Moving Abroad Checklist

A list of everything you need to do when leaving the UK

Moving abroad checklist
Moving abroad checklist

Leaving the UK Checklist

This leaving the UK checklist is for anyone leaving the UK. We’ve pulled together a list of everything you need to do when leaving the UK to make sure you don’t forget anything, close everything down properly and don’t lose money. The toughest part is that we don’t know what we don’t know. 

So, no matter where you’re emigrating to we’ve got you covered.

Leaving the UK

How to move abroad easily

If you don’t fancy following an entire moving abroad checklist, fill-out hours of paperwork and lots of research you can actually use your leaving the UK service, SlothMove International. This handles all of the admin for leaving the UK, including HMRC, the Pension Service, DVLA, closing down your energy, TV licence and council accounts and much more. To save over 9 hours of time and lots of stress, this is a truly comprehensive service and the easiest way to leave the UK.

Organise your visa leaving the UK

Organise your visa

The first thing to do when considering leaving the UK is to check if the country to which you’re moving has any visa requirements. Typically this will be the case and visa requirements differ markedly from country to country. Passportindex have a great guide that takes you through all of the visa requirements based on which country you’re heading to do.

making a checklist for leaving the UK

What to do with your home when moving abroad

This is better known as estate planning and is key for any moving abroad checklist. Based on the amount of property within your portfolio there are lots of options. If you’re living with friends or renting, be sure to communicate clear timescales where you can to avoid any fees/damaged relationships. If you have one or more properties and are emigrating you have a few options. 

Option 1: Renting

Renting your properties can provide an excellent nest-egg or supplemental income once you leave the UK. It’s important to consider whether or not you plan to return and in what time-frame. Renting isn’t risk free. As we know, tenants aren’t always perfect and have occasionally been known to default on their payments. Since you’re abroad you could be best served handing over the management of your property to a property management company. You may wish to consider rental guarantee so you avoid being out of pocket. By renting you also get to (hopefully) benefit from capital appreciation.

Option 2: Selling

When considering what to do with your home when emigrating we must consider selling it. If you don’t need to the money to fund your trip you’re in an especially strong position as you don’t need a quick sale necessarily.  There can be logistical considerations if you’re living in that home, in which case you may prefer to sell it whilst you’re overseas, which is relatively easy these days. Selling your property has the advantage of de-cluttering your portfolio and can remove the hassle of international property management. You can always buy back in once you return. If you’re looking for conveyancing in this regard, use a comparative website to make sure you get the best deal.

Option 3: Leave it with family

If you haven’t considered this already, you could also leave it with your family. Perhaps you have a relative or close-friend that you would like to support who may also look after your home for you. If this option seems appealing, set clear expectations around what you expect in terms of maintenance and payment. It can feel strange having these conversations with family, but everybody benefits from clarity in the relationship. And write the agreement down, so you both have something to reference back to.

It’s also essential to close down all of your accounts. You wil need to close down your:

  • o Water
  • o Electricity
  • o Gas
  • o TV licence
  • o Council etc…
  • That is something that we can help you with, if you want a stress-free option.

Organise your move abroad


If you’re leaving the UK and planning to return at some point you will want to look into storage for your belongings. If you have your own home or family members which don’t mind you storing some items that’s wonderful. If not, it’s best to compare the market and see explore the best storage rates available. Again, use a comparison website to be sure you’re getting the best available rates on the market.


If, on the other hand, you’d like to ship some of your items overseas with you there are lots of resources online. There are even international removal companies that can complete a home visit and conduct a professional estimate on your costs – for free.

Sorting your overseas property

It’s important to put a lot of time into thinking about where you are going to live overseas. You may wish to consider attending an international property show, in which you could connect with a realtor. These are seasoned experts at finding the right property in your chosen destination. It can be difficult not being a local to know where the best areas are – or even the streets to avoid. Rightmove have a great resource where you can flick through properties by country, filtering by price, property type and much more. And before you do leave the UK remember that you will also need to make sure you book insurance, both for travel and for home. 

sorting tax when leaving the UK

Understand your tax obligations

When you leave the UK it’s important to inform HMRC by filling-out a P85 form. You can do that all yourself by downloading it filling-it out and posting. Alternatively, we can help you through that alongside all of your other obligations with our international moving service. It’s important to do as you be eligible for a refund or have a balance to clear potentially. 

If you’re leaving the UK and are self-employed, you will need to fill-out a tax return as per usual. You can learn more about tax refunds and general info in this great article written by the Low Incomes Tax Refund Group.

change address on driving licence

Check the country's driving requirements

This will often be the most neglected part of any moving abroad checklist. If you’re moving abroad and you drive the last thing you want is to get out there and realise (for some reason) you are unable to drive. If you do drive, take your driving licence abroad with you. You may also need to apply for an international driving permit (IDP). GOV.UK have a comprehensive list of which permits you need dependant upon where you’re travelling to. It’s very comprehensive and too long to list here, but you can access it here.

Banking for ex pats

Banking for Expats

The banking industry is benefits from several technologically disruptive companies. This means that it’s becoming easier than ever for expats to manager their money internationally. The classic players in the banking sector such as Barclays etc… enable you to have an international bank account as an Expat. However, there are better solutions. A lot of people search for the best exchange rates for expats. But, there are new banks such as Monzo and Starling that let you keep all of your cash in GBP. Whenever you make a purchase, Monzo will charge you whatever the Mastercard exchange rate is automatically. Most banks charge you the Mastercard exchange rate + X%, so it’s worth thinking about when moving abroad.

medical insurance leaving the UK

Sort your medical insurance

In the UK we enjoy a national healthcare system, but this isn’t the case in every country unfortunately. Where you need to pay for medical insurance it’s important you don’t pay for more than you need to. For certain countries you can just apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. You can apply for this here.


UK Postal Address

No moving abroad checklist would be complete without touching on your UK postal address. If you have close family that can receive and look after your mail it’s excellent. If you don’t or perhaps you don’t want to leave your mail with others you have a couple of options.  You can use a a service such as UKPostbox who provide you a UK address to receive mail and view it electronically. You can also set-up an international re-direction with Royal Mail. Al

Leaving the UK

Moving abroad, made easy

We hope you’ve found this moving abroad checklist handy. SlothMove was created to making moving home simple and transparent. That’s why we created SlothMove international to provide a one-stop-shop service for anyone leaving the UK – because you have enough to think about. If you’re just moving within the UK and a hand we can help there too. If you need to complete a boots clubcard address change, change address with the DVLA or more, we’re here to make your life easier.