Today is the busiest moving day of the year!

Pickfords’ Move Monitor reveals latest moving trends

On Friday 29th August, the nation is downing tools and turning its back on long weekend lie-ins in favour of moving home!

Today will be the busiest moving day of the year, as hundreds of families choose to move house.

Pickfords tracks around 30,000 house moves each year, and using year-on-year analysis of data can pinpoint which date will see most removal trucks rumbling up and down the motorways helping families to transition to new homes.

Pickfords’ spokesperson Lyndsey Daykin isn’t surprised that the last Friday of August is such a popular time to move:

“We have seen a real increase in movement in the housing market this year and all of our research points to a huge surge in house moves at the end of August.   We believe our customers are keen to make the most of the good weather and with the children off school, it’s the perfect time to move”

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Pickfords to feature in new Spooks movie!

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Pickfords Removals Birmingham driver Brian Da Costa and vehicle number 6739 were lent out for three days of filming on the set of the new ‘Spooks’ film, ‘The Greater Good’.

Filming on Coventry’s ring road, our truck formed part of a four-lane traffic build-up as part of a dramatic terrorist scene in which actress Tuppence Middleton is hijacked at gun point by terrorists on motorbikes!

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Of course we don’t know how much of Brian and our van will be shown in the final film, but we did track down a press photo with our truck in the background (above).

Based on the hit TV series, ‘Spooks: The Greater Good’ will be in cinemas from April 2015.

Pickfords voted in the Top Ten Best International Movers

Pickfords has been voted in the Top Ten International Movers by Which Offshore, an independent online consumer resource for those seeking information and advice about expatriate life and offshore finance.

Top Ten International Movers

The team at Which Offshore tested more than 70 UK-based removal companies by rating the information available on their website, online customer reviews, ease of contact, helpfulness of staff, the time taken to respond to an enquiry and the quoted price. Each company was asked to quote for a family of 4 (two adults, two kids) moving a total of 1,000 cubic ft of contents from a 2 bedroom flat in London, to a flat in Barcelona, with no elevators available at either location.

If you’re thinking about moving overseas, here are some useful tips to make the process that little bit easier…

Choose the type of service
It is important to know the difference between part and dedicated loads. Part load removals are cheaper, as furniture is shipped at the same time as someone else relocating. Although it might take a little longer, as the companies try to coordinate shipments to the same destination. If you prefer it to happen faster, a dedicated removal might be the better option.

Packing and Insurance
As many of the removal companies point out, packing itself doesn’t affect the quote as much contrary to what many people believe. You can save up a few pounds by putting everything in boxes yourself and only having the removal company pick it up, but you may miss out on insurance coverage.

Plan ahead
Make sure you have every detail such as date, time of arrival arranged with the removal company beforehand. Packing always takes longer than you think it will. It is only when you start putting things in boxes that you realize how much you have gathered over time. Plan to pack well in advance, and give yourself extra time, just in case.

Decide what to take
We all know that we keep a lot of things for sentimental value, nostalgia or just because you ‘could use it one day’. Take some time to really consider whether it is worth taking with you, or if it might be time to bring it to a relatives’ garage for safe-keeping. If there was a time to have a clean out, it’s now.

Make an inventory
When the time comes to move, it is easy to lose sight of everything you are taking with you. Especially if you’re leaving items behind or storing them, create a list of what’s where for future reference.

Visit the Pickfords website for more information on moving overseas.

Moving a car overseas – what you need to know

One of the most common questions we are asked by people moving overseas is ‘can I take my car with me?’

Since cars are, behind houses, normally the second largest purchase we make it is understandable that you will want to hold onto it where possible. In some cases it is worthwhile, especially in countries where vehicles are more expensive and the process of importing it is not too arduous, but getting a car into certain countries is considerably harder than others.

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The most common way of shipping a car is to use a shipping container. The container will be brought to your home, the car loaded and secured to prevent movement during transit, and this will then travel on a cargo ship and be unloaded at a port in your destination country for you to collect. On payment of the appropriate importation duties and Customs fees, and possibly after a quarantine period depending on country, the vehicle can then be driven away.

In many cases people are moving lock, stock and barrel to another country and so will be taking other domestic goods along with their car. Pickfords provides a service to outfit a container with shelving which maximises the space available inside, protecting both your car and the items being transported. There’s a handy photo album showing this on our Facebook page – check it out at www.facebook.com/pickfords.

