How to choose the best removals company

July, 2022

Unless you live in a small house or flat, it's always worth hiring a professional removals company to help you move. Although packing up and shifting your stuff may not sound that difficult, there is an art to packing fragile items so that they're properly protected and do not break in transit.

Removal workers will also know how much weight they can carry and will do so in a safe way, so you can avoid hurting yourself. 

How to choose the best removals company near you

Go to Which Trusted Traders endorsement scheme which can help you find a reliable removals company near you. These have passed Which’s rigorous assessment process, which involves credit, reference, and administrative checks, as well as an interview from one of their trained assessors. They also have an ombudsman service on hand to provide independent dispute resolution if things go wrong.

How much does it cost to use a removals company?

Several factors will determine the cost of using a removals company. The amount of goods being transported is a key consideration, but the distance travelled, size of crew and speed of packing will also play a role in deciding the total cost.

A good removals firm will explain their charges and how you might be able to lower the cost. Many firms will offer a discount if you source your own packing materials and help with the packing, for example. 

The table below estimates the cost of hiring a van to move yourself (which we don't recommend you do for a house with more than two bedrooms), using a removals company for different sizes of house and getting a removals company to pack for you as well.

Estimated moving costs


One bedroom

Two bedrooms

Three bedrooms

Four bedrooms

Five bedrooms

Hiring a van



Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

Removals company






Add packing by a removals company






Getting quotes from removals companies

Get at least three quotes from removals companies, preferably from firms that will visit your property rather than just estimating the cost over the phone.

This is particularly important when there are factors such as restricted access or very tight stairways that will affect the job. 

If you do get a quote from a company that isn't able to visit your home in person, be as honest and accurate as you can when listing your possessions, and don't forget the contents of a loft or garage.

If you're relocating to a different part of the country, it may be worth getting an estimate from a firm based in the area you're moving to, as prices there could be more competitive.

Ask for the estimate to be broken down so that you can see how much you'd be paying for insurance, packing, hourly rate, mileage and any storage costs. This will help you compare quotes more accurately. Find out whether overtime rates apply and, if so, what time they start.  

Heavy or tall lorries can’t always cope with steep gradients, tight bends or uneven roads. Check whether there are access or parking problems at the other end: you may need to contact the police or council to get permission to unload, or to have a parking meter suspended.

Briefing a removals company 

Once you've chosen your removals firm, it is helpful to send them a briefing sheet that lists: 

  • any items needing special packing, such as pictures, antiques and valuable objects
  • difficult-to-move items, such as pianos
  • wardrobes or other large furniture that may need to be dismantled
  • any carpets and curtains that are going with you
  • items that you are moving yourself
  • a floor plan of the new property so that they can put boxes in the correct rooms when unloading.

Removals insurance 

Be sure to ask what would happen if the move is delayed and you can't get into the new property in the afternoon or the next day.

It's also worth checking if your removals company has adequate insurance cover for your possessions and what the time limit is on claiming on insurance after the move.

If you have any high-value possessions, check whether they need special packing and whether they'll be covered by the removal company's insurance in the terms and conditions (some policies set a limit per item or box). A removal company may restrict their liability for your items up to a certain amount per box, unless you tell them the value of what's inside, however this could raise your quote.

You can choose to do some of the packing yourself, which will save on costs, but steer clear of packing breakables and remember the removal firm's insurance will not cover items that you have packed.

If you want any advice on moving home or selling your home, please get in touch with the team on 0121 430 4448 or email


Recent Articles