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The Ultimate Moving to London Checklist

Moving to London from an international location? Get prepared with the ultimate checklist for moving to London, including everything from visas to woolly jumpers!

Everything You Need to Know About How to Move to London

London is a very desirable city to live in.

More than 200,000 people migrate to the British capital from overseas every year. The growth is faster than in any other area of the country, with people drawn by the jobs, the modern lifestyle and the city’s sheer notoriety. But for all its perks, London is a big and complex city with many different types of people living there. That’s why we’ve compiled a helpful moving to London checklist to prepare you for your international relocation.

London is a great place to live in, with a wealth of things to see and do. It is also a very safe city. If you are at the stage where you’re looking for a checklist for moving to London, chances are you’ve already made the decision to join the millions of others in the capital of Great Britain, and you’re just after some insider tips for moving to London.

So, let’s not waste time.

 A London street with Big Ben in the distance

The Best Moving to London Checklist

Like any international move, moving to London is not without its preparatory stages. Ready to start checking off your pre-moving to-do list? Here is everything you need to have sorted before you move to London:

Moving to London: Visa

To move to London from abroad, you’ll need a suitable visa. Even those coming from EU nations should look into the process to make sure they qualify post-Brexit. There are a variety of visas available, so spend some time researching them to be sure you get the right one for your circumstances when moving to London. If you are confused about visas, getting help from visa specialists is best to maximise the chances of a successful application. Visas can take months, so make sure this is the first tick on your moving to London list!

Taxes in London

What are your tax obligations going to be when you move? Unfortunately, ignorance is not an excuse, so get to know more about how you’ll be paying tax as an international citizen or a new citizen of the UK.

Business office building in London, England

Finding a Job in London

Getting a job that’s based in the city before moving to London will make your relocation much smoother, with specific visas for those moving for work. If you have specific skills that are in demand in the city, this could help with the job-finding process and, therefore, your visa application process. Wages tend to be higher in London, and it’s also been named a very attractive city to work in.

Many of the country’s and the world’s biggest companies have headquarters or branches in London. The finance industry is booming in the UK capital, with positions for accounting, insurance, investments and more always in demand. Following the pandemic, there is also a surplus of roles in the retail, hospitality, and service industries, so there is bound to be an opportunity to find a job in London.

Driving Licence

Most licences are transferable, but it is a good idea to check with local authorities prior to your move if you plan on driving. Make sure you will be allowed to use your vehicle. If not, take the steps necessary to get a valid driving licence. If you are driving in London, make sure you save on potential charges by making sure your vehicle is compliant with the Ultra Low Emission Zone requirements.

Red telephone box with London traffic on the road behind


When paying for goods and services when living in London, cash will only get you so far. You’ll need to establish a British bank account before travel, so it is ready for you once you arrive. You may be able to use your international account, but it will incur additional fees.


The National Health Service is your first line of defence against injury or illness. But, although free for British citizens, you cannot just walk in and expect free treatment as a member of the international community. Work out your eligibility for NHS treatment, and be sure you get appropriate coverage before your plane’s wheels touch the tarmac.

Accommodation in London

Accommodation may seem like an obvious item to put on a checklist for moving to London, but you’ve got to have somewhere to live once you arrive in the British capital. Don’t board that plane until this box has a firm tick. If moving to London alone, living with housemates or flatmates is the best way to ensure you can afford to live in London. Adequate shared houses or flats with 3 or 4 other residents typically cost anywhere from around £600-£740+ a month, but this price can vary depending on the property’s quality, size, and exact location. Make sure you check the details of your lease and tenancy fees.


Pet transport services from the world’s leading international relocation experts

Pet Relocation

Pets are more than just an animal. They are family. Where you go, they go — and overseas is no exception. Moving a pet abroad can be tricky, but with the right support from an international moving service like Gerson Relocation, you’ll have them by your side in Britain in no time. London is quite welcoming of dogs, and many pubs have water bowls ready for canine guests. The British love their dogs, so your best friend will probably enjoy living in London as much as you will. Be sure to secure your pet’s passport and get vaccines early so as not to face problems later on.


