So you’re on the move. Or you need furniture or possessions shifting or storing and a hire van (or your back) isn’t up to the job. Don’t panic. Whether it’s a grand piano or your home’s complete contents, a wide choice of removal firms are limbering up to give you a hand.

Pick up some tips on how to choose a good local one using this guide.

What they do

Removers or removal firms are the people you rely on to get your furniture and possessions from one address to another.

Usually hired to help you move home, they are also ready and able to cope with shifting larger items from one location to another or storing items.

Their job involves:

  • Taking apart larger items of furniture for packing and removal
  • Removing doors, door frames or windows to get large pieces of furniture in or out of a building
  • Loading them into a vehicle and securing them safely
  • Safely unloading items at a new location

Many companies also offer specialist packing services to take a weight off your mind on the days running up to the move.

What they charge

For local moves, removal companies charge an average of £50-£60 per hour for two men and a van. There is normally a two hour minimum charge.

For long distance moves, removal firms can charge a fixed price anywhere between £450 for a one bed flat and £1000 for a four bedroom house, depending on how much you need moving.

Costs vary widely between removal companies and what may seem like a money-saving quote could end up costing you in time and hassle when it comes to moving day when care and reliability is everything.

What to ask

When you’ve chosen two or three companies that you like the look of, make sure you get quotes as soon as possible. Good firms get booked up months in advance so get in early if you can. Make sure you ask:

  • Will they visit to assess the job and see just what’s to be moved?
  • Will they check vehicle access and ensure no items are missed that may affect the price you pay on move day?
  • Can they provide a quote in writing?
  • Can they provide a full moving schedule?
  • Will your property be insured against loss or breakages in transit and storage?
  • What are the total amounts covered and limits?

Trades to trust

If your chosen remover is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), they’ll be vetted for quality of service.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different removal firms to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references from previous jobs. If the removal firm is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.