A man with a van versus a real removals man

Man plus van - benefit or not?At Alexanders, we are moving our customers from one home to another every day. It’s second nature to us. However, our customers only move once in a number of years. So, we understand the problems that can occur and how to overcome them, and we want to help to educate on these.

One of the most common discussion topics before a move is how you will move your belongings from ‘A’ to ‘B’.  There are generally three options available, the first being a ‘do it yourself’ approach. The second is hiring in a professional removals company.  Lastly, there’s an in-between: a man with a van.

With the economic climate in a position of recovery, and budgets often being tight, it is tempting to look at the cheapest, or lower cost option. And a man with a van is a perfectly legitimate way of moving home. The prices often seem reasonable, and the person moving you is likely to be very hard working. However, it is important to understand the limitations and potential areas of concerns:

Van size: adequate space on the removals vehicle is an important factor. In an ideal world, the space would exist to move all of your belongings in one go, as multiple trips mean increased cost. This is often a big restriction with smaller vans.

Damage limitation: skilled packing and precision vehicle loading is key. It dramatically reduces the chances of damage. A reputable organisation will provide all the guidance you need on this, and ensure your items are well protected.

Cost containment:  whilst on the face of it, hiring a man with a van is a cheaper alternative, the charges often do not include fuel, insurance, van hire and such like. You need to understand exactly what you are getting for your moving fees.

Employee suitability: truly good removal services have highly trained and skilled employees. They are fully equipped to multi-task, and therefore are adept in packing, dismantling, reassembling, loading, unloading, lifting, and of course have fantastic customer service skills.

Your involvement: if you wish your move to be pain-free for you, request that a full service is carried out. This will include the packing, the moving, and settling you in at the other end. You should literally be able to make yourself a cup of tea and watch your removals company do the hard work. If this is what you need, make sure this is on offer.

If you, your friends or your family are moving home… please listen to our advice when selecting your hired help:

  1. Look in the right places: base your decision on a recommendation, or research on the internet. Know they are reputable.
  2. Clarify the size of the vehicle and how many trips are required.
  3. Get identification from whomever it is that is carrying out your move.
  4. Ideally, they should visit your home to gauge your needs first, to ensure they meet your requirements
  5. Ask for customer testimonials
  6. Understand how much you need to be involved.

There is a big difference in the service between a man with a van, and a removals company. There is a place for both, but you need to do your homework to ensure you choose the most suitable option for you, and the price is inclusive of all your needs.