5 tips to get the cheapest quote from a courier / man with a van

A chest of drawers being safely covered and secured ahead of transport.
A chest of drawers being safely covered, and secured, ahead of transport.

Want to move house, shift a piece of furniture, or get something from A to B using a courier? I’m Oz, AKA Mr Tambourine Van, a small van courier, and I’ve put together some insider tips on how to get the cheapest quote you can, whilst avoiding hidden charges.


1# Clearly state everything you are moving, especially the sizes!

Give the courier a full list of what you are moving, with the sizes being the most important. Why do this? You might have a load that would fit in a smaller van than you imagine, or could be moved by a lone courier. This is the kind of service I provide, and it is a lot cheaper than paying for a two person transit van team. Reversely, if someone turns up to find a lot more to move than suggested, you could end up with a higher bill, or worse, the courier not taking on the job!    


2# Give as much detail about the collection / pick up as you can

By giving a courier the exact locations & times for collection / delivery you will get a very accurate price. Does it have to be picked up, or dropped off on a specific time, and date? Tell the courier! You don’t want to spend a load of time ironing out every last detail, only for it to be for nothing when they can’t do the date you need. If you can be flexible, make sure and say, it might be possible to fit your item in with another delivery, lowering the price for you!  


3# How many couriers does it take to move an item…?

Make it extra clear if the job can be done by one person, or if it needs two. If you don’t tell the courier up front, and a lone driver comes to find they can’t do the job, you will be charged anyway! If it needs two, but you, and the person at the other end, are happy to help – tell the courier when requesting a quote – it will likely mean a lower price for you!

All cosy beneath that blanket are half a dozen boxes of important documents.
All cosy beneath that blanket are half a dozen boxes of important documents.


4# Be prepared on the day  

Get everything ready for the courier ahead of arrival. You are likely going to be charged by the hour, so don’t end up with a higher bill for not having planned ahead! If there is a good parking spot in front of your house, try and secure it with your own car, so it is easier for the courier (and you, if you are helping) to get everything loaded. Let the courier know in advance of any parking restrictions – the more information you provided, the lower your quote will be.


5# Check everything at both ends!

I take payment by card, using this nifty portable card machine!
I take payment by card, using this nifty portable card machine!

Once your item, or items, have been loaded, give them a once over to make sure you are happy. A good courier will inspect the item before loading, and highlight any existing damage, or marks. I personally photograph every item before wrapping it safely in blankets, and securing it with straps. That way if there is any issue, it can be quickly resolved.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you found some useful advice in this blog. I’m Oz, AKA, Mr Tambourine Van Courier

Service. I really love couriering, and see every load as a new adventure! I run a small van at a cheap price, ideal for courier work, small/student removals, furniture, and much more. If it fits – I’ll move it! I work primarily in Glasgow, and central Scotland, but will travel anywhere in the UK for the right price. To get a quick quote, visit www.mrtvan.com or call 07532 827 854 – not your usual man with a van!