How to Choose a Good International Removal Company
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of choosing a good international removal company. Follow the advice below to help ensure your international home move is a stress-free as possible.
- Get a quote
- Compare companies
- Select and book
Get price estimates for your international home move. This takes only a minute and then you will receive up to 4 quotes.
Compare the international removal companies that have provided you with a quote. If one price is considerably lower than the others then that could be just to entice you to contact them. The price for your home move is unlikely to be wildly different between companies, the level of service though can be.
Research all you can about the removal companies that have contacted you. Check out their website, read reviews, check if they are members of any international movers association (more about that below), and be sure to ask them as many questions as you can (there’s a list of questions to ask your removal company down below). Expat forums can be a great source of information, often expats will be able to recommend a good removal company to you.
Select and book your removal company as soon as you have made your decision and have a move date. The more notice you give the removal company the more organised and better-prepared everyone will be for it.
Do International Removal Companies Have to Be Licenced?
Whilst it is not compulsory for removal companies to belong to any organization, or to be legally licenced, if they are it offers you as a consumer certain levels of protection and ensures certain standards of service are adhered to.
The main international removal company organisations are:
- BAR Overseas Group
BAR Overseas Group members have to adhere to strict standards of operation.
FIDI members must comply with over 200 quality measures that are regularly audited.
FAIM is the quality award for FIDI members.
How Are Goods Shipped Abroad?
- Land: This is often the cheapest method of transporting your goods but will obviously not be suitable for all international home moves.
- Sea. Dependent upon your destination, a shipping container is usually the most cost-effective way of moving overseas, although it will take longer for your things to arrive in-country.
- Air. The fastest but often most expensive way to move your household goods overseas.
Questions to Ask an International Removal Company
These are a selection of questions that you would want to ask a removal company. There may be many more based on what you intend to take and your destination.
#1 Are they a member of one of the international removal associations such as FIDI or FAIM? This will ensure that the company adheres to a strict set of rules and quality controls when carrying out your home move.
#2 Will you be assigned a move manager? Some removal firms will dedicate you a move manager who has extensive experience of the country you are moving to. This can be invaluable.
#3 Does the removal company use a third party? Will your removal company handle the entire move or hand your goods over to a third party in-country.
#4 Who is the point of contact in the delivery country? If you are not fluent in the language it will help if you have an English speaking point of contact during the move.
#5 What items can’t be shipped? Ask for a written list so that there can be misunderstandings.
#6 What does the insurance specifically cover and for how much? Some policies only cover a bare minimum so ask the question and check the small print of all policies you are given.
#7 Are your items tracked? Can you track the exact movements of your shipment?
#8 How long does it take to ship your goods? This is particularly important if you must have your items within a specific timeframe.
#9 Will they ship your pets?
#10 Can they produce packing crates for your valuable artwork?
#11 What are the shipping options? Your goods will be moved via air, sea, or land. There can be vast differences in the time taken and costs involved depending upon which way your items are moved. For some countries, there will be no option, but it worth asking the question and comparing the prices.
#12 Can they offer storage facilities?
#13 What are the payment methods and payment schedule?
How Much Does it Cost to Move Abroad 2023?
You will see from the prices that we were quoted below that there can be a huge difference is the cost of moving abroad. The lowest cost is usually by land and the highest by air (although not all routes offer all options).
The only way to get an accurate cost estimate for your international move is to request a cost estimate that reflects how much you have to move and where to.
These prices are for moving a few pieces of furniture and a few boxes.
How much does it cost to move to America?
On average a 1 bedroom home move to America costs £7,500 – £8,100
On average a 3 bedroom home to America costs £8,500 – £9,200
On average a 5 bedroom home to America costs £10,000 – £10,750
How much does it cost to move to China?
A 1 bedroom home move to China costs about £3,800 – £5,200
A 3 bedroom home move to China costs about £5,100 – £8,400
A 5 bedroom home move to China costs about £7,100 – £9,100
How much does it cost to move to Dubai?
