The Ultimate Moving to London Checklist

Photo of an expat sorrounded by boxes as she is packing her home

If you're considering moving to London, it's important to have a checklist of everything you'll need to make the transition as smooth as possible. From finding a place to live to opening a bank account, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when making such a big move. Here are some of the most important things to include in your moving to London checklist:

1. Sort out your Visa paperwork

With Brexit, even if you’re a European Citizen, you might find yourself in need of getting the right paperwork to permanently move and live in the UK. There are clear variations to this as many European Citizens have settlement status, and can benefit from being able to spend extended period of times in the UK. However, most people moving to London, will have to apply and get the right type of paperwok to become eligible to live and work in the UK. More details about this can be found if you Sign Up to Matutto.

Photo of a passport with a Visa document attached

2. Find a place to live

Renting a house in London can be a nightmare these days. High prices and increased competition has made the whole process of renting stressful. But don’t despair, there’s a few things you can do make the experience a little smoother.

  • Get all your documents ready to go, so you are prepared to make an offer on the spot
  • Understand Deposit Protection Laws and the most common things asked by Landlords
  • Make a “Needs” and “Wants” list, to simplify your search experience
  • Look outside Zones 1 and 2 to ease your search

You can find more resources and access advice and support on, but one very important tip when renting in London nowadays is to be ready to go for viewings and make an offer overnight. Often when properties come in the market, it will only take a day or two for many people to book viewings, and put an offer on the table. You want to make sure you know your budget, have your documents ready, and are ready to go see a property and put in an offer as soon as you see it.

Photo of traditional colourful houses in Notting Hill area, London

3. Set up a UK bank account

If you’re looking to earn a salary in the UK, opening a local bank account will be essential. An alternative is to open an account with a Challenger or Digital e-Wallet, which can suffice for everyday expenses, but do note that to build a credit score, apply for loans, and enjoy other banking benefits, you will need to get an account with an Entity that has a Banking License - which not all digital alternatives do.

Another advantage of opening a local Bank account is not having a cap on the number of transactions you can have in the UK, until you start paying a fee. Often with Digital Wallets that are not UK-based, they will only allow you to spend a certain amount before charing a fee per transaction.

Photo of a £10 note, a credit card and coins in the background

4. Register with a doctor

In the UK, residents can enjoy free Healthcare under the NHS guidelines. So, one of the first things you should do when arriving in the UK is registering with your local General Practitioner (GP). Doing this, will allow you to build and store your health records, and have a place to go for any medical related concerns. To get registered, you will need to have the right to live in the UK, as well as proof of address. Each GP will also have a form to fill in for signing up purposes.

Photo of a receptionist attending calls in a hospital reception

5. Get a National Insurance number

A National Insurance Number is a personal code associated to each individual to keep track of discounts and tax contributions. This is a number you can apply for, and once you have it, it will stay associated to your name. Nowadays you can apply for it online, but in some instances you may have to go to a designated office to acquire it. The National Insurance Number is also a common personal identifier used in the UK for different purposes, so it’s recommended to get one sooner rather than later.

6. Obtain a UK phone number

There’s many options of phone providers in the UK - they all do the same, but differ in terms of prices and packages. Beware of committing to a long term deal when getting a number, if you’re not sure if you’re staying in the UK for long. A phone number is not only important to make calls, send texts and have access to data (obviously), but is also a great way to acquire a poof of address document, which can then be used for other purposes. In the UK, the mobile prefix is +44.

Photo of hands holding a phone

7. Set up utilities and council tax

When thinking about home related expenses, it’s important to factor in Utilities. These can go up to £300 per month during the Winter months if you use central heating. The more modern the building, the more energy efficient it tends to be, and therefore utilities tend to be as well - they can be as low as £50 per month for a 1-Bedroom apartment. Council Tax on the other hand, is applied on top of rent based on the area. Areas closer to the centre of London will have a higher Council Tax band - the average costs tends to be around £150. Students are exempt from council tasks, so if you’re a student, make sure to let your landlord know.

8. Familiarize yourself with public transportation

Transport in London is not cheap, but the Transport for London (TFL) is arguably one of the best Transport systems in the world. Taking the bus is the most cost effective way of travelling in London and it costs £1.75 per trip - but the good news is that if you require to take 2 buses to get to your destination, you can change buses at no extra cost!

The trains, tubes, overgrounds and DLR system connect the whole city, and a ride can cost you between £2.50 to £4. Another good news is that there is a daily cap on how much you can spend on TFL per day, depending on the zones you travel in. So you will never rack up a daily bill of over £12 or so.
Traveling in London is cashless, so make sure to either get yourself an Oyster card or have a bank card you can tap to enter and exit stations.

Photo of London Bridge Underground Station from the inside of the platform

9. Don’t forget anything!

Each of these points can be very nuanced, so if you want to see the full checklist for moving to London make sure to sign up for free Access all the resources you need and get advice and support on your move, in just a few clicks.

By keeping these things in mind and staying organized, you can make your move to London a success. Good luck!

Screeshot of the Moving to London Checklist on the Matutto Platform.

Drawing of the subway symbol in London   About Matutto

Matutto is a relocation platform that helps Expats move to a new country. Sign Up for Free to get access to Informaiton, Tools and Checklists that will make moving abroad easier.

Drawing of the subway symbol in London   Related Articles

Photo of the city of London, with the Big Ben in the background

Everything you need to know before moving

Photo of two expats looking at documents and discussing

Can I work in the UK as an International Student?

Need help with your move?

Sign up to access free resources , advice from London locals and organise your move to London easily and smoothly.

Drawing that says It's Free
Drawing of an expat arriving in London, holding a suitcase next to the Big Ben