People in every part of the world move from one place to another, usually, workers and families are relocating from one city to the other, or even to the same city, just a neighbourhood change. It’s a daily very common situation.
Some just don’t have the time to deal with packing stuff and carrying into a truck, they don’t even have a truck but they would need to hire one, or some others just don’t want to even bother with having to search and call a transport company, sign contracts and do lots of complicated paperwork to only hire a truck for a day that takes a few things from one place to the other.
There’s also the case of older people or single parents that really need help from somebody during a moving operation. For all these little cases and even for a few other situations, people may prefer to hire a Man and Van Service, who will help them with all these tasks at a reasonable price.
The world is evolving constantly and brings us good solutions and technology improvements that make our lives easier, that’s why more people are creating small businesses instead of having formal jobs. By having their little companies, in this case, a small transport moving company, they are part of the self-employed population that is opening new doors to entrepreneurship.
Table of Contents
- What is a Man and Van service?
- What Tasks do they Cover?
- Tips for Hiring a Man and Van
- Why Use a Man and Van Service?
- How do I Start a Man and Van Service?
- FAQ about Man and Van
- Other benefits you get from Hiring a Man and Van Service
What is a Man and Van Service?
The service is often compared to a removals company service but there are lots of differences between them. The first characteristic of Man and Van is it’s just one person, one single person, and not a whole company as it is a removals company. So these small business owners run their own business in a simpler way than a company would be.
While removal companies can have more than one truck for different needs of their clients, the Man and a Van only own or has their single car and it’s the same they use for all their clients.
There’s also a big difference in financial terms, as they charge rates per hour of their services, or they also offer full packages with flat rates, but even though their prices are much cheaper than a big removal company.
Another thing to remember is the planning. Removal companies have a whole process since signing a contract with their client, enter them to their database or system, organizing a Schedule for packing removal, and finally, offer the service on the planned date. Instead, a Man and a Van service are pretty easy to hire, it won’t require to book with much time in advance and everything will be simpler to plan and action.
This doesn’t mean they’re inexperienced people, actually, sometimes they have been working on that field for a long time and they just decide one day to become independents and operate by themselves, but usually, they know a lot about packing, moving and everything related to household transport.
Availability is one of their biggest advantages and that’s why people like to hire them because they are always (or most of the time) available, or because due to the reduced number of clients they handle, it’s easier for them to be available for jobs that come suddenly.
As mentioned previously, some removals can be quite simple and won’t need a big company to relocate just a bed and a couple of chairs. So then is when this smaller and personalized service fits perfectly. Sometimes if the client requests it, they can offer more than one person to help, but no more than 5. It’s very strange seeing cases like this due to the fact that people always call them for small to medium size jobs.
Because they are small compared to larger removal companies, it doesn’t mean they’re not organized or they don’t do what formal companies do. They are also legal companies and sometimes they’re associated with others in the same position. They function legally and they can issue legal invoices as well.
Because they’re experienced people, they can be quicker than if you ask your friends or relative to help with your moving, they will care about your goods as if it was theirs and because they’re interested in keeping the clients and gain referrals so that they can continue doing their job for more people.
There’s no need to worry about them damaging your furniture because even they are small, they do have insurances that cover most of the accidents, so it’s another good reason for you to trust them.
Now, if you’re wondering what they can offer, we’ve got it all listed below for you.
What Tasks do They Cover?
As mentioned before, Man and Van companies offer a wide variety of services related to transport and handling of goods and households. Some of the services they offer are:
- House removal: This is the main service, or at least most of the people hire them when they need to move to a new place. Not all of them offer the same services, but in general, this is what most of them do. Sometimes they can include packing and unpacking service if you ask for it in advance. They may also offer dismantling and assembly of furniture, cleaning and in some cases, they can offer storage for short periods.
- Furniture removal: If you don’t need them to pack everything but you only need them to move a big piano from one room to the other, they can do it too. They specialize in oversized furniture and have the tools for mounting and dismounting them.
