How much do removals cost?

How much do removals cost?

By Nic Hopkirk

Removal costs can take a sizeable chunk out of your moving budget. But how much cash should you set aside?

The average cost of removals in the UK varies between £420 for a one bedroom flat to around £1800 for a four bedroom house. And that's without a packing service.

Removal companies offer a range of services, from the basic to the full shebang.

The basic involves packing everything up yourself, paying for a removals firm to shift it, then unpacking everything yourself at the other end.

The premium, packing service involves a firm coming into your current home, professionally wrapping and packing everything up, moving it, then unpacking it all at the other end.

You can even add in a professional cleaning service for the house you’re leaving or moving in to.

Removal costs will vary depending on what level of service you go for, how far you’re moving, how much stuff you have and how much of your furniture needs to be dismantled down before you can get it out of the door.

Basic package removal costs

For a basic move, without a packing service, based on a maximum moving distance of 15 miles, you can expect to pay:

Number of bedrooms Removal costs
1£420 - £650
2£530 - £750
3£800 - £960
4£920 - £1000

getamover.co.uk

Premium packing service and removal costs

For a packing service up to a moving distance of 25 miles, you can expect to pay:

Number of bedroomsRemoval costsPacking serviceTotal
2£600£300£900
3£900£300£1200
4£1200£400£1800

bournesmoves.com

Do removals cost more if you’re moving a long way away?

If you're making a big move, bear in mind that some removal companies charge on an hourly basis, while others charge between £0.50 and £1 per mile. 

It's worth looking around to see which would work out best for you.

Here are some examples of removal costs for moving from city to city across the UK. They are for a basic package, rather than one that includes packing.

Long distance home removal costs from city to city

FromTo1-bed2-bed3-bed4-bed
LondonBristol£800£900£1,230£1300
LondonGlasgow£860£970£1,140£1,420
GlasgowManchester£660£770£970£1,220
ManchesterLondon£640£750£870£1,200
BirminghamManchester£560£670£870£1,120

sirelo.co.uk

How to keep removal costs low

1: Do it all yourself

The cheapest way to move home is to hire a van and do it yourself. This may be manageable if you’re a young professional living in a studio or one bedroom flat, less so if you have five kids and 30 years worth of stuff.

You’re going to need to

  • Have a major declutter, it seriously helps
  • Get decent packaging, so those plates stay intact
  • Measure up your new gaff to make sure everything will fit in
  • Hire a big enough van. The fewer the trips between homes, the better
  • Pack efficiently. Essentials in last, so they come out first
  • Label your stuff. You don’t want to be tearing your hair out looking for your bedsheets at the end of a long and tiring day, believe us

Read more in our guide on stress busting tips for a DIY move.

2. Hire a man with a van to help 

Hiring a man with a van may be cheaper, but beware of false economies. Will they have the professional experience needed to carefully manoeuvre your whole world from A to B? 

There’s a considerable amount of skill involved in moving an entire house load of stuff from one place to the next and keeping it all intact.

Removals companies have the knowledge, experience and importantly, insurance, for precisely this job. And that’s worth bearing in mind.

3: Pack your own stuff and ask a removals company to shift it

The next cheapest way is to pack everything yourself, right down to the teaspoons, and have a removals company simply help to shift the load. Otherwise known as 'the basic package'.

4: Be flexible on your move day

Weekends and Fridays are popular days for moving and therefore more expensive.

School holidays and summer time are also peak moving season, so consider an autumn or winter relocation instead if you can.

Make sure you compare quotes

If you do decide to use a removals firm, get at least three written quotes before deciding who to go with and make sure you know what you’re paying for up front. 

  • Does the removals firm charge by the hour or is it a set fee?
  • Are there extra mileage costs if you're moving across the country or is the entire distance covered in the cost?
  • Is VAT included in the quote?
  • Will you be charged if the job overruns? Or if furniture has to be dismantled?
  • Is the firm insured for items in transit?
  • Check how fees are charged. Is the quote just a quote that could increase or is it a fixed price?

Read more in the pros and cons of using a removals firm.

Tips on choosing a removals company

Get recommendations from friends and family. And if you can’t, read lots of reviews to make sure you’re going to get a top notch service.

Carrying out a quick search with the name of the removals company and the word ‘complaint’ on Google is also worth doing – you might be surprised at what comes up.

Social media will be a good source of info here too.

A professional firm will take full control of the transportation, materials, packing, loading and unloading for you – offering you peace of mind and keeping stress to a minimum.

A good tip is to look for members of trade associations, such as the British Association of Removers (BAR).

And don’t forget to factor in storage costs.

If there’s a time delay between you leaving your current home and moving to your new one, you may have to pay for temporary storage for your stuff.

A reputable company will offer safe and secure storage units – but it won’t come cheap, so be sure to factor the cost into your budget.