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What is the British Association of Removers?

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

15th Nov 2017 (Last updated on 28th Oct 2022) 6 minute read

The British Association of Removers (BAR) is an independent trade association for the removal industry. They set a standard of professional service for their removal members, promoting excellence and ensuring the best quality experience for the customer.

Removal companies who are BAR members must follow and upkeep strict standards covering everything from cancellations to the quality of removal vehicles. The BAR is a mark of quality, protecting you from mishaps and potentially careless services. Founded in 1901, it is the oldest Trade Association for the removal industry, operating for over 100 years. BAR accredited removal companies complete some 400,000 moves each year.

Although many legitimate and trustworthy removal companies aren’t BAR members, BAR removal companies adhere to a professional standard of service that movers can trust.

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This article will cover the following:
  1. What Does the British Association of Removers Mean for You?
  2. British Association of Removers Code of Practice
  3. How Can BAR Help if Something Goes Wrong?
  4. Can You Trust Non-BAR Members?
  5. What Other Accredited Bodies Are There?
  6. Comparing Trusted Removal Companies

What Does the British Association of Removers Mean for You?

The British Association of Removers (BAR) is a way of verifying if a removal company is of a professional standard. To become a BAR member, a removal company has to prove that they can meet the high standards of existing members.

All members are audited annually and must meet the membership criteria. They must also work to the BAR Code of Practice, approved by Trading Standards. This protects consumer interests including providing financial assurances for your moving day in case something goes wrong. "People that use our Members for removals or storage do so in the knowledge that they can expect complete transparency in all their dealings with the Member and will receive a high level of service throughout," states BAR.

They also assure customers with regards to financial implications, you are protected by BAR’s Advanced Payment Guarantee; "In the rare event that your mover experiences financial difficulties and is unable to carry out your move, that advanced payment will be protected by BAR." They also offer a free and independent Dispute Resolution Service if there is a dispute with your removal company.

The British Association of Removers represents and promotes over 450 removals companies in the UK. To find out if a removal company is a member of the BAR, look for the BAR badge and accompanying accreditation usually found in the footer of the removal company’s website.

Look for the BAR Badge

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British Association of Removers Code of Practice

Every independent trade association will usually have a particular Code of Practice that is tailored to their personal business and members. Below is a run-down of the key points of the BAR Code of Practice so that you know what to expect from BAR members and their services:

  • Members must provide a clear price and timeline for the move.
  • Members’ adverts must be clear.
  • Insurance must be offered as standard.
  • Members should provide relevant advice and information to the customer free of charge prior to, during and after the move.
  • Companies should ensure that all staff are sensitive to the needs of, and offer additional help to vulnerable customers,
  • All staff employed, contracted or hired by the Member shall be presentable, polite and reliable.
  • Liability must be explained, as the rights for making claims and cancelling the move.
  • Members must have responsive and user-friendly procedures in place for dealing with complaints.
  • All vehicles, warehouses and staff must meet the high standards set.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) monitors all BAR members to ensure the code is being followed.

How Can BAR Help if Something Goes Wrong?

Thanks to the Code of Practice, you’ll be reimbursed if the move is cancelled more than 10 days before the agreed date if you’ve arranged a move with a BAR member. In the event your move is cancelled less than 10 days before the moving date, you will be refunded 150%.

If the removal company cannot pay the 150% or do the work on the day, the Advanced Payment Guarantee scheme ensures the work is done by another member or that the money is refunded in full.

If the code of conduct isn’t met, or if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to turn to the BAR to resolve any issues and deal with any removal disputes. If the issue cannot be resolved by BAR, it can be referred to an independent scheme called Alternative Dispute Resolution to ensure a fair outcome.

If the removal company is not a BAR member, they might have a membership with the National Guild of Removers (NGRS) instead. If this is the case, you can make a formal complaint via their Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme.

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Can You Trust Non-BAR Members?

There are many legitimate removal companies that are not BAR members. Every professional removal company will have their own Terms & Conditions that staff will have to follow. The main factor you should look for in a mover is whether the company is insured.

At Compare My Move, we have a full verification scheme in place for new removal partners. We check that they’re a legitimate trading company with clear Terms & Conditions that are available to customers. Every partner must be fully insured and we ask for evidence of Goods in Transit Insurance and Public Liability Insurance as standard.

The Compare My Move code of practice ensures that:

  • Our removal partners contact customers within 48 hours
  • Companies perform a home survey where possible
  • Companies provide a comprehensive quotation.
  • Staff are trained and monitored professional staff
  • They have insurance in place to cover the true value of customer belongings

We constantly monitor our partners to ensure the best quality service and to ensure complete peace of mind for our users. Keep an eye out for Compare My Move verified removal companies by looking for the Compare My Move badge, found below.

Look for the Compare My Move badge

What Other Accredited Bodies Are There?

There are also many other accreditation schemes and bodies that offer similar codes of conduct as the British Association of Removers. For example, with a similar code of conduct, the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS) provide movers with the same peace of mind.

Compare My Move trust the NGRS and the BAR to such a degree that members of both organisations can skip our own stringent verification process when becoming a partner, due to the high level of standards that they are set to. This is also the case for members of the Association of Independent Movers (AIM) and Move Assured.

Other Trade Associations include:

  • The Road Haulage Association (R.H.A)
  • Federation of European Moving Associations (FEDEMAC)
  • The International Federation of International Movers (FIDI)
  • British Standard Quality Assured (BSI)

For removal companies that also offer storage solutions, they may also be members of The Self Storage Association (SSA).

Comparing Trusted Removal Companies

We hope this guide has helped you understand what the British Association of Removers is and how their members can help you by providing a high-quality removals service. Whether you’re looking for a BAR member or another legitimate removals company, Compare My Move can help you with your search.

Simply fill out our quick and easy form and you’ll be connected with up to 6 trusted removal firms in your local area. Get moving with a Compare My Move partner today.

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Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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