Why are removal companies so expensive?

Why are removal companies so expensive?

If you have had a few quotes from different firms, you might be wondering why are removal companies so expensive? More so if you have also had a quote from a man and a van. What is the difference? As a removal company, we provide an expert home moving service. Moreover, we believe we offer value for money solutions to meet our customers needs. However, we do appreciate that this cost will need to be budgeted for as part of your move. So let’s take a look at some of the costs that make up your quotation.


One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “are you insured?” The simple answer to this questions is ‘yes!’ However, did you know that there are different sorts of insurance that a removal company must have? These include:

Some companies will also need buildings/contents insurance for any yards or offices they run. In addition, premiums will range in cost depending on the level of cover a company needs/wishes to have.

Specialist Removal Covers and materials

One thing that separates a removal company and a man and a van is the materials the removalist will use to protect your items. At Jones Services, we use protective removal covers that have been especially made for each item around your home. We have a whole range of covers from microwaves, to sofas, to bed bases! We even have them for your front door and stair bannister! Where a cover is not made, we will use blankets, bubblewrap, shrink wrap or export wrap, depending on what needs to be protected and how.

Labour and training

One of the main reasons why removal companies are so expensive is down to labour costs, as is the case with any trade. Removal teams spend long hours on the road and therefore they have to be paid properly. There are also any associated costs with training, such as manual handling, vehicle loading and securing, and home packing. Many fleets also operate vehicles over 3.5t, which allow more of your household goods on one vehicle. However, there are hefty training costs associated for both the company and the drivers when these vehicles are used.

Fuel and Vehicle Maintenance & Repairs

With fuel prices on the rise, this one is a bit of a no-brainer. In fact, if you are moving further afield, it’s the cost of fuel can account for up to a third of your move price! In addition, with a fleet of vehicles that spend a lot of time of the road, it can be expensive to maintain them so that they are roadworthy. Included in this cost is also any works or materials that need to be done on the van to ensure your goods can be properly loaded and secured.

There is also the purchase or lease of new vehicles that have to be allowed for, either to meet demand or when a vehicle has reached the end of its life.

Legal Fees

As we have already addressed, if a company runs a vehicle over 3.5t then they will need to hold an operators licence. This incurs a large expense to achieve initially but there is on-going expenses which also need to be covered. This includes the 5 yearly renewal. But also things like vehicle checks which need to take place at a garage every 6 weeks, tachograph calibrations and record maintenance, driver cards and expenses and so much more. If a company has an operators licence, they will also need to employ a qualified transport manager. This person can be directly employed or be an external consultant but either way the additional wage or expense adds up!

Most removal companies will also be licensed waste carriers. This license requires renewal every 3 years and means that the company can legally carry and dispose of any of your unwanted household items. Transporting waste without this license is illegal.

Other costs

Removal companies are not exempt from paying VAT and most successful companies will hit the threshold for VAT registration. However, many man and a van type operations are usually self-employed individuals and therefore do not meet the threshold. This can account for one reason why removal companies are so expensive in comparison.

Other costs include overheads such as the rent on an office space or storage unit, utility bills, phone contracts, office stationary, etc. There are also marketing expenses or consultant fees. Is the removal company a member of a professional body such as Move Assured? These organisations are great but come at a cost too.

To summarise, if you employ a removal company, you should receive a professional service which has taken years to build and perfect. You are requesting an expert in their field and a correctly presented quote will reflect this.

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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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