When it comes moving house, one of the big items on the budget list is your removals firm. When choosing the best company, there are some big decisions to be made. You may feel you have a choice between quality and cost and may need to compromise on one or the other. This needn’t always be the case, however.

When you browse through local directories, the Yellow Pages or internet listings, you are likely to see the same two or three national chains coming up time and time again. This is not surprising. They have the largest advertising, the most customers and a good reputation in the vast majority of cases. Any one of those three factors leads to the other two.

However, you’ll typically find that they also have the biggest price tag. Such big corporate names rely on reputation, the recognisability of their brand name and also people being in a hurry to get more and more business. It’s easy to go with them. Known and secure. They can, and typically do, charge a premium for their services. Much like any big brand name.

Today though, it’s much easier to find and track down alternatives, local firms and man with a van services to help you move. This can save you a small fortune: often halving the price you would pay as quoted by one of the big nationals. Doing a very quick search on the internet including your local town should yield a lot more results than scanning through newspapers or printed directories.

So, for example you could search for ‘removal company Birmingham’. You’ll get thousands of results, but don’t be put off. Be aware that you’ll get Sponsored Links at the top. These are likely to be those national chains again, with the big advertising bucks. But scroll down, and you should find more local firms. Websites are now very inexpensive, so even the smaller companies tend to have them. You can specialise even further, for example putting ‘removal company Solihull’ or ‘house moves Edgbaston’. You’ll soon find those firms who are just round the corner from you.

Local removals companies can be much cheaper, because they don’t carry the enormous overheads and fleets of the bigger chains that operate nationwide. Obviously you still want to look for ones with a good reputation who are long standing – but you will probably only need one lorry and maybe a crew of five. You don’t need to be paying the expenses of owning hundreds of lorries and employing thousands, which the household names to have to recoup and cover somehow.

Also, don’t forget to search for companies who are based in the town you are moving to, not just from. They may well give you even better value, as they end up back at base. This reduces their costs further, and you can use it as a negotiation point. Many chains, on the other hand, have big depots out of towns. They therefore need to cover the costs of staff and petrol for much longer all-round journeys: to your home, to the new home, then back to base again.

Another advantage of a local moving service is the personal touch. You may well find that these are family run and owned businesses, with less than ten employees. Chances are, the people you have contact with first, on the ‘phone and then when they come to inventory your home, are the same people you’ll be in touch with throughout the process. It’s not so much of a nameless, faceless corporate machine. You build relationships with these real people, and they’ll be on your side.

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