The experience of moving to a new city is made much easier when you have access to the right information. Dynamic and diverse London also happens to be Europe’s biggest city, and easy availability of information and useful resources on where to live, how to travel and even how to pay your taxes, can be a huge help in getting settled in this exciting and fast-paced city. Here are 10 websites expats need to visit before moving to London.
Rightmove is a highly popular property search website and more than 90 percent of the UK’s estate agents are listed here.The advantage of such websites is that you can access listings from multiple agents across different neighborhoods. It gives you a better idea about the type of residences available in different areas and how much each one costs.
Find a hood
Find a Hood is an alternative to Rightmove is this website, where you are asked to describe your ‘perfect hood’ after which you receive a shortlist of 15 areas within your region of choice that may be most suitable to your requirements.
UK Land Directory
The UK Land Directory is for those who intend to self-build, this site provides listings for plots along with details about whether planning permission has been granted or not. The site currently has 1040 listings of available plots spread across 45 counties in the UK.
The London Town website has been in operation for 15 years. Based in the center of London, this site provides maps of all the London boroughs with descriptions of each area. It is also has a hotel booking service and assists you in finding a suitable hotel if you need one during your initial days of moving. Other useful resources on this site include restaurant reviews, upcoming events in the city and places to shop.
Transport for London
Transport for London tells you all you need to known about London’s public transportation services. You can explore various travel options such as the tube, buses or the DLR. You can get an estimate of your journey time using the Journey Planner. Details about fares and payments, route maps and status updates are also available on this easy-to-navigate website.
My Great Move
The My Great Move website estimates your moving expenses such as estate agent and moving company fees. It also helps you calculate your monthly taxes and estimate your monthly take-home pay, which is greatly helpful in planning your other expenses. The site is also a good place to get a better idea about the average cost of living in London.
Listen To Taxman
Listen To Taxman is an income tax calculator to help you determine your monthly disposable income. The website is rather basic in terms of appearance, but it is efficient and gets the job done.
FOCUS is an online community for expats and international professionals living in the UK. A non-profit organization run by expats, a membership to this community allows you full access to the resources on the website. It also provides information and details about events and career seminars.
Department for Education
The department of education section in the gov.uk website is helpful for those expats that are moving to London with family and wish to find suitable schools for their children. The education system in the UK is excellent and London has many good schools. The Local Education Authority governs the schools in each area and report to the Department for Education. In this section on the UK government website, you can access information about different schools including the performance of each school.
Expats Plaza offers expats already living in the UK and also those planning their move to the UK, information on housing, schools, healthcare and banking among other things. The site is run by people who have been expats living in the UK as well as current expats, who have had direct experience of the challenges many expats face when moving to London or other cities in the UK. They also have an online bookstore with a listing of books on diverse topics ranging from schooling to taxation in the UK, that are most suited to the need of expats.