If you’re exporting a car from the UK, there are a number of stages you need to go through. Firstly, if you’re moving your car out of the UK permanently (or for longer than 12 months) you must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and return a completed ‘Notification of Permanent Export’ section from your V5C.

We strongly recommend that your car is cleaned thoroughly inside and out ahead of shipment. For transportation to Australia or New Zealand this is particularly important, as your vehicle will be subject to strict quarantine inspections when it arrives and could undergo additional cleaning (at your expense) if the authorities deem it necessary.

The requirements for shipping cars abroad vary by country, and Pickfords can provide you with the latest information with regard to the appropriate importation permits. In some instances, you may only import your car if you have owned it for at least twelve months, and there may also be a requirement to pass local compliance tests (similar to an MOT in the United Kingdom) before being legally allowed to drive it in the destination country. Customs will need to clear the vehicle and there will likely be duties and taxes to be paid before the vehicle is released. During this time the vehicle will remain in port or at an agent’s warehouse.

In summary, shipping your car can be worthwhile, but it depends hugely on where you want to take it. We highly recommend gaining professional advice on shipping a car overseas as early as possible – it is a complicated process and very costly if your car travels without the correct paperwork to support it. Pickfords moves hundreds of cars across the world every year, so our Move Consultants are well-placed to answer your questions. To get in touch with your nearest branch and find out more, just visit the Pickfords website at www.pickfords.co.uk.

Should I use long-term storage or self-store?

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Storage is commonly where goods and personal effects are loaded into containers or wooden pallets and kept in a secure warehouse, usually for longer periods.

Firms offering long-term storage often provide specialist packing services to ensure your items are protected prior to going into storage. The container used to store your items should also be sealed in your home for security purposes, and transported to the storage centre for you. 
 
If they do not inventory everything going into storage, make sure you do and keep a record of it for when you need to take your goods back out of storage in the future.
 
Self storage is a more flexible solution for shorter-term storage needs, commonly used when moving home, clearing space, redecorating or extending homes. Self storage is a more convenient, cost-effective solution. 
 
Self storage is commonly offered in units of varying sizes, with a scale of costs according to the size of unit you require. Access can be granted at any time, and elivery/redelivery of goods can either be handled by the customer or by the storage company. 
 
Find out more about Pickfords’ range of storage and self storage options:

Pickfords storage 
Pickfords self storage

Read more useful moving tips in our Moving Advice Centre

Make sure you can get flood insurance

If you’re moving to a low-lying area, flood insurance is something you must consider when purchasing your next home. Water can cause substantial damage to homes and property so make sure you’re adequately covered should the worst happen.

UK Government cuts to funding for flood defence schemes across England and Wales could lead to increased destruction of homes and businesses, the country’s economy, and to coastal erosion.

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The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has acknowledged that the flood risks are rising because of climate change but imposed an annual cut of over 20 per cent on flood defence spending. One in six properties in the UK are at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

The changes could leave more than 50,000 households unprotected by flood defences. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a press release in November 2010 showing that the cost of flood damage since 2000 has leapt by 200 per cent. Insurers who were heavily hit by claims from recent devastating floods will “inevitably” seek to increase premiums or refuse cover altogether, industry experts have said.

Owners of properties next to the Thames will be most at risk, but premiums across London could rise by as much as 10 per cent. The insurance industry has pledged to guarantee cover even to those living in flood-prone areas, under the Statement of Principles on Flood Insurance, but this runs out in 2013. Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers has been quoted as saying “The environment Agency has said flood spend needs to double each year just to keep pace with current flooding.”

Read the rest of this post on the Pickfords Moving Advice Centre.

How to choose a removals company

Moving house is a massive event and it’s crucial to get the right removals company to help you. As the old saying goes, not all removal companies are the same and there’s plenty of choice out there in the market, so here are a couple of pointers to help you decide.

Moving DayTake a recommendation
Word of mouth recommendations are a great way to find a reliable removals company. You can also look at social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to see how frequently each company engages with its customers and how they handle queries or issues raised via these sites.

Getting in touch
A reputable removals firm will give you as many options as possible to get in touch, hinting at a business that has the resources to handle you professionally. If the only contact information you can find on their website is a mobile number, think twice about making the call.

What insurance do they offer?
Any handling of goods is a risky business so household effects are at risk during a home move. Different removals companies offer different cover, so it is worth taking some time to understand the difference, as not all removals insurance is the same.

Do you have valuable or, fragile items?
We all have something that is particularly special to us, so check to see how your moving company handles fragile and valuable items. Most professional companies will use different packing materials to protect unusual items and may use export packing or crating to protect the goods.

