of the Vehicle

An Uber driver’s worst nightmare is someone damaging their vehicle beyond repair.

Even a tiny scratch can irritate a driver and drop your profile’s rating on the Uber app.

Be incredibly careful while packing the car.

Mindfulness and consideration will go a long way in showing your gratitude.

Tips for Success When Using Uber for Moving

vector graphic showing a person using uber to move his stuff into a truck through the uber app

You now have a general understanding of the best practices for using Uber to move.

Here are a few more tips for a successful experience:

1. Pack for Easy Transport

The last thing you or the driver needs is piles of things stacked in the back with no sense of organization.

Pack smart so that transporting is a breeze.

Pack your clothes in space bags and distribute weight evenly between your boxes.

Try to find a spot for everything so that there are no loose items.

2. Choose Large Uber Vehicles

As mentioned above, request an UberXL to ensure you have enough space for everything.

An UberXL is designed to fit five people comfortably, so one person plus their home belongings from move-out should fit.

3. Tip Very, Very Well

Nobody wants to help with a surprising move-out, especially for a stranger.

Display your gratitude by giving your driver a very nice tip.

Be sure to communicate you’ll tip them well before you head on the road with them.

Alternatives to Using Uber to Move

There are many instances where using Uber to move is not the greatest idea, particularly if you have many oversized, bulky items that won’t fit in any size rideshare vehicle.

Fortunately, there are a variety of on-demand moving options available that are affordable and easy to use.

1. DollyUber for moving: Dolly homepage

Available in over 30 cities across the United States, Dolly connects you to local pickup trucks, box trucks, or cargo van owners (known as Helpers) who can help you move large items or a full apartment.

Enter your pickup and drop-off details in the smartphone app, and you can get connected to an available driver within minutes.

Just as you would on the Uber app, you can tip and rate your driver as soon as the drop-off is complete.

While Dolly isn’t completely transparent about its rates, the company helpfully offers upfront pricing and exact quotes for your moving needs on book.dolly.com.

Your final price is affected by the distance you’re moving, the amount of items you have (which can quickly increase your bill), and the type of help you need (ex: labor only, large-item delivery, or full apartment move).

You can save by loading and unloading your items yourself, but you can also add an extra helper for a $20 fee (this may cut down on your loading and unloading time).

In terms of safety and security, your driver is cleared by a background check, while your items are covered by $300 of protection against damage your driver is liable for.

You can add secure specific items even further at the cost of $1 per $100 of damage protection.

Estimate cost for a small-scale move*: $288

*This estimate is for a local move (30 miles) with one couch, one queen bed, one queen bed frame, one dining table, four chairs, and six extra-large boxes.

It also includes a standard request of one helper.

2. GoShareScreenshot of GoShare homepage

Whether you’re moving to a new house or you’re moving to a new business location, GoShare can help you in over 25 U.S. markets, including the San Francisco Bay area and Orange County.

This “Uber for moving” app accommodates moves for one to two-bedroom homes on top of basic apartment moves.

GoShare functions very similarly to Dolly, allowing you to make on-demand requests straight from your iPhone, Android, or computer.

However, rather than charging based on distance and the amount of items you have, GoShare charges a flat fee of $10 for all trucks and vans, plus a fee of 99 cents to $1.49 per minute, depending on the size of moving vehicle you need.

This includes one background checked helper and as many items as you can safely fit on the vehicle.

However, your expenses won’t be final until the timer for the trip ends.

One especially great feature of GoShare is for flat fees, you can request moving equipment (like trailers and furniture dollies) and help with furniture assembly.

An extra helper will cost 99 cents per minute, but your items will be covered by commercial liability insurance at no extra cost.

Estimate cost for a small-scale move: $73.21 to $157.06

3. LuggLugg homepage screenshot

Lugg is an on-demand moving app that specializes in small moves using pick-up trucks and cargo vans.

With expansive operations across five different states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — this “Uber for moving” service can connect you to vetted professional “luggers” in as little as 30 minutes.

This service can appear costly.

For a full apartment or small office move, you can expect to pay a $95 base fare and a $3 per-mile costs.

You’ll also be faced with a $2 per-minute cost for time spent loading and unloading your driver’s vehicle.

However, Lugg will save you an incredible amount of energy by automatically sending two luggers for your complete move.

Luggers can additionally help you with assembly (at the per-minute labor cost) and take your junk to disposal or recycling centers for a minimum extra cost of $30.

All items are covered by Lugg’s insurance policy for peace of mind.

Estimate cost for a small-scale move: $200 + $2 per minute of labor (ex: $320 if your movers can load and unload within one hour total)

4. PhlatbedUber for moving: Phlatbed homepage

If none of our previously listed services are exactly what you need, Phlatbed will offer you the flexible service you need.

This unique “Uber for moving” service is currently available in over 20 U.S. cities — including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Chicago, and New York.It’s also in Toronto, Canada, and is continuing to expand internationally.

To connect with SUV, pick-up truck, or van drivers on the Phlatbed mobile application, all you need to do is place an “order” with your exact needs — whether you just need help packing or you need a full apartment move.

On this order, you can set your own price.

Drivers can then bid on the offer, and you can select your favorite based on their ratings and offered cost.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can get a huge discount that beats any other service.

Your final cost will depend on what other users request or what drivers are accepting in your city.

Plus, you’ll need to be fair and consider what’s worth a driver’s time.

For reference, drivers on Phlatbed keep 75% of what you pay, and pick-up truck drivers on GoShare can earn as much as $61.92 per hour.

As you consider your bid price, estimate how much time your furniture will take to load, unload, and drive, and how much effort your driver will need to put in.

Plus, keep in mind your items will be insured up to $300.

Estimate cost for a small-scale move: N/A, set by user and driver (most frequently in the $100 to $300 range)

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about using Uber or another delivery service to move out of your home?

Keep reading for answers to any additional questions you have.

How Much Should I Tip Movers?

Most moving truck drivers expect a 5-10 percent tip.

For example, if your move costs $1,200, The moving crew should receive at least $60, depending on their service.

The standard tip is 20 percent for Uber drivers, but you’ll want to tip a lot more for using them as a mover.

Again, if you use Uber to move, tip your drivers well.

Can I Use Uber for IKEA?

You can use an UberXL to transport new furniture from IKEA.

Use the above tips to do so – disclose your plans and tip well.

Can I Request a Pickup Truck with Uber?

Unfortunately, you can’t request specific vehicles with Uber.

If you need a pickup truck, the best route is to go with a delivery service like GoShare.

Can You Put Stuff in Uber Trunk?

Yes, you can put stuff in an Uber trunk.

Some drivers prefer to do it themselves, while some will let you do it.

How Do I Book a Van on Uber?

Uber does not let you book specific vehicles.

However, if you order an UberXL, there’s a strong chance you will get a van.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re moving in a pinch or are looking for an affordable way to haul your stuff, Uber is a cheap option.

When you use Uber to move, you’ll learn that it requires a lot of communication – and a nice tip – with the driver, but it can be an easy way to lug your things across town.

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