Here is a rough estimate of what our moving in costs were. While most of this was in pounds, we used a US debit card to pay for most of it, so I left it in $$ for your ease (see my post on the 1£/2$ exchange rate). (Our bank is E*Trade, and it has no foreign currency charges. Many charge another 2.5%-3.0% for foreign currency.)

Plane tickets – $2,200. We found Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) to be very reasonable for 1-way tickets, since they charge you about 1/2 price for 1-way rather than the same. You’ll have to book a flight to Dublin and then from Dublin to Newcastle [note: Aer Lingus only seems to run the Dublin-NCL route during certain time of the year, so you may end up having to go to Edinburgh or London instead].

Visa applications: $640

B&B – $750. St. John’s for a week while we were looking/waiting to move into a house.

Car rental – $900. Minivan for about a week to get settled in, plus petrol (~$8/gallon).

Ikea – $800. Household items (dishes, a few bookshelves, etc.)

Argos/B&Q/Curry’s – $350. TV, lamps, dvd player, etc.

Eating out until settled – $560 Assumes: $10/person/meal, 4 ppl, 1 week, B&B for breakfast and that you make some sandwiches sometimes, otherwise it’d be more. This is Subway, KFC, etc. (so more if nicer food).

Setting up bank account – $4000 deposit

1st months rent + deposit: $2500

Miscellaneous things: $2000+

That gets you to about $15,000+.

I think we spent even more than that, but we didn’t split out all of it. What that means is that you need an ATM card that doesn’t charge fees, so you can draw out about £400-£500 a day to get all the deposit (£3500) and other stuff done.

While it was more expensive, we highly recommend coming at least 2 weeks before term so you can settle in. We did 2 months and it was great. It especially allowed our kids to get settled before the busyness began.

It’s obviously cheaper if you just move into Ustinov (or other college housing) b/c no B&B charges and eating out is reduced some.

9 Responses to “Costs for moving to the UK”


  1. Ben,

    When you moved to the UK and shipped over your books and belongings, where were they sent if you did not have an address when you first arrived?

    Daniel

  2. Ben Says:

    We pre-boxed everything and left them with my parents. They shipped them as soon as we had an address. When you ship stuff make sure you that you mark on the customs forms that you are moving personal belongings and it doesn’t hurt to have filled out form c3 so VAT doesn’t get charged. See the link here: http://dunelm.wordpress.com/moving-to-the-uk/us-to-uk-moving-tips/

  3. Daniel Says:

    Ben,

    Thanks for info! My wife raised three more small questions that I would like to ask. One, if we take our reading lamps over with us, will the UK sell light bulbs that we can us for our US lamps? Two, if we take our coffee pot, blow dryer, microwave, etc… will they blow up with even with a converter. I just do not want to hurt any of our appliances. Third, what is the cost of internet in the UK? Who would you recommend as a provider?

    Thanks,
    Daniel

  4. Ben Says:

    Daniel, Glad to answer whatever I can.

    Lamps–You can get US (screw-in) style bulbs here, though the UK most often uses a ‘bayonet’ style.
    Appliances–I’m not sure others’ success, but nothing that we brought that needs a converter has worked correctly, even with a ‘smart’ converter that supposedly can handle different wattages. Here’s a general post on this issue: http://dunelm.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/moving-electronics-to-the-uk/
    Internet–We use BT and it’s about £20/month. See here on DSL:

    http://dunelm.wordpress.com/moving-to-the-uk/settling-in/

    Hope that helps,
    Ben

  5. Jeff Swartz Says:

    Did you have any issues going through Dublin? I’ve read horror stories where an immigration wasn’t handled correctly and it added a whole lot of work to get the visa done correctly.

    We’re looking to come over in April and Aer Lingus is offering great prices for one way.

  6. Ben Says:

    When we came through Dublin, we went right through without any trouble. A few months later when I was returning to England from a conference when I was routed through London, they queried me on why I went through Dublin since my visa wasn’t ‘validated’ [i.e., stamped by an immigration officer], by going that route. (People can get into the England that way without a visa.) I told them I found the cheapest tickets with that route and didn’t see why it would be an issue. I wasn’t trying to skirt the system since my student visa was clearly valid when I entered the country. They agreed, stamped it then, and sent me on my way. My wife and kids left England and came back about 1.5 years later and got no questions at all.

    The visa was already worked out, when we entered the country so I don’t see how it could cause problems for that. I think as long as you have a valid visa at the time of entry it doesn’t matter how you get there.

  7. Matt Crawford Says:

    FYI, as of early summer 2009, Aer Lingus apparently no longer has flights from Dublin to Newcastle. But you can still book a flight for that leg of the trip with Ryan Air, and the total is still by far the cheapest way to go.

    1. Ben Says:

      Aer Lingus is weird about those flights. I’m not sure when they start up, but in late Spring of the past 2 years they quit flying between Dublin and Newcastle. Maybe when summer traffic to holiday destinations need more planes they shift away from Dub-Ncl, but who knows. The only issue with Ryan Air is time of the day. Dublin’s airport is not good for long layovers, but when you need to save a buck the 5 hr lay over we had was doable.

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