We’ve put together 10 helpful tips from our new to the UK experts - Ashika, Nanelle and Tochi.
Who better to share advice on moving to the UK than people who've done it all before?
1. Been offered a job in the UK? Be wary of scammers.
Ashika: Mostly scammers try to convince people they’ve been selected for a job and that they need to pay a deposit. Don’t fall for it!
It’s best to assume a job opportunity is fake if:
- You haven’t applied for a role at the company or sat an interview but have been offered the job.
- They’re asking you to pay money but there’s no clarity on where it’s going and they haven’t provided a Certificate of Sponsorship number.
2. Searching for a new job in the UK? Network. Network. Network.
Ashika: People seem to think that it’s not about who you know in the UK but I totally disagree. Network as much as possible. Interactions with different people from different companies will really help your job search and could lead to your next role.
3. Want to rent a house in the UK? Don’t leave it until the last minute.
Tochi: If you want to rent, you need to start looking early. These days, there’s not a huge amount of supply of rental houses. Search on Rightmove, Zoopla and the estate agents’ websites and keep hunting until you find the right one.
4. Hoping to buy a house in the UK? Save bit by bit and get help from government schemes if you can.
Tochi: Buying a house in the UK is doable if you put your mind to it. Start saving towards your deposit, even if it’s a tiny amount every month. We used the Help to Buy scheme to save for our house. Sadly, it doesn’t exist anymore. But, if you’re over 18 and under 40 and are a UK resident, think about opening a Lifetime ISA where the government adds a 25% bonus to your savings (up to £1,000 a year). Read more about it here.
5. Following a budget? Explore new ways to save money.
Nanelle: Like cooking at home, using public transportation, or taking advantage of staff discounts.
6. Finding it hard to limit your spending? Don’t be fooled by the UK’s endless sales.
Tochi: A good thing to remember is that, even when things are 25% or 50% off, those things will almost always be on sale! If you don’t buy something now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be there when you actually need it.
7. Work in healthcare and struggling with the cost of living crisis? Seek out support.
Nanelle: If you're facing difficulties related to agency work or the cost of living, reach out to professional nursing associations, unions, or welfare organisations that offer guidance and support to healthcare professionals facing challenges.
8. Want to get a car on finance without a UK credit history? Try Skoda, Volkswagen, Seat or BMW.
Ashika: Someone mentioned to me that Skoda, Volkswagen and Seat (who all happen to be part of the Volkwagen family) and BMW sell cars to expats on finance.
We went to BMW and they were extremely efficient. They asked for my husband’s pay slips, saw the salary bracket and were able to give us a car without a credit history.
9. Need car insurance but don’t have a UK driving licence? Get cover for the first 12 months with Marshmallow.
Ashika: You can buy insurance initially using your international licence with certain companies, like Marshmallow - get a quote here! But you can’t renew your insurance on an international licence as the licence is only valid for one year.
10. Expecting a child in the UK for the first time? Research your rights and learn about the NHS process.
Nanelle: Familiarise yourself with maternity leave and pay policies, as well as benefits such as Child Benefit and Sure Start Maternity Grant. The UK government's website (www.gov.uk) is a great resource for detailed information on this topic.
And make sure to register with your local GP (General Practitioner) as soon as possible to access antenatal care. It's also important to understand how to navigate the NHS maternity services, including booking appointments and understanding the different options available for childbirth.
If you want more tips about moving to the UK, head over to our blog. We’ve got more interviews with Ashika, Nanelle and Tochi. And there are lots of guides about driving in the UK and getting car insurance.
Speaking of car insurance… why not join Marshmallow? We give discounts based on all your driving history, no matter where you drove before. You could save up to 45% on your cover! Find out more here.