Moving your belongings to France
Top tips from the professionals on a stress-free moving day, from booking ahead to the correct way to pack
As your belongings will be travelling a long way with the possibility of being handled several times, it is important to use the best and the appropriate packing materials.
Most companies can provide the materials, but if you have to look for your own then make sure you have strong, double-walled boxes that are not too large so that when you fill them up they are not too heavy to lift and not too small or comprised of different shapes as this makes it more difficult to stack away on the truck.
Also, use paper to wrap your china, and plenty of it, and avoid using printed newspaper as you will end up with print all over your best china! Ensure all large pictures are wrapped in bubblewrap or cardboard for protection.
Label your belongings
Make sure all your belongings are well marked to ensure they can be identified as they could be going in the truck with other people’s belongings if you have paid for a part-load service.
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Although most companies will label your belongings and take an inventory of everything, it is worth doing your own so that you can check it tallies up with the company’s records when loading and after delivery before they leave to make doubly sure you have received everything. It is worth putting your name, delivery address and contact number on each item.
Also mark up what is in the box and what room it came from so that it is easier for you to find things at the other end and the removal men can put the cartons in the right room for you.
It is essential for the removal company to know whether or not they can get their truck to your property in advance, so that arrangements can be made in advance if a smaller vehicle is needed to transship your belongings from the truck to your property.
Removal trucks can be very large and some properties can be out of their reach or there may be weight restrictions put in place by the local authority where permits are required.
If there is a problem with access then the easiest way would be for you to contact a local van hire company and book a hire vehicle for the removal men to use to move your belongings. If the company does not know in advance then it may mean they have to put your belongings in to storage or have to charge you for re-delivery.
If you have paid for a part-load service then you will need to be flexible with dates as you would have had a reduction in cost to fit in with other deliveries. Delivery times can vary greatly due to difficulties that may arise due to ferry delays, breakdowns and delays with delivering previous jobs.
Also remember drivers are restricted by their tachograph and have to stop when their hours run out for at least 11 hours before they can drive again.
Make sure you have allowed plenty of time for delivery and not booked a plane back that afternoon! Ideally, you could have a contact out there who could let them in or even let the removal men have a key with a plan of where to put your belongings so they can deliver if you are not there.
Also make sure you have enough on you to survive while you are waiting for the delivery of your belongings.
Use a trade association member
For peace of mind, use a member of a trade association. The trade associations for the removals industry are the National Guild of Removers and Storers and the BAR. Both trade associations ensure that the removal company will have all the required qualifications, insurance and documents in place to relocate your belongings to France. Trade association members are closely monitored to make sure they are running legally and professionally and that they have the facilities required for a successful move.
Tips provided by Funnells Removals
Tel: 01737 350573
In theory, any moving company can deliver your effects to France. However, if your chosen mover only does so occasionally, they will either have to quote you for a bespoke dedicated service, which is inevitably much more expensive, or they will quote on the basis that you will have to wait until such times as they have other shipments for the same area – with no guarantee of how long that might be.
Instead, find a specialist moving company that offers a regular service to France – they will be able to offer you a ‘shared-load’ price but with the added advantage of being able to confirm a schedule for delivery at the same time.
Often the delivery times are only a couple of days longer than a dedicated service, particularly if you book far enough ahead!
Don’t assume that removals companies are running around with empty trucks looking for loads to return to the UK. The British/French removals market is very mature, which means that there is a healthy flow of shipments both to France and back to the UK.
If you need to move goods either way, allow plenty of time in advance to avoid disappointment – particularly if you want your goods to be delivered within a very specific timeframe. The specialist companies who offer a regular service can often become booked up weeks ahead. The same applies to those moving back to the UK – don’t believe the traditional assumption that movers are desperate to find return loads at any price – these book up just as quickly as the outbound trips (don’t forget that French people move to the UK to work as well!)
Fill those boxes!
If you are choosing to pack your small items into boxes yourself, ask your mover for proper removal boxes and pack them as full as possible with no protruding items.
Damage to box contents packed by clients is most likely when the boxes are not full enough to stack properly in the removal truck and you will find that any such damage is not covered by insurance.
If you are in any doubt, for an additional fee your mover can pack the boxes for you and therefore offer you complete insurance protection. Insurers will only offer insurance if goods are professionally packed.
Tips provided by Channel Moving
Tel: 01233 645177