Elf Vs. Man……and a van!

Elf Vs. Man……and a van!

Man: ‘ello?
Jodie: Hi, is this the number for the man and van?
Man: Yep.
Jodie: Great, could you give me an hourly cost, please, for a man and a van?
Man: Minimum 2 hours, £40 per hour for the man and van.
Jodie: Great. Now, I was hoping not to do much regarding the move. Boxes are all packed, but not sure I can face lugging the boxes in and out of a van for the day. Is that OK?
Man: Nah, £40 just pays for the man and van, love. If you want him to move stuff, that’ll be £50 per hour. Again, minimum of 2 hours. Plus VAT. And petrol if you’re going outside of the M25. Booking starts when we leave the depot.
Jodie: Right…..I’ll call you back….

This was the twelfth (and final!) phone call a client and her boyfriend made getting quotes together for a man and van firm to help them move. Exhausted, though chuckling in disbelief, she called me and told me about this company. I assured her that this was fairly common practice for many London man and van firms and that, on average, they can charge anything from £30 – £50 per hour for one man, not including VAT. Or the minimum hourly charge.

According to a new study by the Money Advice Service, 3 MILLION (!!) people were shocked at how much the moving process cost. Whilst 1 million people admitted “unexpected” costs had not been budgeted for. Well, don’t be one of these suckers! Here are some super handy tips to save that precious moolah AND make the move easier.

Moving Our TV

Step 1 – The early bird catches the worm

Don’t, whatever you do, leave things to the last minute. It will only ever leave to unnecessary stress and panic and that’s when things go wrong. Once you have your move out date, start planning early. Once you know, buy your boxes, tape, string, etc straight away so you have it in your flat/house/room. Unless you are feeling particularly pumped, just leave the packing for another day. As long as you have a few weeks (2 is sometimes all you need), you still have time. There are plenty of storage places that do deals when you buy lots of boxes, etc, so there are savings to be made there too!

Step 2 – Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey

By now you will have had your boxes waiting for you for a few days and it’s time to get started. Don’t think about it, just do it! Often, it’s the hurdle of mentally starting that is trickier than the job itself. Don’t rush, your belongings aren’t going anywhere. Do a few boxes a day (or more if you have more stuff) and space it out over a week if necessary. Again, unless you’re on a roll, the more you bombard yourself with, the harder it will be and the quicker you’ll lose focus and drive.

Step 3 – I know a man that can

Always best to ask for recommendations for a man and a van. This can easily be done on Twitter and/or Facebook. You should start doing this before/during the packing, so whilst you’re doing that, the leads are flooding in and your friends are really doing the legwork for you. But, be specific. Ask your friends and colleagues to explain why they are good. Is it because they’re reliable? Cheap? Friendly? All you’ve got to do then is call the top 3 recommendations from what your friends say and see which you prefer. Easy. A hard job has now become LOADS easier. You should also be coming to an end with the packing too!

Step 4 – Cleanliness is next to Godliness

If you’re moving out of rented accommodation, make sure it is looking sparklingly clean. Again, you can ask for recommendations from social networking sites and just choose the best. (Alternatively, take a look at our blog on end of tenancy cleans!). Easy.

Step 5 – You can always rely on your mates

So, you’ve got your bags packed, the man and van has been booked and the flat is scheduled for it’s clean. All you’ve got to do now is move out. Ask for as many people’s help as possible with this. There will always be people who are suddenly “very ill” or “called into work last minute”. Make it worth their while. Say you’ll throw in a few rounds at the pub after you’re done and that the more people there are, the quicker it will be. This way you only require one man and a van, it will be much quicker and, therefore, much cheaper. Then, before you know it, you’re in your new home without any hassles at all (touch wood!).


Shameless Plug Alert:

Moving out is horrible. Fact. Moving out is always going to be expensive. Fiction! House Elf don’t charge VAT or minimum hours. We can collect the boxes and tape, deliver them to you door, pack up your property, organise the end of tenancy clean AND move you out too. We’ll even pick up some food from the local takeaway or necessaries from the supermarket too if you like! Something no other man and van company offers!

We charge a simple rate per hour for the Elves you have (£20 per Elf per hour*) and for the cost of the van (£8.75 per hour**). That’s it. Easy.

For more information, give us a call on 020 8720 7392 or email info@houseelf.co.uk. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.


*Prices are for Monday-Friday (9am-6pm). Bank Holidays not included.

**Prices based on Zipvan hourly rates. Mileage charges may apply.