The rising cost of moving home in the UK

Whether moving into a property you’ve bought or somewhere to rent, moving costs can quickly add up with budgets spiralling due to unexpected issues along the way. Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, new research from Admiral Home Insurance, reveals how much moving costs have risen over the past few years and highlights the disparity in prices for home movers across the UK.

Related topics:  Finance,  Property,  Moving,  Relocation
Property | Reporter
29th March 2023
Moving Home 774
"A little bit of planning can go a long way, work out what services you will need in advance and compare prices to find the best option for your budget"

According to Admiral's investigation, moving costs on average have increased by 24% over the last 4 years, with an additional £1,962 needed to avoid being hit by unexpected costs. While movers may budget for deposits, stamp duty and legal fees, it's often the additional costs that cover the logistics of moving that can tip buyers and renters alike over budget.

The insurer gathered quotes for different moving services in locations across the UK and found Brits need to budget an extra £1,962 when moving house to cover essentials like removal services and postal redirection. This compares to £1,584 in 2019 when the insurer last carried out the research.

Common claims

Over the last 10 years, Admiral has seen 277 incidents reported relating to moving home, with the average cost of a claim coming in at £1,349. Items most commonly claimed for include damaged sofas, TVs and fridges, and the insurer has also seen claims for items getting lost in transit, or stolen while stored in garages or vans.

Cost of moving home

It’s little surprise that movers in London face the highest costs with North London the most expensive place to move house according to Admiral’s data. Both South London and West London also feature in the top five and Brighton is the most expensive city for house movers outside of London. Admiral also spoke to UK movers to find out more about how well they plan for moving home and found 44% of movers admit to budgeting less than £1,000 for the process – a potential shortfall of almost £1,000 based of the insurer’s research of the average cost of moving.

Home removals

Admiral found the average cost of using a home removal company in the UK totals £486 and people can expect to pay more if they want help safely packing everything up.

Exeter was the most expensive city for home removal services with an average price tag of £721, while people in Newcastle pay the least – with an average cost of £278 for help moving.

58% of movers said they had called upon a professional remover or ‘man with a van’ to help last time they moved home, while 26% opted to hire a van and tackled the move themselves, or with the help of family and friends. As experts in packing and moving items, there are clearly benefits to using a professional home removal company overdoing it yourself, and it can save you a lot of stress and time but will usually cost you more.

For those opting to hire and drive a van themselves, movers in Plymouth get the best deal-with vans available to hire from as little as £71 a day, while those in Edinburgh face paying over three times as much with an average price tag of £237. The average cost for this in the UK is considerably cheaper than using a home removal service at £102 per day.

Temporary storage fees

For movers who need to leave their belongings in a storage unit when moving between properties, Admiral’s research found the average length of time needed is 15 weeks, whilst most people store their belongings for less than ten weeks.

South London is the most expensive place for temporary storage, movers here pay £560 which is more than twice the £246 movers in the cheapest city, Belfast, pay for three months of storage.


45% of movers said they would use the services of a professional decorator to give their new property a lick of paint. Younger movers under 44 years of age were twice as likely to engage in the services of a professional decorator than those over 55 years of age.

Full-house cleaning

48% of movers said they’d use a professional cleaner – spending on average £151. Men were more likely to book a cleaner with 48% choosing to do so versus just 39% of women.

Movers in the most expensive city, Brighton, pay four times as much for a full day’s cleaning, shelling out £312 compared to the cheapest area, East London, where people pay just £75.

Noel Summerfield, Head of Household Insurance at Admiral, said: “Moving is often billed as one of life’s most stressful experiences, with 87% of Brits agreeing they found the process stressful last time they moved. But a little bit of planning can go a long way, work out what services you will need in advance and compare prices to find the best option for your budget.

“It’s easy for home insurance to slip off the list of priorities, but this could leave your belongings at risk when moving, so make sure you let your insurer know before the day of the move, so your belongings are fully covered. We’ve found that people make most claims for TVs, sofas and fridges damaged during a house move. Admiral’s Gold and Platinum tier policies include accidental loss or damage cover to contents if they are being moved by a professional removal company to a new home, but different policies could have different conditions.

“Some professional removal companies will also have their own insurance to cover your possessions whilst they’re being moved. It’s worth checking with any removal companies exactly what loss and damage they will cover in case anything happens during the move.

“If you’re buying your new home, you should also make sure you have buildings cover in place when you exchange contracts. Your insurer may be able to transfer your existing policy to a new home, but it’s always best to check.”

More like this
Latest from Financial Reporter
Latest from Protection Reporter
to our newsletter

Join a community of over 20,000 landlords and property specialists and keep up-to-date with industry news and upcoming events via our newsletter.