International Moving Costs 2020 : Everything You Need to Know

Want to calculate your international moving costs? While there is no overarching average cost of moving to another country, here at Sirelo, we are committed to doing our bit to get you on the right track. The following article is a great way to further understand what contributes to your international moving costs, and therefore help you save money on the big move! What are you waiting for?  

Moving within the UK? We have also got you covered. Check out our domestic removal costs page 

International Moving Companies’ Prices

While you will quickly learn that the cost of moving overseas is determined by multiple factors, it is likely that the biggest single expense you will encounter is hiring a moving companyWondering how much an international removal company costsUnfortunately, there’s no one answer to that question either. However, the following information is a great way to learn how the total is calculated:  

  • Size of your moveSeem obvious right? The more you plan on taking, the most expensive your international moving costs will be. If you are not sure how to measure the quantity of your things, why not give our removal volume calculator a try!  
  • Distance. Again, it goes without saying that the further you intend to move, the more it will cost.  
  • Time of year. This one is slightly less obvious, but a useful tip to know! Summer is considered peak moving season. If you can hold out until the winter, you are likely to save money, and have more choices on which removal company to choose.  
  • Services included. International moving costs will also depend on whether you require any extra services from your removal company. Such services include packing and unpacking and moving of speciality furniture such as a grand piano or artworkA professional packing service can add £200 to your international moving ratesTherefore, there is no universal cost of shipping household goods overseas. 
  • Transportation method. International removals prices vary depending on what mode of transport you choose. Shipping via truck is a popular option, but not always viable (if you’re moving to Australia it’s safe to say you can rule this one out!) While sea freight is usually cheaper than air freightit takes longer, so consider what your priorities are when figuring out international moving rates 

N.B. If travelling by air or sea, you will need a container. Check out our container shipping costs page to learn about this!  

Still wondering how to get some hard and fast numbers on international moving costs? Now you have a better understanding of why the cost of moving overseas varies quite so much, we have created the following tables to get you in the swing of things. However, the best way to get an accurately calculate your international moving costs is to request free removal quotes, which are tailored to your specific circumstances.  

This table shows a summary of how much it costs to move to Europe. It indicates the removal costs of a three-bedroom house across different popular European locations.  

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

Moving further afield? How exciting! Below are some of the international removal costs for a three bedroom house 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

Conclusion: We hate to beat around the bush, but as you can see, calculating international moving rates isn’t a piece of cake. You can expect to pay anywhere between £1,500 and £10,000, based on the above factors.  

Insurance Costs

Before you dismiss getting insurance as a necessary expense, think again! While it may be tempting to avoid this upfront cost; trust us, your international moving costs will be a lot higher if your favourite antiques arrives in pieces and a box gets lost along the way. While most shipping companies include basic insurance as part of their quotes, this does not usually cover everything. Give yourself some peace of mind and factor insurance into your international moving costs 

To the nitty gritty. Based on a move valued at £40,000, including breakage, from the UK to mainland Europe, insurance can cost between £500-£600. From the UK to Australia, you are looking at figures closer to £850-£1,000. 

international-moving-costs

Cost of Packing Materials

Don’t be deceived! It is unlikely that this will be included in your international moving company’s pricesWhile a large moving box can be as little as £1.50, assuming you will need a few of these, it can begin to add up. As another estimate, a ten-metre roll of bubble wrap is usually in the realm of £5-6. If you require more information about where to acquire moving boxes and further cost estimations on this topic, we have a page dedicated to all your moving boxes needs!  

Sirelo top tip! Save on your international moving costs by sourcing second-hand packing material. And you will be saving the environment too; a double whammy!  

Storage Costs

While it would be nice if all the stars aligned, unfortunately, like most things in life, moving abroad is never quite as simple as that. It is unlikely that your shipment date and your moving date will be exactly the same, and so you may require to incorporate storage into your overall international moving costs.  

Prices will be based on the size of space you need to hire. Sometimes a removal company own warehouses in which you can store belongings at an extra price, so if you do opt for this, make sure to let them know.  

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

international moving costs with a couple

Customs Charges and Taxes

We hope you are not too overwhelmed at this point, but unfortunately the spending doesn’t stop hereIf you are moving within the EU, for the time being it is unlikely that you will have to pay custom’s duty, so you can skip this sectionMoving to another continent? Well first of all, let us say – we are jealous! Except that it means you might have customs charges. These vary depending on your final destination, but we recommend this customs duty calculator as a good starting point.  

Average cost: budget anywhere between £300 and £800 for customs charges when calculating your international moving costsFor a G7 country, customs duty is 0.8%, and for any other country it is 1.8% of your total move.  

Moving Your Pets

We know how important pets are. So, plan ahead and make sure you factor this into your international moving cost estimatesFirst things first, make sure your pet meets the specific import requirements of your destination country. If they don’t, they will not be let it; no matter how cute they are! Not only will you have to spend money on your pet’s plane ticket but consider the following expenses as well. I think you’re quickly learning that nothing in life comes cheap!  

  • Microchip 
  • Pet passport  
  • Vaccinations  
  • Special travel crates 

Average cost: Alongside this, your removal company will not factor the price of shipping your pet into their quotes. We recommend setting aside £500-£1,000 if you are moving a cat abroad, or £1,000-£4,000 for a dog. We hope this has encouraged you to get the ball rolling if you had not yet considered this as an essential part of your international moving costs. 

international moving costs includes your pets!

Flights and Visas

Unless you fancy being turned away at customs, we advise you do your research on whether you need a visa for your target country. While you can currently move to an EU country visa-free, this is likely to change at the end of 2020. Check out our blog on moving to Europe after Brexit for more information on this.  

Much like other international moving costs, there is no blanket price for visas. As an indicator, the most common employment based visa in the US are around £450, but this can be as much as £2,100 for the Australian equivalent. Our specific country pages outline visa costs for each country, so is a good place to start for research catered to you!  

Of course, if your destination is not within driving distance, be sure to consider the cost of your plane tickets when calculating your international moving cost estimate 

Other Costs

We hope this list has not exhausted you too much. If you consider the above factors, you are en route to calculating your international removal costs. However, before we leave you to get going on your adventure, we have a few final miscellaneous costs to consider. These might not always be applicable, but it’s worth keeping in mind:  

  • Car transportation  
  • Transferring money abroad  
  • Buying new furniture  

What Next?

Feeling overwhelmed? Excited? We hope the latter! Our number one top tip, is start planning early. Not only will it make the moving process less stressful, it also likely to help you save on your international moving costs. That way, you will have more to spend on exploring your new home upon arrival! Now you have a better grasp of the factors affecting average international moving costs, you are ready to begin working your way through our moving abroad checklist 

Last, but my no means lest, good luck! All of us at Sirelo are wishing you every success on your move.