Calculating international relocation costs 101

When you move, you find yourself ina new world. You encounter new surroundings, a new community, and sometimes even a new lifestyle. This is pronounced the most when moving to another country. It’s pretty much the definition of the new world, so it can be very challenging. You have to think about new customs, new social practices, and there’s a whole task of organizing such a move. Which brings us to the most troublesome question. How much does it cost to move to another country? And to tell you from the start, there’s no uniform answer. Calculating international relocation costs is a task on its own.

This is because the cost of moving abroad varies on many factors, of which you can’t jump over any. You have to take them all into consideration if you want to make a realistic budget for your international relocation. Our mission here is to teach you how you can calculate the costs of moving to another country on your own. Here are things you need to think about.

Shipping household goods to another country

Shipping your belongings to the address of your new residence is the biggest expense that you’ll have to consider when calculating international relocation costs. These costs are calculated by the volume and weight of your belongings, moving services required, choice of transportation, and the distance of the relocation. Additionally, the time of year when moving can also make some fluctuations. So, decluttering and downsizing are a things that you simply have to do here. Think like you’re moving into a smaller home. Get rid of anything you don’t really need. 

As you can see, many things can influence the price of your move, so it’s best to contact a reliable moving company like to get a rough estimate of your relocation as soon as you know all the details. Also, know that services of professional packing and unpacking are additionally charged. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to do this by yourself if possible. Just be sure not to save on packing materials.

Container ship on the sea.
Shipping your belongings overseas is the biggest expense you have to think about when calculating international relocation costs.

Shipping a vehicle overseas

Now, this part isn’t obligatory. You can, of course, sell your car in the current country, and simply use that money to buy another car when you arrive at a new place. That is why online moving quotes don’t have a shipping car option to select. However, many of us think that our cars are more than just transportation devices. We fall in love with our cars, and that’s okay. On the other hand, if you love your car so much you’ll have to put aside a couple of thousand dollars for shipping it.

Depending on the size and weight of the vehicle, and shipping method, this can cost anywhere between $700 and $4,000. Which is not a small fee to pay.

Account for the cost of moving insurance when calculating international relocation costs

As you probably already know, most international moving companies offer and provide basic insurance that is accounted for in the base price. However, you’re recommended to pay a little bit extra for a better insurance policy. Those basic coverages are founded on weight. This means that if something gets damaged, you get pains a certain amount of money for every pound of broken things. Which rarely covers everything.

With upgraded moving insurance, you’re looking into spending an additional $100 to $1,000 depending on the value of your stuff. However, for that money, you get full coverage. So, if something breaks you get a new thing. That is why this is so highly recommended when you’re getting your commercial or household goods transported to another country.

Calculator and a receipt on the table.
As boring as it sounds, insurance shouldn’t be overlooked when transporting your belongings for such a distance.

Customs duty charges and taxes shouldn’t be forgotten

Most of the counties have duty-free policies if you’re importing household items for personal use. However, there are lots of specific requirements that vary in every country. For instance, if you’re trying to prepare your budget for moving to Hong Kong, and you want to bring your car, you’ll have to pay not only for car shipping, but there’s also a tax for importing vehicles.

These taxes are usually based on the type and value of the goods that you’re importing. But, the global average seems to be somewhere around 1.8% of an item purchased value.


One more of the inevitable expenses to consider when calculating international relocation costs is storage. The scenario is either that you’re going to be in your new country before your things arrive, or after that. Organizing anything different simply isn’t possible because of the time that things need to arrive. You, on the other hand, will be traveling much faster. So, whichever route you take, you’ll need a place to keep your belongings safe.

These costs are based on the size of the storage space you need, storage period, and the desired extra features. For instance, if you have some tropical plants, you’ll want climate control in your storage. The usual cost for a month’s rent of a storage facility that can accommodate a 3-bedroom home is around $300.

Blue storage containers stacked.
Storage is pretty much an inevitable cost when moving to another country.

Visa fees and travel cost

Depending on your destination country, you may not need a visa when moving. However, every country has its own visa requirements, so be sure to check everything beforehand. Contact your nearest Foreign Consular Office of the country you want to move to, and ask them for additional information. If you need to pay for a Visa, it can be anywhere from $150 to $2,500 every time you renew it.

Also, as you’re moving to another country, you’ll probably have to fly there a few times before the actual moving day. And, when the day finally arrives, there are plane tickets for you and all your family members. This on its own can be quite a big expense, so be sure not to forget about it when calculating international relocation costs. However, you can save some money if you book your flight far in advance.

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