Since an interstate move is so expensive, it would be no surprise to see the cost of moving to another country super expensive. An average international move can cost over $10,000 for long-distance country-to-country moves.
However, the cost of moving overseas is determined by numerous factors that you must consider in order to make an adequate moving budget for your international move.
There are different costs that sum up the actual moving cost of an international move. You should put everything into consideration to play safely in budgeting right for the move.
Below is all you need to know when calculating the cost of moving internationally:
Moving & Transportation Costs
The highest single cost you will face when moving your household possessions from your current home in one country to another home in a new country is the cost of hiring an international mover. Start making comparisons using our moving quote tool.
The moving and transportation costs will be determined by a few major factors:
- Size of the move: Bigger move commands bigger expenses regardless of weight or volume. This cost can be reduced with fewer belongings. Make sure you are moving what you need in the new home overseas.
- Distance: The farther you have to travel on your move the more costly it will be.
- Route: While some destinations are popular, others are not. For instance, moving internationally between the United States and Canada or within Europe is popular. The routes will certainly be less expensive due to the great number of international movers servicing it, compared to not-so-popular routes.
- Transportation method: Your transportation method for your belongings will make a huge impact on your overall price. The cheapest option is to ship by sea, while shipping through an airline is considered the most expensive. will be required for the first part of any kind of move, regardless of the method you later choose.
Since shipping freight is considered the less expensive option, some people choose to move with an international shipping company.
Although this option may be cheaper in some cases, the majority of these companies are not specifically offering residential moves, but they rather primarily handle freight shipping.
We recommend reading our article on international container shipping costs or heading straight into obtaining international moving quotes from any of these companies to better understand the costs of moving and transportation.
- Typical transport & moving cost: Starting from $1,000 and can be over $10,000 for long-distance international moves.
Packing & Unpacking Costs
Even though not all movers charge additional fees for packing and unpacking, the majority of them do so. The destination country of your move will determine if you will need this service or not.
This is because customs documents of some country require the movers to make sure the items being imported into the country are legal and no illegal item is being transported.
Items like drugs and weapons are obviously illegal, while others may include stuff you may not be aware of, such as some plants or animals. Any moving company caught on the other side of the law may be penalized or stripped of their licenses and lose the chance to perform business in the country.
We recommend you speak to your mover in order to see if there is anything you can do to avoid or lower this cost. It may save you some money in some cases when you pack yourself, but you will have to leave the packed boxes open for inspection by your movers. You can also save yourself some money at the destination home by unpacking yourself.
- Typical packing & unpacking cost: Starting from $100 but mostly a few hundred dollars.
During your international move, you may discover that the storage fee has been added to your regular moving costs. The reason behind this is that, coordinating your moving date to the shipping dates used by the country-to-country shipping companies may be difficult.
Hence, they will have to store your belongings somewhere when they are not in transit. Make sure this is considered when setting a timeline on when your household belongings will arrive.
You may also need storage to keep your belongings while you search for a place to live in your destination country. You may also want to pay to keep your belongings until you arrive if you do not take this as a permanent move.
- Typical storage cost: Starting from $100 monthly for a small 1-2-bedroom apartment; prices can increase. Gladly, this space is kind of competitive and thus keeps prices lower.
Moving Insurance Costs
Some movers add insurance in their estimated price, but not all of them. Make sure you specifically check what the insurance cover and do not. You will need maritime insurance coverage for your belongings if it is being transported by sea.
In all, you will want to make sure you have insurance coverage that covers the full value of any loss, damage, or theft to any of your belongings.
- Typical moving insurance cost: Starting from $100, but can increase if you are moving highly valuable, special items.
Lastly, during your international move, you must consider a lot of other fees and costs whether small or not. This may include the cost of customs duties and charges, visa, housing, and purchasing new furniture if you are relocating from countries where furnished homes are popular in countries like Canada or the United States.
Though, this is rare. You may not need to buy new furniture because you own your own, but you may discover you need to get new appliances since each company has different voltage and/or different plugs.
Your electrical system can get damaged when you use the wrong appliance, so be sure to research this in advance of your move.
There may be a need to buy new clothes if you are relocating from a place with cold weather to a country with warm weather.
Find out more about these specific costs by learning more about your destination country. You don’t have anything to worry about when you partner with highly-rated international moving companies, as they will provide you with an accurate price quote of your international move so you can make the proper planning of your finances and also make sure your move runs smoothly into completion so you can have a good start in your new place. Do have a great move to your new country? Kindly share your experience!
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.