How To Choose the Best European Removals Company
There are currently 1.2 million British-born people living in European countries. So if you are planning to move to another country in Europe, you are in good company!
However, moving from one country to another can be extremely stressful. On top of the practical planning, it can be very emotional leaving your home behind and getting to know a new culture. In fact, this can be as emotionally stressful as going through a divorce!
Staying on top of the practical elements of your move can help you keep this stress under control. This involves finding a great moving company to help you transport your valued possessions to your new home. So how do you find a European removals company that will deliver high-quality care for your property?
If you’re looking for an international removals company, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn our top tips for finding a great removals company to help you relocate to Europe.
1. Figure Out Your Moving Schedule and Needs
Moving abroad involves a lot of practical planning. You’ll have to find a new home, organise insurance coverage for the country that you’re moving to, and sort out a visa. And that’ll just cover the basics of your move!
Because of this, you should allow between three and six months to plan your move and get everything in place. This will create a moving schedule and help you figure out what support you need from a removals company.
For example, you need to put together an inventory of everything you will be taking. This can help you figure out:
- How much space you will need to move your belongings
- Which packing materials you will need to protect your belongings
- Whether or not you have anything that requires specialist packing or transportation
Once you know this, have a look at when you want to move your belongings. This will probably be one of the last steps you take in the migration process.
However, a lot of house removals companies get booked up in advance. So you should book your removal service as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
2. Have a Look Online For a European Removals Company
If you are looking for a removals company near you, it is a good idea to head online. This will help you to find a number of removals services in a matter of minutes.
Once you have a list of names, you can start comparing their services, prices, and the quality of care that they offer. Of course, you should make sure you’re looking at companies that handle European removals to the country that you’re moving to.
Local removals companies in Liverpool might also pop up in your search. But if they can’t get your belongings overseas, they won’t be any help to you.
3. Check Out Reviews Before You Hire a Company
Reviews and recommendations tell you a lot about the quality of service that a removals company offers. After all, these reflect the experiences of real customers, so they can give you a good insight into what to expect from a company.
When reading reviews, you should look out for comments about:
- How well the removals company communicates with their clients
- Whether they provide a high-quality packing service
- How efficiently they work
- Whether any belongings got damaged during their journey
- If there were any delays to the removal service
A lot of poor reviews is a serious red flag for any removal company. If you come across any of these, you should look elsewhere immediately.
Make sure you check out reviews on independent websites, such as Google Reviews or Checkatrade. After all, a company isn’t going to post negative reviews on its own website!
You should also look at reviews from the last year or so. These recent reviews will tell you a lot about how good a removal company is now rather than how good it used to be.
4. Look For Accreditation
The majority of UK-based removal companies will be part of a trade organisation or association. These help to regulate removal practices and provide accreditation for their members. So make sure to look out for this.
The British Association of Removers (BAR) is the most popular organisation with most removal companies. Companies that are registered with BAR must:
- Deliver work that meets the industry standards for quality and safety
- Provide guaranteed booking slots for advance payment bookings
- Use independent dispute resolution centres if anything goes wrong on a removal job
If you find a company that is registered with the BAR, this is a very good sign.
5. Check Their Insurance Coverage
If a removal company is transporting your goods to France, for example, you want to know they are in good hands. However, accidents can happen, and this is why insurance coverage is important.
A company’s insurance will help to recover the value of any belongings that get lost or damaged along the way. Hopefully, you won’t have to use this. But if you do, you want to make sure that all of your possessions will be covered.
The majority of removal companies provide their own limited liability insurance. This protects your belongings in transit to a certain value. A copy of this coverage should be provided when you hire a company, so make sure you read this before entrusting them with your belongings.
If you are transporting anything that is especially valuable, you may want to take out an additional insurance policy. This can cover high ticket items, which are not included in the basic limited liability insurance.
Before you do this, it is also worth checking your home insurance coverage. This might protect individual items while they are in transit.
6. Collect a Couple of Different Quotes
Once you have found a few removal companies in your area, it is time to start comparing them. Getting quotes is one of the first things you should do.
