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11 Important questions you must ask your removals company

When you are moving house, it’s important that you choose a removals company suited to your requirements.

Don’t make the decision lightly. You should ask some key questions to ensure you know which company is the right fit, eleven of which we’ve outlined below.

1. Can you send a surveyor round to get an accurate moving quote?

Reputable removals companies will offer to visit your home for free so they can assess the belongings that you want moving.

They’ll then be able to give you an accurate quote, rather than offering you a standard – often inaccurate – one without actually having any of the important details which will determine the real cost.  

2. Can I see your insurance documents?

You should ensure your belongings are insured throughout the moving process.

Read the removals company’s insurance documents and, if you feel that the cover isn’t adequate, you may need to ask your own home insurance company if you are covered for any breakages or mishaps. Often, home insurance policies exclude goods in transit.

The removals company should be a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR) which sets the industry standards. 

3. What size lorry will I be allocated?

If you don’t ask, you may be in for a surprise on moving day when a small van arrives to do several trips.

You ideally want several large vans or one lorry that’s large enough to transport all of your belongings in one go, especially if it’s a long distance move.

4. Do you offer a packing service?

Removals companies can also pack for you, but expect to pay in the region of £20 an hour per packer, and you may have to pay for packing materials on top of this.

Make sure you get a quote in writing so that there are no surprises later on.

5. Are your employees trained?

Loading and unloading a removals lorry takes a lot of skill and you want to make sure that the people who are sent to do your move are experienced and professional.

Again, see that the company is part of the British Association of Removers (BAR), which sets the industry standards.

6. Will I have to pay extra for boxes?

Some removals companies include boxes for no additional charge. If you need to buy boxes from your removals company, buying a set, rather than individual boxes, usually works out cheaper.

On average, to pack up a 3 – 4-bedroom house you will need:

  • 12 small boxes
  • 16 medium boxes
  • 10 large boxes
  • 20 metres of bubble wrap
  • One roll of tape

You might also want to get some speciality boxes from your removal company. Wardrobe boxes can be ideal as they have a rail inside so your clothes don’t get creased, plus you can use them as temporary wardrobes. Mirror boxes can help prevent breakages, while reinforced book boxes can transport items up to a combined weight of 40kg.

7. Do you have mattress covers and blankets?

You don’t want your larger items getting dirty or damaged en route to your new home, so make sure that the removals company has mattress covers and blankets that they can wrap around your bed, couch and other bulky items. 

8. Can I hire clothes rails or protective containers?

You might want to ask whether they have clothes rails for transporting clothes so that items don’t get creased during transit.

If you have antique items or special belongings, ask about containers that will provide additional protection while they’re being handled, but always ask about extra costs before you agree to anything.   

9. Can I use the removals company to transport larger items?

If you have a piano, it’s likely you’ll want to keep hold of it.

Similarly, if you have other larger items such as wardrobes, you’ll want to ask whether the removals company is able to move them safely and in a professional manner. 

10. Can I hire a storage unit?

If you’re downsizing or want to store some of your belongings while you redecorate or renovate your new home, it might be worth asking about storage units.

If the removals company doesn’t have storage units, they might be able to recommend a company that does.

11. Can I arrange for the removals team to arrive at a specified time?

Finally, if you’re moving into a new build home on a development, you’ll want to ensure you are arriving at a specified time so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Ask if the removals company is able to arrive when you want, so that you’re able to avoid waiting around for the keys, perhaps as early in the day as possible so that you have the remainder of the day to move in. 

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