Is international moving expensive, you ask. Well, the short answer is…yes. From visas and plane tickets to moving services and farewell parties (of course!), an international move can put a significant strain on your budget.
That’s where the experts at Gentle Giant Moving Company come in. We have put together a list of costs associated with international moving services, including packing, transportation, insurance, and customs. This breakdown will help you budget in advance of your move and ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises when gathering quotes from international movers.
How Much Does an International Move Cost?
When you’re moving to a new country, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost of moving. Being informed will allow you to budget and plan accordingly, so that the process goes as smooth as possible and doesn’t break the bank. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much will it cost to fly there?
- What are the living expenses like?
- How much will the rent be?
- How expensive will it be to move my possessions overseas?
- What will a visa cost?
- If I dispose of or donate items, how much will it cost to replace them?
Okay, that was a lot of questions and maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed. We are not experts in the cost of a Schengen visa or how much a one-way flight to Australia will be. But we can tell you what you will expect to pay for international moving services.
The Average Cost of International Moving Services
Pricing for international moving services can fall anywhere between $1,000 to well over $10K. Typically, this cost will cover:
- Professional packing (so that your belongings stay safe on their overseas trip!);
- Loading into a container for sea freight;
- International transportation;
- Customs clearance;
- Delivery of your belongings to your home.
Most reputable moving companies will offer these services as a standard. Check for each service when you receive quotes from various moving companies (remember, the rule of thumb is three quotes).
You may be thinking, “between $1,000 and $10,000+ is a pretty wide range…how does that help me understand the cost of my specific move?” To that we say, “well, you’re right.” The best way to really know the cost of your international move is to obtain quotes from at least three moving companies. This is because the cost can vary drastically per each individual move.
It depends on several factors, like the distance of your move, the number of boxes and furniture being transported, the size of the furniture, and other additional services. For example, if you have specialty items like artwork or electronics that require custom crating, this will cost you an additional fee.
Pro Tip: Be sure to confirm with your mover coordinator that any specialty services like custom crating are included upfront in your move estimate.
Additional Costs of an International Move
Moving companies typically offer two main types of moving insurance:
Released value protection: This coverage is offered at no additional cost by most companies. However, it provides only minimal protection in the event of damage. With released value protection, you’ll receive up to 60 cents per pound for an item. Therefore, if your forty-pound TV is valued at $1,200, you would only receive $24 if your item is lost or damaged (60 cents * 40 pounds).
Full value protection: With full value protection, your mover is liable for the total replacement value of your lost or damaged possessions.
Given the long-distance nature of an international move, there is a higher likelihood of damage to your items than say a local 1-bedroom apartment move. For this reason, we recommend purchasing full value coverage. The additional expense will give you piece of mind and will save the day if a valuable possession is damaged in transportation.
Insurance can be added to the overall price of your move for an additional fee. Full value coverage is typically calculated by determining the overall value of your shipment. Expect to pay between 1% to 2% of your shipment value.
Customs and Import Taxes
Customs and import taxes will vary depending on your destination location. However, you will likely see fees of around 2% of the overall cost of transportation.
Be prepared to pay up to $5,000 when shipping a car overseas. That cost will vary depending on the size, weight, and type of vehicle, where you are moving to, and the shipping company you choose to hire. However, shipping is often a fraction of the total cost of transporting your vehicle into a different country. Most countries have strict duties and taxes in place.
Long-term vs Short-term Storage
There are two types of storage that will increase the overall cost of your international move.
You may wish to store your furniture in a storage unit instead of packing and transporting everything overseas. This will cost you on average $250 per month, depending on the unit size you require.
- Average monthly cost of a small unit (5×5-5×10 ft.) = $60
- Average monthly cost of a medium-sized unit (5×15-10×15 ft.) = $140
- Average monthly cost of a larger unit (10×20-10×30 ft.) = $260
An international move is a long and complicated process that requires a lot of coordination. As a result, your belongings may arrive at your new location before you do. Thankfully, there will be a number of long-term and short-term storage solutions available to choose from. You can expect to pay rates similar to those listed above.
Are you planning an international move? Speak with a reputable international moving company like Gentle Giant. We have some great resources to get you started. Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your international move.