Moving To Singapore
Your move to Singapore made easy
Singapore is a popular destination for Cadogan Tate customers and we organise regular shipments from the UK and Europe. Whilst we understand that every overseas move can be a stressful time, Cadogan Tate International Movers aim to make it as simple and stress free as possible.
As with any international relocation, there is a lot to consider. With this guide, we’ll take you through the key areas that you need to consider as part of your planning.
If you are in the process of organising your move to Singapore and you’d like further information on the general moving process and what to expect, or if you’d like some specific advice, why not get in touch with our international removal specialists at Cadogan Tate’s London headquarters? You can use the form or telephone number on this page. Our experienced and friendly Singapore Moving team will be more than happy to talk you through the finer details of your move. Let our experts take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Make An Enquiry
Our experienced advisors know all the details for moving to Singapore, and will guide you through every stage of your move and help you prepare for the unexpected. We operate regular shipments to Singapore and are well versed in handling everything from planning, packing, transportation and customs.
In short, our many years of experience in international removals is your ticket to a simple, stress-free relocation.
The key to a trouble-free move is to plan and manage the entire process with absolute precision. At Cadogan Tate, this begins from the moment we receive your request for a quote. We’ll arrange for one of our friendly relocation surveyors to visit you and assess the extent and nature of your belongings. This will help us allocate the most suitable resources, including any specialised packaging and storage, for a safe and efficient move to the Singapore.
From this initial assessment, we’ll provide you with a detailed, no-obligation quote. On go-ahead, we’ll assign one of our specialist Move Co-ordinators, whose role is to plan and manage the transportation of your belongings to your destination address. This leaves you free to focus on other important things in preparation for your move to Singapore.
So, if you’re ready to get a price for moving to Singapore, take the first step and fill in the form for a free no-obligation quote. Otherwise read on for information on planning your move to Singapore.
Enquire now or call us on +44 (0) 20 8963 4000
Great career opportunities and a high quality of life
Guide to moving to Singapore
Singapore regularly tops the charts of most popular expat destinations when it comes to overall quality of life measures. It is a vibrant nation offering good career opportunities and a high quality of life. Expats make up 38 per cent of the total population and the government is keen that Singapore remains attractive, and has put in place tax exemptions and flexible immigration policies.
These factors mean that Singapore has a vibrant expat community and caters very well for all nationalities. Finance is the main employment sector for expats, followed by construction and manufacturing. We have put together a guide to working in Singapore and on how to get a work visa for Singapore.
Singapore is a wonderful blend of Asian and Western cultures. With all the benefits of a modern city, its melting pot of cultures means that you’ll find Hindu temples, Malay mosques and Chinese shophouses all rubbing shoulders with gleaming skyscrapers and air-conditioned shopping malls.
Singapore is very proud of its reputation as a Garden City, and you’ll find plenty of outdoor green spaces that break up what is a largely urban city state.
Most people speak English in Singapore and government signs are posted in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. If you want to try your hand at learning one of these language, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice.
Eating and shopping are both national pastimes in Singapore. For foodies the variety of food on offer is a delight. From high end restaurants, to food courts and hawker stalls, edible delights from every corner of the world are available. With the large Chinese, Malay and Indian communities the cuisines of these countries are all very well represented. Singapore also has a number of its own dishes on offer. Here’s a great guide to some of them and details of where you can try them: Singapore Food Guide – while noodle dishes feature regularly other well-known dishes include chilli crab, steam boats and fish head curry.
You can certainly shop until you drop in Singapore. You’ll find all the outlets that you’ll find in Western cities as well as a significant number of independent shops selling almost anything you can imagine. There are numerous air-conditioned shopping malls, which make a great escape from the city heat as well as busy narrow streets of stalls and traditional shops for a more frenetic shopping experience.
There are plenty of other options when it comes to culture and entertainment. From museums to theme parks, and music concerts to galleries, you have everything available that you’d find in other major international cities.
When it comes to sport and outdoor living Singapore has lots to offer. Many of the apartment complexes have swimming pools and sports facilities such as gyms, tennis and squash courts available. There are also a number of sports clubs including golf and country clubs. As an island Singapore has its own beaches and is also close to Malaysian and Indonesian beach resorts less than an hour’s boat journey away. With its central location in South East Asia, many expats take advantage of good value weekend and holiday destinations that are only short flights away.
