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    Questions to Ask Your Removals Company

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 26th Jun, 2024

    Reviewed by Emily Smith

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

    Questions to Ask Your Removals Company
    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.

    Do they offer a 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.

    This can help avoid problems on moving day as the removals company will know that they can fit all your belongings.

    Do they provide a packing service?

    Ask your removals company 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.

    Do they provide storage?

    If necessary, ask if they have storage facilities available or if they can recommend somewhere.

    If the removals company does offer a storage facility it can be convenient to use the same company. Make sure to ask about the security of any storage services provided.

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

    What equipment do they provide?

    What types of vans and lorries do they offer?

    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.

    What packing materials do they provide?

    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 do 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.

    What additional equipment do they have available?

    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. 

    Some removal companies may provide specialist equipment such as dolly trucks and piano trolleys to help transport awkward and large items.  

    These pieces of equipment can make the difference between a bad and a good move.

    How are their staff trained?

    • 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.

    What insurance do they have?

    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.

    What are their contact and payment details?

    Ask your removals company for a landline and a full address (not a PO Box). Cowboy removal firms usually only operate from a mobile phone.

    It is also a good idea to ask how the company would like to be paid. Not only can this help you understand when and how you will be making your payment, but it can also help you decipher if they are a reputable and reliable company.

    Cowboy removal firms insist on cash payment. Most reputable removal companies will take credit cards or cheques.

    Check feedback and reviews

    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.

    Comparing reviews and prices for removals make sure that you get the best deal and best suited removals team for your move.

    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 the removal companies on reallymoving are signed up to our Ombudsman Service and adhere to our Code of Practice.

    What items are restricted?

    It is always useful to understand what items your removals firm cannot or will not transport. That way you will be able to make other arrangements to move items that your removals company are not able to.

    Removal companies will not transport:

    • Perishable foods

    • Dangerous/flammable items

    • Live plants

    • Animals/pets

    • Valuable/sentimental items

    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.

    What to ask your removals company FAQs

    How do I prepare for removal?

    If you are packing your belongings yourself, it can be beneficial to start packing well in advance.
    • Have a clear out so you are not taking unnecessary items that you do not need.

    • Begin with items and belongings that you will not need to use before your move.

    • Labelling boxes with their rooms and even a contents list of each box can help make things smoother when it comes to unpacking.

    If you are having your items packed for you, make sure everything is tidy and decluttered. Sort your belongings into different rooms and ensure your property is accessible so your removals team can easily pack your belongings.

    Do removal companies pack for you?

    This will depend on the removals firm. Some companies do offer this service, but not all will have this available. This is why it is important to check with your removals team so you know if you should have everything packed and ready for when they arrive.

    Do you book removals before exchange?

    Although you can get quotes before exchange, it is better to wait until you have exchanged contracts before booking your removals company. This can save you cancelation fees if something changes with your moving timeline.

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