What do you know about London? You’ve probably heard all sorts of stories or anecdotes, but what’s it really like to move to London, to live and work in the city? If you have already started to look into making the move you’ll probably have a thousand questions and it’s not always easy to find the answers. Plus there are the little things that you might not have even considered yet – like what you need to be able to work, how do you make new friends and where’s the best place to live?
We are going to go through some of the most important things you need to know about moving to London which will help prepare you for life in the capital!
London is a sprawling metropolis with many different areas, each with their own vibe and culture. Finding a place to live can be difficult – many Londoners don’t live close to where they work, instead, they use the transport network and commute in and out of work. Also, property in London can get snapped up incredibly fast, with news of rentals being taken off the market hours after they first appeared.
Before you move you need to get a sense of where you want to stay. Have a look at some directories that give you an overview of the different areas. Ideally, you should visit an area before you commit to a long-term rental agreement, stay in AirBnB for a while, travel to and from work and get to know the area.
Get your NI number
This is one of the most important things you can do and should be done as soon as you can. In the UK everyone of working age gets a National Insurance number that is used for tax purposes. In most cases, to work in the UK you will need one too. Whilst it’s not illegal to start working without a NI number, you are likely to pay ‘emergency tax’ which will be a lot more than necessary and you’ll find it hard to claim any of the tax back. You can apply for your NI number here.
To collect your salary each month you need a UK bank account. Traditionally this has been incredibly difficult for newcomers as high street banks usually need to you provide a proof of address including a few months worth of utility bills before you can open an account. This is where Monese comes into its own. With our app (available on iOS and Google Play) you can open a UK current account in less than 120 seconds. All you need to provide is a European address (so you can receive your contactless card) and a passport or national i.d card. Once you have signed up you will be given your own UK sort code and account number which you can give to your employer to get paid. There are a whole host of other reasons that Monese is a great option for mobile people, have a look here for more info!
The ‘small’ things
Now you have to have a think about the everyday practicalities of living in London. Have a think about your:
- travel options – London is well connected because of a large transport system, you can travel via buses, tubes and overground trains using your Monese contactless card on the network.
- Staying connected – look at the best options for your mobile phone and get an appropriate sim card.
- Make friends – London can get lonely at times so make sure you get a network going. Use things like Meetup, join a sports or hobby club and get to know your neighbours as a starting place.
- Get your apps up to date – Citymapper is essential for finding your way around, Londoner’s also use Uber when getting a taxi is difficult. Fancy grabbing a take-away – then Just Eat and Deliveroo have you covered and if you want to go out Yplan will show you what’s on nearby.
Overall, London is definitely a great place to Live and work, but you do need to make sure you are prepared before you arrive. It can be busy and expensive, but plan ahead and you’ll have a great time!
Photo credit: The Nick Page