In an ideal world we would strongly recommend you get removal companies to visit you in person. Not only will you be able to get a feel for them but will also give you a chance to ask any questions or advise them of any special requirements you have. Remember you will be inviting their employees into your home, and entrusting your treasured possessions to them. It's too late when a battered and dirty van turns up and staff you do not feel comfortable with are in every room of your house.
Now we know in this day and age this is not always possible or convenient so the following advice aims to help finding a reputable removal companies easier as well as help you prepare for what questions may be asked.
Nowadays like anything else the internet makes it easy to find companies in your area. Our online from is easy to use and requests quotes directly from removal companies in your postcode area. It is really worth taking a minute to fill out the form as detailed as possible as you will get a more accurate price from companies. Upto 6 moving quotes in less than a minute
Choose the removal company that suits your needs. Not the cheapest. Everyone is different and ultimately the choice is yours. Forget for a moment the various prices in the quotations you have received, think about what it is you require from the removal firm and which one of them met your criteria the best. You might prefer to have a small family firm that pride themselves on their good name or a large multi national company that will be able to handle anything you throw at them.
A good removal company regardless of size should give you the following:
What removal companies will expect from the mover:
However you find your removal company BE HONEST with them. They are able to give you a more accurate quotation, allocate the right sized van and enough men to do the move if they know exactly what the removal entails. Even the smallest thing can have a bearing on the time spent on the move. If you already know that the wardrobes and beds had to be taken into the house through the bedroom window or that you have altered the stairs since the furniture was taken up, TELL THEM and they will be happy to bring along tools, ladders, extra men etc. Also remember that the amount of furniture and belongings you write down onto an inventory form will dictate the size of the removal lorry allocated to your move. You wouldn't want a lorry arriving that is too small!!!!
Choosing your removal company can be daunting but don't choose just on price, instead pick a remover that suits your circumstance, your requirements and one you like. Its a great stress buster when you have people helping you move that can make you laugh, removal men and women are used to putting a smile on stressed out customers faces
If you are having various company representatives to come and visit make sure you are prepared. They will want to look every where, under the stairs, inside cupboards and even under your beds. Anything that needs to go with you must be put on your inventory form or shown to the company representatives. It you do call up and ask several removal companies to give you a quote it is very important that you ask them all the same questions and to do exactly the same things, if not then you will receive quotes that not only vary widely, but are for completely different jobs. Start at the top of the house. With a pen & paper to make notes, have a look in the loft space. Is it all to go? Is it going to be brought down by yourselves or the removal men?*
* Health and Safety regulations apply. The individual companies will be able to tell you about this.
Don't forget the garage or the things outside, some plant pots/troughs can be extremely heavy, but again if you point these out they will be all taken into account. Any flammable substances like old tins of paint, creosote, paraffin, matches, gas bottles and similar things will not be allowed to go on the van as this will invalidate any insurance cover.
Anything that you are planning to dispose of, try and do so before any representatives visit. They are often told that items aren't to go and that they will be thrown out. When moving day arrives for all sorts of reasons items suddenly have to go. Because of this when you say "oh! these wardrobes aren't going" they will assume they will be and therefore will calculate these into your quotation.
If however you suddenly wanted any unwanted items e.g. if you couldn't sell or just changed your mind then you must let the removal company know. This will allow them to work out whether they will need a larger vehicle and needs to be done before the van arrives and the porters cannot fit everything on. The van and staff (porters) assigned to your move is calculated on the basis of what the representative has been shown or what you have stated on an inventory form.
Never assume either a representative preparing a quote or the porters on moving day will automatically know what is to go and what is not, even if a bag looks like rubbish they will take it into account as the old saying goes one mans rubbish is another mans treasure. A removal company or porter would never presume that something is rubbish, after many years you see and move all manner of things.
The most common items missed when showing a removal company representative around are outside plants, these actually take up the most room in the removal van as you are unable to stack anything on top of them, so don't forget to show them and the loft, shed and the garage.
You will have to go through everything, decide what you would like to keep, throw out, sell or give away. For lots of tips and hints on de-cluttering please visit section on DeClutter in the advice section of the website. If you separate everything into various piles it is easier to see what you have. The loft is always a good place to start, as nothing is in constant use and therefore can be boxed up well in advance. Books and videos are other items that are often not used frequently and could be sorted out and boxed.
Be ruthless, if not you will only have to pay for items to be transported to the new house, so sort through it now!
Keep a list of questions to ask your removal company, for example: In the bedrooms, who is going to dismantle the wardrobes and the beds if indeed they need to be?
Now is the chance to sort through your wardrobes and cupboards and have a good clear out. Take a moment to think about where they are going to go, remember you are the only one who has seen the property to which you are moving to. Remember to warn your removal company if you expect any difficulties, they will then be able to organise either extra men or ladders etc. If you don't, they won't, and you might end up with your bedroom furniture in the lounge of your new house or in the worse case still in the bedrooms of your old house.
As soon as you have a date get in touch with your first choice of removal firm, if they are booked up you have at least some more quotes to fall back on. Some companies can be booked up on your chosen date for moving weeks in advance. Remember try to avoid moving on a Friday. This is the most popular day especially at the end of a month. For logical reasons like work etc this is preferred day, unfortunately removal companies often inflate prices (not all of them) to help with the quieter days in the week. Also if for any reason their is a problem transferring funds everyone shuts and goes home for the weekend leaving you homeless and all your furniture in the van until the following (it can and does happen as the author knows to his own cost.). Legally you cannot gain entry to a property until all the funds have been cleared, the transfer also seems to take longer as well on a Friday sometimes as late as 4 o'clock.
Most companies won't take provisional bookings but ask them in case they do. Some will want either a deposit or full payment before the removal, and some will want paying on the day after the job is done. If you have booked a day and have to cancel check the small print on the "terms and conditions" you might have to pay a cancellation fee sometimes as much as 60% of the removal cost.
There is a place for everyone in this market, if you only have a small move or a student then this can be an ideal affordable option. However do your research on them, only use a company with a registered address and always get a landline number as well as a mobile. As long as the company is open and honest with the fact they are a man and van and don't have a website with stock photos claiming all things they are not. We do recommended man and van companies who have many years of good service and our visitors regularly offer feedback on them. However if you choose to find a company of your own then a simple review search on the internet may help as well.
For larger moves then we would strongly recommended a company more equipped for the job in hand. Not only will they be able to bring the right size vehicle so you can move in one slot they will also have a back up crew in case the main driver is off ill.
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