When you move to a new country, particularly one as beautiful as Italy, it can be easy in all the excitement to forget about the costs that are involved with moving your things to your new home. Of course, you will have made a rough estimate of the total cost, however there are some surprising and unexpected things that you will have to pay for to get your possessions safely to your new home in Italy.
To help you plan for the big move and prepare your finances, the costs of moving are summarized below to ensure that you don’t get any last minute surprises.
My apartment in Volterra (Italy) is small and I decided to furnish the apartment by buying furniture from Italy. But I have done a major international move before. I hired an international shipping company to do the following:
- Pack and move most of my furniture and other household items from the three bedroom house where I was staying to a secure storage facility. This house was in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It remained in the storage facility for several months.
- Move some of the furniture to a junior one bedroom apartment in Philadelphia (my current primary residence).
- Once my apartment in Kochi (located in the South Indian State of Kerala) was ready, the shipping company moved the furniture from the storage facility near Philadelphia to Kochi. They also unpacked the furniture. Transporting the goods from the United States to India took about one month. The shipping company took the goods to Elizabeth New Jersey and shipped it to India from there.
- The whole project cost me approximately $5000.
The Cost Of Packing And Unpacking Your Goods.
The first step is packing your goods that you want to ship to Italy. Once it arrives in Italy, you will also need to unpack the goods. You can do this yourself or ask the moving company to do it. Some moving companies charge you an extra fee for packing your things before the move and then unpacking them on arrival. Many companies include these costs in their pricing structure but if you’re in doubt you should always ask first.
Part of the reason why some companies will charge you for the packing is because the customs office requires the company to vouch for the items they are moving. You can still supervise the packing of your things though so there’s no need to worry about that aspect of the move.
Alternatively, you can speak to the moving company and arrange to pack the items yourself but leave the boxes open so they can be inspected before they are shipped overseas. This may save you some money and allow you to pack your things to your own satisfaction. You can always unpack your things once they have arrived in your new home which might save you some money as well.
Moving From Your Current Location To Italy.
The largest cost associated with moving your things to Italy will inevitably be hiring an international moving company. They will handle your things and ensure that the move goes smoothly as you transit from one country to another.
How Much Are You Moving?
The overall cost of your move will largely depend on the amount of things you are moving, both in terms of weight and the volume of the items. You can share the costs with other people who are moving at the same time, known as ‘groupage services’, if you aren’t moving enough to fill up a full container load with the company. Moving companies’ charges are initially calculated on the basis of the size of your move, so always keep this in mind.
How Far Are You Moving?
As well as the amount which you are moving a company will also calculate the cost based on the distance that your things need to travel. The further that you are moving the more it will cost to get your things taken there for you.
Where Are You Moving To?
If you are moving to a common destination, such as Rome, then the costs will be lower than if you are moving to a remote hill town in Tuscany. The more common routes will be cheaper because there is more competition between the moving companies but also because they will already have established logistical networks on the route.
What Method Of Transportation Is Being Used?
Depending on how your things are being moved the costs will be higher or lower. For example, if your things are moved by air freight then the costs will be higher than if they are shipped. Shipping by sea is the cheapest way to move your things but it will take a lot longer than if you send your things by air. Once your things get to Italy then they will be moved on to their final destination by truck.
Sea freighting your things to Italy is the cheapest choice and you can even choose to go directly with an international shipping company. This will save you money but you will have to make all the arrangements once your items arrive in Italy; and so it’s usually a better idea to use an established international shipping company.
Costs vary, based on the factors mentioned above, however your typical costs will start from around $1000 and can range well upwards of $10,000. You can always get an estimated quote in advance if you contact a shipping company.
Insurance Costs For Moving.
It’s vital to get proper insurance cover when you’re moving your things overseas just in case the worst happens and it gets lost or damaged; and although this is very unlikely to happen you should always be on the safe side.
Most moving companies will include a variety of insurance options in their pricing structures however you should still ask them to make sure that it is included in the quote. If you are sending your things via sea freight then you may want to get a maritime insurance policy as well that protects your valuables while they are in international waters.