A 1 bedroom home move to Dubai is about £2,500-£4,500
A 3 bedroom home move to Dubai is about £3,200-£7,500
A 5 bedroom home move to Dubai is about £4,300-£6,100
How Much Does It Cost to Move to Europe?
The vast majority of home moves to Europe will be by road transport but you can see from the examples below that the mode of transport will greatly affect the price of your home move.
For an accurate price quote and to determine the best way to move your things to Europe get 3-4 quotes from reputable international removal companies.
How much does it cost to move to France?
- It costs between £2,400-£4,000 to transport a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to France
- It costs between £3,600-£8,600 to transport a 3 bedroom home with furniture to France
How much does it cost to move from the UK to Germany?
- It costs between £2,400-£4,000 to transport a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to Germany
- It costs between £3,700-£8,200 to transport a 3 bedroom home with furniture to Germany
How much does it cost to move to Ireland?
- It costs between £2,100-£3,800 to transport a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to Ireland
- It costs between £2,800-£7,400 to transport a 3 bedroom home with furniture to Ireland
How much does to cost to move to Spain?
- It costs between £2,900-£3,900 to transport a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to Spain
- It costs between £4,900-£8,700 to transport a 3 bedroom home with furniture to Spain
You will find detailed country information and cost estimates for moving to every European country in How Much Does It Cost to Move to Europe
How Much Does it Cost to Move to The UK from Europe?
The cost of moving to the UK from Europe can vary enormously but the figures below will you give a rough idea of the price you can expect to pay.
Get quotes from 3-4 reputable removal firms which will take into consideration your exact requirements.
How much does it cost to move from France to the UK?
- It costs about €2,900-€4,600 to move a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to the UK from France
- It costs about €3,300-€6,900 to move a 3 bedroom home with furniture to the UK from France
How much does it cost to move from Germany to the UK?
- It costs about €2,900-€4,400 to move a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to the UK from Germany
- It costs about €3,300-€6,700 to move a 3 bedroom home with furniture to the UK from Germany
How much does it cost to move from Ireland to the UK?
- It costs about €2,200-€4,300 to move a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to the UK from Ireland
- It costs about €2,400-€6,700 to move a 3 bedroom home with furniture to the UK from Ireland
How much does to cost to move from Spain to the UK?
- It costs about €3,000-€4,300 to move a 1 bedroom home with no furniture to the UK from Spain
- It costs about €3,900-€6,800 to move a 3 bedroom home with furniture to the UK from Spain
Moving Back to the UK: A Checklist for Expats
Depending upon where you are coming from and how long you have been living abroad, these are things to consider putting on your moving back to the UK checklist.
- Declutter your home
- Organise a reputable international removal firm
- Open a UK bank account
- Organise the rental/purchase of your UK home
- Register for Tax in the UK
- Source a new job in the UK
- Register your children at a UK school
- Transfer your pension back to the UK
- Change your Driving Licence for a UK one
- Organise utility connection
- Register for Council Tax and onto the electoral roll
- Collate all health and dentistry records from your present home country
- Finalise all paperwork in the country you are leaving
- Pay all outstanding bills, taxes, fines
You will find comprehensive advice and tips about moving back to the UK in this guide: Moving Back to the UK: A Checklist for Expats
International Home Move Checklist
- Check your passport is in date on the date of your move
- Apply for visa and work permits if required
- Immunisations should be up to date
- Book flights
- Arrange transfers/car hire in your destination country
- Overnight accommodation booked
- Register kids in a new school
- Decide what you are taking. The fewer items you take the better
- Research and book the removal company
- Send out change of address notifications
- Cancel utilities
- Cancel subscriptions
- Pet vaccinations and passport should be valid on the date of your move
- Open international bank account
- Close UK bank account
- Notify the credit card company that you will be using it abroad
- Transfer pensions
- Medical insurance
- Travel insurance
- Home moving insurance
- Pet insurance
- Pack essentials bag
- Paperwork – important documents photocopied and electronic copies
- Mail forwarding to your new address
- Finalise all bills, credits, etc
- Get cash for arrival in your new country
For more detailed advice on how to move overseas read: International Home Moves: The Ultimate Home Moving Challenge?
Posted on February 18, 2020