Moving to New Zealand from the UK
A Complete Guide

Keen to become a Kiwi? We don’t blame you! Known for their quirky culture and stunning landscapes, moving to New Zealand from the UK is tempting. However, moving to New Zealand comes with a few twists and turns. To help get you on your way, we have created this guide to ensure that you get to Middle Earth in one piece!

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How Much Does it Cost to Move to New Zealand from the UK?

Before we move onto the more fun stuff, it is important that you are aware of how much it costs to move to New Zealand from the UK. Given that you are likely to be covering at least 11,000 miles on your move, it won’t come at a shock that the cost of moving to New Zealand can add up, to say the least! However, we are here to ensure there are no nasty surprises.

When working out how much it cost to move to New Zealand from the UK, there are a couple of crucial factors to note. The cost of your move depends on severable variables, but the exact distance and volume of your move are the most essential. Therefore, the only way to get accurate figures is to request free moving quotes from us.

However, we know you are probably itching for some hard and fast numbers, so we have put together this table to give you an initial idea. It indicates the cost of moving from London to Wellington by sea, for different sized properties.

Household SizeTimeCost
1 bedroom apartment9 – 12 weeks£2,900 – £4,000
2 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£3,900 – £5,300
3 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£7,000 – £9,400
4 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£7,400 – £10,000
5 bedroom house6 – 9 weeks£10,600 – £14,200

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

If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK with only a small volume of things, you can also opt to transport it via air. If you are strapped for time, this is a good option as it usually only takes 8-10 days for your container to arrive. However, there is always a catch. Be prepared to pay in excess of £7,500 for shipping a one-bedroom apartment via airfreight. If you are whether the volume of your things is small enough for air shipping, use our furniture volume calculator!

We hope this has not left you with your head in your hands. Need a pick me up? Did you know, New Zealand has some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding facilities? Not your thing? Maybe Blue Lake, which has the clearest water in the world, is more up your street! 


Visas for New Zealand from the UK

Now you know a little more about how much it costs to move to New Zealand from the UK, next on your to-do list is organising your visa. If you intend on staying in New Zealand for less than six months and do not plan on working, you are exempt from needing a visa, and instead will just require an NZeTA, which are simple to acquire.

However, for those of you planning on moving to New Zealand more permanently, or wish to be employed there, things are far less straight forward. There are more intricacies to this than we have time for, so we recommend this page dedicated to New Zealand visa types if you want to look into this further.

For the meantime, we have put together a list of the most common visa types when emigrating to New Zealand to get the ball rolling:

  • Work visa. This applies to you if you are moving to New Zealand for the purpose of employment. It requires sponsorship from your workplace.
  • Working Holiday Visa. Designed for young people who intend to travel and work for a one- or two-year period.
  • Essential Skills Work Visa. If you are deemed to be able to contribute significantly to New Zealand’s economy, or you possess a skill on the Essential Skills in Demand list, you may be eligible for this visa.

Move to New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand from the UK: Checklist

The hard work does not stop just yet! However, don’t lose hope; once you work your way through this moving to New Zealand checklist, those dreams of life in the Land of the Long White Cloud will be once step closer to reality.

Before You Move:

  • Important documents. Now you know a little more what visa you might need when moving to New Zealand from the UK, consider any other documentation you might need. Once everything is organised, organise a safe an accessible space for them.
  • Organise an international moving company. Let’s be honest: moving to New Zealand is hardly around the corner. It is therefore essential that you choose the right international moving company. If you are not sure of the best way to go about doing this, start with our list of top eight international removal services.
  • Pack. The golden rule of packing is that you can never start too early! If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at our expert packing tips.
  • Transporting your vehicle. More information on this below.
  • What about your pets? More information on this below.
  • You must inform HMRC when you move abroad. We recommend seeking professional advice on tax payments in New Zealand.

Once You Arrive:

  • Register. The first crucial step to complete when moving to New Zealand is registering and receiving an IRD number, which is essential to work.
  • Bank account. Opening a local bank account is essential to settling in New Zealand. Consider some of the follow banks if you are not clued up on the topic:
  • Transfer money. Once you have a bank account, move any remaining pounds you have into your new Kiwi account. Click on the banner below and use our partner Wise for a smart and cheap way to send your money to New Zealand.

  • Healthcare. More information on this below.
  • Driving licence. If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK for under a year, then hurrah! You can use your UK driving licence, no trouble. However, if you intend to stay longer than a year, you will have to switch to a local licence.

If you have ticked off everything on this list, you are well on your way to ensuring a smooth sailing move to New Zealand from the UK. However, we do not have the space to provide all the necessary details here, so why not check out our moving abroad checklist. Soon you will become a real moving boffin!

money transfer to New Zealand

Want to Work in New Zealand?