- Office removal: They also manage the large list of little items you have in an office and that you need to move to a different place. They are aware of how a business operates and the importance of doing things quickly and well so that the company doesn’t waste time and money. They offer complete and partial office removal services, but they can be a bit more expensive than the house service, due to the complexity of the items to carry. They can’t provide the same flat rate for all their clients but they will fit their rates to every specific need, so make sure to let them know all the things you need to include on the service to get a personalized quotation.
- Packing supplies: It can be quite exhausting to get all the packing material when you’re planning to relocate. Usually, people don’t have the time to deal with buying more stuff on top of having to organize everything, so people from Man and a Van can also offer packing supplies to make your lives easier. From boxes of all sizes to bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper, moving covers, and more… they have added these items to their portfolio to offer a very complete service and certainly, it is.
- Storage facilities: Storage usually comes with the removal service, so if you have some devices and furniture you need to store for short or medium time, they will pick them up and storage on their facilities, or at least places hired by them for long term as part of their business. They also offer facilities with climate control, and on the other side, they have a list of prohibited items, that include perishable products, flammable and explosive, or hazardous materials.
- Waste disposal: Removals are not just moving from one place to the other, it also includes having to carry the trash or items you don’t need anymore, to specific places like household storages or tips, so people from Man and a Van can also take charge of that task. As long as you let them know in advance, they will schedule their truck to transport those items to where it corresponds. Saving you time and letting you worry about one less thing.
- Item collection and delivery: Not only removals and big operations but they can also do small tasks like going to pick up something at a place and deliver them to another place. This service can be hired with no much time in advance but it has to be very clear and specific, giving all details of pick-up and delivery locations and providing phone numbers of sender and receiver.
Other Benefits you get From Hiring a Man with a Van
- Talking one-to-one will allow you to receive a better and more personalized service, than what you get from bigger companies. So, from the first moment you contact them you’ll receive outstanding customer service and they will listen carefully to all the information you provide and all the questions you ask, which will be answered shortly.
- Knowing how much you will be charged in advance means you won’t get any further surprises when the service is finished. Sometimes bigger companies add fees and other expenses at the end of the service, but you can be sure this won’t happen when you hire their services. Being small-medium companies allows them to have reduced prices and no additional fees charged, at least without previous advice.
- You can choose the vehicle, and this doesn’t mean one Man and Van will own more than one vehicle, what it means is you can hire the one you consider it fits more with your needs. Although they might provide you with suggestions for what’s the best type of car, you can also decide this, so nobody will decide for you.
- There are websites where you can find lists of several Man and Van, so you can even compare their prices and type of services, conditions, availability, and more.
- You can travel in the van with them, well this is something you won’t be able to do with a bigger company at all, as they have some strict regulations and can’t allow particular passengers to travel with them. Instead, by hiring a Man and Van you can choose if you want to travel in the same car where your furniture is being carried and if you wish you can also help to carry boxes or anything you wish to do during the operation.
- Payment methods are easy, as they have included online payments and debit and credit cards as well, so you have all the options and you can choose the one that’s easier for you. If any fees are applied, they will let you know in advance so you can decide if you want to change your payment method.
- You can talk on the phone with the driver, if you’re not travelling with him and you wish to give him special instructions or talk about any other thing related to the service you hired, you can call them directly to their mobile phone.
When searching for a man with a van, some of the things you should look out for include:
- Recommendations: Read as many reviews and recommendations about the service provider as you can find. These will give you a real insight into the level of service from people who have actually used the business themselves.
- Are they insured? In the event of an accident, it can put your mind at ease to know that the service provider has the right level of insurance to cover your possessions if they are lost or damaged in transit.
- Check the Cost: To get an accurate quote you will need to give the service provider enough information about the items that you need to be moved and how far they need to be moved. Once you have a quote you can shop around for comparable quotes to ensure you are getting a good deal.
- Check for association memberships and industry standards such as the British Association of Removers.
- If you are using a man with a van service to dispose of waste, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are registered and licensed to carry waste with the Environment Agency.
- Check that the van meets your needs. If you have a lot to move or are trying to move heavy and bulky items you may require a specific van size or even a van with a tail lift.
Why Use a Man and Van Service?
