Everything you need to know about Removal Services
Moving home is a really daunting process from the time you are looking for your new home, to offering and having your offer accepted, throughout the legal process, to exchange, completion and then moving day. Many people say it’s one of the most stressful things you will do in your life so being organised and knowing everything you can in the build-up and on the day will ease some of the pressure that naturally comes with probably spending the most amount of money you will ever spend in your lifetime. Here are some Removal Services FAQ’s which will help you when you are moving home.
Should I use a Removal Company when moving house?
A good and well-established, reputable removal company will really take out some of the stress on your moving day and in the weeks leading up to your move. They will have the experience, expertise and removal services to manage your move and will be efficient in packing boxes, loading and unloading your belongings so you are out of your house at the time you legally need to be and into your new home as soon as you get the keys.
What should I look for in a Removal Company?
There are lots of removal companies out there and they will range from one person with a van to larger removal companies who have a fleet of vehicles of all sizes to move your belongings as well as a team of removers and removal services. We would always advise that you ask family members and friends for recommendations for removal companies and look at the companies reviews before you book them for your moving day. If you are considering hiring one person with a van always be aware of the potential downfalls of this. Although it will be cheaper it can make your moving day stressful if there is illness or if their van breaks down. A single mover will have to make numerous trips to and from your new home to unload and if they don’t have a vehicle big enough to move all of your belongings in one go then it is really difficult to get out of your existing home in one go at the time you legally have to and where do you store your belongings whilst they are being moved in several journeys whilst you are waiting for the keys to your new home.
When should I start looking for Removal Companies?
As soon as you have had your offer accepted then we would advise you to start looking for removal services in your local area. This way you can invite them round to do an assessment of your home and belongings and ask them to talk you through the different removal services they offer and give you a quote.
- Self-packing, where you pack everything up prior to your move date and they come in and load and unload your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- Your removal company packing your home up the day before your moving day and loading and unloading your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- Your removal company dismantling your furniture and packing your home up the day before your moving day, and then loading and unloading your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- If you need to store any belongings or furniture for a short time in their storage facilities that these charges are also included in your quote but listed as storage charges and not lumped into the overall moving charges
- Ask them why you should use their services?
- Check their quote includes your garden and garden belongings, including plant, pots etc
- What happens if your moving date changes in the week leading up to your move?
- How many people will be in their moving crew?
- Do they supply moving boxes, crates and clothes carriers and is there a cost to these?
You will be able to see some variations in price, however, if you have a preferred removal company but another cheaper quote then always go back to them and ask them what they can do on their price. If you get 3 comparable quotes then if your first choice removal company is fully booked on the day you plan to move then you have another removal company to fall back on.
Moving assessments are free of charge so never pay for this service. We would advise anyone against a removal company giving you a quote over the phone and not visiting your home as they could increase their cost when they arrive on your moving day. Removal prices and services do vary so always get a quote in writing, check the small print and ensure it includes all the services that you need, i.e. if you are moving belongings into storage that this part of the moving is also included as well as storage costs. It’s also a good idea to check if your storage overruns that their storage rates are still reasonable as this catches a lot of people out.
How many quotes should I get from Removal Companies?
Always try and get 3 quotes from removal companies well in advance of you moving so you have time to check your quotes, the services they are offering and check their T&C’s. Always let them know you are getting 3 quotes and always ask them to quote for comparable services so that you can compare prices so, for example, ask for 4 quotes from each:
- Loading and unloading your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- Packing your home up the day before your moving day and loading and unloading your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- Dismantling your furniture and packing your home up the day before your moving day, and loading and unloading your belongings in one journey on your moving day
- If you need to store belongings for a short time that these charges are also included in your quote but listed as storage charges and not lumped into the overall moving charges
Do I really need to get 3 quotes for removal services?
Yes, yes and yes, this is really important to make sure you don’t get ripped off. Always meet with the company who will be coming into your home to move your belongings as you need to be able to trust them and also make sure you get the right removal services for you, your family, your budget and your moving situation.
Is there a set rate for removal services?
There really isn’t a set rate for removal services, it depends on the size of your home, your belongings, your furniture, the removal service you want and need and the distance from your home to your new home. If you are relocating then this will add additional cost to your removal service for the extra time and fuel costs.
How do removal companies come up with their quotation prices?
