Is It Time To Remortgage Your Home?

Did you know that around one-third of all loans in the UK are actually remortgages. That’s because a mortgage is often tailored to the needs of your current situation, and so better mortgages can become available as your circumstances change.

So, is it time to remortgage?

Yes, it’s time to remortgage if…

Your current deal is coming to an end. A fixed-rate mortgage only lasts for a couple of years, after which it changes to have a standard variable rate (SVR). If this has happened to you and your mortgage has changed, you may find yourself paying significantly higher interest rates than those you originally signed up for. Thanks to the increase in interest rates, your mortgage will no longer be the cheapest rate available to you. According to The Loans Departement People who chose fixed-rate mortgages often find themselves jumping from mortgage to mortgage, so perhaps you should follow suit and find yourself a better deal.

You want to increase the size of your mortgage. There are multiple reasons why you’d like to increase the size of your mortgage. Firstly, it could be because you’re looking to do home improvements and need the extra cash. Alternatively, it may be because you want to start your own business and need some extra funds to get things going. Depending on your reason for wanting to increase your mortgage, lenders will be more or less comfortable with accepting your mortgage request. It will also impact the terms and conditions surrounding your mortgage and the repayment rate you’ll be expected to pay. 

Another way of increasing the size of your mortgage is by consolidating your debts. This is a great way to avoid late payment fines from multiple lenders and put all of your debt in one place. If you’ve been having difficulty paying off debts in the past, it may be more difficult for you to remortgage as lenders have access to your income and outgoing finances. However, that doesn’t mean a bad credit remortgage is impossible. There are dedicated mortgages available to those with a less than perfect financial history.

 You’d like to have less outstanding debt. If you find yourself in a better financial position than when you initially took out your mortgage, a better rate may be available to you. This could be because you’ve had a pay rise, or one of your dependents (i.e. children) has grown up and is taking care of their own finances. With more disposable income, you may decide that you’d like to funnel this money into reducing the amount of mortgage you have left to pay. Some mortgage providers will let you do this, so you don’t need to remortgage. However, the amount of equity you have in your property will have most likely changed since you first took out your current mortgage, so you may be able to get better rates by remortgaging your home.
Alternatively, it may be that you’ve inherited a significant lump sum and want to put this straight towards paying your mortgage. Some lenders will have a limit on the amount you’re able to pay in one go. Therefore, you may need to go through the process of remortgaging to simply hand your large pile of money to another provider. 

Finances have dropped, so you’d like to decrease payments. When you or your partner retire, it’s likely that you’ll have less income at your disposal. If you still have mortgage, you may need to get a new deal that is more financially viable. You may also need a lower repayment rate if you’ve suffered from a long-term injury that effects your ability to work or if you’ve been made redundant. Some mortgage lenders may be sympathetic to your change in circumstances, but if the amount of equity you have in your property is rather different to what it was when you first took out your current mortgage deal, it may be worth remortgaging.

 No, now is not the time to remortgage because…

You have little mortgage left to pay. If your debts are quite small, the fees involved in remortgaging will be high enough that it’s not worth the hassle of going through the process. Some mortgage lenders won’t even take on a mortgage if it’s for an amount below £25,000. Even if your interest rate is quite high, it might be worth powering through with your repayments if the end is in sight.

 The value of your house has dropped. And if you’ve not made significant headway into paying off your mortgage, it may be that you now own a smaller portion of your home’s value than you did to begin with. You might even be in negative equity, where your outstanding mortgage debt is higher than the value of the property. It is unbelievably difficult to remortgage if this is the case, so you may want to try and wait out the drop and see if the value of your property increases again. 

The early repayment rate is high. If you decide you’d like to remortgage and your incentive period isn’t over, a mortgage lender will charge you an extremely large fee for leaving. It could literally cost you thousands of pounds to change to a mortgage that will only save you a few hundreds of pounds in the long run, meaning you’re worse off after making the change. If you’re really set on leaving your current mortgage provider, speak to the lender and see if you can be switched to one of their other deals, which has a lower early repayment rate. Although the interim deal may not be the best one available to you, this will save you a small fortune when you do then remortgage with a different company.

