Man & Van Guide
Everyone needs a man with a van at least once in their life. This man and van guide provides some top tips and advice on how to make the process as stress-free as possible.
- Where do I find a man with a van?
- How much does a man and van cost?
- How to reduce the price?
- How do I avoid using a rogue trader man & van?
- What are the alternatives to hiring a man and a van?
Other than asking your friends, the best place to start is to Google the expression ‘man & van’ with the name of your town or borough (for example, ‘man and van London’ or ‘man and van Fulham’). Alternatively, you could look in the local newsagent window, try out the website www.anyvan.com, or just use your eyes. There are literally thousands of men with vans out there, so if you see one that looks nice, note down the number on their van and give them a call. This last method has the advantage of automatically finding a man with a van who is based near to you, which means they are likely to one of the cheapest because they have less distance to travel.
It all depends on what you want your man and van to do. If it’s simply moving something from A to B, then most charge by the hour, although they may add surcharges for long distances. Make sure though that you clarify whether the clock starts from when they arrive at your property or from when they leave their home or depot. Ideally, pay them from when they arrive until when they say goodbye, that way there can be no dispute about how long they have worked. Alternatively, and arguably the best solution is to agree a fixed fee, although this needs you and them to be relatively clear on what needs to be done and roughly how long it will take.
If you need a man and van to take something away to the tip for you, then, in addition to labour and travel time, they will want to charge disposal fees because it costs money to dispose of waste at a tip as a business or sole trader. Some man & van operators like AnyJunk, combine the labour and travel with the disposal cost, to make it more simple, but others break it all down separately. If someone is happy to dispose of waste without charging extra, alarm bells should start to ring!
Because the charges of man and van companies depend largely on the length of time the job takes, you can save money by preparing everything in advance so that loading is as quick as possible. Equally, offering to help with the loading and unloading will also save time and help keep costs down.
Ask your man and van whether they are DBS (formerly called CRB) checked and also for details of their public liability insurance. The first is to see if they have a criminal record, which may or may not be of interest if they are disappearing with your personal belongings, and the second is to ensure that if they accidentally damage your property they have insurance to cover it. In addition, if they are disposing of waste materials they must be licensed with the Environment Agency to carry waste. You can verify whether or not they are appropriately licensed by asking for their waste carrier license number and checking it on the Environment Agency website for England & Wales or, if you are based in Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
For A to B removals you could use an established removals company instead of a man and van. You can find a list of reputable removal companies on the British Association of Removers website. For clearance of waste, we would naturally advise you to use AnyJunk, the UK’s largest man & van clearance company or consider hiring a skip and filling it yourself, which you can also do with AnyJunk. Or, if you are feeling particularly full of beans, you could hire a van and do the work yourself. But make sure you have a decent breakfast first!
Image courtesy of Removalists Melbourne