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How much do house removals cost in 2023?

Removal costs can take a sizeable chunk of your moving budget. But how much cash should you set aside for home removals in 2023?

Words by: Nic Hopkirk

Senior Editor

Moving costs for different properties:

  • 1 bedroom apartment typical removal costs

Self pack from £420 - £830+ with a packing service

  • 2 bedroom house typical removal costs

Self pack from £530 - £900+ with a packing service

  • 3 bedroom house typical removal costs

Self pack from £800 - £1,200+ with a packing service

  • 4 bedroom house typical removal costs

Self pack from £920 - £1,800+ with a packing service

The cost of moving home

The average house removal cost for a 3-bedroom home is around £880.

If you have a one-bedroom flat, removal costs start from £420.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you can expect to spend £1,800 on removal services for a 4-bedroom house in 2023.

You’ll pay more for removals if you have a larger home or you’re moving a further distance.

You can also expect to pay more if you have loads of stuff or if a lot of your furniture needs to be dismantled.

You can choose to add more services to your removal, too, such as full packing and unpacking services. Your removal company will even provide packing materials for this to ensure everything is safely stashed for transportation.

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

Let's take a look at the average removal costs in 2023 and how they change according to the size of your home, the distance you’re moving and the services you want to include.

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Basic package: removal costs for a short distance

A basic removals package will transport your things from your old home to your new one.

You’ll have to pack everything up yourself and unpack it at the other end.

The basic removals costs in this table are based on a short moving distance of up to 15 miles.

Number of bedrooms Removal costsExtra packing costs
1£420 - £650£180
2£530 - £750£220
3£800 - £960£270
4£920 - £1000£350, 2023

Premium package: packing and removal costs up to 25 miles

A premium removals service will include a packing service as well as transport.

The company will pack everything you own up, transport it, and unpack it for you in your new home.

This table shows the average removal cost per size of house, plus the packing cost and total cost. It’s based on a moving distance of up to 25 miles.

Number of bedroomsRemoval costsPacking serviceTotal
2From £600From £300From £900
3From £900From £300From £1200
4 From £1200 From £400From £1800, 2023

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

Yes, removal companies will charge more if your new home is further away.

But different companies charge for this in different ways. Some removals firms will charge you by the hour. Others will charge per mile for a relocation service (usually between 50p and £1 per mile).

It's worth shopping around to see which company would work best for you.

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

Long distance home removal costs from city to city

LondonBristol£712 - £802£807 - £909£1092 - £1230£1168 - £1316
LondonGlasgow£993 - £118£1088 - £1225£1373 - £1546£1449 - £1632
GlasgowManchester£804 - £906£899 - £1013£1184 - £1334£1260 - £1419
ManchesterLondon£789 - £889£884 - £996£1169 - £1317£1245 - £1402
BirminghamManchester£681 - £767£776 - £874£1061 - £1195£1137 - £1281, 2023

5 ways to keep removal costs low

Moving house can get expensive, and you might be looking for ways to save money.

Here are a few different ways to keep your moving costs down.

1. Do the entire house removal yourself

The cheapest way to move home is to do it all yourself. 

You’ll do all the packing, and you can hire a van from a local company to move it.

This is manageable if you’re a first time buyer, or you live in a studio or one-bedroom flat. It’s probably less doable if you have 5 kids and 30 years’ worth of stuff.

To keep your removal costs and stress levels as low as possible, remember to:

  • have a major declutter so you don’t move anything you don’t want

  • get decent boxes and packaging to keep everything in one piece

  • measure up your new gaff to make sure it’ll all fit

  • hire a big enough van – the fewer the trips between homes, the better

  • pack efficiently, with the things you need most going in last. They’ll come out first

  • label all the boxes so you can easily find the kettle or bedsheets last thing on moving day

Check out our top tips for a stress-free home move.

2. Hire a man with a van instead

The next cheapest way to move house is to hire a man with a van.

You’ll pay for them to put your stuff in their van and get it to your new place. You’ll do all the packing, labelling and unpacking.

It’s cheaper to do your home removal this way, but be careful it won’t cost you in the long run.

Will the person you hire have the professional experience to get your whole world from A to B?

Removal companies have the knowledge, experience and the insurance for the job.

3. The basic removals package: pack your own stuff and get a removals company to shift it

Then we come onto the basic packages offered by removals companies.

You pack everything yourself, right down to the last teaspoon. A removals company then shifts it for you.

It’s not the cheapest way to do home removals. But peace of mind that everything will get there safe and sound can be worth the cost.

4. Be flexible on your move day

Weekends and Fridays are popular days for moving, so removals firms tend to charge more on these days.

The school summer holiday is peak moving season, because more people tend to buy and sell in spring. By the time sales go through, it's usually convenient for people to move in the summer.

This means house removals are usually cheaper in autumn or winter.

It's also a good idea to avoid other school holidays and half-terms as removals companies may be harder to book and more expensive.

5. Make sure you compare removal quotes from different companies

If you decide to use a removals firm, get at least 3 written quotes before you go for one. Check out customer reviews too.

This will help you decide which offers the best value and a good service. Plus, you can make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for up front.

Are there any hidden costs of home removals?

Some companies will factor everything into their quote. But others will have hidden costs that you might not be aware of.

You might find hidden costs for:

  • basic packaging materials or sturdy crates for antiques and electronics

  • keeping antiques or valuables extra safe (also known as a handling charge)

  • dismantling of furniture

  • moving items out of windows if they can’t get through the house

  • moving into or out of a flat that doesn’t have a lift

  • travelling through tolls or by ferry

  • not having immediate access to your new home (such as if you’re late getting your keys).

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

Checklist: what to ask a removals company

When you’re speaking to removals companies, set out your exact requirements.

This includes the distance you’re moving, if you have any antiques or fragile items, and how easy it is to access your old and new homes.

Make sure you ask your removal firm these questions so you have all the information up front.

  1. Do you charge a set fee for the removals or will you charge by the hour?

  2. Is the entire distance covered in the cost or are there extra mileage costs I should be aware of?

  3. Is VAT included in the quote?

  4. Do I need to pay for any packaging?

  5. Will I be charged extra if the job overruns?

  6. Will I be charged extra for dismantling furniture?

  7. Are you insured for items in transit?

  8. Is there any possibility this quote will change, and if so, what are the reasons?

Top tips for choosing a removals company

Get recommendations from friends and family

If your friends and family have moved house recently, chances are they’ll know a good removals firm. 

Read lots of reviews

Check out removals websites and social media pages to find reviews. They can help you make sure you find a company with top notch service.

Do a quick search with the name of the removals company and the word ‘complaint’ on Google. You might be surprised at what comes up.

Look for members of trade associations

Some removals companies are members of associations, such as the British Association of Removers (BAR). 

Don’t forget to factor in storage costs

Is there a time delay between you leaving current home and moving to your new one?

You may have to pay for temporary storage for your stuff.

Some removal companies offer storage, but you might need to find a separate storage firm.

They’ll offer safe and secure storage units. But it won’t come cheap, so be sure to factor the cost into your budget.

Should I use a removals company or do it myself?

There's no right or wrong way of moving house. It comes down to whether the cost of a removals company will be worth it for you.

If you've got less stuff or are moving a short distance, you could save a lot of money by doing it yourself.

But if you have a big house or you're moving a long distance, you might find the cost of a professional is worth it.

The right removals package could give you peace of mind and take away some of the stress of moving day.

That way, you can focus on the fun bit: getting everything just where you want it in your new home.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.