However, remortgaging is a costly process. You need to pay an exit fee to your old lender, a joining fee to your new lender, and a couple more people like solicitors and valuators along the way to keep the process going. After weighing up all of these costs, you may discover that it’s actually more cost effective to remain with your current mortgage, at least for the time being. Therefore, you’ll need to work out the actual cost of remortgaging and compare this to the savings you’ll make by changing your mortgage rates.

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Top 7 Tips for Buying Life Insurance

The process of procuring life insurance is a confusing one and is a complicated part of financial planning. After all, when it’s a question of our families, only the best will do. In today’s day and age, there is a vast array of brands to choose from. A lot of variables have to be considered before making your final selection; such as which reliable, trusted company to choose or what quantity of premium to pay that will be more than sufficient for the members of your family. Once you immerse yourself in the buying cycle, you may find that the procedure is not as complex as it is made out to be. Allow us to share a few of our favourite tricks when purchasing life insurance that we hope will ease what is usually deemed a painful practice.

  1. Choose the Right Premium

What are your reasons for obtaining a life insurance policy? Engage in a little soul searching and have a conversation with yourself to analyse your objectives. Once you have a clear understanding, then you can go on to choose an optimal premium volume. Of course, your fiscal condition will have a critical bearing as well.

Premium structures can be broadly classified within two categories: stepped and level. The former increases with time as you age whilst the latter grows until the end of its term. The initial amount for stepped premiums are lower in value than their level counterparts. With level premiums, although you will commence your journey with higher outflows-by the end of the term, your premium expense will be lower than had you chosen stepped premiums.

Be vigilant and watch out for those little extras those savvy salesmen try to fit in to your policy. This will increase your overall cost. To make your life easier, get instant quotes from Life Insurance Guideline.

  1. Buy It Young

The best advice one can give you is to invest in life insurance at a youthful time in your life. Do not wait too long before beginning your research. Statistics reflect that most insurance claims are compensated to individuals between the age of thirty and forty,

  1. Compare Policies

There are many different kinds of policies out there that will catch your attention and potentially confuse you. Do not get caught in the endless web of information clutter and be prepared to wade through excessive data to find what is right for you and your family. Avoid comparing apples to oranges (in terms of life insurance products). Term life policies have a relatively lower cost as compared to a permanent life insurance portfolio. It comes with a lesser initial premium that may capture your interest but will not generate a high magnitude in the long term. On the other hand, cash value life insurance policies can range from variable life, whole life and universal life. There would be a colossal variance between a premium for a $70,000 term policy compared to a $70,000 permanent one. Scrutinize the insurance policy from all possible dimensions and select one based on your present as well as future requirements.

  1. Adapt Your Lifestyle

One way to effectively decrease your monthly premium is to implement positive changes in your way of living. Make healthier, more nutritious choices in your daily decisions on what to eat and whether to exercise or not. If you smoke, consider giving it up as a habit because your premiums will definitely be higher as you come with a higher risk of disease as compared to a non-smoker. We also recommend staying within healthy ranges of your body mass index as it will also have an impact on the financial cost of your insurance premium.

  1. Apply Bravely

A growing pool of life insurance prospects find the overall process to be an overwhelming and complex one. It calls for the open disclosure of your salary, your medical history, your life style and other personal information which you may not be comfortable sharing. However, given the nature of the service you are striving to engage, it is vital for you to be as transparent and as honest as possible. This will allow the insurance company to create an accurate risk profile and ascertain the cost of your premium accordingly. Do not hide any important details as it will eventually come to light. After all, the contemporary inventions of communication technology have narrowed global boundaries and made the world a smaller, highly inter-connected place. 

