Are you looking for a quality removals service to or from Germany? As a European economic powerhouse with strong levels of job satisfaction and security, it’s not hard to see why Germany is the country of choice for expats.
White & Company have been moving families and individuals to and from Germany for over 80 years and have the necessary training, know-how and professionalism to carry out your move as efficiently as possible. We’re also founder members of industry regulators, BAR, FIDI & OMNI which ensures we deliver our services to the highest possible standards.
Whether you’re moving from Birmingham to the thriving metropolis of Berlin, or Devon to the cobbled streets of Düsseldorf, we have the vehicles and knowhow to make your move stress-free. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today to discuss your options and receive a free no obligation quotation.
Why Move to Germany?
Germany, or Deutschland, meaning ‘the German lands’, has developed a name for itself as a progressive pragmatic nation with a thriving economy and a diverse range of working opportunities.
So called ‘Multi-Kulti’ cities, including the capital Berlin have sprung up all over the place as hotbeds for expats looking to be part of a vibrant and diverse international community while also embracing German values towards life.
From mountain climbing or skiing in the Alps, to cycling in the Northern countryside or sunny days spent on the beach in the North Sea and Baltic coastal regions, Germany’s fantastic central location right in the centre of Europe make it an ideal place to explore all the continent has to offer.
Expats are attracted to fantastic working opportunities in the fields of IT, science and engineering. As a nation that prides itself on high levels of academic attainment, be aware however that such in-demand roles often have strict criteria.
Expats are also surprised to find that despite the high standard of living, housing costs in Germany are typically more affordable than in the UK. Although this is likely to vary considerably depending on your intended destination with prices fluctuating between Lower Saxony and Bavaria.
Although Germans work hard they arguably play even harder. The country is known around the world for its love of beer and social events such as Oktoberfest in Munich, with its clinking steins of beer, bratwurst and raucous singing are essential parts of German life.
Germany, like most worldwide countries has very strict importation regulations. There are restrictions on entering with items such as:
- replica guns
- radio communications equipment
- weapons and ammunition (including empty cartridge cases and air guns)
- some prescribed medication
You must declare all kinds of food to the customs authorities, too. In practice, unless it poses a general health hazard or violates animal health laws, food and drinks usually are ignored.
You must declare cash, securities, or cheques more than €10,000 in value. Cash equivalents such as raw or polished jewels and precious metals must also be declared. If you are caught trying to slip these items past customs, the resulting fines can be rather heavy (up to €1 million).
Used household goods and personal effects can be imported into Germany duty-free if:
- have lived in your country of origin for at least 12 consecutive months.
- be planning to take up official residence in Germany.
- have owned the imported items for at least six months.
- intend the goods for personal use only.
- wait at least one year before reselling them in Germany.
If you are unsure of any items, the following web sites may be of use before you attempt to import:
Health insurance in Germany is mandatory, and conditions apply whether residents must choose state German health insurance or private health insurance. Without insurance you cannot access hospital services or outpatient medical treatment.
German residents are required to register with either a statutory German health insurance scheme (gesetzliche Krankenkasse, GVK) or a private insurance scheme (private Krankenversicherung, PVK).
Most employers will be able to offer some kind of health insurance. However, as with all insurance policies, there are different levels of cover.
You are strongly advised to research fully before you relocate to ensure you and your family are sufficiently covered.
Here are some useful web sites regarding health insurance:
The average price per square metre to buy an apartment in the city is currently €4,644 (£4,053). A similar property on the outskirts of the city will cost in the region of €3,153 (£2,752).
Prices are typically up to 50 percent higher in the major cities and Munich is rated as the most expensive city.
As Germany offers a wide range of high-quality rental housing most people opt to rent. There are plenty of properties on the market from large homes with big gardens to small one bedroomed flats.
Renters are protected by the law against excessive increases in rent, and landlords are not allowed to terminate a lease without cause.
Additionally, rental homes are of a very high standard, equivalent to owned properties, although many homes come unfurnished meaning you may need to pay extra to fit your kitchen or bathroom.
For a one-bedroom apartment, you can expect to pay a monthly rent of between €519 – €690 (£453– £602) depending on which city you choose to live.
It is possible that you will need to go through a ‘Makler’, or rental agent, who will take around two months deposit as payment for their services. You will also need to pay around three months’ rent as a deposit on your apartment.
Germans take schooling and education very seriously and school is compulsory from the age of six. Most German schools are run by the state and there is no charge for your children to attend.
The individual states are responsible for their own education policy and the content of curriculum can change from state to state.
To cater for expat children who do not speak fluent German, the local education authority offers special lessons. The goal is to integrate expat children as soon as possible into regular school classes.
It is also worth noting that at secondary school age, children are split into different types of school, depending on their academic achievements and interests.
The different routes they take at this point can have a large bearing on their options later in life.
If you prefer, there are plenty of private and international schools to choose from, however, not surprisingly they are expensive.
For more information on education provision in Germany, visit the following web sites:
As an EU citizen you do not need to apply for a visa to work in Germany. All expats with a recognised university degree or one which is comparable with a German university degree, are entitled to the ‘EU Blue Card’ single residence and work permit.
To obtain it, you need to prove that you have a job in Germany which corresponds to your qualification. The only condition is that you must earn an annual gross salary of at least €52,000 (£45,000).
For further advice on obtaining a Blue Card, visit the following web sites:
Due to its large international population many Germans are English speaking, but as a general rule you will need to speak German in order to find a commanding job with a competitive salary.
It is less of a necessity in certain industries, but for jobs in the financial industry it is required. Germany prides itself on its prestigious automotive industry, which has given rise to such famous manufacturers as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW.
Germany’s largest growth industries are in the IT, science and technology and engineering sectors, and there are many multinational companies who employ expats or arrange relocations from existing jobs.
It is best to get this set up and arranged prior to moving to Germany as jobs can be hard to come by and competition for places is fierce following the economic recession.
To drive legally in Germany, a full valid UK driving licence is required. The minimum age for driving in is 18. Germany has one of the highest number of cars in Europe, which is reflected in its very congested cities. Car sharing is very popular. Many of the country’s motorways (known as Autobahns) have no speed limits.
Germany may well be regarded as a country of cars but it also has some excellent public transport options. You can expect its busses, trains and tram services to be on time, clean, easy to use and reasonable priced. Public transport in Germany’s bigger cities such as Munich or Berlin often consists of four different, but interconnected systems. The U-Bahn (underground train) and S-Bahn (suburban express train) are usually the fastest way to get around.
White & Company
Removals to Germany since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all European removals to Germany, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Popular Places to Relocate in Germany
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.