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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 12th Jul 2021) 5 minute read

The British Association of Removers (BAR) is an independent trade association for the removal industry that sets a standard of professional service for their removal members, ensuring the best quality experience for the customer. Founded in 1900, BAR has sought to standardise the quality of removal services, nationally and internationally, for over a century.

Removal companies who are BAR members must adhere to strict standards covering everything from cancellations to the quality of removal vehicles. The BAR is a mark of quality, protecting you from potentially careless services. Although many legitimate and trustworthy removal companies aren’t BAR members, BAR removal companies generally mean a professional standard of service movers can trust.

Maybe you’ve seen the BAR badge, or maybe you’ve heard the name. But what does a removal company being a member of the BAR actually mean for you as a mover? Compare My Move is here to explain the answer so that you’re prepared before comparing companies.

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This article will cover the following:
  1. What Does the BAR Do for Movers?
  2. The BAR Code of Practice
  3. How Will the BAR Help if Things Go Wrong?
  4. Can You Trust Non-BAR Members?
  5. Comparing Trusted Removal Companies

What Does the British Association of Removers Mean for You?

All BAR removal companies adhere to a strict standard of service. With such a range of removal companies to compare, looking for a BAR badge is an easy way to check if a removal company is legitimate. It’s worth pointing out that many legitimate removal companies aren’t BAR members. There are actually many other bodies of accreditation to consider. But know that BAR removers, by default, must meet a stringent Code of Practice.

The code covers service standards, ensures all staff are fully trained and sets out a professional standard for materials, warehouses and vehicles. The British Association Removers is a simple way of verifying if a removal company is of a professional standard. The code also provides financial assurances for your moving day in case things go wrong.

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.

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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. Here is a quick run-down of the key points of the BAR Code of Practice to give you an idea of 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.
  • The company must offer insurance as standard.
  • 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. 
  • The companies must operate from an established commercial place of business and comply in full with all regulations.
  • 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 Will the British Association of Removers Help if Things Go Wrong?

Thanks to the Code of Practice, if you’ve arranged a move with a BAR member, you’ll be reimbursed if the move is cancelled more than 10 days before the agreed date. If you’re unlucky enough to have your move 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 speedy and fair outcome.

In summary, the BAR acts to ensure that if anything does go wrong or if there are any delays, your move will still go ahead when possible from the result of extra support.

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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. However, the main factor you should keep in mind as a mover is whether the company is insured.

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. In fact, Compare My Move trust the NGSR 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.

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. This is the main factor for mover peace of mind: knowing that you and your personal items will be completely protected.

Our code of practice ensures that our removal partners contact customers within 48 hours, performs a home survey where possible, that they provide a comprehensive quotation, train and monitor professional staff and also have insurance to cover the true value of customer belongings. We constantly monitor our partners to ensure the best quality service. You can read more on our verification process here.

We do this to ensure complete peace of mind for you, the mover. Keep an eye out for Compare My Move verified removal companies by looking for the Compare My Move badge, found below.

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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 narrow down the 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. No need to scour the internet for a reliable removal company when they’re all here in one place waiting for you. Get moving with a Compare My Move partner today!

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

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.