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How Much do International Removals Cost

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
15th February 2018

Moving abroad is a great adventure, but what about the cost? From transport to shipping, there are many factors that go into the price of international removals. Here Compare My Move go through all of the factors involved, so that you're fully informed ahead of your international moving day.

We go through the tips, costs and considerations that need to be made when taking this giant leap, so you can concentrate on exploring your new part of the world. Plus, we include a breakdown of estimated international removal costs by top Compare My Move destinations.

This article will cover the following points

International Removal Costs from the UK Cost of International Removals by Country International Moving Costs Explained Cost of International Road Freight Cost of Air Freight International Shipping Freight Costs Cost of Additional Removal Services International Packing Service Cost of Packing Materials Cost of International Storage White Glove International Removal Lowering your International Removal Costs

International Removal Costs from the UK

  • The average international removal company cost from the UK to mainland Europe is between £2,000-£3,000.
  • From the UK to America, the average international removal cost is between £5,000-£7,000.
  • It costs an average of £4,000-£5,000 to move from the UK to New Zealand.
  • It costs between £7,500-£10,500 for international removals from the UK to Australia.
  • To move from the UK to South Africa, it'll cost on average around £5,000-£8,000 in international removals costs.

In this section, we give some ideas on average costs for moving abroad. Of course, these can be difficult to estimate in many cases and depend largely on the amount of contents you are taking with you as well as the distance travelled. 

The cost estimates are dependent on the most practical and cost effective method freight.  Find a helpful breakdown of estimated costs in the table below.

Remember, the best way to get an estimate for your home removals abroad is to contact an international specialist home removals business and talk through the options available for moving. They will be able to either send a professional to survey the contents of your home or use a special app that can be used for the same purpose to give you a much more accurate estimate.

Cost of International Removals by Country

In the table below, we breakdown the average costs of international removals from the UK to the top worldwide destinations.

CountryCost EstimateMethodOther Considerations

Spain (Madrid)

£2500 - £3500

Road

Road removals are likely to be the quickest and cheapest in this case.

France (Paris)

£1,000 - £1,500

Road

Road removals are likely to be the quickest and cheapest in this case.

Germany (Berlin)

£1,500 - £2,000

Road

Road removals are likely to be the cheapest option for this move. Air may be marginally quicker, but will likely be over twice the price.

Italy (Rome)

£2,000 - £3,000

Road

Road removals are likely to be the cheapest and quickest method for this move.

USA (Washington)

£5,000 - £7,000

Air

Sea is by far the cheapest option for this move coming in at around £2,500 - £3,000. However, with sea taking 6-9 weeks on average, in the majority of cases this is impractical. Especially when compared to the more expensive air route that will take 8-10 days.

Australia

£7,500 - £10,500

Air

Sea is by far the cheapest option for this move coming in at around £3,000 - £4,500. However, with sea taking 9-12 weeks on average, in the majority of cases this is impractical. Especially when compared to the more expensive air route that will take 8-10 days.

New Zealand

£4,000 - £5,500

Sea

Sea removals may be the only option available when moving your belongings to New Zealand. However, there may be some specialist providers available who are able to move these by air. Moving to New Zealand by sea will likely take 6-8 weeks.

South Africa

£5,000 - £8,500

Air

Sea is the cheapest option for this move coming in at around £2,000 - £3,500. However, with sea taking 6-10 weeks on average, in the majority of cases this is impractical. Especially when compared to the more expensive air route that will take 7-11 days.

For the purpose of this table we have given some examples of moving from the UK (London) to other popular capital cities of countries from around the world.

We have based the cost estimates on moving the full contents of a two-bedroom house. To scale this to your own home you can gain a rough estimate by multiplying or dividing the cost by the number of beds relative to two. For example, moving all your home contents from London to Madrid for a four-bedroom house, you may expect to pay around £5,000 - £7,000.

It is also worth noting that the table below does not take into consideration any taxes, customs fees & duties, insurance & quarantine inspections. These will incur an additional cost that are likely to vary from small in European countries through too much larger in countries like Australia and the USA.

International Moving Costs Explained

In this section, we look at the range of costs that make up the price of international removals, running through the different options for getting your belongings to your new home abroad. These different freight options including sending your items by air, by sea, or by road. The costs vary by method, but generally, the faster methods will generally be the more expensive. Let's go through your freight options and explain the costs.

Cost of International Road Freight

The average cost of moving abroad by road to mainland Europe is around £3,000-£5,000. This is based on the contents of a standard 3 bedroom house moving to mainland Europe.

Getting your home contents moved by road is a very real possibility when moving abroad, especially when moving across to mainland Europe. This is due to excellent connections through the Eurotunnel and relatively cheap ferry crossings across the channel (ok, we know this is kind of by sea as well).

