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Moving from US to UK

Allied Van Lines: The Best of the UK Moving Companies

Introduction to the UK

Whether its because of the rich and fascinating history, the delicious cuisine, the exceptional culture or all of the above, many Americans are emigrating to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is a wonderful European country to call home no matter if it’s only for a few years or forever.

London, the region's hot spot, is the capital city of the U.K., and the area also has diverse areas throughout. In the northern and southern parts, the countryside is as expansive as is it beautiful. The U.K. also boasts several urban areas including Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. The U.K. experiences a temperate climate with plenty of rain throughout the year. The United Kingdom is a country that contains the island of Great Britain(England and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. 

Currency in the UK

It’s important to remember that the U.K. has a different form of currency than the U.S. and the E.U., so you’ll want to be sure to convert your American dollars to British pounds before you head over the pond or once you have arrived. You’ll want to check the exchange rate before converting your money to know how much your dollars will be worth in pounds.

In order to open a bank account in the U.K., you’ll need to present your passport as well as proof of your permanent address there. Note that a credit card statement won’t suffice - you need a utility bill or certified letter from an employer or school.

Unlike American ATMs that charge you an extra free for using a cash or debit card if it’s from a different bank, ATMs in the U.K. do not charge those extra dollars (or pounds, in this case).

Schooling in the UK

In the United Kingdom, children receive a full-time education from the age of 5 through 17. The system is divided into early years, primary education, secondary education and tertiary (further and higher) education.

Here you’ll find a variety of schooling options including state-funded and independent schools and sixth form and further education colleges.

Health services in the UK

Unlike in the U.S., medical care is provided through the National Health Service in the U.K., which is funded through central taxation and is free for most charges except prescriptions and optical and dental services. Everything from long-term condition treatment to transplants, emergency treatment and antenatal screenings are covered.

Items prohibited from import into the U.K.

While you’ll be shipping the majority of your belongings to your new home in the U.K. It’s important to know that there are some items you’re not allowed to bring into the country. According to the U.K. Customs Information, these items cannot be imported:

  • Controlled drugs
  • Firearms
  • Indecent or obscene books, magazines, videos, DVDs
  • Horror comics
  • Flick knives, butterfly knives and martial arts weapons
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Radio transmitters including cordless telephones not approved in U.K.
  • Meat, poultry and other animal products
  • Plants and plant produce including trees, shrubs, vegetables, fruit, bulbs and seeds
  • Animals, whether alive or dead, including stuffed animals
  • Parts and articles derived from protected species, including ivory, furskins, reptile leather and good made from parts

Activities and Attractions in the UK

Within the U.K., England is filled with an abundance of cultural, historical and royal attractions. In London you’ll certainly want to see where the Queen lives at Buckingham Palace. Be sure to stroll through the West End and the various museums in and outside London such as the British Museum, the Museum of Liverpool, the Leeds City Museum and the Natural History Museum.

The natural scenery and rolling landscapes are truly a sight to see here, and you can experience the gorgeous flora and fauna up close at a number of gardens throughout the U.K. (which also includes England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) including Trebah Gardens, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Moving to the UK

In addition to applying for your British visa or green card, it’s important to note that foreign vehicles may be imported to the U.K. duty free as long as you’ve owned it for six months prior. It must also comply with the U.K. compliance of vehicles. Luckily, Allied Van Lines offers vehicle transportation.

Flights from the U.S. to the U.K. can last between six to eight hours, but with a U.K. moving company, you can use this time to rest or read up on your new home country. Allied offers full-service packing as well as box and furniture inventory, so they’ll take care of all the heavy lifting for you. And with Representatives In 34 Countries Worldwide, your relocation should be stress-free. Keep in mind, if you’re shipping household and personal goods to the U.K., you must have owned and used them for at least six months before shipment and you must be moving to your primary residence.