  1. Review Your Policies Consistently

As you grow older, your expectations and needs will evolve with time. In order to cater to your changing demands, it is advised to review your life insurance policies on an annual basis at least. What you think you may have needed at the age of 35 may not ring true twenty years later. You may want to upgrade or switch policies. Do not delay this process and review your life insurance product every year to evaluate whether it is still at par with your essentials.

  1. Choose A Renowned Policy Provider

The whole purpose of a life insurance policy is to anchor those who are left behind financially and not cause them stress on how to provide for themselves. It is critical and imperative to choose a company that has a reliable, trusted reputation in the market. Conduct a thorough investigation and begin by checking the service provider’s financial solvency. See what the company’s ranking is in a well-known insurance rating list. It will provide you with credible insights on its economic status and competence to pay claims in the future. Rating agencies function on different levels with individual standards and methods. It is advised to review more than one agency’s position on the company of your interest. Remember that as a consumer, you have a legal right to comprehend all the legal jargon and technicalities behind the policy in question before procuring it. Obtain all the information you can from your state regulatory authority that will help you in making a well-informed, optimal decision.

7 Tricks for Making the Best Budget

Financial caution, budget development, monetary balancing, savings growth and more. These terms sound scary, don’t they? Making a budget, especially if it is for the first time, can appear to be an extremely daunting and challenging task.

The truth is that it sounds more terrifying than it actually is. The best way to handle this so-called stressful task is to firstly realize that it is not that at all! Simplify it by comprehending what the essence of a budget is. Primarily, it is a written down plan of your funds and how it will be managed.

You are the one in control, the one making decisions and the one to make any final calls on its allocation. Hence, there is nothing to be scared off! Isn’t that great? Now to make you feel at ease even more, let us share with you 8 wonderful tricks that will help you in designing your budget.

  1. Make Your Favorite Tea

You must be wondering why the numero uno tip is to make a cup of your favorite tea. The reason is that the most important stage in crafting your budget is to make sure that you are in the right frame of mind. Being calm and mentally at peace is strategic in creating a realistic and an efficient economic strategy.

So, put the kettle on and boil some water. Take out that colourful mug that your niece or grandma gave you and pour some tea in it. We recommend chamomile or green tea as it helps you to relax and perhaps smile a bit even. Switch on some soothing music to help you concentrate and gather your supplies. Take out some vibrant highlighters or pencils along with a pad of paper. Or if you are tech-savvy and prefer a more automated way, then feel free to tap into the magic of Excel or any other spreadsheet program.

  1. Soul-Searching Time

Now that the ambiance has been set, reach into the deepest corners of your soul and think. Think why you are making this budget and figure out what your source of motivation is. What is it that drives you to be undertaking this action? Getting to the root cause will help you stick to your budget in the long term. Are the indigo waters of the Mediterranean Sea calling out your name in Santorini, Greece? Is it desire in owning a new home? Or building a pool of funds to pay for that Ferrari once you retire? Or are you trying to become debt free?

Identify and establish both long term and short term goals. This way, you will be motivated to set a small sum aside accordingly. Short term goals can include saving up for a new car, a vacation or a down payment on a property. Long term goals would include retirement, college funds for your children or capital to launch a new business. To achieve these objectives, you may have to compromise on certain activities such as not watch the latest Marvel superhero movie on Imax or try out that new Italian restaurant that all your friends are recommending. Knowing what you are striving to accomplish will make you feel stronger and more dedicated in your journey.

  1. Take Away Income

One of the most common mistakes that people make in budget planning is to not take into account what their after tax income is. It is imperative to fabricate a budget based on the disposable income that you actually come home with. Take your after tax, annual income and divide it into twelve parts to understand the number you receive at the end of every working month. This is the benchmark against which you will design your budget around.

