International Moving Costs 2020 : Everything You Need to Know

How much does it cost to move abroad? Sadly, there isn’t one simple average moving cost for everyone. Removals costs in the UK are different to the prices involved in moving abroad. A removal quote can range between £5,000  to £25,000 for a move overseas.  Check out our detailed breakdown of the top 10 international removal costs and see how you can save on your move.

International Moving Companies Prices

The biggest single expense you will encounter is hiring a moving company. Different removal companies will offer different services and varying levels of price and quality, so it is important to do your research before booking your move. A quick and easy way of doing this is by comparing moving companies directly, but read on to understand how the total cost is calculated.

The cost will be based on a few main factors:

  • Size of the move : The bigger the move, the more expensive it will be. Use our removal volume calculator to estimate how big your move will be.
  • Distance : The further the distance, the higher the cost.
  • Route: More popular routes will be cheaper than rare ones, and the accessibility of both addresses are a factor too.
  • Transportation method: Moving overseas shipping costs will be the cheapest, shipping by truck is popular where possible, and by air is the most expensive but the fastest.
  • The time of year : Peak season (summer) is more expensive than low season (winter).

Below you can find a summary of the average overall international removal prices of moving a three-bedroom house to popular destinations across Europe:

DestinationRoad CostSea Cost
Moving to France (Paris)£1,300 – £2,000£4,500 – £6,200
Moving to Germany (Berlin)£2,300 – £3,300£4,700 – £6,500
Moving to Spain (Barcelona)£3,000 – £4,000£4,700 – £6,300
Moving to Switzerland (Geneva)£2,200 – £3,100£4,900 – £6,600

Below are some estimates of international removals costs for the rest of the world:

DestinationSea Cost
Moving to America (New York)£5,100 – £6,900
Moving to Australia (Sydney)£7,000 – £9,500
Moving to India (Delhi)£6,200 – £10,000
Moving to South Africa (Cape Town)£4,900 – £8,000

To better understand moving overseas shipping costs,  check out our guide to international container shipping costs.

Average cost: Moving company prices can cost between £1,500 and £10,000 depending on the above factors.


International Moving Services

The international relocation costs of removal companies will differ depending on the services you choose to include. For example, while not all moving companies charge more for packing and unpacking services, many do. Depending on the country you’re moving to, you may have no choice about this cost, as some countries require the moving company to vouch for the goods being imported. Nevertheless, check with your moving company if this is necessary as it could be cheaper to do this yourself. If you are interested in finding the best rate removals, you can look at our list of the top international removal companies within the UK.

Average cost: A professional packing service can add an extra £200 onto your move.

international moving costs with a couple

Insurance Costs

We highly recommend that you take out removals insurance, especially if you’re moving overseas. If everything is protected then your entire move will be less stressful. Most shipping companies include basic insurance as part of their quotes but this normally won’t cover everything. We recommend that you pay for extra cover to ensure peace of mind. Note that cargo insurance companies base their quotes on the monetary value of your belongings.

Average cost: Based on a move valued at £40,000, including breakage, from the UK to Europe, it can cost between £500 – £600, and from the UK to Australia it can range between £850 – £1,000.

Housing Costs

You will need a place to live in your new country, so before moving abroad you will need to consider whether you want to buy or rent in advance or to use temporary accommodation for when you arrive. Choosing your neighbourhood will require a lot of thought, with things to consider being areas with schools for if you have kids, distance to the city centre and more. Conducting research on expat forums is a great first step, and if you have the budget then local estate agents are also highly recommended.

For more information, we advise you check out our specific country pages to get more specialised information for moves to your particular destination.

Average cost: Prices for this can vary immensely depending on how big your house is and where it is located, but as an example, an average 3-bedroom house in Australia will cost roughly £1,500 a month to rent.

international moving costs for moving

Storage Costs

If your shipment date and your moving date are not the same, you may be interested in hiring storage space for your household goods. Before your move it is good to know which furniture you are taking with you, which you are storing and which you are selling.

Prices are based on the size of space that you need to hire. Some moving companies own warehouses where you can store your belongings at an extra cost or included in the price of your move.

Average cost:  Hiring a storage space of 100 sq. ft, which fits a two-bedroom house, will cost around £280 per month.

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Customs Charges and Taxes

Another influence on international moving costs are customs charges. You will have tax and customs responsibilities when you move your personal belongings to any country abroad. If you’re moving to Europe, you won’t usually pay tax or ‘duty’, but with other countries outside of the EU, it can vary. The cost will depend on what the item is and where it is going. Still unsure? Use this customs duty calculator to see how much you will have to pay for belongings.

Average cost: The average customs duty to a G7 country is 0.8% and the global average is 1.8% of a total move, meaning these costs will vary between roughly £300 to £800.

international moving costs

Flights and Visas

Visas are very important when moving to another country permanently . They can vary greatly in price depending on where you are moving to. Interested in finding out what type of visas you need? Check our our pages explaining the different kinds of visa in America, Australia, New Zealand and many more countries. Right now, you don’t need a visa to move to Europe, but this may change after Brexit. Read our blog on moving to Europe after Brexit for more information and advice.

Booking flights can add on an extra expense if your new country is not within driving distance, with some flights costing up to £800 per person depending on the destination.

Average cost: The most common employment-based US visa are around £450, and the equivalent for Australia is £2,100.

Moving your Pets

If you’re planning on moving abroad with your pet, then you have to consider the specific entry requirements for that country. You must remember to check out the requirements in your destination country a few months before moving. Bringing your pet abroad is going to be expensive as not only do they need a plane ticket, you will also need to pay for:

  • Microchip
  • Pet Passport
  • Vaccinations
  • Special travel crates

There are many factors that can influence the cost of moving abroad with your pet e.g. the breed, size of the animal and any veterinary requirements your pet needs. For more information, take a look at our blog post about moving your pets abroad.

Average cost: To ship a cat abroad, it can typically cost between £500 – £1,000. With dogs it can be up to £1,000 – £4,000.

international moving costs includes your pets!

Furniture Transport

To save money on your move, it is often advised to sell your old furniture before you move. Then you can buy new furniture when you arrive at your destination! However, sometimes that is not an option when the furniture has sentimental value. Therefore, the costs may differ depending on the size of your furniture, the route length and whether you ship all your items in one go.

If transporting your furniture is too expensive and you intend to return to your country in the future, it might be worth looking into the cost of furniture storage as a cheaper alternative.

Average cost: As a rough estimate, moving a single piece of furniture within the EU can cost between £70 and £200.

Other Costs

Finally, when you’re moving internationally there are a handful of other factors that might influence your moving costs, including:

For this reason, we recommend that you fill out our quote form. Therefore, you can get the exact estimated cost of your move directly.

Find out your specific international moving costs by requesting free quotes!


What Next?

Moving to another country can be a stressful process. However, knowing in advance what international moving costs you need to consider will leave you better prepared for your relocation. If you are interested in receiving some removal quotes for your move, fill out our quick and easy form. Remember, moving overseas can be an overwhelming experience, but an exciting one too! We wish you the best of luck with your move!

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