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International Removals: Your Complete Guide

Moving overseas is an exciting adventure for anyone, especially if you’re moving with your family!

Knowing where to start can be a challenge. Here is a complete guide to moving overseas covering shipping costs, planning a move, removals insurance, and all the other factors involved to help you enjoy a stress-free move.

Planning your international removals

When you first start thinking about your international move, you will have many factors to consider. Moving to another country is a huge change, and you will have to think about:

  • Sorting out your visas + work permits
  • Finding employment abroad
  • Finding a place to live
  • Specialist mortgages for expats
  • Finding suitable schools for your children
  • Sorting out your taxes in both your current country and your new destination
  • Opening a bank account
  • Getting health insurance

These should all be considered your initial steps when you first start planning to move overseas. But once you have worked these out, you then have to sort out the actual moving, which involves getting all of your belongings from A to B – and that is where international removals companies come in.

Choosing an international removals company

There are many international removals companies to choose from, and they all come with slightly different services and prices. One option is to visit the websites of the different companies and compare them individually. But if you want to speed up the process, you can use a comparison service like MoveHub’s.

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Using our simple tool, you can quickly get up to 6 quotes for your international removals, allowing you to compare and find the best prices and fit for you in just a few clicks.

International removals costs

Whether you will be transporting your belongings by land or sea, it is good to have a rough idea of the costs involved before arranging your removals.

Calculating shipping costs

The costs are affected by the volume of the belongings you need to transport and how far you need to transport them. For example, a 40-foot container from Australia to the UK will cost more than a 20-foot container from France to the USA.

Prices range from just over £1,000 GBP to as much as £15,000 GBP, which is why it is so important to spend some time researching your options.

Shipping by land

If you are moving from one European country to another, your belongings will be transported by lorry. One lorry – about the size of a 40-foot container – is usually enough to transport the contents of a three-bedroom home.

Shipping by sea

If shipping by sea, metal freight containers are used to transport your belongings, and the price is affected by the volume, which is measured in cubic feet. A standard 20-foot container is 1,172 cubic feet, and a larger 40-foot container is 2,390 cubic feet.

You can get an idea of the general costs involved by checking our table of prices. Then get a quote by filling out our form to find out exactly how much you can expect to pay.

Additional removals costs

The containers are the main expense, but there are other costs involved. These include:

  • Packing and unloading fees if you decide to pay for this service
  • Door-to-door delivery compared to collecting your belongings from the port
  • Temporary storage costs if you are unable to receive your belongings on the arranged date
  • Other fees including cargo inspection fees and local taxes

In addition, there is one other important cost that you may want to consider: insurance.

Do you need insurance?

Sending all of your belongings across the ocean in a container can be a worry for anyone. Although your goods are likely to arrive in perfect condition, this is never guaranteed – and this is where insurance can help.

Items can get damaged in bad weather, and belongings can get lost during transitions. The risks are low, but insurance allows you to cover the value of your personal property to give you greater peace of mind.

Finding removals insurance

To get removals insurance, first work out exactly what you are transporting, then work out their combined value. Once you know the value of your belongings, you can start looking for quotes from insurers.

Some removals companies provide insurance as an add-on, but you can also buy insurance separately. Your best option is to compare your options until you find a price you are happy with. In general, expect to pay anything from 1% to 5% of the value of your belongings.

Start planning your international move

These are some of the main factors to consider when you move abroad. The best thing you can do is start planning as soon as you know that you are going to be moving.

The more time you have to find an international removals company, plan your costs and sort out insurance, the more likely you are to enjoy a hassle-free move.