International Moving Costs 2019 : The Ultimate Guide
How much does it cost to move abroad? This is one of the biggest worries people have when it comes to moving to another country. However, there isn’t one simple average moving cost for everyone, meaning the removals cost estimate can range between £5,000 to £25,000. Check out our detailed breakdown of the top 10 international moving costs and see how you can save on your move.
International Moving Company Costs
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: Shipping by sea is the cheapest option, 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:
|Destination||Road Cost||Sea 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:
|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 and transportation 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 cost 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 10 international removal companies within the UK.
Average cost: A professional packing service can add an extra £200 onto your move.
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.
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.
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. Read our moving your house into storage blog for more information and tips.
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.
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.
Flights and Visas
Paying for your belongings to be transported to another country is one thing, paying for the right to live there is another. Visas are very important when moving to another country permanently and vary greatly in price depending on where you are moving to. If you are interested in finding out what type of visas you need for certain countries, we have pages explaining different kind of visa in America, Australia, New Zealand and many more. 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:
- Pet Passport
- 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, whereas with dogs it can be up to £1,000 – £4,000.
To save money on your move, it is often advised to buy new furniture in your new location and then sell your old furniture before you move. However, sometimes that is not an option when the furniture has sentimental value. Therefore, keep in mind that 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.
Finally, when you’re moving internationally there are a handful of other factors that might influence your moving costs, including:
- Car transportation
- Transferring money abroad
- Renting or buying a new house
- Buying and transporting furniture
For this reason, we recommend that you fill out our quote form to get the exact estimate of your move from the moving companies directly.
Moving to another country can be a stressful process but knowing in advance what removal costs you need to consider will leave you better prepared for your international relocation. Fortunately, there are lots of ways of saving money on your moving fees along the way, such as booking flights and visas well in advance, transporting less furniture, and shipping your items by sea instead of air. If you are interested in receiving some removal quotes for your move, fill out our quick and easy form. It only takes a few minutes and can save you up to 40% on your house removal costs!
Remember, moving overseas can be an overwhelming experience, but an exciting one too! We wish you the best of luck with your move!