Good removal companies will have the experience to come into your home and quickly establish how long it will take them to pack your belongings, load their vehicle and unload at the other end and this is how your removal quote will be calculated as well as the distance between your old and new home.
What questions do I need to ask a removal company when they come to quote?
- Ask about the company’s history and how long have they been trading
- Do they have their own insurance and what does it cover
- What is and what is not covered in their insurance and what values are covered
- Do they have an excess and is this payable by you if any of your belongings are damaged
- Do they offer additional insurance and how much does it cost. If you have to take out any more insurance check with your own household insurance policy as you may already be covered. Household policies don’t normally cover things like dents and scratches, loss or damage due to strikes, weather conditions or delay when you are moving so always check this with them and your removal company
- Ask what time the removal crew and van will arrive, how long it will take them to load and what time you will be leaving your existing home
- Will your removal be carried out solely by them and their employed workers and not subcontracted out to another removal company
- Can they offer you feedback from previous customers and are you able to contact them directly for their feedback
- Are they a member of any of the trade associations or part of a larger group of removal companies
- Will you receive a contract and confirmation of their service being guaranteed for your moving date
- What packages and services do they offer? Always ask them to talk you through this and provide you with quotes for each service as you may be surprised at the cost and how much time and stress it will relieve in the weeks leading up to your move if they do the packing the day before for you
What questions will a removal company be likely to ask me?
If they don’t ask you a lot of these questions then you should be wary about using them as they won’t have a full picture and be able to plan your move day, and this will cause you added stress on your moving day.
- Where is the property you are you moving to?
- What is the parking access like for your new home for unloading and moving boxes, crates and furniture into your new home?
- Do you have a moving date confirmed or is it still an estimated move date?
- Are the new owners moving into your existing home on the same day as you?
- What time do the new owners need access to your/their new property?
- What time will you have access to your new property?
- Do you need a packing service? Removal companies often offer varying levels of packing services so always ask them to break these down for you and provide you with quotes for them as you may want a full pack or just breakable items
- Are there any specific items you have concerns about i.e. glass tables, oversize objects, high-value items, large fridge/freezers, furniture or antiques.
- Will you need boxes, crates and clothes storage if you are packing yourself? Good and reputable removal companies will be able to supply you with these and pick them up at a later date after you have had time to unpack
- Which large items are you taking with you?
- Do you want them to dismantle any furniture to move and do you want it reassembled in your new home?
- Will the cooker and other appliances be disconnected prior to your move date?
Can I get a quote if I don’t have a confirmed date?
Yes, you can get a quote for your removal service if you don’t have a confirmed date and we recommend that you get 3 quotes as soon as you can so you can choose the right removal company for you and your budget.
What should I look for in my removal quote?
Ask for each service to be broken down so you can see which service suits you and your budget before booking your removal service
Should I ask a removal company to visit me?
We highly recommend that a removal company come out to asses your property and belongings before they give you a quote. This ensures you get an accurate price, you get a feel for the company and you can ask any questions you may have before you book their service. You need to feel comfortable with the company that is coming into your home and being responsible for your treasured items so meeting them face to face is important. A good removal team will come into your home and be cheerful and efficient and not make you feel uncomfortable at any time.
How far in advance do I need to book a Removal Company?
As soon as you have an estimated moving time let your preferred removal company know so they can pencil you in. As you get through the legalities and paperwork you should ask your solicitor regularly for an estimated exchange and completion date. Don’t expect them to advise you of this and you should ask them for a completion date and any changes of date weekly or daily as the time gets nearer. It is surprising how much you have to chase and communicate with your solicitor during the moving process and you will find the sellers and buyers that chase and follow up will move a lot quicker than the ones that just leave it to their solicitor. When they give you a completion date this is when you can contact your removal company to book them. Larger and more established removal companies will have more flexibility of moving you as they will have lots of removal vehicles and removal crews compared to one person setups with a van.
Why should I avoid Friday moving dates?
A lot of people think they want to move on a Friday as it gives them the weekend to unpack and settle in their new home, however, the reality is, it is the worst day of the week to move. Some removal companies will charge you extra to move you on a Friday as people who are not in the know think its the best day to move. In addition to this, if you experience problems or delays with the transfer of money you then have to wait until Monday to sort the problems out, often incurring all sorts of charges not only from the people you are selling and buying from but potentially from everyone in your moving chain.
