Moving in London can cost 3x the national average
Guest post by Simon Davies
According to a recent report by Compare My Move, movers in the UK spent an average of £10,465 on extra charges related to moving house last year. Unsurprisingly, the costs vary by region; while movers in the north east of England pay under half the average, it costs nearly three times the average to move in London.
These additional fees seem almost impossible to avoid, even with a reduction in stamp duty; however, the removals process only takes a little bit of forward planning to lower your overall costs. Here are the three approaches you can take when it comes to getting your stuff from A to B, and how to organise your move with minimal fuss, and at the minimum price.
#1 | Rent a Van
Renting a van seems like the obvious option when it comes to DIY removals, but it can be fraught with additional, unexpected costs. It’s common sense that booking a removals job is best done early, in order to secure the time you need, as well as the best price. However, this is also a contributing factor to the hardest part of renting a van—knowing how many vans you will need to transport all your belongings. Put in the time to work out the tricky task of balancing advance booking with working out how many boxes and items of furniture will need to be moved, which can be tricky.
Basic moving box calculators are available online, but these may not be as accurate as you might hope; if you have a sizeable collection of books, records or anything else, this will obviously increase the number of boxes needed by a considerable amount. These calculators also don’t factor in the space taken up by any furniture, making it more difficult to accurately determine the best size of removal van, or even the number of trips you will need to make.
You will need to work out whether it is worth hiring a larger van for your moving job, pitting the increased rental fees against the cost of making multiple trips. This not only includes how much petrol you will need, but also how many times you might need to traverse the dreaded congestion charge zone.
#2 | Hire a moving company
Whilst hiring a removals company might initially seem like an expensive proposition, it can be a surprisingly cheap option, considering the number of additional costs which are covered by the total fee, from petrol and congestion charge to insurance. London man and van experts Anyvan breakdown the standard costs of removals in London, noting that consumers have the option to either pay for removal van hire by the hour, or pay a fixed rate, which allows for more flexibility with your move.
The benefits of hiring a moving company come with their experience. Professional movers know the best way to pack your possessions, the quickest route from property to property, and will plan for parking permission in advance, so there will be risk of no long, laden walks from the van to your front door. It also helps that they do all of the heavy lifting for you. It may be an additional expense, but the convenience might justify the cost.
#3 | No frills
Of course, you may prefer to be completely in charge of every aspect of getting your belongings to your new home. This is an inherently risky proposition, but not an impossible one; using your own car, or borrowing one from a friend (especially if theirs is bigger) will certainly cut down on moving costs, and could be useful for a group of people moving together.
While it won’t suit anyone who needs to coordinate a vast number of boxes, one other removals option you may not have considered is simply hopping on public transport—you are in London after all! This is an ideal solution if your domestic setup is minimalist, or if you have the keys to your new home while still living at your current property. You can easily take a suitcase full of clothes and a duvet-filled backpack to your new house for the cost of a bus or tube fare. If you need to make multiple trips, it’s still easily done, and cheap if you can fit your return journeys within the limits of the one-hour hopper fare.
So while the overall cost of moving home might seem astronomical, especially in London, there are plenty of removals options which can lighten the financial load and make your move stress-free.