How Much Removal Costs

When it comes to using a professional company to help you move, many people believe it will be expensive. The reality is paying someone to move your household items will be at the bottom of your moving budget list. Things like stamp duty, legal fees and even the home survey are way more expensive than the price given by most house removal companies. But how much exactly will be your moving costs?

Couple comparing moving prices

What are the average moving costs by the property size?

The cost of removals varies based on the size of your property and the amount of items being moved. The following are average prices for relocating different sized properties over a distance of 50 miles, as derived from our House Moving Calculator.

1 Bedroom Property

The estimated cost for a 1-bedroom house move is £356. Moving out of a one-bedroom property rarely involves more than 2 men and a van. The average time for a local one-bedroom move is around 3 to 4 hours.

2 Bedrooms Property

For a 2-bedroom house, the removals cost is about £576. The volume of moving out of a two-bedroom house or a flat will start to vary. Around 65% of this size house moves are done by a team of 3 strong movers and 1 or 2 Luton vans. A standard full 2-bedroom move will take around 6 to 7 hours on average. The duration of your move can increase significantly due to factors like difficult parking or moving out of a flat on the second or third floor with no lift.

3 Bedrooms Property

Moving from a 3-bedroom house costs £806 on average. Around 69% of the moves are done by a team of 4 movers and 2 or 3 removal vans or an 18t lorry. The average volume that a house moving company has to move on a single 3-bedroom property is 1900 c.ft. The time the movers will need to load and unload your belongings can vary significantly and only after a home survey you can get an accurate estimate of the costs, size of your move and how long it will take.

4 Bedrooms Property

To have an accurate price for large properties like 4-bedroom houses, you must schedule a visit with 2-3 removal companies. Any prices you receive over the phone or by email without seeing your property will not be accurate. This could lead to paying double or triple the amount you have been given at the end. It will lead to delays and issues on the moving day too.

All moving companies work with volumes, so without knowing the exact size of your move, it will be very difficult to give accurate prices. Typically 4 bedroom moves or done by a team of 4 or 5 movers and one or two 18t removal lorries.

Property SizeMoving OnlyPacking and Moving
1 bed£300-£400£580-£650
2 beds£500-£620£800-£900
3 beds£750-£850£1000-£1150
4 beds£980-£1100£1350-£1500

How Much Do Packers And Movers Cost?

If you choose to get packing help along with the removals, be prepared to pay sometimes double the price of the removal cost. Depending on the number of boxes which will require packing, the price for materials and packing services can be similar to the actual moving process. When you schedule a home visit, another important aspect surveyors check is the amount of breakable items that need packing.

As a comparison, in one hour one professional packer can pack 10-12 boxes with clothes and/or books, while at the same time, you can expect 5-6 boxes with breakables to be packed. Fragile items are typically wrapped individually with paper or bubble wrap and this slows down the packing process.

1 Bedroom Property

The estimated cost for packing and moving a 1-bedroom house is £606.

  • Average boxes required: 30-40
  • Packing time: 2-3 hours (2 packers )
  • Moving time: 3-4 hours (2 movers )

2 Bedrooms Property

The average cost of packing and moving a two-bedroom property is £826.

  • Average boxes required:50-60
  • Packing time: 3-4 hours ( 2 packers )
  • Moving time: 6-7 hours ( 3 movers )

3 Bedrooms Property

Moving from a 3-bedroom house costs approximately £806, or £1,056 with packing.

  • Average boxes required:80-90
  • Packing time: 5-6 hours ( 3 packers )
  • Moving time: 8-9 hours ( 4 movers )

4 Bedrooms Property

For a 4-bedroom house, the average cost of local packing and moving services is £1,306. Getting an accurate number of boxes and the time needed to complete either the packing and the moving, can be done only after a home visit or a video survey.

Are you tight on money but you still need moving help? Use Book House Removals to compare prices and find cheaper moving services in your area.

What City Has The Most Expensive Removal Costs?

The average moving costs in UK cities can vary significantly based on several factors, but here’s a general overview for each of the mentioned cities:

London Moving Costs

Known for its higher living expenses, London typically has the highest moving costs in the UK. The average cost for moving within the city can range significantly depending on the size of the property and the distance of the move, with prices often exceeding those in other UK cities.

