Choosing a Removals Company

25/05/2018

How do you know when you need a removals company? And how does hiring one help you save time and money?

Don’t underestimate the time spent packing and moving your belongings, not to mention the stress of carrying heavy furniture pieces. So you either hire a van or you can hire a man with a van.

Packing itself takes days. And if you choose to move everything yourself, you will have to invest another day in unpacking everything as well as calling friends and family to help you carry boxes. Make sure to check out our Moving Home Checklist to make sure you plan your move properly. 

You might end up with broken plates or scratched furniture pieces. Plus, some items are extremely hard to carry, so if you have massive wood furniture or large sofas, you are setting yourself for a day that is bound to give you a few grey hairs.

That said, some people still want to save some extra bucks by doing everything themselves. This may work if you are currently unemployed and you don’t lose money by taking too many days off. But if you are a 9-5 worker or freelancer, your boss won’t be happy to hear that you got sick twice in a month.

Going DIY could also be a viable option if you don’t have heavy furniture or fragile items, which is unlikely to be the case. But if you do, you probably won’t need a removals company.

A self-storage unit can be helpful as well if you don’t want to bring the heavy furniture to your new place for the time being.

If you do have heavy furniture and fragile items, you might want to consider a removals company since they also offer insurance in case something goes bad. Also, it’s going to be easier for you if you have professionals helping you both pack and move your belongings.

This being said, picking the right removals company is not easy. With so many options out there, it’s hard to pick, but this is where we help.

We put together a short guide on how to pick the best removals company in your area, negotiate on price, and more.

A good removal company practices transparency

There are a number of services that a removals company offers, including packing, moving, and providing insurance.

Based on the quality of the services, the distance traveled, and the size of the crew, you will receive a quote. The bigger the crew is, the faster the team, and the better the insurance options are, the more you pay.

But you should be able to find out how much these services cost individually and make a compromise in one area, if necessary, to negotiate on price.

For example, you might ask what their hourly rate is, how much it the traveling costs are, and how much the insurance costs separately.

A good company is transparent about their costs, and they will try their best to help you out. For example, some moving companies such as Hills Movers offer discounts if you use your own packing supplies.

If you don’t have belongings that are expensive and need to be moved, maybe you can negotiate a more affordable insurance package.

A good removals company will visit your home in person before making an offer

“Getting quotes over the phone from a removals company is always a bad idea, both for them and for you” – This is according to Affordable City Movers, a moving service in Chicago.

They are some factors that can lower the costs on your end and make their job twice as hard. For example, a piano will be hard to carry, especially if the stairways are very tight. But if they don’t come to look around first, they won’t know it.

On a similar note, you might be able to get a discount if you don’t have “problematic” items that require a lot of work. For example, if you’re moving to the first floor and you don’t have a piano to carry, it’s going to be easier on movers compared to someone living on the 10th floor in a crowded area.

If you do get a quote from a removals company that can’t pay a visit (this usually happens when you call them just a few days before your move), make sure you are honest about what type of items you have and what the new location looks like.

You should have a conversation about moving your items at least 2 weeks before your moving day. Most removals companies are quite busy, and you might not find anything on a short notice.

Compare the prices from moving companies in the area where you are moving

When you ask for an estimate, make sure you get the hourly rate for workers, the insurance fees, the fees for packing, mileage, and other costs before you compare two companies.

If you are moving to a smaller town, you might be able to get a better offer from a moving company in the place you are relocating. When you are comparing two companies, make sure they both offer the same service package. Otherwise, you might be making a compromise on quality.

You should also research the area where you are moving, when it comes to uneven roads and the type of automobiles moving companies use.

Tall lorries don’t go well with bad roads and steep gradients, which might get you in trouble with the local police. Make sure you ask about permission to unload before you do so.

Another factor that impacts the pricing is when you plan to move. During holidays and on Saturdays, prices are usually higher since the demand is increased as well.

Research your insurance options

Make sure you reading the contract and asking the right questions about emergencies. Ask the removals company representative about what happens if the move is delayed, or what kind of insurance they are offering and what it covers. Do valuable items require special insurance, and what’s the limit per item?

Also keep in mind that if you choose to pack some items yourself, those items won’t be covered by insurance. You might be saving a bit on the packing costs but might lose money if your items do get damaged.

Before you send the items, make a list with the fragile and heavy objects that may offer some difficulties.

Ask them if they will help you unload the packages in the designated room

Many companies help their clients get their packages to the designated room if the boxes are labeled, which saves a lot of time and energy for property owners.

Some removals companies offer cheaper services but don’t include putting the boxes in certain rooms. Before you sign a contract, make sure you ask if they will help you out with this and if they need a floor plan so the movers know where to unload certain boxes.

Ask for the credentials and experience of the removals company  

If the removals company has a website, you can check yourself if they are members of The British Association of Removers or The National Guild of Removers and Storers. These organizations ask from their members a certain degree of professionalism and experience in the industry before accepting them. Being part of one of these organizations can be a good indicator of the quality of the services that they offer.

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