Moving to the UK from Australia: A Complete Guide

Leaving kangaroos, surfing and how you goings behind, and gearing up for a British adventure? How exciting! If you are planning on moving to the UK from Australia, look no further. This page contains all the essential information required to ensure you move to the UK with a smile 😊

How Much Does it Cost to Move to the UK from Australia?

Unfortunately, nothing good in life comes cheap. Given that moving to the UK from Australia involves traversing at least 9,000 miles, organising a removalist company is likely to be more than the change in your pocket. However, to help cut your costs, we offer up to five free removal quotes, allowing you to compare and find the best deal.

So that you can immediately gauge a rough idea of how much it costs to move to the UK from Australia, we have created the following table which indicates the prices of moving from Sydney to London, by sea, dependent on your household size.

However, it is important to note that your final removalist cost will be dependent on several factors, most significantly the exact distance and size of your move. If you are not sure of the latter, hold your horses and use our handy furniture volume calculator!

Household SizeTimeCost
1-bedroom house9 – 12 weeks$5,300 – $7,300
2-bedroom house6 – 9 weeks$7,100 – $9,900
3-bedroom house6 – 9 weeks$12,800 – $17,200
4-bedroom house6 – 9 weeks$13,600 – $18,300
5-bedroom house6 – 9 weeks$19,400 – $26,200

Disclaimer: the above costs are only estimates. Final prices will vary depending on the exact destination of your move and the service rates of the company. 

If you are moving to the UK from Australia and only have a small household, it is also possible to transport your items via airfreight. If you choose to do this, you can expect your container to arrive within 8-10 days, but also be prepared for much higher prices!

Moving to the UK from Australia: A Checklist

Working out what to do when moving to the UK from Australia is the first hurdle. That is why we have done the hard work for you and created a moving to the UK checklist. Simply work your way through this and your dreams of sipping tea with the Queen will become one step closer to reality! Note: Brits drink about 165 million cups of tea a day, your challenge is to keep up!

For more general advice on moving abroad, we have also got you covered with our thorough moving overseas checklist.

Before you leave Australia:

  • Important documents. We know paperwork is not anyone’s favourite thing, but it has to be done. Most importantly organise your visa, of which there is more information on below. Once this is done, keep all your important documents in a safe and accessible location.
  • Organise an international moving company. Not sure where to start? Check out Sirelo’s list of removalists and find one that best suits your needs. It takes a lot of trust to put all your possessions in the hands of someone else!
  • Pack. It is never too early to start packing. The more efficient you can make your move to the UK from Australia, the cheaper it will be, ka-ching!
  • Car transport. More information provided on this below.
  • Moving to the UK with a pet? This is definitely not something you want to forget, so make sure you meet the import requirements outlined below.

Once you arrive in the UK:

  • Get a National Insurance Number. If you are intending on working when you move to the UK from Australia, you will require a national insurance number to do so. This is similar to an Australian Tax File number. We recommend doing that ASAP.
  • Sort out your finances. We recommend opening a British bank account. If you are not clued up about this, don’t fret! Start by exploring some of the banks on the list below. Once you have this set up, transfer over any Australian dollars you have. TorFx is a great way to do so.
  • Healthcare. The British healthcare system is one of the best and most accessible in the world. However, you will need to organise a few bits and bobs to benefit from it. Find out more below.
  • Driving licence. Your Australian driving licence is valid in the UK for up to 12 months. If you are moving to the UK from Australia for longer than this, then you will be required to switch it to a British one. On the plus side, at least they drive on the right (and by right, we mean left) side of the road 😉

We know this may seem like a lot to take in, but the key to a successful move is planning and organisation. With a little help from Sirelo, you will be in the Land of Hope and Glory before you know it!

Do Australians need a Visa for the UK?

Assuming that you are intending on working upon moving to the UK from Australia, you will need a visa. However, it is worth noting that Australians can live in the UK visa free for up to six months as a tourist. So you can soak in the sites of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, and explore the rolling hills of the British countryside, but the moment you intend on making a few bucks, a visa is mandatory.

Types of Visas available to Australians in the UK:

  • Skilled work visa: suitable for an individual who has been offered a skilled job in the UK.
  • High-value work visa: for leaders in arts and science, entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Working holiday visa: for young people (between the age of 18-30) who wish to stay in the UK temporarily (1-2 years) and work and travel.
  • Student visa: for those intending to study upon moving to the UK from Australia.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. For further information, we recommend visiting the government website.

