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.
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.
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