Questions to ask your removals firm

Make sure you know exactly what you are getting from your removal company by asking all the right questions

Questions to ask your removals firm

There are some horror stories about removal companies, so it is vital that you ask all the right questions before your move for information needed to select a moving company you can trust. The service of an excellent removal company can be the difference between a good and a bad move - so make sure you do all you can to assure your confidence in the firm you select.

Here is some basic information to ask your removal company to ensure you do not become a victim on your moving day.

Pre-move Survey

  • Always ask the removal firm to send a surveyor round to confirm the volume of your possessions to be moved (don’t hide anything!) and discuss your requirements. You should not be charged for this visit.

  • Ask if they can provide a packing service. Make sure you let them know if this is something you require when you instruct them so they can dedicate sufficient time to complete your packing and include it in your quote to ensure you will be aware of the costs.

  • Ask if they have storage facilities available or can recommend somewhere.

  • Following the survey and the discussion of any additional services you may require, ask for a full written quotation and a fixed price.


  • Ask the removal company what size vans and lorries they have. You do not want to have to wait whilst small vans are loaded/moved and then unloaded. One large pantechnicon should be available if appropriate.

  • Ask your removal firm if they supply packing boxes, and how many boxes they will bring in advance. Some will sell you sets of packing boxes; some will be able to provide them as part of the move. Always ask for double walled as these are stronger, get plenty of tape and arm yourself with a small cutter to open the boxes at the other end. Many firms also have special book boxes or wine racks.

  • Check that the removal company has a good supply of moving equipment: SatNav to locate your new home quickly, blankets to wrap large furniture, hanging wardrobes, mattress covers etc. These pieces of equipment can make the difference between a bad and a good move.


  • Are their members of staff trained? Who by? (The British Association of Removers (BAR) and other trade associations run training programmes which can be attended by removals firms).

  • Are their staff uniformed?

  • Will the movers who work on your move be casual, contractors or are they fully employed? Casual workers are less inclined to worry about your possessions or feel responsible for the job.


  • Ask to see details of their insurance. Check that you don’t need to supplement this if you have some precious items that their insurance doesn’t cover during the move. Many household contents insurance do not cover standard household items in transit.

  • Ask to see the removals VOSA number. If a removal involves operating a goods vehicle above a certain weight, they will need to hold an operator's licence issued by the Traffic Commissioners.


Compare free removal quotes from companies in your area



  • Get a landline and a full address (not a PO Box). Cowboy removal firms usually only operate from a mobile phone.

  • How would the company like to be paid? Cowboy removal firms insist on cash payment. Most reputable removal companies will take credit cards or cheques.


  • It is also worth remembering to check out genuine customer feedback for any removal firms you are thinking of using so you can be assured of the company’s quality and be confident that your move will go smoothly.

It is important that you employ a removal company you feel comfortable with, as they will be handling all of your furniture and personal possessions.

All of our removal companies are signed up to our Ombudsman Service and adhere to our Code of Practice, so by receiving quotes for removals through you can be certain that the removal companies are quality, reputable firms with the appropriate level of training and experience.

International Removal Companies

When planning an international removal, it is equally as important to ask all the right questions to make sure you know what to expect from your removal company and to help you receive the service you require.

The majority of the questions that you would ask a removal company for a domestic move will still apply if you are moving abroad, such as questions regarding a pre-move survey before receiving a binding quote, insurance details and whether they offer a packing service – something particularly recommended when moving overseas.

Here are a number of additional questions that you should discuss with your selected removal company when moving internationally.

  • What are the customs regulations for the country you are moving to? Your removal company will be able to advise you about customs requirements and any restricted or prohibited items not permitted to enter your destination country.

  • Are they part of a recognised international trade body? This could be BAR Overseas, FIDI or Omni. By selecting a member of a removals trade association you can be confident that they are adhering to the industry standards.

  • What customer forms and documents will you need to complete? Ask your overseas removal company about the documentation required when moving to another country, and any assistance they can give you.

  • What does the removal quote include? Make sure you are aware of all the charges that may not be included in the quotation, such as customs charges.

  • Ask how much notice you should give to book your packing date. Find out how far in advance you should inform your removal company of your required packing service. You should also ask whether they will crate your fragile items for your overseas move.

For full guide on finding an international moving firm, take a look at our comprehensive list of questions to ask your prospective international removal company.

Moving abroad is a significant decision for most people. Not only is the process of moving internationally complex, but it can be a challenging time for a family. Ensuring that you have selected a professional, reliable overseas removal company will help to provide you with the confidence that your move will go to plan.


  • Laura says...

    posted on 11/03/2013 15:51:44

    This article was really helpful to me, thank you. I have found that if you have picked a great removals firm then the rest of the move seems to run (quite) smoothly! Whilst moving to Kent recently I used this check list to help me to decide which company were the best for the job.

  • Mrs Kelly-anne Crawley says...

    posted on 31/05/2014 09:54:39

    Very interesting and informative it raised questions that i would never of thought to ask as its the first time we've moved very good.

  • Marshall says...

    posted on 21/01/2015 18:11:50

    Very useful tips

  • Eva Cooper says...

    posted on 11/05/2015 15:43:15

    That's a helpful article, thanks for sharing. I think it's a good idea to do a little research before hiring a moving company. Ask friends, search in forums... Eva

  • Amanda says...

    posted on 08/06/2015 14:32:03

    First of all make a research in Internet and among friends to find recommended moving company. Then, ask the removalists all the questions mentioned in this article. Amanda,

Let us know what you think

Your comment

Leave your comment

We've already helped over 1,778,143 movers

  • Compare removal firms quotes in 3 simple steps:

    1. Complete our simple form
    2. Confirm your email address
    3. Compare your quotes
  • Get quotes

Our Ombudsman

We've teamed up with Ombudsman Services to give you extra peace of mind when you find your removals company through us.

Find out more
Find out more

Our moving statistics

More than 1 million movers have used our quoting service.

Get removals quotes
Get removals quotes

Need home insurance?

Get prices for buildings & contents cover from our panel of insurers

Get a quote
Get a quote

Ask our removal firms a question

See questions answered by our panel of professional removal firms in our Property Professors section

Property Professors

Featured professor

Andrew McLaren

Property expert

Meet the professors