Getting Ready for Your Move to the UK?

In recent years, an increasing number of Australians have chosen to pack up their belongings and make the journey across the world to start their lives anew in a different country. For some, the United Kingdom comes as a natural choice.

For people moving to the UK from Australia, several key factors appear to be at play, including career opportunities, educational pursuits, and a desire for new cultural experiences.


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Why People Are Moving to the UK From Australia?

For some Australians moving to the UK, the latter offers a wealth of career opportunities for skilled professionals from various sectors. And with the City of London being a global financial hub, professionals in the finance, technology, and consulting industries are particularly drawn to the UK.

Also, the UK’s world-famous creative industries, including fashion, arts, and media, attract talented individuals moving to the UK and eager to make their mark on the global stage. Consequently, many people moving from Australia to the UK are enticed by the prospect of pursuing their dreams in a thriving international job market.

The country’s prestigious educational institutions also play a significant role in drawing people to move from Australia to the UK. The University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and the London School of Economics all offer unparalleled academic experiences, world-class research facilities, and networks that can bolster the careers of students and academics alike.

It’s no wonder the allure of these esteemed institutions has led many Australians to pursue their studies in the UK, with the hope of reaping the benefits of a well-regarded British education.

Moving from Australia to UK

Of course, the rich history and unique cultural landscape of the UK have long captivated the imaginations of Australians. The country’s diverse regions, each steeped in centuries of tradition, offer a stark contrast to Australia’s relatively young history.

The prospect of immersing oneself in this melting pot of cultures, from the quaint charm of English villages to the vibrant streets of London, has long proven irresistible to individuals moving to England from Australia seeking new experiences.

How to Move to the UK from Australia?

When Australians decide to move to the United Kingdom, one of the key logistical challenges they face is the transportation of their household items. In deciding on how to move to the UK from Australia, your key considerations would include how much you own or your household size and budget.

The two primary methods of transporting belongings internationally are air freight and sea freight, with each offering its unique set of advantages and drawbacks.

Air Freight

When it comes to planning one’s move to the UK from Australia, air freight is easily the fastest mode of transporting household items. This option is particularly beneficial if you need your belongings to arrive quickly.

However, air freight is also the more expensive option, with costs determined by the weight and volume of your shipment. Additionally, due to space constraints in aircraft cargo holds, there may be limitations on the size and types of items that can be transported. This is why air freight is best suited for smaller shipments or if you prioritise speed over cost.

Sea Freight

To make your move as seamless as possible, it’s best to partner with an experienced international moving company like Relocations WA.

We can provide guidance and assistance in coordinating the logistics of your move to the UK.

How Much Does It Cost to Move to the UK?

The cost of moving to the UK from Australia depends on various factors, such as the volume and weight of the items being shipped, the mode of transportation (air or sea freight), and additional services like packing, storage, and insurance.

To give you a fair idea of how much your move will cost, here are some estimates based on international removals price data:

(All Prices Quoted Do Not Include Goods & Services Tax or GST)


Number of Bedrooms

Estimated Cost of Move to the UK

1 Bedroom $5,000 - $7,500
2 Bedrooms $7,000 - $10,000
3 Bedrooms $12,000 - $17,000
4 Bedrooms $13,500 - $18,000
5 Bedrooms $19,000 - $26,000


The above shipping rate estimates don’t include the cost of additional services like:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Temporary storage
  • Insurance coverage

These estimates should be considered as rough guidelines only, so expect actual costs to vary.

Disclaimer: The costs stated in this guide are in Australian dollars (unless otherwise indicated) and are indicative only, reflecting industry pricing. Please keep in mind that moving rates are highly variable, and the prices quoted here should serve as a guide only or as a general basis for your research.

Checklist for Moving to the UK

Planning your UK relocation entails knowing all your moving-to-UK-from-Australia requirements, such as documentation, storage, your moving task schedule and so on. This is why using a checklist for moving to the UK makes total sense.

Your moving-from-Australia-to-UK checklist will serve as your blueprint for the processes or steps and items you need to stay on top of and to handle the stress of moving.

   Organise Your Relocation

In organising your move to UK, make sure you identify all possible tasks that need to be accomplished, including:

  • Decluttering and sorting possessions
  • Cleaning, packing and labelling of items to be shipped
  • Cancelling or rerouting subscriptions
  • Cancelling memberships in local clubs or organisations
  • Updating financial and medical documents
  • Notifying service providers

Take time to sit down and make a note of all the things you need to do for a smooth and organised move. Don’t be afraid to delegate if there are people available to help.

