The Complete Moving to London Checklist [For Those Moving to London in 2019]

The Complete Moving to London Checklist for 2019

Are you looking for a “Moving to London Checklist?”  

If the answer is “yes,” then you are in the right place.

This is the ultimate to-do-list before moving to London.

We didn’t want to create something like this:

“London checklist with x things you need to do before moving to London.”

This is why we’ve prepared something entirely different.

Something that is based on the questions and concerns you have.

Ready? Let’s dive right in!

Contents:

1) What do I need to move to London?

2) What to pack when moving to London?

3) What to know when moving to London?

4) How much money do I need to move to London?

5) What do I need when moving to London with family?

6) How much does it cost to move to London?

7) Things to do before moving to London?

8) Where to live in London?

9) How to move to London without a job?

10) How can I get to London?

11) How to survive in London with no money?

12) How hard is it to move to the UK?

13) How hard is it to move to London?

14) What are the income taxes in the UK?

15) Is public transport expensive in London?

16) How to move to the UK from the US?

17) Is moving to London a good idea?

18) What are the things to know when moving to London?

19) What is the cost of living in London for a couple?

20) Where to stay in London for the first time?

21) How to move to London alone?

22) Where should I live in London?

23) How to get a job in London?

24) How to pack for an international move?

25) How to find flatmates in London?

26) What kind of money is used in London?

27) How long can an American stay in London?

28) What is the UK health insurance for foreigners?

29) Can a foreigner open a bank account in the UK?

30) What is the National Health Service?

31) What is the Council Tax?

1) What do I need to move to London?

To move to London, you need the following:

  • Bank account (make sure to use a valid proof of address to open your account)
  • Sim card with a British number
  • Apply for a National Insurance Number (to learn more, visit the UK government website)
  • Check your Council Tax Band
  • Find a job
  • Find where you are going to live
  • Check if your driving license is valid in London
  • Get an Oyster Card (pay as you go)

Additional Resources:

Gov.uk

2) What to pack when moving to London?

What to pack when moving to London depends on:

  • If you are moving to London alone or with your family
  • How long are you moving to London for
  • If you are going to live alone or with other people (i.e., spare room, flatshare)

You need to pack only things that are essential; things like:

  • Clothes and shoes
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Business documents and equipment
  • Homeware items
  • Fragile items

3) What to know when moving to London?

These are the things you need to know when moving to London:

  • Understand London’s urban structure
  • Understand public transport in London
  • What are the best places to live in London
  • How the National Health Service (NHS) works
  • What is a good and trustworthy moving company
  • What are the best websites and communities to find a job
  • What is the cost of living in London for you (or for your family)
  • What are the legal documents you need to have prepared before moving to London

Additional Resources:

Moving to London: The Ultimate Survival Guide for 201

The 22 Best Place to Live in London in 2019

4) How much money do I need to move to London?

The amount of money that you need to move to London depends on:

  • Whether or not you are moving to London alone or with your family,
  • The lifestyle that you want to have when moving to London,
  • The place that you’ve chosen to live.

Also, keep in mind that the first couple of months you may need to use an Airbnb or find a spare room.

Moreover, because you don’t know how the underground or London’s public transport system works, you may have to get a taxi or Uber to get to where you want.

So, you need to add that to the overall cost of moving to London.

Last but not least, you have to be aware of the transportation costs for getting to London, as well as the cost of moving your items from your home country to your new home in London.

Additional Resources:

Moving to London: The Ultimate Survival Guide for 2019

The 22 Best Place to Live in London in 2019

Cost of Living in London

5) What do I need when moving to London with family?

Moving to London with the whole family can be challenging and exciting at the same time.

There are many things that you need to consider, based on the following factors:

  • Your economic status,
  • The age of your children,
  • The job that you and your partner have,
  • Your lifestyle and your needs and wants.

Here are some of the first things you need to do:

  • Find a safe and quiet area to live in
  • Find the best schools for your children
  • Find a job for both you and your partner
  • Find the best outdoor activities for your family
  • Understand the social security system in London
  • Download an App like citymapper to get familiar with the city
  • Open a bank account, get a credit card (or pre-paid card) and a UK sim card (i.e., Vodafone or T-mobile)

Note:

You can open a new bank account in one of the major banks like Lloyds, HSBC or Barclays. You can also use an online bank like Monese to open a current bank account.

Additional Resources:

Moving to London: The Ultimate Survival Guide for 2019

The 22 Best Place to Live in London in 2019

London Schools

School Holidays

London Bank Holidays

6) How much does it cost to move to London?

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in London (per month) is:

Four-person family: £2,831.48

A single person: £795.22

The primary costs that you need to cover include:

  • The cost of food
  • The cost of renting a house
  • The cost of utility bills
  • The cost of taxes
  • The cost of clothes and shoes
  • The transportation cost
  • The cost of personal care
  • The cost of entertainment

Additional Resources:

Cost of Living in London

7) Things to do before moving to London?

