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PCS Orders? Don’t DIY — Leave it to the Pros and Save!

Why Do it Yourself?

Permanent Change of Station orders are a way of life for most active-duty military families. Every family has a different way of approaching the Big Move. Some choose to let Uncle Sam handle the relocation, while others opt for a PPM (Personally Procured Move) — more often called a DITY move.

If your family is considering the DITY (do-it-yourself) relocation option, you might be surprised to find out how much you can save! Your first consideration might be to rent a U-Haul or Penske truck in hopes of keeping more of your PPM payment. The truth, however, is that hiring a professional moving company independently of Uncle Sam can often save you money — even more so than doing it yourself. Of course, the advantage is that your family can put some of your PPM payment back into your pocket at the end of the move.

Here’s a the comparison between doing it yourself and hiring a mover on your own:
(For the comparison, we priced out three different moves between 1,000 and 2,000 miles each)

Options 1 and 2:

DIY — Rent a Truck Using Penske or U-Haul
The first two numbers you see for each of the three moves are “Do It Yourself” estimates. The total for these military DITY moving cost estimates include the rental rate for a 26-foot truck (through Penske and U-Haul), plus basic travel expenses: fuel, cheap hotels, insurance and some essential moving equipment. You’ll notice the pricing estimates exceed the third, non-DIY option, which we’re about to discuss.

Of course, the Penske and U-Haul estimates don’t include more intangible moving costs, like your family’s time off from work or school — but those are important factors you’ll want to consider as well. The stress of managing a move on your own has its own cost.

Option 3:

“Don’t Do It Yourself” — Hire a Moving Company
The third estimate you see under each move is an average of several hundred 3-bedroom moves booked through uShip For Military, the online marketplace for moving services — but you could solicit quotes by calling around as well. Most of the time, it is actually less expensive than renting a truck and making the drive.

Why is Hiring a Moving Company Cheaper?
Regardless of how you look for moving quotes, the key is to let quality movers compete for your business. uShip, for one, makes this easy by allowing companies to submit competing bids. Movers can often combine cross-country deliveries, making relocations hundreds of dollars cheaper than doing it on your own.

If you’ve decided on a DITY move and can spare some time to set up a listing for your move or call around for quotes, you’ll not only save time in the long run — you’ll save money as well. So make it easy on yourself: PCS orders are stressful enough already. Leave moving to the pros!