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moving house - frequently asked questions about moving home Help moving house by

Moving House Faq's

Moving House FAQ

We have put together the most common questions we get asked. We hope we have covered most of the questions asked when moving home, however if you have a specific question please contact us and we will endeavor to answer it, if we cannot we will try to point you in the right direction. Just click on the questions to see the answers.

Why should I avoid a Friday?

Even though the weekend gives you time to settle in to your new pad, in reality it is the worst day of the week to move house. Not only do some removal companies charge extra to move you on this day but if you experience problems or delays such as transaction of monies, you will have to wait until Monday to sort the problems out and in the meantime incur all sorts of charges.

How far in advance do I need to book a Removal Company?

As soon as possible. Get a number of quotes and once you are happy and comfortable with the company book A.S.A.P, this way you will get the removal company of your choice. Remember a good removal company will get booked up weeks in advance. The end of the month and Friday is the most popular time so try to book mid-week and mid month, some removal companies will give you a discount if you pick this time.

How long will my removal take?

How long is a piece of string? Removals (moving your home) differ so much form move to move, depending on many factors. The average move (if such a thing exists) will take up to lunch time to load, at which point you hand over your keys and pick up the keys to your new house. After a break for lunch the removal crew will then unload your possessions into your new home. Unloading is usually quicker because the removal crew aren't trying to pack everything into a small space (the van) and would ideally be finished around 4 o'clock. Just remember there is no such thing as the average and the removal companies use your time constraints, how far they have to walk to work how many staff to use to try to have you out by lunch time.
Remember to ask your removal company on their estimated times for being loaded and unloaded.

Do I really need 3 quotes; wont they be all the same price?

Yes it is really important. You will be able to see price differences and if your first choice of removal company is fully booked on the day you plan to move you have another removal company to fall back on. Moving quotes are a free of charge service, do not pay for this service. We offer a free of charge no obligation service where you fill out your details and we forward to removal companies to quote directly. Prices do vary, always get a quote in writing, check the small print and that it includes all the services required, i.e. if you are moving into storage that it also includes to move out. Check also if you are moving into storage for a fixed time that if you overrun the storage rates are still reasonable.

Is there a set rate for a removal job?

The only set rates for removals are generally an hourly rate. Often used by small man and van companies. Many factors can influence a move, these include access availability, distance moving as well as a persons contents of their home. Companies prefer to look at a move then the can be prepared for any problems like parking.

How do removal companies come up with quotation prices?

The cost of a home removal is calculated by calculating loading time, unloading time and time traveling to the destination. As well as this how many porters it will take to clear the property in the given time frame. Long distances add considerably to the price of a removal; because of high fuel prices (removal vehicles only managing around 10-20 miles to the gallon), labour costs as wages still have to be paid even though the porters are not working just traveling and enjoying the view.
Restrictions on the hours a driver can drive for also come into play. Night out money (subsistence), parking costs and wear and tear on a vehicle have to be included as well. If you do have a long distance to move have a cup of tea ready for your movers when they arrive, after all they have just spent the night sleeping in the van protecting your belongings.

If moving long distance what happens when they cannot make it in a day?

The logistics of a long distance move should be confirmed with your mover before moving day. If you are not picking up your keys until the middle of the day, you don't want the company turning up at your new address first thing in the morning. Talk to your mover, they can nearly always work around your situation. If you are using a removal company local to the area you are moving from, they may be able to pack the majority of your items the day before, collecting a few items first thing the next morning and traveling down to your new home. Remember a removal wagon fully loaded does not travel very fast. A driver of a vehicle over 3.5t can only legally drive for 41/2 hours after which they then have to stop for a break for a minimum of 45 minutes before driving for another 41/2 hours. They then have to park in a safe place and not move the vehicle for another 10 hours.

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What questions do I need to ask a removal company in order to quote?

  • Ask about the company's history. How long have they been trading?
  • Do they offer insurance and at what level? What is and what is not covered? Is there an excess?
  • If you have to take out any more insurance first check with your own household insurance policy as you may already be covered. Household polices however normally do not cover for things like dents and scratches, loss or damage due to strikes, weather conditions or delay. Anything that is not professionally packed and unpacked by recognised professional removal company.
  • Ask about the logistics of the move. What time the van will arrive? What is the estimated time to finish loading up and time of completion.
  • Will the work be carried out by themselves and not farmed out to another company?
  • Do they have any references, can you contact past clients?
  • Are they a member of any of the trade associations or part of a larger group of companies. Download our printable question sheet so you have this to hand if a company visits or you call.
What questions may they ask me?
  • Where are you moving to?
  • What is the access like (for parking & getting furniture in)?
  • Do you have a date to move?
  • Are the new owners moving in on the same day?
  • If so what time do they require access at?
  • What time are you anticipating access to your new property?
  • Do you need a packing service? Could be a full pack or just breakables?
  • Is there any specific items you have concerns about i.e. glass tables, oversize objects, American fridge or antiques.
  • Will you require cartons?

Should I get a contract?

Yes, it is important to get everything in writing even if you have agreed dates and times on the phone. Good removal companies will do this as standard practice, make sure to check all their terms and conditions especially cancellation policies. Remember to confirm your moving date and time as so many breakdown/complaints have occurred with customers not confirming dates with removal companies.

