Moving to Germany from the UK: An Essential Guide

Planning on moving to Germany from the UK? Look no further. This article outlines how to move to Germany from the UK, including information about removal costs, the impact of Brexit, and work and life culture in the country of poets and thinkers.  

How Much Does a Move to Germany from the UK Cost?

Like most things in life, removal costs are not completely straightforward. The amount you are charged depends on several factors, namely the volume of your move, the distance travelled and the type of transport you choose. To give you an initial idea of how much it costs to move to Germany from the UK, the table below provides estimates for moving to Berlin, dependent on your household size and mode of transport.  

Household SizeCost via RoadCost via Sea
1 bed£1,400-£2,000£2,200-£3,100
2 bed£1,800-£2,500£2,900-£4,000
3 bed£2,300-£3,200£4,700-£6,400
4 bed£3,100-£4,200£5,300-£7,200
5 bed£3,900-£5,300£7,300-£9,800

Disclaimer: the rates shown above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your actual point of departure and service rates of the company.

Given that your household size is such a crucial factor, use our handy volume calculator to save you time when requesting quotes. We know you have much better things to be getting on with!  

How to Move to Germany from the UK: A Checklist

To save you precious time, below we have compiled a checklist indicating what you need to organise prior to emigrating to Germany from the UK. Please visit our moving house checklist page for more general information. Once this checklist is complete, be rest assured that your move from the UK to Germany will be smooth sailing.  

Declutter…declutter and declutter again

We’re sure you have thought of this one, but one top tip from us: be ruthlessAs outlined above, the cost of your move is largely dependent on the volume of your thingsSo choose your favourites and say goodbye to less precious items; it will often be cheaper to buy things once you have completed youmove to Germany from the UK.

Are you bringing pets?

If you are moving to Germany with a dog or cat, your pet will have to be micro-chipped, have an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a passport. Any animal other than a dog, cat or ferret will need a permit to ensure that your animal is not protected under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). For more advice visit the Pet Travel website or our blog on Moving Your Pets Abroad.

Any vehicles joining you?

Did you know that nearly six million cars are produced in Germany every year? Nonetheless, we know how easy it is to be attached to your trusted vehicle. Be rest assured that moving your vehicle to Germany from the UK is relatively hassle free. You can either drive it yourself, or have it shipped, but the latter requires you to pay for the cost of shipping and get transport insurance too. After six months of residing in Germany, you will be required to get a German number plate for a €200 fee, and after two years you will have to swap your drivers’ license for a German one.  

Get your banking organised

If you are planning on being in Germany for some time, it is strongly advised to get a German bank account. Below are a list of banks to consider opening an account with. You of course know your individual monetary needs best, so be sure to do some independent research before choosing.  

Once you have done this, make sure to transfer your money abroad. We recommend TorFx as a trusted and reliable way to send money overseas.  

…And request quotes!

Last, but by no means least, be sure to request removal quotes to compare prices and services between moving companies. We offer a completely free service, with no obligations, with the chance to save up to 40% on your move to Germany from the UK.  

Moving to Germany Checklist

Life in Germany as a British Expat

Now you have established how to move to Germany from the UK, it is time to learn a little about German culture and working life. Not only does Germany promise the best pretzels and bratwurst in the world, it also boasts the largest economy in Europe, despite having the shortest average working week. If that isn’t enough to convince you to get the ball rolling, we hope this outline of what your new life in Germany will look like does the trick.  

The Cost of Living in Germany

Much like the cost of your move, this depends on where exactly in Germany you choose to live. Berlin and Hamburg are generally considered the most expensive places to live, so try to avoid them if you have a lower budget. We have created this table showing the average for cost of living metrics, compared to the UK. All prices are written in GBP.  

GermanyUK
Rent for 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre£671£758
Basic monthly utilities for 85m2 apartment£196£156
1L of milk£0.71£0.91
Cappuccino£2.50£2.75
0.5L of draught beer£3.16£3.63
1l of gasoline£1.28£1.27

Did you know? There are over 1,500 different beers in Germany! And in Bavaria, beer is officially considered as food. It goes without saying that we’re very envious of your move 😉  

For help on finding somewhere to live in Germany, we recommend the following websites:  

Moving to Germany - Christmas market

Looking for Work in Germany?

Time for some more good news: the German job market is thriving! It is commonly regarded as Europe’s industrial powerhouse, and has the second lowest unemployment rate in Europe. Sounds like the place to be! In particular, vacancies are common in the automotive industry, as well as the country needing IT specialists and manufacturing professionals. Like every country, the outbreak of COVID-19 has stunted the German market, so please visit our page on COVID-19 and Moving House to see how the pandemic might affect your move. 

However, in order to work in Germany, you need to either have a work or residence permit and also a social security number in order to be paid. The typical work environment is hierarchical with strong management; expect to call people by their surnames! If you are interested in finding work in Germany, here is a list of some job search websites: 

So you are not in for any nasty surprises when moving to Germany from the UK, please take note: unlike the UK, married couples are taxed based on joint income, not separately as individuals.   

moving-to-germany

How does the Education System work?

We know that family comes first. So, you will be pleased to hear that both primary and secondary schools in Germany are free. Wahoo! The same goes for public universities, but in some states you may have to pay for administration or semester fee. Each state is responsible for their education policy, so they do vary from state to state. Here is a brief description on how the general education system works in the early years for children: 

  • Kindergarten (nursery school): Children can start from the age of one-six. 
  • After the age of six, children enter the Grundschule until they are 10. 
  • Children then enter secondary school. There are four main types of secondary school in Germany, so make sure you do some research to find out what system will best suit your child’s needs.  

And what about the Healthcare System?

Healthcare will be one area of relative familiarity when emigrating to Germany from the UK. All foreigners living and working in Germany are entitled to subsidised health insurance. However, you must have some form of health insurance. It is compulsory to register with either a statutory German health insurance scheme or a private health insurance. It is important to have German health insurance in order to apply for a visa or residence permit. 

Moving to Germany from the UK after Brexit

We know that 2020 has been characterised by uncertainty. Not least due to the triggering of Article 50, signalling the beginning of the UK’s departure from the European Union. We have outlined what moving to Germany from the UK after Brexit might entail, but for further information, visit the UK government website 

If you are arriving in Germany before the 31st December 2020: 

 If you are lawfully residing in another EU country before the 31st December 2020, your rights in Germany, and indeed the rest of the EU, will remain the same, as you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. You may have to apply for a residence status, indicating proof that you relocated prior to the 31st December, but you will have until 30th June to do so 2021 to do so. Visit our Brexit blog for more information.   

If you are arriving in Germany after 31st December 2020:  

Unfortunately, there is not yet complete clarity on how UK citizens’ rights will be affected when moving to Germany after the withdrawal period. UK citizens moving to Germany after Brexit will no longer have the automatic right to live and work, and instead will have to comply with the specific immigration rules of Germany.    

Moving to Germany, Berlin

What Next?

Now that you know how you can move to Germany from the UK, the final thing to do is to get excited! We hope that these final top tips for moving to Germany help you to do so.  

  • Almost one-third of Germany is powered by renewable energy. Want to fit in? Keep this in mind when choosing your energy providers.  
  • Never, and I repeat NEVER, cheers with water. Germans interpret this as wishing death upon your drinking buddies; not a great way to meet new friends!  
  • Keep your gas tank full and healthy. It is a criminal offence to run out of fuel on a highway. Uh oh 

And finally, do not forget to request up to five free removal quotes from us, and save up to 40% on your move. At Sirelo, we’ve got your back!