Residential property specialist, Victoria Cranwell, explains everything you will need to consider when choosing a removals company.
Victoria is available on 01225 462871. Alternatively, you can contact her by email, or by completing the Contact Form at the foot of this page. Conveyancing quotes are also available online.
So, completion day has arrived, and unless you’ve chosen to move yourself, the first tangible sign that things are really going to happen is the arrival of the removals van. Its crew are the experts responsible for the daunting task of carefully moving pretty much everything you own to your new home. But don’t forget, they really do know what they’re doing. Packing, handling, stowing, securing, transporting, and finally, unpacking – they’ll almost certainly make a far better job of it than you or me!
Choosing a removals company
Choosing a removals company invariably comes down to price, recommendation, or a bit of both. Your conveyancing solicitor is always a good source for local recommendations.
In terms of cost, the amount will come down to a number of factors, including:
- the amount of goods to be transported.
- the distance.
- the size of crew required.
- whether or not they will be packing.
When you’re obtaining quotes, a representative should visit your home to get a feel for the job and to discuss your options. Firms that offer a quote over the phone should not inspire confidence. No matter how strong your powers of description, nothing beats seeing potential issues such as tight or restricted access, the quantity and nature of your belongings etc. Greater awareness means better planning is possible and therefore a greater likelihood of everything running smoothly on moving day.
Although they should form a standard part of the discussion, don’t forget to show the representative the contents of your loft and garage. It’s also important to highlight any potential issues they’ll encounter on arrival at your new property. The representative will advise you whether the council or the police need to be contacted regarding parking restrictions at either or both ends of the move.
A good removals company will highlight ways of keeping the cost down, typically by you sourcing your own packing materials and/or undertaking some or all of the packing yourself.
If you’re moving a considerable distance, consider obtaining at least one quote from a firm in the area you’re moving to. Prices there may be more competitive. Always obtain at least two, and preferable three, quotes, and request each quote be broken down for easier comparison between items such as packing costs, insurance, mileage rate, and any storage costs. Be aware that some firms apply overtime rates. If so, when do they kick in?
Remember to check the removers’ level of insurance cover to ensure it’s adequate for your possessions. Will your high value items be covered, and do they require special packaging? Liability may be limited to a certain amount per box unless you inform them of the value of its contents. Of course, this may raise the price of your quote, but that needs to be balanced against the cost of any damage. Also, what is the time limit for making a claim under their policy?
While you may opt to undertake some of the packing yourself to reduce costs, be aware that the removers’ insurance policy won’t cover items packed by you. So, allow them to pack your breakable items to ensure they’re covered.
Always anticipate the worst. What happens if conveyancing completion is delayed or the move cannot proceed on the chosen day for any other reason? This is an issue the removals company will invariably have encountered before, and they should have contingency plans.
Providing a briefing sheet to your chosen removals company before moving day is very helpful. Keep the format simple and easy to follow, highlighting in particular:
- items you’re moving yourself.
- any awkward, delicate, or difficult to move items.
- anything requiring special packing, eg pictures, antiques, or other valuables.
- any furniture that requires dismantling.
- any curtains and carpets going with you.
Also include a floor plan of your new property, indicating what is going where on arrival.