Moving home can be expensive. This page looks at the main financial considerations and how you can get help with moving costs.
Doing it yourself
Arranging the move yourself can be a cost effective solution if:
- you don't have much furniture or very many belongings
- you aren't moving far
- you have your own transport
- you have friends who are willing to help you
- you are strong and in good health.
How much will it cost?
You will have to consider the costs of:
- hiring transport, such as a car or van
- hiring a driver if you're not able to drive yourself
- petrol (remember you may have to make more than one journey).
You should also bear in mind that:
- lifting and carrying furniture is exhausting, and you shouldn't attempt it if you're not in good physical health, for example if you have back problems
- it will take you much longer to do the move than it would a professional.
Hiring a removal firm
Hiring a removal firm is a good idea if:
- you have a lot of furniture and belongings
- you have furniture that is awkward to transport
- there is no convenient parking at your house or there are a lot of stairs to negotiate
- you're moving a long distance
- you need help packing, carrying and loading your belongings
- you have any health problems, for example a bad back.
How much will it cost?
The cost of hiring a removal firm will depend on:
- how far you are moving
- how much furniture and how many possessions you have
- how awkward it will be to move your belongings
- whether you want help with packing.
The amount different removal firms charge can vary widely. Get a few estimates, and try to book your move early, as it may cost you more if you leave it until the last minute.
If you don't have many possessions and are not moving far, you may be able to use a company specialising in small removals.
You should be able to pick up free boxes from most big supermarkets. However, if you have a lot of belongings, you may need to buy boxes to pack your things in. Most removal firms will supply boxes if you need them.
You may have to put your belongings into storage if you have to leave your previous home before your new home is ready. If you are hiring a removal firm, they may be able to arrange this for you as part of their service. You can find storage firms in the Yellow Pages.
If you have to move out of your previous home before you can move into your new home, you will have to arrange alternative accommodation until your new home is ready. This could be with friends, or in a hostel, bed and breakfast or hotel.
Furniture and white goods
If you're leaving home for the first time, moving into unfurnished rented accommodation or are a new home owner, there may be some essential items you'll need to buy, for example furniture, kitchen equipment and white goods (fridge, cooker, etc). You can download our checklist of essential items.
When you move into your new home, you may have to pay a one-off charge for connecting the gas, electricity and telephone if they have been cut off.
Help with moving costs
If you are claiming benefits or on a low income, you may be able to get financial help from the social fund to help with the cost of moving or buying essential furniture or white goods for your new home.
Depending on your circumstances (for example, if you are leaving care or have been homeless), you may be able to apply for a:
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