Moving house can be an expensive business. There are estate agents’ fees if you are selling and stamp duty if you are buying. Not to be ignored are solicitors and building surveyor costs and this is all before you even move.
The last pieces of the jigsaw are the removal costs and there could also be storage costs if you can’t move everything in straight away.
From a moving perspective this looks like a pretty easy exercise – just get three companies around for a quote and pick the cheapest. Simples! Sadly it is not that easy and there are some other factors which you need to consider.
1. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. The best way to check this is to see if they are members of the British Association of Movers (BAR). The BAR have a code of practice which all members must follow or risk being excluded. A removals company that isn’t a member is a bit like a gas man without a CORGI registration.
2. Use a company you recognise as a well-known brand – they’ll have a reputation to protect.
3. Check that your company employs their removal men properly rather than hiring them off the street. The wisdom of this needs no explaining.
4. Speak to a friend or colleague who has moved recently. Ask who they used and whether the experience was good.
5. If you are working to a tight budget, you could do the packing yourself. This does involve some dangers but it’s a good way to save some money. The potential pitfall is that the removal company will not be able to provide goods-in transit insurance if you have done the packing. Good removals companies will hand-wrap all items where appropriate and make sure they are placed carefully in the right sized boxes. If you are doing the packing, remember to put room-destination labels on your boxes.
You can also do the unpacking and, again, this will save significant amounts of money. You might want to check your own household insurance details to see if you have cover for the items whether they be furniture, antiques or books when they are packed by you.
6. Getting three quotes can be very time consuming and costly, especially if you have to take time off work. Removals can be booked on the telephone with companies like Aussie Man and Van who will offer an hourly rate once they understand the size of vehicle and the number of men you need.
7. Most removal companies can provide storage facilities at much cheaper rates than self-storage companies; they do not have the huge expense of fitting out a self-storage warehouse so prices are often over 50% cheaper. Get a quote to reassure yourself. If you need regular access to your items, check access charges.