Choosing a removal company – questions you should ask before you book
Moving house or office is a big upheaval for everyone involved and can be very stressful if you
encounter issues with your removal company.
Use our comprehensive list of questions to ensure you are getting the right service from your removal firm from the outset.
- Before you move ask the removal company to come and complete a survey of your existing property to confirm the volume of your possessions. This will ensure they give you an accurate final costing. Don’t be afraid to ask for a fixed price.
- How long will the move take, how many people will be working on your move? What time should you expect the crew to arrive / leave?
- Are their staff employed or contracted? Casual staff may not be as careful with your possessions.
- Ask for details of their insurance, what is covered and what is not. Check you don’t need additional cover for expensive or precious items.
- Check if they are members of BAR (British Association of Removers) or are approved by Trading Standards. Check reviews, references and feedback from previous customers – additional information should also be available online. Find out how long they have been trading for.
- What is their delays policy? Some removal companies will charge extra for each hour of delay, which can often be outside your control, especially if you are waiting for confirmation from the solicitor of your property transaction.
- If they require a parking permit for your existing or new house, do they deal with this or is it something else to add to your too do list?
- What size vehicles do they use? Larger vehicles are often quicker and more economical.
This is especially important if you are moving to or from a small or narrow road. A smaller vehicle and more trips may be your best option. If the removal firm has not conducted a house survey take pictures of any potential access issues and provide them to the removal company so they can choose the most appropriate vehicle for the job.
- Ask for full details of the company including full address and phone numbers, this will enable you to check references but also allow you to visit their location. Make sure you follow up their references.
- What is their complaints procedure?
- Do you need to pay in advance or on the day? If they ask to be paid in cash, question them. Most reputable companies will take a cheque or credit card.
- Do they provide a packing service? You may not need this but if you have other commitments it can be the quickest and most efficient way to move.
- Are boxes included? Are you limited on the amount you can use? Do boxes need to be returned? If they do, how long do you have to do this? Do they provide tape?
- Ask about specialist boxes for items such as clothes in a wardrobe or wine boxes.
- How do they protect your furniture, do they use blankets or have specialist covers?
- Do they offer storage facilities?
- Will they disconnect my cooker / washing machine / dishwasher?
- Don’t forget your garage and garden. Some garden pots can be extremely heavy – make sure you inform your removals company if you plan on taking them with you.
- Flammable substances like paint, matches, gas bottles etc., may not be allowed to travel in the removals van, check if you need to move them yourself.
Price is not always everything. These people will be in your home and moving your possessions. How quickly do they respond to your phone calls or emails? Make sure you feel comfortable with the company you choose and the day should go smoothly.
If you pack your own belongings and use a removal company registered with BAR (The British Association of Removers – www.bar.co.uk) your items will be covered to a maximum of £40 per item.
If a professional removal company pack your belongings you have the option to take out additional insurance to cover more valuable or sentimental items.