   Visas & Documents

When moving from Australia to the United Kingdom, it’s essential to prepare and organise all the necessary documents you need to avoid the hassles of moving overseas. Documents like valid passports and visas are crucial for immigration, customs clearance, and other logistical aspects of your move.

So, make sure you have these documents on hand during your move:

  • Passport
  • Visa (work visa, student visa, family visa)
  • Copies of approval notice or letter
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or divorce certificates
  • Employment or university enrolment documents
  • Medical records and immunisation certificates
  • International driving permit or licence
  • Customs forms (e.g., UK Customs Form C3 – Importation of Personal Effects)
  • Inventory list (including descriptions and approximate values for customs clearance and insurance purposes)
  • Insurance and financial documents
  • Professional qualifications and certificates

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and additional documents may be required depending on your specific circumstances.

   Schedule Your Relocation

In formulating your moving-to-UK plans, getting quotes from various removalists is key. Try to do this as early as possible – about a year or six months prior to your move.

The reason, of course, is that the earlier you’re able to negotiate and lock in a moving date with a reputable international removalist like Relocations WA, the greater will be your chance of getting a good rate. You’ll also have more options in terms of choosing your moving date.

   Secure Storage

While you may want to take everything with you when moving from Australia to the UK, it won’t always be possible. This is where getting short- or long-term storage comes in.

A storage unit allows you to keep items like furniture, gym equipment and other items without worrying about them getting lost, stolen or damaged.

At Relocations WA, we offer flexible solutions in a secure location, including storage for caravans, boats, cars, motorbikes and more. You can also choose between container and self-storage solutions.

   Book Flights

Whether you choose to move your possessions by air or sea freight, your best option to arrive fast to your destination is to go by air.


Again, time is of the essence if you want to book flights to the UK at more reasonable prices. You can use various flight booking apps like Skyscanner, Fare Scraper or Kayak to compare prices and score affordable tickets.

Other Considerations When Moving to the UK

Aside from taking care of the aforementioned tasks, you also have to make sure you tick the following items off your checklist for moving from Australia to England or any part of the UK:

  • Buying packing materials
  • Notifying service providers about your move
  • Going to a foreign exchange to get UK currency
  • Vacate cleaning (make sure to review your bond clean checklist)
  • Organising all pertinent documentation

If you have special or sensitive items to be moved, make sure you inform your removalist so they can assist you. This includes packing wall art for moving, as well as family heirlooms and big-ticket items.

Apart from the aforementioned points, remember to exchange your currency to Pounds for immediate use upon arrival.

If you're currently renting, make sure to arrange for end-of-lease cleaning. If you're planning to rent out your own house during your time abroad, organise a thorough cleaning.

For your convenience, download our exhaustive checklist for international relocations. This ensures that no task or detail is overlooked.

Transporting Furniture, Vehicles & Pets from Australia to the UK: Norms and Regulations

Understanding the intricacies of transporting vehicles and pets from Australia to the UK can be challenging. This section is designed to demystify the key steps and regulations, aiming to facilitate a smooth transition during your move.

   Shipping Furniture to UK

Moving furniture from Australia to the UK requires careful planning. Some key factors to take into account when preparing for the relocation of your furniture when moving to England or any other part of the UK:

  • Volume and weight of furniture
  • Shipping method (air or sea freight)
  • Disassembly and packing
  • Customs regulations and any required paperwork
  • Quarantine and fumigation requirements for wooden items
  • Insurance coverage for protection against potential damage or loss
  • Transport within the UK
  • Budget
  • Timeline

By carefully considering the above factors and planning accordingly, you can help ensure a successful and stress-free relocation of your furniture from Australia to the UK.

   Moving Vehicle to UK

Transporting a vehicle from Australia to the United Kingdom involves following certain guidelines and regulations. The process can be complex, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the requirements.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Vehicle eligibility: Your vehicle must be roadworthy and meet the UK’s environmental and safety standards.
  • Shipping method: Choose a suitable shipping method for your vehicle, such as roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) or container shipping.
  • Customs and duties: Know the applicable customs duties, taxes, and fees associated with importing your vehicle into the UK.
  • Vehicle registration: After importing your vehicle, you must register it with the UK’'s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Be prepared to provide documentation such as proof of ownership, insurance, roadworthiness certificate, etc.
  • Insurance: Secure appropriate insurance coverage for your vehicle in the UK.
  • Driving licence: Check the UK government website for the latest information on driving with a foreign licence. You may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or a valid Australian driver's licence to drive in the UK temporarily. Eventually, you may need to exchange your Australian licence for one issued in the UK.
  • Quarantine inspection: The UK has strict biosecurity regulations, and your vehicle may be subject to inspection upon arrival to ensure it is free from soil, plant material, and other contaminants.

