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How to Choose Your Moving Date


Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

31st Oct 2019 (Last updated on 4th Apr 2024) 10 minute read

Once your offer has been accepted on a house and you've had your property survey results, you'll need to choose your moving date as soon as possible. You will need to compare moving companies and book a removal date so you can begin organising everything else that comes with moving house. Firstly, you will need to compare conveyancing solicitors, begin packing and then get removal quotes from local removal companies.

As always Compare My Move are here with some top advice on choosing your move date. Whether you are buying or renting, we highlight tips and considerations below which should be taken when deciding when to move out.

  1. Popular Moving Dates Across the UK
  2. When Do You Get a Moving Date When Buying a House?
  3. Choosing a Moving Date as a Buyer
  4. Choosing a Moving Date as a Renter
  5. Tips for Choosing Your Moving House Date
  6. Moving House and Starting a New Job
  7. Moving House and Moving Schools
  8. Save Money on Your House Removals

Popular Moving Dates Across the UK

After analysing over 95,000 house removals in 2021, we’ve discovered that summer is the most popular time of year to move house in the UK. This a fairly common removals question for movers across the country.

This is unsurprising due to the brighter days and hotter weather resulting in the perfect moving conditions. It’s important to compare removal quotes as early as possible as this time of year is often very competitive amongst movers making it more difficult to choose a moving date.

We’ve also researched removal dates across some of the major UK cities to uncover the best time to move house in specific locations. It’s interesting to see that in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, the preferred time to move is in August. Much of the UK seem united in the fact that summer provides ample amounts of free time to finish the moving process. With the school holidays ensuring there’s less disruption for the entire family, it's easy to see why this is the most desired time of the year.

Best Time to Move House Across the UK

Our team have also discovered that the most popular day to move across the UK is Friday. Again, this is rather unsurprising as the weekend provides lots of free time to ensure you can unpack and settle into your new home without disrupting your working schedule.

If you’re planning to move house on a Friday, then you’re looking at an average cost of £937.19 overall. However, if you’re looking to stretch your budget even further, then Sunday is actually the cheapest day to move. Moving on a Sunday reduces the average cost down to £717.13 making it a big contender when choosing a moving date. Don’t forget that many estate agents and conveyancer’s offices are closed on Sundays, possibly delaying the process.

Compare My Move User Data 2021

When looking into specific regions, the data shows that again, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and Greater London are in agreement that Friday is the best day to move house. However, the odd ones out are currently Central London where movers prefer Saturday as their moving day and Northern Ireland, who prefer Wednesdays as their moving date.

Choosing to move midweek isn’t very common but Wednesday is the cheapest day to move in the working week costing an average of £770.03. Perhaps the lower cost and the potential of part-time workers taking advantage of midweek breaks are some of the reasons why Wednesday is also a favourite when choosing a moving date.

From the data collected, it’s obvious that the weekend is the preferred time of the week to move house. Whether it’s a Friday or a Saturday, by allowing yourself the extra free time to pack, unload and begin to settle in, you can soon make your new house into a home without the process colliding with your working week.

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When Do You Get a Moving Date When Buying a House?

The major indicator for receiving a moving date is the completion day. For the buyer to secure the keys to the property and begin the process of moving in, the completion day must occur and the conveyancing process must be near its end.

For all this to happen, you and the seller must be close to exchanging contracts and ready to complete the transaction. Once the contracts have been exchanged between conveyancers, you can then begin choosing your moving date and start comparing removal companies to approve a day.

Keep in mind that although it’s possible to exchange contracts and complete on the same day, it can also take up to 7-28 days after the exchange to complete the process. It’s also common for buyers to receive the keys sometime after midday on the completion date. If you’re lucky enough to be handed them immediately, you can begin moving in as soon as possible.

Choosing a Moving Date as a Buyer

When buying a property or moving out from a property you own, it can be more difficult to choose and secure a moving date. This is especially true when you're part of a chain of movers waiting for properties to become available. This means having an external force that dictates when you will be able to physically move.

Much of the timing in this situation will be down to the terms of the agreement between you and the current homeowner. For example, they may have not found a new home and therefore will not agree to move out until they have found one. This can mean a very long time to wait before being able to choose a date. Equally, if the current homeowner has any other issues with their new home or other unexpected challenges, then this can also delay the process.

