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Comparing Removal Company Quotes: A guide

Posted by Kirsty Parsons - April 18, 2024

Comparing quotes effectively can be tricky, but fear not! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision and choose the perfect mover for your big day. We'll cover everything from understanding the importance of a formal contract to comparing move plans and insurance options.

If you only have a few minutes, the quick video below gives an overview of how to compare quotes and you can find more detail in the guide below. 


In this guide: 

Mover carrying rocking horse into new house


determining your move criteria

Quotes should be compared based on what's most important to you. Take some time before comparing your quotes to think about your 'must have's' and 'nice to have's' to help you compare. These might include:

  • The Move Plan
  • Handling of special items
  • How involved you'll need to be in the move (packing etc.)
  • Additional services you need (like dismantling or disconnecting washing machine/dishwasher)
  • Insurance cover
  • Accreditations and quality
  • Reputation and reviews 
  • Price

We'll come to each of these in detail below, but having a clear picture will help you compare. 


Step-by-step guide to comparing your removals quote:

Once you know what's important to you, it's time to get into the details of each quote. 

Step 1: Check your moving quotes are like for like

The first thing to check is that there are no major discrepancies in the requirements your removal companies have assessed and understood. This is in two main areas:

Volume of items to be moved: 

The volume of goods determines the amount of space needed on a vehicle and how long it will take to pack and load everything.

Check if all companies are quoting for a similar volume (within 10%). If one is quite far out check with them as to why. Have they included an area others have missed (e.g., lofts, garden, sheds) or vice versa? 


Are all quotes based on the same level of service? A few things to check include:

  • What packing is included (if any?)
  • Are packing materials included?
  • Is there a shuttle vehicle or outside elevator needed because of poor access?
  • Are parking fees included if permits are required? 

If you spot something one mover has done differently to others call to clarify  - they'll either be able to explain the difference or provide a re-quote if they misunderstood your requirement.

Step 2: Compare the Move Plan

All movers will plan a move differently depending on their assessment and their own resources.

Are all companies planning the move over the same amount of days, or are some all in one day where others are splitting over two? Let all the companies know if one plan works best for you so they can adjust and update your price if necessary. 

Step 3: Compare Quality


It's easy to portray a professional image, but that's not always a guarantee of a reputable company and quality service. A few areas you can compare are:

  • Membership of professional associations: The BAR is the leading professional association of Removal Companies in the UK and pre-vets removal companies to ensure they meet minimum standards and abide by a professional code of conduct. Find out more about why you should move with a BAR member
  • Reviews: Read removal company reviews on independent platforms like Google or Trustpilot to get a feel for the typical customer experience. 
  • Certifications: Does the mover have any additional quality standards or certifications that they've achieved that demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to quality?
  • Awards: Has the mover been recognised independently as achieving anything special? For example awards for customer service. 
  • Professionalism: Are crews qualified and trained? Are they uniformed and security vetted? What other indications are there that the company has professional standards?

Step 4 - Compare Price

We’ve left this til last for a reason. We honestly believe that no decision should be driven primarily on price.

Consider the value you're getting for your money when comparing prices. Look for a balance between affordability and the level of service you require. Which company offers the greatest sense of security at a price that meets your budget?

Remember, cutting corners for a cheaper price could put a positive move experience at risk. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are you confident that the risk of damage is minimal based on the professional packing and moving skills of the company? 
  • Are you happy that you are financially covered in the unlikely event of damage and that any claim would be easily handled?
  • Does the mover have the experience and resources to respond quickly to any challenges in your move - for example if there are last-minute changes to dates or a delayed completion and access on Move Day? 

Don't forget to include insurance costs:

Some moving companies may provide insurance as an optional addition to their moving packages. While some include insurance in their pricing, there may be limitations or terms under which they accept liability. Typically in the UK moving indsutry you will encounter the following types of insurance:

  • Goods in Transit insurance, such as that offered by Bournes, is usually underwritten by an independent insurer, ensuring an objective claims process and fair compensation for any damage or loss based on the indemnity value (the cost of replacing a similar item in age and condition). The policy will specify what is covered. 
  • Standard/Extended liability insurance involves making a claim directly with the moving company rather than an insurance underwriter. This means the company must accept full liability, often requiring you to prove negligence, which can complicate the claims process. Additionally, claims may be capped per item or for the entire move, for example British Association of Removers standard terms include maximum £40 per items, although extended liability options provided by some movers may have higher limits. 

Understanding the insurance coverage provided and factoring in the cost of insurance when comparing quotes is essential for a smooth moving experience.

all things being equal...

If you're happy that all quotes offer the same level of service, quality, volume and are close in price then it's down to your personal preference. 

Who made you feel most comfortable during the quote process? Who has given you the most confidence in their ability? If your experience so far is good then it's a good indication of the experience after you've booked. Ultimately, who do you trust? 

always get a formal quote and contract

When entrusting your belongings to a removal company, it is essential to have the security of a written quotation accompanied by a detailed contract and relevant terms and conditions. Take the time to carefully read, understand, and agree to these terms, and if there are any concerns, ensure that any agreed-upon changes are documented in writing.

Not having a written contract in place can leave you vulnerable in case of any issues or discrepancies during the move. Without a clear agreement on paper, it becomes challenging to hold the removal company accountable and seek resolution for any problems that may arise. It is crucial to have a formal contract outlining all the terms and conditions of the move, ensuring that both parties are on the same page and have a reference point in case of misunderstandings. By having a written agreement, you have a solid foundation to address any concerns and protect your interests throughout the moving process. The peace of mind that comes with a formal contract is invaluable when entrusting your possessions to a removal company.

The British Association of Removers provide its members with standard terms and conditions approved by the Trading Standards Institute to protect consumers so this is another great reason to look for the BAR badge when choosing a Mover.

negotiating with removal companies

If you find that your top choice removal company comes with a higher price tag compared to others offering similar service and quality, don't hesitate to provide them with feedback and explore the possibility of negotiation. They may not be able to offer a discount outright, but they could potentially provide insights on how to lower your overall moving costs.

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