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Double drive time

If you're considering a move in California and looking to hire professional movers, it's essential to understand the costs involved, including the Double Drive Time (DDT) mandated by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) laws. This may be your first encounter with DDT, and you might be questioning its legality and rationale. We're here to clarify this for you.

Understanding Double Drive Time

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) enforces the Double Drive Time Law (DDT), which obligates movers in California to charge double the time it takes to travel from the move's starting point to the destination at the contracted hourly rate. This requirement is uniform across all moving companies operating within the state.

The specific wording of the CPUC statute is:

"The time used shall include the total time for loading, unloading, and twice the driving time from the starting point to the destination."

You might think, "That seems excessive, is that really allowed?" The CPUC instituted the Double Drive Time Law to promote transparency among moving companies and safeguard consumers.

Indeed, while it might initially seem punitive to pay double, there are good reasons and benefits to this law for you as a consumer.

Key Aspects of Double Drive Time (DDT) You Should Know:

Warehouse: This term refers to the moving company’s main office or storage facility. With the double drive time rule, the moving company is not permitted to start billing the hourly rate from the time they leave this warehouse to head to your current home.

Origin: This is your current home or the starting point of the move. Charges begin to accumulate once the moving truck departs from its warehouse and reaches this origin point, covering services like loading and unloading.

Destination: This is your new home. The movers will bill you for the time or distance from the origin to this destination, doubling the drive time to account for their return trip.

The Purpose of Double Drive Time:

As mentioned, the rationale behind Double Drive Time is consumer protection. It prevents moving companies from having complete control over the pricing, allowing you to have a clear expectation of the driving duration from your old home to the new one.

Charges apply strictly from the point of origin to the destination, not including the mover's return to their warehouse or any detours.

This method also compensates for the movers' return trip without you directly paying for the round-trip mileage, ensuring that only the relocation work between your old and new residences is billed.

Why Movers Charge Double Drive Time

Prior to adopting double drive time, movers charged using a method called "Portal to Portal." This older method often resulted in less transparency and higher charges, as it included all travel from the mover’s warehouse to your old and new locations, and back. The double drive time method simplifies this to a more understandable and fair system, reducing surprise fees and enhancing customer protection.

The Maximum Rate Tariff 4 document provides further details and exceptions to these rules, which can be complex.

Exceptions to Double Drive Time:

The Maximum Rate Tariff 4 also lists exceptions to the standard double drive time calculation, accommodating unique moving situations and additional services that may be necessary.

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.” – Maximum Rate Tariff 4

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.”


Example A:

1.5 hours of loading + 15 minutes of driving (x2) + 1.5 hours of unloading = 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Example B:

2 hours of loading + 20 minutes of driving (x2) + 2 hours of unloading = 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Example C:

2 hours of loading + 40 minutes of driving (x2) + 1 hour of unloading = 4 hours and 20 minutes.

For very short moves, we automatically waive the DDT for journeys between 5 to 10 minutes. You can view the full details in the Maximum Rate Tariff 4.

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Local Orange County Movers provides a wide range of relocation services to both residential and commercial clients with more than 10 years of experience. We are licensed and insured by State of California.

3420 Bristol St Ste 600-D, Costa Mesa CA 92626

CAL-T 200179
USDOT 4131607
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(657) 231-0555