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How to be best prepared when it comes to moving to the UK

Wondering how to make a move to the UK? This guide will offer you all the answers you need, compiled from Movega Removals' years of expertise. Moving internationally is not an easy thing to do, and after Brexit, settling in the UK has become even harder. That's why, should you decide to find a new home there, it's a good idea to trust reliable partners who can guide you through the complicated process. However, the first step is to make a cup of Earl Grey tea, and then familiarise yourself with everything important when it comes to moving to the island country.

The most common languages in the United Kingdom

Many famous people were born in the UK. Among them is David Crystal, famous linguist. According to him there is an accent shift, on average, every 25 miles in England. We believe this statement can be applied to the whole kingdom. The best place to start a UK Relocation guide is from how you would communicate with others.

English, in its various dialects, is spoken by over 98% of those living in the UK. Prevalent are also:

  • Scottish: A language heavily influenced by English, spoken by 1,5 million people in Scotland. Although many consider Scottish to be a dialect of English, it is distinct as a language, characteristic of Scotland's national identity.
  • Welsh in Wales: Spoken by just over half a million people, it is the only one to have its status legally recognised as equal to English, which is why all public signs and social service boards in the country are required to also contain Welsh. It belongs to the Celtic group of languages and is also common among those living in the USA, Canada, and Australia.
  • Gaelic and Scots in Scotland: Used by nearly 87,000 people, Gaelic is common for settlers inhabiting Scotland. It belongs to the Celtic group of languages and began to spread in the 13th century. In the past, it was widely used in the northern parts of Scotland (the historic region of the Highlands of Scotland). The Scots language, on the other hand, is typical for the lowlands of Scotland (the historic Lowlands of Scotland region) and is defined as being more similar to English, considered by many to be its dialect.
  • Irish and Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland: With 5730 speakers.
  • Cornish in Cornwall, England: With 600 speakers.

Interestingly, after the Norman invasion in 1066, French was adopted as the official language spoken by the upper class and those in authority. At that time, English was typical of the population of the lower social classes. Nearly half a million people in the UK speak Polish—a consequence of the separation of a large Polish community in the country after EU accession.

Renting a new home when moving to the UK

Renting options are the next item in our Moving to the UK Guide. The cost of living on the island is high, by 2023 for a family of four it is estimated to be just over £2,300, excluding rent bills. For a single person living in the country, the same cost is estimated at £650. Rent bills depend on the location of the home, your requirements as a tenant and the number of residents in the home. The average rent for single people is £725 and £870 for a couple without children. Families with children would pay around £940 per month.

Another factor for calculating the monthly rent is the location of the dwelling. The most expensive homes are in London. The average prices for a monthly stay in a home by region are:

  • London: £1,480
  • East: £860
  • Southeast: £940
  • Northwest: £623
  • Southwest: £752
  • West Midlands: £602
  • East Midlands: £561
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: £550
  • Northeast: £530

An important point from this UK Relocation Guide is that the UK has what is known as 'social rent'. This is a subsidised rent amount provided to people on lower incomes. For example, another breakdown of rents in the country suggests that the average across all regions rent by 2023 is £484 for so-called 'social tenants' and £953 for private tenants. Estimating rents in the UK is a difficult task as they also depend on criteria such as: the tenant's employment status, the presence of children, the presence or absence of so-called 'housing support', the age of the tenant, the deposit required (dependent on the length of tenancy), etc.

All data provided in this section is from reputable sources.

UK Relocation Guide: Starting a promising job

Professionalism and punctuality are highly valued when it comes to career development in the UK. Locals are usually straightforward in their style of communication in the workplace. They adhere to an established hierarchy; roles are clearly defined and teamwork is prioritised. Respectful and diplomatic communication as well as a focus between employees' personal and professional lives are other important points in the traditional work environment. In addition, local companies encourage diversity and are tolerant of each employee's needs, a behaviour imposed by the variety of people and cultures in the island country. Interestingly, the population loves quality beer, and it is common for colleagues to gather at a local pub or bar at least once a week after work. The working week runs from 9am to 5pm, between Monday and Friday.

According to Statista, the average annual salary for 2022 in the UK is £33,000. It is highest in the London region at £41,866 and lowest in the North-East region at £29,521.  The highest paid positions in the UK are in management, marketing, sales and advertising, information technology, education, public relations and communications, finance, aviation and transport (train and tram management).