  • Influencing Factors: High demand for moving services, traffic congestion, and parking regulations all contribute to higher moving costs.
  • Average Cost Range: For a standard move within London, costs can range from £400 for a small flat to over £1,500 for a larger family home.
  • Additional Costs: Moving to or from an apartment without a lift, or requiring special handling for items like pianos, can increase costs. Congestion charge areas may also add to the expense.

Birmingham Removal Prices

As the second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham offers relatively more affordable moving costs compared to London. The costs can vary, but on average, they tend to be moderate, reflecting the city’s balance between urban convenience and cost of living.

  • Cost Factors: Costs vary based on the distance of the move, the volume of items, and access to properties.
  • Average Cost Range: Moving within Birmingham typically costs between £300 and £1,200, depending on the property size and move complexity.
  • Additional Considerations: Costs can increase for moves during peak times like weekends or for services like packing and storage.


Manchester, a major urban center in the North of England, generally has moving costs that are lower than London but comparable to other major cities like Birmingham. The costs are influenced by factors like property size and moving distance but are generally reasonable.

  • Determinants of Cost: Similar to other cities, factors include the size of the move, the distance traveled, and the level of service required (e.g., packing, disassembly).
  • Average Cost Range: In Manchester, moving costs generally range from £250 to £1,100.
  • Extra Charges: Additional fees may apply for moving large or fragile items, long carry distances, or if temporary storage is needed.


Bristol, with its high demand for housing and bustling city life, often sees moving costs that are slightly higher than the national average but lower than London. The costs fluctuate based on the specific areas within the city and the type of moving services required.

  • Factors Affecting Costs: The type of property, accessibility, and the timing of the move can all impact costs.
  • Average Cost Range: Typical moving costs in Bristol are between £300 and £1,300.
  • Special Considerations: Moves involving narrow streets or properties located in hilly areas may incur higher costs due to the extra effort and time required.


As the capital of Wales, Cardiff has moving costs that are typically lower than in most major English cities. The costs are influenced by the local market and tend to be more affordable, reflecting the overall lower cost of living in the region.

  • Influencing Factors: The cost is influenced by the move’s complexity, distance, and the amount of belongings to be moved.
  • Average Cost Range: Moving costs in Cardiff usually range from £200 to £1,000.
  • Additional Fees: Extra charges may apply for moving on weekends or public holidays, and for additional services like packing and unpacking.

Moving A Piano Costs

Moving a piano requires specialized skills and equipment, given the instrument’s size, weight, and fragility. The average cost of moving a piano can vary significantly based on several factors. Here’s an overview of what’s typically involved in the costs:

Factors Influencing Piano Moving Costs:

Type of Piano:

  • Upright Pianos: Generally less expensive to move due to their size and weight.
  • Grand or Baby Grand Pianos: More costly due to their larger size, intricate parts, and the need for disassembly and reassembly.

Distance of the Move:

  • Local Moves: Shorter distances usually cost less.
  • Long-Distance Moves: Can significantly increase costs due to transportation logistics, distance traveled, and the need for additional protection during transit.

Difficulty of the Move:

  • Stairs or Steps: Additional charges for navigating stairs, as this requires more manpower and care.
  • Tight Spaces: Difficulty in maneuvering through narrow hallways or doors can add to the cost.
  • Access Issues: Challenges in accessing the pickup or delivery location can increase costs (e.g., rural areas, limited parking).

Additional Services:

  • Storage: If temporary storage is needed, this will add to the cost.
  • Tuning: Some movers offer tuning services after the move, which would be an additional cost.
  • Insurance: Adequate insurance coverage for high-value pianos can also add to the cost.

Average Cost Range:

  • Upright Piano Moving: Typically ranges from £100 to £300 for local moves.
  • Grand Piano Moving: Costs can start from £200 and go upwards, especially for long-distance moves.

What’s Included in the Cost:

  • Labor: The expertise of trained movers who know how to handle and transport pianos safely.
  • Equipment: Special tools like piano skids, moving pads, ramps, and dollies designed for moving pianos.
  • Transportation: A vehicle large enough to transport the piano safely, equipped with features to secure it during transit.
  • Insurance: Basic insurance coverage for protection against damage. Additional coverage might be available at an extra cost.

Your Moving Costs – Hourly rates or fixed price?

If you are confused by the types of prices and quotes you receive when comparing moving companies, the most confusion comes from movers giving you hourly rates vs. flat rates. What each term actually means?

What is an hourly rate?

