Your Comprehensive International Removal Cost Guide

The prospect of moving overseas – whether it be to Europe, America, Asia or elsewhere – could be pretty exciting. After all, there’s nothing like starting fresh somewhere you’ve never been to – or if you have, it could be a place you’ve only ever visited as a tourist or guest. Also, getting to know a different country, discovering new ways of living (culture) and meeting new people are adventures in and of themselves.

International Removals Prices - Guide

However, whether you’re relocating internationally for work, education or another reason temporarily or permanently, alone or with your family, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with international removals prices.

While the last few months before your international move from Australia would probably be spent on packing, finalising logistical arrangements and a lot of paperwork, you need to prepare for the cost of moving abroad first.

After all, you would want to keep your stress to a minimum during this very busy period. One way of doing this is by staying on top of shipping costs when moving overseas. And to make this step a little easier for you, we’ve put together this guide to average international moving costs.

 

➜ Learn more about Relocation WA's International Removals

Disclaimer: All costs stated in this guide are in Australian dollars (unless otherwise indicated) and are indicative only, reflecting industry pricing. The average costs presented do not necessarily represent Relocations WA’s own pricing scheme. Costs can change frequently depending on many factors, such as the time of year you are booking the services of your chosen removalist, the amount of possessions you wish to move, your destination country, etc.

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How Much Does It Cost to Move Overseas?

When your move abroad is imminent, one of your first few questions will likely be: How much money do I need to move overseas? How much does it cost to move furniture overseas? How much does an international move cost?

Calculating how much you’ll spend is no simple matter as the cost of moving abroad from Australia depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Where you are moving to
  • When you plan to move (peak or off-season)
  • How much of your possessions you want to move
  • Whether you are moving with pets
  • Whether you’ll be moving your things by sea or air
  • Whether you’ll need temporary accommodation
  • Whether you’ll be using temporary storage facilities in your host country

For example, the overall average international cost of moving the contents of a 3-bedroom home when moving from Australia to the United Kingdom can range between $5,000 and $8,500 (excludes goods and services tax or GST). This ballpark estimate involves moving the furnishings and belongings of a 3-bedroom dwelling valued at around $75,000* from port to port or by sea. This estimate does not include your airfare, immigration fees and the cost of related paperwork, pet boarding and relocation, labour, etc.

Also, the cost of moving abroad could also be less if you decide to sell off or give away a large portion of your possessions, whether it be certain household furnishings and appliances, clothes, hobby items, etc.

Our reason for using a 3-bedroom as a basis is because according to the latest data published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the average number of people per household in the country is 2.6.

Of course, you may be living alone or have more family members moving with you. Whichever scenario applies to you; you’ll need to get reliable international moving quotes. This way, you can prepare financially, well ahead of your moving date.

To get your personalised international move quote, just click on the button below.

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How Are International Removalist Costs Calculated?

Each move is unique, so how much a family member or friend may have spent on their international move might not necessarily apply to you – even if you have similar homes or the same number of family members.

This means that the average international moving costs for your particular move will have to be calculated individually. This is where using a reliable and updated international moving costs calculator comes in handy.

Of course, aside from using an international moving cost estimate calculator, you could also ask for quotes directly from your prospective international removalists. Just make sure you inquire months ahead of your move, so you have ample time to prepare financially and make a moving checklist to reduce the stress of moving abroad. Alternatively, you can also use our own ready-made list.

➜ Access our comprehensive Moving Overseas Checklist 

International Moving Cost Breakdown

Some of the factors that would affect international removals prices include:

 

  • Volume of belongings or household size (whichever applies): How much of your possessions will you be taking with you to your host country? The more items you’ll be moving, the higher the cost. Also, will you be moving a vehicle overseas, too? Depending on the size and weight of your vehicle, the international auto shipping method, the distance to the destination country, and the necessary foreign customs taxes and levies, vehicle shipping expenses can range from $700 to $4,000 or more.

 

  • Destination country: The country you are moving to will determine the relocation distance and cost, so it’s an important factor that’ll figure in determining international removals prices. For example, you’d expect it to be cheaper to move to Singapore in Asia than, say, France in Europe.

 

  • Mode of transport (sea or air): Moving your possessions by sea would be cheaper than by air. If you’re moving the contents of a 20-foot container to the UK, for example, the cost would be around $3,000. For a 40-foot container to the same destination, the cost would be approximately $4,500. If you opt for air freight, you can save time as the move will be faster; however, you also need to prepare for the high cost. Besides, there are specific requirements for air cargo. For example, individual cartons shouldn’t weigh more than a hundred pounds (45.3kg), and the exterior dimension of each box shouldn’t exceed 90 inches (228.6cm).

