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The Hub, Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough, GU14 7JF

GoldFish Removals & Storage - "Providing Solutions"

T: 01252 302341

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checklist for moving house

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (226)
Resolve to book GoldFish Moving as soon as you exchange contracts and the completion date is set. Get at least three estimates from different firms and don't automatically accept the cheapest; you tend to get what you pay for. When comparing estimates, make sure you are comparing like with like. Are packing materials, boxes, cartons and crates and VAT all included? A few weeks before the move, the removal firm should send someone to establish what the move will entail. Now is the time to point out anything that needs special care and attention, such as antiques, computers, pictures, etc. Highlight any large or awkward items of furniture, such as a piano - which may require a specialist handler and/or have to be winched in through a window - or sofa. Tell GoldFish Moving if access from your old property or to your new property is likely to be difficult. Parking space for the removal lorry will also need to be considered. Such problems can add to the cost of a move and should be considered in the estimate. Don't accept an estimate over the phone. All quotations should be in writing and include pricing for packing, loading and unloading, storage (if required), special handling for breakables and valuables and any other special requests, such as curtain hanging and cleaning. When you accept an estimate, insist that a written quotation is sent to you as soon as possible. Establish a written timetable with the removal firm and check the foreman has all the necessary details. Make sure the removal firm has a clear map showing how to find your new home.

  • Notify relevant parties of your new address
    • Telephone and Internet service providers
    • Notify TV Licensing of your new address. Your TV licence doesn't automatically move with you when you move house. If you don't notify TV Licensing of you new address, you could end up being unlicensed in your new home, even if you paid for a licence at your old address. Anyone who watches TV without a licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1000, so make sure you're covered. It's easy to update your details. Simply log on to or call 0844 800 6722 and follow the instructions. You'll be asked for your TV Licence number and new address. It only takes a minute or two to transfer your licence.
    • Bank, building society, pension provider and any company you have loans or investments with
    • Credit card and store card companies
    • Inland Revenue - see for a list of offices
    • Local council regarding council tax
    • Subscriptions to magazines, charities, etc.
    • Employers
    • The schools your children attend
    • It is a legal requirement to notify DVLA - you will need to renew your driving licence and vehicle registration document
    • Friends, family and colleagues.

  • Using storage facilities
  • GoldFish Moving will accept practically anything as long as it isn't perishable (food, plants, etc), flammable (noxious chemicals), illegal (drugs, cash waiting to be laundered) or alive (pets, children). Expect to be charged for packing, delivery to and from your house, the amount of space required and the length of time items are to be stored. Insurance can be arranged through GoldFish Moving or through your household insurance. GoldFish Moving will make an inventory of everything in storage for your piece of mind.

  • On the big day
  • Make sure the foreman has a layout of your new home so furniture is put in the correct room. Ensure GoldFish Moving has access to your new home and is able to park outside the property if necessary. Have all paperwork and contact numbers relating to the move with you. Upon arrival, read the meters and check that the phone, security alarm, electricity, gas, central heating and water work. Make sure all items that were included in the sale, such as carpets, curtains and light fittings, are there. If there is anything missing, contact your solicitor. Alert your surveyor immediately to any serious faults in the building that were missed in the original survey. Think about getting the locks changed on your new property - you never know who the previous owners may have given spare keys to in the past. Even if everything is in order and has run smoothly, the chances are by the end of the day you'll be too shattered to move, so collapse on the sofa, order a takeaway and crack open a bottle of champagne.

