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How much do house removals cost?

Jonathan Leggett
Written by  Jonathan Leggett
Kim Staples
Reviewed by  Kim Staples
5 min read
Updated: 24 Apr 2024

Home removal costs can really add up, adding to the burden on first-time buyers who’ve likely already budgeted hard to get on the property ladder. Here we’ll help you get a grasp of how much you’re likely to pay and how to keep costs down.

What's the average cost of moving home?

The cost of moving home mostly depends on the size of the property you’re moving from and the distance of the move. It can also vary significantly depending on which removals company you hire.

That said, to give you some idea of how much you should expect to pay, here’s a snapshot of typical removal costs (including VAT) for a range of property types for moves between 0-20 miles.

Property size

Average cost for home removals*

One to two bedroom house

£350-£550

Three-bedroom house

£800

Four-bedroom house

£1,100

Five-bedroom house

£1,400

* Data from Home Owners' Alliance (accurate as of 22nd April 2024)

What factors influence home removal costs?

Factors that influence the cost of home removals include:

  • Size of the property and volume of items to be moved

  • Distance between your current home and the new location

  • Accessibility of properties and any need for special equipment

  • Timing of the move, including day of the week and season

  • Additional services like packing, storage, and cleaning

Do I need a removals survey to get an accurate removals cost?

It’s certainly a very good idea. To find a deal that suits your move, it's best to book in pre-move surveys from at least two or three removals companies.

Costs can vary substantially depending on the company you use, so getting a range of quotes should ensure you don’t overpay for the home removals service you require.

On the day of the survey, the removals company will send someone round to walk around your property and take a look at what needs to be moved.

Alternatively in the case of larger companies. such as Pickfords, your pre-move survey might be conducted remotely.

That means you may be asked to walk around the home with your front-facing camera on your phone, so the assessor can get an understanding of the size of the job.

What different removal packages are there?

What’s included in removals packages varies depending on the moving company you choose.

As you’d anticipate, though, the more you pay, the better and more extensive service you get. Here’s a sense of what separates the cheaper packages from the more expensive ones..

  • Removals-only package: A low-cost, bare-bones removals package will cover transport of your possessions. But it’s up to you to pack up everything and unpack it when you arrive.

  • Packing and removals package: Opt for a premium service and the movers will pack up your possessions (typically in boxes they provide), as well as transport them to the new location. They’ll also unpack everything when you arrive at your new home.

Some removals companies that offer a premium, packing-and-removals service also feature the option for your fragile or non-fragile goods to be packed.

If you choose this option, responsibility for the rest of the packing falls on you.

What unexpected removal costs might I encounter?

There's a lot to get head around when buying a property, especially if you're a first-time buyer.

But if you’re not careful and don’t pay attention to the small print, removal costs can really creep up. This is especially important given that not all removals companies include the full cost in their quote.

Unexpected costs that you could incur, and should budget for, include:

  • Accessorial charges, for carrying items up or down stairs, taking apart/reassembling furniture or if the distance from the removals truck to the property is deemed to be a long way

  • A handling charge to ensure antiques and high-value items, such as jewellery, are kept safe

  • Additional charges for moving awkward or large items out of windows

  • Parking permit and fees, which can mount up if there’s a lot to unload and you’re moving to a major city where parking is likely to be highly restricted

  • Lack of a lift, if you’re moving to a property located on upper floors of a block

  • Packing materials, such as robust crates or boxes, brown tape and bubble wrap

  • Extra insurance cover. Most insurers include insurance for your possessions as standard, but you may need additional cover if you’re transporting high-value items

  • Storage charges. These can really add up, especially if there’s a gap between leaving your current home and moving into the new one

  • Ferries or toll roads. The former, in particular, can really add up. So make sure you check if your removals company included these in your quote

How do I keep home removals costs to a minimum?

  • Handle the move yourself. Renting a van and doing the move yourself works out much cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. This approach is probably best suited to people who aren’t moving far and could even move in instalments, or first-time buyers who may not have as many possessions.

  • Shop around for a removals company: Don’t take the first quote you’re offered and make sure you compare what’s out there. And don’t be afraid to haggle too.

  • Consider part-load arrangements: If you're moving long distances, ask about sharing a truck with another customer. This is often cheaper than paying for a whole truck that isn't fully used.

  • Choose the right time to move: Opt for off-peak seasons or weekdays. Demand is lower then. This can significantly reduce your moving costs. What's more, companies often offer lower rates to fill their schedules.

  • Declutter before the move: Less stuff means fewer things to pack and transport. Sell, donate, or dispose of items you no longer need. This not only lightens your load but can also cut down on moving expenses.

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