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International Removal Costs

Oftentimes, the most rewarding experiences in life come from taking big risks. Moving to a new country is certainly one of those adventures! Whether it’s a new job or the thrill of excitement calling you abroad – we understand that dealing with international removal costs and logistics can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help you successfully plan your move with reputable removal firms, keep costs in check, and provide useful tips for your international adventure.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Breaking Down UK to Abroad Removal Costs

Over 5 million British people currently live abroad, according to data from the United Nations. This means one in every four Brits has packed their bags and jetted to neighbouring countries or halfway across the world. If you too are heading abroad, it’s a good idea to start with a rough estimate of the number of rooms or large items, such as vehicles, that you plan to ship. Below you will find the international removal cost estimates for 20ft and 40ft shipping containers as well as airfreight costs for the top countries UK nationals tend to relocate to:

Cost of International Removals by Country

20ft Shipping Container
40ft Shipping Container
£1,137 – £1,454
£1,984 – £2,171
£6,890- £7,200
£1,066 – £2,269
£1,915 – £3,507
£6,500 -£7,900
£988 – £2,400
£1,475 – £3,115
£3,400 -£5,700
£424 – £661
£633 – £1,256
£1,555 – £1,719
£434 – £737
£649 – £2,155
£2,669 – £2,948
£1,155 – £1,277
£1,777 – £1,964
£4,620 – £5,106
New Zealand
£2,547 – £2,815
£4,839 – £5,349
£6,622 – £7,319
£979 – £1,082
£1,860 – £2,056
£2,545 – £2,813
£378 – £418
£718 – £794
£983 – £1,087

The International Moving Cost Averages Are:

  • £500-£3,000 from the UK to mainland Europe.
  • £1,000-£6,000 from the UK to America.
  • £2,000-£8,000 from the UK to Australia and New Zealand.

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What Makes up Your International Removal Costs?

The biggest expense you will have when relocating abroad is paying for international removals. While many factors affect the cost, a few main variables are:

1. Size of Your Move

The more items you transport, the more expensive it will be since prices are partly determined by the weight and volume of shipments.

2. Distance

As you can see in the table above, the farther your destination, the higher the transport costs.

3. Transport Route

Certain routes are more common than others, meaning that they will generally be cheaper due to increased competition and supply.

4. Transport Method

The mode of transport you select will greatly affect the price, with airfreight the most expensive and sea freight being the cheapest option.

5. Additional Services

If you choose to add extra services offered by your removalist to complement their shipping, it will impact the total price of your international relocation. Here’s a sample cost for some of these add-ons:

Type of CostCost Details
Price Range
Packing & Unpacking– Expert packing and unpacking of your belongings
£75 – £400
Insurance– Varies on amount and type of goods being transported
Starting from £75
Storage– Added cost while waiting on transit for goods
– Secure place for temporary storage
£75 per month
Custom Duties & Taxes– Charged based on the value of goods
– Depends on destination country
Average rate is 5% – 9%

Choosing Your Path: Land, Sea, or Air Transport?

There are three ways to ship your household goods during an international removal: by land, sea, or air. As seen just above, your international moving costs will mostly vary depending on whether your move is within the same continent or not, how fast you need your things shipped and how far your destination is.

Moving abroad will involve truck or train transportation at some point when shipping to countries within the same continent, such as from the UK to mainland Europe or from the United States to Canada. Take a quick peek at this handy table summarising the key details for each transport method:

Transport Method CostsSpeedRecommended When Shipping Within or To Another Continent
Land (Truck) Moderate FastWithin the same continent
Land (Train)Moderate SlowWithin the same continent
Sea Freight Lowest SlowestBetween continents
Air Freight Highest FastestWithin the same continent or to another continent

1. Moving Via Truck

One of the main disadvantages of truck transportation is that it is fully dependent on the traffic and road conditions of the country or countries it’ll travel through. Of course, travelling during the year’s busy holidays will take longer and increase your total cost of moving house. When compared to other transport methods, the cost is moderate as you can save money if planned with enough time in advance and during an off-peak season.

2. Moving Via Train

Transporting your goods via train is highly recommended for long-distance removals within the same continent, such as within Europe or cross-country within North America. While its speed is generally slower than trucks, it depends on the continent’s train infrastructure. As for its transport costs, it can be cheaper than by truck depending on the origin and destination.

3. Moving Via Sea Freight

The cheapest international removal cost option typically tends to be via sea freight when travelling between continents, but it is also the slowest. It can take days or several weeks to reach its destination, but when moving internationally, you are left with one or two options. In a nutshell, If you have time flexibility during your relocation, this may be the best option for you.

4. Moving Via Air Freight

The air freight method is by far the quickest option available, but it also has a higher price tag. It is common for people to opt for the bulk of goods to be shipped via truck, train, or sea and for a couple or so boxes to be shipped by air as a last resort or if needed immediately. This option can be very convenient if you are close to an airport when shipping and receiving your belongings.

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What’s the Cost of Transporting Your Car Internationally?

If you are already planning on transporting your belongings via a shipping container, then it makes sense to also factor your vehicle into the same method. Typically, a 20ft shipping container is suitable for a car and a few boxes. A 40ft shipping container can hold a car and two rooms worth of furniture. It is important to note that a 40ft container may not carry exactly twice as much volume as a 20ft container since you have to factor in the cargo weight of the actual container itself.

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