As you’re preparing for your next home or office move, you’ve likely run across the double drive time law and wondered what it is and if it’s legal. It’s a common question, and we’re here to help.
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What is double drive time?
All California movers are required to abide by the laws of the California Public Utilties Commision (CPUC). Within these laws 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 shall be the total of loading, unloading and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination.’
Unfortunately, ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ are interpreted differently by some moving companies. The generally accepted interpretation is the actual driving time between the customers origin location (the address you’re moving out of) to the destination location (the address you’re moving in to) is doubled and charged at the hourly mover rate.
Why do they charge double drive time?
As confusing as it may be, CPUC requires all moving companies 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 and the moving company is responsible for the driving time between their warehouse and the origin location.
Questions to Ask Your Moving Company
What does “origin” mean?
Unfortunately the law is vague, and the definition of “origin” is not universal. Generally the point of origin is considered the home or office you’re moving out of, but some moving companies define the origin as their warehouse, be sure to ask.
What does “destination” mean?
Much like the point of origin, how the destination is defined is equally vague. Generally your new home of office that you’re moving in to is considered the destination, but some moving companies define the destination as their warehouse, be sure to ask.
Do you have a fuel surcharge?
In addition to double drive time, some moving companies also add a fuel surcharge, be sure to ask about this.
Is the drive time rounded?
Most moving companies round to the nearest 15 minutes (both up and down), be sure to ask.
The Actual Double Drive Time Law
For those that are curious, we’ve included the complete double drive time law below, as well as a link to the source on the CPUC website.
CPUC Website Link: Link
1. 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, subject to EXCEPTIONS 1 through 3.
EXCEPTION 1 – When carrier is required to perform more than one trip between origin and destination, the time used shall be the total of loading and unloading time, to which will be added double driving time for the first trip from origin to destination and actual driving time for all additional trips between origin and destination for each motor vehicle furnished by carrier.
EXCEPTION 2 – When two or more shipments are transported on a unit of equipment at the same time, the time used shall be the total of loading and unloading time plus 25 minutes total driving time for each shipment.
EXCEPTION 3 – When split pickup, split delivery or split pickup and split delivery in combination is performed, the time used shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of Items 148, 152, or 156, respectively.
About The Author
If you’re moving in the San Francisco Bay Area, save yourself time, money and hassle and rent reusable plastic moving boxes from Brute Box Moving. Our boxes are durable, waterproof and secure, and the best part is they require no tape or assembly! Get started at a our rental pricing page.
Need storage? We can help you out with that too! Check out our sister company Brute Storage and get started here: http://brutestorage.com/