Unexpected Moving Costs

Unexpected Moving Costs

One of most frequently asked questions is, “how much do your services cost?”

Of course, we can easily give you a quote for our our removal, packing and furniture dismantle services. However, it would be naive to assume these are the only potential costs involved with booking a removal company. Therefore, we would also urge you to factor in any unexpected moving costs too.

You’ve done your research. Estate agent fees (tick). Solicitor’s bills (tick). Removal company (tick). You’ve done the number crunching and you know exactly how much it’s going to cost to move into your new home, right? Unfortunately, the moving process is rarely straightforward. Unexpected moving costs can come out of nowhere and can often occur when you haven’t quite read the small print. To save you any nasty surprises, we’ve listed some of the most common unexpected costs of moving.

Exchange and Completion.

In an ideal world, you would exchange contracts and complete on your purchase and sale within a week. However, more and more often we are finding customers being pushed into exchanging and completing in one day. Whilst this can be achieved, when we come to load on the morning of the move, your purchase/sale isn’t actually legally binding. Therefore, if the sale/purchase falls through many customers are forced to either unload back into their current property, or take their goods into storage. Whilst storage fees add to the costs, the other implication of this is that you will need to rebook your removal company and pay for their services again. For this reason, we urge all customers to push for the exchange of contracts to happen prior to move day.


We’ve briefly covered one instance where unexpected storage costs might be incurred. But there are more…

Even if you are a cash buyer, you are likely to find yourself in a chain. So what happens when your buyers are ready to go, but you are not close to completing on your new property? We have customers who temporarily move back in with family, into rented accommodation, or even into an AirBnB when their current property is sold and they have a wait to move into their new one. However, most of these ask us to have to move their belongings into storage during the interim period, not with them to the temporary accommodation. This is either because their temporary property doesn’t have room or they don’t want to go to the hassle of packing and unpacking again for such a short period. If this wasn’t part of your original plan, it can turn out to be quite a large unexpected moving cost, depending on how much you have to store and for how long. Especially as your removal company will need to charge for the move into storage, and then for the move back out again.

Unfortunately, some customers have long waits before they keys are released for your their new property. In rare cases, there isn’t time to unload everything on moving day. This may mean that some of your belongings might need to go into storage overnight. Short-term storage isn’t expensive but similarly to both examples above, you will also have to factor in another day’s labour or van hire.

Key Wait Charges

If you are hiring a removal company, always check their terms and conditions. It may be that they will charge for key waiting times, or will have inflated overtime charges if there has been a delayed wait for keys. To avoid being hitting their customers with these some unexpected bills, some removal companies offer key wait waivers, which vary in price. Key wait waivers are an added expense which you pay upfront to cover long waits for keys. The downside of these is that if you do get your keys at at reasonable time, the key wait waiver is usually non-refundable.

We choose not to charge key waiting times or offer key wait waivers. We do not charge over-inflated overtime either. Instead, we simply charge for the lads time worked over and above their standard working hours, with no added fees (apart from the unavoidable VAT). However, even this needs to be considered as an unexpected moving cost. Therefore, we make it totally transparent in our T&Cs and with you throughout the moving process.

Damaged Goods

It’s the elephant in the room when it comes to moving home. The unexpected cost relating to damaged or broken belongings could really escalate the overall cost of moving home. We know that many people hire removal companies not only to do the heavy lifting but for additional peace of mind. Always ask if the company you are hiring are insured and what the terms and conditions of their insurance policy are. It’s taken as a given but it’s always worth checking the company has fleet/vehicle insurance too to ensure you are covered whilst your belongings are in transit.

We offer our customers two levels of insurance. Basic cover is provided for our basic moves whilst comprehensive cover is included when selecting out packing service. Read more about our insurance policy here.

Other unexpected moving costs

When you’re planning your move, you should think about each part of the process. Note down any areas where you might incur additional costs.

  • Think about what packing materials you will need. You may be able to get boxes from supermarkets or your work. However, the cost of additional items such as bubblewrap, packing paper, tape, shrink wrap, etc can all add up. We offer these materials to hire, which is cheaper than buying direct.
  • The cost of not packing properly or using properly materials and equipment could be expensive if you have to replace damaged or broken goods.
  • Who’s looking after your children or pets? If you need to pay for childcare or kennel costs then factor this in to your overall move cost.
  • Make sure you take meter readings before you leave so you are not hit with unexpected bills from your utility companies once you have moved out.
  • If you are renting, make sure you leave the property in the same condition you moved in. Also, take photos of the property before you move out. This will ensure you receive all of your deposit back.
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Kate is one of our very talented writers who has expert knowledge regarding home removals, clearances and storage. Read her articles to get amazing ideas.

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