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Questions to ask your removals firm

Make sure you know exactly what you're 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's vital that you equip yourself with all the information you need to select a moving company you can trust. The service of an excellent removal company can be the difference between a move that runs smoothly and one that is more difficult - 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 and discuss your requirements. Be sure that everything you'll be moving is visible, including belongings in the attic, cellar or garage. You should not be charged for this visit.

  • Ask if they provide a packing service, regardless of whether you currently plan to use it. If you realise this is something you'll require make sure you let them know as soon as possible, so they can dedicate sufficient time to complete your packing and include it in your quote to ensure you won't be surprised by the cost.

  • If necessary, ask if they have storage facilities available or if they 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 (a type of large lorry) should be available if appropriate.

  • If required, ask your removal firm if they supply packing boxes and, if so, 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, and some may hire out reusable ones. If they provide cardboard boxes always ask for double walled as these are stronger, and make sure you 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 all the additional equipment they'll need, for example a 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? On moving day when your front door is wide open and your stuff is being moved back and forth by people you don't know, being able to identify anyone who doesn't work for the firm is crucial.

  • 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.

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 reallymoving 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's just 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 more information and advice 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.

Updated February 2020

Comments (8)

  • Laura

    posted on 11 Mar 2013

    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

    posted on 31 May 2014

    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.


    posted on 21 Jan 2015

    Very useful tips

    Eva Cooper

    posted on 11 May 2015

    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


    posted on 8 Jun 2015

    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,


    posted on 30 Apr 2017

    Would never have thought about checking a guide like this. I was about to look for a local firm on-line. Brilliant info, has given me a guide to how much a move could be AND what to check for. Thank you.


    posted on 25 Jul 2017

    Moving doesn’t need to be stressful! All it takes to have a successful move is to stay organized. When planned well, all you’ll need to do during moving day is load the truck so that you can take your belongings to your new home.

    Martin Harradine

    posted on 15 Dec 2019

    What an excellent website. As a removals contractor working in (what can be )a perilous industry for clients this is very refreshing. The average Joe/Jo knows little or nothing about moving so anything that helps and raises the expectations of movers is good news! Good work ReallyMoving!

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