When road is available as a transport option, it is usually the cheapest and quite often the quickest option. For those that are environmentally minded, it is also likely to be the most environmentally friendly option for transport also. Making transporting your contents by road and all round good method for places where it is available.  

You can read more about everything you need to know about road freight in our ultimate article.

Cost of Air Freight

As a guidance amount, you can expect to pay around £2 per kilogram when moving your items by air. This is based on a standard Airfreight service between the UK and America. Air freight is priced by volume, so tends to prove the most expensive option. 

This option usually competes with shipping on occasions where road transport is not an available option. In contrast to shipping this is a much quicker method of transporting the contents of your home.

However, it is also much more expensive as a result, often costing over twice the amount of moving by sea. When you take into account the fact that air freight will usually get your belongings to you in less than half the time that shipping you may decide that the convenience is worth the extra expenditure.

You can check out our detailed guide to air freight for more information. 

International Shipping Freight Costs

In days of old, if you were to move abroad, then getting yourself and all your belongings on board a ship was the only way to do it. We have come a long way since then, yet shipping is still a popular method for moving your home contents when starting your new life in a new country.

Generally, this option is popular amongst those trying to move abroad on a budget. Especially when road transport is not an option, such as in cases where you are moving beyond mainland Europe. Shipping can often cost around half the amount of air freighting your kit abroad.

However, ships certainly do not move fast. The downside to this option is the fact that it can often take weeks rather than days to get all your belongings to their destination. One way to mitigate this issue is simply to take the essentials with you by some other method and then save money on the rest of it by shipping.

Of course, you also need be aware that ships can only go as far as ports, so you may also incur some additional road transport costs, especially if your new or old home are far inland. Check out our ultimate guide to shipping freight for more information.

Cost of Additional Removal Services

Moving house is a lot of work at the best of times. But when looking to move to a new country this can be made even more strenuous by the amount of paperwork and admin that goes along with it.

That is why it is a good idea to consider the additional and helpful services often offered by removal companies to make your life easier. Below we cover some of these services and how they can help you get the job done quicker and easier.

International Packing Service

If you opt for basic removal support the movers will expect all your items to be packaged and ready to go on arrival. They will simply carry the items to the trucks or van they are using, transport them to your new home and unload them.

This means you need to pack your contents yourself. When undertaking smaller moves, this usually isn’t too much hassle. However, when undertaking larger or more complex moves like moving abroad, this is an added chore that many don’t want to deal with. You can find out about packing your furniture for moving abroad in our guide.

That is why removal businesses often offer packing services. This is where they will come into your home and package your items for you. Not only does this save you time, but as professionals with lots of experience, this also ensures that all your belongings are packaged well and protected for the journey. 

Remember that air freight needs to be professionally packed.

Cost of Packing Materials

If you don’t opt to use a packaging service, you will need to find plenty of good quality boxes and packing material in order to pack down your items and get them ready to move.

Of course, you are able to pick up some of these from friends, family and colleagues who may have some boxes laying around. But these are never usually enough or of a high enough quality to securely pack up all your kit.

Removals companies specialise in this and will usually be able to supply you with all the high-quality packaging material you will need. This is especially important for international moves where your belongings are likely to be exposed to a longer and more vigorous journey to their destination.

Cost of International Storage

Often when moving abroad you will have no need to take all of your belongings, or you may plan on moving some of those belongings at a later date when you have had a chance to settle in. You can read our detailed guide to international storage for more information.

In this case removals companies will be able to help by storing safely that which will not go with you in the first instance. This can be done as part of the removal process with some contents being moved to your new home and some being moved to storage, so as to not disrupt your other plans too much.

This is also beneficial as the removals company will then easily be able to ship out any of those stored items to you at your request. Of course, there is an associated cost with storage which can vary depending on the duration and volume of contents.

White Glove International Removal

For some items such as antiques, exotic animal tanks and other high-value or highly sentimental items you may not want to transport these abroad by traditional means.For these occasions, you are able to use what removal companies call a ‘white glove service’. This service comes at a premium, but does allow you peace of mind that your most beloved items are being professionally taken care of and insured whilst in transit.

Lowering your International Removal Costs

In order to cut costs when travelling abroad it is worth asking yourself what you really need to take with you. In some cases, it may be cheaper to buy new items in your new home area than to transport them at great cost. This is especially true of destinations that are further away such as parts of the USA and Australia.

When moving abroad to closer countries such as those on mainland Europe you may also be able to save a large amount of the cost by simply transporting it yourself. This is especially true if you plan on taking your own vehicle to your new home and in the case of precious items that would normally need to be moved to your new home by specialists at a premium cost. Of course, if you do this you need to make sure you are insured for the transit of these items as this will not be covered by the removal company’s insurance.

Another way to save money on your international removal costs will be to use Compare My Move to compare and save. We'll connect you with up to 6 professional removal companies so you can save up to 70% on your international removal costs.