Relocating to London can be a daunting task but, by getting the basics right, you’ll be well on your way to settling in one of the world’s most diverse and exciting cities. Here are some important things to remember when relocating to the UK capital.
Possibly the most challenging aspect of relocating is finding the right accommodation. Before making the commitment of buying/renting a house or flat, staying in a serviced apartment gives you time to find long-term accommodation that’s right for you. A serviced apartment is often preferred to an extended hotel stay as you can benefit from more space, better amenities and, on average, a better rate, all whilst testing out new surroundings.
SilverDoor provide a wide range of serviced apartments in London. We cater for all budgets and flexible cancellation policies make it easy to move on once you’ve found your ideal long-term accommodation.
Travelling in London
There’s an array of public transport options available to help get you from A to B in London. Start by getting yourself the city’s contactless Oyster travel card (£5) – you can’t use cash to pay for any London buses and fares are cheaper when using the card as opposed to buying a ticket. The card can be bought at any tube or train station with a ticket counter and can be topped up at stations and most newsagents. Simply tap in at a station or on a bus and the fare will be automatically deducted from your balance. You use your Oyster card on buses, trains, tubes and trams.
You can also use UK issued contactless payment cards as an alternative to the Oyster card. Some cards issued outside of the UK can also be used, including all American Express cards. Be sure to check with your bank to see if your card is compatible.
If you’re new to travelling around London, there are heaps of handy apps which help to plan your route. One of our favourites, Citymapper, (available to download on iOS and Android) finds the quickest route to take by foot, bicycle, train, tube or car. It’ll even give you an estimated time for travelling by catapult or jet pack – but let’s hope your commute doesn’t get that desperate!
If you choose to drive, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a congestion charge (£11.50 daily charge) for passing through central London. Traffic can be an issue around the city, so it’s always wise to check your route before you travel.
If you’re relocating from a country in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you won’t need a visa to live and work in the UK. Other foreign nationals will need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK. There are different types of visas for students, families, tourists and those looking to do paid or volunteer work. More information about visas can be found on the UK Government website.
READ: London City Guide
Healthcare in London
A major benefit for those living and working in the United Kingdom is the National Health Service – a free health service for those who are eligible. If you’re relocating from the EU or EEA, make sure you bring your European Health Insurance card to receive healthcare for free or at a reduced cost. If you’re relocating from outside of Europe, check with your employer to see if you’re covered to receive NHS healthcare as part of their health insurance plan. You can find out more about whether you’re eligible for NHS services on their website.
Opening a bank account
Another key step in the relocation process is setting up a UK bank account. To do this you’ll need multiple proofs of identity such as a passport, driving license, or your Visa. You’ll also need to give your chosen bank a proof of address. If you don’t have an official UK address yet, you can give proof of your previous address and a letter from your employer or university confirming you are eligible for residency. You may also need to give previous bank statements to your chosen bank.
So, here are just a few things to remember when relocating to London. Our Client Account Management team are experts in the provision of serviced apartment for relocation and can offer you more information about certain areas of London to help take the stress out of the relocation process. Make an enquiry and let us find the right serviced apartment for you.