Hire a Van and Self Move or Hire a Removals Company?

It’s a common question – do you move yourself or do you hire a removals company to do it for you?

The answer? It depends… While it’s wise to enlist the help of a removals company in most cases, there are occasions when moving yourself makes more sense.

“But hiring a removals company is way more expensive than doing it yourself, isn’t it?”

Not necessarily! There’s lots to factor in.

To help you weigh up your options and decide the best approach, we’ve compiled considerations for self-moving versus hiring a removals company.

(As removal experts based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, you might think we’re biased, but we promise the following advice is impartial!)

Considerations if you’re thinking of moving yourself…

Better for small moves

Self-moving is a suitable option if you don’t have lots of stuff to move (such as moving into your first property) and would be able to transport your belongings in no more than a couple of trips. Remember – you’ll need to factor in time to pack, dismantle furniture, load the van, drive to your new accommodation and do the process in reverse at the other end. Take a look at how to self move.

Okay for moving straightforward furniture (if you haven’t got lots of it)

If your furniture is easy to move (i.e. not too bulky or fragile) and you haven’t got lots of it, then self-moving is a good option. Bear in mind that you might need to hire specialist moving equipment, such as a dolly, to help you move certain items.

Physically demanding… but a purpose-built van will do most of the hard work for you

If you’re going to self-move, it’s important you take care of your body, especially if you work in a job requiring you to be physically active. The last thing you want is a back injury which puts you out of work for the foreseeable future.

Having said that, hiring the right self-drive vehicle will make the process easier, taking the load off you. As an example, Squab’s self-drive Luton vans are low-rider vehicles, complete with a lightweight ramp and tie rails for easy loading and unloading. They also have more space compared to standard transit vans, which means fewer trips.

Suitable if timings are flexible

If time isn’t an issue, self-moving may be the better option. For example, if you’re moving from rental to rental without the pressure of moving everything in a day, you can hire a van for as long as you need and move at your leisure. Rental to rental is one reason – take a look at other popular reasons people self-move.

For when you have a small budget

If you’re limited by budget, self-moving may be the only option. It’s worth planning out costs ahead of time so you can work out how much you’ll need for van hire. Luckily, Squab’s van hire is budget-friendly! Depending on what you’re moving, it might still be worth getting a quote from a removals company so you can compare costs.

You’ll need to plan well to avoid stress

A little planning goes a long way and is especially important when you’re self-moving. Take a look at our moving checklist to help you get organised.

Great if you’ve got friends and family who can provide the right help

An army of willing volunteers can make a big difference to the self-moving experience. But a word of caution – make sure volunteers are reliable and won’t let you down at the last minute. You don’t want to get left stranded with boxes!

Worried you lack moving experience? We can give you some tips!

Watch this space for a library of how-to videos, including how to pack framed pictures, how to pack glassware and lots more…

Considerations if you’re thinking of hiring a removals company…

Better for standard to large moves

In standard to large moves, it’s likely you’ve accumulated a fair amount of stuff. It would be a difficult task to move it all yourself, not to mention costly in terms of time, which is why hiring a removals company is a good idea. Most companies will also offer packing and dismantling services which can be a big help when you’ve got lots to pack.

Better if you’ve got awkward or specialist furniture

If you’ve got bulky or specialist furniture, such as a piano, it’s worth enlisting a removals company to help – no question. They have the training and experience to do it safely, as well as the necessary equipment.

They’ll do all the heavy lifting for you

Moving house is tiring enough without having to do all the heavy lifting as well. A removals company will do it for you, which means you can save your energy for the rest of the move.

Better if there are time constraints

In most cases, time constraints are part and parcel of moving to a new house. The problem is, you can’t control what happens on the day. Removals companies are used to working to tight timeframes. They’re also pros at adapting to hurdles along the way, such as delays getting into a property. It’s all in a day’s work.


For when you have budget available

Choosing the right removals company is well worth the investment. As tempting as it might be to go with the cheapest company you can find, it’s important to review what you get for the service. Ask yourself questions like – are they professional? Would I trust them to move my mum? How experienced are they? (More points to reiterate this below). A good place to start is to look at customer reviews.

Most of the stress is taken away

Moving house is one of the top life stressors. Removals companies are there not only to move you from A to B, but also to make the experience as stress-free as possible. If you value having peace of mind, then hiring a removals company is a no-brainer. Let them handle everything for you. Our handy moving checklist will help you get organised.

A reliable team of professionals

If you’re enlisting professional help, whatever you do, make sure you hire a BAR (British Association of Removers) accredited removals company – peace of mind that you’re in safe hands, working with a trusted company. Look out for the badge!

A wealth of skills and experience

The amount of work involved in moving is often overlooked and having a team who know what they’re doing is priceless. All those years of experience also mean they’re speedy and efficient. You should see our guys at work!

Squab service removals

To sum up – whether you should self-move or hire a removals company depends on:

Hiring a BAR removals company? Book a survey via our domestic removals pageOR…

Hiring a self-drive van and moving yourself? Book Squab’s van hire online and select which Squab site you’d like to collect it from – Daventry or Leamington Spa.