  1. Truthful Patterns

Be honest with yourself when you are tracking your expenses and figuring out how much you spend on different categories: food, recreational activities, rent, insurance, transport etc. Take out receipts from the past couple of months or review your banking transactions to identify your spending patterns. This is a crucial step in understanding the volume of outflows and corresponding inflows. By doing this, you will be able to comprehend which areas you can reduce spending in order to save or to simply attain your desired budget outcome. This should also reflect infrequent expenses that may occur on a seasonal or quarterly basis. These can vary and include property taxes, vehicle insurance or homeowners’ insurance.

  1. Debt Freedom

It would be a perfect, utopian realm if we were able to exist without any format of debt in this day and age. Unfortunately, we all built up a little debt over the years. However, the secret is to balance it out and ensure it is not going out of control. Contact your bank and set up an automatic debit transfer of a certain amount to pay off whatever entity you owe. Whether it is a credit card or a personal loan, returning a specific amount every month will eventually win you your freedom.

  1. Separation of Accounts

If you find monitoring your financials complex if it is present only in one account, then open up others with specific purposes. Tap into a savings account and deposit your intended amount in. This way you will know not to touch that money until you attain your fiscal goal. A checking account will help you track your fixed outflows. Either utilize the same checking amount for your daily spending money or open another. Depending on your level of comfort and confidence, you can manage your accounts accordingly.

  1. Realistic Expectations

Ever gone on an extreme, fad diet with the hopes to lose 15 kg in less than a month? It must have involved you going to hardcore lengths and cutting back calories. It may work for you for the first couple of weeks, but then you will find it hard to stick to it. Losing weight is easy, maintaining is the challenge as you have to live by healthier choices. The same principle applies to budgeting.

Don’t cut back on recreational spending 75% suddenly. Take it slow and ease yourself and your partner into it. Measure what amount of your money goes into entertainment (with a time base of 2-3 months) and promise yourself that you will bring it down by ten percent or so. This way, you still save more and get to enjoy your life as well. It will gradually build your courage and enable you to stick to your budget.

10 Awesome Ways To Save Money

Is the aroma of beef steak lingering in the air and enticing you as you walk by your favourite restaurant? Is that black, sultry dress calling out your name as you stroll by a clothing chain that you love? Or is that sparkly new diamond necklace looking extra shiny in the jeweller’s window? If the answer to the above questions is yes, then do not worry. We have walked in your very shoes and can relate to the temptation that you are attempting to avoid.

After all, it takes a lot of willpower to just keep on walking and ignore the call of the consumeristic devil. Not everyone will have the same level of strength and be able to resist it. That is why we are here to guide you and offer a few tips that we have gathered over the passage of time.

  1. Record Your Expenditures

If you are not sure what your monthly budget should be-start out by recording all your transactions. Once you have gained an insight into the number of fiscal inflows and outflows that your lifestyle requires, you can take a step back and start reviewing what can be reduced. Not only this, it will serve as a clear snapshot of your spending cycle and demonstrate in a glance where the major amount of your expenses is going. Be it a coffee, a snack, a bottle of water or even a pack of chewing gum-note it down in your diary. This should allow you to count every penny that is being spent. To get a broader picture, classify your data by items such as mortgage, recreational activities, medical or groceries.

  1. Make a Weekly Menu

We all love to eat out and relish the exquisite taste of that burger at the joint by our office. Its just a few extra dollars, so shouldn’t really matter. Guess what, every penny counts. Those twenty-dollar burgers once a week could potentially save you a thousand dollars annually. Just do the math! Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

Dedicate a few hours every week to design your weekly menu-food that you will cook yourself at home. Then, go grocery shopping over the weekend and spend a couple of hours prepping meals for the week. Knowing you have food waiting at home will encourage you to eat that only. Dining out is usually the biggest chunk of financial expenses in a household. So not only will you manage to save money, but calories as well as it is a much healthier alternative.