 

  • The time of year: Removalists are usually really busy from December to January and the next few months after summer, so expect rates to be higher during peak season. Since some companies don’t operate during holidays, moving on such dates could also prove costlier. At any rate, it’s ideal to book removal services months before your planned move to get the best price for your international move.

 

  • Add-on Services: moving insurance, packing services, storage, cleaning, rubbish removal, pet boarding & transportation, are optional services which incur additional expenses. The cost of all of these services are explained further below.

 

  • Shipping speed: When it comes to shipping, the faster you want it, the more it usually costs in terms of moving prices. Exclusive containers are like the speedsters of sea shipping, followed by LCL shipments and groupage. But if speed's your game, air freight takes the prize as the fastest way to go. Sometimes, folks even team it up with sea shipments for stuff like baby gear or clothes that just can't wait.

 

  • Exclusive container vs. shared container: You've got two main options when shipping your household stuff: exclusive or shared containers, which play a significant role in determining your moving overseas shipping costs. Exclusive containers, think about the 6-metre ones, can hold what you'd typically find in a regular 3-bedroom home, just about the size of a single garage. If your move fills most of that container, going exclusive often gives you the best bang for your buck. If you're moving lighter or don't mind a slower ride, shared containers might be your vibe. With these, you're only paying for the space you need. It's like hopping in with other shipments headed to the same place or getting your stuff packed into a crate by a freight consolidator for the trip.

 

  • Services included: Normally when you get a quote for overseas removals, it consists of the following: loading, transportation, customs clearance, and unloading (but a little double-check never hurts!). Beyond these basics, you often get a menu of extra services to make your move smoother. It's an excellent call to consider whether you'll need these add-ons and include them in your budget.

 

  • Selection of moving company: Not all play by the same quality rulebook when it comes to international removalists. Sometimes, you might need to fork out a bit more if you're gunning for top-notch service. Now, companies are rocking quality certifications and pro accreditations. They've put their time and resources into beefing up their systems and team to slash the chances of any moving-day disasters. It's a smart call to ask about their qualifications and keep an eye out for those gold-star companies certified for that extra peace of mind.

 

As you can see, there are so many factors that can impact the final cost of your move abroad. So give yourself enough lead time to make the necessary calculations and plan your international relocation in detail.

Moving Overseas Shipping Costs by Destination

Although international moving costs averages certainly vary as each moving situation is different, you might want to have an idea of overseas shipping costs based on the destination.

Below is a simple table outlining how much it would cost on average to move goods that fit in a 20-foot container from Australia to specific international destinations (port-to-port) from Fremantle, WA.

Moving Destination Cost Range (AUD)
Canada (Montréal)$4,200 - $4,400
Canada (Vancouver)$1,300 - $1,650
China (Shanghai)$1,150- $1,300
France (Marseilles)$3,100 - $3,500
Italy (Venice)$3,000 - $3,400
Japan (Tokyo)$1,280 - $1,400
New Zealand (Auckland)$850 - $1,000
Singapore$1,050 - $1,150
United Kingdom (London)$3,800 - $4,300
USA (Los Angeles)$1,300 - $1,650
USA (New York)$3,900 - $4,200

The prices stated above are based on data provided by worldfreightrates.com. Prices only include port-to-port transportation from Fremantle, WA to your selected destination and the calculation is based on the contents of a three-bedroom dwelling. Removalist services are not included in those prices!

Again, these prices are general and are industry-based, so keep this in mind when creating a budget for your international move.

International Removal Prices Examples by Number of Bedrooms

Choose from the following bedroom sizes to get typical estimates updated for this year to get an idea of the estimated cost of moving between UK and Australia as well as between Australia and New Zealand (see tabs).

Australia – United Kingdom

Here are some examples of average international moving cost ranges by number of bedrooms when moving between Western Australia and UK.

 

1 Bedroom

The average international moving cost to UK for a 1-bedroom dwelling is between $5,000 and $7,500 (excludes GST)

2 Bedrooms

A good overseas moving cost to UK estimate for a 2-bedroom dwelling ranges between $7,000 and $10,000 (excludes GST)

3 Bedrooms

For this move to UK, a fair cost estimate for a 3-bedroom would cost anywhere between $12,500 and $17,000 (excludes GST)

4 Bedrooms

A move to UK from a 4-bedroom dwelling could cost an average of somewhere between $13,500 and $18,000 (excludes GST)

5 Bedrooms

The average cost of a move from Australia to UK from a 5-bedroom house could range between $19,000 and $26,000 (excludes GST)

 

➜ Learn more about Moving from Australia to UK (& vice versa)

Australia - New Zealand

Unexpected Costs of International Moving

Jetting off to another country is thrilling, but don't forget to brace yourself for those sneaky surprise costs that usually pop up during international moves.

