Good removal companies in the UK?
June 17, 2005 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good removal company in the UK? I live in Oxford and I'll be moving down to London next month. I only have a room's worth of stuff, but it's a big room and there's a lot of stuff, including bulky things like computer chairs and so on. I'm not bothered about it being shipped within the same day or anything, but if you know companies that are good value and reliable, it'd be really useful.

Also, do people have any good tips for the moving process? I know I have to buy a lot of boxes and pack everything beforehand, but there must be some tricks of the trade to make life much easier.

How long should I aim to book companies in advance? What sort of price is reasonable for this sort of thing? The last time I moved, my stuff filled maybe a small van one and a half times.
posted by adrianhon to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (9 answers total)
 
I don't know if they would be overkill, but try Michael Gerson. My family has moved several times in the last thirty years, and we have always used them.
posted by randomstriker at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2005


pickfords were fine a few years ago. friendly, efficient. but that was leicester - suspect it's completely different people to oxford.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:14 PM on June 17, 2005


oh - and they will provide boxes beforehand, iirc.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:14 PM on June 17, 2005


When we last moved (all the way from SW19 to SW20), we hired a very local mover we found in the Yellow Pages. We got three quotes and they were hundreds (no, thousands) of pounds cheaper. I can't recall their name, nor really recommend them - they showed up late and probably hungover, they whinged and moaned ("oh. guv" type stuff) - but the point is, how difficult is it to move some stuff from A to B? Okay if it's irreplaceable. I think we had three quotes. Mover A charged us £895, B was over £2000 and C (Bishop's Move, I think) was over £3000. We chose Mover A.

Movers should base the cost on (No. of men x daily wage + truck (lorry) cost + consumables (boxes, tape) X profit margin). They will try to stick in a packing charge, including man-hours, which you need to decide how desperately you need, given you can pack yourself (these boxes won't be insurable). Insurance beyond a negotiable minimum should be optional and item, value, weight or volume based so you can decide - "do I really need to insure this?"

If your move is not mission-critical and you are packing it yourself, as you suggest, consider a local "man-and-van" rental. These guys work on an hourly or per diem basis and will help you hump the stuff around as well as do the moving. Honestly, there are a lot of cash-in-hand white van types who can probably handly a one-room move these days.

Also, FWIW, Gerson's handled our move back home from overseas. They did a fine job but there was nothing special to recommend them and I know they charged my company a bomb.
posted by sagwalla at 2:23 PM on June 17, 2005


Pardon my inelegant mathematical handlyness...I need some brackets around everything but my profit margin...
posted by sagwalla at 2:26 PM on June 17, 2005


Hi Adrian - I found this:
* Bishop's Move Group
Bishop House, 1-5 Kelvin Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9SP
Tel: 0800 616425
Web: www.bishopsmove.com
* Pickfords Moving & Storage
Sandy Lane West, Oxford OX4 6LB
Tel: 01865 711171
Web: www.pickfords.co.uk
* Robinsons International
Nuffield Way, Abingdon, Oxford OX14 1TN
Tel.: 01235 552272
Web: www.robinsons-intl.com
* The College Carriers Co Ltd
Unit 50, Monument Industrial Park, Warpsgrove Lane, Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7RW
Tel: 01865 891408

[This last one was run by a mate of mine, a few years ago, but i don't see their vans around much these days]

See also:

* www.helpiammoving.co.uk
A very useful website which gives links to removal companies in the UK and helpful tips on removal planning.
* www.robinsons-intl.com/international.htm
A very useful timetable reminders for removal planning.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:57 PM on June 17, 2005


Pickfords. Probably not the cheapest but very reliable, insured, etc. For a small move they will save you money by waiting until they have a full load going to the same place.
posted by cushie at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2005


Do NOT use Pickfords unless you are unconcerned with your stuff being abused and/or reassembled wrong! Pickfords SUCKS! I moved from Windsor to Maidenhead with them. Bunch of idiots.

If you want a professional (posh) move, I can't recommend Caddigan Tate enough. They do it right, or they pay for their mistakes. THAT's a good mover.

If your stuff is easy for you to pack and not breakable, pack it up and use the man-and-van method. Most moving companies will sell you supplies whether you move with them or not.
posted by Goofyy at 12:36 AM on June 18, 2005


I can't vouch for them really, as I moved my own things from Oxford to London this September, but a good friend used 'A Man and A Van' and said good things about them.

Their website is an absolute disaster, but then again, you're not looking for HTML skills, you're looking for someone to do a removal for you. Here's the site.
posted by yellowcandy at 6:51 PM on June 18, 2005


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