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How To Use Uber To Move: When You Should [& Shouldn’t]

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Key Takeaways

  • Uber for Moving: Cost-effective and convenient for small, quick moves anytime.
  • Ideal for Small Items: Suitable for moving electronics, small furniture, and limited boxes.
  • Communication and Care: It is essential to inform drivers and handle their vehicles carefully.
  • Consider Alternatives: For larger moves, services like Dolly or GoShare are more suitable.

Why Would Somebody Use Uber to Move?

Choosing Uber for moving offers several key advantages, primarily related to cost and convenience.

First, the expense associated with hiring an Uber or Lyft is notably less than the cost of renting a U-Haul or employing a moving company for a full day. This remains true even if you require multiple Uber rides during your move.

Second, the convenience offered by ridesharing apps is a significant factor. Uber operates 24/7, allowing you to book a ride at any time – be it early morning, late afternoon, or in the wee hours.

There’s also the option to pre-schedule your pickup, which is ideal if you have a fixed moving timeline.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I would not suggest using Uber to move all of your things, such as a bunch of boxes and furniture. Instead, I would suggest using Uber during a move – as a helpful utility.

Using Uber to move, in the standard definition of a move, is a bit of a grey area. It’s a creative use of Uber’s services, but certainly not the intended use.

While many drivers are willing to accommodate such requests, some may prefer not to for various reasons, including concerns about damage to their vehicle.

On the other hand, using Uber during a move is an incredibly helpful tool to have at your fingertips.

Personally, I use Uber as a way to move a small number of personal items or very fragile electronics. This keeps them safe and avoids damage from the truck.

I have found that most drivers are happy to help, but their willingness is dependent on me selecting the appropriate size vehicle, clearly communicating my intentions, and tipping well.

What Can Uber Help Move?

There are various cases where Uber comes in handy while moving. These include:

1. People

Naturally, Uber is well-suited for transporting people.

While moving, my own vehicle is my go-to source of transportation. However, in cases where parking is scarce, or I need a short ride that doesn’t require much room, I call an Uber.

For groups larger than two, or if you’re carrying boxes, you might need multiple rides or at least an UberX.

2. Electronics

Uber can be very beneficial when transporting small, fragile electronics like televisions, computer monitors, laptops, and gaming consoles.

For example, I recently moved my little sister to Arizona. I flew down to help her, but didn’t have a car.

She was driving a U-haul, but didn’t want the electronics to ride in the back of the truck and get broken. So, I called an Uber and we took the small electronics, including the TV, in there.

Pro Tip: Small items like laptops and gaming consoles are easily accommodated in any Uber vehicle. For mid-sized to large TVs, an UberXL might be necessary to ensure a comfortable fit.

3. Boxes

While I don’t really suggest calling an Uber in the hope of transporting boxes, it can be done at some level, especially if you call an UberXL.

Most drivers are more than happy to transport your luggage, especially if they’re doing an airport ride. If you have a ton of boxes, on the other hand, and they might not be so happy.

This is where we start getting into “dicey” territory.

If you have a box or two, most drivers will probably happily accommodate you. But if you are trying to fill their car up to the brim and actually use Uber to move, they might put their foot down.

A big tip can change their perspective, but be careful not to test the waters here.

4. Furniture

Furniture presents a more significant challenge. Moving large items like beds or sofas might be beyond the scope of what an Uber can accommodate, and drivers may not be equipped to assist.

There are plenty of moving-specific gig economy services, such as Bellhop, that will be more than able to accommodate your furniture.

How to Use Uber to Move

moving boxes - how to use uber to move

1. Select the Right Type of Ride

Start by selecting the right type of ride. Choose UberXL when requesting your ride, as it offers more space for your belongings compared to a standard Uber or UberX, which might be too small for a move.

It’s essential to avoid choosing UberPool, as it’s not designed for moving purposes.

2. Communicate Your Plans to the Driver

Once your ride is confirmed, promptly communicate your plans to the driver.

Explain that you’re moving and will need to pack the car with your items. Be transparent about your needs, but understand that the driver may opt to cancel the ride.

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.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

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.

3. Be Prompt and On Time

Be prepared and efficient on the day of the move. Have all your boxes and bags ready and outside before the driver arrives to avoid delays.

Remember that you should not expect the driver to help with loading or unloading your belongings. This preparation ensures a smooth and quick process for both you and the driver.

4. Be Incredibly Careful of the Vehicle

Finally, be incredibly careful with the vehicle.

Loading and unloading should be done gently to prevent any damage. Even minor scratches can negatively affect your rating on the Uber app and upset the driver.

Being mindful and considerate when packing and unpacking will demonstrate your respect and gratitude towards the driver and their vehicle.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

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.

Tips for Success When Using Uber for Moving

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of utilizing Uber for moving, here are some additional tips to make your experience smoother and more efficient:

  1. Efficient Packing: Organize your belongings for easy loading and unloading. Use space bags for clothes and evenly distribute weight in boxes, securing things so they don’t come loose during the ride.
  2. Select Larger Vehicles: Choose an UberXL for sufficient space to fit your items comfortably. This way, you don’t have to call multiple rides.
  3. Generous Tipping: Show your appreciation by tipping generously. Call your driver beforehand to let them know about a generous tip in advance. This will help to set expectations and not catch them by surprise.

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. Dolly

1. Dolly

  • Connects to local vehicle owners
  • Upfront pricing, exact quotes
  • $300 item protection included
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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. GoShare

2. GoShare

  • Serves over 25 U.S. markets
  • Flat fee plus per minute charge
  • Free commercial liability insurance
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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. Lugg

3. Lugg

  • Operates in five states
  • Base fare plus per-mile costs
  • Two luggers sent automatically
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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. Phlatbed

4. Phlatbed

  • Available in 20+ U.S. cities
  • Users set price, drivers bid
  • Up to $300 insurance coverage
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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

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.

2 thoughts on “How To Use Uber To Move: When You Should [& Shouldn’t]”

  1. Rideshare apps are not moving services. It is rude and disrespectful to a driver to request a ride for moving services. I’ve unknowingly accepted these requests and the “rider” has never tipped and always takes way too long to load/unload.

  2. Look, when people order an Uber XL car they assume that they can do anything forgetting that the car belong to the driver and doesn’t belong to Uber. Rideshare Xl is not a moving truck and it is a large vehicle to accommodate more people and few items and not to haul more items and few people . As my friend above mentioned we sometimes try to help but riders don’t help themselves they are not ready and not organized and they don’t even tip even though they want you to help them haul their moving stuff.
    People need to understand it is my vehicle and not Uber vehicle


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