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How much does it cost to move abroad

When Winter stabs its icy fingers at us Brits our thoughts tend to turn to sun-kissed beaches, the lapping Mediterranean and those colourful little drinks with paper umbrellas.

You can say what you like about UK, but the climate is undeniably bottom of the list of attractions. But when you are dreaming of moving abroad have you ever wondered how much it costs?

Here are some helpful tips on how much it typically costs to up sticks and start a new life overseas. 


Taking into consideration the costs expats will need to pay before even entering the new country, overseas property experts at Property Guides have covered approximate amounts for shipping belongings, visa applications and even customs duty. 

A dream

For many, it will always have been a dream to move abroad, but more and more people are looking into it now to escape the cost of living crisis in the UK.

In fact, recent research by PropertyGuides.com revealed that over half of those who are thinking about moving abroad said that the cost of living crisis has encouraged them to make the move (54% of respondents). 

But how much might you really need to set aside to start a new life on foreign soil. 

Christopher Nye, senior content editor at www.PropertyGuides.com, said: “With the cost of living soaring in the United Kingdom, it’s not surprising that more and more people are wanting to move abroad.

 “The UK has felt quite unstable recently. We’ve just welcomed another new prime minister, the value of the pound has fallen and risen dramatically, the cost of living is reaching an all-time high, and the housing crisis shows no sign of being rectified anytime soon. 

“What holds many people back from seriously considering a move overseas is simply not knowing how much it costs. So, we’ve done the maths to give families a rough idea of what they should expect to have to pay. 

“The total cost of moving yourself, your family, your household items and even your pets abroad might seem huge. In the long run, however, it could turn out to be cheaper and perhaps offer you a better quality of life.”

1. Shipping and packing of belongings (£2,000 - £5,000)

If you’re thinking about moving abroad, the first thing that you need to consider is the shipping costs, alongside the cost to pack away your belongings. Shipping costs can range from anywhere between £1,500 to £5,000*, depending on the distance that you’re sending your belongings, as well as how quickly you want your belongings to get to your new home. 

When you compare shipping costs with the expense (and hassle) of buying everything new, those costs will often work out very well. However, do check that your goods will work in your chosen country.

2. Visa costs (£60 - £100) 

While we’ve always needed a visa to live in countries like the USA or Australia, since Brexit you’ll need one to spend more than 90 days in every six months within the EU. The cost of a visa to move from the United Kingdom to Spain is €80**, but the process can take several weeks, requires a minimum income or a special working visa, and usually requires the expense of a lawyer. 

In order to apply for a visa you need to ensure that you have a National Visa form, a health insurance policy, a bank certificate as proof of funds, passport photos, a passport with a validity of at least one year and a clean criminal record. 

3. Customs duty (Cost varies depending on items brought across) 

Customs duty is hard to budget for as you don’t know how much you’re going to have to pay until you’re actually moving your items across to your new country. However, for reference, if you’re thinking of moving to Spain, your customs duty will be 21%*** of the full value of your items. 

It’s worth looking into the customs duty rules for the country you’re looking at moving to, as some countries have duty-free policies for importing used household goods which are for personal use, rather than being items that are going to be sold in the country. 

4. Flights (£200 - £1,000) 

If you’re lucky, you may be able to secure cheap flights to your moving destination from the UK, especially if it’s within Europe. However, it’s important to also factor in the cost of flights for viewing properties, schools, workplaces and any other trips you need to take before making the final move. 

5. Pets (£500 - £4,000) 

Depending on the pet that you have, the cost of moving your four-legged friend to your new home will vary. Smaller animals, including cats, tend to cost under £1,000 to move abroad, whereas moving a dog can cost up to £4,000*, depending on the breed and size. 

Alongside the costs to put your pet on a flight, you’ll also have to ensure that you’ve paid for, or already sorted out a microchip, vaccinations (including rabies), a pet passport, quarantine for your arrival and an IATA-approved travel crate. 

6. Furniture and household belongings (£1,000+) 

In some cases, especially if you’re looking to make the move a little easier and perhaps a bit cheaper, you may have decided not to bring your furniture and other household items with you on the move. If this is the case, you’re going to need to spend a little bit of money once you’ve settled into your new home, to make it feel like home again. 

Across Europe you’ll find many Ikeas and other household furniture stores, where you’re likely to find fairly reasonably priced furniture.

Property Guides is a free, impartial resource to help people buy property and move abroad safely and risk-free.

It collates resources from a trusted and award-winning source of unbiased and up-to-date information, with a team made up of experts that help clients buy property in favourite destinations like Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and many more. 

For more information, please visit https://www.propertyguides.com/ 


* https://www.movehub.com/advice/international-removal-costs/ 

** https://housinganywhere.com/Spain/moving-to-spain-after-brexit 

*** https://www.easyship.com/en-gb/duties-and-taxes-calculator/spain 


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