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Options To Consider For Small UK House Moves

Updated on September 18, 2017

Van Types

LWB Panel Van
LWB Panel Van
Luton Box Van
Luton Box Van
7.5 Tonne Van
7.5 Tonne Van

Small Removals

Moving home is pretty stressful; there is so much to do not to mention the expense of it all. If you are moving from a small home have you considered the alternatives to hiring a large removal firm? Would you benefit from hiring a man with a van service? I guess the question is where doe’s a small removal end and large or full size removals begin?

I would say if you can fill or part fill a long wheel based panel van (LWB) then that is a small removal. The next size up would be using a Luton Box van, finally the largest which is a 7.5 tonne truck. At this point keep in mind that the Luton and LWB Panel van have a total weight limit of 3 tonnes and you don't need to be a scientist to work out the weight limit of the 7.5 tonne truck.

When talking of weight limits it is the total weight of the van plus its contents including driver. The 7.5 tonne option is bordering on the edge of being a specialist firm, you won't find too many small removal firms or man and a van services using them. The majority of adverts you see for a man with a van or small removals will be for the LWB option although there are a few advertising the fact that they use Luton style box vans. If you are planning on hiring a van and driving it yourself you will need to check your driving licence, depending on your age and when you obtained your licence will depend on the maximum size you are allowed to drive.

Student Moves

A man with a van service would be the perfect option for a student move. Most students amass an amount of personal possessions as well as books and clothes but apart from maybe a bed and a sofa they never usually have much in the way of furniture.

If you are a student in need of a man and a van service or a small removal firm you are probably working to a tight budget and every saving will matter to you. For this reason when obtaining quotes here are some ideas that might go towards reducing the cost even further.

  • Offer to help load the van either yourself or with the assistance of some friends.
  • Look for ground floor accommodation, it is far more time consuming moving someone to a second or third floor.
  • Be organised, box everything up and invite companies around to see what you have that requires moving, students often have an unfair reputation of being messy and disorganised.
  • Don't pay a fortune for your packing boxes, visit the local stores and ask if you can have their empty boxes of if they will save you some.

Student Relocation
Student Relocation

Self Drive Van Hire

Have You Ever Hired A Van

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Don't let the height catch you unaware
Don't let the height catch you unaware

Self-Drive Van Hire

Hiring a van and driving it yourself is a great alternative and cost effective way of moving your belongings or large bulky items but it does have a few pitfalls, and points for consideration. When you call the van rental firms they don’t include the insurance costs in the quoted price and you might be surprised at the excess hold they place on your credit or debit card in case of any damage to the van and most are closed on Sundays.

If you work Monday to Friday the chances are you want to hire a van for just the Saturday, the problem is van rental firms often close early on a Saturday and they are closed Sundays, this leaves you with no alternative but to hire the van for two days returning it on a Monday morning.

If you go to work on a Monday is that an issue and who is going to follow you down to the van rental firm when you drop the van off? Don’t think that dropping the van off is going to be a 5 minute job either, rental firms go over vans that have been returned with a fine tooth combe as they look for any scratches, dents or damage and if they do find one you will be paying a premium for it.

There won’t be any way out of it either as the day you collected the van they would have got you to enter your pin number into their credit card machine placing a £500 to £750 hold on your account.

Yes if you are the world’s most careful person, you require the van on a weekday and everything goes smoothly to plan don’t forget, you are still putting your own fuel in the van and you won’t have that extra pair of hands helping you. There won’t be any carpet in the rear of the van either, no sack barrow, no packaging blankets and no furniture straps. One final point, have you driven a van before? You will find it quite different to driving car and don't let the extra size catch you out.

Bulky Collections and Deliveries

We have all done it, seen a sofa or large bulky home furniture item in a sale in a store that we would love to purchase but home delivery is not included or scouring through the classified adverts or your favourite online auction site you see something you would like to buy but it is 20 miles away and probably too large to fit in your car, this is where a local man and a van service could save you a small fortune.

Piano Being Moved On A Piano Dolley
Piano Being Moved On A Piano Dolley

Next time you are looking to make a purchase of considerable bulk, do a quick search for a man with a van (along with your location) and give one of them a call and ask if you can have an instant quote. You will find that apart from maybe pianos most man and a van service will consider anything for collection. In case you are wondering why not pianos you have probably never had to try and move one, their weight is quite considerable and they require specialist moving equipment that is quite costly.

The Good From The Bad

Before you go rushing out and finding yourself a man and a van service lets just pause and think for one moment. You are going to be asking a stranger to enter your home, you are giving them permission to load their van up with your personal items and drive off with them. You might have paid for expensive goods and you are going to be asking someone you have never met to drive to the location of your purchase and collect it for you. We need to make sure here that we do a little bit of homework first.

How do we know the person we are about to hire is genuine? How do we know we can trust them? Here I have put together some handy hints that will hopefully help you distinguish the good from the bad, or the excellent from the average.

Does the company have a website address or do they solely advertise via social media like Facebook? You need traceability, you need to see reviews, you need a web site address so you can search for scams, feedback and reviews, if they don’t have a web site address avoid.

Once on the web site do they provide a landline number as well as mobile? Do they provide a home address and do they have genuine images of the van that they use? Does the web site make you feel comfortable? The least they should provide is a valid home address, once again you need a point of reference should something go wrong.

Would you recognise the van they are using, for example is it sign written and does it include the phone numbers on the side or web address? If it does have this information then at least you can cross reference the details on the van to the information you have online.


Next we need to know if they have got some off site reviews, Yell, Google, Trusted Trader, Rated People are all good review sites to check for.

If they have some GOOD reviews are the dates nicely spread out, do they look genuine, reviews indicate longevity and the only way you remain in business is if you know what you are doing, good reviews over a period of time will go a long way in pointing out those who know what they are doing.

Goods in Transit Insurance

The vans insurance, does the company you are considering using have “Goods In Transit Insurance” this is totally different from being insured to drive the van, this is insurance that protects the vans contents (your belongings) it should also cover any mishaps that might happen carrying your items to and from the van.

Those are probably the most important things to look out for, you could dig deeper and see if they have a Facebook or social media account and have a look at how they conduct themselves by having a look through a few of their posts, decide if this is the kind of person you want entering your home.

Maybe you are a non-smoker and you want to know that the driver either doesn’t smoke or at least he doesn’t when driving the van. Could you image your sofa or bed entering your new home smelling of nicotine because the guy smokes while driving the van.

Personally, when it comes to inviting a stranger into my home, a person who might see and have access to my personal possessions, who might even have access to my underwear drawer, I need to feel comfortable about who it is so this is one kind of job where cheapest price isn't everything.

One final word of advice, when the van arrives don't be afraid to ask if you can take an image on your cell phone of your goods in the back of the van and take a note of the vehicles registration number too.

Your Quick Check List

Have Goods In Transit
Landline Number
Take Photos
Have Good Reviews
Web Presence
Take Registration
Home Address Details
Sign Written Van
Do Your Homework
Take a picture of your items when loaded into the van
Take a picture of your items when loaded into the van

How Not To Drive A Van

© 2017 kimbles


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