In the removal business, the term “hourly rate” refers to the amount of money charged by a removal company for its services for each hour of work being carried out. When hiring movers, they typically calculate their charges based on the number of hours it takes to complete the job. The hourly rate includes the cost of labour, transportation, equipment, and any extras like stairs charge, the time it takes to pack the boxes and so on.

The hourly rate allows customers to have a clear understanding of how much they will be charged for the removal services, especially for jobs that may require varying amounts of time. It provides transparency and flexibility in terms of budgeting and allows customers to compare different removal companies based on their rates.

Factors that can influence the hourly rate in the removal industry include the size and complexity of the move, the number of movers required, the distance between the locations, and any additional services such as packing or unpacking. Companies may also have different rates for weekdays, weekends, or public holidays.

What is a fixed removal price?

Flat rate (or fixed price) refers to a pricing model where the removal company charges a single fixed fee for the move, regardless of how long the job takes. This pricing is typically determined after an assessment of your moving needs, either via an in-home survey or a detailed discussion about the items you have, the services you need, and the distance of the move. The key benefit of a flat rate price is that it provides certainty. You know exactly how much you will pay at the end of the move, which can help with budgeting and avoiding unexpected costs.

It is important to be addressed that any services or items not covered in the initial agreement could be subject to additional charges. Always ensure you have a clear understanding and written confirmation of what your flat rate price covers.

ServiceHourly Rates
Man and Van£40-£50
2 Men and Van£60-£80
3 Men and Van£90-£120
4 Men and 2 Vans£140-£180

What Are The Average Removal Costs When Moving Into Storage?

The average removal costs when moving items into storage can vary widely based on several factors such as the volume of items, distance to the storage facility, and the level of service required. Typically, for a small volume of items, the cost can range from £150 to £300. For larger volumes, such as the contents of a full household, prices can escalate to between £400 and £700.

These estimates can increase if additional services like packing and protection of the furniture, disassembly of the big items, or specialized handling for delicate items are needed. The costs also depend on the location, with urban areas generally having higher rates due to increased demand and operating costs. It’s always advisable to get specific quotes from removal companies, as they can provide tailored pricing based on individual requirements and the specifics of the move.

Removal Costs By Distance

The cost of removal services can vary significantly based on the distance of the move. Generally, local moves, typically within a 50-mile radius, are less expensive, with costs often determined on an hourly basis. For these short distances, you might expect to pay anywhere from £200 to £500, depending on factors like the size of your property and the amount of belongings you have.

Longer-distance moves, especially those that cross county lines or involve hundreds of miles, can be more costly. These moves are usually priced based on the total weight of the items being moved and the distance traveled, rather than on an hourly basis. For a long-distance move, costs can range from £500 to several thousand pounds. This wide range is due to factors such as the total distance, the size of your home, and additional services like packing and temporary storage.

International moves are the most expensive due to the complexities involved, including shipping, potential storage, and customs clearance. Costs for international moves can start from a few thousand pounds and increase based on the destination country, volume of goods, and type of transport (air or sea freight).

How Are Moving Costs Calculated?

Moving costs are calculated based on a combination of factors, each contributing to the final price of the moving service:

  • Volume or Weight of Items: One of the primary factors is the total volume or weight of the items being moved. Movers either estimate the total cubic feet of your belongings or weigh them, especially for long-distance moves. More items or heavier items will naturally increase the cost.

  • Distance of the Move: The further the move, the higher the cost. Local moves are usually charged by the hour, while long-distance moves are typically charged based on the total distance and weight or volume of the items.

  • Additional Services: Costs go up if you opt for additional services such as professional packing, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, temporary storage, or special handling for delicate or valuable items.

  • Access and Difficulty: The ease of access to your current and new home can affect costs. Factors like narrow streets, a lack of parking, high-rise buildings without elevators, or having to carry items over long distances can increase the overall price.

  • Timing of the Move: Moving costs can vary depending on the season, day of the week, and time of the month. Peak moving times, like weekends, summer months, and the beginning or end of a month, often come with higher rates due to increased demand.

  • Insurance and Liability Coverage: Opting for additional insurance coverage for your items can also add to the overall cost. While basic liability coverage is often included, it may not be sufficient for high-value items.

  • Geographical Location: Costs can also vary based on the location. Moves in urban areas or regions with higher living costs might be more expensive due to higher operational costs for moving companies.

