UK 20 Pound Notes

How Much Money Do You Need To Move To London

When you first begin looking at the possibility of moving to London, working out how much money this will entail can seem a huge challenge. And whilst there is no one answer that will suit all eventualities, it is possible to come up with a ball park figure that will be applicable to your circumstances.

The best way to begin working out costs of the move is to first answer some simple questions.

  1. Are you moving alone or with a partner or family?

  2. Is your move permanent or temporary?

  3. If moving for work, are you entitled to any relocation costs or help with accommodation?

  4. Do you plan to ship goods with you from home, such as furniture, a car or even pets?

The answers to these questions will form the beginning of your financial plan to move to London.

Let’s look at each of these in more detail:

Moving alone or with a partner or family

It goes without saying that moving as a couple or unit will warrant a higher cost, as you need to account for the cost of living for each person.

For example, buying or renting a one-bedroom place will cost less than if you need a four-bedroom house. Property prices, both rental and purchasing, can be discovered on such websites as Zoopla, Prime Location and Right Move.

If you’re happy to purchase or rent privately, rather than through an agent, then a website such as Gum Tree has many listings direct from owners. In such cases you might find a bargain, as you can deal direct and remove the need to pay agency fees.

On average, property prices are lower in the suburbs of London, rather than living in the centre. London Property Watch provides real time rental and asking prices for prices in all areas of London. Cheaper areas of London include Lewisham, Peckham, Beckenham and Wimbledon where the average rental price of a one bedroom flat per week is around £275-£300 per week.

Be aware that when renting you’ll need to put down a deposit equal to around 1 ½ to 2 times the monthly rent. If purchasing, then in general you’ll need a 20% deposit in order to get a mortgage. So to rent a one bedroom property in one of the less expensive areas of London it will be necessary to put down a deposit of no less than £1800 (approximately), plus one month’s rent. That means an initial outgoing of around £4000.

You then need to budget for all your utilities (gas, electricity, water, telephone, Internet, TV licence, TV subscription, council tax). For a single person living alone you should budget for at least £400 per month. This can be more or less depending on your individual needs. Utility prices can vary according to the provider. You can check out the various different deals at USwitch, a website that will tell you the cheapest current deals for your usage.

Temporary or permanent?

Depending on whether this is a permanent or temporary move will have a bearing on your living arrangements.

For example, if you’re coming to London for a short amount of time then you may choose to live in shared accommodation. This can provide a significant reduction in living costs. Such flat shares can be found on websites such as Spare Room and Easy Room Mate. Alternatively you might want to live in this fashion whilst you search for the right place to rent or buy.

Relocation costs

In many cases, those moving to London for work will be entitled to relocation costs, subsidised living or even have accommodation provided. This can make for a big reduction in the amount of money you need to make the move. And for those lucky enough to be offered these perks, there’s often some ‘wiggle room’ for you to get an even better deal when negotiating your contract.

If you’re coming to London to study, are you expected to find your own accommodation, or can you get subsidised accommodation in your facilities halls or residence? Once again, this will have a big impact on the amount of money you need upfront to make the big move.

Shipping goods from home

Bringing your personal effects from another country – even one that’s close by in Europe – can cost a fair amount of money.

The cost of shipping furniture can be high, and you need to surmise whether or not it’s worth the cost of bringing items such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges etc, or would it simply be cheaper to buy new ones in the UK. You can get quotes from such companies as Anglo Pacific and Simply Ship.

Shipping a car can be expensive, especially if you’re coming from a country such as Australia, Canada or the USA, simply because of the great distances involved. If you have a prestige or high value car, shipping costs will be even higher. Websites such as Ship My Car and U Ship can provide you with instant quotes.

When it comes to shipping the family pet (or pets), you’ll want to be super sure that your furry friends are well looked after during the move.

The quickest and easiest way to ship a dog or cat from the further away overseas destinations (Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, India etc.) is by air. Air Pets is one of the leading pet relocation companies, and they will provide you with all the necessary details you need to know before making the big move. Other companies offering a similar service include PBS and Passport For Pets.

Be aware that the UK has strict rules regarding pets coming from overseas. It may be necessary for your pet may need to stay in quarantine for some months after arrival, depending on where you’re coming from. More details on this can be found on the UK government website. If your pet does need to be kept in quarantine, the costs of this will be down to you, and will need to be budgeted for.

In summary

As you can see from the above, answering the question of how much money do you need to move to London is not a simple one. Much depends on your personal circumstances. However, one rule that is worth knowing is that in an ideal world you should hold back three months salary in savings to cover any unexpected and additional expenses.

For a single person moving to the UK to work, and living in a flat share scenario, with no furniture or goods to import, then it would be fair to budget on the cost of the actual move costing only a few thousand pounds. For a family moving permanently to the UK, and bringing their possessions, then this figure could run into tens of thousands of pounds.