A good insurance policy should cover any eventuality, including damage, theft or the loss of your things.
Generally speaking, a basic insurance policy shouldn’t be too expensive and prices will start from $100 although for rare or high value items there may be extra fees for complete cover.
Storage Costs While Moving Overseas.
It’s quite common when you are moving your things to another country that you will have to pay for storage on top of the standard moving fees. It’s not always possible to coordinate the exact day that you move your things out of the house and the day when they will be shipped, either by air or sea freight. This means that you may have to keep your things safe until they can be picked up by your shipping company.
You might also decide to keep your belongings in storage in Italy after you’ve moved while you look for a house or sort out other aspects of your relocation. Also, if you want to keep things safe in your home country for when you return you will have to put it in long term storage.
The prices of storage will vary enormously and largely depend on how much you are storing and the size of the items. The prices typically start from approximately $100 or $200 per month and you can often get good deals for longer periods of time.
Customs Charges – Duty and Taxation.
When you import your things to another country you may have to pay duty and taxes on the items. The rules can be quite complicated and you should always check with your local consulate if you’re unsure.
However, if you’re moving from America to Italy then you should have no problems. When you are moving your household items to Italy you won’t have to pay any tariffs, duties or taxes on any of your possessions, provided that you have owned them for more than 12 months and used them in your previous address.
If you’re moving from the United States to Italy, then it’s free to transport your household items into the country. Not all items are exempt, so if you are unsure check with your local consulate, although most duties and taxation are very low.
Lawyer’s Fees and Costs.
It can be quite complicated to arrange all the documents required to legally move your things across international borders and so to give yourself peace of mind you can employ the assistance of a lawyer. Make sure they have previous experience in dealing with the duties and tax regulations, Visa protocols and immigration laws of the European Union.
When you hire a lawyer you will have to pay upwards of $100 per hour however the documentation shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete so the costs are not overly prohibitive. Alternatively, you can find lawyers who charge a flat fee for their services but these prices are rarely much less than $1000.
Temporary Housing and Accommodation Costs.
When you first arrive in Italy it’s unlikely that you will have secured a permanent home so you may have to stay in temporary accommodation. These costs need to be calculated into your budget so that you don’t end up homeless in a foreign country!
Fortunately, housing costs in Italy are very reasonable and you can rent an apartment from around $400 to $700 per month. Prices are higher in the major cities although in provincial towns rents can be as low as $300 per month.
If you would prefer not to worry about cooking and maintaining your rental property you can opt to stay in a hotel instead, although this will be far more costly. You can find cheap hotels with basic facilities with prices starting at about $30 a night while an expensive hotel can easily cost $500 a night. Remember, if you’re planning to stay in a hotel for a fairly long amount of time you may be able to get a discount on the cost of your room.
Rental prices for properties in Italy start from around $300 to $400 per month. Hotel prices range from $30 right up to $500 per night.
Moving to a new country can be quite difficult without some good planning in advance. As you move though, even with the best planning, you’re going to be presented with a whole host of extra costs, both small and large, that you’ll have to be able to manage.
You might need to buy plug converters, new items of furniture, pots and pans or even kitchen appliances. Don’t forget that in Italy you will usually find that your new house is almost totally emptied out by the previous occupant, right down to the light fixtures! All of this will have to be replaced with either the items that you have brought with you or new ones you buy in the country.
You’ll also need to hire taxis or rent a car to travel within the country and if you don’t plan on cooking each day you’ll have to pay for meals in restaurants and cafes.
The Costs Involved In Relocating To Italy.
When it comes to moving to Italy the costs can quickly add up if you don’t plan carefully and think ahead about the details of transferring your things to the country.
Taking on the services of a good shipping company will help your move to go smoothly and with a good selection of companies to choose from you can easily find one which meets your needs.
Having a clear idea of the types of costs that you will have to cover before you set off will help massively with your planning and ensure that you can save money where possible along the way.