Taking your pets abroad

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:38 AM Comments comments (57)
If you're going abroad with your pet cat, dog or ferret, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) could help avoid long quarantine periods when you return. Working guide dogs and hearing dogs may also travel on the scheme.  
The PETS scheme Pet travel rules, find out what you need to do if you are travelling with a pet on or after 1 January 2012 The scheme is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other diseases while still allowing pets to travel.The UK has been free of rabies for many years, but mammals are still at risk in some other countries.From 1 January 2012 all pet cat, dogs and ferrets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from. You can check details and the full procedure for preparing your pet on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website.To be eligible, your cat, dog or ferret must:
  • first be fitted with a microchip
  • then be vaccinated against rabies
Pets from EU and listed countries must:
  • wait 21 days from the date of their first rabies vaccination before re-entering the UK or travelling to another country
Pets from unlisted countries must:
  • be blood tested at least 30 days after vaccination with a satisfactory result by a European Union approved laboratory
  • wait three calendar months from the date the blood sample was taken before re-entering the UK
You must also ensure that your pet:
  • is issued with a pet passport by their vet
  • is treated by a vet for tapeworm, not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before the scheduled time of entry into the UK (dogs only)
  • travels into the UK on a PETS-approved sea, air or rail route
Before you go You must book your return journey into the UK with one of the many PETS-approved carriers, on a PETS-approved route. There is only a limited amount of space and it is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.You must book in advance or your pet will not be allowed to travel.
Taking care of your pet when travelling These tips can help make your pet's journey as comfortable as possible:
  • make sure your pet is as fit and healthy as possible to withstand the journey
  • give them a light meal about two hours before they travel
  • give your pet the opportunity to go to the toilet before it is put in its carrying container
  • let your pet 'try out' the carrying container before the trip
  • the carrying container should be well-ventilated, roomy enough for the animal to move around, safe and have adequate food and water for the trip, with easily refillable containers for a long journey
  • put a familiar-smelling cushion or rug in the container to help your pet settle
Returning to the UK When returning to the UK, transport staff will check your pet passport to ensure the requirements of the scheme have been met. If there is missing paperwork or your pet has not been prepared correctly it may be:
  • taken into UK quarantine
  • returned to the country from which it has just come
Travelling with registered assistance dogs The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in partnership with
  • other UK assistance dog organisations
  • Defra
  • a number of UK airlines
has produced a set of guidelines for registered assistance dog owners wishing to use PETS.Pets entering the UK on airlines under the Pet Travel Scheme must normally be carried in the hold. However, guide dogs or other assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin with their owner on certain approved routes.The disabled people section also gives more information on assistance dogs.
More useful links
Useful contacts ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licence)

Voting from abroad

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:36 AM Comments comments (45)
If you move abroad, you can vote in general elections and European Union elections for up to 15 years, but you need to be registered. However, you can't vote in UK local government elections. You can also vote by post or proxy if you’ll be temporarily abroad on election day.
Registering as an overseas voter Registering to vote Follow the link below to find out how to register to vote
If you are a British citizen living abroad who has registered to vote within the past 15 years, you can apply to be an overseas voter.Applying to be an overseas voterTo apply to be an overseas voter you'll need to download and print a registration form from the About My Vote website. Once you have filled it in, you should send it to the electoral registration office for the area where you were last registered to vote. Or, you can contact the electoral registration office and ask them to send you an overseas voter registration form.
Confirming you are British citizen living abroadYou’ll need to ask someone to sign a witness declaration on your form.Signing the witness declaration means that someone can confirm that you are a British citizen and you aren’t living in the UK when you apply. The person who signs the witness declaration has to be another British citizen living abroad, but not a close relative. They don’t have to live in the same country as you.
Too young to register before moving abroad - what to doIf you aren’t registered to vote in the UK, you can't vote from abroad - unless you were too young to register when moving overseas. If so, you can register with the electoral registration office where your parent or guardian was last registered. You can only register as long as you left the UK within the past 15 years.
Registering to vote if serving abroad in the Armed Forces If you are serving abroad with the Armed Forces, or you may be sent abroad at short notice, you can register as a service voter. Husbands, wives or civil partners of members of the Armed Forces can also register as service voters. You must renew your service declaration every three years.You can register using the UK address where you last lived, or where you would be living if you were still in the UK.Electoral registration forms for service voters can be downloaded by going to the About My Vote website and following the 'Register to vote' link.
How to vote if you are abroad All overseas voters can vote by post or by applying for someone to vote for the candidate of their choice (otherwise known as ‘proxy voting’). If you are an overseas voter , a postal vote will be sent to you about a week before the election. If it would be difficult for you to receive and return a postal vote in time, consider voting by proxy.A proxy vote means you ask someone you know and trust to vote on your behalf. They can go to your polling station, or they can apply to vote for you by post. Find out more about postal and proxy votes in ‘Voting at an election’.
Returning to the UK from abroad Remember to register if you return to live in the UK, so you don't lose your chance to vote. You can register to vote at your new address by filling in a registration form and sending it to your local electoral registration office. If you are serving in the Armed Forces and return to the UK, you can either:
  • continue to register as a service voter
  • register to vote with your local electoral registration office

Voting if you are abroad on election day If you live in the UK but you will be away from home on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy. Find out how to apply for postal or proxy voting in ‘Voting at an election’.

