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Moving to Europe with Happy2Move

How to Prepare for Moving to Europe

Manny Sahmbi February 20, 2020

Updated: November 16th, 2023

Moving to Europe is relatively easy for Brits compared to other parts of the world. Not only do many Europeans speak English as their second language, but short distance flights also make travelling back and forth convenient. There are still a lot of things to do before you begin your move, so it pays to stay organised.

Here are all of the things that you will need to think about and sort out before you relocate:

1. Check how you’re affected by Brexit

During the transition period (from 31st January to 31st December 2020), British citizens keep the rights they had before Brexit, including the freedom to move to another EU country. This means that there shouldn’t be any added complications to your move if you relocate during this time. However, if you are planning to leave the UK in 2021 or later, it may get harder.

As well as the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, Britain also has agreements with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, as well as Switzerland to ensure the same rights for British citizens wishing to move in this period.

2. Sort your finances in advance

When it comes to your finances, it’s likely that you will need to change your bank. There are some international banks, such as HSBC, that can make the relocation process easier, allowing people to open an account before they arrive and provide a mobile app that helps you monitor different accounts in multiple countries.

Other banks may not provide these services, and you will need to look at switching banks. If you are intending to keep your existing bank account while you live abroad, ask about any fee-free services they can provide, such as free use of international ATMs and no currency transaction fees.

3. Start packing early

It’s important to start this process early on as you will need to consider which items you are going to take, which items you will leave behind, and which things you can donate, sell or give away. Parting with your belongings can be hard when you have limited space, so it’s good to apply a structured process when sorting through your personal items.

You also need to make sure you have enough boxes and packing materials. These can be purchased from our shop, with a choice of single and double-walled boxes and convenient delivery to your home.

If you need help with packing, our team can help with that too.

4. Organise the shipping of your belongings

Relocating to Europe can be daunting and overwhelming when there’s so much to juggle. Not only do you need to secure a job, find a new place to live and tie up loose ends in the UK, you also need to find the most reliable and cost-effective way of shipping your possessions over to your new country. At Happy2Move, our prices for European removals start from just £990, and we can move your things anywhere in Europe from our base in London.

Our team of movers has taken extensive training to full BAR (British Association of Removers) standards, so your belongings are in good hands. We can also provide an export wrapping service to keep your furniture or fragile items fully protected in transit.

5. Plan for storage

Moving to Europe is a fresh start for most people. Or for some, it’s a temporary situation that largely depends on work and how their career pans out. In these situations, you probably don’t want to take too many belongings with you when you move. You need to find a place for your things to be stored until you return to the UK.

If your friends or family can’t hold onto your things, you will need to research the best storage services near you.

6. Check the validity of cards and IDs

The British driving license can be used in EU countries during the transition period, but may be subject to change after the period ends. Any IDs you have should also be up to date before you move. If you’re taking your own vehicle to drive in Europe, you also need to take your log book (V5C) and your insurance certificate. Before driving abroad, always check the driving laws.

7. Update your life insurance

Moving to Europe can affect your life insurance as your existing policy is based on the risks of residing in the UK. So before your move, make sure you talk to your insurance provider and update them with your new details. If you’re applying for the first time, bear in mind that some things may affect acceptance.

These are:

  • Personal risks (such as living in areas affected by armed conflict or places with political instability)
  • Health risks (such as living in areas with a high risk of disease or infection)
  • Tax rules and legislative requirements

To find out more about removals to Europe, get in touch with Happy2Move.


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