Leaving the UK and Moving On
Information on what to do when it's time to leave the UK; including notifying schools and residency officials, ending contracts for utilities and insurance, exporting cars and moving pets...
A number of organisations, companies, utility providers, and benefit providers should be informed of a move abroad. They can be contacted individually, or alternatively, Iammoving.com provides a free of charge, online change of address service.
- To create an account and benefit from this service: Click here
The Council Tax department and the electoral registration unit will need to be informed of a move abroad and a forwarding address should be provided. A council tax rebate may be made or additional payment required based on the date of departure.
To terminate a tenancy agreement, refer to the terms of the agreement. Most residential agreements in the UK are Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), which stipulates that a tenant may give leave after six months with two months notice. Notice should be written and sent by registered mail.
Contact the relevant insurance company to cancel home contents insurance. The notice required to end a contract will depend on the individual insurance provider.
Service providers will need to be informed of the move and forwarding addresses may be required.
Electricity and gas: Contact the relevant suppliers at least 48 hours before vacating the property to inform them of a departure. Take a reading of the meter to ensure that the company does not bill for electricity or gas that hasn't been used.
Water: Contact the local water authority at least 48 hours before vacating the property. Contact details should be on the bill, or alternatively contact Water UK to find the telephone number of the water supplier. Take a reading of the meter to ensure that the company does not bill for water that hasn't been used.
- Tel: 020 7344 1844
Water UK website
Telephone and Internet: There are more than 170 licenced telephone providers in the UK, with the industry growing and changing all the time. Check with the relevant provider for details on cancelling telephone, Internet and mobile phone contracts.
Foreigners paying tax and national insurance contributions will need to inform the Inland Revenue of their departure and provide their new address.
Education and Schooling
Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child's departure. On registration at a new school in the new country a parent may be asked for a certificate stating the latest grade or year passed by the child. This should be requested from the school when giving notice of departure.
Healthcare and Social Security
Anyone who has received dental or medical treatment while in the UK should ask for their records to be transferred to their new practitioner or, if possible, get a copy.
If a private health insurance cover is in force, contact the company to cancel the contract or to inform them of the new address if the policy can be transferred to another country.
Benefit providers such as the Jobcentre Plus Office should be contacted to cancel any benefits, for example child benefit.
Vehicles and Driving
In the case of the export of a car or motorcycle, the owner must follow the applicable procedure for importing a vehicle in that specific country. Contact the local Embassy or Consulate in the destination country for information on registration procedures and local regulations.
If moving permanently abroad, it is not possible to register a new address on a British driving licence. Contact the driving authorities on arrival in the destination country.
If cancelling vehicle insurance, request proof of no claims bonus.
Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. They will almost certainly require documentation and possible additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment. As requirements for importing animals vary greatly between countries, it is advisable to obtain all the necessary details from the authorities of the destination country. Contact the Embassy in the new country of residence for up-to-date information.
Most domestic pets require documentation before they can travel. The EU pet passport covers dogs, cats and ferrets for movement within Europe, and the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) allows qualifying domestic pets to travel to and from the UK without a period of quarantine. Local vets can provide information and documentation.
Travelling to other EU destinations with pets with passports (cats, dogs and ferrets) is relatively straightforward, relocating to a non-EU country may be more complicated.
- Moving Pets gives further details and provides links to other useful sites
Mail can be redirected to an overseas address for one, three, six or twelve months. The service can be renewed for up to two years. Contact Royal Mail at least ten days before moving to benefit from this service. The form can be downloaded from the Royal Mail website or can be obtained from a local Post Office branch. There is a charge for this service.
- For further information and to download the form from Royal Mail: Click here