Moving to Germany from the UK is a huge upheaval for anyone. Although you may wish to go more than anything, it still means relocating your whole life from one country to another, and it’s perfectly normal to find such a prospect daunting.
Luckily, using a removals company like ours should help to keep transporting your goods as stress-free as possible, but there are still lots of other things that you’ll need to think about. To help make sure that you don’t miss any of them, here are five often-overlooked essentials to consider before you make your move.
1. Moving to Germany – Learning the language
If there’s one thing that the rest of Europe is better at than Britain, it’s learning languages, and those who move to Germany will be lucky enough to discover that lots of the locals speak English. Lots, but not all, and not always fluently, which means that getting to grips with German is essential. This might seem like a mammoth task to begin with, but it will make your move so much easier, as well as helping you to integrate more smoothly into your new community. Although it’s best to make a start before you go, you’ll also find that all German cities have volkshochschule – local community schools – to help you improve your skills once you’re there.
2. Transportation in Germany
Assuming that you own a car, you’re probably considering what’s best to do with it. Lots of people think about taking it with them when they move, but Germany has numerous laws and regulations regarding the importation of household goods, and some of these pertain to vehicles. This can really complicate matters, which is why many choose to sell before they go and then purchase a new motor once they’re settled abroad.
Others decide not to replace their cars at all, and there are some very good reasons for this. The country’s largest cities – Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and so on – all have fantastic public transport, as well as excellent rail and airline networks to take you farther afield. Even smaller, more remote places will tend to be very good in this regard.
What’s more, many in Germany choose to cycle rather than drive, and most city infrastructures will be built with this in mind, with bike lanes everywhere you look. For those who wish to embrace it, this is not only the cheapest way to get around the country, but will help you to both stay fit and get to grips with your new surroundings.
3. Removals to Germany – Pets
If you have household pets, you’re probably intending to take them with you when you move, but this is not as simple as just popping them on a plane. There are plenty of rules regarding the importation of dogs, cats, and even ferrets, and it’s important for you to familiarise yourself with these. Firstly, your pet will need to be both microchipped and in possession of an EU pet passport, containing their microchip ID, health records, and proof that they have received a valid rabies vaccination at least 21 days before the date of travel. They must also be a minimum of 15 weeks old, while certain dog breeds are banned under German legislation, such as the pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, bull terrier, and their crossbreeds, and so cannot enter the country at all.
Compared to the UK, you may find that it takes a little longer to get your phone and internet installed in Germany, which means that it helps to know how to go about these things before you move. Although most mobile providers will cover Germany too, you’ll still need to look at plans and decide whether you want to stick or switch.
As in England, the simplest way to go about securing your TV, internet, and landline is in a bundle. Although it will be possible to still get international English language channels such as the BBC and Sky, this will cost you extra, so you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth the additional outlay.
Should you wish to rent, you’ll also need to check whether you’re paying kaltmiete (cold rent) or warmmiete (warm rent). The former does not include utilities such as water, gas, and electricity, while the latter does.
5. Doctors and prescription medication
Before you move, we also advise you to think about safeguarding your physical wellbeing, which is why we suggest taking along a 90-day supply of any prescription medicines that you require. This will keep you covered for a time, but one of the first things you should do upon arrival in the country is find a local physician, as German pharmacies will not be able to fulfil an English prescription without it first being converted. This will cover all of your basic healthcare bases, and keep you and your family safe, happy, and healthy in your new home.
Plan ahead today by considering these five essentials and make sure that your move goes without a hitch.