Why should I avoid the day before Bank Holiday moving dates?
The same as above, if there are problems with money transactions or exchange then you have to wait longer to sort it out and simple things such as your removal company not being able to move you on the changed date just adds to the stress.
How long will my removal take?
It really depends on the size of your home and how much you have to move. Always take time before you even put your house up for sale to declutter and get rid of items and furniture you no longer want or need as this will make your home look more appealing to prospective buyers, reduce your removal costs as well as taking you less time to pack and unpack when you get into your new home.
If moving long distance what happens when they cannot make it in a day?
If you are moving to a new home which is a long distance away then restrictions on the hours a driver can drive will come into play and your belongings will need to be stored securely in the removal vehicles overnight. Ask your removal company what they will do, how your belongings will be secured and ask them to explain their insurance and what the process is if anything happens to your belongings overnight. A good and experienced removal company will always work around your situation and give you the assurance of the best way to relocate your belongings.
Should I get a contract from my removal company when my moving date and their removal services are agreed?
Yes, it is important to get everything in writing from your removal company even if you have agreed dates and times on the phone. Experienced and established removal companies will do this as standard practice and will have set and standard terms & conditions that they have not made up on the spot in an email. Read their terms and conditions carefully especially their cancellation or moving date change policies. As soon as you have a confirmed completion and moving date from your solicitor always remember to confirm the date and time with your removal company and ask for confirmation in writing of this. You would be surprised but so many removal complaints happen when the removal date confirmation date is forgotten with all the other things happening when you are moving house.
Will removal companies disconnect your cooker and other appliances?
Removal companies will not do this and if they say they will then be wary as by law electrical and gas work should be done by qualified trades. Washing machines are normally the only appliance that they agree to disconnect on the day as it is normally straight forward but they normally advise you that they will not be liable for any damage occurred when this is being done. We would advise that you don’t leave any disconnection to the day of your move in case there are any issues with it on the day, you really don’t want a water leak as you are leaving your home.
What removal services are available from removal companies?
Most removal companies will offer a number of services which include:
- Full packing service where they will come into your home 24-48 hours prior to your move day and pack all items in your home and provide all packing materials. They will leave out any essential items that you need the night before and on the morning of your move, they will load everything into a suitably sized vehicle, transport it to your new property and unload your belongings at the other end when you have the keys
- Part packing service is where they will come in and just pack any fragile items, like crockery or ornaments and leave the rest for you to pack. Always plan your packing in the months and weeks leading up to your move as it always takes people by surprise of how long it actually all takes. On the morning of your move, your removal team will load everything into a suitably sized vehicle, transport it to your new property and unload your belongings at the other end when you have the keys
- Self Packing service is where you pack everything yourself in the weeks/days leading up to your move and it is ready to be loaded into the suitably sized vehicle by your removal team on the day of your move. They will then transport it to your new property and unload your boxes at the other end when you have the keys. If you are packing everything yourself then a good removal company will be able to supply you with boxes, crates and clothes storage in the weeks leading up to your move and will come and collect them in the weeks after when you have had chance to unpack
- In addition to any of the above services, good removal companies will offer a furniture dismantling and reassembling service as well
- Additional services may also include; cleaning and rubbish clearance but these are not always offered by removal companies
I have removal quotes that dramatically differ in price, why?
If the removal companies have visited your home and its content to be moved and the prices vary dramatically then always ask each company why there is such a difference as there may be additional benefits that you weren’t aware of, again always make sure you are comparing the same level of removal service. When you have chosen who you want to use then ensure you get a contract in writing stating the services you need, the agreed price as well as their terms and conditions.
I am thinking of using a single person and a van, is this wise?
Using a single or smaller company to move you is normally ok if you are a first-time buyer and don’t have many belongings or if you are a student. If you have a larger move then if they don’t have the correct van size and the time to load to ensure you leave your property at the legal time then this is a problem. Remember if you don’t get the keys until lunchtime and they are unable to unload the first load until then, what happens to the belongings that are left at your previous property. The new owners won’t be happy if they arrive and you still have furniture and boxes waiting to be picked up.
Will a removal company ask for money up front?
