The first step to achieving a successful move abroad is getting your belongings to your new home safely. If you are moving to Europe you have a choice when it comes to removals: to use a professional removals firm, a ‘man with a van’ or simply rent a van yourself. If you’re moving to a long-haul destination, such as Australia, your options are limited to a professional remover or shipping company. Using a professional remover should be the safest and most hassle free option, and we offer eight tips for choosing one and completing a successful relocation.
- Plan early, ideally two to three months before your planned departure date. Take a good look at everything you are taking and bear in mind not only costs, but the aggravation factor of, say, packing up everything yourself and under-estimating the bulk – this is very easily done! Even if you are not taking heavy goods such as beds and kitchen appliances, you may well find that what looks as though it will only need a relatively small space in a medium sized van will in fact need much more.
the BAR has a free conciliation service – in case there is a disagreement between you and your BAR remover
- When choosing a remover, only use a firm that is a Member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), which means they must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which is recognised by Trading Standards. Also, the BAR has a free conciliation service – in case there is a disagreement between you and your BAR remover – and it also has a scheme that means any payment you make to a remover is protected throughout your move.
- Aim to get three removers to quote for you. They should visit your home and calculate volumes and packing requirements before offering you a written quotation. Make sure the company has its own vehicles and packers and ask if they offer a groupage rate. Sometimes firms double up if they have another assignment to the same region and this will keep the cost down.
- Preparing for a move is the ideal time to have a sort out and chuck out – after all, you are starting afresh and may well wish to purchase some furniture items when you arrive in your new home. This will save on removal costs as well as lessening the amount of packing. If transporting white goods and electrical items, check the voltage and plugs are applicable to your new home.
- Some firms offer a service whereby unwanted items are transported to a local charity for you, so do ask. Weeding and chucking out is always beneficial!
- Rates quoted will be based on many factors: the size of the load, whether it’s in a shared container or truck, how far the move is from the UK, the type of items and the number of men required for the job. Supply as much detail as you can to the company including details of your new home and where items are to go once there.
- Once you have decided exactly what you are taking, make an inventory for yourself. This allows the company to know exactly what they are taking and will help you when you unpack with each box properly numbered and ticked off against the inventory. It will also help in the event of an insurance claim, since you will be able to prove the company had the items concerned. Check the situation with insurance and what you need to do to ensure your items are adequately covered.
- Finally, get a written and dated quotation and make sure you know what is included.
Richard Way is the Editor of The Overseas Guides Company, 0207 898 0549.