We’ve covered a lot of different benefits of using the Man and Van service already, but there are some other reasons that you may wish to use their service outside of the benefits you’ll get. We’ve collated some additional benefits below for you:
You’ll be Helping a Hard Worker
For people who offer a Man and Van service, especially sole traders, this is their livelihood. By using a small, local person this will help to put food on the table for them and their families as opposed to helping a company grow even bigger.
It’s acts like this that help to keep small businesses running and in business, and typically won’t cost you anything more. You may even find there are some mutual friends between you and then if they’re local to you!
People who offer a Man and Van service are there to make a living from what they do. They’ll be eager to make things work and make you happy with the service that you receive from them, which in turn means they’ll do everything to make you happier.
Larger companies with lots of customers sometimes slip and don’t worry about the end customer in rare cases as they have many others. For a smaller business, each customer is extremely special and is treated that way.
You’ll be able to rely on them to provide an excellent service for you.
Smaller businesses are typically out to make a living and build their businesses to support their families. To do this, they naturally want to build a level of trust between you and them to make you feel more comfortable in trusting them with your belongings.
This is great as it means that you’ll be much more relaxed and overall receive a better service!
How do I Start a Man and Van Service?
A man with a van is a great business for anybody to start, with demand increasing for the services offered. To start this type of business you should hold a valid license that allows you to drive a van and then you will need to register your business before you can start working with customers.
The reason we’ve included this section is because it talks through all the relevant stages in creating a successful Man and Van service, allowing you to understand exactly what you’ll need. Not only this, but if you ever need to use a Man and Van service, you’ll know what sort of company you’re looking for to make sure you’ve got all the right stuff on the go.
When registering your new business there are three options available, all with varying procedures and requirements.
Planning A Man and Van Business
Before you get stuck into your new business the first thing to do is a business plan. Below are some suggestions of things that you might want to consider when planning your business.
- Equipment: The most important thing you will need for your business is a van. If you already own a van, do some research to find out if it is big enough to complete the task at hand. If you do not currently own a van you will need to consider the options available to you, for example, leasing or renting a van, or buying one.
- Insurance: Once you have armed yourself with the right equipment you will also need to make sure you have the right insurance in place. This includes insurance to use the van for business purposes and business insurance.
- Do your research: Analyse your competitors to identify areas that work well for them and areas that are less competitive where you may have an advantage. You should keep yourself well informed of all areas of the industry as well, especially any rules or regulations that could affect you and your business.
- Start locally: The best way to build your customer base is to start locally where there is a chance that people will already know, recognise and trust you. From here once you start winning more jobs your circle will widen and recommendations will help you to expand.
- Make a website: A website is the first place people will look for more information about your services. A professional looking website will help to build trust in your business.
- Market yourself: An important part of any business is marketing. Get the word out about your services through social media, paid search engine advertising, flyers or any other way that works for your business.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle: If you are operating alone as a sole trader there may be some jobs that you have to turn down. If a job is particularly far away, the cost of travelling may outweigh the profit. You might also lack the manpower needed to undertake a job successfully too if you are working by yourself, for example, if you are required to lift heavy objects or move a lot of items.
If you’re considering starting your own Man and Van service, the above contains a lot of useful information that you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all the right information and tools to get the job done.
Not only this, it helps those who are looking to hire a Man and Van service to understand exactly what should be happening within these services and companies to make sure they’re operating smoothly. If, for example, you were looking for a company and you found they didn’t quite have the right insurance, then this should flag up as an obvious red flag for you.
The British Association of Removers
To help build trust in your business consider joining the British Association of Removers (BAR). The British Association of Removers is an industry recognised trade association that has been representing the removals industry for over 100 years.
When you join BAR, it will show your customers that you are dedicated to providing a professional and quality-assured service that they can rely on. The association performs annual audits of its members to ensure that they remain compliant with the membership requirements, the CTSI Code of Practice as well as fulfilling their statutory obligations. Some of the benefits of joining the British Association of Removers include:
- More recognition and lead generation.
- Accreditation and certification of service levels.
- Discounted training.
- Access to affiliate services and materials at a lower cost.
- Support, advice and free marketing materials.
- Networking opportunities and much more.
If you’re on the lookout to hire a Man and Van service, keep an eye out to see if they’re BAR registered. This will help you to see whether they’re up to the job with the right qualifications and certifications.
