So you’ve bought a piece of furniture online, and you need to get it from their home to yours. Many Londoners don’t have a car, which can make transporting furniture in London a little trickier than in other parts of the country. But fear not, there are plenty of ways that you can transport furniture in London, and many are more affordable than you may imagine.
From man-and-a-van style services, to the slightly weird and wacky, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and in this case there is more than one way to transport a desk from Peckham to Putney.
Is the item worth transporting?
When thinking about transporting furniture in London, think about whether you are totally sure that it’s worth the cost in time, effort, money and risk of furniture damage. Some second hand furniture shops in London will deliver, as will some more generous private furniture sellers online. Do some maths to weigh up your options. You may end up being better off buying some cheap furniture and getting it delivered.
But I know what you’re thinking. You’ve fallen in love with an item, it’s one of a kind, or it’s a massive bargain. We’ve all been there (a vintage Ercol rocking chair rings a bell at Thrifty Londoner HQ!). So without further ado, let’s get into the different methods of furniture transport in London.
How much does it cost to transport furniture?
The cost of transporting furniture from one location to another greatly varies depending on the size of the item. It depends on whether you need help with lifting and carrying, and what the distance is between the two locations.
You can travel on the tube for as little as a few pounds. But, that is not always suitable (see more information on restrictions below). Or you can hire a man and a van, or hire your own car or van from around £30+, but again it depends on location and service required. You could also consider Addison Lee, a courier, or an Uber which will again cost from around £30.
Man and a van services
One of the most popular options for transporting a piece of furniture in London (and just about anywhere else), is a man and a van service. If you’ve bought something from an online marketplace like eBay, Shpock, or Facebook Marketplace you’ll need need a way to get it from their home to your home. Hiring a man and a van can be a great choice.
If you have stairs (or the seller does!), and you need a little help with lifting and carrying, this is probably your best bet. There is nothing worse than getting stuck on the stairs with a piece of furniture that you can’t move solo!
We contacted several man and a van services in London, and asked them to quote on moving a medium sized desk from Wimbledon to Chiswick (South London to West London). We stipulated that the journey would be between two first floor flats with a lift, on the same day with one man.
|AnyVan||£36||Used to be Gumtree’s partner for deliveries. Offer NHS discount and student discount|
|CityVan||£45||£45 for one man loading, £50 for two men|
|Clicktrans||From £50||Van drivers will bid for the job|
|Shift||From £83.10||Shift uses space in vehicles that are already on the road|
|Shiply||From £34-88||You can share eBay URL directly with them in the quote, you’ll receive bids from drivers|
|Fantastic Removals||£100||You can join the ‘Fantastic Club’ and get a discounted rate of £60|
|London-Van-Man||£143.90||Specialise in home and furniture removals only|
As you can see from the table, AnyVan are a popular choice. They have an esteemed reputation, good discounts and an affordable rate. Shiply may also give you an affordable option. However, the quote that you receive will be based largely on the drivers available at the time and their rates.
Car or van rental
Depending on how far you need to transport furniture, and the size of the item of furniture, you may want to consider car or van rental. This is a great option if you have a driving license, but you don’t own your own car.
Zipcar and Zipvan
Zipcar and Zipvan are popular car and van rental options in London. The concept is all based on car and van sharing, with over 3,000 vehicles available to hire. Rates start from £9 per hour, or £85 per day. You’ll need to decide on whether to do a round trip, or select the flex option which allows drop off and pick ups from different locations.
Hertz 24/7 is car and van hire by the hour by Hertz. It’s a super flexible way to hire a car, and you can download the app to make it even easier. Hertz 24/7 have also teamed up with Ikea and B&Q, where you can hire a van there and then to drive your new purchase home.
Europcar is another car and van rental service with plenty of options in London. It’s more of a traditional car and van hire company, with pick up spots in travel zones throughout London, from £21 per day.
