THE MOST frequently asked question from people regarding house removal costs and working out how to get their belongings to their new home is "how much does a removal company cost?".
The cost of using a removal company for a 3 bedroom house is from around £900 for a lightly furnished house if you are doing your own packing and moving up to 25 miles, or from around £1200 if you want the removal company to do the packing for you. (Based on removals in the South East of England).
The important thing to understand is that the cost of using a removal company will vary for each move, and depends on several factors which are explained further below,
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- The typical estimated cost of removal companies
- How removal costs are calculated
- Factors affecting the costs of a moving company
- Why some removals companies are so cheap
- Why some removals companies are so expensive
- What can increase the costs of removals services
- What you can do to reduce the costs of removals services
- Unexpected costs of using removals companies
To get started here are some average removal costs for Moving Companies in the South East to give you a rough idea:
Typical estimated cost of removal companies:
Excluding additional services like dismantling and re-assembling and based on a simple move scenario below are some indicative costs that you could expect to be quoted for your move. Find out more about how the cost of removals is calculated below to see what else you might need to allow.
• 2 bedroom house typical removal costs
Self pack from £600 or from £900 with packing service
• 3 bedroom house typical removal costs
Self pack from £900 or from £1200 with packing service
• 4 bedroom house typical removal costs
Self pack from £1200 or from £1800 with packing service
If you want to work out your personal guide price for removals in South East England you can get a free, no obligation fixed removals quote.
How much could my REMOVAL SERVICES cost?
The cost of using a removal company varies for each move.
The overall price of removal services is not just based on the size of your house or distance you are moving - it is always dependent on a whole range of issues unique to the customer and their specific requirements. That's why we always recommend booking an in home move consultation to get your personal, free, no obligation quote.
Every customer, every move and every removal company is different.
How are removal costs calculated?
There are three elements to a Removal Cost.
- Packing and loading
- Travelling to your new home
The time each element takes along with the number of removals crew, materials and size of removals van needed will determine the cost.
What factors affect the cost of a moving company?
Moving company costs are usually based on several factors including:
- Volume - overall volume of your belongings to be moved, usually in cubic feet. This is important as it determines a) the size of vehicle required for your move b) how long it will take a crew to pack/ wrap and load your belongings and c) the packing materials required for your move
- Access - the access at both your origin and destination properties (for example how close a Removal Companies lorry can park to your front door, whether there are any low bridges or tight lanes to get to your property. This is important as it determines what size vehicle can be used and if any shuttle vehicle might be required to transport loads if access is tight.
- Distance Travelled – between your origin and destination property, this is important as it determines the costs for transport
- Additional Services - the service elements you select i.e. full or part packing, handyman services, temporary storage or, dismantling of items
- Special Care Items – any special care items that might require a little extra protection for example crating for a precious picture, grandfather clock or extra wrapping for highly sentimental items.
- Special Handling Items – any items requiring special handling for example items that might need to be removed via a window, overweight items requiring crane’s or special lifting equipment etc
- Moving Day - The day you move will affect the price that you are charged. For example, moving on the first or last day of the month will cost more because moving companies are extremely busy on these two days.
Moving costs will also vary between moving companies depending on the levels of service they provide. With smaller Man and Van style companies you can expect to pay less compared to removal firms who are members of professional associations such as the British Association of Removers however remember the levels of service you receive may vary.
Why are some removal companies so cheap?
Sometimes perfectly good removal companies are cheap, but sometimes they are cheap because the service you are getting is of lower quality or the risk you are taking on is higher than if you were to use another company. Here are some examples of why costs might be lower:
Your volume has been underestimated
If a move consultant hasn't done a survey of your belongings (in-home, written or online/phone) then they may have based their price on an inaccurate volume of goods. Even if they did do a survey they might have missed something or misjudged something. The impact of getting volume wrong can be as small as taking a little bit longer to load, but it could also be as big as everything not fitting on the truck on move day and requiring a second vehicle or trip, not getting out of your old house on time or not having enough packing materials to keep everything safe. This can mean extra time, extra charges and extra stress on move day.
How to avoid this risk:
This is why we always recommend getting 3 quotes for your move so you notice any costs that aren't in line with others. If you do notice one quote is significantly lower then it's always worth asking each company what volume they quoted on or to provide an inventory list so you can make sure it's accurate.
