Main story: Removal Zone

The physical act of moving to France can seem daunting, even if you’ve moved home several times before. We provide some practical advice.

Q People retiring to France often have lots of furniture they’ve accumulated over the years. What size of lorry might a typical couple need in such circumstances?

A The first question people tend to ask about moving abroad is ‘how does it work? Do we pay by weight or volume?’
The answer is that moving abroad will normally go on the volume. It is generally true that the larger the volume the higher the costs.

Costs vary drastically dependent on the volume being moved. We’ve moved everything from a few boxes, to sending complete containers with a full packing, wrapping and loading service.
We offer three main services.

1 Just a few boxes – This starts from £29.95+vat per box and delivery is within 2-5 days.

2 Part load or groupage shipment – This is best suited for small/ medium amounts of furniture and delivery time is normally between 5-14 days.

3 Dedicated vehicle – You will have sole use of the lorry, which can be offered in a range of sizes. Once loaded it will travel directly to your property to unload, we always try and have the same crew from start to finish which proves very popular with clients and they are often on first name terms with the crew!

Always check with the company you’re considering using to see what different services they offer.

Q Some items are likely to have special sentimental andor financial value – what is the insurance situation for such items being moved?

A Reputable removal companies will ensure that all fragile items are individually wrapped and packed for shipping by packing experts. Don’t try to save money by packing the items yourself! Professional packing of fragiles and valuables is the best option.

For the packing we would advise that a removal/shipping packing expert should pack all your items; not only will you have the reassurance that the goods will not be damaged during transport but you will be eligible for higher insurance cover

Always check that you have adequate insurance cover for your goods, this will generally be offered by the removal company.

Q Can pets be moved to France as well?

This depends on the company and type of pet. Generally they will not allow for pets to travel in the main section of the lorry as it would not be suitable. Most airlines now allow you to take pets by prior arrangement. The costs depends on the size of the animal – and you also need to have a specialist carrying cage.

Q How about plants and shrubs – can I take them with me too?

Plants shrubs and general garden items can be taken by removal companies but the two main things to remember are:

– Will the plants survive being without water for the journey? Make sure you advise the crew on how often they need water so they can plan in advance!

– Because all companies quote on the volume of space used, it can be costly to take large plants. Because when loaded into the truck there is often a lot of wasted space – as you obviously can’t stack anything on the plants.

Q How much notice should I expect to have to give for a reputable removal firm to move my furniture to France?

A Any reputable firm will always like to have as much notice as possible, this allows them to plan collection and delivery schedules. In most cases the more notice you can supply the better the rate you can expect.

Also, remember that removal companies are very busy during the summer months and can get fully booked weeks or even months in advance. In my experience I have noticed that the better the company the sooner they become fully booked!

Normally for a small deposit you can secure you removal quote and required dates.

Q Will removal men put my belongings in the rooms where I want them in my new house in France?

A Always check this with the removal company – some companies only offer a curb side delivery. This means your goods will be dropped at the road side of your property.

Q Will I have to pay extra for especially fragile, large or heavy items?

A Most reputable companies will normally be very experienced in moving fragile items, but it might be necessary to have a purpose build crate or additional packing done to insure the item is suitable to be moved.

Piano, piano, piano! Don’t forget to tell the company that you have a piano; often it will need at least 3-4 crew to move this, especially if it has a iron frame or is a grand piano.

Q What’s the most frequently asked question/concern you get from people retiring to France – and how do you reassure them?

A Most people are always concerned about the safety of their goods whilst in the care of a removal company. There’s a simple answer – ONLY use accredited companies!

In the UK the two main trade bodies are The National Guild of Removers and the BAR – British Association of Removers. They make regular checks on the companies to ensure they are run properly and have all the required licenses and insurance in place.

Should you have any issues with the service provided you have the assurance that there is a full and comprehensive complaints procedure.

Should your complaint not be handled to your satisfaction then there are higher bodies to take it up with such as the ‘Removals Ombudsman’, this is ONLY open to National Guild Members in the UK.

See also:

Moving to France – the basics

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