Addison Lee van hire
If you don’t have a driving license yourself, you could opt for hiring a van or car via Addison Lee or Uber. Addison Lee have a van hire option, and Uber has Uber XL. You’ll be limited by the size of the piece of furniture that you can get into the vehicle, and you’ll need to consider any heavy lifting, but it could be a great lower-cost option.
Addison Lee van courier hire prices can vary quite wildly between locations and the duration of the journey. You’ll be quoted a price before booking online, so you can see in an instant if it’s an affordable option for you. Addison Lee don’t always allow passengers to travel in the van or car on a courier job, so do keep this in mind.
Uber XL is another great option, and just like Addison Lee, you can get a quote instantly, and get the job completed right there and then. You might be limited by the size of the Uber XL which is essentially a large taxi, so it’s best to keep this reserved for smaller furniture items only.
Pedal Me cargo bike
A slightly wacky option, but a Pedal Me cargo bike load capacity is 150kg for a bike, or a whopping 300kg with a trailer. Pedal Me specialise in carrying heavy loads around the city, and have transported everything from sofas, to mattresses, to beer kegs.
It’s a super environmentally friendly way to transport furniture in London. Plus, it’s easy to book with their handy app. You’ll get a rider who is fully trained to transport large and heavy items. You can also book on the same day. Prices are charged with a flat pick up fee for cargo (£9.30) and trailer (£35). Then, £0.46 per minute for cargo, and £0.70 per minute with a trailer, £1.50 per mile for cargo, and £3.00 per mile with a trailer. Finally, there’s a minimum fee of £11.60 for cargo, and £46.40 with a trailer.
If you can safely package your item, and have the packing materials readily available, you might want to consider using a courier service such as DHL, FedEx, Hermes, or DPD. This will usually mean some co-ordination with the seller of the furniture item, so it’s not ideal for every situation.
You can check a courier comparison website like Parcel2Go to check which courier service is cheapest for your furniture item.
The London Underground may not be your first thought when it comes to moving furniture in London. However, as any Londoner will know, it’s not uncommon to see commuters carrying a chair, mirror, or small table on the tube. It’s definitely a cheap way to travel in London. Just avoid peak times!
That said, there are limits to what you can take on the tube, and these are enforced by TFL. You can bring personal possessions that you are able to carry yourself (including on stairs and escalators), however it must not be more than 2 metres long, likely to cause injury or obstruct other customers or staff, or anything that could cause damage to the train.
Friends and family
Know someone with a car? Your friends and family might be able to help you out with transporting some furniture. But of course you may want to pay them some money or gift them a meal, a nice bottle of something, or offer to do a skill swap!
How to safely transport furniture
When you transport furniture across London, there is a risk of the item being damaged. You can definitely mitigate this by properly packaging your item. Your packaging doesn’t have to be anything special, you can use an old blanket, leftover cardboard, and other materials you may have around your home.
If you want to find some packaging materials for free, you could check out an app such as Olio which will show relevant listings in your local area. On Olio your neighbours will list items they don’t want for free collection. You could find large boxes, bubble wrap and more.
London furniture storage options
If you’re moving around London and you’re in between accommodation? You’ll need somewhere to store your furniture. You can find short-term storage storage in lots of locations throughout London, our favourite is easyStorage (part of the easyJet family) who offer low cost solutions, and come to collect the furniture themselves. If you want to find more storage options, you can check out our post on cheap storage in London.
Top tips to transport furniture in London
- Make sure the furniture item is worth the time, effort, and money to transport across the city. Make sure there are no alternative options in your local area that could be workable instead.
- Do you have a friend or family member who could help you out? They could be the lowest cost option. Consider doing a skill swap.
- Consider whether you’ll need some help with lifting and carrying. If so, a man and a van could be the best option.
- Is the item small enough to transport via the London Underground? This could be your cheapest option, but a little more effort is required.
- Be sure to pack the furniture effectively to make sure it’s not damaged in transit.