2 Months Before Moving
Making travel arrangements To The UK
18. Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fares change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods.
19. Book Temporary Accommodation and a Rental Car
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in the UK, book temporary accommodation for when you first arrive. Depending on where you plan to live, you may also want to book a rental car.
Where possible, book temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work, or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
20. If Children are Accompanying You, Make Schooling Arrangements
At your child’s current school in America:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s education in the UK, you’ll need to:
- Understand how the United Kingdom education and schooling operates
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools for when you first arrive in the UK.
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
For further information, visit What is the Education and Schooling System Like in the UK? in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide.
21. Confirm Vehicle Transportation
Used vehicles can be imported inTo The UK duty and tax-free so long as they meet all customs requirements and you apply online for permission to import your car duty free. In addition, the vehicle cannot arrive any more than six months before your own arrival date, nor more than 12 months after your own arrival date.
You may also need to complete Moving to the United Kingdom Customs Form Importation of a Private Motor Vehicle into the United Kingdom on Transfer of Residence from Outside the European Community.
To avoid unnecessary headaches and expenses, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving expert for all your vehicle transportation requirements.
For further information, visit How to Import Vehicles inTo The UK in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide and our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
22. Confirm Pet Transportation
Confirming Pet Transportation To The UK
Most pets can be relocated To The UK, so long as they satisfy the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Animals that don’t meet the necessary requirements will be quarantined for four months at your own cost. To satisfy the requirements, the animal must be:
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have.
To ensure a stress-free relocation To The UK for your pet, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving professional about all your pet transportation requirements.
For more information, visit How to Import Pets inTo The UK in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide and our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health-checks are up-to-date and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
23. Confirm Weapons Importation Requirements
With Border Force working in conjunction with other UK Government agencies to control the import of weapons into the United Kingdom, weapons and firearms are subject to complicated customs clearance procedures and can be difficult to import. Weapons can delay customs clearances and result in additional charges. It is worth considering whether to import weapons at all.
For more information, visit How to Import Weapons inTo The UK in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide and our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
24. Confirm Alcohol Importation Requirements
You may import wines and other alcoholic beverages into the United Kingdom as part of your household goods shipment. However, as America is outside the European Union, alcohol imported into the United Kingdom is subject to UK excise duty upon arrival unless hand-carried by the importer. Rates of duty and tax are high (typically 10% to 20% duty, plus 20% VAT). As such, in most cases, it is cheaper to buy the same product in the UK.
For more information, visit How to Import Alcohol inTo The UK in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide and our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
25. Confirm Plant Importation Requirements
Importing plants inTo The UK is difficult from America, due to the country being outside the European Union. Many plants are either completely banned from importation or have significant weight and size restrictions.
For more information, visit How to Import Plants inTo The UK in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide and our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
26. Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving To The UK for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment options for yourself.
For more information, visit How to Find Employment in the UK and What is Working in the UK Like? in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide.
27. Investigate Local Customs and Cultural Differences
If you're an British moving To The UK, you should investigate local customs and common cultural differences to help you assimilate more easily into British culture on arrival.
For more information on some of the common cultural differences, visit our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide:
28. Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving To The UK unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer and the cost of your move and storage will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you're not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship To The UK
- Keep and place in secure long-term storage in America
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away.
29. Start Packing
How can I move To The UK with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at UniGroup Worldwide. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will also help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their long journey To The UK.
If you're not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material, like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals like tape, markers and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and CDs and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 20kg 45lb to make moving the box easy and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement and breakages and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
For more information visit our Ultimate How to Pack for Moving Tips & Guide.
30. Complete Your Customs Declaration Forms as You Pack
Complete your customs declaration forms as you pack. This will help ensure the forms are completed as accurately as possible. The information you’ll need includes:
- A list of the items in your shipment
- The value of each item
- Whether each item was purchased within the last year.
You must also submit an online application to UK Customs to apply for relief from duty and tax when importing your household goods into the United Kingdom. Customs will process this application and, if successful, issue you with a Unique Reference Number, which you must pass onto your moving company.
For more information, visit our United Kingdom Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
31. Organize Your Finances
- Find out whether your current bank has branches in the UK and if it can handle your future needs
- If you're moving overseas for work, but you're employed by the same company, confirm whether your salary needs to be paid into your existing bank account or into your new UK account
- If you plan on using your existing debit and credit cards in the UK, confirm whether they will work and what the fees are likely to be
- Organize some local currency for when you first arrive
- Consider opening a new local bank account near your new home
- Make sure you have copies of bank statements and other documentation that proves you have a good credit rating. This will make applying for new credit cards and loans easier
- Ensure all your tax returns are up-to-date.
For more information, visit What is a Credit Rating? in our Ultimate How to Move to the UK from America Guide.