Property in motion
Start your new life in France in a good mood by finding a reliable removals company, advises logistics expert
A stress-free guide to transporting your worldly possessions to France
Moving all your worldly possessions across the Channel can seem like an insurmountable task. If not carried out well, it can cause your new life in France to get off to a stressful start. Calling on the services of a reputable removals company can help to demystify the process and provide a comprehensive door-todoor service.
Finding ‘the one’ When looking for a removals company, it is important to choose one with an in-depth knowledge of France; a company with the contacts, affiliations and practical skills to take care of you all the way to your new home. For peace of mind, they should offer full financial protection door to door.
Recommendations are a good starting point but other than that, make sure movers are at least members of the BAR (British Association of Removers). This is the only trade association in the industry that helps members and protects customers. It sets high professional standards and the BAR code of practice is approved by the Trading Standards Institute. It offers clear professional advice and also provides a scheme of pre-payment protection.
Don’t think you need to use a local company, as experience and knowledge on overseas moving is more important. Also, as payments are made prior to moving, it may be more reassuring to use a financially bonded mover who belongs to the BAR Overseas Moving Group or FIDI (Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux). FIDI is the global alliance of professional international moving and relocation companies, and offers customers a portal to an alliance of recognised quality movers. Its FAIM standard covers a company’s operations and service to customers through a quality management and certification programme. The BAR Overseas Moving Group, meanwhile, offers an international guarantee that customers’ advanced payments will be protected should a member company cease to trade.
All of this means that if you have paid prior to your move and that company ceases to trade before said move, your payment is protected, similar to ABTA when booking flights and holidays.
Your next step is to get a realistic quotation and, for this, an experienced estimator should visit you in your home to accurately calculate the volume you wish to take and note your packing requirements. They should give professional guidance as to how your entire move will be delivered, right from the collection stage in the UK to delivery to your new residence in France (or viceversa), without any obligation. Ask for a realistic quotation, which will include full removal insurance, based on a first-class and high quality service.
Remember owner-packed goods are not fully insured, whereas those packed by the mover are
More often than not, you’ll find that a move to France will require the use of storage for some intermediate period before your possessions can be taken to your new abode, so it is important to use a remover with storage facilities.
Opting for containerised storage means that containers will arrive at your UK home on a multi-purpose vehicle and an inventory will be made as each item is carefully loaded into containers and transported to the storage facility. The furniture will stay in your containers until it is ready to come out of storage.
Containers rarely travel to France as they take up too much space, so normally the furniture is transferred directly into a furniture van the day before departure.
Alternatively, self-access storage involves your possessions being stored in individual padlocked rooms; you are able to have access to your items during the period of storage. Try and give the remover two to four weeks’ notice in order to arrange for your belongings to be delivered from store.