What is double drive time

Choosing a local moving company in California may be a challenging task. Part of this is understanding some charges companies may apply for local moves in LA and other California areas. A local move in California is any move where the distance between the origin, a pickup address, and the destination is 100 miles or less.

Let’s say you’ve gone through a screening process and you have a few moving companies in your list. You call them, ask about their services, how they protect furniture, pack boxes, handle claims, and so on.

Then you say:
– … Thank you for the information. What is your hourly rate for 2 movers and a truck?
And then you hear the answer with a weird term ‘double drive time’ or ‘double driving time.’
“What a hell!” may come into your mind.

Do not stress yourself. We will clarify some of your potential confusion.


For those who have never heard about double driving time in California it can look like a some kind of a hidden fee established by a company. In reality double drive time regulations is governed the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS.) The Bureau holds jurisdictional authority over household movers in California. So double drive time exists and it’s legal! Double driving time can be applied only for the local moves when the distance between the pickup and delivery locations is in the range between 5 and 100 miles.


Maximum Rate Tarrif 4 (the set of laws moving companies have to abide in California) states the following:
“In computing charges accruing under the hourly rates contained in Item 320, the time used shall be the total of loading, unloading and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination,..”


Whatever time movers spend driving between your current home and a new one must be doubled. If multiple trips are required then only the first trip should be doubled while all other trips would be calculated as straight time.

For example, you are moving Sherman Oaks to Santa Monica and it takes 45 minutes for movers to get from the pickup address to the destination one. Then the double drive time will be: 45 min x 2 = 1.5 hrs.

Please note that trucks drive slower than regular vehicles and can’t get to your new place as fast as you would.


The Bureau established the double driving time for consumers’ (people moving within California) protection. Back in the years, moving companies charged ‘port to port’: once a moving crew left its parking clock would start for their client; then upon delivery movers would add time to drive from your new home back to the movers’ office. Such practice was not very transparent thus double-driving time was imposed. If you don’t trust your movers, you can follow their truck, and you’ll know the exact driving time thus double driving time as well.
Unfortunately, some people think that movers are not supposed to be paid while they are on the road “because” they are not working. First of all, moving companies have to pay its workers as soon as they get into the truck; movers are on the clock until they get back to the company’s parking lot and minus meal break(s.) That’s the California law. Secondly, moving companies are in business to make money. It’s a difficult business with low profit margin because of the high costs of fuel, trucks, payroll taxes, worker’s compensation insurance, etc. So if the moving companies were not paid for double driving they could not simply survive.


EasyBusy is a group of licensed movers offering local moving services in the Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area. We also specialize in long-distance moving within California. Feel free to call us if you need moving services in California. We will do everything you become our fan.
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