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London Man & Van vs Big Removals Company, which is best?

Moving from larger furnished homes can sometimes present a difficult choice over which type of removal service you use. Traditionally most people would have automatically opted to hire one of the big home removals companies, mainly because that used to be the only option.

These days however there is a lot more choice, with many of the small man and van removal service providers now established enough to expand their services to cover most sizes of removals in London, and often at much more competitive rates than their larger counterparts.

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Modern man and van Movers are hungry for work, they usually charge by the hour and are dependent on maintaining a relatively high volume of work to survive.

They want to move you as carefully and efficiently as they can so you will become a repeat customer, yet do it as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next job and start the process over again.

That normally works great up to a point, but when would it be more appropriate to call in the really big boys of the removals world? Let's see what each service has to offer.

Man and Van removals

Although the name implies a lone operator (and you do still get those of course) many Movers in London that started out just doing small moves have now expanded their services to cater for the larger jobs and scaled up accordingly.

They typically operate a modest fleet of different removal van sizes and can readily allocate extra removals staff to help as required depending on the size of the move.

Man and van rates are usually significantly lower than the big removal providers, and the service is more flexible with moves often being arranged at relatively short notice with the minimum of fuss.

Packing services are sometimes offered, but it's more likely that you will be responsible for doing all the boxing up in advance, so you're ready to go for the all important time arranged.

The number one priority when using this kind of service is to do your homework and ensure you use a competent and reliable company with the right equipment, adequate insurance coverage and a comprehensive set of terms.

There are many 'man & van' operators that offer a professional service and are very capable of handling large moves, but if you focus purely on trying to find the lowest price Movers in London that's when the problems usually start, so be warned.

Big removal company

The big well known removal companies, some of which have been around for decades, are a different animal altogether.

Unsurprisingly they are very much geared up towards the more cumbersome and time consuming larger end of the removals market (although some have started offering small man and van services themselves) and are arguably accustomed to working at a completely different tempo.

We're not saying regular 'tea breaks' are part of the contract, but there will be less of a sense or urgency and a more leisurely pace will certainly be the order of the day in most cases.

Now depending on several considerations, such as the size of your home, the amount of furniture, the value of the items and your own personal preference, this slower work rate can either be seen as a good thing or not. It's entirely subjective.

Another important factor is if you happen to live on a tight London street with minimal access, is it going to be practical or even possible for a big removal company lorry to get to you, park and load up without grid-locking half of London in the process?

Typically big removal providers cost more because of the higher level of service they are offering. They will usually have all of the necessary lifting equipment to cover virtually any scenario and will work in an unhurried and methodical manner, so the job gets done properly even if it takes all day.

You still need to do your research to ensure you hire the right removal company, but most of the big Movers are members of BAR (British Association of Removers) and agree to abide by their code of practice which does provide customers with a number of safeguards.

The verdict

If you're moving from a two bedroom furnished home or less, and just want to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible in one trip with no frills, there are many Man & Van London removals providers that will do a professionally job for you, at a fraction of the cost of the big boys.

Anything bigger than a two bedroom home, especially if it contains items of considerable value or if you just prefer the more leisurely pace that a fixed price allows, then go for one of the big established removal companies.

Happy Moving!

Here at Man with a Van we've been involved with removals in London since 2003. All of our Movers are reliable and experienced professionals who've been with us a long time and won't let you down.

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