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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask a Stupid Question

How much will it cost me to move in Moscow?

With all the headaches associated with moving, you can at least be sure that it does not have to cost a fortune in Moscow.

Most Russians are likely to hire the driver of a large vehicle through a friend's or colleague's recommendation to help them move apartments for a low fee.

But, if none of your friends knows any van drivers, the next cheapest option is to call the movers, or gruzshchiki, advertised in Iz Ruk v Ruki. This Russian-language paper solely consists of classifieds and is sold at metro stops and newsstands. A free version is also available online at

Julia Vasilieva found Astra Service through Iz Ruk v Ruki for her big move.

"I have this cactus that is practically like a son to me," she jokes. "With the pot, it weighs over 100 kilos and it's about 1.5 meters tall. I was worried it would get damaged in the move, but all went well and the fees were very reasonable."

Astra Service movers do not pack, but load and transport items. They also informally insure for damages. If, for example, they break a chair during the move, Astra Service will reimburse you for it in full. You can book their services at 514-4418 or 517-3980.

Movers' fees vary widely, depending on whether there is an elevator in your building or the number of flights the movers have to walk, the availability of a parking space for the truck, the need to move a piano, the number of items you are moving, as well as your location and destination.

On average, movers advertising in Iz Ruk v Ruki quote $250 as a good bargain for moving a two-room apartment, including loading and transportation. However, so many variables are involved in pricing moving services, you should always negotiate the price before finalizing the deal.

To avoid packing the items yourself, you can book higher-priced moving companies. Delikatny Pereyezd, for example, will pack, load, transport and unpack all of your belongings. Their fees vary with the amount of items you are moving, but tend to be at the high end. One family, satisfied with the services, paid Delikatny Pereyezd $2,000 for moving a four-room apartment.

A clause guaranteeing the safety of your belongings in the move is a standard part of the contract. However, Delikatny Pereyezd does not explicitly offer insurance but allows you to insure your belongings with an independent insurance company. Additional information is available at or by telephone at 101-3018.

Larger Western companies, including Allied Pickfords and Voerman UTS, also operate in Moscow and offer packing, loading, and transportation services, and insure property against damage. Their fees are the highest and they do not provide ballpark figures without seeing your building and furniture. Like Delikatny Pereyezd, they send over consultants to provide a free estimate.

-- Maria Levitov

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