Before you move to London, you’d want to:

  • Make sure you don’t have any unfinished business in your home country
  • Make sure to say goodbye to your friends and family
  • Make sure to find a proper place to live, especially for the first 1-2 months
  • Make sure to find a job that will cover your basic needs
  • Make sure to prepare all the legal documents
  • Make sure to find a trustworthy moving company

Additional Resources:

Moving to London: The Ultimate Survival Guide for 2019

8) Where to live in London?

There are many great places to live in London.

These are some factors that can form your decision:

  • Your monthly budget
  • If you are moving to London alone or with your family
  • If you are moving to London to study or work
  • If you have already found a job or if you are going to find one when you get there
  • If you already have friends in London and where they live at
  • How much time do you need for commuting every day
  • If you prefer a more calm or a more vibrant neighborhood
  • If you want to be near or not to the city center

A while back, we made a list of the 22 best places to live in London.

This list will help you decide what the best place for you to stay in London is.  

Additional Resources:

The 22 Best Place to Live in London in 2019

9) How to move to London without a job?

You can move to London without a job, as long as you have the money to support yourself in the first couple of months when you get there.

Even if you don’t have a job when moving to London, you can always find one by visiting websites like:

10) How can I get to London?

You can get to London by:

  • Car
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Aeroplane
  • Ferry

Make your choice and plan your trip accordingly.

11) How to survive in London with no money?

Let’s be honest, to survive in London, you need money.

Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth.

What you can do instead, is to follow the next  tips:

  • Stay away from expensive corner shops
  • Use the bus (a single bus fare costs 1.50£)
  • Attend free events
  • Search for high-quality street food
  • Share your house with someone else (flatshare)

Do some of the things mentioned above, and you’ll be able to survive in London with less money.

Additional Resources:

Budget Tips for London: How to Live and not Go Broke

12) How hard is it to move to the UK?

It depends on the reason why you want to move to the UK for.

Also, the process is slightly different for those coming from Europe, the US or Australia.

In any case, to move to the UK, you need to have a valid reason (i.e., getting a job in England) and you need to be able to prove that reason to the UK government.

Additional Resources:

Gov.uk

13) How hard is it to move to London?

Moving to London is not easy.

According to a 2018 article by The Telegraph, London is the 19th most expensive city to live right now.

However, London is also a city of opportunities, which means that even though moving there can be hard, you have to try it nonetheless.

If you are willing to work hard and if you are patient, eventually you will make it.

14) What are the income taxes in the UK?

According to the official website of the UK government:

Income Taxes in the UK
Image Source: Gov.uk

Additional Resources:

Gov.uk

15) Is public transport expensive in London?

Yes, public transport in London is expensive.

According to a 2017 article by BBC News, London has the most expensive travel cost in the world.

One of the best ways to move around London is with an Oyster Card.

An Oyster Card—which works with a “pay as you go” system—is valid for:

  • The Underground (for all Tube Stations)
  • The local suburban trains within London
  • The Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
  • The London Overground
  • All the buses within London

Additional Resources:

Travelcards

Oyster Cards and travelcards in London

Transport for London Fares

16) How to move to the UK from the US?

Moving to the UK from the US can be challenging but also very rewarding.

Here are the steps you need to take to move to the UK from the US:

  • Prepare all the legal documents that will allow you to move to the UK
  • Make a list of all the costs of living in London (at least for the first 4-6 months)
  • Set up your finances in the UK (open a bank account, get informed about the tax rates etc)
  • Find a job in London
  • Find a place to live in London
  • Get informed about the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and make sure you are covered by the national insurance
  • Make a list of the things you can do while arriving in London

17) Is moving to London a good idea?

Moving to London is a great idea.

But, there are some things you need to know before moving to London:

  • London is not easy to live in
  • London is expensive to live in
  • Commuting in the UK—and London in particular—may take you up to 54 minutes per day
  • To have a good time in London, you need to socialize
  • Trust others but not blindly

18) What are the things to know when moving to London?

The things that you need to know when moving to London are the following:

  • Use technology to make your life easier; open current bank account with Monese, learn the city with Citymapper or find a job with Monster
  • If you move around a lot, make sure to buy an Oyster Card
  • Make sure to prepare all the legal documents
  • Learn the National Health Service system and register with your local General Practitioner (GP)
  • Find a job and a nice place to live in

19) What is the cost of living in London for a couple?

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in London for a couple is £1,613.32, without the housing cost.

Keep in mind that London is expensive to live in, but you can always stay on budget by avoiding expensive corners shops.

20) Where to stay in London for the first time?

One of the first things to know when moving to London is that London is divided into five areas:

  • West London
  • East London
  • South London
  • North London
  • Central London

Depending on whether you are moving to London alone or with your family, you can find the ideal place to live in London, by taking a look at this article.

Keep in mind that you may make some mistakes when it comes to choosing the best place to live in London.

Of course, when you get familiar with the different areas in London—based on your preferences and activities—you can find a better and more suitable house.

21) How to move to London alone?

Moving to London alone can be challenging and exciting at the same time.

