Moving to UK from US – 2024 Returning Guide

Moving to UK from US – 2024 Returning Guide

Do you plan to start moving to UK from US?

You may feel that so much has changed since you moved to the US.

Returning expats will find that the UK has changed substantially since they left.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the long-lasting effects of Brexit have had a huge impact on the UK in so many ways.

However, there is an increasing tendency for people to assess their priorities thanks to these events.

Your specific reasons for making the move back across the pond may vary.

Regardless of your motivation for moving, we are here to help you begin your relocation to the UK from the US.

Due to the many changes to the relocation process, you may need to make some additional preparations, particularly concerning cost.

Unfortunately, shipping by sea freight globally has doubled in price in the past three years due to a number of factors.

This article covers the most important aspects of moving to UK from US.

In order to make your move as smooth as possible, we hope to share all the information you need.

If you are moving to the UK from the US, this guide will be helpful.

Property Prices in the UK

House prices UK vs USA

House prices UK vs USA. Image credit: Pixabay

Over the past three years, there has been a period of unprecedented uncertainty in the UK housing market.

The high cost of living, fluctuating inflation rates, shifting interest rates, and the lingering aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic have all had a negative impact.

Thankfully, things have slowed and the cost of buying a home has fallen.

But returning expiates will find that property prices are higher than when they left to live in the United States.

The latest figures issued by the Office for National Statistics put the average cost of a home in the UK at £285,000 (November 2023).

Before moving to UK from US, it makes sense to sell your home in your previous country.

This will allow you to start over upon your return.

Knowing the UK market well is essential before relocating back home.

Predicting exactly what will happen to the UK housing market is difficult.

However, some financial experts are predicting that there could be quite a drop in values during 2024. 

To gain an understanding of the cost of property, there are a range of fantastic websites that make it easy to check house prices online.

Zoopla and Rightmove can provide you with an overview of current property prices if you are moving to UK from US.

Be sure to act quickly if there is a property that you hope to purchase!

Rental Costs

Just like those looking to purchase a home on their return from the US, the rental climate has changed significantly in a relatively short space of time as well.

The shortage of affordable homes and surging prices have made it very difficult for buyers to get onto the property ladder.

The surge in demand for rentals has inevitably led to increased rental costs.

Additionally, in 2022 alone, landlords sold 35,000 more properties than they bought, reducing the pool of rental homes even further.

Even though letting a home has been made harder, it is by no means impossible.

Rental charges are difficult to calculate and will vary wildly from area to area.

As a guide, the latest research from the online property portal Rightmove found that the average advertised rent outside of London hit a record £1,278 per month.

Living Costs

Though the cost of living in the UK bay seem high, in comparison to the USA, it is generally cheaper according to Numbeo, the cost-of-living website.

There will be slight variations in some costs among different regions of the UK.

In general, prices decrease as you travel further north the UK.

Alongside the rising living costs, UK wages tend to be lower than those in the US.

It is estimated that the average monthly American salary in 2024 is $4,678 (£3,675).

While the average monthly salary in the U.K. in 2024 is £2,320 $2,953).

Pay levels in the U.S. and U.K. are not drastically different when factors such as pensions and holiday benefits are taken into account.

Nevertheless, it is important to take into account the differences in salaries between the countries.

It is imperative that you ensure that you can afford to start moving to UK from US, regardless of these factors.

Healthcare in the UK

Doctors UK

Healthcare in the UK is rather different to the USA. Image credit: Unsplash

When you move to the UK, you don’t need health insurance.

When you apply for your visa, you will pay a health care surcharge, which will grant you access to the NHS, the UK’s free health care system.

It is however common for expats to opt for private health insurance in order to avoid long waits on the NHS.

If that is the case, you are able to buy health insurance if you choose to do so.

Driving When in the UK

If you are moving to UK from US, you may want to make sure you have a valid driver’s license.

If you have a foreign license, you should contact the DVLA immediately.

As a result, you will be able to exchange your existing license for a valid UK one.

If you have a US driving license, you can only drive in the UK for 12 months.

To get a full UK license after 12 months has passed, you’ll have to apply for a full UK license and begin the licensing process as if you were a beginner.

This process will consist of both a theory and a practical test.

Be sure to contact a driving instructor to assist you with this process!

Banking and Finances


GBP and USD. Image credit: Depositphotos

If you are moving to UK from US, you must take care of your finances.

Due to the large scale of this move, we’re sure you’ve already given it some serious consideration.

A move from the US to the UK requires careful planning when it comes to money matters.

It is so important to consider all the factors involved in international moving and your finances.

It is important to note that when you leave the US, you are going to pay the US Exit Tax or Expatriation Tax.

The exit tax allows former citizens and residents to fulfil their tax duties before they leave permanently.

The next step is to open a UK bank account if you don’t have one already.

Former residents of the UK may have already experienced the procedure of setting up a bank account here.

It is also important to shop around for the best exchange rates when moving internationally.

HM Revenue & Customs needs to be notified of your returns and your pension should be understood before moving.

The financial transition from the US to the UK isn’t too substantial, but you’ll still have to adjust your financial planning somewhat.

Bringing Your Pets

Dog on mat

There are certain rules you need to follow when bringing your pet to the UK. Image credit: Depositphotos

Pets can move from the US to the UK with you, including cats, dogs, and ferrets.

To avoid quarantine or having to send your pet back, you must ensure your pet meets all entry requirements.

Pets must meet the following requirements:

  • Vaccinated against rabies
  • Equipped with a health certificate
  • They must be microchipped

Additionally, you must provide evidence that your dog has been treated for tapeworm 24 hours prior to travelling.

Other pets (besides cats, dogs, and ferrets) can still be brought with you, but different rules apply.

You can find all the necessary information on the Home Office’s website.

Shipping to the UK

Container Ship

Another area that requires a good deal of consideration and planning is the shipment of your personal effects.

The first thing you need to determine is whether you will return with all of your belongings when relocating.

It is very common for people moving from the US to the UK to return with all their belongings with them.

If this is the case, you should contact a respected international mover.

Due to the large number of options available, choosing one may seem overwhelming.

If you want to hire the best removal company, make sure the company is a member of FIDI, BAR, and Omni.

Membership in these organisations is typically accompanied by a high standard of auditing.

As a result, when moving to the UK from the US, you can expect the top level of service.

Don’t hesitate to contact White & Company.

Throughout the years, we have partnered with reliable companies around the globe.

White & Company is happy to provide you with the contact details of our trusted US partners to facilitate your move.

You will receive a detailed explanation of the export process from your removal company, as well as assistance with the UK import process.

Ready to Start Moving to UK from US?

White&Company Truck in Transit

Are you thinking of moving to UK from US?

Moving abroad can be a tricky process for everyone concerned.

That’s why White & Company are here to help your move to the UK be as stress-free as possible.

Over the years, White & Company has positioned itself as the international removals firm of choice for removals worldwide.

Our experience is second to none. As members of BAR, FIDI and OMNI, White & Company have been relocating people to destinations worldwide for well over150 years.

Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile, and bulky furniture ready for export

To find out more about how we could get your dream move underway, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or chat with our bot and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.


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