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Moving to Germany

There’s so much to look forward to when planning a move to Germany. Not only is the country continuously growing in cultural, social, and economic areas, but it also has just the right variety of sausages and beers to keep your belly happy! Before you start savouring your new life, read on to learn about the logistics of your move to Germany.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

How Much Does Moving to Germany Cost?

The average expense for a move from the UK to Germany is estimated at roughly £1,500. The price is calculated mainly according to the distance to be travelled and your departure city. Do not forget to also take installation costs into account in your budget and to find out about the procedures and expenses to expect when you move to Germany.

Here is an indication of rates for professional removals from the UK to Germany:

House Size 20ft Shipping Container 40ft Shipping Container
1-2 Bedroom Flat £879 – £1,282£1,660 – £2,256
3-5 Bedroom House £1,450 – £2,080£2,420 – £3,239

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How To Organise Your Move to Germany?

Choosing the best method to transport your belongings to Germany typically narrows down to three primary options: sea freight, air freight, and road transport as an alternative. Let’s break them down:

1. Sea Freight

Shipping your belongings to Germany via sea freight is, without a doubt, your most budget-friendly option. It will take longer than by air, but it is so worth waiting an additional day or two of transit for a substantially lower cost. Your wallet will thank you!

2. Air Freight

Air Freight offers the quickest way to transport your belongings to Germany, ideal for time-sensitive moves or when you need certain items to arrive promptly.

3. Road Transport

You might also save money by choosing a road transport. It is possible, for example, to opt for piggyback transport, i.e. the combined transport of your personal goods by truck and train. In addition, the road network is very well served between the UK and Germany and it is recommended to choose van sharing to reduce the price of your move.

Moving Hack: Slash Costs with Combined Shipping

Opting for combined shipping allows you to share a container or truck space with other clients, leading to substantial savings—up to 50% off your international removal costs. While this approach might extend transit times, the financial benefits are significant.

Moving to Germany: Your Choice of Services

Choosing professional movers for your relocation to Germany offers peace of mind with guaranteed protection against breakage or damage during transit, providing savings in the long run. Plus, the moving company handles all the administrative details and manages your move based on the selected services, making your transition smoother.

Looking to make your move to Germany as smooth as possible? Check out the usual service packages moving companies have on offer:

➤ Economic Package

  • Movers handle the transportation of your belongings.
  • The removal company provides packaging materials and moving boxes.

➤ Standard Package

  • Disassembly of furniture and packing of fragile items (e.g., glassware and dishes) in specialised boxes.
  • Assistance with unpacking your belongings and reassembling your furniture.

➤ Complete Package

  • The ultimate hassle-free option: professional movers manage every aspect of your move, including home cleaning, storage solutions, and furniture assembly.

Each package is designed to fit various needs and budgets, allowing you to choose the level of assistance that suits your moving situation to Germany best.

Your Essential Checklist for Moving to Germany

Embarking on a new journey to Germany is an exciting adventure filled with opportunities and a bit of paperwork. Before you dive into the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant city life, there are some critical bits left to do to ensure your move is as seamless and stress-free as possible. Here is your 5-steps-guide through the essentials of moving to Germany:

1. Required Documents for Germany

To ensure a smooth registration process and legal residency, prepare the following documents well in advance:

  • Valid passport or identity card
  • Rental contract
  • Visa (depending on your situation)
  • Proof of residence
  • Marriage certificate and birth certificate of your children for accompanying persons
  • Completed declaration form

2. Registering Your Residence

A crucial step in your relocation process involves registering with the local authorities. This isn’t just a formality but a necessary step to legally establish your residence in Germany. You’re required to complete this registration, known as the Wohnanmeldung, at the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within 8 days of your arrival to Germany. When filling out the form, make sure to specify your religious affiliation, if any. This information is used to determine your eligibility for paying the church tax (Kirchensteuer); indicated as ‘ohne Religion’ for those not affiliated with a religion.

3. Navigating German Visas and Residency

If you’re a citizen of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA, EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you don’t need a German visa or residence permit.

• Tourist Visa

Citizens from outside Europe typically need to apply for a Visa or permit to visit, live, work or study in Germany for longer than 90 days.

• Brexit Implementation Period

As for UK nationals, according to The Citizens Rights Agreement, British citizens and their family members who are already lawfully residing in the European Union will be able to continue living in the EU before the end of the Brexit implementation period (December 31, 2020).

4. Health Insurance

German social security covers the whole population and is made up of five pillars:

  • Health coverage
  • Work accident insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Retirement
  • Long-term medical coverage

5. Let Your Move Get Carried by Professionals!

If your move is carried out by a moving company, this company takes care of these administrative formalities for you. Before your move, contact the telephone network to request the connection of your new residence: sometimes the waiting times could be longer than expected.

Other Considerations When Moving to Germany

Before moving to Germany, be sure to apply for a parking permit from the municipality of your destination city. This is indeed required and mandatory to be able to park the moving truck in the cities.

