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How To Slash £700 Off Your Moving Expenses

17 February 2021, 10:00 am
  • Common moving related costs can add an eye-watering £1,500 to your new home expenses, says Consumer Expert Tom Church
  • Shares his tips and tricks for tackling the practicalities of moving house for less
  • “Knowing the cheapest day of the week to move, crunching down extra storage costs and taking a proactive approach to redirecting your mail can help you to save hundreds,” he says

Brits may be rushing to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday but the smaller, more practical costs of boxing up your life and shifting to another home can often come as a surprise. 

“After saving for 10 years I finally bought a house in January this year. It’s a bittersweet experience because on the one hand, great, I have a house! On the other hand, you want to cry because your bank balance says zero. And that’s when all the unexpected costs hit you,” says Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.

“I was shocked at the potential costs of moving out of rented accommodation into a new home. You have to get your flat professionally cleaned, hire a removals company, get storage if downsizing, and pay to redirect your mail. Totting it all up can come to over £1,500.

“And this doesn’t even include some of the hidden costs people may need to shell out for, such as childcare and pet sitting.

“I didn’t have £1,500 to spend so I was forced to look at ways of making savings.

“Of course, what you may need to spend will depend on your individual circumstances, including how much furniture you’ve got and whether you need to rent self-storage and how long for, but following my suggestions below could save you over £700.”

Home removals: approximately £1,181

The average UK removal company costs for a three-bed house travelling 50 miles are roughly £1,181 in 2021, according to CompareMyMove¹, including the cost of pro packing services and materials, and dismantling and reassembling your furniture at either side. 

How to save: Schedule your big move on one of the cheapest days to do it – this is when moving companies are typically less busy so you’re likely to get the best price. CompareMyMove² research shows that Sunday is the cheapest day to move house, costing £717.13, but be sure to compare quotes from a few different companies to be confident that you’re getting the best deal. Also be prepared to get stuck in with packing up and sourcing your own boxes – you can check community pages on social media, ask your local superstore or put a call out on freecycling networks. It can make a healthy difference to the cost. 

There is of course the option of hiring a truck and doing everything yourself. However, this may prove to be unsafe when lifting heavy loads down staircases. In this instance I think paying for professional help is worth it.

Approximate saving: £463.87

Cleaning costs: approximately £128 (agency rates)

If you are leaving a rental, you’ll need to get it spick and span for the new tenants or risk being charged by the landlord for the cost of a professional cleaner. Similarly, if you are moving into your forever home, you can expect it to be left reasonably clean and tidy, but you may feel more comfortable giving it the once over before you arrive. The average rate for an agency cleaner to come and clean your pad is £16 per hour, according to Checkatrade³, so if you get a cleaner in for a full day (8 hours) it’ll cost you £128. If your place needs a really deep clean, it could even take a couple of days to do the job. 

How to save: Do it yourself, if your tenancy agreement allows for it. It’s not much of a secret, but unless there are any specialist cleaning jobs you need to carry out, rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself is your best bet for saving some cash.  

Approximate saving: £128

Temporary storage: approximately £190 per month

If you’re downsizing and need a place to store some furniture until you sell it, or simply need somewhere to stash some clutter while you decorate your new digs, self-storage is the answer. But the cost can mount up. The UK average rental rate per square foot per annum is £22.82, according to the Self Storage Association⁴. So if you need a storage area that’s around the size of a standard single garage (100sqft), you’ll pay approximately £190 per month. Plus, it’s wise to take out an insurance policy on top of this, which adds up.

How to save: Check out reputable alternatives to commercial storing such as Storemates, which matches you with local people who have rentable space available and, according the company, can save you an average of 50%. Alternatively, do what I did and get rid of it.

Approximate saving: £80

Redirecting your mail: up to £68.99

You can redirect your mail to any UK (or overseas) address thanks to Royal Mail’s Redirection service, but it’ll cost you. Redirecting your mail to a new UK address for 12 months costs £68.99 for the lead applicant (you don’t have to pay for anyone aged under 16).

How to save: It’s really important that you do this so that you don’t miss out on any important letters, such as bills, and also to reduce the risk of any sensitive information falling into other people’s hands that could put you at risk of fraud or identity theft. However, you can crunch down the cost by signing up for a minimum service of three months’ redirection costing £33.99 for the lead applicant. This should allow enough time for you to be proactive about calling round official entities, business and any other organisations that have got you on their mailing list, as well as friends and family, to let them know your new address so they can update their records. 

Approximate saving: £35

Sources: ¹CompareMyMove. ²ComapreMyMove. ³Checkatrade. ⁴Self Storage Association.

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What do you think of this?
MrsCraiga year ago

We've lived in our house for nearly 6 years and still get mail for the previous owner. It's from important places too like the bank and insurance companies.

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