International Moving Costs: The 10 Costs You Need to Know

There are many factors that influence the cost of a move overseas-an estimated average is between $7,000-$30,000 or more. We’ve broken down the 10 types of costs below with what the estimated cost can be.

Shipping Furniture

Finding the right moving company for you is very important. It can be the difference between having your belongings delivered all in one piece for a good price and getting ripped off. The biggest influences in how much it will cost are:

  • The volume of your move: the bigger the volume of your furniture, the more expensive it will be to ship them.
  • The distance: The further away your new home is, the more expensive the move will be.
  • Type of transportation: shipping via sea is the cheapest option, however by air, it is a lot quicker.
  • Time of year: Peak times are during the summer, so try to avoid this time to save money.

Estimated Cost: Below you can find an overview of the average international shipping costs to popular destinations around the world. This is based on moving belongings valued at $75,000, port-to-port:

Moving To Estimated Cost 
New Zealand$860 – $1,345
Singapore$1,715 – $2,360
Indonesia $1,900 – $2,810
Japan$1,715 – $2,630
Canada $5,060 – $12,930 
United Kingdom $5,270 – $8,060
United States $5,260 – $12,510

For more information and current shipping rates, take a look at our container shipping costs page. However, the only way to find out how much your move will cost is by filling out our online form for precise quotes on your move overseas.

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Packing & Unpacking Costs

Most moving companies offer more services to make your move easier. One of the services that they can provide is packing and unpacking services. It can save you a lot of time and stress! In some cases, this is mandatory for insurance purposes and may already be included in your quote. In other cases, it may not be included in the price. You can also decide to pack everything yourself, which can make the cost a lot cheaper.

Estimated Cost: If you choose to have your removalist pack and unpack everything for you, then prices begin at $180 for half a 20ft container. Packing material can be quite cheap and it can save you up to 50% on costs. Ask local supermarkets for spare boxes or buy them online on website like Amazon.

Custom Charges & Taxes

If you’re importing a valuable item, then there will be duties and taxes on that item. Most countries have duty-free policies for people who are importing their household goods, but rates do vary from country to country. Therefore, it’s important that you are aware what the requirements are. Be aware that if you’re planning on shipping your car, you won’t escape taxes of importing it anywhere.

Estimated Cost: The customs tax charge depends on the value of the good that is being shipped and can be anything between 0%-100% of the value of the good. However, the global average is 1.8%.

International Moving Costs

Housing Costs

Moving overseas comes with organising where you would like to live and whether you would prefer to rent or buy a new home abroad.

Here are some costs that come with renting or buying a house that you must consider:

  • Bills (e.g. plumbing and maintenance)
  • International bank transfers
  • Legal advice
  • Phone and internet connections
  • Security bond (renters)
  • Translations (documentation)
  • Utilities (water, electricity, gas)

Estimated Cost: There are many factors that influence housing and living costs in another country, therefore, it’s hard to provide an estimate on how much housing costs can cost. We suggest contacting a local real estate agent for the area that you’re planning on living in. They will be able to provide you with an estimation on costs and help you find your ideal home. But to give an example, the cost of an average three-bedroom house in the UK will cost roughly between $1,600-$2,200 a month to rent.

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An important thing that you will need to think about is insuring your furniture when you move them overseas. Most moving companies will provide basic insurance to cover your furniture. However, you should check what this covers and if you need to take out additional insurance.

Estimated Cost: Insurance companies base your cargo quote on the monetary value of your goods, not on the volume or weight. You may spend anything from $200 to $1000 depending on the value of your items. If the value of your goods is lower and its end destination is closer, then of course the price will be cheaper.

Storage Costs

If you fly out ahead of your shipment date or if you want to leave stuff behind, then you may need to hire storage space. Some moving companies may be able to offer this, but in other cases you may need to find it yourself.

Estimated Cost: Prices for storage units are based on the size you need to hire. A 100sq ft storage space for example (approximately equivalent to a two-bedroom house) will cost anything between $200 to $400 a month, with most companies applying a discount if you use them for longer periods of time.

Discover how much your international move will cost


Making sure that you’ve got the right visa is very important. If you’re moving overseas, then you will need to organise this as soon as you can. The type of visa you need will depend on your reason for moving abroad. If you’re moving for work, then the company you work for will most likely sponsor your visa, therefore, you won’t have to worry about the application process or the costs. However, if this isn’t the case or you’re moving for another reason e.g. to retire or to be with your partner, then you will have to investigate which type of visa is suitable for you.

Estimated Cost: As each type of visa is different, the cost will vary. However, the cost of a skilled working visa for the United Kingdom is around $1,350 for up to five years. Whereas the equivalent skilled visa for one year in the United States is around $267.75.



Another factor that affects international moving costs is your flight! Travelling to your new home country will mean buying a plane ticket! Of course, if you’re moving to the other side of the world, a one-way ticket will be much more expensive than if you were buying one to New Zealand. The cost of plane tickets will vary depending on location and time of the year you travel in. For example, buying tickets in June-September will be more expensive than the rest of the year.

Estimated Cost: However, on average the cost of a one-way ticket to New Zealand start from $215, to the UK $750 and to New York in the US prices start around $900. The best way to see how much tickets are is to look on websites such as Skyscanner which can give you the best deals.

Pet Transport Costs

If you’re planning on moving overseas with your pet, then you have to consider the specific entry requirements for that country. A few months before moving, check out what they are and make sure you’ve covered things such as:

  • Plane ticket for your pet
  • Microchip
  • Pet Passport
  • Vaccinations
  • Special travel crates

There are many factors that influence the price of moving your pet abroad e.g. the breed, size, the country requirements.

Estimated Cost: It will depend on the airline that you use, but generally, cats are a little less expensive than transporting dogs. To give you an idea, shipping a cat abroad can cost between $700-$2,000 and dogs between $2,000-$7,000.

Other Costs

Finally, when you’re moving internationally, there are a lot of other things that may influence the cost of your move. You may have to think about:

  • Car transport
  • Transferring money abroad
  • Buying new furniture

What Next?

We hope that this page has given you enough information on international moving costs. There are many things to think about when considering the cost of moving overseas including visas, shipping furniture and customs charges. If you liked this page, then you may also be interested in these pages:

We hope you have a successful move overseas!