Cancellations made at the last minute

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes, life throws a curveball, and folks must cancel or delay a move. When that happens, most international moving companies might slap on scaling cancellation fees, especially if it's at the eleventh hour. These fees help cover the resources set aside for your move that they might not be able to sell off quickly enough to cover their costs. Now, some movers are offering a cancellation waiver—a little upfront fee that saves you from getting hit with those cancellation charges if you need to postpone or cancel your move suddenly. Wondering how much does it cost to move overseas? This waiver might be a lifesaver in case plans change unexpectedly.

Ways to mitigate unexpected expenses: Life throws curveballs sometimes, so here's a top tip: Take a peek at your removal company's terms and conditions. That way, you'll know about any surprise charges or financial protection they've got lined up.

Changes in currency values

Usually, the container space fees on a ship are in US dollars or Euros, while local currency covers destination services in international moving. But, you know, between that quoting time and when the shipment sails, things can change. Usually, the moving company handles small shifts in rates, taking a hit or gaining a bit in profit. Yet, when there are significant changes—like economic roller coasters—these cost swings might hit you in international moving. If the rate change doesn't swing your way, brace yourself for potential extra charges when your mover gets the actual freight or destination costs.

How to Lower the Cost of My International Relocation?

Here are a few cost-saving ideas:

  • Cut down on what you're moving: Before the big move, give your stuff a once-over to bring only what you need for removal prices.
  • Keep your move date flexible: Think about quieter days—like school breaks, Fridays, or end-of-month rushes—for potential deals from movers.
  • Keep an open schedule: Choosing slower sailings or fitting in with the moving company's nearby work could improve your deal for international furniture removal prices. Smaller shipments might get a sweet rate without needing a memorable trip.
  • Be ready to roll: Get all your paperwork in gear to speed shipping. Quick tip—loading straight from home to the port (if doable) might save you some cash instead of going through the company warehouse.
  • Get covered: Insurance might seem like a small expense, but it's better than footing the bill for damaged items or getting caught in a maritime mess for removal prices.
  • Go with the pros: Pick a certified company to lower the odds of surprise costs if things don't go as planned for removal prices.

Other Overseas Moving Cost Considerations

Before you finalise your international moving cost calculations, you also need to take into consideration some often unexpected fees that can add to your overseas moving expenses.

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Customs Duty for Moving Furniture Overseas

Whilst relocating to any country, it is critical to have all of the necessary paperwork for entry. Keep in mind that regulations, particularly duty tax amounts and percentages, vary frequently and could change without warning. Therefore, having a current list of documents, forms, and matching customs requirements provided by the destination agency and/or the country’s customs authorities is important. A copy of your passport and visa, an inventory of the goods being delivered, and country-specific importation paperwork are all common documentation requirements.

Note that some countries have customs duties even if you’re bringing in used furniture.

In general, however, household goods must be six months to a year old to be deemed duty exempt; otherwise, they may be subject to taxation.

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Visa Costs

Unlike tourist visas, getting a visa for a long-term stay can be more complicated. Depending on the visa you are applying for, you can expect to spend upwards of $5,000.

To save time and reduce stress, you could look into hiring a migration agent who’s well-versed with all the requirements. Of course, if you take this route, you should also prepare a budget for this service.

An initial consultation with a migration agent could cost you $100, whilst end-to-end assistance with sponsorship and visa application matters could set you back by about $2,500 or more per person.

Tax

Clearance at Customs, Duties, and Taxes

When you're moving abroad, one thing you can't control is the fees and taxes slapped on by the new country. These costs can become pretty hefty, so consider what they might mean for your wallet especially when you’re mulling over how much does it cost to move countries.

Here's the deal: Most moving companies don't profit from these fees—they just pass on what the government charges on your stuff in overseas relocation. They might make you sign paperwork saying you'll cover these costs, but it's not money going into their pockets.

These charges—customs duties—depend on what you're shipping and how much it's worth in overseas relocation. Generally, the fancier the goods, the higher the fees.

Then, taxes are connected to the value of what you bring. But unlike customs duties, taxes vary depending on the type of items. So, before you make that big international move, it's smart to dig into customs duties and taxes to figure out precisely what you'll be shelling out once you land in the new spot.