In the UK, driving a car without insurance is illegal, so if you are hoping to use a car when you move to London, this is something to consider. You may also need to acquire other insurance, especially property insurance if you are renting or health insurance, depending on your type of visa and NHS eligibility.

A London tube leaving the station full of people


It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or renting; in most circumstances, you’ll need to arrange your own utility bills, including gas, water, electricity, internet and TV. Check out utility comparison websites and hunt for the best deals.


Britain is famously dreary, but it can be warm, too. With lows of sub-zero temperatures and highs of over 30°C, you’ll need to come prepared for every eventuality.  Living in London doesn’t always see extreme weather in the same way that other parts of the country do, but you’ll still want to be prepared for rain, wind, heat, and the occasional snowfall.

Mobile Phone & SIM Card

You need a mobile phone for just about everything these days, but bringing your own mobile from another country with an international network is going to incur massive fees. Buy a British phone or SIM card and get connected to a domestic network.

Ornate white buildings with iron fencing around balconies in a London street

Things to Know Before Moving to London

Once you have navigated the difficult process of being permitted to enter the country and found a place to live, the challenges may not be over. Unexpected costs and aspects of London culture can surprise you out of nowhere, leading to difficulties and unwanted risks to your living situation. We have come up with a list of things to be aware of before moving to London, ensuring you know how to move to London and settle into your new life as quickly as possible.

The Cost of Living in London

Before you move, the top item on your checklist for moving to London should be to perform a cost of living analysis to find out which areas you can afford. Prices vary widely across the British capital, even between streets. Do your research, and you’ll be more than capable of living within your means. Forget this step, and you may be in for a shock when first living in London!

How much money do you need to move to London?

London is not a cheap place to live.  If moving from abroad, you will need enough funds to cover the cost of your visa, travel, and likely your first few months of rent and bills. On top of this, living in London is an expensive experience, so finding a job immediately or even before your move will be essential to moving to London successfully.

View over central London at dusk with the buildings all lit upLondon Culture

Wherever you move, things are going to be a bit different. The language may be different, the customs may be different, and the laws may be different. The culture of London is unique and, as such, you should take the time to embrace it. Getting to know your new home prior to moving will help you reduce the chances of culture shock, as well as help you integrate socially with the people of London. Meeting new people with similar interests is easy enough in this large and diverse city, whether it be at social clubs, through work, or just by chatting to people at the local pub.

UK Holidays

From Bank Holidays to festive breaks, there are numerous public holidays and celebrations in the UK you should be aware of. London is a hotspot for enjoying a day out, so people will often flock to the city during public holidays. This will avoid misunderstandings at work with colleagues and ensure you know when London will be busier!

Big ben clock tower and london bus

Transport in London

How are you going to get around your new home in London? Cabs? The tube? Buses? Your own car? Be aware of your transport choices and learn how to use them before you make your move. For example, for public transport, it is advisable you get an Oyster card or use a contactless card or mobile device to pay for your journey. If you are driving, be sure to learn about congestion charges. Taking cabs everywhere? Be sure to get your first paycheck in advance.

Storage in London

Moving all your possessions at once may not be an option, but leaving them behind or selling them may not be an option either. In these circumstances, storage is the answer. Arrange storage facilities now, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you won’t have to give up any of your favourite things when moving to London.

Make use of Relocation Services

If you are a graduate moving to London, you may only have a backpack and some dreams to bring with you. For those with more to bring, getting the help of an international moving company, like us here at Gerson Relocation, is essential. We can arrange everything from logistical planning to freight transport and could answer many of the questions you might have about how to move to London.

At Gerson Relocation, we can do just about everything, from sorting visas and pet relocation to arranging storage and helping you find a property. All you need to do is pack those jumpers — we’ll even help you become accustomed to London’s culture!

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