As always, consider all costs and allow sufficient time for the shipping, customs clearance, registration, and other logistical aspects of importing your vehicle to the UK.

   Relocating to UK with Pets

Australians moving to the UK with pets need to familiarise themselves with policies and guidelines designed to ensure the welfare of animals and prevent the spread of disease.

The UK has strict pet importation rules, and it’s crucial to know what these requirements are:

  • Pet Travel Scheme (PETS): The UK is part of the PETS, which allows for the movement of pets between participating countries without the need for quarantine, provided specific requirements are met. Australia is a listed country under PETS, so pets can be moved from Australia to the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the scheme conditions.
  • Microchipping: Your pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit microchip before any other procedures are carried out. Make sure the microchip is functioning correctly and can be scanned easily.
  • Rabies vaccination: Pets must be vaccinated against rabies. The initial vaccination must be administered after microchipping and at least 21 days before the pet’s arrival in the UK.
  • Tapeworm treatment (for dogs only): Dogs must be treated for tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) between 24 and 120 hours (1-5 days) before entering the UK. The treatment must be administered by a veterinarian and recorded in the pet’s health certificate or official veterinary record.
  • Health certificate: A veterinarian must issue an official health certificate or veterinary record for your pet, confirming the microchip details, rabies vaccination, etc.
  • Approved pet transport company and route: Your pet must travel with an approved transport company and route, entering the UK at an authorised point of entry.
  • UK Pet Checker: Before you travel, use the UK government’s online Pet Travel Checker tool to ensure you have completed all necessary steps.

Please note that pet birds, rabbits, rodents, and other species may have different import requirements.

You can get more information on pet travel to the UK on the government website.

Living and Working in the United Kingdom

Living and working in the UK offers a unique experience compared to Australia, as there are distinct differences in the population, weather, political landscape, culture and so on.

   Quick Facts About UK

To give you an overview of what to expect when you move to the UK, here are some quick facts:

  • Population: The UK has a much higher population density than Australia, with over 68 million people residing in an area of about 243,610 square kilometres.
  • Weather: UK weather is described as a temperate maritime climate, characterised by mild temperatures, frequent rainfall, and relatively small seasonal variations. Winters are generally cool and wet, while summers are mild and can be moderately warm.
  • Politics: The UK has a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with the monarch as the head of state and a prime minister leading the government. The parliament comprises two houses: the House of Commons, with members elected by the public, and the House of Lords, with appointed, hereditary, and religious members. The main political parties here are the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats.
  • Culture: UK culture is a rich amalgamation of diverse traditions, reflecting the nation’s historical influence and global connections. Rooted in ancient Celtic, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon heritage, it has been shaped by centuries of monarchy, maritime power, and industrial revolution. The UK is known for its iconic landmarks, and love for tea, football, and pub culture. The UK also boasts a thriving arts scene and a multicultural atmosphere.
   Best Places to Live

New Zealand is a diverse and beautiful country with many great places to live, each with their own unique qualities and attractions. Here are a few of the best places to live in New Zealand and why:

  • Auckland: New Zealand’s largest city and the economic hub of the country. It offers a diverse range of cultural activities, great shopping and dining options, and stunning natural beauty, including beaches, islands, and parks.
  • Wellington: The capital city and a cultural centre, with a vibrant arts scene, great restaurants, and a strong coffee culture. It is also known for its natural beauty, including a picturesque harbour and a number of parks and gardens.
  • Christchurch: The largest city on New Zealand’s South Island known for its stunning natural surroundings, including the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains. It is also home to a vibrant arts scene and a number of great restaurants and cafes.
  • Queenstown: A resort town located in the Southern Alps and is known for its stunning natural beauty, world-class skiing and snowboarding, and other activities like bungee jumping and white-water rafting.
  • Dunedin: A university town located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is known for its beautiful architecture, including a number of Victorian-era buildings, as well as its strong arts and culture scene and great food and drink options.
   Cost of Living vs Australia

Is New Zealand or Australia more expensive?

The cost of living can vary significantly within both Australia and the UK, with differences across cities and regions. However, when comparing the two countries overall, the cost of living is generally similar, with some distinctions in specific categories.

To compare, below are a few items with their corresponding costs in the UK and Australia. All prices quoted are in AUD.