Here are the things that you need to keep in mind when you are moving to London alone:

  • Find people that you can hang around with when moving to London
  • Find a job that allows you to meet with new people and get out of your comfort zone
  • Find a safe place to live in London
  • Be aware of the dangerous areas in London
  • Get a mobile phone that you can use to reach people that you know and trust
  • Open a UK bank account and prepare all the legal documents
  • Download an App like Citymapper and get yourself familiar with the different London areas
  • Buy an Oyster Card based on the area you live in and your daily commuting needs
  • Learn the National Health Service system and register with your local General Practitioner (GP)

22) Where should I live in London?

Here are 10 of the best places to live in London:

  • Fulham
  • Richmond
  • Kensington
  • Camden
  • Chelsea
  • Wandsworth
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith
  • Herne Hill
  • Clapton

Of course, where to live depends on the following factors:

  • If you are moving alone or with your family,
  • If you are moving to study or to work,
  • If you are moving permanently or for a specified period.

Additional Resources:

The 22 Best Place to Live in London in 2019

23) How to get a job in London?

You can find a job by visiting websites like:

The things that you need to do before applying for a job in London are:

  • Take a nice CV photo
  • Create your curriculum vitae
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile
  • Do your research and shortlist the best options
  • Start sending proposals

24) How to pack for an international move?

The steps you need to follow when you are ready to pack for an international move are:

  • Make a list of the items that you want to pack
  • Define the size of the items that you want to pack and move
  • Buy all the necessary packing materials (i.e., boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape)
  • Find the best moving solution for your items
  • Schedule the move of your items to your new home in London

Additional Resources:

The 14 Best Self Storage Tips you Need to Know in 2019

25) How to find flatmates in London?

Finding flatmates in London is not easy.

However, if you know what you are looking for (and what you have to offer), you can find good housemates.

Some websites you can use to find a flatmate in London are:

Here are the things you need to do to find a flatmate in London:

  • Write down the requirements of the room you are looking for OR
  • Write down the information of the room that you want to list
  • Be very clear as to what type of person you are
  • Be super clear as to what kind of people you are going along with
  • Make a list of the questions that you need to ask your potential flatmates
  • Choose a smaller houseshare (fewer people sharing the same house)
  • Put a limit on the housing cost and the utility bills

26) What kind of money is used in London?

The official currency of the United Kingdom is pound sterling.

The symbol that is used to describe it is the (£, GBP).

According to today’s currency rate (Wed Feb 27):

£1 = $1.33 (American Dollar)

£1 = 1.17€ (Euro)

£1 = A$1.85 (Australian Dollar)

£1 = C$1.75 (Canadian Dollar)

£1 = 94.65INR (Indian Rupee)

27) How long can an American stay in London?

As a U.S. citizen—and provided that you have a valid U.S. Passport—you can stay to London for up to six (6) months.

After that, you need to have a more permanent solution to extend your stay in London.

Additional Resources:

United Kingdom Visa

28) What is the UK health insurance for foreigners?

The access to England’s National Health System (NHS) is not based on citizenship—if you are living in London—rather than residency.

As a foreigner, you need to know that to have access to both primary and secondary care, you need to be considered an “ordinary resident.”

To understand what that means, you need to visit the government’s official website that you can find right below.

Additional Resources:

Gov.uk

UK Health Plans

29) Can a foreigner open a bank account in the UK?

Opening a bank account in the UK without proof of residency is not easy.

In addition, some banks may ask you a credit history.

Besides, some banks may ask you a credit history.

This is not always the case, but sometimes it happens.

But, you can also use an alternative way, and set up a current account or debit using Monese or any other online bank. (Monese is a challenger bank, ideal for European migrants.)

Monese Current Account
Image Source: Monese on Google Play Store

30) What is the National Health Service?

According to Wikipedia:

“The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded national healthcare system for England and one of the four National Health Services for each constituent country of the United Kingdom.”

This organization provides healthcare to all legal English residents, with most of its services to be free at the point of service.

Before moving to London, you should definitely learn how the National Health Service system works and register with your local General Practitioner (GP).

Additional Resources:

NHS.co.uk

31) What is the Council Tax?

The Council Tax is a tax that London residents pay based on:

  1. Which of London’s 33 council boroughs you live in,
  2. The property price band your house fall into.

These are the categories your house may fall into:

  • Council Tax in South-West London
  • Council Tax in North-East London
  • Council Tax in North London
  • Council Tax in South-East London
  • Council Tax in West London

The above list shows who pays the Council Tax in order of responsibility:

  1. A resident freeholder
  2. A resident leaseholder
  3. A resident statutory or secure tenant
  4. A resident licensee
  5. Someone who lives in the property with no security of tenure
  6. The owner (the person entitled to legal possession)

Additional Resources:

Gov.uk

Council Tax London

What is Council Tax, do I have to pay and what happens if I don’t pay?

There you have it.

This is the ultimate Moving to London Checklist for those moving to London in 2019.

Now I want to hear it from you.

Are there any questions that you think we should add in our checklist? Or maybe any additional information that we didn’t include?

Either way, leave us a comment below and we’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

Author: Chris Ellsmore

Chris looks after anything to do with digital marketing, analytics & keeping you abreast of the goings on in the storage business!

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