Peter Driscoll of European Transport Brokers ( takes you through some of the trials and tribulations associated with moving to Europe and explains away some of the mystery associated with moving to France. As always its all about size, and when moving size IS important! >=Well sir, it looks to me that you have about 45 cubic metres here, but Ill have to get back to the office to confirm that<=. >=Ah<= you say >= but the last company told me I had 1365 feet. Is there a difference?<= In this case there is a difference, about six cubic metres!..Mystified? Welcome to the world of metric and imperial cubic capacities, designed to completely baffle and confuse anyone who simply wants to move house. In the UK we have traditionally measured volume in cubic feet, easily calculated by taking the height, width and depth and multiplying the three together. Hence a washing machine that is say 3ft by 4ft by 3ft, measures 36 cubic feet. If you measure in metres then it is 0.9m by 0.9m by 1.2 m, which gives 0.98m3. To convert from cubic feet back to cubic metres just divide the cubic feet by 35 to give you the cubic metres. So 1365 cubic feet becomes 39 cubic metres!! >=Ah<= you say, >=My dining room table is 3 foot tall by 6 by 4 which gives a total of 72 cubic feet, but what about all the space under the table<=? As I said in previous articles, moving house is not an exact science and precise measurements are not needed. After all one >=box<= could contain one saucepan or 25 cuddly toys! What is being sought is simply a guide as to what space will be required on the vehicle and how much time is going to be needed to pack load and unpack. As for that space under the table, well that is used, probably by the boxes of bed linen that you didnt count in the first place! Remember here that if you use a Brokerage for your move then whether you have 20m3 or 24m3 it is not going to make a difference to the price you pay, as the broker is looking for spare capacity on a vehicle. Removal companies if approached directly, will charge more for 24m3 than for 20m3, but they will in general terms be fairly flexible! The important thing is not to underestimate what you have got as this only causes problems. Having arrived at your total volume and after receiving horrendous quotes to move your belongings, a flash of clear thinking suddenly raises its head and you say >=Lets do it ourselves and save a fortune<= Five years ago I was looking to get my own house contents moved to the South of France. I received (as usual) quotes that were in the region of four to five thousand pounds. I then decided to >=DIY<= the job. Two brother in laws and the rest of the family were roped in to help and a 7.5 tonne lorry was borrowed (no expense). With Air Brakes hissing and Yorkie in hand, I promptly banged the rear end leaving the depot. My excuse being that I had never driven a 30 foot long vehicle. That should have been my first clue to see reason, but blinded by the desire to save money I continued! To cut a very long story short , it took us over 22 hours to drive down to the South of France, I did save some money. But that is not the whole story! I actually took time off work. My brothers in law also took five days off their holiday allowances. If they had had to be paid, or if I had paid myself for the hours worked then the story would have been different. Then we come to the >=invisible<= costs. The bruised fingers, the aching backs, the dropped items of furniture, the flaring of tempers, the boredom of driving at 50 mph on a motorway!!! True I saved money but at what cost!! And it could have been FAR worse, for as I discovered later, my home contents insurance policy did not cover the goods in transit to France. One accident and I would have lost everything. Further, I have a sneaking suspicion that the vehicle may have been a >=tad<= overweight. Had I been stopped the entire load could have been seized! Never again! One of the questions we continually get asked concerns packing. The easiest and cheapest way is to pack yourselves, especially if you have time. BUT (there is always a but!) be aware that goods that you pack yourself may not qualify for the >=full<= accidental insurance cover that some companies offer. This stands to reason as no insurer could be sure that a) The items were in good condition prior to packing and b) That they were correctly packed. If you do pack yourselves then your insurer will normally only cover >=Total Loss<=, which in reality is probably enough cover, but as always think carefully about what level of cover and service you actually need. As for the actual packing most companies offer a packing service for European loads. This service can extend to cover the >=packing<= of all of your small items, but you can negotiate to have only some of the goods packed and most companies will provide all the materials you need for this, albeit at a small charge. Of note is that in general terms items of furniture that are packed for European moves are >=blanket<= wrapped on the vehicle. This is adequate for non container moves. However, if you are moving >=overseas<= and your goods are to be placed in a container then a >=Full export<= pack is highly recommended. Here the furniture etc is all >=bubble wrapped<= and extra protection afforded to delicate items. The reason for this being that containers on ships do move about and damage to contents is not uncommon! Finally, if packing yourself, please do not overload boxes! All too often a box is picked up and the contents promptly fall through the bottom. However one of the companies recently reported to us that upon arrival at a clients house every room was neatly stacked with boxes. The clients appeared to be very well organised and all the boxes were numbered and all sealed. The removal men lifted a box each and everything in the boxes simply slipped out the bottom of the boxes. The client had made up the boxes, sealed the tops and totally forgotten to seal the bottoms of every single box!