Skip to main content

How can I keep costs down when I move abroad?

How can I keep costs down when I move abroad?
Click to enlarge

Moving abroad is certainly expensive, but there are ways to save cash

Throwing money at your move abroad will certainly give you an easier time; but there are a few choices about your move you can make to save money that will be better spent on your new life abroad.

Send your domestic goods by sea freight

The method you use to send your domestic goods can make a huge difference to the final bill for your move abroad. Sea freight is much cheaper than air freight, although it does take much longer.

If time is of the essence, air freight may be the only choice for your move. But if you are happy to manage for a few months without your furniture, then sea freight is the best choice for the budget-conscious who are moving overseas.

Compare quotes for your move abroad

As with any service, it pays to compare quotes when you move abroad. Get at least three quotes from different companies for packing and freighting. You may find you can make savings if you get one company to pack for you and another to do the freighting – although getting one service provider to organise both shipping and packing will save time and effort. We only work with removals companies that are members of a reputable removal association such as BAR, OMNI, FIDI or IAM, and these memberships can be a useful guide as to whether you are looking at a caring, reliable company.

You should also shop around for your removals insurance, too. Many moving companies have their own insurance offering, which seems convenient; but do think about the benefits of getting your insurance from an independent organisation.

A spreadsheet will help you to model all the different options, and it will help you to keep track of the spend on your move.

Do I need shipping insurance?

If you are planning a budget move, you may be wondering if you can get away with not getting removals insurance. It seems like an easy saving – but reputable removals and shipping companies will not provide a service if you do not insure your goods. We say, if you think your goods are not worth insuring, it may be that they are not worth bringing!

Get a quote from us now for your move abroad – it’s quick and simple and it’s another job ticked off your list!

Don’t take everything with you

You can make tempting savings on your move abroad by not freighting goods you don’t need.

The truth is that some items are not worth moving. It may be that you can buy furniture cheaply at your destination. Or you might not need some of your possessions – for example winter clothing if you are heading for a hot climate. Small electricals bought in the UK may not be compatible with the power supply in your new home, so it’s not worth moving with them. And everyone has some junk in their lives – a prime candidate for this would be boxes from a previous move that you haven’t unpacked.

For each item, ask ‘Will it be more expensive to ship it than to buy it new at my destination’?

You don’t need every service

Some moving costs you cannot avoid, but there are some tasks, like unpacking that you could do yourself. We do, however, recommend that you use your removal company’s professional packing service, as this will help keep the costs of your insurance down and reduce the chances of your goods getting damaged in transit. But we can insure owner-packed goods if you decide to do it yourself – just make sure you provide us with an inventory.

Avoid customs charges

When we say ‘avoid’ we’re not talking about smuggling goods, of course! But measures that you might think would save you money can actually increase your customs charges. For example, professionally packed goods are easier for border officials to examine than self-packed goods, so they are less likely to attract extra fees and charges.

A detailed inventory will also keep your customs charges down and avoid delays – as well as being needed for insurance purposes, and an inventory document is very useful when you unpack.

Moving abroad is an expensive business, but by taking a few easy steps you can keep costs down