Whether you're starting a new life in sunny Spain and need to move the entire contents of your house, or you're just looking to transport a few cherished items of furniture to your second home in the South of France, the removal costs can be thousands of pounds.
However did you know you can costs significantly by using a delivery auction website?
We all know about eBay, where bidders compete against each other to buy items. Well delivery auction websites like Anyvan.com work on a similar principle, after you post details of your move. The website is essentially an online marketplace matching consumers wanting to move goods, with lorries and vans that have space, and are already taking the same route.
The concept is simple. There are hundreds of vehicles travelling from the UK to overseas destinations and back every week, moving goods from one place to another, but many of these aren't filled to capacity, and a significant number are travelling back to continental Europe empty. So, delivery firms jump at the chance to make some extra income on the way home from a job.
Delivery companies bid against each other for jobs and the winning bids are normally very competitive. The reason delivery firms can offer such low bids is because goods will be transported along a scheduled delivery route, filling up any empty space in vans or lorries.
Consumers can end up saving as much as 75 per cent on the price they would normally be quoted by a large removals firm.
"For example, for a full house move from the UK to France, you are looking at an average of around £1,000 through Anyvan. That compares to a fee of £4,000-£5,000k through a large removals firms," says Angus Elphinstone, MD of the website.
"With part-moves you are looking at anything from £300-£700, compared to a large removals firm charging upwards of £2,000."
So how does it work for customers? Well, they simply post their job online free, listing the items they need to be transported and stipulate whether they can be flexible on delivery time or need it moved immediately. Delivery firms will bid for the job at their best possible price. They'll also pack and load if requested.
If consumers are worried they might get some dodgy guy with a rusty van moving their prized mahogany dining table, Anyvan.com also provides customer feedback so anyone posting a job can ensure that they're getting the best possible service.
Other recent examples through Anyvan include:
* Three-bed house move to Spain. This was a huge job. Bids started at £4,000, and a bid was finally accepted at £1,949. The journey was 1870 miles.
* One-bed house move to the south of France, which was a journey of 781 miles. The bidding started at £1,950 and a price of £460 was accepted.
*House move from Leeds to Bulgaria. A bid was accepted at £1,545, covering a distance of 1971 miles.