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10 ways how to reduce the costs of moving

17 August, 2021

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Moving house is expensive and the major cost is hiring a good removal company to transport your possessions from A to B and place all the pieces of furniture and numerous packing boxes in the correct rooms in your new home. Unfortunately, removal companies have recently increased their charges by 10-15% so that they can offer higher wages to attract more drivers following the post-Brexit driver shortage.

The property market in the UK is very buoyant and looks as though it will remain so for many months to come- even though the Stamp Duty Holiday has now come to an end. Some removal companies are now charging as much as 25% more, but not only are house buyers and sellers faced with larger removal bills, because driver shortages, removal companies are not able to work to full capacity. Getting a booking for a house move for the chosen date is proving very difficult for many people.

If you are on the move, there are a number of ways that you can reduce the cost – especially the bill from the removal company. Military families have always been given an allowance of X cubic metres for which they do not pay – but if they exceed the allowance, they are charged heavily by the extra cubic metre.  It really makes sense to view your house move in a similar way and ensure that everything you are moving is essential and not just taking up valuable space.


Here are our 10 ideas for reducing the cost of moving:


1. Rent a van or a removal company?

Renting a van and moving yourself is the cheaper option, but it is not a decision to take lightly as it involves a great deal of physical work – both in your old house and the new one. You will need plenty of help to shift boxes and all the various pieces of heavy furniture and it can be exhausting.

If you hire a removal company, the cost of course is much higher. In 2021, Comparemymove puts the cost at £1,181 for the contents of a three bedroomed house being moved 50 miles. This figure includes a professional packing service and all the packing materials (about £250), plus the dismantling and reassemble of all the furniture (£125). The removers will also reinstall fridges and washing machines which is a real bonus. A tip for the members of the removal team is not included in the quote – but always appreciated.


2. Shop around for the best price.

Prices do vary quite considerably, so it is well worth shopping around and getting different quotations. The removal company usually sends someone to assess what must be moved and after this will give you an accurate written quotation. 

If you would like to get a good idea of the costs involved, the website https://www.getamover.co.uk/FreeQuotes/ Will provide you with six free quotations (based on your postcode) in a few minutes. 


2. Be flexible on dates.

Many removal companies are short of staff so are not currently working at full capacity. Their busiest times are at the beginning and end of each month as this is when rents and leases end so choosing a date mid-month is better. If you can move mid-week too this is a bonus as weekends are always the preferred time for many so prices will be higher. If you can opt for a day and date that are not considered premium, you may be able to negotiate a better price. 


3. Is the removal company well-equipped?

Some removal companies do not use proper removal lorries fitted with either a loading ramp or lift and this can cause problems when it comes to loading large pieces of furniture such as cookers, freezers, beds and lounge suites. The company should also have blankets and protective wrapping film for protecting furniture.

If you book with a well-equipped company with experienced staff you will reap the benefits as they will know exactly how to load the lorry, how to negotiate staircases with all types of furniture and also exactly how to protect your furniture from damage.  


5. Have good advance planning

If you can visit the new property before you move, it will provide the perfect opportunity to ‘measure up’ to ensure that large pieces of furniture such as your king size bed and wardrobes can be lifted up the stairs and will fit in your chosen rooms.  If there are problems, they may need to be dismantled in advance.

Is access to your new property easy or will a ramp be needed? If you are moving to an apartment, sometimes it is easier for furniture to be moved via the balcony and French windows rather than using the stairs – if this is the case, a forklift will be needed.   


6. Pack yourself.

One way to save some money is to agree with the removal company that you will pack yourself.  This usually means all the house contents except for china and glass as the removers must pack this for it to be covered by the company’s insurance.

Packing yourself will definitely reduce the bill and ensures that things are packed as and how you want them to be. Pack room by room and mark the boxes with a number and destination e.g. ‘master bedroom’.  Although it takes time, write a full inventory for each box so that if you need to locate something speedily after the move- you can!   


7. Check your insurance.

Whether you are packing and moving yourself or using a removal company, it is essential that the move is well covered by insurance. If you are moving yourself, your insurance company will be able to provide cover. If you are using a removal company, make sure that their insurance policy is adequate and check exactly what it covers.


8. Source your own boxes.

If you have decided to move yourself, you will need to get plenty of boxes. It is well worth talking in good time to your local grocery, furniture shop or supermarket. Keep an eye online as you will often see secondhand boxes for sale on eBay, Gumtree or others. Secondhand boxes are also available on Freecycle. You will also need to start collecting old newspapers well in advance as it is amazing how many you will need.

If you are having a removal company, it is worth discussing the cost of boxes if you are self-packing as some companies do not charge if they provide these, others will lend them at a reasonable charge. The boxes come in a variety of sizes, but it is very important not to overload them. ‘The rule of thumb’ is that you should be able to comfortably life smaller boxes yourself and you should be able to lift one side of the larger boxes comfortably.   


9. Have a good sort out!

Even before you have booked the removal company or self-drive van, it is well worth having a good sort through all your possessions.  The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is so true!  Have a selling campaign on eBay, Preloved, Gumtree or other websites or have a boot sale. Unwanted clothes, books and smaller items can be donated to your local charity shop. There are a number of charity shops that run furniture warehouses too.

It is good to adopt the ‘two year rule’ – if you have not worn or used an item in the last two years, you can definitely do without it! The only exceptions are special occasion clothing and family heirlooms!  

10. Pack your suitcase!

Sounds crazy as moving is hardly a holiday, but if you pack a suitcase for each person containing outfits for a few days, a bath towel, toiletries and essentials like mobile chargers, this will make life much easier in your new home. Valuable jewellery and watches can also be popped into the cases and these can be kept in your car at all times. 


If you're looking to move or are thinking of moving give GetAnOffer a call at  01903 331031. We are a nationwide estate agency specialising in quick house sales with years of experience. We can sell your old house and help you find the new place of your dreams.  With our no-sale no-fee policy, you can relax and we will do the hard work for you. Find out what we can do for you today.


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