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London is one of the busiest cities in the world and many choose to make it their home. Whether you are getting a new job in the heart of the business district or you are adding a new investment property to your portfolio, or an expat moving in from abroad, you should do as much research as possible before making the move. With this in mind, here is our guide to planning your move to or within central London.
Even if you are only planning on moving to the area for a short term, it is highly advisable to spend as much time as possible in your chosen destination before moving. Doing so will allow you to get a feel for the neighbourhood. Each area has a distinct ‘tone’ to it, even neighbouring boroughs can feel like different countries at times.
Get to know where the local amenities are - local shops, schools, sports clubs, bars and transport links, all of this will have an impact on your daily life when living there, so it is best to know the area before you move.
If possible, and if you have never been to London before, we also recommend spending time in other parts of London. After all, it is highly unlikely that you will be spending all of your time in your home neighbourhood. Get to know your way around, figure out where the best restaurants are and the best ways to get to and from the theatres and other attractions that you’ll visit regularly. Also consider doing a practice run of your daily commute from your new home to work so you can get an idea of how long it will take and what the journey will be like.
Even for those visiting the city, driving in central London in notoriously busy. If you are living in any of the central boroughs you will quickly realise that parking is also very expensive, whether you take your chances with on-road parking or you have the money in your budget for a garage, it is not always worth the expenditure.
Although everyone likes the luxury and freedom of having their own car, with the selection of public transport being what it is (the underground tube, taxis, buses and even hire bikes), many residents find it easy to get by without a car. As mentioned above, we recommend doing your research and finding out about parking permits, the congestion charge and other driving costs if owning a car will be important for you.
While you are researching parking, you should consider where you are going to park and the best routes for vehicle access when moving in to your new house or apartment. You might be lucky and have a designated parking bay right outside, alternatively there might not be any parking available on your road and your removals van will have to park around the corner.
For some London streets, you might need to get a parking dispensation or a parking suspension permission beforehand. It allows for vehicles to park on a waiting restriction area to carry out work access for loading or unloading.
A parking suspension will allow you to reserve a parking space solely for your use in a restricted parking zone or parking bay. Whereas a parking dispensation permits a vehicle at a yellow line or at a restricted parking bay for an allotted period of time. Make sure to speak to your chosen removals company beforehand regarding the permissions needed.
Another thing to consider for moving day is if there will be an internet connection that you can use as soon as you move in. Having internet early on in the move will help you get on your feet quickly, as you update your address, access emails and purchase essential items online.
If you are moving to London from outside the UK, or you do not know anyone else in the city it will be easy to feel alone. Thankfully there are countless websites and social network groups that can help you meet new people - many of which are designed especially for expats that are new in town. Find your local meetup group and get acquainted with others in the same situation as yourself.
One of the essential things that you will need to get sorted prior to moving to London is a reliable removals service. Get in touch with Cadogan Tate’s specialist removal team for a quote.