Moving to Germany

Last updated: April 9, 2020

If you’re planning on moving to Germany, this page will give you all the information and advice that you will need for your move.

Living in Germany

If you are unsure about taking the leap to move to Germany, then you may find it interesting to read up about what the lifestyle in Germany is like. Read on for information on work, healthcare and education.

Healthcare in Germany

First of all, all foreigners living and working in Germany are entitled to subsidised health insurance. However, you must have some form of health insurance in order to be entitled to this. 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.

If you would like some more information about this, you can read our page all about Healthcare in Germany.

Working in Germany

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 working week is around 38 hours and the German work environment is traditionally hierarchical with strong management. It is very important to be very punctual in any professional work setting.

Also, there is a shortage of qualified engineers, IT specialists, health and social workers. If you are interested in finding work in Germany, here is a list of some job search websites:

Moving to Germany - Christmas market

Living Costs in Germany

City scoresCosts per city
CityQuality of lifePurchasing powerSafetyHealth careCost of livingPollution
Berlin 736969734941
CityCappuccino price1L milk priceOne dozen eggs priceThree room apartment rent
Berlin £ 2,07£ 0,60£ 1,56£ 955,00

Living costs can vary depending on where you live. In large cities, living costs can be very high. Some of the cheapest cities to live in are Leipzig, Bochum, Kiel, Siegen, Jena, Osnabruck and Bremen. Moving to Berlin or Hamburg will mean that you will have to consider the higher living costs. For a better insight into German life, read our blog of Advice from a girl from Kappeln, Germany or our living in Germany page.

House prices in Germany are relatively cheaper than houses in the UK, however, renting may be more expensive than buying property. If you want to find somewhere to live in Germany, you can look in local newspapers or the websites below:


Education in Germany

Primary and Secondary schools in Germany are free. 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
  • There are then four types of secondary school that a child may enter after Grundschule

If you want to find out more about secondary schools and further education in Germany, then visit our education in Germany page or the top 10 Universities in Germany.

Cost of Moving to Germany

House SizeTime of MoveMoving Cost
1 Room6-8 weeks£2,300-£3,200
3 Rooms25-31 days£4,600-£6,500
5 Rooms25-31 days£7,200-£9,900

So, as you can see from the table above, these are the average moving costs to Germany. However, the two major influencers of price are the volume of your move and the distance you are moving. Hence, using our volume calculator can save you a lot of time when requesting quotes. Also, why not look at our international moving costs or shipping container costs pages for more information.

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Moving to Germany Checklist

To make your life easier, we have comprised a checklist of everything you need to consider before you move to Germany:

Visas to Germany?

As a UK citizen, you will not need a visa to live in Germany. Which is great! However, it is mandatory to register at your local registration office (Einwohnermeldeamet) 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.


It is possible that moving to Germany after Brexit may come with some problems. So, why not read our Brexit blog which explains the possible outcomes of Brexit and how to move to Europe after 29th March 2019.

Moving pets to Germany?

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.

Moving a Vehicle to Germany?

You can either drive your car or motorbike yourself or you can get your vehicle shipped to Germany. Driving your vehicle yourself would be the cheaper option as you would have to pay for cost of shipping and get transport insurance too.

Furthermore, if you have a UK drivers licence, you will have to exchange it after 2 years of residing in Germany. After six months , you will need to have a German number plate which costs €200.

Moving to Germany, Berlin

Banks in Germany

If your planning on staying in Germany for a long period of time, then it will probably be a wise idea to open a German bank account. So, here are some of the main banks within Germany:

Since taxes in Germany are more complicated than in the UK, you may also be interested in reading our page that explains what you should expect to pay.

Request Removal Quotes

Most importantly, requesting more than one removal quote will mean you can compare prices and services between moving companies. This means you can get the most out of your move! You can fill out our free online form to request up to five removal quotes-It only takes a few minutes and can save you up to 40% on your move!

What Next?

We hope that you have found this page useful. If you found this page interesting, then you may like to look at these other pages: