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When to Book a Removal Company

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

18th Jul 2022 (Last updated on 18th Mar 2024) 5 minute read

Ideally, you should book a reputable removal company as early as 4-6 weeks before your moving date.

Whilst this isn’t always possible, it’s often the advised timeline. It gives the removal company plenty of time to assess your requirements and create a bespoke and flexible plan that’s tailored to you. However, if you're organising a long-distance removal or an office relocation, you may need to give more notice.

To help you prepare, we’ve created a list of frequently asked removal questions, providing you with all the information you need to get started.

  1. When to Book a Removal Company?
  2. How Do I Choose a Removal Company?
  3. Be Aware of Busy Periods
  4. Can I Book a Removal Company Without Knowing a Date?
  5. What is a Pre-Move Survey and Do You Need One?
  6. What Happens if I Book a Company Too Soon?
  7. Can I Book a Removal Company at Short Notice?
  8. Do You Pay a Removal Company in Advance?
  9. Do You Arrange Parking for the Removal Van or Will They?
  10. Are There Storage Options?

When to Book a Removal Company?

You should book a removal company 4-6 weeks before your completion day. If you book early, you'll benefit from an array of benefits. These include:

  • Comparing quotes
  • Arranging a home removal survey
  • Deciding on additional services
  • Reviewing costs and company information
  • Making final arrangements

How Do I Choose a Removal Company?

There are many ways to choose a removal company.

One of the biggest factors that should influence your choice is insurance. All reputable moving companies will have Goods in Transit and Public Liability insurance to protect you and your items. You should be able to ask for a copy of their insurance policy as reassurance.

You should also find out if the staff are regularly trained. This will determine how well your possessions will be taken care of. If the moving company is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), you can rest assured that they’ll be held to the highest of standards.

You can search for multiple removal quotes using:

  • Comparison websites
  • Online searches
  • Newspapers or ads

By using Compare My Move, you can save up to 70% on your moving costs. We only work with verified and experienced removal companies to ensure you receive the highest quality services possible. This will help to relieve some of the stress of moving house.

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Be Aware of Busy Periods

According to our research, the most popular time of year to move is summer, with the majority of house moves happening in August. Friday was revealed as the most popular day of the week to move.

The busiest period for the removal industry is typically summer as the brighter days and clearer skies create ideal travelling conditions. This means that their workload will increase, so you‘ll have more competition when comparing quotes. This is also true for weekend moves.

Winter is typically seen as the least popular season, meaning you may find more options available to you. Sunday proved to be the least popular day of the week. However, it was also the cheapest.

For more information, read when is the best day and time to move house?

Can I Book a Removal Company Without Knowing a Date?

The majority of moving companies will provide an accurate quote based on provisional moving dates so you don’t have to provide a set date immediately.

They will wait to finalise the move closer to the time, making it more flexible for you. If you have to eventually cancel the move, you may be faced with a cancellation fee.

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What is a Pre-Move Survey and Do You Need One?

A pre-move or house removals survey is when someone from the chosen removal company visits the property to assess the requirements for the move. They will assess the volume of goods and ask you questions regarding your specific needs.

A member of the removals team will either physically visit your home or request a video call. They will view each room, ask you questions and make notes of any fragile or difficult items. The entire process should take 20-30 minutes to complete.

What Happens if I Book a Company Too Soon?

Whilst it’s tempting to get prepared as soon as possible, there are disadvantages to booking a removal company too soon. The moving day may change if there are complications in the transaction, resulting in additional rebooking costs.

It’s often recommended that you book a removal company after the exchange of contracts to avoid these risks. As the contract is legally binding at this stage, it’s unlikely the transaction will fall through.

Can I Book a Removal Company at Short Notice?

Yes, whilst it may seem difficult, it’s possible to book a last-minute house move.

Whilst the recommended time is 4-6 weeks before completion, this isn’t always possible. You should try booking at least 7 days before the moving date for a better chance of getting accepted. However, if you require even shorter notice, you should ring around and compare.

When you have less time to find a reliable company, careful consideration and compulsive organisation are vital. Make sure you ask all the right questions before choosing and don’t opt for the first moving company that’s available.

For more information, read how to move house at short notice.

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Do You Pay a Removal Company in Advance?

Some removal companies may ask for a deposit when you make your initial booking. This is to secure your slot. The remaining amount will typically be paid at least a week before moving day.

If your removal company is a member of BAR, you will be expected to make full payment in advance. This is referred to as an Advanced Payment Guarantee Scheme. This provides additional safety to both the company and the clients.

Those embarking on a last-minute move may be asked to make a full payment on booking. It's important to bear in mind that every removal company is different, so it's best to determine a full payment timeline when you book.

Do You Arrange Parking for the Removal Van or Will They?

Some moving companies can help with arranging parking but you can do it yourself. It’s essential you consider parking in your planning to reduce the risk of delays or extra charges.

You will need to warn the company of any issues with accessibility, such as tight streets or gated premises. You should also consider the size of the removal van and whether you need to speak to your neighbours about reserving space outside the house.

If you think the removal van will need to park on a public road or on yellow lines, you may need to contact your local council to arrange the correct permits. Most removal companies can assist you with this.

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Are There Storage Options?

Some moving companies will offer self-storage solutions or will recommend storage providers to their clients.

If you’re looking for verified and trusted storage companies, Compare My Move can also help you compare storage quotes in your local area. Every partner uses state-of-the-art security systems and alarms to protect their units, with active CCTV monitoring the facilities.

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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