Working Life in the UK

Provided your visa allows you to do so, moving from Australia to the UK is likely to involve exploring the job market. Brush up on your thank yous and your welcomes, because the British stereotype of politeness is a stereotype for a reason, especially within a professional environment.

Like most places, getting a job can be frustrating and difficult, especially if you have only recently moved to the UK from Australia. If you are on the government’s shortage occupation list, you will have an easier time, but if not consider some of the following job portals as a good place to start:

As an Australian moving to the UK, you will face a few challenges when it comes to employment, but there is nothing that hard work can’t achieve!

Moving to the UK from Australia

Other Tips for Moving to the UK from Australia

We hope at this point your main queries about moving to the UK from Australia have been cleared up. However, we thought we would continue to help answer some slightly less obvious, but nonetheless necessary, concerns.

The Cost of Living in the UK

Money, money, money…unfortunately, concerns about finances don’t stop the moment you complete your move to the UK. It is also important to consider how to budget once you get there. This table, which compares common cost of living metrics between the UK and Australia is a good place to start.

Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre$1,713$1,365
Basic monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment$222$282
1L of milk$1.65$1.66
0.5L of draught beet$8.00$6.56
1L of gasoline$1.47$2.31

Of course these figures reflect national averages, and your actual cost of living will depend largely on where exactly you choose to live, and your personal lifestyle. If you are on a tight budget, try to avoid relocating to London, where costs are substantially higher. For example, rent prices in Manchester are a whopping 55.56% lower than in the capital!

Taking your pet to Australia from the UK

We know what vital parts of the family pets can be. That is why, when moving to the UK from Australia, it is paramount that you understand the import requirements. The body in charge of this is DEFRA. They outline the following six essential measures to ensure your furry friends don’t get left behind:

  • Your pet must be microchipped.
  • They must have had a recent rabies vaccination.
  • 30 days after administering the rabies vaccination, they must have a blood test.
  • You must obtain an official third country veterinary certificate.
  • If you have a dog, they must have tapeworm treatment, one to five days before departure.
  • Your pet must travel in a pre-approved carrier.

We know this seems like a lot of work, but soon enough you will all be settled in the UK, with man’s best friend by your side. Bare in mind, the flight from Australia to the UK is a long way for a human, let alone an animal, so make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible.

Moving your car to the UK from Australia

Safety first! To ensure that all vehicles on UK roads are safe for drivers, there are also several steps that you must take if bringing a vehicle with you when moving to the UK from Australia:

  • Obtain a Vehicle Approval Certificate from the manufacturer/ importer of your vehicle.
  • Pay vehicle tax based on the value of your car.
  • Get motor insurance from a British provider.
  • Register your vehicle.

Top tip! Think about the size of a car, and then think about the distance between Australia and the UK. Then put the two together. It goes without saying that taking your car with you is going to be both a challenging and expensive task. So do consider selling it and replacing upon arrival, if you can bare to part ways.

Healthcare in the UK

Last, but by no means least, it is essential that you understand the workings of the British healthcare system. In this sense, you are in luck, in that in somewhat resembles the structure of Medicare. In this way, moving to the UK from Australia is not all that unfamiliar.

To be eligible to receive free healthcare from the NHS, you must have a National Insurance Number, as outline earlier in this article. All emergency care is free of charge, and most non-urgent care too. However, there are some aspects of healthcare you should expect to pay for, such as dentistry and opticians.

While the NHS is one of the best health services in the world, it is understaffed and therefore there can be long waiting times. If this is something that concerns you, getting private health insurance is not a bad idea.

moving to the uk

What Next?

We hope you understand a little more about what your move to the UK from Australia will entail. While it will be hard to wave goodbye to the Ozzie sun, moving to the UK is an exciting adventure! With a helping hand from Sirelo, you are on your way to smooth-sailing and stress-free move.

If you still have burning questions, we are sure Sirelo can help. Perhaps you want to know a little more about international moving costs, or container shipping costs?

In the meantime, sit back and relax! You deserve it. Oh, and don’t forget to brush up on your accents; it is said that the British accent changes every 25 miles, and even cows develop regional accents.