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How to choose a removal company

Top tips on how to choose a quality removal company near you, and what to ask.

How to choose a removal company

Moving home can be a nerve-wracking process. When it comes to moving your treasured belongings, you want to make sure you hire a firm you can trust. So, beyond desperately Googling 'removals companies near me' and scrolling endlessly, how can you feel confident you've chosen the right removals team?

Well, we only recommend companies we believe will provide quality service at every stage of your moving process (and we carefully assess who can join our panel).

When you receive your list of removals quotes, the removals companies may contact you regarding the service you require and to see how they can help. Here's what to look at, and what to ask when you're choosing a removals firm.

Check the removals company's feedback

We offer you unbiased reviews from previous customers of the removals companies we have recommended. By reading feedback from other customers you can feel assured that the company you pick will provide a great service, and offer all the extras you might need.

Ask for a removals survey

Your removal company should visit you to survey the job prior to your move and provide a binding quote. By doing this, they can assess the volume of items that need to be moved and investigate any access issues with your property. Be honest about the number of possessions you plan to move, otherwise the company may arrive underprepared on moving day. Some removals companies may do a virtual walkthrough using videocalling, which can be quicker and easier. Just be sure you show them everything!

Check removals insurance details

It’s a good idea to ask all potential removal companies about the level of insurance they have for goods in transit, to put your mind at rest that your belongings will be covered, and also to find out if you need to arrange extra cover with your own insurance company.

Payment options

Find out how the company would like to be paid. Be dubious of firms who insist only on a cash-in-hand payment or a sizeable cash deposit. Reputable removal companies should be able to accept payment by credit/debit card and cheques as well as cash.


Ask them about their policies for dealing with parking permits both at your home and the new destination. If they are unable to sort this out, it will be an extra item to add to your to-do list. 

Delays policy

Make sure you ask for their policy regarding delays. Some removals firms charge extra for each hour of delay, which can often be out of your control, especially if you are waiting for your solicitor to inform you that your property transaction is complete.

Packing boxes and extra services

Many removal companies will lend packing boxes, which could save you a sizeable sum of money, so it is worth enquiring about. You also may wish to enquire whether they have a service to dis/reassemble flat-pack furniture, or to un-plumb things like washing machines and dishwashers.

Complaints procedure

Ask them what their procedure would be should you need to make a complaint. Some firms have a membership with a removals trade association or organisation, for example, the British Association of Removers (BAR). These organisations have dispute resolution procedures in place to resolve any matters that have given you cause for complaint.

All the removal companies we have on reallymoving are signed up to our Ombudsman Scheme to help resolve any complaints you may have if your move does not go to plan.

Uniformed staff

A sure sign of a professional removal company is uniformed staff. If the company you use has provided uniforms for their members of staff it will be easier for you to identify that the team turning up to move your furniture is from the removals company you hired.

A personable approach

Lastly, but not least – does your first contact at the removals company seem friendly? If you are handing over all your worldly goods to one company, it is very important that you feel you can trust them. Equally, moving home can be a trying experience, so choosing a removal company that makes you feel at ease will go a long way toward reducing your stress levels on moving day.

Selecting an overseas removal firm

When deciding on a removal company for an international house move, it is particularly important to plan well in advance of your move date to ensure sufficient time to complete extra tasks in addition to the above considerations.

When moving abroad, you should give yourself plenty of time ahead of your move to research overseas removal companies and their credentials. You should receive initial quotes from a number of firms and check their feedback. Not only will starting the process as soon as possible give you time to compare quotes, but will also provide the opportunity to get to know the companies and the level of service they offer, which should help you to choose a removal company.

It is important that any potential international removal company provides you with a pre-move survey; all reputable removal companies will offer this service. During the survey you can ask the firms about customs requirements, the insurance they offer and any additional services you may need, such as packing.

It is best to use a professional export wrapping service for your overseas move. A good international removal company will offer you this option. Most international removals insurance will only cover your goods if they are packed by the removals company, and, for customs purposes, all items need to be correctly entered onto your inventory which is created during the packing process. Export wrapping and packing is essential to ensure that your items are as safe from damage as possible during the long journey. A good international removals company will have staff that have been trained in this skill and the specialist packing materials required.

Similar to domestic removals, the friendliness and responsiveness of a company is an equally important factor when choosing a removal company. Don’t underestimate the importance of feeling at ease with the company that will be transporting all your belongings to another country when you come to choose a removal firm.

Choosing a removals firm is an important part of your move - take the time to do the research and feel confident that you've picked the right removals company for you.

Updated May 2023

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