If you like living a full and varied lifestyle, Singapore is hard to beat.
Most expats in Singapore will be living in rented accommodation, the vast majority of which is condominiums (condos) and apartments. If you are staying in Singapore longer term, buying is also a possibility.
Condos tend to come with a variety of shared amenities, including swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts and other facilities. Condos tend to be spacious, so if you are used to living in a house, it is worth looking at them. The shared facilities are generally well looked after and give you plenty of space to enjoy.
Apartments tend not to have the access to the shared amenities and will usually be lower priced than the condos in the same area.
Houses are also available. There aren’t as many on the market, as they tend to be owned by residents. A lot of the housing stock is older and is not as popular with expats as condos, so they can represent good value. Although the ‘black and white’ houses, that date back to the colonial era and are popular with British expats, can be expensive regardless of location, with prices ranging between S$18,000 to S$40,000 a month.
Popular residential areas for expats
With Singapore’s popularity as an expat destination, there’s no shortage of residential areas to make your home. Whether you’re looking to remain right in the centre of the action or escape to a more laid back area at the end of your working day, you’ll have options open to you.
The most popular residential areas for expats are Orchard, Tanglin, Holland Village, Novena, Bukit Timah and the East Coast.
If you are looking to stay central and close the CBD and shopping the residential neighbourhoods of the Orchard area most likely for you. These include Orchard Road, Bukit Timah, Bukit Merah, Holland Village and Tanglin. These areas are typically 5 to 10 minutes away from the CBD and walking distance from Singapore’s main shopping district. It is a popular area with expats, making it convenient for meeting up with friends.
The Central area of Singapore, is in and around the CBD. It is Singapore’s most expensive area and while it lacks a community feel, it is popular with expat families due to its proximity to numerous international schools.
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre Woodlands, East Coast and Sentosa are all popular options with expats. Woodlands is popular with the American community as it is where the Singapore American School is located. It is also just across the causeway from Malaysia (a popular trip for cheaper groceries). The East Coast is close the airport, with reasonably priced accommodation, great outdoor spaces, beaches, and plenty of seafood restaurants. Sentosa is home to Sentosa Cove, one of Singapore’s most exclusive residential areas. Think expensive waterside homes, theme parks and a large shopping mall to keep your family entertained. You can read more on Singapore’s popular residential areas for expats here.
Children and Education
Singapore has a great reputation for being family friendly. Overall it is safe, has a wide range of international schools and plenty to keep kids entertained. There are of course some cons when it comes to moving children to Singapore and we have written a detailed article on the pros and cons of moving to Singapore with children that you can read for further information.
For families moving with younger children nannies and live in helpers are a popular and relatively inexpensive option compared with the UK.
We have provided a list of popular English speaking and European international schools in Singapore to help you explore the options if you are planning on moving your family to Singapore.
