As you’re preparing for your next home or office move, you’ve likely heard of Double Drive Time and wondered what it is and if it’s legal. The answer is Yes, it is legal, and we’re here to help explain it.

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What Is Double Drive Time?

Simply put, it is the round-trip drive time for the movers from the pick-up location to the drop-off location.

More explicitly, all California moving companies are required to abide by the laws of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Within these laws, there are stipulations around what costs can be passed down to customers. For all hourly moves in the State of California, moving companies are required to charge Double Drive Time.

The actual CPUC law is written as follows:

‘the time used [for calculating your total price for the move] shall be the total of loading, unloading, and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination.’

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Example of What Double Drive Time Means

In the example below, somebody is moving from Point A to Point B.

  1. The movers load the truck at Point A, which takes 4 hours
  2. Then they drive to Point B, which takes 15 minutes
  3. They unload the goods at Point B, which takes 3 hours
  4. The movers have to return somewhere near Point A, which is approximately 15 minutes

In this case, the round-trip drive-time is 30 minutes [15 minutes from A to B + 15  minutes back from B to A = 30 minutes].

So the total hours charged for the entire move will be 4 hours (loading) + 3 hours (unloading) + 30 minutes (driving) = 7.5 hours total.

Why Do They Charge Double Drive Time?

The CPUC requires all moving companies to use the Double Drive Time Law to protect consumers. Using Double Drive time provides visibility to the customer of the actual driving costs being paid and it compensates the moving company for their actual driving time, plus the time to return to the origin (where the job started).

Using the Double Drive Time Law:

  • The customer is responsible for all drive time between the new and old house or office.
  • The moving company is responsible for the driving time between their warehouse and the origin location.

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Common Questions

What does “origin” mean?

Generally the point of origin is considered the home or office you’re moving out of.

What does “destination” mean?

Generally your new home or office that you’re moving in to is considered the destination.

Is the drive time rounded?

Most moving companies round to the nearest 15 minutes (both up and down).

The Actual Double Drive Time Law

For those that are curious, we’ve included the link to the source on the CPUC website.

CPUC Website Link – Max Tariff 4: Link