  1. Plan A Budget

This can stem from your recorded transactions as you will have a picture of what your expenses entail. Decide what percentage of your regular income you would like to save. Try to keep it a realistic figure so you do not get demotivated or disheartened if the numbers do not match up at the end of the month. Make sure you account for seasonal costs that do not occur on a frequent basis, for example, car servicing. When you plan for such charges            in advance, it helps you to organize your other outlays in an efficient manner.

  1. Save for That Big Holiday

Setting short term goals is an extremely effectual method to roll in the dough. It can be anything that your heart desire and can range from a summer holiday to a down payment for your first home. Estimate the length of time you will require to build up a pool of funds large enough to achieve your objective.

  1. Automate Your Savings

We live in a world where we are at the prime of technology. As a society, we are experiencing continuous innovation where advances in communication are made daily. Utilize this and enjoy the benefit of having your bank transfer a certain amount of money monthly and transfer it to your savings account. Most financial establishments offer this facility and you can avail it. Direct money transfer serves as a means to spend less overall and teaches you to live in the amount allocated.

  1. Track Your Growth

It helps if you are monitoring your savings account and ascertaining whether you are closer to reaching your target. Do this every month to observe the status of your progress and make any adjustments if required.

  1. Pick Your Priority

It is quite encouraging when you begin to see your saving pool grow. Do not forget your long term goals whilst striving to achieve your short term ones. It is imperative to remember that retirement is a reality that you should try to prepare for. Starting at a younger age will allow you to spread your numbers at a lower rate.

  1. Put it in the Bank

Received a nice, generous bonus from your company for those extra sales targets you achieved? Or is a nice birthday check coming your way from your magnanimous uncle? Do not blow it all on a beach vacation or on the latest Iphone. Reserve a reasonable chunk of it and deposit it in your savings account. Do this immediately so you are not tempted to spend it.

  1. Take Coffee From Home

As much fun as it is to go for a coffee with your colleague in the morning and then again once more after lunch, it makes a bit of a dent in the wallet over time. Imagine if you saved those $10 a day, that is $200-$300 saved a month. Start out slowly and commence your saving journey in this aspect by taking coffee from home at least 3 times a week. Feel free to invest in a few different brands and categories of coffee as it is still going to be cheaper than getting it from a coffee house.

  1. Work, Work and Work

We do believe in a strong work -life balance. However, it is true that if you work more, you will be too busy to think about spending money: be it going out for a movie or a meal.

How banks are looking at the rise of fintech and their use of blockchain technology

Why banks are testing new technologies

When new technologies were initially being developed it was with a view to create a method of keeping records that wouldn’t require a third party to oversee its regulation. By giving multiple users access to these shared digital databases via a distributed ledger and utilising up-to-date securities that would make entries and the information it held unchangeable by outside parties it created a new, transparent and labour free way to record financial transactions. As the blockchain technology gathered momentum it became the underlying system that has given rise to the world of cryptocurrency – Bitcoin and the rising range of altcoins has started a revolution in digital currencies we can choose to use over our current and limited typical fiscal currency options.

A secure and labour free system

Creating this secure and efficient method of registering transactions blockchain has become an obvious move towards how we should be organising our banking, reducing inefficient human contribution and error, making the transaction effortless, immediate and in effect cost-free. Reducing cost is what is going to make the blockchain system highly competitive in today’s financial market, so much so it could put the banks out of business if they don’t follow suit and join the revolution.

That’s why nearly all banks are investing heavily in fintech research. Blockchain obviously is the primary concern but it’s not the only tech the banks have to consider, they now have to examine every new technology that offers up real competition and to make important changes to keep in line with where the future of our finance is heading. There has been much published research by many of the global banking giants reporting their own research on blockchain technology but very few so far have constructed a blockchain based system of their own to replace current methods, despite having started to patent their own devised blockchain technologies.

