Is it worth hiring a removal company?

Moving house is undeniably expensive so is it worth hiring a removals company? What about hiring a man & van service or even moving home yourself? With this in mind, we have put together some information to help you decide what service would suit you. 

What is the difference between a removal company and man with a van?

A man and a van service is exactly what it says. The service is usually tailored to small moves; you will be supplied with one or two operatives and a van. The vehicle generally used by these services is a 3.5 ton van which only requires a category B licence (car licence) meaning they can only service smaller moves. Due to a lack of regulations within these services, the operatives involved in the move may have little or no training so service levels will vary but the price will reflect this. 

In stark contrast, a reputable removals company within the UK will have a form of accreditation, most notably membership of the British Association of Removers. Drivers and operatives will therefore have industry regulated training and the businesses themselves will be subject to annual audits by their governing body to ensure they are complying with strict codes of practice. BAR members also offer extra protections to the customer like their Advanced Payment Guarantee Scheme. 

Removals Companies usually have a fleet of vehicles to accommodate a wide variety of moves and employ experienced drivers with the relevant category C1 and C LGV licences. The vehicles used by man and van operations aren’t regulated which can mean they are poorly maintained and aren’t compliant with ULEZ, something which is becoming increasingly vital in the transportation and logistics sector.  BAR members must have proficient, purpose-built vehicles which are subject to regular inspections and large accredited removals companies will have ULEZ compliant, fuel efficient vehicles within their fleet. 

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The importance of Insurance

In no other circumstances, other than a house move, would you load your entire home contents into the back of a van. Moving house is stressful enough as it is so you want to make sure you are in the best hands with the best cover. Man and van companies should, at least, have public liability and employers liability insurance but these policies only cover the mover and not the customer. 

Accredited movers offer specialised ‘Goods In Transit & Storage Insurance’. This policy ensures your belongings are completely protected at all times during the moving process and is underwritten by a specialist insurer. The cover does not affect the claims record on your household insurance should a claim need to be made. Claims can be submitted directly to the insurer and you’ll have a right of recourse to the Financial Ombudsman if any problems or disputes arise.

Need additional services?

Reputable removals companies can offer extensive additional services which man and a van business simply cannot execute whether that is due to experience or equipment. 

Larger home moving companies have surveyors who work with you to plan the move well before your move date. You can then go through exactly what you need from your move. You may need furniture dismantled and reassembled or you may need to move a piano, pool table or oversized fridge all of which are heavy oversized and expensive items needing specialist equipment and protection. You may also need additional help with packing, something trained removal operatives will carry out quickly and efficiently in the days before your move. Some companies will also offer more specialised services like bespoke crates for high value furniture antiques and fine art

Some moving companies have specialist services for downsizing moves including long term storage and moves to multiple locations. 

Choosing a removals company

Every move is as unique as you are so choosing the right service for you will depend on your type of move. If you are moving a few boxes and suitcases to the other side of town then the cost effective solution might be using a man and van service. For anything more it might be safest and (in the long run) easiest to find a reputable removals company through the BAR. You will pay more for an accredited removals company but you will also be getting the correct insurance cover, highly trained staff and all the additional extras to help your house move go smoothly. 

For more information on our professional removals services get in touch with the Clockwork Removals team today. 

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