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Nine Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Removal Company



So the day of your big move is approaching and hopefully you’ve found a couple of removals companies to give you a reasonable quote on getting all of your belongings into your new home.  You need to feel confident that the removal company you’re paying to do the job is going to do everything that you want done, in a timely, safe, efficient manner.  

Sometimes there can be a few bumps in the road when you’re moving house, a longer wait to get your new keys than you were initially told, for example and it’s important to know how your chosen removals company is going to deal with that.  Some removal firms begin to charge waiting time in the event of delays, others don’t.

The following article suggests nine things you may want to ask a removal company before you book with them so that you can have some peace of mind over what, exactly, they are going to do for you and what, exactly, are you going to be paying them.

What’s Included in the Removal Quote?

When you receive a removal quotation you need to read it and be certain that your chosen company actually is going to move everything that you want moved.  I know this seems a bit obvious but you need to consider various things, like, for example, large wardrobes that arrived in your home flat packed and were then assembled upstairs.  Do these items need disassembly?  Can they be carried out in one piece?  Beds will definitely need to be taken apart.

Assuming you’ve had an “in person” survey of your home then you will have been asked about larger items and whether you want to dismantle them yourself or pay the removal company to do it.  Here at Philip Marks Removals our quotations come with all of this type of work listed out in a separate column with a separate cost clearly stated.  Therefore you can clearly see what part of the cost of your removal is taken up with this work.


This enables you to see what you might be able to save by not having this done, perhaps doing it yourself?  

The same is true as regards packing, if you want us to pack for you then again this is clearly listed on the quote as a separate item.  If you feel like you need to try and reduce the overall price you’ve been quoted then you can easily see how much you could save by doing your own packing?

So to summarise you need to be clear about what service you’re getting on the day.  You do not want to be in a position on removals day where you’re standing in your bedroom with two guys and they’re saying “we can’t take the bed, it’s not been dismantled and we don’t take stuff apart so you’ll have to leave that”.  Armed with the important questions to ask about moving home you can compare removalcompanies and make the best choice.  Be clear about what each aspect of the move is going to cost, get a breakdown of all this in writing and then you can relax and know that everything’s covered and everything you want done is going to get done.

Are You Fully Insured?


Unlike other removal companies we don’t like to boast that we’re “fullly insured”. You don’t get insurance without smallprint - it’s just a fact of life. What’s excluded by that smallprint might be different to your idea of “fully insured”.

However we carry the correct insurances for household and commercial removals. If we pick a TV up in a bedroom and fall down the stairs with it:- we have goods in transit insurance which covers damage to the television, we have public liability insurance which covers damage to the stairs, we also have employers liability insurance which covers damage to the guys who fell down the stairs.

T&Cs (smallprint) can be a real drag to read through (and understand!)  So ideally when you have a survey done, or if you're arranging your move over the phone, do ask questions about what level of insurance cover is being provided for any of your belongings and do especially ask questions about the care of anything that is really super important to you.

Some insurance policies will require that items above a specific value are listed separately on the contract.  There may be a separate charge for these items.  Most insurance companies will not replace damaged items on a “replace as new” basis.  If you have a greatly cherished 40 piece china tea service the insurers are not going to buy you a whole new set if 1 plate gets broken.

New Home

It’s better to know the ins and outs of this beforehand rather than after something’s been damaged.  Although insurance is important, your best form of insurance, for something that is of immense value to you, is to ensure that it gets packed properly.  

Here at Philip Marks Removals if you point out something that’s precious to you and we’re packing it for you then we are going to bubble wrap it, surround it with copious  transit blankets, make certain nothing gets put on top of it in the lorry and take really really good care of it and in the end that’s the best insurance you can get!

Going back to the TV & stairs example, obviously if it’s been dropped and smashed or broken then that’s fair enough you can expect to be compensated for that. On the other hand if it hasn’t, but it no longer works, that’s not covered. 

Sometimes  older electrical items which have been sat perfectly still in the same place for 10 years take exception to being moved. You unplug them, carefully move them, set them down somewhere, plug them in, hit the “on” switch and nothing happens.  You are unlikely to receive recompense in this instance.


