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Cost guide: removals

Keep the cost of moving house down with this advice from a recommended removals company.

Professional pack and move

Type of job

Packing, dismantling, moving and reassembly of all belongings.

What adds expense?

Unexpected changes to the job that are only discovered on move day can add cost.

'The removals company might have to arrange for an extra member of staff or a larger lorry because they weren’t aware of the full inventory,' says Removals Expert Ltd’s Syed Ashar Ali.

How can I make it cheaper?

'Rather than getting a quote on the phone, choose a removals company that is willing to send someone to your property to have a look at your packing and moving requirements,' says Syed. 'Get a fixed quote to avoid nasty surprises on move day.'

Which? Trusted Traders has removals experts in your area. Read on for more cost-saving tips.

 

Save money by asking your removals firm to provide you with boxes so that you can pack clothes and other personal belongs yourself. You can leave the professionals to deal with kitchenware, furniture and other fragile or bulky items rather than packing the whole house.

Small house or flat move

Type of job

A small removal for a one-bed house or flat move.

What adds expense?

Having the professionals pack a small flat or house adds cost to the move. 'Instead, order boxes, bubble wrap and other packing material online and pack your belongings yourself,' suggests Syed. 'Make sure you order ‘double walled’ boxes as poorer quality ones can collapse when stacked, potentially damaging your possessions.'

How can I make it cheaper?

'When getting quotes, tell the removals companies that you will be taking care of all the items which require dismantling, as well as packing yourself. If all that’s required is moving you from one home to another, you should be able to get reasonable and comparable prices,' says Syed

Parking is the customer's responsibility at both the old and new property. If your removals company has not mentioned this, contact the local council(s) to arrange permission or a permit for parking. Having a parking suspension right in front of the property makes everything easier and quicker. Most councils require 14 days’ notice to do this.

Large properties and ‘mansion moves’

Type of job

Packing and moving of a large house which includes antiques, pianos, fine art and so on.

What adds expense?

Syed says: 'In this case, customers are usually more worried about the safe transport of their belongings than the cost of the job. As such, inexperienced removals staff or those without specialist packing materials are the biggest risk as valuable items could be damaged.'

'When getting a quote, ask the company how they plan to transport valuable and fragile items. Check that they have sofa and mattress covers, television sleeves, wardrobe boxes and so on to protect your belongings and clothes.'

How can I make it cheaper?

Undertake the packing of items that aren’t fragile or valuable yourself,' says Syed. 'A good removals company will be able to loan or sell you quality packing materials.'

 

If you’re in a chain of people moving house, let your removals company know in advance to make sure you hand over the keys on time.

Man and van service

Type of job

Studio flats, one-bedroom flats or student moves.

What adds expense?

'If you don’t book your removals service well in advance, you might find yourself paying over the odds for peak-time removals, such as during weekends,' says Syed.

How can I make it cheaper?

'Most removal companies offer a man and van service where you only pay for the number of hours worked,' says Syed. 'You can keep the cost down by making sure you have the right size van to avoid more than one trip, and enough staff to get the move done efficiently. It’s better to slightly overestimate the time required rather than face penalties for taking much longer than estimated.'

Label your boxes ‘kitchen’, ‘living room’ and so on to save time when unpacking.”

Flat or apartment move

Type of job

Move of a flat or apartment on a floor above or below ground level without a lift.

What adds expense?

Syed says: 'Failing to mention that your flat is above or below ground level or doesn’t have a lift can add unexpected cost on move day because the right number of staff may not be allocated.'

How can I make it cheaper?

'When getting quotes, tell the removals companies about anything that will make the job more difficult, such as access problems or small doorways,' says Syed. 'Try to get quotes from at least three firms and ask whether they offer a fixed price.'

His final tip is, 'Don’t forget to ask about insurance. Make sure you get adequate cover and that it’s included in your quote.'

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