Travelling Cost When Moving Overseas (One-Way Flight Tickets)

Travelling costs are not always the first thing you would consider in your overall calculation when moving overseas, however, it can definitely add quite a bit to your overall expenses.

In general, the earlier you book your flights, the cheaper it will be.

Travel Cost (Economy)

Perth – London, UK

Adult Ticket Cost: ~$595 to 1,484

1 Adult + Child (Up to 11 Years Old) Ticket Cost Per Passenger: ~$1,159 to 2,212

*Note: Flight costs change all the time, please do your own research online for accurate flight ticket prices. The ticket prices quoted also do not include visa-related and customs fees.

Check flight ticket prices flying from Perth to London

Costs of Optional International Removal Services

The below list gives you an indication of costs for optional overseas moving services.

Storage Cost When Moving Interstate or International

Storage Costs

Storage can be very useful if you are moving overseas for a set period of time and you don't want to bring all your belongings with you.

It helps to get your head around storage prices before you ask for quotes. There are several storage options available, for example container storage or self storage units. For 12 month container storage in Australia, you could be looking at around $70 per month. Self storage units could cost you anywhere between $70-$400 per month, depending on the space required and length of storage services.

If you don’t want to have all of your goods delivered to your new house at the new destination right away, you’ll have to find a storage facility in the country you are moving to for this particular need. You can also ask us to help you find a suitable storage provider and we might even have local contacts. Don’t forget to get insurance for your peace of mind, too.

➜ Learn more about our Removals and Storage Solutions

Transit Insurance Cost When Moving Interstate or Overseas

International Moving Transit Insurance Costs

The cost of insuring your goods would depend on how much is being transported or the volume of the items, the shipping mode, route and distance.

Overseas moving transit insurance costs start from around $120.

➜ Learn more about Moving Transit Insurance

International Money Transfer Cost When Moving Overseas

International Money Transfer Fees

When making international money transfers, you will find the fees vary significantly as well as the exchange rates. Whilst using your local bank may be convenient, it could also be more expensive compared to other Money Transfer options. At Relocations WA, we have partnered with a reliable and cost effective international money transfer platform.

To ensure you don’t lose money, it’s best to do your research to ensure you’re not saving on fees at the expense of the exchange rate and vice versa.

➜ Learn more about International Money Transfer Costs

Packing Services Cost When Moving Interstate and International

Packing Services Cost

Relocations WA offer packing (and unpacking) services to their customers. The cost factors usually involve how much needs to be packed and how soon. You’ll also need to factor in any fragile, high-value or big-ticket items that require specialised packing materials.

To give you an idea of how much a box costs, a standard carton is priced at $22, a book carton at $6.50, and a porta robe at $24.00 per carton.

➜ Learn more about Moving Overseas Packing Costs

Vacate Cleaning Cost When Moving Interstate or Overseas

Vacate Cleaning Prices

Cleaning costs vary depending on which services you want from your removalist. Normally you'll be provided with a cleaning checklist or an itemised list with options like vacuuming, mopping floors, sanitizing toilets and sinks, and organizing bedrooms.

On average, vacate cleaning costs can be between $200 - $1,000 (depending on the size of your dwelling).

➜ More info on Vacate Cleaning

Pet Transport Cost When Moving Interstate or International

International Pet Transport Cost

If you have fur babies, you’ll want to take your pets with you – not unless you’re planning to get them rehomed or adopted. But if you’re taking them to your new place, you’ll need to arrange for their safe transportation to your new residence, either personally or through a removalist. You can of course ask us to provide pet transportation as part of your overseas relocation. In any case, pet shipping costs vary significantly depending on the services you need, like blood tests, collection from your Australia residence, microchipping, veterinary checks, flight bookings, import permits, government health certificates and approvals, etc. To answer the question ‘how much does it cost to ship a pet overseas’, you need to identify the services you need.

To give you an idea, a cat might cost you anywhere from $700 to $2,000 to transport overseas, while shipping a dog abroad can set you back by around $2,000 to $7,000.

The final cost would also depend on which country you’re taking your pet and might also include pet boarding should you need this additional service.

Why Opt for Relocations WA for Your International Move?

When you want a stress-free move with a reliable, friendly and professional local, interstate and international removalist, then Relocations WA is a natural choice.

With us, you are assured of cheerful and top-notch services without any unpleasant surprises and hidden fees that could ruin your budget because we’re upfront with all our fees and dealings.

At Relocations WA, we’ve seen it all with our nearly six decades of service.

We encourage you to find out the quality of our services by checking out our many Google reviews from satisfied clients.

Take advantage of our personalised, tailored full relocation services.

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