Moving to Iceland
Your Ultimate Guide

Thinking about moving to Iceland? Iceland has natural beauty abound and an open-mindedness that is very welcoming. To help you on your way, we have put together this step-by-step guide with everything you need to know about moving to Iceland from the UK. Read on for information about the cost of moving to Iceland, a moving to Iceland checklist and other moving tips and tricks, and you will be over to the Land of Fire and Ice in no time! Did you know? Iceland was the last place on earth to be settled by humans. Saving the best until last!

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

We know that you will be curious about cost of moving to Iceland, we were too. We took the time to look at the numbers and come up with some estimates for cost of a move. So, here is a table outlining how much it costs to move to Reykjavik from the UK via sea.

Size of HouseholdTimeCost
1 bed flat6-8 weeks£2,100 – £2,900
3 bed house<31 days£4, 300 – £6,000
5 bed house<31 days£6,600 – £9,200

Disclaimer: All figures are approximate guideline values, and do not include extra services covered by the moving companies.

If you choose to travel via air freight, costs to move to Iceland will be a lot higher but moving will be quicker, 2-7 days. So, if time is a priority, consider this instead!

Remember that these are just estimates, and if you want a more detailed overview of the costs, check out our moving costs page.

Also, you should give some consideration to the main factors that affect moving costs which are the volume of your move and the distance travelled. Not sure of the volume of your things? Don’t panic! We have provided you with our handy volume calculator to work it out.

Of course, the best way to get accurate pricing is by requesting quotes, so fill out the form below!

Moving to Iceland?
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Do You Need a Visa to Move to Iceland from the UK after Brexit?

Good news for those who wield an EU passport and are thus EU citizens, you do not need a visa to move to Iceland from the UK. Even though Iceland is not a member of the EU, it is a Schengen country, allowing free movement for Europeans. If you wish to stay for more that three months, you’ll need to register.

If you are the proud holder of a UK or non-UK/EU passport, you get to do everyone’s favourite thing, apply for a residency permit! You can visit the Directorate of Immigration for all the information you need about applying. It’ll guide you through the process.

Moving to Iceland from the UK after Brexit has made things are a little more complicated. For more information about moving to Europe and the wider EEA after Brexit, please visit our Brexit blog.

Moving to Iceland from the UK: A Checklist

We bet there are a million and one things on your mind concerning your move to Iceland from the UK which can be stressful. Unless you have been gifted with an impeccable memory, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten. That’s why we have created this moving to Iceland checklist for you. Get all these things done, and trust us, you’ll thank us later!

Do you need a visa to move to Iceland from the UK?

First for the good newsas it stands, you do not need a visa to move to Iceland from the UK. Even though Iceland is not a member of the EU, it is a Schengen countryallowing free movement for EuropeansHowever, you will need to apply for a work and residence permit if you intend on staying for longer than three months. You can apply for this at the Directorate of Immigration.

Moving to Iceland

  Important documents

If there’s one something that you should never forgot when moving abroad is get all of these documents prepared in advance. Otherwise, you might find that you have to delay your move.

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medical Documentation (including dental and immunizations)
  • University Degree(s)
  • Police Background Check
  • Visa and Work Permits

A Moving Company

Unless you plan to move yourself and a suitcase, you’ll want to start by finding a moving company to help you move to Iceland. Of course, the smartest thing to do when finding a mover is to do some comparison shopping. So, request some free moving quotes to get you move started.

Pack

Let’s cut to the chase: only pack what you deem totally essential. As mentioned, the cost of your move is largely dependent on the volume of it, so it will often be cheaper to repurchase bulky and heavy items on arrival. Think you’ve decluttered? Declutter again!

Packing can be stressful and time consuming. If you are thinking about trying to do it all yourself, think again, and read our expert packing guide which a myriad of packing tips..

Sirelo tip: remember to label your boxes! You don’t want to end up with your kettle in the bathroom and your toiletries in the kitchen when unpacking.

Health insurance

Healthcare is important and understanding how the system works before moving to Iceland from the UK is advisable. Iceland has universal healthcare, which is paid for through taxes. It too abides by the philosophy of equal access to all.

Only those who’ve been legal residents for more than six months in Iceland can becomes a member of the Icelandic social insurance system, regardless of nationality. Therefore, for the first six months, you will need private healthcare insurance instead when you move to Iceland from the UK.