Lots of people have big flatscreen TVs these days and are concerned about how those are going to be moved.  Here at Philip Marks Removals all of our vehicles have a very large, wooden TV crate onboard.  Your TV gets covered in blankets and stored in this very sturdy crate which is lashed securely to the side rails inside the vehicle, so it’s not getting scratched and nothing’s going to end up on top of it.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

If a company’s been around a long time it suggests that they know what they’re doing.  It’s not a guarantee of course but removal companies that have a long history will probably have lots of satisfied customers who have left reviews and if you peruse those then you can have some confidence that you’re dealing with a bona fide outfit.  

Father and Son

We don’t want to give the impression that we’re anti new outfits, everyone’s got to start somewhere right?  But experience is it’s own best teacher and here at Philip Marks Removals we have twenty two years worth of knowledge about how to do removals and we pride ourselves on the level of service we offer.

We also have a whole heap of 5 star reviews from our many satisfied removals customers!

Do You Charge Waiting Time?

This is an important question that you need to ask any firm that you’re thinking of booking for your removal.  Especially if your move involves you selling your old home and buying your new home and especially if there’s a chain involved.


Delays caused by waiting for keys to show up or problems with transfer of funds or legal glitches are fairly common.  Some removals companies will add additional charges if they have to wait around before they can begin unloading.  It’s a good idea to ask about this and get a clear picture of what additional costs you may be liable for in this event.

Some firms don’t make this particularly clear in their contract terms so it’s best to ask about it upfront so you know what’s what.

Here at Philip Marks Removals we do not charge any waiting time.  The price quoted on the contract is what you’re going to pay and that’s that.

So if the keys are taking ages to show up and you’re getting a bit impatient and stressed at least there’s one thing you needn’t worry about!

What Will Be the Time Frame For My Removal?


If you are selling your current home then the exchange and complete process means that you and all of your belongings should be out of your old place by an agreed time.  Some removals get done in one day, others get done over the course of two or three days.

The two main factors that come into play here are the quantity of stuff that needs to be moved and how far it’s going.

If you have a lot of stuff to move you might need more than one removal vehicle to do it.  So when you have your survey the person conducting it is going to be looking at things like access to your property for large vehicles. Rather than having an issue on moving day it’s worth considering access for large vehicles, for both your old house and your new house, well in advance.

Once your removal lorry has parked, what’s the route out of your house to the lorry like? Slippery steps and overgrown bushes might be fine normally, but on moving day they might be quite a hazard as heavy furniture is moved. 

In some cases we might plan to load a high percentage of your belongings onto a lorry the day before exchange and complete day.  Then we could come back the following day and load the last few items, taking the focus of stress away from moving day.

Moving Day

The important thing here is that you’ve discussed the plan with whoever you’re paying to do the job and you’re all singing off the same song sheet so to speak.

If you’re moving a long way, from Kent to Scotland for example, then loading, driving and unloading all in one day is simply not possible.  Tachograph rules and the logistics of a move like this mean that it will have to be done over two or three days. 

Again, so long as you’ve discussed what’s happening and when, and everyone has a clear idea of the plan there shouldn’t be any problems.

We pride ourselves here at Philip Marks Removals on being as clear and transparent as humanly possible.  You can have faith that we’re going to come up with a suitable plan for your particular set of circumstances and inform you of that plan in clear and concise terms.  So long as everyone involved knows what’s going on that really can take a lot of the stress out of the operation.

What Removal Vehicles Are You Going To Use?

Some people aren’t too bothered about exactly what type of vehicle is going to appear on removals day, so long as the job goes off okay that’s all they're concerned about, which is fair enough.

Other people may have concerns around what’s showing up on the big day.  If your removal is relatively small then you might be thinking that the massive lorry that’s heading off down the motorway only half filled is possibly costing you more than you should’ve paid?

If your larger removal is spread across four vans you might be thinking that surely it would have been more efficient to have just one big lorry for the job?

If you have these types of concerns then you need to be bringing this subject up at the survey stage.

Here at Philip Marks Removals we have 3.5 tonne Luton style box vans, 7.5 tonne lorries and 15 tonne lorries.  When Phil comes to your house to survey what needs to be done he is always looking to provide you with the absolute optimal vehicle(s) to do your removal.

He very carefully considers the amount of belongings to be moved, what the access situation is and what kind of manpower is going to be needed for the most efficient removal on the day(s).  And most importantly he explains his thinking to you so that when our quote lands in your inbox you can see and understand what you’re getting, what you’re paying for and you know that you’re getting excellent value for your money because you discussed the plan with Phil and helped him to generate it.

Are There Items That You Don’t Transport?


There are certain things that most, if not all, removals companies won’t move.

The most common item is paint. There are no circumstances where we can insure things which are damaged by spilt paint. Most items which removal companies won’t take are things which have been excluded by insurers.

Potentially explosive items such as gas bottles, aerosols, fireworks and any kind of weapon or ammunition are prohibited. 

We also don’t like to load containers of petrol, motor oil, thinners etc.  This kind of stuff is really nasty if spilled, if it gets on your furniture, especially petrol, you’re going to be smelling it for weeks, not good!

We are also unable to transport pets.  (Most people want their pet dog or cat in the car with them anyway).   Fish tanks, lizard tanks, snake tanks, these all need to be cleared of their inhabitants before we’re going to put them on one of our vehicles.  There’s various reasons for this but the main one is insurance, no living creature would be insured in any of our removal vehicles.  Livestock movement is a whole different business, if you have a friend who’s a farmer you can chat to them about that!

Sometimes it might be convenient for you to travel in the removal van with us. This could expedite collection of keys or save you from time consuming public transport. Unfortunately we just can’t do it. Customers are not insured in our removal vehicles, there are occasions when we wish we could get around this but we just can’t.

We are happy to move potted plants but these are not covered by our insurance, so we do our best to take good care of them but if we try and load one and there’s a few hairline cracks you may not have noticed and the pot falls apart under it’s own weight there’s nothing we can really do about that.

What Other Services Do You Offer?


Different companies offer different services.  As previously mentioned we can pack/ unpack for you and this item will be listed individually on the quote that we send you.  The same applies to disassembly/ reassembly of items, as also previously mentioned.

One thing not mentioned so far is that we do offer storage.  So if you want to move all of your belongings into storage for a period of time while you hunt down your new house we can do that for you.

Be advised that our storage facility is not one where it’s easy for you to access what you’ve put in there so once again, it comes back to planning and communication.  It’s an ideal solution if you want to park off your larger items of furniture until you’ve acquired your new home.

There is no minimum or maximum time limit on storage, you can leave your items in there for as long or as short a time as suits you.  We advise customers to try and keep us in the loop regarding when you might want to come out of storage so that we can do our best to keep a slot free for you in our diary.

How Do You Collect Payment?

Most firms these days will expect you to pay via a BACS transfer straight into their company account.

Here at Philip Marks Removals that’s our preferred method.  We ask for a 50% payment upon booking us to secure your place on our diary.  Once we’ve received that payment and put you on our diary we will be attending to your removal and we will be turning other people away if they want the same day.

We then ask that you pay the balance no later than the last business day before the actual day of the removal.

You should be very cautious about booking anyone who doesn’t want a deposit.  Contract law is pretty complicated but put simply, if you haven’t paid any money you haven’t got a contract, in other words if you don’t pay them a deposit they’re not beholden to show up and you really don’t need that kind of aggravation on removals day!


Any removals company shouldn’t have any problem answering any of these questions for you and I can assure you that these questions ARE worth asking!

Moving day is a big day for you and your family, you want it to go off smooth as silk and to be fair, so does the company that’s doing the work for you.

As with so many things in life, effective communication is essential to any project proceeding as well as it can. 

If you are fully appraised of what’s happening?  And when is it happening?  You’ll be able to keep an eye on proceedings and feel confident that everything is going forward as planned.  Then, before you know it, you’re in your new home, all your worldly possessions are in there with you and so begins the next chapter !!!

Don’t hesitate, call us on 01622 67 22 17 if you want to know more about moving home.

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