A guide to moving home yourself and with your own car

A guide to moving home yourself and with your own car
According to the experts, moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do – right up there with wedding planning, and even divorce!

But while the prospect of relocating to a new house, neighbourhood, or even a new region can be daunting, it really doesn’t have to be. 

To help keep things as stress-free as possible, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about moving house with your own car. 

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Can I move home with my own car?

Definitely, plenty of people move home with their own vehicles to save money and to have a bit more control over the process.

Your car can be a great way to move your loved ones and favourite things to your new home, especially if you’re only moving a short distance or want to take some belongings with you while the removal company takes most of the furniture.

Top tips for packing your car for moving home

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Packing up your car for the move might seem like hard work, but it doesn’t have to be with these tips:

1. Be picky

Space in the car is limited so you won’t be able to take everything. Choose carefully and take only those items you don’t want to leave to the professional movers. 
 

2. Make as much space as possible

Chances are your car has accumulated junk over the years (plastic bags, shoes, maybe the odd bit of school uniform) so clean it out before the move to give you even more much-needed space. 
 

3. Avoid cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes might be synonymous with moving house, but these bulky boxes don’t lend themselves to being packed into the back of a car. Choose vacuum-pack bags instead to get more from your boot space.
 

4. Get some more storage

Don’t think you’ve got quite enough space in the back? Then why not consider hiring a roof box for the journey for those extra items that just won’t fit? Just remember you’re traveling with more height than usual!
 

5. Load appropriately

It might be tempting to simply chuck everything in, but be careful when packing up your car. Put heavier things in the middle of the boot and don’t overload, as this can cause damage and could even see you invalidate your car insurance policy

What do I need to know before moving home?

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When moving to a new area you should ensure you know what you and your car can expect, including what transport links are like and whether you’ll be able to park your car safely and securely near your new house. 

You should also check to see if there are any charges in the local area that you may need to pay, such as toll roads or, if you’re moving to London, congestion charging and the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

Before heading off on any long journey, it’s important to carry out essential maintenance checks at home to ensure your car is in tip-top condition and you’ll get to your destination and back safely. 

The RAC encourages drivers to remember the acronym ‘FORCES’ when carrying out car checks: Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics, and Screenwash. Check our tips for avoiding a breakdown for more information on FORCES.

If you’re taking more weight than usual, it’s essential you check the pressure and tread of your tyres as they will be working harder to keep you, your family and your belongings on the road.  

You should also remember to take along a few road trip essentials for the journey; including a first aid kit, additional engine oil and water, mobile phone charger and snacks and games, especially if travelling with children.

Top tips for driving to your new home

Driving on an unfamiliar route can be stressful at the best of times, but when you’ve got the kids in the back and half of your belongings packed in the boot it can get even worse – so make some preparations before you set off. 

Firstly, plan your route, taking into account any roadworks or sporting/cultural events that might cause delays. The RAC Route Planner tool is a great way to plan your journey ahead of time and familiarise yourself with the route. 

On moving day, leave yourself plenty of time to get to your new home, and schedule in plenty of breaks along the way if you’ve got restless and excitable kids in the backseat that need to burn off excess energy. 

With all the general stress around moving house, it might be a good idea to share the driving responsibilities on the day itself with your partner or a friend, which may require you to take out some temporary car insurance as cover. 

Can I get temporary car insurance?

Taking out temporary car insurance might be the perfect option when moving house, especially if you’re looking to borrow a vehicle or allow someone else to drive your car.

The RAC offers temporary insurance policies covering from one hour up to 30 days. It’s quick and easy to get a quote, meaning you could be covered sooner than you think.

Temporary Car Insurance

From 1 hour to 30 days – flexible & immediate short term cover for your vehicle.

Will moving home affect my driving licence?

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Yes. When you move house, you should inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of your new details as soon as possible, including updating your driving licence.

Failure to do so sees you run the risk of a heavy fine if you’re caught, but thankfully updating your driving licence details online is free and you’re able to drive legally while waiting for your new licence to be sent back to you. 

If you’re moving temporarily (for example, to student accommodation) you don’t need to inform the DVLA of your change of address, if they can still contact you at your permanent address.

Will moving home affect my car insurance?

Yes. As soon as you move house (or know your new address details and moving date) you should inform your insurance provider so they can update your details.

The terms of your insurance policy are based in part on issues such as your postcode and where you park your vehicle overnight. Moving home can change these terms – and alter how much your premium is – so it’s essential you let your insurance provider know of these changes.

If you don’t tell your provider of your change of address you could unwittingly invalidate your policy and leave yourself without cover should the worst happen, so it’s essential you let them know. 

If you have an insurance policy with the RAC, you can change your details online with MyRAC

Will moving home affect my road tax?

You should inform the DVLA of any change of address which affects your payment of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED – also known as road tax), including if you pay by direct debit. 

You should also change the address details for your V5C registration document if you’re the registered keeper of your vehicle, which you can also do on the DVLA website. 

Will moving home affect my breakdown cover?

Yes. When you move house you should make sure all your details are up-to-date by telling the RAC that you’ve moved house. This can be done easily using MyRAC.

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