These factors combined provide a comprehensive view of how moving costs are calculated, but it’s always best to get a detailed quote from a moving company for an accurate estimate tailored to your specific situation.

How To Reduce Your House Removal Costs?

Reducing house removal costs involves careful planning, efficient packing, and strategic decision-making. Here are some tips to help minimize expenses associated with moving house:

Declutter Before Moving

  • Sell or Donate Unwanted Items: Reducing the volume of items to move can lower costs. Sell items online or donate to charity.
  • Recycle or Dispose of Unnecessary Items: Proper disposal of items that can’t be sold or donated also reduces the load.

Compare Moving Company Quotes

  • Get Multiple Quotes: Shop around for quotes from various removal companies.
  • Check Reviews: Ensure the company provides good value for money through customer reviews.

Choose the Right Time to Move

  • Avoid Peak Times: Moving during off-peak seasons like mid-week or mid-month can be cheaper.
  • Plan in Advance: Booking a moving company well in advance can secure better rates.

Pack Efficiently and Economically

  • DIY Packing: Packing yourself can save on costs.
  • Use Free or Low-Cost Packing Materials: Source boxes from local stores or use household items for padding.

Consider a Partial DIY Move

  • Rent a Moving Van: For smaller moves, renting a van and moving items yourself can be more economical.
  • Enlist Friends and Family: Get help from your network to reduce labor costs.

Be Organized and Prepared

  • Label Boxes Clearly: This makes the moving process more efficient.
  • Have Everything Packed Before Moving Day: Avoid extra charges for last-minute packing.

Review Insurance Options

  • Check Existing Policies: Your home contents insurance might cover items during the move.
  • Evaluate Mover’s Insurance: Understand the coverage provided by the mover’s insurance.

Negotiate with the Moving Company

  • Ask for Discounts: Inquire about any available discounts, especially during off-peak times.

Minimize Additional Services

  • Do-It-Yourself Options: Disassembling and reassembling furniture yourself can save costs.

Be Mindful of Hidden Costs

  • Understand the Quote: Ensure the quote includes all services and there are no hidden fees.

How To Avoid Any Unexpected Moving Costs?

Avoiding unexpected moving costs involves careful planning and clear communication with your moving company. Here are key strategies to ensure your moving expenses stay within budget:

  • Get Detailed Quotes: Obtain quotes from several moving companies and ensure they conduct an in-home survey to accurately assess your needs. This helps prevent discrepancies between estimated and actual costs.

  • Understand the Quote: Make sure you fully understand what is included in the quote. Ask if there are additional fees for services like packing, heavy lifting, or long carry charges.

  • Clarify Access Issues: Inform the moving company about any access issues at both your current and new locations, such as narrow streets, stairs, or lack of elevators. Unexpected difficulties on moving day can lead to additional charges.

  • Avoid Last-Minute Changes: Changes in your moving plan, such as the date, the items being moved, or the services required, can lead to extra costs. Try to stick to the agreed-upon plan as closely as possible.

  • Pack Properly: If you’re packing yourself, do it efficiently and securely. Poorly packed items can lead to damages, and you might be charged for repacking.

  • Check for Hidden Fees: Ask about any potential hidden fees, such as fuel surcharges, equipment usage fees, or travel time charges.

  • Insurance and Valuation Coverage: Understand your insurance options and costs. Opting for full value protection might be more expensive upfront but can save money in case of damages.

  • Schedule Wisely: Moving during off-peak times like mid-week or mid-month can be cheaper than weekends or month-ends.

  • Read Your Contract Carefully: Before signing, read your contract thoroughly to ensure you understand all terms and conditions, thereby avoiding unexpected obligations or costs.

  • Prepare for the Moving Day: Have everything packed and ready to go on moving day. Last-minute packing or delays can result in additional fees.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of incurring unexpected costs during your move.

DIY Average Removal Costs

Even if you want to move home without using professional movers, you will still have to pay some money. You will need the equipment, packaging and help to move everything safe like rent a van, buy boxes or bags, bubble wrap and tape, ask friends to help and get a lunch or pay them and even take time off work and lose money( or holiday).

Why Do Flat Moves Have Higher Removal Costs Compared To A House Move?

Flat moves often have higher removal costs compared to house moves due to several unique challenges and factors associated with apartment living. Here are some key reasons:

Access and Navigation Challenges

  • Stairs and Elevators: Flats on higher floors require more effort to navigate, especially if there’s no elevator. Moving items up and down stairs adds to the time and labor involved.
  • Narrow Hallways and Doorways: These can make it difficult to move large furniture, requiring more careful handling and sometimes disassembly and reassembly of items.

