Moving to New Zealand from the UK

So you are moving to New Zealand? How exciting! Whether you are looking for the best international moving companies or information about your move, we have you covered. The following guide will help you understand the costs and steps involved.

How much does it cost to move to New Zealand?

The most central and expensive part of your move will be your house removal. Unfortunately, Moving to the other side of the world is not going to be cheap. For example, moving a three-bedroom house from London to New Zealand usually costs between £9,000-£11,000.

If you want a more accurate price estimate for your specific move, feel free to use our simple removal quote form. In addition, we recommend that you also use our free removal volume calculator to understand the size your move and to save time when requesting quotes.

How do you move to New Zealand?

What do you need to remember?

  • The government of New Zealand has an online planning tool to help you plan your move to New Zealand. It takes two minutes to complete and can be integrated with your mobile phone and online calendar.
  • Sort out your finances. You can arrange a bank account before you arrive to make it easier and less stressful when you arrive in New Zealand. If you would like advice on transferring your money to New Zealand, check out our transferring money abroad page.
  • Get an IRD number – this number ensures that you are taxed at the correct rate, if not you will be charged from the highest bracket. For more information about this look at our taxes in New Zealand page.
  • It is important to arrange healthcare when moving to a new country. Take a look at our healthcare in New Zealand page for more information.

There are so many things to remember when moving abroad. Take a look at our moving abroad checklist so you don’t forget anything!

Getting a Visa for New Zealand

If you are planning on moving to New Zealand or staying in New Zealand for more than 6 months, then you must apply for a visa before you leave the UK. There are several types of visa available depending on personal circumstances. You can read more about different types of visas on our visas for New Zealand page.

Moving to New Zealand

Bonus Moving Tips!

How Do You Transport Your Pets and Cars to New Zealand?

Moving pets and cars often requires a specialist company as there are certain laws and tariffs to consider. Logically, as these items are more specialised, it can be quite expensive. Therefore, you should consider carefully whether it is cost-effective. The following information can help you make your decision.

Driving and transporting a car

People emigrating to New Zealand with a UK driver’s license or an international driving permit can drive in New Zealand for up to a maximum of 12 months. For Expats moving to New Zealand for more than a year, you need to get a New Zealand driving licence. In New Zealand, they also drive on the left-hand side of the road meaning that you can easily adapt to having your right-hand drive car there. The biggest problem you are likely to have is transporting your car to New Zealand. 

Transporting a car costs between £1,500 – £2,000 with around a £400 cost to clear customs. Alternatively, there is a great second-hand car market in New Zealand, especially when it comes to cars imported from Asia.

Move to New Zealand

Moving Pets

When it comes to transporting pets to New Zealand there are several things to consider. Most importantly, with the exception of dogs and cats, it is forbidden to transport domestic animals to New Zealand.

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). You only need one even if you are going to import more animals.
  • Transport. As discussed above air transport is the most efficient and most common way. We recommend a budget of around £2000 (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, visit our blog about moving your pets abroad or you can follow the New Zealand government’s import pet policy.

money transfer to New Zealand

Cost of Living in New Zealand

New Zealand is a slightly more expensive place to live compared to the UK. Overall you can compare the two but New Zealand is known for being an expensive place to live due to its distance from the rest of the world. If you’re set on moving to New Zealand then the logical next question is to ask which city. Something that may be a factor is the price. Use the handy table below of important prices to know (shown in New Zealand dollars) including the cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant and the average rent of an apartment.

MealLitre of petrol3 bed apartment (city)3 bed apartment (suburbs)
Auckland15.251.833,114.772,416.29
Christchurch20.001.961,909.641,828.33
Queenstown15.501.922,550.002,356.68

Finding a place to live in New Zealand

Renting a Home

If you are emigrating to New Zealand a good place to start is to rent a house or an apartment before diving in for a purchase. Renting a place for a few months will give you the opportunity to get used to the environment in New Zealand. It will also give you the time to check out the different residential areas and the different properties. Moreover, if you are moving to New Zealand with children you have to consider the area of residence because it influences the school they will be enrolled into. Find out more on our living in New Zealand page.

For advice on renting from a reliable source make sure you head over to the Government of New Zealand website, where you can learn about the procedures to follow when renting a property in New Zealand. It features everything from discussing the legal paperwork to the logistics of sharing a flat (or flatting as they call it in New Zealand).

Buying property in New Zealand

In New Zealand, most home purchases are done via a real estate agent and it is always good advice to seek the approval of an experienced lawyer before making an offer. Find out more on our living in New Zealand page. Even back home, buying a house is a complicated task. Moving to a new country makes it even more complicated. If you’re looking for advice on legalities, mortgages, valuation and more then check out New Zealand Now.

If you’re looking for sites to buy a property or just get an idea of the market then you should start your search at Open2View and Real Estate NZ, these sites prove very popular with locals and expats alike.

Education in New Zealand

Are you moving your family with you? Well, you can rest assured knowing that the education system is ranked as being of high quality. School is compulsory between the ages of 6-16 and there are three types: state-run, state-integrated and private. The majority are state-run and follow a set curriculum by the government. If you are interested, you can visit our education in New Zealand page for more information.

Moving to New Zealand for its beautiful landscape

What Next?

We hope that you have found this page useful. If you would like to find out more, then you may be interested in these pages:

Good luck with your move abroad!