Established and reputable removal companies will ask you to pay a deposit to secure your moving date or some ask for the full amount. Make sure they are registered with BAR (British Association of Removals) before you pay any money up front. All BAR (British Association of Removals) members are covered by an advance payment guarantee which covers customers in the event of a removal company ceasing trading.
How does self-storage work?
Many removal companies offer secure and safe, short or long term storage solutions so always ask your removal company for quotes. If you are planning on storing items whilst or when you move then try and invite removal companies around to quote who have their own storage facilities or ones that are affiliated with storage facilities. Its always a good idea to visit your storage facility first so you can see the unit, its security and ask questions about how you will be able to access your belongings and if they have specific opening hours.
Is it a good idea to move myself?
Moving is really hard work, however, if it is your first home or you are a student with minimal belongings then moving and doing it yourself is a much cheaper option. If you have a lot of belongings and furniture then even drafting in family members and friends to help you move is really hard work. A good removal team is efficient, understands how to lift and move items safely and will quickly come into your home and move your belongings.
How can I minimise the cost of removal services?
Avoid moving on a Friday as a lot of removal companies will charge more for Friday moves. Pack yourself and use boxes that you have collected from stores, family and friends. Declutter before you move to save the cost of a removal company moving items you no longer want or need. Reputable and good removal companies will normally offer you a fair and reasonable price, however, don’t be afraid to negotiate to see if you can bring the cost down or if there are any parts of their service that they can remove and you not pay for.
Why are removal services expensive?
When you first start looking at removal costs you may be a little shocked if you haven’t used the service before, however, when you see the amount of work that goes into it, the vehicles that are used and the hours worked by the removal company which make your moving day much less stressful, you will appreciate the cost and it will be worth every penny.
Should I tip my removal crew?
If your removal team have provided you with a happy and efficient service then it is a lovely idea to give the team a tip and they will really appreciate it.
What is the BAR Association?
BAR is the trade association for removal and storage services in the UK. It represents and promotes more than 450 UK removals companies (1,000+ branches) as well as over 250 International Associates worldwide.
What AIM and what do they do to protect me?
If you are moving home, selecting a member of AIM will ensure your moves goes as smoothly as possible. You can rest assured you will be using a safe, trustworthy and legally compliant removal company with the additional back up of an independent complaint handling service in the unlikely event something goes wrong.
Do I need to have everything packed and ready?
If you choose a self-packing service with your removal company then everything that you want to be moved needs to be packed and ready to go on the morning of your move when your removal team arrive. A tip is to pack your boxes by room and write the room on the box so when your removal team unload your boxes they can unload them into the right room of your home. Number your bedrooms so your bedroom belongings don’t get mixed up and this will save you time when unpacking. We also recommend that you pack a moving day bag/box so that as soon as you get to your new home you have the things you need straight away:
- Kettle, Tea Bags/Coffee, Mugs
- Anything your baby or kids will absolutely need on the day. There is nothing more stressful than you trying to find something in a mound of boxes
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Can my mover pack everything for me?
Yes, good removal companies will offer a packing service and if you have a busy life then this is a service worth every penny.
Should I empty my wardrobes and drawers?
Check with your removal company when they visit but most companies will need drawers and wardrobes to be emptied before your moving day and they can normally provide you with cardboard wardrobes to easily transfer your hanging clothes into and back out of in your new home.
How will my furniture be protected?
Good removal companies will have insurance and you should always check this with them before you book with them. Ask them what is and what is not covered in their insurance and to what values. Ask to see your removal companies insurance details before you book with them.
What happens if I need to wait for keys on my move day?
No move ever goes to the times planned and your removal company will be well versed to this so be prepared and don’t get stressed about it. Ask your removal company before you book with them what happens with your belongings, their service and cost if there is a delay with you getting the keys to your new home.
Can I leave comments about my removal company and removal services?
Yes, always leave constructive comments about the removal services you have received. We would always advise that you leave it a couple of days before you do this as it will be the last thing you want to think about on your moving day.
We hope we have answered all your Removal Services questions and have put your mind at ease when you are preparing to move and try and enjoy it as much as you can as it will be a really exciting time for you and your family. If you need a Removal Service in Newcastle then Smartmove North East can help. Contact us on for a free no obligation survey and quote and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We are a reliable and well established Removal Company that has the experience to ensure your move goes smoothly.
Martyn works for Smartmove Northeast as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content for people looking for a removal company in Newcastle.