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Moving Overseas?

Your relocation and currency transfer questions answered!

There is a lot to consider when buying a property and moving overseas and we know only too well, it can be a stressful and daunting process. However, our experts are here to help take the pressure off you and assist with your relocation making the process as smooth as possible. 

We know our clients will have many questions with regards to your relocation and personal finance transfers, so we spoke with our partner, FX specialist Moneycorp in a Q&A to help answer some of your queries.


The first question usually asked is how much does it cost to move Overseas?

The cost of overseas moves varies on each move as there are a number of factors to be considered. These include the destination country, how much you plan to move, the service you require, the transit time for your move and whether there are any specialist items to be moved.

Usually on an overseas move, the move cost is paid in advance but one area that many forget to consider is the cost of making various payments in currency.

We are delighted McGimpsey’s can assist with both aspects of the move knowing our clients will receive a premium service throughout.

Are there restrictions on what items you can and can’t take with you?

Yes, these restrictions depend on the destination countries restricted/prohibited items and this tends to vary from Country to Country.

Another important factor our clients should consider is what electrical goods they plan to move and whether these will work in different electrical systems for example moving from the UK to USA and vice versa.

Our dedicated overseas department have extensive knowledge in what you can and can’t bring to your destination and are always on hand to provide advice and guidance specific to your move throughout the move process.

How would you recommend packing your goods?

For overseas shipments, your consignment should be export wrapped and packed with the main aim of protecting your goods for the duration of transit.

The shipping vessel can move substantially during transit and the containers will move at the docks at origin and destination. Therefore, it is essential your consignment is packed correctly to minimise the movement of your goods and reduce potential damage.

Our crew are all McGimpsey Academy trained in-house and are specialists in overseas packing and shipping. The materials we use are purpose built specifically for overseas shipments which give added protection for your consignment.

We would highly recommend using our Platinum Plus service where our crew pack your entire shipment and complete your inventory so you can put your feet up, relax and organise transferring your personal finances!

Why do I need insurance, you are a professional company?

We cannot stress how important adequate insurance for your overseas move is. Whilst we take every precaution to ensure your items reach their destination safely and securely, there are some factors outside of our control that can cause damage or loss to your consignment.

For example, storms/fires can occur onboard the shipping vessel which could cause damage to your container or the cargo may be jettisoned in order to ensure the safety of the crew and the shipping vessel. Unfortunately, accidents do happen with shipping vessels and at the ports. Even if your consignment has not been impacted and makes it to your destination, you may still be at risk if a
“General Average” is declared.  It is therefore of paramount importance that our clients have suitable insurance cover for their consignment. 

McGimpseys can offer specific Marine insurance policies for your relocation to protect you and give you peace of mind. Our insurers specialise solely in removals, storage and overseas shipping so the policies we can offer you have “all risks cover” throughout your move.

What is the transit time for an overseas move?

This depends on where your destination country is. An overseas move can take anywhere from 4 weeks (UK to USA) to 11 weeks (UK to Australia/New Zealand) on average.

Another factor that impacts the transit time is the service you are using. For example, shipping a full container can be quicker than using groupage. Air freight consignments will be quicker than deep sea shipping.

Your personal move consultant will be able to advise on the best option suited to your requirements and within your budget.

Do all shipments go by sea and what if I don’t have enough goods to fill a container?

At McGimpseys, we offer FCL, LCL, Groupage and Air Freight options for your overseas relocation so if you do not have enough personal effects to fill a container, there are other options available.

Your personal move consultant is an expert in overseas shipping and will tailor the options specific to your individual requirements to ensure we offer you the most cost-effective, professional service.

How would you recommend financing an overseas relocation and transferring our personal finances?

There are numerous options for financing a move abroad and transferring personal finances, however we find the Moneycorp rates to be very competitive. Their advice and expertise of the foreign exchange market is very beneficial to our clients and the personal service we provide is extended through to the personal service Moneycorp provide.

How much does it cost to send money overseas?

The cost of any currency transaction depends on the rate of exchange and the provider you choose. You may be tempted to use your high street bank because they are convenient and familiar, but high street banks may charge up to £30 per transaction, and when you add up the different payments needed for an overseas property, from the initial deposit to the subsequent payment as well as legal fees and local taxes, those fees will soon add up.

The exchange rate is even more important, given the sums of money involved, as even a fraction of a percentage point can make a big difference to the overall cost of your international payment. Currency specialists can offer great rates and lower fees, which may reduce the cost of those transactions.

What can I do about the fluctuating exchange rate?

The foreign exchange market is fluctuating all the time, during periods of uncertainty such as the fallout from the pandemic and the upcoming prospect of Brexit the market is particularly volatile. Since March when lockdown began, the pound has seen dramatic falls and made sudden gains and this can make it hard to budget accurately when buying a property. A house that was affordable at the beginning of the year may seem out of reach now the time has come to make a payment.

The challenge for buyers is that it’s not possible to control or predict the exchange rate with any degree of accuracy. A currency specialist can help with market guidance and provide a picture of overall trends but in addition, can also provide access to a range of specialist tools to track, target and even fix an exchange rate so that you have budget certainty.

What tools can I use to manage my currency payments?

Our partner Moneycorp offer a range of tools to support our clients’ requirements. They provide expert market updates via email and an email and text service to alert you of specific exchange rates you’re interested in if you want to be empowered to make the decisions yourself.

A forward contract allows you to fix an exchange rate, this approach requires a deposit but does provide more certainty.

A market order offers a little more flexibility whilst also helping you manage your budget, you can specify upper and lower limits for your ideal exchange rate and the transaction is made if and when either of those rates is reached. This can allow you to take advantage of any gains the pound may make whilst protecting against periods of weakness.

Do I need to set up a local bank account?

The rules vary from country to country. In many countries, you will be required to set up a local bank account in order to purchase a property and live abroad. A currency specialist can help you transfer funds into it either through a lump sum or regular payments to cover costs such as taxes and utilities. If you’re moving abroad but maintaining some ties with home, you may find it useful to have a local bank account as well as one in the UK so that you have easy access to your funds, wherever you are.

Can I manage my currency transfers online?

Moneycorp clients have access to their account online and via a mobile app. This allows customers to set up and track payments, request alerts on specific currency rates and keep track of their money with live statements and exchange rates.

How do I set up an international payments account?

Details of how to sign up or make an enquiry are available at https://www.mcgimpseys.com/saveoncurrencytransfers Alternatively, contact your Personal Move Consultant who is more than happy to put you in contact with Moneycorp directly.

If you’re used to online banking like for Interac casino, you can apply for an account and get started straight away. However, if you would prefer some support, the experts at Moneycorp can guide you every step of the way, from setting up your account to purchasing your property and even setting up a regular payment plan for automated currency transfers to cover your maintenance costs or transfer a UK income.

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