Banking

Banking in Iceland is very different to the UK. Following the 2008 financial crash, rather than bailing banks out, the Icelandic government decided to let the banks collapse. Three state-owned banks were set up in their place.

If you intend to work in Iceland, salaries will be paid into a local account, so it is imperative that you get this organised when organising your move to Iceland from the UK.

Did you know? Iceland, along with most other Scandinavian countries and Czechia, use, what we call in English, crowns. In Iceland the currency is called króna.

These three state bank accounts are:

All three of these banks offer an English interface, so do some exploring to work out which option suits your needs best!  

Cars & Driving

We know that this is probably not what you want to hear but moving your car to Iceland from the UK requires a certain amount of planning. Your vehicle needs to be preregistered with the Icelandic Transport Authority.

You will then face import charges, dependent on the value of your vehicle. The Icelandic Transport Authority also handles the issuing of Icelandic registration numbers.

Finally, if you can take your move your car to Iceland, you must inform DVLA that you will be taking your car abroad.

Pets

Thinking of moving to Iceland with a Pet? Iceland is a magical place for people and animals alike. If you want to make sure that your furry friends can enjoy everything Iceland has to offer with you, be sure that they fulfil the necessary health requirements of which there are many. More information can be found on the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority Website.

Get this organised, and you will not regret sharing Iceland’s idyllic natural landscapes with man’s best friend.

You should also be aware if you are moving to Iceland with a dog that certain dog breeds are banned from import:

  • Pit Bull Terrier/Staffordshire Bull Terrier. –
  • Fila Brasileiro. –
  • Tosa Inu. –
  • Dogo Argentino.
  • Mongrels with one parent from the breeds listed or wolves

NB: pets will be subject to a two-week quarantine period upon arrival in Iceland.

Moving to Iceland

Life in Iceland as a British Expat

We hate to keep banging on about money, but we feel it is our duty to warn you; expect high living costs when immigrating to IcelandEverything from transport to food and accommodation to beer is likely to burn a hole in your pocket. But it’s not all bad! High salaries and quality of life help to offset these expenses.  

So you can gauge a rough idea of living costs in Iceland, below is a table comparing the UK and Iceland with common cost of living metrics.  

IcelandUK
Rent for 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre£992£758
Basic monthly utilities for 85m2 apartment£74£156
1L of milk£0.69£0.91
Cappuccino£3.14£2.75
0.5L of draught beer£6.49£3.63
1L of gasoline£1.22£1.27

We can tell you’re worried about that £6.49 pint, but count your blessings that you can get a drink at all: beer was actually illegal in Iceland until 1989!  

Are you looking for work in Iceland?

Icelandic people are workaholics! So much so that Iceland has the longest workweek in Europe. That being said, they also value equality in the workplace, and do not enforce a strict hierarchy. Has that not sold you? Iceland has also been a leader in gender equality since 2000, boasting one of the smallest gender pay gaps in the world, and with paternal leave equal for both partners.  

Now you know a little about working culture in Iceland, it is important to understand the types of work you might undertake when moving to Iceland from the UK. Unless you are pursuing a career in agriculture or fisheries, the chances are you will find employment in Reykjavik. It is unusual for Icelandic companies to advertise job posts, so your best bet is to send speculative applications to companies you are interested in, or use LinkedIn 

What about the education system in Iceland?

Are you moving to Iceland from the UK with kids? Given that Iceland boats the lowest crime rate in the world and is therefore consistently voted the safest country in the world, bringing up your children there sounds like a great idea. If that is the case, we imagine that organising your children’s education is a priority for you.  

In keeping with the Icelandic attitudes in the workplace, the education system stresses the importance of equal opportunity to acquire education, irrespective of background. Education up to the age of 16 is therefore compulsory and free. As a result, Iceland is ranked the third most literate country in the world!  

Ready to Move to Iceland?

We hope this page has given you greater clarity regarding your move to Iceland from the UK. You are now well informed about what your move will entail, and the only step left is to go ahead and give the pages we have linked for you below a quick read. 😉

Before you go, we will leave you with a few final tips to ensure you settle into Iceland in no time:  

  • When asking for a refill, say ‘tíu dropartakk’, which translates as ‘ten more drops’.  
  • Looking for love? Going out for ice-cream is a popular first date choice, despite the cold weather. 
  • 30-40% of Icelanders believe in Elves…yes read that one again!