How to choose a house removal service

Harriet Meyer / 23 April 2015

Moving house can be a stressful time. We share some tips to help you choose the right removal service and make your house move go smoothly.



Moving home is an expensive process, and it’s easy to forget the extra costs that mount up, such as removals.

There are varying levels of service to choose from. Some removal companies will charge per day’s work, whereas others charge per box.

Alternatively, you can hire a van and do it yourself, but this can prove back-breaking.

Get several quotes

As with any service, it’s wise to get several quotes and compare. You might be surprised at the cost, but remember you’re paying to transport a lifetime’s worth of possessions, so don’t scrimp unless you don’t care.

A man and a van is fine for a few rooms’ worth of stuff, but if you’ve got a house full, it’s sensible to use a professional firm.

Make sure to check for any extra fees, such as completion delays if you’re buying a property, and whether you pay for boxes or they lend them to you.

Removal companies should visit you free of charge and offer a fixed quote for the service. They’ll assess how much needs to be moved, and identify any access problems. You’ll have to pay a deposit to secure a service once you’ve decided, but be wary of those asking for massive sums or cash-in-hand.

Don't get caught out by estate agents. Read our guide. 

Check recommendations

Ask friends and family which firm they’d recommend. This is a useful starting point, along with gathering quotes. You don’t want a firm that’s renowned for breaking precious items, after all. Online reviews can also help during this process.

The British Assocoation of Removers (BAR) has developed a customer feedback site. You can search by company name, or those nearest to you to find reputable firms, and read customer reviews. Go to www.trustedmover.org for more information. Another similar service can be found at www.reallymoving.com.

Check you’re protected

It’s surprising how much your possessions are worth, with most contents insurance policies using figures around £50,000. Imagine if disaster struck, and several boxes or more of valuable items got smashed, or worse, during the move. It’s wise to ask how much any company is insured for, if anything’s damaged in transit.

You can get some peace of mind by making sure you choose a removal firm with BAR membership. This means it subscribes to minimum standards of conduct, including legal, licensed vehicles that are less likely to be involved in an accident.

Not found your ideal home yet? Read our house viewing guide.

The personal touch

You want to trust the removal company you choose, so don’t just go on price. You’re handing over all your possessions into their care, so you want to pick a friendly, reputable, professional firm.

The choice is personal to you, but given moving home is known to be one of life’s most stressful events, you want to make sure there are good people around to help.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.