With so many moving companies out there, it can be hard to know which one to hire for your move. The aim of this article is to help you decide on the best moving company so your move is as stress-free as possible.
In addition to looking at the things you should take into account when hiring a moving company, we’ll also be covering the factors that affect the cost and the best ways to save money.
Hiring the best moving agents
Finding moving agents in your area shouldn’t be difficult. A simple Google search for ‘movers for hire’ or similar will give you a number of moving companies to choose from.
While finding moving companies isn’t difficult, it’s important to know what criteria to focus on so you pick the best one.
Below are some of the most important things to consider when hiring a moving company.
One of the first things to research about any prospective moving company is the services they offer. Some of the most common types of services moving companies offer include –
- Removals – Removals make up a big part of what removal companies do. Most companies will offer a range of removal services, including local moves, long distance moves and office removals.
- Storage – Storage is another common service that many removal companies provide. Storage can be very useful for larger moves where you don’t want to move all your possessions at one time. It’s also commonly used for office removals.
- Cleaning – Some removal companies will also provide cleaning services. This might be provided by their own employees or a third party cleaning service.
- Packing – Packing is something most companies provide and is a very popular additional service for both domestic and commercial moves. In addition to packing your items, the company will usually also provide the necessary packing materials.
Reputation is another important thing to take into account when looking for a removal company. It’s quite easy to research a company’s reputation now, with most having online reviews on various platforms. Try to narrow your list down to companies that have good reviews.
The type of insurance a removal company has is also important. Any reputable company will have goods in transit insurance to cover your items while they’re being moved. If you have special items that need to be moved, such as expensive jewellery or a piano, then a higher level of cover will likely be necessary so this is something to find out beforehand.
Questions to ask movers
When contacting removal companies, it’s a good idea to have some questions in mind to ask them. Below are some of the most useful ones.
- Are you fully licensed?
You want to be sure that the company you hire is licensed to carry out removals. For any moves that are larger than a 1 bedroom house or flat, the company will be required to have an Operator’s Licence. Without one, they’ll have to use small vans only, which obviously isn’t suitable for larger moves.
- What level of insurance do you have?
This is another important question to ask since you want to know that your possessions will be fully protected when they’re in transit. Special items that are particularly large, heavy or expensive might require an additional level of cover too.
- How long have you been in business?
Knowing how long the business has been in operation will give you a good idea of the level of experience the company has. Removals tend to be very varied, with each presenting a unique challenge, so it’s a good idea to hire a company that has plenty of experience with different types of moves.
- Are there likely to be any additional charges?
Additional charges can be for services like packing and cleaning but they can also be for unforeseen circumstances, such as extreme weather on the day of the move. You should find out from the company upfront what the likely charges would be in such an event.
- What is your cancellation policy?
Any good removal company will have a cancellation policy but they can vary. Some will allow you to cancel up to a certain point without any additional charge whereas others will charge a percentage of the original quote if you cancel at any point. It’s a good idea to find out exactly what a company’s cancellation policy is before you commit to them.
- What’s included as standard?
When you get a quote from a removal company, it will usually be for turning up to your house on the day of the move and transporting your possessions. Services like packing and providing packing materials usually come at an extra cost.
Factors that affect the cost
- Van size – The size of the van needed for your move is one of the big factors that affects how much it costs. The larger the van that’s needed, the more you’ll pay. Some companies will allow you to select which type of van is used but it’s not a good idea to try and pick the smallest van to save money since it will just mean more trips and could actually end up costing you more.
- Length of the job – The anticipated length of the job is another thing that’s taken into account by removal companies when coming up with a price. Most companies charge either by the hour or at a day-rate. How long the job takes will depend on the volume of items to be moved as well as the distance between your current property and your new one.
- Distance required – The distance between properties will have a big impact on cost too. The further there is to travel, the more it will cost. Nearly all moving companies will be able to assist with local moves within the same city but you might have to be more selective if you’re moving across the country or even abroad.
- Complexity of the move – Another factor where price is concerned is the complexity of the move. This refers to things like how accessible the property is, weather and traffic conditions on the day of the move and whether there are any special items to be moved.
- Additional services – A lot of moving companies will offer additional services, such as packing, cleaning services and storage. These will all come at an additional cost of course.
Ways to save money
- Get quotes from several moving companies – The most obvious way you can save money when moving is to get quotes from several different moving companies. Getting quotes is very easy to do now and having multiple quotes to choose from will enable you to make an informed decision and get the best value for money.
- Declutter your current property – Another excellent way to save money when moving home is to declutter as much as you can. Getting rid of anything you don’t want or need will reduce the amount you have to pack considerably and lower the cost of hiring a removal company as a result.
Book off-peak – You can also save money by booking a removal company during off-peak months. This is usually the autumn and winter months since most people tend to book from April to September.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.