Moving home is a fact of life. It can be a necessity, a stepping stone, or your dream house, but almost all of us will go through it – and it’s typically more stressful than getting divorced or having a baby, according to E.ON, Which?, and Yopa.

The most important question is cost, especially when moving day is approaching, and you’ve already waded through the financial sludge of stamp duty, surveys, legal fees, insurance, and mortgage broker payments.

We’ve run through all the costs you may encounter when hiring a removals company, so you can factor them in beforehand, and make the last stage of your move as pain-free as possible.

couple going over moving costs

Moving house doesn’t have to be too expensive

The average cost of moving

It costs £1,181, on average, to move within the UK, according to Compare My Move.

This is the price you’ll typically pay to move the contents of a three-bedroom house to a new home that’s 50 miles away.

Other costs involved in buying and selling the average UK house – which therefore doesn’t include a price difference between the two properties – come to £7,770.99, on average.

This means once you’ve got to the stage of moving your possessions, most of your spending is behind you – in fact, the removal costs only take up around 13% of the average £8,951.99 total spend.

How are moving costs calculated?

The most important factors in calculating how much you’ll pay to move your belongings are the distance you need your removals company to travel, and the size of your possessions that are going in the moving lorry.

The following costs will be dependent on those variables, with the average price for a three-bed house in brackets:

  • Loading and unloading (£806)
  • Packing services and materials (£250)
  • Dismantling and reassembling (£125)

You’ll also pay for the distance between your current and new home, at a typical rate of £1 per mile.

The first 50 miles are included in the other costs, but let’s say your new home is 120 miles away. That means you’ll pay £70 on top of the other costs.

You’ll end up parting with £1,251, split in the following way:

If you want to calculate more precisely how much your belongings will cost to move, companies generally charge £1 per cubic foot.

This is difficult for most people to work out, but it’s not impossible.

Potential extra costs

If you have more possessions than the average home, you may need to pay more for the time the removal workers spend loading your belongings.

Or perhaps you have some especially intricate, heavy, or cumbersome items that need to be removed by experts, like a grand piano, large sofa, or heavy bath. This will usually cost around £125 per item.

You may also require extra packing materials, or even storage space, which typically costs £30 per week.

If it’s especially hard to get in or out of your property, you could also be asked to pay an extra charge.

This could be because it’s difficult to get into the front of your home, for instance if the road outside is narrow or full of obstacles – or because it’s tricky to get your possessions out.

Maybe they need to be taken down a narrow staircase, or in a cramped lift.

If this sounds like your home, be sure to tell removals companies when you’re asking for quotes, so you’re as prepared as possible for the bill.

The removal company may also offer to clean your home after its workers have cleared out your belongings, which can be a wonderful convenience at that point. This will typically cost £15 per hour.

How much will your move cost?

As we’ve outlined above, the overall cost will depend on a lot of different factors.

However, based on the average costs of moving a three-bedroom house, we’ve calculated the cost of some of the most popular moves from London to the rest of the UK and Ireland, to give you an idea of what you’re facing.

FromToCost
LondonManchester£1,341
LondonLiverpool£1,352
LondonBirmingham£1,249
LondonSheffield£1,299
LondonEdinburgh£1,534
LondonGlasgow£1,535
LondonDublin£1,500
LondonBelfast£1,594
LondonCardiff£1,282
LondonSwansea£1,317

Summary

By now, you’ll be well-versed in the different costs of moving, and fully aware of which factors can lead to a higher number on your final bill.

With this knowledge, you can walk around your home deciding which possessions are worth taking with you, and which should be sold or thrown away.

With a good idea of the average costs, you can then ask for quotes from multiple removal companies. You’re ready to move, and you’re ready to pay the best price possible for it.