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    Understanding Removals Costs

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 19th Mar, 2024

    The cost of removals can change depending on whether you're doing it yourself, hiring a man with a van or instructing a professional removals team.

    Understanding Removals Costs
    Removals costs may not be the first thing you think of when you're planning your home move, but you certainly don't want to forget them. Whether you're renting a van or hiring a professional removals service, prices change dependent on the amount of stuff you have to move and how far you're going.

    It's always possible to save money, but remember to consider the time spent, and the safety and security of your items. If you want to ensure your beloved items make it to their new home safely, hiring a professional team is best. And you can still get them at a great cost, by comparing quotes online.

    The average cost of home removals in the UK
    Based on our moving home data from February 2023, the average cost of removals by size of the property:

    • The average moving cost of a 1 bedroom house is £484
    • The average moving cost of a 2 bedroom house is £628
    • The average moving cost of a 3 bedroom house is £928
    • The average removals costs of a 4 bedroom house is £1,300
    • The average removals cost for a 5 bedroom house is £1,612
    Bear in mind that the price of the move is not only dependent on the size of the property, but the distance you're moving. Also there may be increased costs if you require disassembly and reassembly of items, or packing services. Often we find those with bigger homes invest in packing services and other extras, as the speed of a professional packer can make it a much more efficient process.

    To ease the stress and help reduce the cost of moving house, we've pulled together some helpful tips and guidance to save you money and make you aware of any hidden charges.

    Pre-move surveys

    Start by asking removal companies to visit your property and provide you with a binding quote. Each company will send a dedicated removals assessor to evaluate all the possessions that you need moving. Removal quotes are based on the volume of items that will need to be transported from A to B, so it is important that they view exactly what is being taken. These can often be done remotely over zoom or by videocall if you prefer.

    Adding items on the day of the move can cause you extra removal costs and delays, so planning in advance is key. It's also worth notifying the assessor of any items that you are not intending to take. For example, let the assessor know if you’re planning to get rid of your sofa, just in case this is added to the final cost of moving house.

    It is a good idea to double check all of the quotes you receive before you book your removal company. A cheaper removal quote may not have included an extra cost, such as packing boxes, that is necessary for your move.

    Try to book your removal date as early as possible. You may be able to negotiate a discount if you move earlier in the week. Being flexible on dates can also save you money. It is advisable to avoid Fridays and Bank Holidays if you want to keep the cost of removals to a minimum.

    Moving house is also the perfect opportunity to clear out any unwanted possessions. This is a simple and effective way to immediately reduce removals costs (and maybe even make a bit of money selling on Ebay or Vinted!)

    Removals costs

    Removal companies offer a variety of services, so if you would like them to do more than transport your furniture, make sure you verify the cost with the assessor. There are a range of additional costs that you might need to consider, from extra packing services, to the cost of assembling your items in your new home.

    Here are a few things that might cost extra:

    Packing costs

    Removal companies offer a selection of packing and unpacking services at an additional cost to suit your needs. These include:

    • Packing materials - Check to see if any packing materials are included in your packing service costs, or if you are packing yourself confirm how much these would cost to be purchased from the removal company.

    • Packing service - If you do not want to pack your items yourself the removal company will do this for you.

    • Unpacking service - Many removal companies place boxes and furniture into the rooms you request. However, unpacking boxes is not usually included in the quotation and will be charged as an extra service. Most companies will only unpack onto flat surfaces and not put items away in cupboards.

    • Crating - If you have fragile antique items or electronic goods that do not have their original packaging, it is good to let the removal company know. Occasionally, items can be safer to move in a purpose built wooden crate. It is important to check that these have been included in your quote.

    Fees for specialised services

    Removals teams often require extra skills during a move or need to use specialist equipment which can add to the cost of moving house, for example:

    • Fragile packing - An extra handling charge might be required if you have fragile items such as antiques, fine arts or a piano.

    • Dismantling and re-assembly - Check with your removal company if you will be charged extra for any flat pack items that need to be dismantled or re-assembled. You should also confirm if you are expected to dismantle and reassemble these items before and after your move.

    • Moving equipment - A hoist, tail lift or cherry picker lift would be required if you have any possessions that need to raised or lifted safely, e.g. any large items that can only be moved through an upper floor window.

    Third party service costs

    These are services that the customer has requested to be included in their move but are not performed by the removal crew. Third party services include un-plumbing washing machines, disconnecting your dishwasher, taking down curtain rails and lifting up carpets.

    ​Access can influence costs

    The removal company will need to be able to gain access to the front door of your existing property and your new house with their vehicles. It is important to consider the following factors which could result in additional removal costs:

    • Right of entry - Small lanes or low bridges on approach to your property will determine what size vehicle is needed. For example, a shuttle vehicle might be required if access is tight.

    • First floor property with no lift - This will usually require additional labour.

    • Parking restrictions - Most removal companies will expect you to arrange parking permits for the day of the move as this cost is not normally included in your quote. It is sensible to discuss any parking restrictions with the removal company in advance of your move date.

    • Ferries or toll roads Check with your removal company that these costs have been included in your quote.

    Late key charges and cancellations

    Due to unforeseen circumstances you might not be able to gain access to your new property at the agreed completion time, so it is worth considering the following points:

    • Late key charges - If your removal company must wait a long to time start unpacking after arriving at the new property, you can sometimes be charged. Most removal companies offer what is known as a “late key waiver” that will give you peace of mind, in case things don’t go to plan.

    • Cancellation policies - Double check your removal company’s cancellation policies. Many removal companies will require you to supply a deposit for a proportion of the cost of removals before you can book your move date. It is sensible to check the terms and conditions of your quote and see if you might forfeit a proportion of your deposit by cancelling your confirmed date at short notice.

    Storage and removals costs

    If you are not going to be moving into your property straight away, then you will need to ensure that your possessions are kept safe and secure. Many removal companies have their own storage services and temporary storage in transit facilities which can be included in the cost of your quote. Some removal companies can also recommend a local secure self-storage or can take your goods to a storage company chosen by you.

    Removals insurance costs

    When you are moving house, it is a good idea to check with your home insurance company to see if you are covered for any property being moved by a removal company. It is important to note that transit insurance only covers you for your goods in transit and is normally only £40 per item regardless of the original value. In some cases, removal companies will offer you more removals insurance cover based on a percentage of the value of the items being moved. This will be at an additional cost.

    If you are packing yourself, ask your removal company if you are covered by their removals insurance. Many insurance companies will not cover you for loss or damage if you have packed yourself and this can add to the overall cost of removals.

    If you want to ensure you get a great deal on your removals costs, compare up to five locals removals firms and choose the one that works best for your needs.

    Updated May 2023

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