Are you looking forward to starting a new life abroad in the near future?
Moving to a new country is such an exciting time, the beginning of a new chapter in your life with so many possibilities ahead. There is no telling of all the interesting people you will meet, cool places you will go and new (possibly strange) foods you will eat. Embrace the change and immerse yourself in your new environment, you never know what might happen!
Before you can begin your new life, however, it is worth considering the things you will need to help your move go smoothly first.
If you are going to trust someone to ship your belongings halfway across the world, you want to be sure they are professionals. We hope this guide will provide a helpful list of tips on choosing the right international moving company, to make the transition to your new life as simple as possible.
This is probably the biggest influencing factor for most people. No one wants to spend all of their money moving their belongings to a new location, leaving none to spend when they actually get there. Alternatively, choosing a removal company that offers rock bottom prices might not be the best idea either, in today’s world we are all too familiar with the phrase ‘too good to be true’.
We all want to be sure we will receive value for money, but how can we guarantee a good level of service?
One idea is to ring around and get quotes from different international removal firms. Comparing quotes will give you a good idea of the average price you can expect to pay, in turn, this will also help you stay away from companies that are offering suspiciously cheap or ludicrously expensive quotes.
One of the biggest considerations and questions you should ask of any moving company, international or not is; are my belongings covered?
Particularly important if you are trusting a company to transport your most precious possessions to another continent, you want to be sure that if (heaven forbid) something gets broken, repairs will be covered or you will be compensated for the item.
Ask potential removal companies about the level of insurance they have for goods in transit, discuss what kind of belongings you will be transporting and what will happen in the worst-case scenario.
Many companies offer Goods in Transit or Public Liability Insurance as standard, so this is something to look out for on your hunt for a good removal company.
Some companies offer a certain level of insurance cover as standard, but in certain cases, such as if you are moving specialist items, valuable heirlooms or are moving to an obscure location, additional cover may be necessary
Shop around and see what level is offered by different firms. Depending on your items, shopping around could save you from having to buy additional insurance.
In the event that you need to arrange your own insurance in addition to the removal companies cover, you may need to value your items. It’s a good idea to do an assessment of your home and consider the cost of the items you plan to move. Ensure you value the items as to what it would cost you to replace them, not at the price you would receive if you sold them.
There are a few methods that can give you an insight into a companies track record and reputation. You can look an organisation up via the government companies house website to find out if they are an established UK business. Moving companies listed under a residential name suggests that they’re either a new, inexperienced company or that they’re not one that you should trust. Whilst I’m not writing off new removal companies completely, they may not be established in the industry and could be missing important things like insurance and professional equipment.
Checking a company is registered with a professional body or association is a good indicator that they are a trustworthy company. The British Association of Removers (BAR) is one of the most trusted association for moving companies. The Road Haulage Association (R.H.A) and the Federation of European Moving Associations (FEDEMAC) are also recognised professional bodies in the industry. For international removals, there is the International Federation of International Movers (FIDI) or the Self Storage Association of UK and Europe (SSA) for companies involved in the secure storage industry.
If a company has received or been nominated for many awards in an industry, this is generally an indicator that they are doing something right. However, do not assume that just because a company has received an award that you should completely relax, it is always worth checking anything that seems suspicious and ensure you are 100% confident in the company before making any large commitments.
This is one of the most important aspects I would highly recommend you check before choosing a removal company. Experience from previous customers is often the biggest tell of the type of service you will receive, no matter how professional a company may come across over the phone or on their website.
Recommendations from friends or colleagues are always a great indicator of service, hearing about someones with positive firsthand experience with a company is reassuring and some companies may even offer referral benefits.
Look for online articles and sites that mention a removal company, it can help to get an idea of the level of service you can expect to receive, don’t accept anything less than the best.
Avoid any nasty surprises and hidden costs by informing the removal company about all of the items that you plan to move. It can also help to measure large and specialist items and provide them with a list of your specific requirements to ensure everything is absolutely clear. Ask for an estimate up front and discuss any changes throughout the process to avoid any additional costs.
Many removal companies will visit your property free of charge to assess the items you would like moved and provide a written quote. This is also a chance for them to assess any access issues and work out the best methods, including how many people and vans the job will require. This is also your chance to bring up any concerns you may have, such as how to prevent damage to your property during the move etc.
Keep an eye out for any early signs that a company may not be what they seem. For example, most reputable moving companies won’t ask for a cash deposit before you move. If the mover seems hungry to get the money upfront, this is usually a sign that they are not a legitimate company and could try to rip you off.
The survey is a chance to understand what type of organisation you are dealing with. Ask a lot of questions and look out for any telltale signs of a cowboy company.
For example, if the staff show up late, are unable to answer questions or make large promises, look for another company. Also, be wary of movers who show up in a rented van or seem unprepared. An established professional company will have its own equipment.
Relocating abroad is already a stressful endeavour, so choosing a shoddy removal company can make life ten times harder. We hope this guide will give you an idea of some of the important points to look out for, and help to ensure your transition into your new life is as smooth as possible.
Contact us today if you require the assistance of a team of removal experts, fully insured and licensed to transport belongings all over the UK and across Europe. We are always happy to answer questions and talk through the process with our customers, so feel free to get in touch, our friendly experts can help discuss the specifics of your move in more detail.