FAQ About Man and Van Service
Some of the most commonly asked questions about man and van services are answered below.
What is classed as a man with a van service?
A man with a van service helps you move items from one location to another. This could include moving house or getting rid of waste products.
What are the benefits of a man with a van service?
Using a man with a van service over a large removals company is often cheaper and easier to book with shorter notice. In many cases using this service is also preferable to hiring a van and moving items yourself. For example, if you are short on time and need an extra pair of hands or if you are moving heavy or bulky items that you would struggle to lift on your own.
If you are disposing of waste products you will also need a licensed man with a van who can carry the waste to a registered disposal site for you. If you were to try and do this yourself you may end up incurring fines or extra charges if you are not licensed yourself.
When using a man with a van service you also get the added benefit of experience. The service provider is likely to have far more experience in moving items than you do and will be able to advise on the best way to package and load items so that they can be safely moved around.
Where is the best place to find a man with a van service?
When searching for a reputable and reliable man with a van service, the best place to start looking is online. Start by googling in your local area and finding websites or social media pages. Once you have found a service you like the look of taking the time to read as many reviews as you can to give you an accurate picture of how good the service is.
How much does a man with a van service cost?
The prices for a man with a van service can vary depending on what you are asking of them. For simple jobs such as moving items from one place to another, most providers will charge a flat hourly rate. If this is how you are being billed, it is worth double-checking whether the clock starts from the moment they leave the house or from when they arrive at your property or location.
It is best to negotiate a fee where you pay from the moment they reach you until the moment they leave to avoid any confusion, but if this is not possible a fixed fee might work instead.
If you are asking your man with a van to dispose of waste at a tip for you, this will typically incur extra charges. This is to cover the cost applied when disposing of waste as a business. Always be aware of anybody willing to dispose of your waste without an extra cost as they are likely not to be authorised to dispose of waste or not taking it to a registered landfill site.
How can I avoid using a rogue trader?
To ensure that you are using a reputable service always check the credentials of your man with a van service provider. You can ask to see whether they are DBS checked and also ask for details of their public liability insurance.
Again, checking to see whether they meet industry standards or if they are registered with any trade associations will help you to find a reliable service provider.
Are there any alternatives to using a man with a van?
There are various alternatives to using a man with a van service when moving items from A to B. For example, you could consider hiring an established removals company, although this often comes at an extra cost.
Alternatively, you could look at hiring a van yourself and asking friends or family to help you load and unload any heavy or bulky items.
If you are disposing of waste however you must always use a licensed waste carrier who will dispose of your waste correctly in an authorised landfill site.
Will the provider help with the loading and unloading?
Yes, if you find a helpful and professional man with a van service they should help you to carry, load and unload items. If you are unsure always clarify this before choosing to work with a service provider.
Can the provider help with dismantling and assembling furniture?
If you need help to dismantle and reassemble furniture (such as beds and wardrobes) you can ask your man with a van service provider to help you. This may come at an extra cost and will vary across different service providers and the requirements of the job. If you are paying hourly this could work out to be quite an expensive option if you have a lot of furniture to dismantle and assemble. Speak to your service provider to work out the best package to suit you both in cases where you need this kind of help.
How much notice should you give?
Man with van services usually operate with shorter notice periods than larger removal firms but you should always allow yourself enough time to research and find the right person. You may also need to give a couple of days leeway in case they have any other jobs booked in ahead of yours. If often helps if you can be flexible with the dates and times you give your man with a van provider.
What happens if the job takes longer than expected?
If you have agreed a fixed price with your man with a van provider for a set number of hours and the job exceeds this then you may be required to pay an extra amount to cover the additional time. When asking for a quote always give as much accurate information as you can to avoid incurring unexpected charges.
Do man with van services provide packing materials?
This depends on the service provider that you are using, some will offer packing materials at an additional cost whereas others will not.
Can a man with van services help you to move items abroad?
Again, this depends on the service provider you use and the budget you have allocated. Some man with a van service will travel across mainland Europe but some are limited in the distance they will travel. Discuss your requirements with your service provider to get an accurate quote.