The easy way to book a reliable London 'Man with a Van'
Moving Single Items Long Distance
People often need to move various large single items around, which could be anything from a bulky item of furniture to a large server rack or whatever. There is a demand for this type of service all over London and is typical work for many local Man and Van operators (the two hour minimum charge normally applies).
However, if you need to transport a single item or small load long distance from London (or sometimes even just as far as the M25) - unfortunately in most cases it will almost certainly not be worth the expense of hiring a dedicated Mover company to do so.
We know how it goes.. you're 'over the moon' with that perfect second hand piece of furniture located in the middle of nowhere you bought on eBay for £50, and now just need to get it to London for something like £10 (exaggeration but you get the point). Unfortunately computer says NO! Sorry guys, it's just not going to be viable.
At least not for a professional Mover that would need to charge for the considerable time and expense of going all the way to wherever the item is located, and then personally deliver it to wherever you are in London (or vice versa).
The problem is, some people confuse Movers with nationwide Couriers, the latter of which often do provide that kind of service - although even for them, £10 will probably be stretching it a bit.
So what can you do?
Firstly, although as you're reading this it may now be too late, whenever you are looking to buy something that will need transporting, research the transport costs before you buy it.
We all make mistakes though and that's just our advice for next time. So, let's just assume you've already bought it and just concentrate on what you can do now.
Probably the most economical way to transport one single item long distance anywhere in the country from A to B is to use a nationwide Courier.
Now before you start thinking they will pick up and deliver it for the kind of price it normally costs to get your Amazon purchases delivered, they won't. That's because yours is a one-off job, not part of a big regular contract.
It will almost certainly be cheaper than hiring a Mover to do it though. Why? Because Couriers generally operate by transporting lots of different things at the same time, which are collected and distributed through a network of local drivers.
In short they work in high volume with an infrastructure in place that covers the whole country in a similar way to the postal service, thereby reducing the cost for each delivery.
If you use a Courier the onus will likely be on you to thoroughly package the item prior to pick up, which will normally involve using copious amounts of bubble wrap or coverings. Each Courier company will have it's own individual guidelines on packaging so check with them first.
Unless you opt for a more expensive 'same day' service your item will likely spend a day or two in a delivery warehouse somewhere, before continuing the journey to it's destination.
Using a Courier is not going to suit everyone, but it can definitely be a viable option if you don't mind preparing your item for transport and are happy to wait a few days for it to arrive.
Just remember though, Couriers are not Movers. They work best just picking up single items that are usually going relatively long distances. They are not normally a suitable choice if you are moving home, even with a relatively small amount of belongings. For that, you really do need a Mover.
Any other options?
Yes, if you don't want to use a regular Courier company, you could try looking up some of the van delivery bidding websites that have sprung up in recent years, such as Courier Exchange and Haulage Exchange.
In fact this is exactly what these types of sites are ideally for. Self-employed owner drivers bid on jobs they could either pick up on the way to or back from wherever they are already planning on going, instead of having to travel half the journey with an empty vehicle.
We cannot vouch for the kind of service you would get as we have no connection with these sites, but if you hit lucky it might be a viable option.
Otherwise maybe just try looking for that semi-retired owner Man and Van driver, that advertises in your local area and doesn't have the overheads of a larger operation. These guys can usually do it a bit cheaper, especially if you're ok to wait until they have another job going in the same general area. Thank you and happy moving.