Organisations like the British Association of Removers independently pre-vet removal companies and verify that they meet minimum professional standards that reduce the risk of anything going wrong on move day. This helps ensure you are choosing a reputable company that provides a quality service. The checks conducted by BAR include financial standing, criminal checks, insurance coverage, suitable premises, staff, vehicles and packing material and professional administration activities (including accurate marketing, quotes, fair contracts and data protection compliance). (Find out more about the importance of using a BAR removal company).
In addition BAR members offer an advance payment guarantee and independent complaints resolution service.
It can cost a company more to be a member of the British Association of Removers, and to invest in their business in a way that allows them to meet the strict quality standards. This means a slightly higher cost to the customer in return for the verified-high standards, but lower risk of poor service and hidden additional costs later.
They are only providing man and van services and haven't assessed your move properly.
Make sure you understand what you are being quoted for and ALWAYS get a written contract including full terms and conditions, and a move plan.
Some companies may quote for a day rate which might include for example 2 men and a van for the day without asking much about individual requirements. If your requirements are more complex than they thought (for example more stuff, a longer carry to the van or awkward items) this could leave you with delays and extra costs on move day.
How to avoid this risk:
Make sure you get a pre-move survey AND read the terms and conditions of your contract to make sure you've understood what is and isn't included.
They aren't providing comprehensive insurance cover
Removal companies handle insurance cover in many different ways and it may be that a company is cheap because you haven't got good protection if something gets broken.
Some say it's included, others include to a certain level and then offer you additional cover for a higher premium. It's really important to understand what level of cover is in place with each company.
Why are some removal companies so expensive?
As well as most of the above in reverse, pricing between companies that provide the same standards can also vary. This could be for a number of reasons:
- Availability - Companies with a great reputation are frequently in high demand and can charge higher prices.
- Extra value services - Some companies also provide extra services to make the move run smoothly, for example, a dedicated move manager to help plan and support you through the move (which is really helpful when things change last minute) or VIP services to help you with extra tasks on move day like arranging shopping, changing utility companies etc.
What can increase house removal costs?
Some examples of situations that might push up the cost of your move include:
- Poor access. If it will be tricky for a removals crew to move items between each room and the vehicle (i.e. tight internal staircases, high rise flat with no lift, or a narrow driveway) then it will take longer / require more people / smaller vehicles to complete the move and this will increase the cost.
- Special care packing. If you have lots of fragile/valuable items that need special care packing or crating there will be additional charges for materials and the time taken to complete this (don't be tempted to cut corners to reduce cost here, replacing items that need extra protection will cost you more in the long run).
- Extra services. If you need items dismantled or reassembled, washing machines reconnecting etc. example most removal companies can do this as part of your move for a small additional cost.
- Storage services. If you can't move straight into your new home then a removal company can usually offer secure storage to keep your items safe in the meantime.
What can I do to reduce the cost of removals services?
Here are some ideas for how to save money on your house removals costs:
- Reduce your move volume. Declutter BEFORE you move to make sure you're only paying someone to move the items you really want and need.
- Be flexible with your move date. Some days are busier than others (typically school holidays, Fridays and the end of the month), and movers may be willing to give you a discounted rate to move on a quiet day if you can be flexible.
- Do the packing yourself. If you can afford it then a packing service saves you a lot of time and stress and doesn't cost as much as you might think. But if you're looking to cut to essential costs only then ask for a self-packing quote.
What are some of the unexpected costs of using a removal company?
When things don't run as planned on move day sometimes you can incur unplanned costs. Here are a two good examples:
- Last minute cancellations: Although it's rare we do regularly see home sales fall through or become delayed after exchanging contracts. Most removal companies will reserve the right to charge scaling cancellation fees if the move is cancelled at short notice as they will have booked you resources which they may not be able to sell again to cover their costs. Some movers offer a cancellation waiver which is a smaller fee you pay upfront to ensure you don't have to pay cancellation charges if your move has to be cancelled or postponed at the last minute.
- Late keys: Whilst solicitors generally try to arrange house completions for around the middle of the day on move day we frequently see issues where transfer of funds doesn't run smoothly and keys aren't received until much later in the day, particularly if you're at the bottom of a long chain. If the delay is significant you could face additional charges for the crew to sit and wait before they can unload, or even face storage and additional delivery charges if there isn't enough time left in the day to get everything unloaded. Many moving firms offer a "late key waiver" which you pay upfront to avoid waiting charges if there is a delay.
Our top tip is to ensure you have read the terms and conditions of your removal company to understand the risk of any additional charges and any financial protection you might be offered.
Want to know more?
Find out everything you need to know about how to choose a removal company with The Ultimate Guide to Removal Companies.