Uk urban view

UK Relocation Guide: Best tips for moving with kids

Our guide to moving to the UK wouldn't be complete if we didn't mention family relocation, which is very much about the future of little ones. Education in the country is divided into four levels:

  • Primary education: Covers children from 4 to 11 years of age, comprising six regular and one introductory year.
  • Secondary education: Covers the period from the seventh to the eleventh year of children's education (or pupils aged 11 to 16). Compulsory subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, and foreign languages are covered, and additionally each pupil's curriculum may include Art, Music, Drama, Computer sciences, Sports, Latin, etc. Year nine of UK education marks the transition from Junior School to Senior School. In the final two years, pupils prepare to sit the Certificate of Secondary Education examination (comprising separate examinations in all subjects studied). 
  • Further education: Usually associated with preparing international students for university entrance. Lasts 2 years. Through so-called BTEC courses, it can also help students to acquire vocational skills in areas such as engineering, business, psychology, sport, and the arts and to build on them further after secondary education. And here's a full list of publicly funded colleges for further education in the UK.
  • Higher education: University education is divided into three main stages: foundation courses organised to facilitate admission to local universities, undergraduate study, and postgraduate study which is considered to be quite intensive.

Also available in the UK are:

  • Tutorial colleges: Focused on facilitating university entry and involving smaller classes, with each student receiving more individual attention from a tutor.
  • Boarding schools: These are only open to students born in the UK who have the right to reside in the UK or are eligible to be issued with a UK passport. Since 2021, UK boarding schools are no longer open to citizens of other European countries.

Guide for relocating to the UK with pets

If you are moving to the UK with a dog, cat, or ferret, the animal should:

  • Be microchipped by a vet or authorised person in accordance with ISO 11784 and ISO 11785.
  • Have a pet passport or health certificate. Note that travel from some countries (Part 2 in the list provided below) requires a Great Britain pet health certificate issued 10 days prior to travel.
  • Have been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Have had a blood test (if travelling from a country not on the list of countries listed).

Another important requirement when moving with a pet to the UK is to go through an approved route. It is also necessary to complete a declaration stating that you will not be changing the owner of the animal. Dogs must be examined for tapeworms and the examination must be documented in their passport. It is important to know that the rules for entering Northern Ireland with a pet differ from those listed above.

Additional conditions apply in the case of sale or change of ownership of the animal, the arrival of the animal more than 5 days apart (later or earlier) than you, moving with more than 5 animals, being transported for a purpose other than to attend a specialist event.

Helpful tips for driving in the UK

The notion that life changes direction after moving to a new country can be taken quite literally when it comes to the UK driving rules. That's because driving there happens in the left-hand lane. Movers from EU member states and countries that are part of the European Economic Area are allowed to drive in the UK with their original licence despite the changes imposed by Brexit. Having car insurance is a legal requirement in this country. Driving licences of people arriving from a number of other countries are also recognised as valid, but only for a year. For long stays, it is recommended that the original driving document is exchanged for a UK one. An online tool is also available to familiarise you with your driving rights, depending on the country you are moving from.

UK Relocation Guide: Healthcare

The UK NHS is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the world. Every legal resident has the right to access public healthcare. An important condition of settling in the UK is that you have been issued with a National Health Service number (NHS number). You can obtain this number by registering with the GP you have chosen to see. However, not all healthcare services in this country are covered by the NHS. Another alternative for expats who are not part of the UK NHS is to take out international health insurance.

Nature and climate in the UK

The final point we will discuss in our UK Relocation Guide is related to the UK's nature and climate. To be honest, it's notorious for its unpredictable weather; you may start your morning in bright sunshine, but that's far from saying that you won't be hit by torrential rain and blustery winds for the rest of the day. If we could define UK weather in one word, it would be “extreme”. The climate is oceanic. Traditionally, summers and winters are cool and wet, with rarely any excessively cold or hot days. In different parts of the country, the climate varies. For example, the London region in the south-east has a dry climate. Not so in Cumbria, an area in the north-west of England where temperatures are lower and rainfall higher. Among the lessons we can draw about the UK's unpredictable and often changing weather conditions is to make sure you never go out without an umbrella and warm clothing on hand.

Despite the bad weather, UK residents know how to cosy up. Dozens of historic buildings, castles and fortresses, are a testament to this, turning the country into a film set offering breathtaking views. Dotted with historic landmarks, the UK's expansive territory ensures that you're sure not to be bored on weekends after moving to the country. Some of the most popular historical monuments marking the finale of this UK relocation guide are:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Stonehenge Megalithic Monument
  • Windsor Castle
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Paul's Cathedral

These were the most important aspects of our UK Relocation Guide. The UK is definitely a country unlike any other. Unique in many of its perceptions, it never ceases to attract those wishing to settle there. If you are planning a move to the island soon, the team at Movega Removals are ready to advise you, relying on years of expertise. Get in touch with us right now using the chatbot feature and online contact form available on our website.

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