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Moving in London: Keeping the Costs Down

27 August 2014

London is the most expensive city in the UK, and in the top 25 of cities worldwide. When you’re moving house in London, you may therefore expect to pay higher prices than elsewhere around Britain. Whilst this can be true, there are ways to keep your removals costs down. And don’t forget, you’ll benefit from more choice and often more competition than out in the country, so you should be able to shop around for more keen pricing.

Shopping around is absolutely key to getting the best deal, should you choose to hire a professional removals firm. A quick check of the Yellow Pages or an internet search will reveal hundreds. OK, it’s time consuming to ring a hundred different companies, so you may want to whittle them down. One way of doing this is to check out there websites and look for those with clear and reasonable pricing policies. Another way is to go to an independent broker, who will do the hunting around on your behalf. They may ask for a fee, but some will charge a commission from the companies they propose, so you might end up not having to pay them at all.

Another way to save is to choose an unpopular date for your move. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s true. People always want to move on a Friday or Saturday, so going midweek may give you more choice and therefore better rates. It’s a little known fact that a Friday 13th is the least popular date in the calendar for a house move. You should find great availability and be able to pick and choose from the movers, as long as you’re not suspicious!

Give as much notice as you can, by planning in advance as much as possible. If your move is last minute, expect to pay a premium and have a lot less choice. So, even if you are keen to move house quickly, it’s well worth trying to shop around with two to three months notice. Fix a completion date that’s far enough away to enable you to take your time and get the best deal.
Another good option is a London man with van firm. These smaller companies offer door to door transport of loads large or small, and tend to only cost a few hundred pounds for a full day doing runs, rather than the thousands that a national removals chain with a household name can charge. Typically, you’ll get a friendly and personal service, tailored to what you need. One, two or three blokes to do the lifting and loading, driving and unloading. Some good ones will offer a disassembly and reassembly service for your shelves and flat pack furniture, too. With smaller vans, they’re also able to negotiate London’s smaller streets and the traffic far more easily that the big articulated trucks.

Of course, many companies – from a man and van to removals companies in London – charge by volume. So one of the best things you can do to keep costs down is to minimise what you move. Having a good clear out, doing some car boots and Ebay auctions, maybe even a garage sale, will not only remove a lot of clutter from your moving inventory but cut down on the overall volume. And you can make some money into the bargain, too. There’s absolutely no point in moving rubbish and things you no longer use with you, so grab a bin bag or ten and get ruthless.

Don’t forget charity shops in your cathartic clean out. Everyone benefits.

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