How to Choose the Right Removals Company

by Alliance Removals on February 25, 2016

  • Sumo

RemovalsRelocating or moving home is all about choices and decisions – choosing the right time, deciding on the ideal property in the most suitable area and at the right price! And of course it doesn’t stop there, financial and legal decisions continue right up until moving day itself, including how to achieve the move in the most stress-free and value for money way possible!

For many, the DIY approach of leasing a self-drive van, gathering up boxes and a few willing (and physically able) friends seems like the most cost-effective approach, but with increasing fuel and insurance costs, the self-drive option is becoming an increasingly expensive one when compared to hiring a removal company, whose costs also include the services of professional helping hands. So how do you choose the right removals company?


Many of us trust word-of-mouth recommendations by friends for all kinds of trades. As many of us have moving-day tales to tell, removals firms often find themselves featuring in moving day anecdotes, so it’s easy to follow up their tales by asking if your friends would recommend them, to gain direct recommendations.

Another way to check a company’s reputation and find out about other customers’ experiences when using them is through online directories. To belong to reputable directories, companies have to meet strict criteria and allow background checks to be carried out. The company profile within these directories also gives an overview of the company’s track record and should also demonstrate that the company’s insurance details have been checked. Each company’s main page is a showcase for their reputation and includes customer reviews and reliability, cost and efficiency ratings, all vital criteria to help you make an informed decision as to whether this is your kind of company.


Pricing can be a deciding (and limiting) factor when it comes to choosing a company. There may be set pricing in relation to the size and number of vans / removal personnel / distances involved for the job, but overall costs will vary considerably due to the different services offered by individual companies and of course the additional options involved, such as:

  • Supply of boxes and packing materials or not;
  • Packing to be done by the company or by yourself;
  • Removal and transportation only;
  • Unpacking and furniture assembly services;
  • Any overnight, short-term or longer-term storage.

A good company will understand that no two moves are ever the same and will offer a flexible pricing structure and a no-obligation quote which will take into account the requirements of the move.

The excellent thing about this is that you have a full idea of the costs on an all-in basis (with no hidden extras) to help you to make informed choices about your proposed move as a whole. However, a good company will remain flexible about adding on services as required, for example if you change your mind about packing yourself and decide to have the company to pack for you.

Timing estimates

Even if you have found an ideal company, timing is another key factor which can influence your final choice of type of removals. Often the timing of a move is set by the legal professionals in response to the clients’ wishes, but finding a date which suits everyone can often involve compromise. Having an estimated moving date early on can help to secure the services you want and a reliable company will be willing to offer a little flexibility in order to help you get organised until that moving date is confirmed.

Response to initial enquiry

Another way to judge the professionalism and quality of service from a removals company is through the speed and efficiency with which they deal with an initial enquiry. An efficient response should include:

  • Arranging to visit (as appropriate, but particularly upon request) to see proposed ‘size’ of the move and to offer advice. At this visit, the company should ask key questions about the move, including distances involved and proposed dates, as well as discuss practical issues such as packing and parking requirements.
  • Supply of a no-obligation quote, ideally within 48 hours.
  • If you book in the service with estimated dates in mind, a reliable company will keep in touch to check on dates with you and to arrange to drop off packing materials once the moving date has been formally confirmed.

Response to questions

The way a company responds to questions from potential customers can tell you a lot about the quality of their services. When reviewing possible companies to use, good questions to ask include:

  • Evidence of insurance – this will also help you to identify whether your own household insurance covers the move or whether you should arrange extra cover. If the removal company avoids answering this question, then their services too are best avoided!
  • Payment options – deposits required should be relative to the overall cost and should be via standard payment methods such as debit or credit card, as well as cash or cheque. A good company will offer official receipts and will not accept or offer “cash-in-hand” arrangements. If you are offered a ‘deal’ on a cash-in-hand basis which requires a significant deposit, then you should look elsewhere. Even if the company seems to have a good reputation, asking for cash-in-hand on a casual basis implies that their staff are also employed and paid casually, which is not good when they are going to have your home in their hands.
  • Delays policy – moves have a habit of not being straightforward, and delays at either end (particularly those involving solicitors) might be out of your hands but can still affect your pocket if you haven’t discussed a contingency beforehand with your removals company.

Finally, when the company come to price up the job, take note of their attitude and friendliness. A good removals company know that the job isn’t just about possessions and packing, it’s also about people and their plans. What you need on the day will be personable as well as professional assistance, so make that part of your choice criteria too!

Content provided by: Alliance Removals


Image via flickr (Creative Commons): Removals

Alliance Removals

Alliance Removals

Established in 1997, Alliance Moving Services is a family business offering a full range of professional removals and storage services.
Alliance Removals

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