When you decide to work with a mover, it’s important to be aware of what exactly you’re agreeing to pay for. That includes any potential moving surcharges that might be added to your final bill. One such surcharge is the fuel surcharge. While this is one of the more common moving surcharges, it can be unexpected and is not always fully understood when it suddenly appears on a bill.
What Is a Fuel Surcharge?
A surcharge is any additional cost added to the total bill, and a fuel surcharge is such a charge assessed for the fuel required to operate the moving trucks or other motorized moving vehicles.
This surcharge is often based on the current national average price of diesel.
Does Every Moving Company Charge?
No. It is at the discretion of the individual moving company whether to charge this fee or not. That is why the most important thing for somebody who is looking to move is to ask the moving company lots of questions. Find out upfront if your moving company charges a fuel surcharge or not, or you might get an unpleasant surprise when it’s time to settle the final bill.
Does the Type of Move Affect the Surcharge?
Yes. Local moves are a lot more variable. Some companies will charge. Some will not. However, for long-distance moves, it is fairly standard practice to assess this fuel surcharge.
Double-check (or even triple-check) with your moving company if you’re unsure whether your move constitutes a local move or a long-distance move and whether the fuel surcharge applies.
Any reputable moving company will be happy to confirm these details with you and should be entirely upfront about if as well as how they charge.
How Do Moving Companies Assess a Moving Fuel Surcharge?
Whether a moving company assesses a fuel surcharge as a flat fee or some percentage of the total move, companies are still basing that charge on current fuel prices. Most companies assess the national average price of diesel on the first Monday of every month.
Because gas prices fluctuate, that means fuel surcharges can change from day to day. Even if you book your move weeks or months in advance, the fuel surcharge is still going to be assessed using gas prices on the actual move day.
This means there’s always some element of uncertainty about the exact cost if you’re working with a company that assesses this fee. To give yourself a better idea, track national average diesel prices in the days or weeks leading up to your move day to see if prices are trending up or down.
What Are Your Responsibilities?
It’s entirely up to you to ensure you know and understand the policies of the moving company you’re working with. While reputable moving companies will generally tell you whether they assess this charge, it is still your responsibility to ask and confirm. If you get a moving bill with surcharges you were not expecting, you might not have any recourse—unless your moving company agreed (verbally or otherwise) not to charge and did anyway.
For more information about fuel surcharges or other potentially unexpected moving costs, please contact a representative of All Star Movers for more information.