The UK has long been a hotbed for immigration and has plenty to offer if you’re looking for a change of pace, a different lifestyle or even just an adventure. No matter whether you prefer the bright lights of a big city like London, or the serene countryside of Cheltenham, you’re sure to find a spot where you feel at home.
However, before you pack your suitcase and google “best place for a cream tea in England”, there are a few things to bear in mind. From finding a place to live to checking if your driving licence cuts the mustard with DVLA, here are a few things to tick off the list before you launch into any grand life decisions.
As with most countries, Britain have their own unique culture. If you’ve never visited before, you may want to take a short trip to the UK and experience it yourself before making the leap to living there full-time.
This will not only give you the opportunity to try the food and get a feel for the local way of life, but it will also give you the chance to meet some new people, which will make your move much more enjoyable, as you won’t be in a new country knowing no one at all.
Before you can move anywhere, you need to find a suitable place to live. If you’ve never lived in the UK before, it would be sensible to start off with a rental property, so that you don’t have to commit to staying in the country if you find it isn’t right for you.
Find a reputable letting agency and ask to see photos of the houses or apartments they have available. Once you’ve found a few you like, arrange a video viewing so you can check them out yourself. It would be ideal to view in-person if possible, but this may not be easy if you live overseas.
Depending on which country you move from, you may be able to exchange your current driving licence for a UK one. However, if this is not possible, you’ll need to take a driving test, and you can book your test through driving test cancellations if you need a driving license.
Legally you must have third-party vehicle insurance, to ensure you’re protected if you cause damage to property or injury to a person or animal. This does not protect you against damage to your own vehicle, so you’ll need an additional policy for that. It would also be smart to obtain a car warranty to protect you against unexpected breakdowns.
The UK is known for having particularly poor weather, especially during autumn and winter. Be prepared for plenty of rain and often heavy snow in the coldest months. If you’re moving from a country which has a warmer climate, ensure you invest in a good-quality coat, hat, gloves, scarf and thermal tops or jumpers to keep you toasty through the unpredictable British elements.