It’s so much more efficient

The main advantages of the banks such as Cambr Banking implementing blockchain tech have been outlined above; it’s so efficient it will reduce the costs associated to current methods and save them huge amounts of savings. Santander has said that through their research they estimate savings of up $20billion per year by switching over to a blockchain system. It’s not only the ease of the transaction being handled by the technology instead of being processed by human operation but the amount of regulation issued by the government over the banking industry will also be handled autonomously by its own software processes.

Healthy competition – but for who?

The rise of the fintech companies who are already using blockchain systems to handle such things as international payments, savings programs, financial remittances and more, means that the banks aren’t the only players to consider now, and for the consumer that means they aren’t beheld to one set of costs but now have not just another option to choose from, but many. All of these choices are great for us, the saver and spender, but for the banks it means a much smaller slice of the pie in future – or no slice at all if they can’t cut costs and compete.

It also means that with the banks investing in new technology solutions it doesn’t just leave the door open to the fintech start-ups being the only ones to disrupt the banking industry; the banks themselves are getting into a position where they too can create new systems and business models using data solutions and artificial intelligence to organise those new advancements in their own industry that has so far been implemented by the outsiders and newcomers to the finance world.

Where next?

The blockchain tech is primarily aimed at reorganising an outdated system with a highly improved and technologically sound upgrade. But just because we can reorganise the way we monitor and transact with our current financial currencies by no means will the use of this technology end there.

With the introduction of blockchain technology the rise of cryptocurrencies has indeed been its main application, and even despite their rollercoaster rise to mainstream use they are now an established way of organising your wealth. Aside from it being a fashionable tech opportunity this new system has also been offering itself as a marketplace to trade in, giving its users an alternative way to make profit from their finances to challenge the banks steady decline of their interest rates applicable to your savings from their traditional investment methods.

Banks are going to need to continue their development if they’re going to keep up with the new fintech kids on the block, whether they work independently or join forces to pool resources and forge new ways ahead together, they simply can’t afford to get left behind.

The future for banks looks gloomy with research projecting that the new technologies could be responsible for a loss of revenue of up to 40% by 2025 for banks and between 15% and 20% of US banks could have fallen or been consolidated into the new fintech companies as soon as 2020.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for those who are willing to keep up. Analysing the effects of fintech on the banking industry the consultancy McKinsey have forecast that progressive banks could innovate and introduce new technologies to compete that could increase revenues from new offers by 5%, revenues from new products and digital sales by 10%, and also lower their typical current costs by automated processing with digital transactions by 30%. Adding all these factors would give the bank willing to move into this new area a possible profit of over 45% that would translate into a much higher and competitive financial success rate.

It’s an important time for banks to assess and continue to re-assess their business operations – from their high street branches through to how they manage every product and service on offer. The traditional methods of banking are founded on the cornerstone of a branch their customers can attend to fulfil their needs. The fintech alternatives are very much automated online systems cutting out the need and the expense for high rents and staff costs. How the banks are to manage this change in trend is just as big a question they will have to ask themselves as how to change their technology systems.

The future for banking is changing, that there is no doubt, but who will come out on top, in charge and in profit, is something we’ll just have to wait, watch and see.

Moving House – The True Costs of Doing it Yourself

Who should consider a DIY move?

Ideally the DIY mover should be ideally suited to the smallest moves. One bedroomed flats and apartments, bedsits, house-shares, or small office moves; these are the candidates for hiring a van and doing it themselves.

If you’re going to DIY move then be realistic. As in any move plan early, make lists, stick to them, declutter so you aren’t taking any extra items you should have thrown away, sold, or got rid of that will only take up valuable time and space in your van. Leaving anything to the last minute will only add more stress.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

If you’re going to do the move yourself the pros for this are many but the main one should be the cost. If it isn’t cheaper to do it yourself then why are you bothering? Get some quotes for a professional company and compare them to hiring a van and doing the work yourself. If it’s not too different then consider what the extra will buy you in peace of mind, energy exerted and in having someone else do all the worrying.

