Removals and Storage 99
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10 questions to ensure a smooth move

Written by on April 24, 2019

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Our MD Mike was in the Yorkshire Post a couple of weekends ago, with an article all about the questions you should ask to ensure you have a stress-free, straight-forward move.

As experts who have been in the removals business for more than 50 years, we’ve seen and heard a lot of horror stories. It’s amazing how little thought some people give the actual removals part of moving house – yet you’re entrusting the safe transportation all your worldly belongings to these people, so it’s definitely worth making sure you’re comfortable and confident in the process.

The last thing anybody wants on move day is a cowboy removal firm who just don’t turn up, or who hold goods to ‘ransom’ for extra fees. You also want to make sure your belongings are well cared for and arrive safely in one piece. Whether it’s expensive china which has been in the family for decades, or just your run of the mill, everyday crockery, it all deserves to be looked after the same way.

But we appreciate that moving house is (probably) something you do very infrequently, and it can be hard to know what you should be asking of a removals company. The first thing to point out is there are no stupid questions. We don’t mind you asking anything you’re worried about – you won’t be the first!

But if you’re struggling to know where to start, here is our guide of what to ask:

  1. How will they assess what you need? A quick phone call with very little detail is not going to be sufficient to assess the level of service you require. A reputable company will come and visit you at home – or we even have an online video survey on your smartphone which can be used now if it is more convenient for you. An accurate quote means no unexpected surprises for you – and meeting up also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the company.
  2. Do they have an address? It’s very risky to proceed with a company who you can only contact via a mobile number. What happens if, on move day, they don’t pick up the phone? Choosing a company you can contact in multiple ways gives more reassurance for you.
  3. Are they a member of BAR? This is very important. Members of the British Association of Removers have to sign up to, and prove they adhere to, a strict code of conduct and high level of customer service. If a company says they are a member, you can always double check.
  4. Do they provide a packing service? Can they supply packing materials? Packing can be hard work – but it’s much quicker for a professional! Not only do they not get sidetracked by the memories behind items, but they know exactly how best to wrap and pack them safely. Many removals companies, such as ourselves, offer a packing service, which it might be worth enquiring about. If you prefer to pack yourself, can the company provide good quality packing materials? Boxes which fall apart are not ideal on a move.
  5. How will they handle any specialist items which need moving? Perhaps you have a priceless collection of ceramic cats. Or you may have some artwork or musical equipment you’re nervous about moving, or a seriously heavy garden sculpture. Reputable removals firms should have specialist equipment and procedures in place, so ask them how they plan on moving the items safely.
  6. How would they handle things like last minute delays/bad weather? Expect the unexpected. It’s unlikely to happen but you want to know there’s a plan in place should something arise. An experienced removals firm is dealing with this day-in, day-out, so shouldn’t be phased, but any concerns you have, you should ask how situations would be handled and if anything can be done to mitigate any risks.
  7. Can they offer storage if needed? It may not be something you want to consider, but delays do happen. Perhaps the house you’re buying falls through, but your sale is still in place. You might decide to go ahead with selling, put your items into storage and stay with family in the short term. Or maybe completion dates end up being a couple of days apart between sale and purchase. If that happens, can your removals firm offer both short and longer term storage options – container storage and self storage?
  8. How experienced are the team you’ll have on the day? Experience counts. An experienced team (such as McCarthy’s) will have been through every situation before and be able to take it all in its stride. And of course, they’ll be quick and efficient whilst ensuring your items are kept safe and secure for the duration of your move. Practice makes perfect after all!
  9. What about insurance? Be clear about what is covered by the removal firm’s insurance and if there is any additional insurance you may want to take out.
  10. What will need to be done about parking and permits? Your removals company should ask the question of you, but a discussion will need to be had about parking at both the old and new property, including whether permits will need to be secured.

If, by asking the right questions, you pick the right company and the correct level of service, your removal should be fairly stress free. And we happen to know the best…


Extremely great service

5 Stars

Overall safe and effective storage although my unit occasionally leaked when it rained.The continual fee increases during Covid were unacceptable and my complaints received no reply. Compulsory insurance issued by McCarthys is another rip off factor.

2 Stars

Brilliant overall experience will definitely recommend and use again

5 Stars
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Contact Us


The Storage Centre, Meanwood Road,
Leeds LS7 2AH

0113 262 3000 /
0113 262 4000
Email Leeds removals

Storage: 0113 26 26 500
Email Leeds storage

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 08.00 to 17.30
Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00
Bank Holidays: 10.00 to 14.00


The Storage Centre, Ripon Road,
Harrogate HG1 2BS

Removals & Storage:
01423 625 000

Van Hire: 01423 625 000
Email Harrogate

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 08.00 to 17.30
Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00


The Storage Centre, Kirkgate,
Wakefield WF1 1UW

Removals, Storage & Shredding:
01924 663 555
Email Wakefield

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday: 08.00 to 17.30
Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00


    McCarthy's Storage World
    Phoenix Retail Park
    Leeds Road
    West Yorkshire
    HD1 6NE

    Removals & Storage
    01484 799 599
    Email Huddersfield

    Opening Hours:
    Monday-Friday: 08.00 to 17.30
    Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00
    Bank Holidays: 10.00 to 15.00


    McCarthy's Storage World
    Water lane
    YO30 6PQ

    Removals & Storage:
    01904 238 333

    Van Hire: 01904 238 333
    Email York

    Opening Hours:
    Monday-Friday: 08.00 to 17.30
    Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00
    Sunday: 09:00 to 14:00