If you are moving to New Zealand from the UK for only leisure or travel purposes, feel free to skip past this section. However, we imagine that for most of you finding work is not something to brush over.

Working culture in New Zealand is generally considered pleasant and friendly. While there is an expectation to work hard, this is balanced with an emphasis on spending quality time with friends and family outside of work. Sounds like moving to New Zealand can’t come soon enough! On the flip side, finding employment in New Zealand does not always come easy, so get thinking and check out the following online portals to get you started:

Of course your ability to find work will be dependent on the exact terms of your visa, so make sure you check this. Although this may all seem a little overwhelming, we trust that your move to New Zealand from the UK is going to be a blast!

Moving to New Zealand for its beautiful landscape

Top Tips for Moving to New Zealand from the UK

We promise; you are almost…yes almost free to go! Before we let you off the hook, we thought we would leave you with some final musings about moving to New Zealand from the UK.

Did you know? New Zealand has won more Olympic gold medals per capital than any other country! So brush up on your sporting endeavours before you arrive 😉

The Cost of Living in New Zealand

Much like calculating how much money you need to move to New Zealand from the UK, there are no blanket figures for the cost of living there. On average, living in New Zealand costs approximately 8.4% more than in the UK. However, this will depend largely on where exactly you choose to relocate to, and your personal lifestyle.

Want to know how much your morning coffee will cost? Or how much to budget for petrol? We have created the following table comparing common cost of living metrics in the UK and New Zealand.

MetricUKNew Zealand
Rent for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre£758£819
Basic monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment£156£91
1L of milk£0.91£1.35
0.5L of draught beer£3.63£4.63
1L of gasoline£1.27£1.12

Want to venture outside the main cities to save some money on living costs? Good idea! Perhaps you could even check out Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu – yes that’s right, the longest single word place name is in New Zealand!

Can You Bring Your Pet When Moving to New Zealand?

Got an exotic pet, or even a hamster or rabbit? We will get the bad news out of the way first – unfortunately, apart from cats and dogs, it is forbidden to import a pet to New Zealand. If you have not considered this already, you may want to think about the consequences for your furry friends if you are planning a move to New Zealand from the UK.

Did you know? There are no, yes absolutely no, snakes in New Zealand! So you will really be in trouble if pet snakes are your thing…

If you do have a cat or a dog, you can take it with you when moving to New Zealand, provided certain requirements are met. The most common way to transport your pet is via air transport. You can either; have the pet on the same journey as you, or find an airline that specializes in moving pets. However, be sure to consider the following list of costs and requirements before your pet boards the plane:

  • Make sure that all of your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. This includes a rabies vaccination 6 – 12 months before moving. This is likely to cost around £400.
  • An import permit costs NZ$220.74 (around £125).
  • Transport. As discussed above air transport is the most efficient and most common way. We recommend a budget of around £2,000 (however this depends on the size and weight of the animal).
  • All pets imported from the UK must be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days. This is likely to cost between NZ$1,400 and NZ$2,000 (£800 – £1,200) including transportation and government inspection fees.

For more information on this, visit the New Zealand government’s pet import policy.

What About Your Car?

Given that New Zealand’s car ownership rates is one of the highest in the world (2.5 mil cars for 4 mil people including kids!) it is unsurprising if you too want to import your car when moving to New Zealand from the UK.

If this is the case, you are in luck! Unlike some countries, importing your car to New Zealand is in fact possible, provided you have the financial means to do so. Transporting a car costs around £1,500-£2,000, with an additional £400 to clear customs. Alternatively, why not sell your car in the UK and check out New Zealand’s thriving second-hand car market?

Healthcare in New Zealand

Feeling like moving to New Zealand is breaking the bank? If so, you will be pleased to know that healthcare in The Antipodean country is often free or heavily subsidised. Under a mutual agreement, all Brits, even those on temporary visas, have access to free urgent medical care.

That being said, 35% New Zealanders opt for private health insurance to cover non-urgent treatment, so this might be something you want to consider as well. The Telegraph provides a useful rundown of the healthcare system in New Zealand.

What Next?

Phew! That was seriously hardcore, so before we go any further, we want to congratulate you for making it through this article. Be rest assured, that although it may feel like you have mountains to organise at the moment, when you are happily settled in one of the world’s most beautiful countries, it will all be worth it.

Moving to New Zealand is a real adventure! But if your nerves are still making you feel shaky, continue to explore the Sirelo website to find other pages which help you move with a smile 😊

In the meantime, good luck and happy moving!

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