Choosing an International Removals Company
Written by Zenyx Griffiths
2nd Aug 2017 (Last updated on 19th Jun 2020) 6 minute read
When you are finally taking the leap and moving abroad, you have an epic task on your hands. You may have this romantic notion of packing up your bags, hopping on a plane and heading off into the sunset to pastures new…. That all sounds perfectly peachy but in reality, there is a tonne of work to be done. You are undoubtedly going to need to enlist the help of an international removal company because, as inconvenient as it is, your sofa, bed and fridge freezer will not fit inside your suitcase!
So, you need to find a reputable, trustworthy International Removals Company up to the task of moving your belongings to another country. Doesn’t the very thought of your entire household being at sea for days, even weeks bring on anxiety beyond all imagination? It’s like you are asking for them to be lost. Fear not – There are companies out there that specialise in this… You just need to know what to look for…
International Removals Expertise
It’s important that the removal company you use are experienced in international removals because, although many of the steps in the process are the same, there are also many elements that will require specific skills, particular knowledge and extensive experience.
There are a number of things you'll need to consider when moving abroad and by using a removal company with specialist knowledge the whole process will be much easier.
Always Arrange a Home Visit
A reputable and experienced removal company will always arrange a home visit in the first instance. You may get an estimated quote over the phone but they will only be able to offer you an accurate quote as and when they have visited your home and assessed the volume of your belongings. They can also use this opportunity to scope out any access issues, any specialist items and discuss freight options, budget and time frames. The home visit is a must! If a removal company doesn’t suggest this then it’s best to avoid as this means there is a big possibility of extra, hidden costs.
An experienced International Removal Company will always discuss all your freight options with you. The likelihood is that, if you are moving outside of Europe, a shipping freight will be the most logical and cost-effective solution for you but your removal company should also run you through air freight options. Some people choose to send just a few items via air freight and the rest via sea. If you are moving within Europe then your removal company may discuss road freight options with you. The door to door road freight services should be offered as standard. When you receive quotes from potential companies, be sure that they are able to offer you a few options and advise on the best for you.
No two home moves are the same. This rule is even more prevalent when it comes to international removals. A professional company will understand this and will be more than willing to tweak and tailor the service to suit you and your needs and requirements. There should always be wiggle room when it comes to negotiating the price as and when the service is altered or adjusted too.
When you use the Compare My Move comparison service, you will be matched with up to 6 International Removal Companies and you will be offered free, no-obligation quotes. A removal company that wants your business will offer you a competitive price however, it is important that you don’t just go for the cheapest option. You must go for the best all round service and therefore, the most cost effective.
We asked one of our Founder/Directors here at Compare My Move for his thoughts on what matters when choosing an international removal company:
"The most important thing when choosing an international removal company is trust. Your belongings are going a long way unaccompanied by you. This is why Compare My Move has such a stringent verification process. We hope that by approving removal companies to become part of our partner network, customers can rest easy in the knowledge that they are only working with trustworthy professionals."
– Marc Benger (Co-Founder and Director – Compare My Move).
As part of the Compare My Move screening process, we check that Removal Companies have Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurance. These are absolutely vital. It is important that you discuss how you and your belongings will be covered during the entire moving process and in the unlikely event of damage or loss.
We spoke to the International Manager at Clockwork Removals, one of our trusted Removals Partners, who offers this advice to those looking for an International Removals Specialist:
"When choosing an international mover, first check out the company's credentials and accreditations. See if they are members of the BAR Overseas Moving Group or FIDI. To be a FIDI Accredited International Mover, the moving company must comply with very strict quality requirements by having protection measures and insurance in place to protect the customer. Secondly, do they offer comprehensive insurance options? Namely marine transit insurance which will ensure your goods are protected when they make the long journey overseas. Companies which offer a specialist export packing service are also really worth it. They will make sure your goods are packed securely with the correct packaging and will complete the customs inventory, and help with customs documentation. Finally, ask who will be handling your goods at the destination. You want to ensure the high level of service is provided throughout every aspect of your move."
- Gemma Hendry (International Manager - Clockwork Removals).
British Association of Removers
The British Association of Removers (BAR) is the trade association for the removals industry. BAR has developed a code of practice that has been approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If the International Removals Company that you are using is a member of BAR, then you can rest assured, they are complying with these highly set standards.
We asked one of our trusted Removals Partners, Simpsons Removals and Storage what is the most important thing to look for when choosing an International Removals company:
"Always choose a registered BAR Overseas Group member to be sure of the highest standards with the added advantage of an advanced payment guarantee for your complete peace of mind. BAR members go through a rigorous audit of their businesses every year to ensure they continue to meet the standards required of them. No other trade association in the removals industry provides these guarantees."
– Kirk Dugard (Project Manager – Simpson’s Removals and Storage)
There is a lot about international moves that differ from residential moves. The processes will vary depending on where you are moving and there is the small matter of customs to consider… Again, something that will vary. Packing for overseas transport also requires particular skills and expertise. A removal company with plenty of experience in international moves will be your best bet.
These are just a few tips for choosing an International Removals Firm to assist you in beginning the new chapter of your life. Be sure to use the Compare My Move Service. You will get the best deal this way with fantastically competitive quotes and you know you are using a trusted and verified professional because we have done that bit for you.