How To Pick The Right Removal Firm

Expert advice from McCarthy's Removals and Storage

Finding the perfect new home is only the first part of the moving process. Once the searches and surveys are complete, contracts exchanged and the date is set, there’s the small matter of packing up and moving all your worldly possessions.
Although it can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought, choosing the right removals firm is vital. You are trusting these people to look after everything you own and transport it safely to your new home – so it deserves some proper consideration!
We asked the experts at McCarthy’s Removals and Storage for their top tips on picking the perfect moving partner. With over 40 years of experience managing moves across Yorkshire, the UK and indeed the world, they know a thing or two about how to avoid any potential pitfalls come moving day.
McCarthys Van Moving Across The Bridge

Do it yourself?

Of course it is possible to move yourself – but for the average homeowner moving the contents of a three bedroom house, it will save you a lot of time, stress and heavy lifting to bring in the professionals. Removals firms are the experts, doing this day in and day out, and what would take you days in a smaller self-drive van can be achieved by them in a few hours.
Mike McCarthy, who heads up the team at McCarthy’s, explains: “It’s amazing how quickly, but how carefully, a good professional will get your entire household packed up and on a van. But like any industry, there are cowboys out there, so you need to make sure you choose a good, reputable firm.”
Do your homework

Research local companies and ask around. Who have family and friends used? Were they happy? Are there online reviews?
Try and get several quotes to compare, and give yourself time to do this. It’s fine to start approaching companies before you know your move date to get a price, and ideally you want to give at least a month’s notice. When the quotes come in, remember this isn’t just about price.

Perhaps some offer to charge by the hour – but what happens if things are delayed on the day? How do you ensure the team working on your move is being productive and not dragging their feet to make more money? A fixed price can help with budgeting. At the end of the day, you need to trust these people with everything you own – so a gut feeling is also an important aspect of the choosing process.
Check out credentials

One good indicator of whether a company is trustworthy is whether they have the appropriate awards/credentials. The firm should always be a member of BAR (British Association of Removers). This means they will be audited regularly and have properly licensed and insured vehicles – which is obviously very important! Also ask to see their badge for British Standard BSEN:12522 for home moving and storage. A reputable company won’t mind you asking.
Also something to consider - does the firm have a physical office you could visit if needs be? Or does it work from an unspecified location and mobile phone numbers?
Pack it in

Some removals firms offer packing services – find out what packages are available and exactly what they include. Does it include taking furniture apart? Do you need to remove your appliances (such as a washing machine) from the plumbing, or can they do that?
Regardless of whether they are packing for you, or you prefer to do it yourself, ask questions about whether you need to empty drawers and wardrobes or if they will move them with contents in place.
Consider whether you have any particularly unusual or valuable items to move and ask exactly how they would plan to transport them – and keep them safe. As Mike McCarthy explains: “If you have a grand piano which is never going to fit through the door, do your removers have the expertise to bring in specialist equipment? And if you’re lucky enough to have an expensive Ming Vase, then how would they recommend it is transported? You need to feel confident it’s something the removers have managed before and will take in their stride – whilst ensuring they fully understand the importance of the item you’re discussing. It may not even be valuable financially, but if it’s important to you, it should be handled as if it’s priceless.”
Also do they supply or can you buy good quality boxes and packing materials from them?
Be clear

Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the quote. What happens if the date needs to change or if there are delays on the day itself? House moving is unpredictable – are you confident they can be flexible as needed? And how do they want to be paid? As with anything, be wary of those only working ‘cash in hand’.
If needed, can the removal firm offer storage? Dates don’t always line up so there may be some time in between leaving your old home and getting the keys to the new. What happens if they take your packed up property to be stored and how can they guarantee to keep them secure?
Get covered

Are your goods covered whilst being transported? What happens if something is damaged? Are their vehicles properly licensed and maintained? If your goods are going to be kept by the removal firm overnight, what security measures are in place?
Signed, sealed, delivered…

Make sure you get a signed agreement you’re happy with – and read the small print. There are plenty of horror stories out there of companies not turning up, or demanding more money last minute. Make sure your move has a fairytale ending!

McCarthy's Removals And Storage Logo
McCarthy’s Removals & Storage is based on Meanwood Road, Leeds and also has self storage facilities in Harrogate and Wakefield. It carries out removals across the UK.
(0113 262 3000)

Publish date: 28/08/2018

Publisher: New Home Finder