Avg. Cost in United Kingdom (AUD)

Avg. Cost in Australia (AUD)

Eating out for two (mid-range, 3 courses) $60 $58.78
Taxi start (normal tariff) $3 $2.46
Utilities for 85 sq.m. apartment (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) $377 $299
Gym membership for 1 month $58 $76
International primary school, yearly, for 1 child $25,937 $19,237
Rent for apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre $1,688 $2,260
Price per square metre to buy an apartment in city centre $8,200 $10,943


Grocery prices in both countries are generally comparable, but some items might be more expensive in Australia than in the UK due to differences in local production and import costs. Check out the following comparisons. All prices quoted are in AUD as well.

Grocery Item

Avg. Cost in United Kindom (AUD)

Avg. Cost in Australia (AUD)

Milk (regular) $1.91 $2.23
Loaf of white bread (500g) $1.96 $3.27
White rice (1kg) $2.61 $3.13
Eggs (regular, 1 dozen) $4.07 $5.53
Chicken fillets (1kg) $10.80 $12.32
Apples (1kg) $3.63 $4.78
Bananas (1kg) $2.04 $3.77
   UK Visas & Immigration

Some visa options to the UK available for Australians moving to the UK on a short- or long-term basis include:

  • Skilled worker visa
  • Intra-company transfer visa
  • Global talent visa
  • Youth mobility scheme (tier 5)
  • Ancestry visa
  • Family visa
  • Student visa

Please note that visa requirements (including UK working visas for Australians over 40) and eligibility are subject to change. It’s always best to check out the latest information on official UK government sources.

   Working in the UK

If you work in the UK as an Australian, you can expect to have an enriching experience, and find opportunities for personal and professional growth. While there are many similarities between the Australian and British work cultures, there are also some differences to consider, including:

  • Language and communication
  • Work environment or culture
  • Work-life balance
  • Employment rights and benefits
  • Job market

Working in the UK can be a rewarding experience for Australians. However, adjusting to the differences in work culture, language, and lifestyle can take time. But with an open mind and a willingness to adapt, Australians can thrive in the UK job market.


Superannuation in Australia is known in the UK as the pension system, although both serve similar purposes; that is, to provide individuals with income during retirement.

The UK pension system comprises a combination of state pensions, workplace pensions, and personal pensions. Workplace pensions often require both employers and employees to make contributions, with employers contributing at least 3%, and the employee making up the difference.

The UK state pension system is funded through National Insurance contributions made by workers and employers. It is paid out to eligible individuals upon reaching the state pension age.

People in the UK can typically access their private pension from the age of 55 (rising to 57 by 2028), regardless of whether they continue working.

Both the UK and Australia have agreements in place to allow individuals moving between Australia and the UK to transfer their pension or superannuation funds, subject to specific rules and regulations.

   Taxation in the UK

Income tax in the UK is progressive, just like in Australia. Capital gains tax rates differ from income tax rates, ranging from 10% to 28% depending on the individual's income and the type of asset.

The UK operates a system of tax credits on dividends, which can reduce the amount of tax shareholders pay on dividend income.  The value-added tax (VAT) is charged at a standard rate of 20% on most goods and services. Reduced rates of 5% or 0% apply to some items, such as children’s car seats, home energy, and most food and children’s clothing.

UK property taxes include stamp duty land tax (SDLT) in England and Northern Ireland, land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) in Scotland, and land transaction tax (LTT) in Wales. Additionally, the UK levies a council tax based on property value and location.


On the whole, healthcare in the UK is accessible and comprehensive, providing a safety net for residents through the National Health Service.

Established in 1948, the NHS provides a wide range of healthcare services to UK residents, including primary care, specialist care, hospital care, and emergency services.

Here are some key aspects of the UK healthcare system:

  • The NHS covers all UK residents, providing free healthcare at the point of use. This includes GP visits, hospital treatment, emergency care, maternity care, mental health services, and some dental and optical services.
  • General practitioners (GPs) are the first point of contact for most non-emergency healthcare needs. Patients need to register with a local GP practice, which serves as the gateway to other healthcare services, including specialist referrals, diagnostic tests, and hospital care.
  • Prescription medications are generally not free, except in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In England, patients must pay a flat fee for each item on a prescription unless they are exempt due to age, pregnancy, specific medical conditions, or financial circumstances.

Request a Cost Estimate for Your Relocation to the UK

If you’ve ironed out the details of your move to the UK from Australia, it’s time to get a quote from Relocations WA.

We’re one of the country’s most reputable local and international removalists with over five decades of industry experience.

Get in touch today!

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