Hiring a removal company versus the DIY approach

Whether to use a removal company or hire a van and recruit friends and family to help is a question that stumps many people on the move. As with most decisions, the answer will not be the same for everyone. There are numerous factors to consider, such as time, money, and the complexity of the move.

A self-move may make a lot of sense if you’re moving a short distance  – across town, say. If you’re moving to the other end of the country or abroad, it’s often a different story. To ensure that you’re making the best decision, it’s worthwhile weighing up all the options.

Establish your priority first – is it time or money? Or perhaps a bit of both? Knowing what is the most important factor will help you arrive at a reasonable answer.

Other factors to then consider are:

1. How much stuff do you have?

For a general idea of how much room your belongings would take up when being transported, you could consider the following rough guide:

  • 26-foot trailer for 4+ bedrooms
  • 24-foot trailer for 3 or 4 bedrooms
  • 17-foot trailer for 2 or 3 bedrooms
  • 14-foot trailer for 1 or 2 bedrooms
  • 10-foot trailer for 1 bedroom

2. How far are you moving?

Estimate the mileage involved, and source the costs of renting a van or truck. If travelling long distance, you may wish to hire a larger vehicle to do the entire move in one trip. If you are moving a shorter distance, you could use a smaller vehicle and make multiple trips, Calculate the approximate fuel costs, not forgetting fuel for the return of the vehicle.

One you have indicative costs for van hire and fuel for doing the move yourself, compare these with quotes from removals companies.

You should eventually end up with a cost comparison between hiring a moving company and moving yourself. If cost is your only consideration, you will probably have enough information at this point to make your decision. But if other factors, such as time, come into play for you, you can always weigh the various options in between – from hiring a company to pack, load and ship, unload and unpack your things, to employing a company just to load, ship and unload, or to do it all yourself.

Here are some final questions to ask yourself:

  • How much time will it take to pack, load and drive to your new home?
  • Do you have additional help and support – family, friends and neighbours who could lend a hand?
  • Do you have fragile or special items that will require specialist handling? Or particularly heavy or awkward items? Can you move these yourself? If not, what will it cost to move them?
  • Will you need to rent packing crates or buy packaging supplies?
  • Are you confident that you could move your household goods safely?
  • Are you aware of any potential hidden costs that could creep into your move, such as insurance?

For further information, see www.pickdropgo.co.uk

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