Moving to Germany

More and more people are emigrating to Germany from Britain. The high quality of life, relatively cheap cost of living and great career opportunities are all attractive reasons. Furthermore, Germany is a very accessible country for an international move due to a relatively close proximity to the UK. In order to help you with your relocation we have collected as much information as possible to make your move easier.

Emigrating to Germany in 2019

There are many important steps that a UK national or UK expat moving to Germany has to take before the actual move. You want to know about visa, healthcare, work, etc. below you will find some of the important information you need about making the move to Germany a stress-free one.

No visa needed and other important information

As a UK citizen you will not need a Visa to live in Germany. You have the right to live and work there as a European Citizen. However, after your arrival in Germany it is mandatory to register at your local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) after 14 days.

Einwohnermeldeamt is also known as the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR) or a Bürgerbüro. You will need different documents such as your passport and proof of address. The documents need may differ from area to area, but a form of identification is always required and you may be asked to provide leasing contract, marriage/divorce certificates, etc. You are advised to find out in advance either via their website or contacting them to find out the specific documents required.

If you move to a different town in Germany you must register your address again at your local Einwohnermeldeamt. Should you relocate back to the UK or another country you must de-register yourself.

Pricing up a move to Germany

When it comes to moving all of your belongings to another country there are certain costs involved. If you are planning on moving you possessions from to Germany there are several things you should consider. Firstly, Germany is a big country and depending on where you would like to move to in Germany will be a primary factor in deciding the price. Another important factor to consider is how much you will be moving, more things are obviously more expensive. Generally speaking a move to Germany can cost between £2,300 and £6,000.

4 things that make the price drop

  • Size of your furniture. If you want to move less then the cost is cheaper.
  • Type of transport. Due to the UK being an island there are three options to move your things. Air travel, shipping or with a removals van. Air travel is the most expensive way to travel, followed by shipping. The cheapest way of transporting your things is a removals van.
  • Choice of insurance. If you choose not to insure your possessions you are able to save some money. Obviously this is risky if something goes wrong and the method of transport can directly affect the cost of insurance.
  • Additional services such as assembly and disassembly. A smart way to save money is to do as much as possible yourself or get someone you know over to help however this can be time consuming which is another stress when it comes to moving abroad.
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Moving to Germany: Sirelo’s top tips

At Sirelo we are experienced at moving abroad and have a few top tips to help you with your move!

  • Think about what insurance policy is best for you. We recommend comprehensive cover as it reduces stress for an international move – which is already stressful enough.
  • For the absolute cheapest move then you should pack and unpack the boxes yourself. Another useful piece advice is to label the boxes so you know where they all go.
  • Be aware of certain restricted items that you can’t take into Germany, the most notable one is unconstitutional publications or media deemed harmful to minors.

Checklist: how to get the best out of your move

  • Health insurance – Although an EHIC is a great temporary measure if you plan to register in Germany then you will need public health insurance. Health insurance in Germany is mandatory for all those earning less than €54,900 per year. If your annual salary is higher you can choose if you want private health insurance instead. For more information about this visit our healthcare in Germany page.
  • Academic qualifications – Make sure that you have your academic certificates and qualifications in order to present them when asked. Research the equivalent level in Germany.
  • Finances – get your finances in order. Work out a budget for a move abroad and make sure that you plan a contingency for emergencies. Opening a German bank account is a great way to have easy access to funds, check out our page how to transfer money abroad for more information.
  • Subscriptions – cancel any outstanding subscriptions such as bills or utilities.

Moving to Germany - Christmas market

Moving pets and cars to Germany

Relatively speaking Germany isn’t so far from the UK meaning that transporting pets and cars isn’t usually too difficult. Having said that, you should take into account that as the UK is an island we are restricted in how we can transport these things.


Driving in Germany with a UK licence isn’t a problem. If you have a valid driving license you will be obligated to exchange the license after residing in a new EU country for 2-years.

The most obvious way of moving a car to Germany is to drive. Is is easy to get a ferry from the UK to mainland Europe or to go through the channel tunnel. This is also likely to be the cheapest way.

It is also possible to ship your car to Germany however in this case you will have to pay for the cost of shipping and transport as well as insurance. After 6 months you will need a German number plate, these cost around €200. To register your car in Germany it first needs to be inspected by a company (Dekra or Tuva).

A further benefit and way of saving some money is that you can load up your car with as much as possible in order to save money on shipping costs.


When it comes to transferring our furry friends to Germany the most popular option is to drive there with your pet in the car. This can save a lot of money on pet transportation. Another option which is useful if you don’t have a car is to fly, however this is the most expensive way. If driving yourself is not an option a popular method of moving pets is a pet courier service, there are several companies which specialize in moving pets across Europe, normally through small vans.

As the UK and Germany are both in the EU there is a simple process of vets bills before taking your pet abroad. Your pet must have an EU pet passport, a microchip and a valid rabies vaccination (evidence of the latter must be recorded in the passport).

What to expect from living in Germany

The cost of living in Germany is somewhat cheaper than in the UK therefore by moving there you will enjoy a higher purchasing power than back in the UK. Furthermore there are other benefits when it comes to moving to Germany such as a low crime rate and a higher quality of life.

Cost of livingQuality of lifeCrime rateHealthcarePurchase power

Other information about moving to German

For other useful information about moving to Germany feel free to look at the following pages:

  • Taxes in Germany – information about the tax system in Germany.
  • Working in Germany – work place culture in Germany is unique. To find out how it differs to the UK check out our page.
  • Education in Germany – a guide to how the education system in Germany is different than the UK.

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