It’s going to be good exercise if you need to shed a few pounds. You won’t have strangers in and out of your property handling your belongings. You get to drive the van so you’ll get to pick the route, decide whatever stops you may need to make along the way, carry out any additional pick-ups and take whatever breaks you’ll need if you’re making a long distance move.

You will also get to the load the van how you want and if you choose to have friends help you you’ll also have someone to celebrate with at the end of the day.

Cons

You’ll be exhausted. It’s tiring and hard work. It’s a lot of lifting, carrying and climbing up and down stairs. With a professional you can leave them to get on with all of that extra work, and they will be fast and efficient. If you choose your friends and family to help there’s a good chance they’ll spend just as much time poking around your things reminiscing about bygone days.

Are you comfortable driving a large vehicle around town or over long distances? Do you want to drive multiple trips and have to load and unload at each end? And if you load the van badly are you happy to pay to replace or fix anything that gets broken? Or to take somebody to hospital if a badly packed van causes an injury to someone while unloading?

It will take much longer. Professionals know what they’re doing. They know exactly which corners to cut and which not to. They will take at least half the time; maybe even less? That could actually save you money over the course of the day.

Van Hire

When hiring a van you’re going to need better than good guesswork. How big a van do you need? A smaller van will be cheaper but if you get it wrong you’ll have to make more trips. A larger van might just save you money if you get it right first time. If you obtain the services of a professional removal company such as AMC Removals, who are an Edinburgh removal company then they always recommend that you make an inventory. Estimate how many boxes those items will fill. Then work out how they can stack and how much space that they’ll take up.

You will be guaranteed to have more belongings than you think.

You’ll also want to consider mileage, fuel costs and if your drivers licence covers the size of van you’ll need.

Ford Transit

A Transit or similar size from alternate manufacturers is a very popular model for the DIY move. It will carry around 800kg of items, large enough to fit most furniture and runs at around 35mpg. You can step up a model to a long wheelbase Transit that is 3ft longer, a little taller and slightly less economical at 25/30mpg.

Luton Box Van

The box van is synonymous with removals because of its high backed, square container. The bed of the van is often 2 or 3ft off the ground so heavy items may require a lift of some sort. The vehicle hire company should be able to advise or supply you with the equipment you require.

7.5 Ton Box Wagon

This is the largest self-drive you can command on a standard licence with a C1 category (you’ll need to take a test if you didn’t receive your licence until after January 1997). It’s the largest in size and capacity, will accommodate the greatest weight and is much better suited for long distance moves than smaller vehicles. However, it’s a lot bigger than your day to day drive so keep an eye out for bridges and walls; tall vehicles have a tendency to lean so some walls or trees might be in range of contact when you think they’re not.

Additional points to note

Make sure to ask about all charges and additional costs. A fixed allowance might be as little as 50 to 150 miles, which if you’re returning the vehicle to base that may well not be enough. What will it cost for each additional mile? Most companies charge between 8p and 12p but it’s best to be sure before you sign anything.

What does the insurance cover? Is it included? Will there be an excess to pay in the case of a claim? Do they provide breakdown cover? Will it be ok to take the van abroad if you’re moving overseas? And where can you hand it in? Does it have to be at the depot where it was collected? You’ll want to consider all of this before you make your decision.

When you hire a vehicle always do a thorough check with the agent. Make sure any marks or existing damage is noted so they don’t try and pass the blame on to you on its return.

Driving

A van handles much differently to a car. It’s bigger, has reduced visibility and bigger blind spots, they’re taller, wider, clumsier and will take much longer to stop when you put the brakes on. Be vigilant for cyclists and small vehicles. There are a lot more hiding places for them to drift into.

Weather

Not to be taken for granted but if you’re moving in winter it’s going to have it’s own challenges. The cold and slippery surfaces will play their part just as the red-hot sunshine will dehydrate and tire you faster if your move is in July or August. It doesn’t seem like much to consider but if you can prepare for every eventuality then there’s one less thing to take you by surprise.