Whatever you’re moving, a man with a van can be an inexpensive way to get your stuff from A-B.

If you need to have something couriered to you or delivered to someone else, hiring a specialist courier for the job can often be expensive, and what’s more, traditional parcel services usually limit the size of the packages they take.

Independent van drivers are usually much more flexible than large courier organisations and will handle a wide variety of loads. Depending on the driver you can also get more than just a basic delivery service – many drivers will be willing help you with the heavy lifting too but the level of service will vary from company to company.

If you’re worried that your delivery might be especially difficult to handle then drivers usually have the option to bring along an extra pair of hands to assist with loading, so it’s always a good idea to contact services prior to the callout to make sure they can cope with the consignment.

Man and van operators are often self-employed or contracted under small businesses and there are thousands of localised operators available to choose from.

This abundance of “white van men” means that you can potentially be left with too many choices to handle your shipping needs so sometimes you need to narrow it down a bit.

Before your delivery

Check over your items and take pictures to get an idea of the condition they’re in, this will help you make any insurance claims in the unlikely event that your load is damaged during transit.

Consider wrapping your goods, especially if they’re fragile; some drivers will prefer to be present when items are packed because this could be a clause in their insurance policy.

When comparing services you should always keep the following in mind.

Transit insurance: To transport goods all man and van operators should be covered by goods in transit insurance, this covers the drivers for any damage caused to their loads up to a value of £10,000 (sufficient for most deliveries).

Experience: Because it’s relatively easy to start a van delivery servie firms can spring up overnight. Make sure that you ask what kind of experience they have moving items similar to yours. This isn’t such a concern with basic items, but for fragile goods it can pay to hire someone with expertise.

Locality: Hiring a firm from two towns away is only going to increase your costs, whereas finding a driver who’s already making a journey near your desired delivery can mean you save a huge amount on standard rates.

Level of service: Depending on what you’re moving you might need a few extra pairs of hands to help shifting your items, so it always pays to check ahead with the driver to see whether they’ll be able to help with loading and unloading. 

When you need to hire a man with a van you’ve literally got thousands of choices and taking the time to compare the available options would no doubt be time consuming. You could just go with the first available service; alternatively you could bring the companies’ quotes to you.

Shiply can help match your items to local van drivers already making a similar journey.

Simply list what you’re moving, where it’s going and when you need it transported then thousands of firms will be able to quote for your delivery; van operators with spare space in their vehicles could quote you less.

Compare the services based on their price and feedback that they have received from previous deliveries to find one that suits you.

Completing the delivery

When your goods arrive, check that they match the photos you took prior to the delivery (you did take photos didn’t you?) if they have been damaged make sure you consult with the driver immediately and submit your proof.

Once your items are unloaded and you’re satisfied with the service please do leave some feedback on Shiply for your chosen service – this will help us build the best database of reliable man and van companies.

Best of luck with your move!