Man & Van Hire
Unless you're one of those fortunate few armed with the number of a friend of a friend who can get you a van for the day at a moment's notice, chances are you're going to be hiring one out at some considerable cost. Here's everything you need to know about man and van hire.
Before you start
The first thing to do is trim the fat. With moving services charging by the size of the load and the time taken to move it from point A to point B, it's important to reduce your haul as much as possible.
In practice, this means getting rid of the things you don't need - particularly if you're the kind of compulsive hoarder with years of trinkets piled up in the spare room. Sentimentality can be expensive - so try to channel your inner pragmatist.
It's also highy recommended (and with good reason) that you take some precautions when it comes to the more fragile goods in your home. Removal companies often do not accept liability for damage caused by your failure to pack things safely. Investing in some bubble wrap and a few reinforced boxes can save you a lot of money in the long-term.
Finding the right company
Unfortunately - despite the best efforts of some websites - there remains a gap in the market for a reliable UK-wide online database of man & van hire services.
Ideally, you should try to pick a company that comes highly recommended from someone you trust - so ask around before you go delving into the unknown (even if none of your immediate social circle have recently moved, chances are they know someone who has).
Failing that, the usual suspects - Yell, Thomson Local, Gumtree, Clyex - will probably be your best bet. Try to avoid sourcing your movers from any of the less reputable directories - remember that, in the event they damage any of your belongings, they're going to need to be properly insured in order to reimburse you.
There are a few variables that come into play here: the size of your haul and number of trips needed; the time it takes to complete the job (think about how far your new home is, the volume of traffic in the area, and whether, for example, you are moving to or from a flat several storeys high); many companies also tend to charge bumper fees for a weekend job.
The modest mover - someone looking to moving the contents of a typical one bedroom flat a distance of up to 20 miles - can probably expect to pay somewhere between £150 to £250, depending on your region. A more ambitious job, however - let's say a four bedroom family house, moving a distance of around 50 or 60 miles - is likely to cost you in excess of £1000.