Removal costs UK: A comprehensive guide

Removal costs UK - woman moving house

Preparing to move to a new house is an exciting and potentially life-changing prospect. Finding the perfect home is only part of the process; planning the big move carefully is equally important. Keeping on task and under budget can be made easier when you have a clear idea of the removal costs UK movers can expect to pay.

What is the average cost of moving homes in the UK?

In 2020, the average overall cost for moving home in the UK falls between £7000 and £9000. This is the price range you might expect if you are selling your current home and then buying another.

What are the main types of costs involved in moving house?

The main costs attached to moving house fall into three broad categories: buying your new home, selling your existing home, and paying the house removal costs to move between them. This whole process involves paying legal fees, surveying/conveyancing checks on both properties, movers, and a range of assorted minor costs.

Of course, it is possible to make savings in all three areas. You could carry out some of the paperwork or removal process yourself. However, be aware that choosing not to use trained legal and removal professionals can cause more problems than it solves.

How much are legal and administration fees for buying and selling a house?

Below is a list of typical legal and administration fees you are likely to pay when buying a new UK home, along with estimated average prices:

  • Valuation – £200
  • Property surveyance – £500
  • Conveyancing – £1000
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) – £2000 (This amount depends purely on the value of the house you are buying, see below.)

And for selling your current home:

  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) – £75
  • Conveyancing – £1000
  • Estate Agency commission – £2750 (Again, their commission will depend on the final sale price of your property.)
Removal costs UK family

Who is exempt from Stamp Duty?

You are exempt from payment Stamp Duty if you plan to live in the property or are a first-time buyer purchasing a home worth up to £300,000. You can consult the gov.uk guide on SDLT for a full list of all exemptions and reliefs available.

Stamp Duty is usually the biggest cost involved in buying a new home, so it’s important to accurately calculate how much you will have to pay. For houses worth over £500,000, SDLT becomes a significant financial consideration.

What is the Stamp Duty Cut?

In July 2020, the UK Government decided to cut the rate of Stamp Duty until March 31st 2021. This means that there is no SDLT to pay on property purchases up to £500,000. The next tax band up is a 5% charge for any amount between £500,000 and £925,000.

This change was designed by the current Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the UK property market bounce back after COVID. On average, it’s estimated to have knocked £4,000 off the costs of moving house. While the cut is due to end in April next year, the uncertainty of the pandemic means that it may be extended.

What is a reasonable price for removal costs UK-wide?

In 2020, a reasonable price for hiring a UK removal company to move a 3-bedroom house is between £1000-£1200 (estimated). As you’d expect, house removal costs will vary greatly depending on the size of the property involved. The bigger your home, the more stuff you own, the more you’ll have to pay.

Removal costs UK couple

What are the average removal costs UK tenants pay for moving between rental accommodation?

If you’re moving from one rental accommodation to another, you will only have to pay house removal costs. By UK law, landlords and estate agencies cannot charge you fees for tenant referencing or other similar checks. This means you’re only looking at those average removal costs of around £1000-£1200.

The only other financial consideration is that you will have to put down a deposit on the new accommodation. Hopefully, this can be partly or fully covered by getting the deposit back from your current landlord.

Are there hidden costs to moving house?

Remember that when you move house there may be hidden costs involved, depending on the type of home you buy. These include:

  • Leasehold fees: Leaseholders generally have to pay annual service charges to a company used by the freeholder to maintain any common areas, such as grounds, gardens and hallways. These vary widely from property to property, so be sure to check before making the big move.
  • Insurance: Always check what you’re likely to pay in buildings insurance before moving to a new home. Depending on what you buy/rent, you may need other types of insurance to keep you fully covered.
  • Redecorating: This is an easy one to forget to factor into the budget, particularly if you are bringing a lot of your own furniture. Moving into a new home usually means making some changes to get the place the way you like it. Even a few touch-up painting jobs and some new fixtures can quickly add up.

How can moving costs be reduced?

You can always reduce moving costs by handling the removal process yourself. You could hire a van or lorry big enough to fit all your possessions, provided you can drive it yourself safely. Be very careful when estimating the size of the vehicle you need, however, and if in doubt go for a larger model.

You can also attempt to carry out the surveyance/conveyancing process yourself, saving on solicitors’ fees. However, this involves a lot of research and paperwork, so only consider it as an option if you have prior experience or some form of professional guidance available.

As with any money-saving idea, only make the attempt if you’re confident you understand the full extent of the task. If you go in underprepared, costs can quickly mount up when hiring a professional would have been cheaper.


If you need more advice on the different costs and legal requirements involved in buying, selling or renting UK property, check out our various guides.

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Jan Moys
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Jan Moys

A copywriter and content specialist with over 13 years’ experience across arc... Read all

A copywriter and content specialist w... Read all