Any thoughts on the best way to transport furniture, etc from the UK to South of France?

(Chris Rowe) #1

Hi all,

We have bought a property near Avignon and want to put some of our furniture and household items from here in the UK in the new property. Ideally I would like to hire a van here, pack it, drive down across the channel and through France then drop the hire van off down there in Avignon. Is this possible? If anyone has experience of this please advise.
If you know it is not, please advise me of any alternatives.

Thanks in advance.
Chris

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(David Martin) #2

You will find one way van hire between two different countries either very expensive or impossible. Get a cheap flight to France and do the return journey in a hire van from a local supermarket.

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(Chris Rowe) #3

So, get to Calais, hire a van, drive back to the UK and then back again?

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(Graham Lees) #4

Or buy a decent(ish) UK reg van to do the job then resell to another expat wishing to return after its done the job fr you.

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(stella wood) #5

Hi Graham…

I wouldn’t bank on reselling at a decent price…things never quite go to plan…and if you do find someone wanting a van to go to UK… they won’t want to pay much for the pleasure…:wink:

Buying a van is a good idea if you will be getting sufficient use out of it. Other than that, you may find it cheaper to buy furniture etc here in France… at the Trocs at cheap prices… and pack your car to the gunnels with the smaller stuff…:grinning:

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(Graham Lees) #6

Good point Stella although you might wish to take account of the ‘cheaper than a removals firm’ consideration even considering the loss of value against the resale of the van.

à la prochaine !

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(stella wood) #7

absolutely Graham… the figures have to make sense. :thinking:

We had to put our stuff into storage for a few months, then get the removals firm to bring it over when the house was vaguely habitable… ouch, that was expensive… but all part of the great plan…so no regrets…:grin:

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(anon71231711) #8

It rather depends how much “some”" is. Nearly a houseful, a roomful, or just the odd item?
If it is only a few items, quite honestly I think that if you can be flexible on dates and you find a firm that will take it as a part load next time it fits conveniently into their logistics schedule, that might be your cheapest and most hassle-free option. Bearing in mind that driving a van on the motorway from Calais to Avignon and back is probably going to cost the best part of 200€ in péages, possibly even more, and that’s on top of the fuel…

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(Chris Rowe) #9

Thanks for all these thoughts. Still exploring the options. May well end up reducing the amount we take!

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(stella wood) #10

Is it for holiday home… or full time ??

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(Chris Rowe) #11

Why do you ask?

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(stella wood) #12

only that for a holiday home… cheap/nice stuff bought here in France might be the way to go… with any small bits brought over packed in the car…
It’s great fun working your way through the Trocs and the vide greniers…

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(Petra Rose) #13

Hi Chris, we bought a property near Pau with the intention of moving permanently out to France over a 2-3 year period. We found the options for hiring a van and moving furniture ourselves quite expensive. We finally settled on using a logistics company who provided a man and his van. He was Polish, extremely helpful, ie, helped with loading, arriving at our home in the UK when it suited us and arriving at our home in France 3 days later - again to suit our timelines. Nothing was missing and nothing was broken!! A huge sigh of relief. We are now in France permanently having used the service 3 times (huge volume of stuff collected over numerous years). The last van they provided was a 12 tonne with tail lift, with a payload of 6.5tonne which took the majority of the heavy stuff. There is little difference for access between a 7.5tonne and 12 tonne if this is of concern to you. I am more than happy to provide the details of the logistic company. It cost us just under £800 each time which was a lot cheaper than quotes we had received from removal/van rental companies. I should also mention that finding insurance for your household goods being transported in this manner is near impossible and admittedly on the first trip we had a few sleepless nights, but all came through without a hitch. Please note that you will have to help load/unload.

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(Chris Rowe) #14

My goodness, Petra. That sounds like a top result. I would LOVE the details of the company. Where are they based and where were you based?

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(Petra Rose) #15

Hello Chris,

Company is CRM Logistics, 01634 290222 ask for Matt Smith or Katie Town. They are based in Rochester and have a website crmlogistics.co.uk

We were based in Dorset and moved to north of Tarbes in the SW of France (dept 65). It really was as simple as telling the company when you wanted the van at your place, loading it and then meeting them to unload in France.

If you mention my name they will understand exactly what you are after.

Kind regards. Petra.