When doing this, make sure that you provide each company with the same details and ask for the same services. This will give you an accurate picture of which companies offer great value.
Of course, you need to keep your removal budget in mind and find a company to suit that. However, when it comes to finding a great removal service, try not to prioritise cost over quality.
Saving money when you hire a removal company could cost you dearly if they damage any of your belongings. You also don’t want to hire a cheap company and then have to wait weeks or even months for your belongings to arrive. So make sure that you use your quotes alongside reviews of each company to figure out which offers the best value for money.
When looking at quotes, it is also a good idea to ask about any hidden additional costs. For example, a company may charge extra for insurance, packing materials, or shipping overseas. Asking about these will ensure that you can compare accurate prices from each removal company you speak to.
7. Check Out the Size of a Company
There are currently more than 2,000 removal companies working in the UK. However, some companies are bigger than others, and this affects the number of resources they have at their disposal.
Larger companies will have more trucks and removal staff on their books. Because of this, they will be able to take on more jobs in one go, so they may have better availability than small companies.
On top of this, larger businesses tend to be more well-established. This means that they have plenty of experience delivering great services to customers. And they will have a thorough understanding of the best ways to transport your belongings overseas.
8. Ask About Their Delays Policies
As we have already mentioned, planning ahead is vital when it comes to a big move. However, you simply cannot account for some unexpected delays.
For example, if something happens with the property chain on your new home in Europe, your move-in date may change. This means that your removal company will not be able to deliver your belongings to your new home on the organised date.
Because of this, it is a good idea to arrive at your new home a few days before your belongings. That way, any delays should be sorted by the time that they arrive.
However, it is also important to ask removal companies about their delay policies. This might involve pushing back their collection date so that your belongings arrive later than planned. Or it might involve storing property that is already in transit.
Some companies will be able to accommodate delays better than others. For example, if a company has a limited number of removal trucks, they may have to bump your job due to delays. Other companies will charge extra for delays.
Knowing about these options in advance means that if your move is delayed, you know exactly what to do next. It is also a good idea to have a list of backup removal companies in case your company cannot accommodate delays.
Here at Fleet Removals we are able to take advantage of being part of Britannia Movers International and our European network of moving partners.
9. See if They Have Any Additional Services on Offer
When it comes to removal services, a lot of companies do not simply offer to take your belongings from A to B. They can also help you with the packing and unpacking process.
Some removals companies offer additional services that include:
- Packing and unpacking your belongings for you
- Taking apart furniture for you and reassembling it at your new home
- Providing specialist crates or protective packing materials for antique possessions
- Lifting equipment for heavy items, such as beds or pianos
These services can help to make the moving process a lot easier. All you have to do is decide what you want to take and where you want it to go when you arrive at your new home!
If this is something that you are interested in, then you should ask about these services before you hire a company. Some companies will charge extra for them, so make sure you factor this in before signing up for additional services.
10. Ask About Their Storage Services
If you are moving abroad, you may want your belongings to arrive after you do. Or you may only want to bring some of your belongings to your new home.
In that case, finding somewhere to store your belongings until you are ready for them can really help. But did you know that a lot of removal companies also offer standalone storage services?
Most of these companies have large warehouses, which they can use as storage facilities. They will even collect your belongings from your home as they would do on a removal job.
As expert packers, they will ensure that your belongings are properly wrapped to prevent damage. Then they will keep them in a safe environment until you are ready to use them again.
This is a great idea if you want to stagger your move abroad or if you simply cannot afford to transport everything overseas. Make sure you ask about these when you are checking out different removal companies.
Some companies may also offer storage discounts if you plan to use them for the rest of your move. So you could actually save some money by using a company’s storage service!
Get Help With Your Move Today
If you are planning to move to Europe, then you will need help from an experienced European removals company. They will ensure that your possessions arrive safely and on time at your new homes.
Ready to start looking for a great removals company that offers door-to-door services in the UK and Europe? Then get in touch today for a quote from Fleet Removals. We’re here to help.