Yes, you could do it yourself, but whether or not you can do it cheaper remains to be seen. I wonder if you have taken the time to consider just how many expenses and pitfalls there are in a “simple” removal.
Hiring A Van - Plus the Hidden Costs.
Your first cost of course will be the hire of the van. The van should be covered for insurance within the price but an extra charge will be added if you are travelling abroad. European assistance is required in case, heaven forbid; you break down on your journey, another added cost. A damage deposit, which usually if you are using the van within the UK is around £250, will increase considerably as soon as the van is destined to leave the UK. The average damage deposit will rise to around £750 so if you are unfortunate enough to have even a tiny “bump” this could cost you dear. Another aspect to consider when hiring a van, is there an extra charge for excess mileage? The usual cost of a day’s rental includes a mileage allowance of 250 miles per day. Most rental companies will charge you up to 14 pence per mile for any miles over this limit, an example of this; if you do a thousand miles over two days which comes to 500 miles over the mileage allowance, will result in an additional charge of £70 on top of what you have already paid.
Insurance Issues: Do I really need it?
YES YOU DO! What is your property worth to you? The van insurance does not cover the contents of the van you are hiring. A good example of why you should insure your items (or use a professional removal company) is one where a person, on contacting a transport company, finding the price too high decided to transport an antique bought from an auction house for the princely sum of £30,000 himself. Unfortunately he was involved in an accident which completely destroyed his very expensive cargo. He had not considered insurance, therefore there was no compensation. Have you also considered how you will secure your load? Transport companies have the knowledge and experience in the packing of items safely. They also have removal blankets for protection and straps for securing items so that they do not move around in transit. Do you have the expertise or the necessary equipment supplied in your Hire van? Your goods may be worth nowhere near the unfortunate example I have given, but could you take the risk of losing yours?
All reputable transport companies are covered by their insurance not only for your goods but for any eventual damage that could arise to third party property or goods during the handling of a removal. An example of what could happen is; you are moving a sofa in a tight stairwell and one of the feet accidently gouges the plasterwork. If you do the removal yourself you will be responsible for this cost. This will not be a case of DIY repair as most building managers will request professional contractors to do this which could include the hiring of scaffold, re-plastering and a whole wall repaint. Costly, to say the least! Another area of Insurance to consider is Injury to Third parties. If in the course of moving items you injure a third party could you afford to cover the cost of any compensation claims against you? As a private individual it will be down to you to spend the time and trouble to seek out appropriate insurance which of course will add an even more costs to you.
Extra Costs: Ferries, Diesel, Tolls and your Own Personal Time.
The cost of Ferries will of course vary considerably dependent on which crossing/destination, time of year, size of van and Ferry Company you use but the shortest crossing Dover to Calais will cost at least £100 for I passenger plus van. The cost of fuel as we all know has increased considerably of late. Diesel on the whole is cheaper in Europe than in the UK. From experience I include a few examples of the consumption of an average 10 cubic meter van on the following round trips:
London to Paris – return £150
London to Lyon – return £280
London to Bordeaux – return £280
London to Marseille – return £380
These costs of course do not include tolls. If you are lucky enough to have all the time in the world, which most of us unfortunately do not have these days, you can avoid the main toll routes completely. If however you are subject to time restraints which the mere fact you have hired the van will be a relevant issue, the fastest route will incur toll charges. A few examples of these are:
Calais to Paris - €33 each way
Calais to Lyon/Bordeaux €80 each way
Calais to Marseille - €115 each way.
Finally; what is your time worth to you? You may say “well, I will do it in my holidays” but do you really want to use your precious vacation time working, because effectively that is what you will be doing, by doing it yourself.