It is advisable to receive a written estimate from several removal companies before you pick one. Those estimates can be binding or non-binding removal estimates. This article discusses what you need to know about these two kinds of estimates. Use this information to help you as you decide which type of estimate you would prefer before your move.
A binding estimate is a contract written by a removal company. It stipulates what cost you will incur to have your property moved to a new location. The binding estimate is made after undertaking a detailed assessment of the volume and the weight of your possessions. The removal company cannot charge you more than it stated in the binding estimate, even if your possessions turn out to be much heavier than the company had thought.
The downside of this kind of estimate is that it may be much higher than what it would have cost you to move your property. The excess amount indicated in that estimate is intended to protect the removalists from making huge losses in case unexpected factors affect the removal process. For instance, bad weather can compel the removal company to take a longer route than they had initially thought they would take. That longer route means they will spend more on fuel. The binding estimate has a built-in "contingency" provision to cater for such unexpected costs. The positive side of this kind of estimate is that you are sure about the final cost of your move, regardless of what unexpected dynamics develop on the day of the removal.
Non-binding estimates are a legal requirement in some jurisdictions. They give you an idea of what it may cost to move your belongings. The process of generating a non-binding estimate is not as detailed as the process of making a binding estimate. Thus, the final cost of the removal may be higher or lower than what was indicated in the non-binding estimate. This is because the removal company bases on the actual weight and existing conditions (such as the actual time taken to load up the trucks and the delays due to heavy traffic) to compute the final cost that you have to pay. The downside of this kind of estimate is that you can never be sure of the cost of your move until the removal is complete. This means that you have to prepare a sizeable contingency fund to cater for unexpected costs. The advantage of this kind of estimate is that you can take steps to keep the removal cost low (for instance, you can move some of the belongings in your car so that the weight carried by the moving trucks is low).
Discuss both kinds of estimates with your preferred removal company before you request for a particular type of estimate just before your move.