Will the movers disconnect the cooker and other appliances?

NO. By law electrical and gas work should be done by a qualified trades person. However some removal companies will do some appliances, while others will not touch anything. If they do, this is as a favour to the customer but it is at your own risk. They will stress they cannot be held liable for any damages if any problems are encountered. The washing machine is something that they can usually disconnect and should be straight forward. However problems can happen usually with the taps which are never used, you only find out they don't work when you come move the washing machine.

Should I ask a company to visit me?

If a company does ask to come out and visit your property to clarify what you have to move, then we do highly recommend this. It allows you to receive a more accurate price and you can also get a feel for the company. Remember you are going to invite these people into you lives for a whole day and entrust them with your prized possessions. If you don't feel comfortable with them they will not be able to keep you happy and smiling through what is one of the most stressful periods in your life.

What packages are available from removal companies?

Most removal companies will offer a number of services. The first is full pack where they will pack all items in the house, provide all packing materials and if required place items into the new property as requested. The second is part pack where they will pack only fragile and delicate items, you then pack most of the other items yourself. The next is just the removal where you pack all your boxes and they move them along with your furniture. Additional services may be cleaning and rubbish clearance.

I have removal quotes that differ in price wildly, why?

If all the removal companies have visited to view your home and the contents to be moved, the difference in price is likely to be down to overheads. Smaller removal companies have smaller overheads, less full-time and office staff allowing them to be cheaper, do double check that they are all quoting for the same work to be done. When you are happy make sure you get a contract stating what you require to be done and the price the companies has agreed to do the work for.

I am thinking of using a man and van, is this ok?

As long as you do your research on a company, get everything in writing then they should be no problem with using a man and van for smaller moves or students. The problems occur for larger moves when they don't have the correct van size. Remember if you don't get the keys until lunchtime they are unable to unload the first load until then. With a house still full of furniture waiting to picked up on a second load you can guarantee the new owners will arrive wanting to unload themselves. If you already have keys then it can work well to do a number of trips.

A removal company has asked for money up front, should I be worried?

Most companies today ask for a deposit to secure your moving date or the full amount. However some BAR (British Association of Removals) do ask for the full amount to be paid in full before the moving day. All BAR (British Association of Removals) members are covered by an advance payment guaranteed which covers customers in the event of a removal company ceasing trading.

How does self storage work?

Get quotes from at least three self storage companies, prices can vary from area to area so do get quotes. We offer a free storage quote request to save you time. Many storage companies offer special deals and discounts i.e. student storage, long term storage rates even free van hire so ask the local branch. Once you have chosen your company it is best to visit the storage facility before hand to get a feel for the place. You can also ask about security and check the opening hours, giving you an idea of the times you can gain access. Remember that it could take up to 3 hours to unload your belongings into your room/unit so don't arrive at the store 5 mins before they close. Not all the rooms will be on the ground floor. Most Self Storage companies have large lifts, but also be prepared to have to carry items upstairs.

I am thinking of doing it myself, is this a good idea?

It can be hard work, but in some situations can work out to be cheaper and more convenient. We have put together a Pros and Cons DIY vs Professional Mover which will help way up the options. Advice on moving yourself can also be found at Moving Yourself Advice page

How can I cut costs?

If you can avoid moving on a Friday, and move mid-week you can normally get a better rate. If you can pack yourself this will bring the costs down. Also get a quote for your removal company to supply boxes and one without. Most will say free boxes included but cardboard is so expensive nowadays it is normally hidden in the quote. Be organised and declutter, don't pay for items to be moved that you will never use again. With your quote you can normally negotiate a little on price however don't be surprised if they don't come down hugely as most reputable companies should be offering you a fair price in the first place.

How can I change my address details?

You can use our free of charge, address change service provided by They offer a free change of address service that is safe and secure.

Most common question asked - Why are Removal Companies so expensive?

We hear this so often. Overall this is a little unfair and will try to explain why. Remember we also often hear the phrase "I moved myself last time, never again!".

The price of moving is made up of many components and there is no such thing as the average move. Be very wary of the websites with a price for the average house move, you will either be paying too much from the beginning, or there will be extra hidden costs. Because of the logistics of moving house a removal crew can only usually manage one move a day. Two porters and a driver are the usual combination and this can be anything from an 8-16 hour day depending on distance traveling and delays with traffic jams or access to your new home with late keys. Wages have to be paid for both workers on the move and office staff back at the base. Vehicle costs which initial purchase plus running costs and on top of this there is fuel and we all know how expensive this is. A decent sized removal vehicle will only manage 8-18 mpg. You also have to take into account maintenance, tax, insurance premiums. The office staff, boxes, equipment used transit blankets for example, estimators visits to people they are moving and the ones they haven't manage to move. All the training the porters have had before they arrive to move you.

This may be a lot of money if you think you are able to do it yourself, but in general, a DIY move is only really suitable for smaller moves or if you already have the keys.

Should I tip my removal crew?

Firstly only tip if you have had a good service. If you have, then the removal team would really appreciate it and small gesture is always welcome.


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