|School name||Website||Country curriculum||Junior School||Senior School|
|Australian International School Singapore||https://www.ais.com.sg/||Australia||Yes||Yes|
|Avondale International School Singapore||http://www.avondale.edu.sg/||Australia||Yes|
|British Council Pre-school||https://www.britishcouncil.sg/pre-school||United Kingdom||Yes|
|Canadian International School||http://www.cis.edu.sg/||Canada||Yes||Yes|
|Chatsworth International School||http://www.chatsworth.com.sg/||International||Yes||Yes|
|Dover Court International School||http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/singapore||United Kingdom||Yes||Yes|
|Dulwich College Singapore||https://singapore.dulwich.org||United Kingdom||Yes||Yes|
|EtonHouse International Education Group||http://www.etonhouse.com.sg/||Singapore / International||Yes||Yes|
|French School of Singapore / Lycée Français de Singapour||http://lfs.edu.sg/||France||Yes||Yes|
|GEMS World Academy||http://www.gwa.edu.sg/||International||Yes||Yes|
|GESS – German European School Singapore||http://www.gess.sg/||Germany / Europe||Yes||Yes|
|Global Indian International School||https://sg.globalindianschool.org/home||India / International||Yes||Yes|
|Hillside World Academy (HWA)||http://hwa.edu.sg/||International / Chinese||Yes||Yes|
|Hwa Chong International School||http://www.hcis.edu.sg/||Singapore||Yes||Yes|
|International Community School||http://www.ics.edu.sg/||United States||Yes||Yes|
|International School Singapore (ISS)||http://www.iss.edu.sg/||Singapore||Yes||Yes|
|Invictus International School||https://www.invictus.school/||International||Yes|
|Nexus International School||http://www.nexus.edu.sg/||Singapore||Yes||Yes|
|One World International School||https://www.owis.org/||International||Yes||Yes|
|Overseas Family School||https://www.ofs.edu.sg/||Singapore||Yes||Yes|
|Singapore American School||https://www.sas.edu.sg/||United States||Yes||Yes|
|SJI International School (St Joseph’s Institution)||https://www.sji-international.com.sg/||Singapore||Yes||Yes|
|Stamford American International School||https://www.sais.edu.sg/||United States||Yes||Yes|
|Swiss School in Singapore||https://www.swiss-school.edu.sg/en/||Switzerland||Yes||Yes|
|Tanglin Trust School||http://www.tts.edu.sg/||United Kingdom||Yes||Yes|
|United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA)||https://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/||International||Yes||Yes|
The healthcare system in Singapore is widely considered as excellent. According to the World Health Organisation’s overall health system performance carried out in 2000 Singapore ranked 6th in regards to health care system performance. In a more recent report published in the Lancet, Singapore topped the table along with Iceland and Sweden.
While there is an extensive healthcare system provided for Singaporeans, as an expat you will need private medical insurance in place that covers you for all treatments in Singapore. Generally medical treatment is relatively less expensive in Singapore when compared with equivalent treatment in the US. There are stories of very high costs for specialist medical care, however there is good competition in the market and public hospitals offer very high quality care that balances the market. Both public and private hospitals are open to private patients covered by health insurance policies.
Outpatient services are relatively affordable and some expats choose to pay for these personally, while covering inpatient and critical illness cover through their health insurance policy.
If you are not covered through your employer, we recommend that you contact relevant international health insurance companies to explore the options for health insurance over in Singapore.
A few options to consult include:
For any prescribed drugs you will need a prescription issued by a local registered doctor. If you have an existing prescription that you will need fulfilled in Singapore, you will need to consult a local doctor to obtain a local prescription.
Money and Utilities
Education, vehicles and housing are the highest expenses associated with living in Singapore. If you have support with these from your expat package you’ll find the cost of living to be very good value compared with many other international cities.
The main utilities of electricity, gas and water are run by SP Services Ltd. Prices are reasonable and easy to manage through a single utilities account that also covers refuse collection. The electrical system runs on the British Standard 220v-240v, with the UK standard 3-pin plugs.
Singapore is a financial centre and you’ll have plenty of options for your personal banking. Speak with your existing bank to find out if they can set you up with the relevant account. DBS is a popular local option, has a good expat banking facility and plenty of cash machines. Other popular options include HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, ANZ and OCBC.
Moving and shipping
How much time should you allow for shipping to Singapore?
You should allow five to seven weeks for full load containers and six to eight weeks for shared load groupage containers. Your Move Co-ordinator will advise you on the transit time required for shipping to Singapore and any Customs clearance following the survey and acceptance of our quotation.
Customs clearance and import duties in Singapore are limited, except for alcohol and motor vehicles on which duties will need to be paid. We recommend that you do not include alcohol in shipments to Singapore, as these are likely to delay customs clearance.
Taking a car or motor vehicle
Importing a car into Singapore is possible however both duty and sales tax will be due on the vehicle. We recommend reading the Singapore Government website for more information on importing cars into Singapore. Your Surveyor can give you prices and further information on importing your car should you wish to.
Can you take pets?
Transporting pets is a very specialist area and each requirement is unique and therefore has to be dealt with individually. You can take common household pets such as dogs and cats to Singapore, however there are various restrictions that you need to be aware of. You may also need written permission from your landlord prior to importing the pet. We recommend that you research these prior to arranging the pets’ travel. You can also speak to your Surveyor who will be able to provide you with further information.
Read this article for more information on importing household goods to Singapore.