Once the current owner of your new home has decided they can move out they are likely to give a date on which they will be vacating the property. It makes sense to plan your move as soon as possible after this date, however, there is usually nothing stopping you from delaying this. Of course, this does depend on your agreement with those that are purchasing your current property from you.

Choosing a Moving Date as a Renter

Arguably, renting a house will help make it easier when it comes to choosing a moving date. You should read your rental agreement a few times to ensure you understand the document. This will give you an idea of any notice you will need to give on moving out of the property. It will also help you understand any work that may need to be done in order to qualify to receive your deposit back in full once you have moved.

For example, it may state that the house or flat needs to be professionally cleaned with no stains, marks or scuffs on flooring. It may also ask for any cosmetic alterations such as paint or hooks for pictures needing to be put back to their original state.

Once you have read through your agreement and understood the timelines in terms of your commitment, as well as any waiting time in terms of moving into your new property, you will be able to select a move date that fits accordingly.

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Tips for Choosing Your Moving House Date

To help you narrow down your options, here are Compare My Move’s top tips for choosing your moving date:

  1. Prioritise - make sure you do what’s best for you and your family’s personal needs. Whether you’re moving with children or pets, it’s important to prioritise what needs the most attention and when. If moving during the school holidays is easier for your children, then consider that as a start for your moving date.
  2. Flexibility is Key - it’s important to remember that not everything pans out the way you think it will. Plans change, dates get cancelled, you have to go with the flow and try to work with what you have.
  3. Stay Organised - plan ahead and organise your duties into a checklist so that you don’t forget any important tasks. Give yourself the time you need to complete everything by your chosen moving date.
  4. Check Availability - if you’re moving with the help of a removal company or family and friends, ask them about available dates beforehand to give you a variety of options. If you’re using a removal firm, the change in date could even mean a variation in cost.
  5. Consider Time of Day - it’s usually better to move as early in the day as possible. If you move in the morning, you have the entire day to unpack and settle into your new home. The time of day can also affect traffic and the length of the journey, as well as how many breaks you allow yourself. The longer you have to complete the job, the more patient and considerate you can be.
  6. Consider Storage Solutions - you may have to arrange additional services with your removals company that could affect the timeline of the move. One possible service may be furniture storage during your house move. If you realise you have an excess amount of furniture that needs moving, you may want to rent a storage unit before your moving day to make the process easier and more efficient. Don't forget to factor this into your timeline to ensure the additional items are packed up and stored before your moving date.

Moving House and Starting a New Job

Starting a new job can impact your house move in 2 ways:

  1. The start date may dictate your moving date
  2. You may need time to move and prepare the house before starting the new job

Firstly, if you're moving far away, the start date of your new job and the finish date of your old one may well dictate exactly when you are able to move. For example, if you are able to move immediately, but your working contract does not end for a month, then you'll either have to wait to move or accept that there will be a long commute.

Equally, it's likely that you will need some time off to move out and settle into your new home. Of course, if your new employer is understanding and flexible, they may allow you a few days to undertake the effort involved in moving. Yet in many cases, this isn’t possible, so communicating with your employer about your moving plans and requesting some leave or unpaid leave will give you time to get this done.

Moving House and Moving Schools

If you're moving house with children, choosing a moving date can be even more of a challenge. This does depend on which stage the individual in question is at in their education. For example, if they are at a crucial point during their time at school, such as exams, then it's unlikely that a school will let them leave until the period is over or there's a natural break/holiday.

At other times this can be easier, with many school moves taking place during term time, as long as there isn’t too much of an impact on the individual given the amount of time they will take out of the educational system. Do your research to ensure they will secure a new school place.

It's also worth considering how emotionally difficult this process may be for those within education. It's likely that they will have created a friend group and will be familiar with the school environment and those that work there. Pulling them out of this without much warning or time to adjust can be upsetting. For this reason, where possible, it's best to move during a natural school break in order to provide a natural process of leaving. This will also benefit with starting at the new place of education as most syllabuses will be gently broken back into after a break.

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When you've decided the best day to move house, make sure you use Compare My Move to get the best deal for your house removals. We will connect you with up to 6 verified and trusted removal companies in your area to help with your move.

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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