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(User removed) #16

Having done this more than once, I can only describe my findings. “Hire it leave leave it there” appears to be almost unknown in France, and where it is known it does not cross boundaries. Hiring from, and returning to, Calais is a workable idea, but be careful when you hire, as it is incredibly difficult to get unlimited mileage in France. If this idea does appeal to you, hire on line, via the USA, as you can get unlimited mileage like that - I have done this. However and as was suggested, the least expensive option (IMHO) would be to hire in the U.K. and return to the U.K. getting a cheap form of public transport to get you to where you want to be before or after. Also, do be careful of the French trick of letting you pay for the fuel in advance, it appears to be less expensive that way; it can be but only if you return the vehicle completely empty of fuel - you will have paid for a full tank and do not get any money back if you return it half full. I always return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. Finally, when you hire, you can get a huge extra insurance guarantee put on to your credit card, unless you purchase the extra insurance. This can apply anywhere, however, your credit card may protect you and, therefore, make this an unnecessary extra expense. Check with your credit card provider.

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(David Martin) #17

French trick? I prepay for the fuel every time I hire a car from a UK airport and it has worked out fine every time.
When moving furniture I have never needed unlimited mileage as it’s easy to calculate a very accurate distance for the round trip. When hiring in the UK make sure that the insurance is valid in Europe and that you do not have to seek permission to put the van on a ferry. Some parts of Britain never did get the hang of being part of Europe. In France I have used vans from two supermarkets and two well known international firms. The supermarket vans were cheaper, newer, in better condition and had more ‘luxuries’.

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(User removed) #18

Aquitaine http://www.survivefrance.com/u/aquitaine David Martin http://www.survivefrance.com/u/aquitaine
July 4
French trick? I prepay for the fuel every time I hire a car from a UK airport and it has worked out fine every time.
When moving furniture I have never needed unlimited mileage as it’s easy to calculate a very accurate distance for the round trip. When hiring in the UK make sure that the insurance is valid in Europe and that you do not have to seek permission to put the van on a ferry. Some parts of Britain never did get the hang of being part of Europe. In France I have used vans from two supermarkets and two well known international firms. The supermarket vans were cheaper, newer, in better condition and had more ‘luxuries’.

Visit Topic http://www.survivefrance.com/t/any-thoughts-on-the-best-way-to-transport-furniture-etc-from-the-uk-to-south-of-france/16758/17 or reply to this email to respond.

In Reply To

Tigger http://www.survivefrance.com/u/tigger Marc Arnall http://www.survivefrance.com/u/tigger
July 4
Having done this more than once, I can only describe my findings. “Hire it leave leave it there” appears to be almost unknown in France, and where it is known it does not cross boundaries. Hiring from, and returning to, Calais is a workable idea, but be careful when you hire, as it is incredibly d…
Visit Topic http://www.survivefrance.com/t/any-thoughts-on-the-best-way-to-transport-furniture-etc-from-the-uk-to-south-of-france/16758/17 or reply to this email to respond.

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(User removed) #19

David, you’re at it again.

  1. It may well work for you and I suggested that pre-paying for fuel would work if one returned the vehicle empty. I will now add, that it still doesn’t work for me because a lot of French supermarkets, e.g. Leclerc, offer fuel at a very reasonable price. So, I fill up prior to returning my vehicle - where’s the problem?
  2. You write that you hire from the U.K. and I was writing about France. Then, you write that you hire from French supermarkets.
  3. In France, if you pay for mileage and you have to travel a long distance, it is exorbitantly expensive.
  4. I have hired untidy and unacceptable vehicles from both Britain and France.
  5. I merely gave my opinion. please do not feel obliged to shoot me down when I give my opinion.
    Finally, If your way of hiring a vehicle works for you, I’m please for you. If your opinion helps someone else to get a deal that works for them, I pleased for the help that you have given them. This is the point of a forum, to get many opinions which allow the reader to make up her/his own mind.
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(David Martin) #20

No. You’re at it again. I have hired in both the UK and France. You said that pre payment was a French thing. It is not, it is universal. When I have used the system in the UK it has been excellent. If I hadn’t been going to use more than a tankful I wouldn’t have been so stupid to take that option. However the system has saved me time and money.
In the past couple of years I have used a French supermarket van to collect a load of furniture from Germany using a mileage based on a ‘quote’ from via Michelin. The mileage covered was spot on and the van hire very well priced. Last year I used a van from a well known company in France to empty a U.K. flat for an elderly relative. They arranged the hire and paid the bill. The cost was considerably higher than the supermarket vans that I had used previously and the van provided was tired and lacked many of the features, including air conditioning, found in the cheaper option. I am not waging a vendetta against your posts, I am sharing my recent, relevant experiences.
In addition a near neighbour who moved back to the UK from France last year used vans hired from both countries. He found the French van hire to be much more straightforward and considerably cheaper than the British ones.

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