1. Working in Germany

Is it possible to move to Germany without a job? It’s no secret that Germany is the engine of Europe and rightly so since it is the leading European economic power. Germany has also been the world’s 4th economic power for ten years. This thriving and hyper-competitive economy is one of the main attractions of the country, which, moreover, faces a shortage of skilled labour.

2. Employment Contribution Rates in Germany

Contributions are calculated based on your income and shared between the employer and the employee (generally up to 40%). These are deducted directly from your gross salary. You are not subject to the levy of these contributions if your income is less than €450 monthly or if you work less than two months in the year. Like the British system, German social security is supplemented by private health insurance.

3. Moving to Germany with Your Children

Emigrating to Germany is relatively easy. However, if you are moving to Germany with your family, here are a few facts you need to know about the German education system for your child:

  • Public schools are often considered to be of a high standard and preferred to private school
  • Education is mandatory for all children from the age of six to eighteen
  • Preschool is not compulsory and parents need to pay some cost either for the Kinderkrippe (nurseries up to 3 years old) or the Kindergarten (preschool from 3 to 6 years old)

4. Moving to Germany with Your Vehicle

Do you need to register your car if you are moving to Germany? Anyone who moves to Germany is required to register their vehicle within one month of moving in. The administration responsible for making this change is the Landratsamt of your place of residence and will also inform you about the procedures for your driving license. After this time, you expose yourself to financial sanctions.

5. Moving to Germany with Your Pets

If you are relocating to Germany from the UK with your furry family members, you must follow some strict rules. You’ll have to vaccinate your dog or cat against rabies before moving to Germany and show a vaccination signed by a veterinarian at least 21 days before entering Germany. You cannot bring a dog or cat less than 15 weeks old to Germany as ruled by the EU conditions.

6. Navigating Accommodation in Germany

Securing a place to live in Germany involves navigating a market where housing costs can be steep and rental regulations are strict. Tenants are expected to adhere closely to their lease and building co-ownership rules to avoid eviction risks.

Typically, agency fees are equivalent to two months’ rent (excluding utilities), and security deposits can be as much as three months’ rent (also excluding utilities). It’s worth noting that landlords are required to return your deposit with any accrued interest at the end of your tenancy.

Rental Prices in Germany: What to Expect

When looking for housing, keep in mind that, generally, rent in Germany may be slightly lower than in the UK, even in Berlin, which, despite being the capital, isn’t the priciest German city. However, utility charges can add significantly to monthly costs. Housing often constitutes a large chunk of personal expenditures, sometimes nearly half of one’s income. Below, you’ll find a snapshot of Germany’s rental market to help guide your search:

CitiesStudio2 rooms apartment3 rooms apartment

7. The Cost of Living in Germany

Below you can find some price indications for goods and services in Germany:

Cinema10 €£10
Restaurant22€ menu£26 menu
Gym28€€ 30

Life in Germany: Why Make the Move?

Every year, numerous British citizens are drawn to Germany, settling in vibrant cities like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, and Hamburg. Here’s why Germany continues to be a top choice:

1. A Thriving British Community

With over 116,000 Brits now calling Germany home, there’s a sense of familiarity amidst new surroundings. The seamless movement and strong UK-Germany relations, particularly in economic spheres, make the transition smoother for many.

2. High Standard of Living

Germany offers a high standard of living, with a robust social security system, comprehensive healthcare, and high levels of safety and education. These factors contribute significantly to the quality of life for residents.

3. EU Membership Benefits

Being part of the European Union, Germany provides unique opportunities for travel, work, and cultural exchange within EU countries, enhancing the expat experience.

4. Diverse and Rich Culture

From Berlin’s freedom and creativity to Munich’s traditional charm and the dynamic scenes in Cologne and Hamburg, Germany boasts a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. The commitment to eco-friendliness and openness to alternative lifestyles, alongside traditions like Oktoberfest and Christmas markets, adds to its allure.

5. The Diverse Culture

Germany’s modernity shines through its rich artistic and cultural scenes, especially in metropolitan areas. The nation’s commitment to eco-friendliness is evident in its abundant parks and openness to alternative lifestyles. Beyond its urban appeal, Germany is steeped in tradition, from the nationwide Oktoberfest beer celebrations in October to enchanting Christmas markets.

6. Germany’s Vibrant Global Cities

From Berlin’s vibrant openness and alternative cultural scene, to Munich’s traditional charm, and through to the dynamic cultural hubs of Cologne and Hamburg, Germany offers a diverse tapestry of experiences. Berlin, in particular, is celebrated for its freedom, creativity, and open-minded atmosphere, drawing those in pursuit of an eclectic lifestyle. Meanwhile, cities like Cologne and Hamburg contribute with their own unique histories and lively modern scenes, making Germany a place where economic opportunity and cultural richness go hand in hand.

Kickstart Your Life in Germany Here

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