Do their customers back up their claims?
Positive endorsements of a product or service are one of the strongest factors in making a decision to buy, so when doing your research pay attention to what people say about them.

How do they approach security?
There aren’t many occasions when you freely welcome complete strangers into your home so you should feel comfortable that they are well-trained, professional and above all, trustworthy. Check to see whether their staff are CRB-checked – this is a process administered by the Criminal Records Bureau, a government agency, and ensures that businesses are aware of any convictions held by prospective new recruits.

Do they have quality standards?
Many removal companies use quality management systems as a management tool to ensure they deliver consistent service. Check to see if the company has a formal approach to managing quality, or carries a quality accreditation to help them maintain their quality standards

What is their approach to the environment?
Dealing with a company that is sympathetic to the environment should not cost you any more. Check to see that the company recycles packing materials and timber and has a system in place to ensure its business does not impact its local community.

This post was taken from the Moving Advice Centre on www.pickfords.com. To read more useful hints and tips around the moving process, just click here.

Top tips for home buyers

Buying a house is one of the biggest and most complex things you’ll ever do. One of the main things that you need to organise is a survey of your new home, which will help identify any issues which you might not have been aware of prior to moving in.

We’ve teamed up with MAP Surveyors to provide you with a few pointers as to why getting a survey is a good idea.

MAP Surveyors

Click Here to contact MAP and get your Immediate Free Quotation online

Your mortgage provider will not do a survey
Mortgage companies only insist on a valuation. This is definitely not a survey. Often the valuer will be asked to use standard phrases or even just tick boxes with no room for comment. The valuers client is not you the purchaser, it is the mortgage company.

The valuer for the mortgage may not even be qualified to carry out a building survey
Surprising but true. Many valuers don’t undertake building surveys as they don’t have the expertise required to carry out surveys of that kind.

An estimated 200,000 homes will no longer be insurable against flooding in 2013
With MAP Surveyors new flood report service you can tell whether cuts in flood defences are likely to be a problem for you. It’s not just properties near rivers and the sea that are affected.

Nobody is acting on your behalf if you buy without a survey
The estate agent you buy your property through has a professional duty of care to do the very best for their client – the vendor. MAP Surveyors will be the professionals serving your best interests as the purchaser on the other side of the transaction.

Any property built before 2000 could contain asbestos
This is just one of many things you may be unaware of. Your MAP survey will guide you through the complex process of homebuying giving you full knowledge of many different and equally important things which as your professional advisers we are on hand for to ensure you can have confidence in making the biggest investment of your life.

Click here to get a free quotation online from MAP Surveyors.

Would you like to take part in a new television programme?

Pickfords is helping TV production company TwoFour to find individuals and families who have goods in store and would be interested in taking part in a new programme to be broadcast on ITV1.

They are looking for: 

  • Couples/families with items in storage that are no longer needed or have been inherited
  • Individuals who store belongings that are not welcome in the house
  • Long-standing collectors with no space left in their home
  • Or people who just can’t let go of their stuff because it has sentimental value and currently doesn’t have a place in the home

Experts will help storers to sort through their goods in store and  help them decide whether to “keep it” “skip it” or “sell it”.
More information can be found on the Pickfords website.

If any readers of our blog would like to take part,  contact TwoFour direct on storageshow@twofour.co.uk

 

 

Has the identity of Jack the Ripper been revealed?

An interesting reference to Pickfords’ long history can be found in the Telegraph this week.

The world has speculated on the identity of the notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper for over 100 years. The perpetrator of the grizzly murders in London’s east end at the end of the century, was never caught. On the 100 year anniversary of the first murder, authors Christer Holmgren and Edward Stow have put forward the theory that Jack could have been a cart man, (a modern day driver or porter or removals man) who was found at the scene of the first murder. It is noted in the official evidence that the cart man, Charles Cross was on his way to Pickfords’ depot in Broad Street at about 3am, when he found the mutilated body of Polly Nichols – so he could have worked for Pickfords at the time. ( Branches must have opened later in those days!). Although found at the scene, Cross did not seem to come under much interrogation from the police at the time, though it is noted be provided a false name.

An interesting theory, though there have been many suggestions for the culprit over the last one hundred years including Prince Albert Victor, the grandson of Queen Victoria, and Sir William Gull, the Queen’s doctor.

A fascinating article below

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9512928/Was-Jack-the-Ripper-a-cart-driver-from-Bethnal-Green.html