A Man with a Van – is This All You Need?

You only need to look through the local newspaper to see the amount of van orientated services there are available today. Home removals are no exception. If all you need is a few items of furniture shifting then the cost savings can be very appealing. But is it wise to trust bigger moves to just a man with a van?

Like so many things in life it often comes down to the character of the individual you are hiring. If the items you are moving have little value, perhaps insurance for your move is not such an obvious issue. It’s not impossible that your small operator is a bit more sophisticated and offers some form of insurance? So it’s perhaps a good starting point to find out if your things are covered. Obviously the very same can be said of your larger removals firm. There’s no point opting for a bigger more costly service if insurance is still in doubt. In the panic of any move things will always get damaged. It may only be a small scratch but if it’s on something you value or notice everyday thereafter, you’ll kick yourself for not sorting the insurance issue beforehand.

Estimating the amount of stuff you have is a lot trickier than you may think. Experienced removals firms are perhaps more qualified and can pull on addition staff, vehicles and equipment to make the move go more smoothly. Good removals companies are often members if the British Association of Removers or the National Guild of Removers and Storers so it’s another thing to look for if your house move is rather large and your items of reasonable value.
Without doubt the small guy can have some advantages. The man with a van can usually operate at much shorter notice than the big guys and will often charge out their time at a fixed hourly rate. Using such a service you’ll probably also need to face up to the prospect of packing everything yourself. Don’t forget to start collecting your own boxes and packing material way in advance of you move. You may also want to talk with your home insurance company to see if your belongings are covered (or can be covered) during the move.

Cost is usually the determining factor. It’s advisable to think long and hard as to the level of service you need. Try to give thought to timescales and the amount of furniture you will be moving. Are you happy (and able) to lend a hand or is you time better spent organising where things will fit in your new house? If you have a large house and plenty of furniture the stress of moving it all can’t be underestimated. You’ll be surprised at how tiring the process can be if you are not regularly doing this kind of heavy work. A small van may also mean lots of journeys, which is not the most efficient use of time, especially if you are moving out of your local area.

All said and done – ‘you pays your money and takes your choice’. Get in touch with one or two of the options in your area well before you plan to move and see what they have to offer. Are they available on the date you plan to move and what kind of guarantee do they give to turn up? Try to get a feel for their trustworthiness. It’s always a good idea to call in someone a friend can recommend. If in doubt go bigger rather than smaller, get a fixed price and make your decision.

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