How to choose a good removal company?
Moving house is a challenging life event: it is all about change and uncertainty. On top of that, there are dozens of overwhelming tasks involved, causing anxiety to most people. One of the most important tasks is finding a reputable removal company you can trust. No matter how well you prepared for your house move if the removal company can’t meet your expectations on moving day. So I was wondering what would be the best way to choose a good removal company?
1. Plan ahead.
First of all, you will need a plan. And you need a good one.
From my experience, you can’t move house without a good plan.
Depending on the complexity of the move, you should start to plan it 4-8 weeks ahead.
To begin with, write down what is the preferred date for your move.
Are you flexible? Are you in a property chain? Do you need the company to arrive at a specific time or are you happy with a time window?
In addition, the removal company will also need info about lifts, stairs, and parking.
Any tricky corners? Is there anything out of ordinary that can affect the loading and unloading?
Write down all the details because you will need them when getting in touch.
2. List the items.
Once you know what the job is about and have an idea about time and date, then your next move should be listing the items.
There are two ways to do this: either you book a free survey or you try to make an accurate list on your own (due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you might want to consider an online video survey if possible).
Is it just a few items or you have a lot to transport?
If you have a lot to move and do not wish to list on your own, then note down that you will need a survey and go to the next point.
If you think that you can manage the list, then follow these steps below.
The key here is to write down a detailed list as quickly as possible. Note that it is a good practice to go in descending order according to the size of the items.
Start with the furniture. Do you have a wardrobe, chest of drawers, bed, or a mattress? Try to give as much information as possible, such as brand, model, size, measurements, etc.
Can you find your furniture online? You can easily get all measurements needed from the manufacturer’s website.
In addition, list down your bulky items, appliances, and anything that you thing worth mentioning.
In most cases you will also need to give an estimate of the number of boxes.
Do you have an estimate? Add 15-25% on top in order to get nearer to the actual number of boxes needed.
Once you answered all these questions, we can move onto the next step.
3. List your requirements.
By listing down your requirements clearly, you will be able to make your search so much easier.
It is important to determine the approximate space required based on the item list you wrote earlier.
Do you have an idea about the van size required, for example a transit van or a Luton van? No worries if not, just don’t forget to ask the company when getting in touch.
Number of movers
Another important thing to add to the list is the number of people you need to load and unload. By listing down the items, you should know if certain items are too bulky or heavy for one person to carry.
Would you like to pack by yourself? If you have a large household or a lot of items to transport, a packing service can make things so much easier.
Do you need to buy boxes? Or you want the removal company to supply packing material and boxes for you?
Additional removal services
Do you require storage for your move? Do you need someone who can dismantle and reassemble? If you require any additional services, make sure you write it down as it might be an important part of the moving process.
4. Begin to search for a good removal company.
Arguably the most interesting part of all.
At this point, you already know the list of items (unless you need a survey), the service you require, the number of people you need, and any additional requirements.
For your search, I’d suggest using a removal business directory, like RemovalBear for example, where only recommended removal companies are listed.
Begin your search and try to use filters when searching. As you already know your requirements, filtering your search results will narrow down the results and help you find the perfect removal company for your move.
Narrow down results to 5-10 companies by reviewing the business profiles as I explain it further below.
5. Go through the removal company’s business profile
Let’s go through your search results.
In most cases, you will find a description of the company, information about their team, and reviews about their past works.
Get your list of requirements ready.
Go through all the profiles that you find appealing and see if they meet your requirements. See pictures and videos. Do you like what you see in terms of vehicle, equipment and cleanliness? Do they offer the services required?
First and foremost, you should consider what level of insurance does your move require.
Check the profile and find information about their insurance and see if they have goods in transit insurance. This will save you a lot of hustle in case something goes wrong during the transport. For example, check out a typical goods in transit insurance cover from Bollington, and see what is included and what’s not.
Not only goods in transit but also public liability insurance needs to be considered. This specific type of insurance will basically cover any damage a company can do to the items, your property, or even public property. Moreover, it covers personal injuries if any accident happens during the move.
It is a good practice to ask the removal company about their insurance policy so you can see what is covered and what is not.
You will find the hourly rates on the business profile.
But do you need an hourly rate or fixed price quote? The hourly rate works best for smaller moves. On the other hand, fixed price quotes can come handy when you are moving house and there is a chance that delays might happen. Good removal companies can provide you with a fixed price quote in most cases. Man and van services are usually hired by the hour.
See what is included in their hourly rates. If you like the hourly rates of the company and you need a fixed price quote from them, you will need to ask for one when getting in touch.
Cancellation and delays policy
Check their cancellation policy. Delays and cancellations happen sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances. See what are terms in case the move is delayed or canceled from either end. Good removal companies have clear delays and cancellation policies.
Go through their reviews and see both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes things can go wrong and you want to know how the business is handling these situations. Cross-check their business and do research on what people saying about them. Collect enough information that will help you make an informed decision.
COVID-19 safety check
Last but not least, see if they took extra measures to protect you from COVID-19. Our COVID-19 safety guide can be very useful to understand what to look out for.
6. Get in touch and ask questions.
A good business profile provides you with as much information as possible. However, it is possible that the business didn’t mention something that you need to know. If this is the case, it is time to ask as many questions as you need before you book.
See the business profiles of your preferred companies, then check the contact information and get in touch.
Ask important questions in writing.
In case you need a quick answer, call and ask your questions. Otherwise, ask all the important questions in writing.
Ask the company about their availability. See if they are available on your desired date and time. Are you flexible? Let them know now and you might get a better price.
Fixed price quotes
Do you need a fixed price quote? If yes, give as much information as possible, so they can offer you the best possible quote. Mention all the important details, especially when it comes to stairs, lift, and parking.
7. Review the information.
You have asked many questions and it is time to review all the information.
See which company ticks all the right boxes.
Select the one that you would like to hire.
It is a good practice to have a backup company in your book in case something goes wrong.
8. Book the best removal company.
Congratulations, you have done all the preparation and you are now good to book your service.
Set your expectations in writing
It is a good practice to confirm all the specific details upon booking. A written agreement is most probably the best way to make sure that you are both on the same page about the job. Include date, time, job description, and the price. Mention any additional information, especially the ones that can be associated with delays, like parking for instance.
Agree on the payment method
Ask if the company requires any deposit to secure your booking. Don’t pay the whole amount in advance as it is not a common practice. Furthermore, pay your deposit via bank transfer, especially for high-value moves.
Lastly, have the payment details set in writing. Pay your removal company or man and van upon completion. Tip the movers if you think they have done a good job and you are happy with the final result.