Parking and Distance to Vehicle

  • Limited Parking: In many urban areas, finding close and convenient parking for the moving truck can be a challenge. This can mean a longer distance to carry items to and from the truck.
  • Parking Permits: If a permit is required for parking the moving truck, this can add to the cost and complexity of the move.

Time and Labor Intensity

  • Longer Loading and Unloading Times: The additional time it takes to move items in and out of a flat, particularly if there are stairs or long walks from the truck, increases labor hours.
  • Potential for Additional Manpower: More movers might be required to handle the move efficiently, especially for larger flats or when navigating complex layouts.

Restrictions and Regulations

  • Building Regulations: Some flats have specific moving hours or require special permissions, which can limit the flexibility and efficiency of the move.
  • Damage Risks: The risk of damage to common areas (like hallways or lifts) can mean extra care is needed, slowing down the move.

Equipment and Logistics

  • Specialized Equipment: Sometimes, special equipment like furniture hoist is needed to move items in tight spaces or through windows, which can add to the cost.
  • Coordination Complexity: Coordinating with building management and adhering to specific rules can add to the planning and execution time.

Why Moving With Pets Costs Can Be Higher?

Moving with pets can lead to higher costs, particularly in scenarios that require specialized care and handling. Long-distance relocations, for example, often necessitate professional pet moving services or air travel, both of which can significantly increase expenses. These services not only provide safe and comfortable transportation for pets but also cater to their specific needs, which is especially important for pets with special care requirements. Additionally, international moves may involve extensive veterinary checks, vaccinations, and compliance with animal import regulations, all contributing to higher costs. The use of customized carriers and safety equipment tailored to each pet’s size and species further adds to the expense.

Accommodation during the move also plays a role in escalating costs. If the journey requires overnight stays, finding pet-friendly accommodations can be more expensive. In situations where pets cannot be moved along with the owner, boarding or daycare facilities may be necessary, incurring additional fees. Moreover, pets’ behavioral and health needs can impact costs; for example, pets that are anxious or stressed might require special handling, sedation, or even emergency veterinary care, which can unexpectedly increase expenses. Planning for regular stops to ensure pets are fed, hydrated, and comfortable during the journey is also crucial and can extend travel time, potentially leading to higher costs.

What Are The Average International Removal Costs?

The average cost of an international move varies widely depending on several factors, making it challenging to provide a precise figure without specific details. However, here’s an overview of what influences these costs and some general cost ranges:

Influencing Factors

  1. Volume/Weight of Belongings: The more items you have, the higher the cost. Costs are typically calculated by volume (in cubic feet or meters) or by weight.
  2. Origin and Destination Countries: Distance and the specific countries involved impact the cost. Moves between countries with frequent shipping routes might be less expensive.
  3. Mode of Transport:
    • Sea Freight: Usually more affordable, especially for larger volumes. Costs depend on whether you use a full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL).
    • Air Freight: Faster but significantly more expensive, suited for smaller, urgent moves.
  4. Additional Services: Packing, loading, unpacking, storage, insurance, and customs clearance can all add to the cost.
  5. Access and Logistics: Difficulties in access at pickup or delivery locations (like narrow streets, high-rise buildings without elevators) can increase costs.

General Cost Ranges

  • Small Moves (Air Freight): For small loads or essential items, costs can range from £1,000 to £5,000 or more.
  • Larger Moves (Sea Freight):
    • LCL Shipments: Shared container services might cost between £2,000 to £5,000.
    • FCL Shipments: A full container (20ft or 40ft) could cost from £4,000 to over £10,000, depending on the destination.

Additional Costs

  • Customs Duties and Taxes: Varies by country. Some countries allow duty-free import of used household goods, while others do not.
  • Insurance: Typically 1-3% of the declared value of your goods.
  • Storage: If you need storage before or after the move.

Example Scenarios

  • UK to Australia: A full container load might range from £5,000 to £8,000.
  • USA to Europe: Costs for a shared container could be between £3,000 to £6,000.

These figures are approximate and can fluctuate based on the current economic conditions, seasonal demand, and specific requirements of your move. For an accurate estimate, it’s best to get quotes from several international moving companies, detailing your specific needs and the volume of goods to be moved.

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