Cultural awareness

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (70)
Understanding a country's laws and customs can help you adjust to a new home abroad. Daily life may be unsettling at first, so any preparation you do could help you adjust more quickly. Appreciating cultural and legal differences could also help you avoid potentially embarrassing or difficult situations.
Learn about a country's people and culture before visiting Before visiting a country, you can learn about its people and be aware of things like its customs, religion and language.A few tips on how to get you started:
  • get a good guidebook and find out about local laws, customs and culture
  • ideally learn the local language and at least take a phrase book
  • respect local customs and dress codes, think about what you wear and how you fit in
  • be discreet about your views on cultural differences and behave and dress appropriately, particularly when visiting religious sites, markets and rural communities
  • you should take particular care not to offend local codes of dress and behaviour with regards to sexual relations, alcohol and drugs - in some countries, for example, it is illegal to drink, and importing alcohol into the country can lead to severe penalties
  • always ask an individual's permission before you take a photograph and respect their wishes - in some cultures, taking a woman's photograph can cause great offence
  • don't haggle too aggressively, in most countries where haggling is the norm, it is done with humour and not for too long - it is important to remember that the discount you are haggling over could be a few pence for you, but a significant means of income for a seller
  • it is best to err on the side of caution - behaviour that would be regarded as innocuous elsewhere can lead to serious trouble

Find out some facts and stats about a country
You can perhaps research the country’s location in relation to the UK. What the capital, population or ethnic make-up is. You can find out what the currency is and exchange rates.
Try and find out what the weather is like. What the latest news is or a sense of the country's history. What the international dialling code is or time difference to the UK.

More useful information

Exporting your vehicle

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:33 AM Comments comments (160)
You’ll need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when you are taking your vehicle out of the country on a permanent basis. If you are taking your vehicle or a hired vehicle on a temporary basis, you must take the appropriate documentation with you.
Taking your vehicle abroad for more than 12 months (permanent export) When a vehicle registered in the United Kingdom (UK) is taken out of the country for 12 months or more, it’s regarded as being permanently exported from the UK.You can tell DVLA by filling in the section ‘Notification of Permanent Export’ (V5C/4) of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), and send it to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD. Keep the rest of the registration certificate, as you may need this to re-register the vehicle abroad. Your vehicle will become subject to the legal requirements of the new country when exported.If you don’t have a registration certificate you’ll need to get a certificate of permanent export (V561). Download and complete the V756 ‘Application for certificate or permanent export’ and send to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AG.

Moving between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) with your vehicle You only need to fill in the change of address section on your V5C (moving from GB to NI) and send to a Driver Vehicle and Operator (DVO) office, or your V5CNI (moving from NI to GB) and send to a DVLA local office as your vehicle is staying in the UK.When transferring the vehicle from GB to NI you should leave the current tax disc on the vehicle until it expires and then re-tax in NI. This is the same for vehicles transferring from NI to GB.The form V561 is no longer applicable when vehicles are moving between GB and NI.
Personalised registration on your vehicle You’ll need to transfer or retain your personalised registration before you export the vehicle. If you don’t, you’ll lose your entitlement to the registration number.

The 'direct export' and 'personal export' schemes You can only take a vehicle abroad under the direct or personal export schemes if you meet the right criteria.Direct exportIf you buy a vehicle under the ‘direct export scheme’ it must be taken abroad without being used on UK roads. You don’t have to pay a first registration fee or vehicle tax.The DVLA local offices that deal with direct exports are:Birmingham, Chelmsford, Northampton, Wimbledon.Once the vehicle is exported the manufacturer or applicant should return the appropriate part of the direct export certificate (V308) to the local office.Personal exportUnder the ‘personal export’ scheme, a vehicle can be used on UK roads for a limited time before exporting it to a country outside the EU. You must either be an overseas visitor to the UK or a UK resident intending to live outside the UK for six months.UK residents can use the vehicle in the UK for up to six months but the vehicle has to be taxed. Overseas visitors can use the vehicle for up to 12 months without tax. A registration mark will be given from the ‘XA – XF’ range and a pink registration certificate (VX302) issued. These vehicles are subject to the first registration fee.DVLA local offices that deal with personal exports are:Beverley, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelmsford, Glasgow, Leeds, Lincoln, Maidstone, Manchester, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Stockton, Wimbledon.

Taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months (temporary export) If a UK registered vehicle is taken abroad temporarily, it remains subject to UK law. This means that you as the keeper, must by law make sure that the vehicle stays taxed while it’s overseas. Providing the vehicle has a current MOT certificate and insurance, you’ll be able to tax the vehicle.If you don’t tax the vehicle and it’s brought back to the UK untaxed, the vehicle will need to be transported and not driven upon entry back to the UK and SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) should be declared straight away.You can tax or SORN online or by telephone, but please note that SORN can’t be made while the vehicle is abroad.If you don’t have a registration certificate and you are taking the vehicle out the country on a temporary basis you can get a replacement from DVLA by phoning or applying by post.

The registration certificate may take up to four weeks to arrive. If you need to travel during this time you’ll need to apply for a temporary registration certificate (V379), available from a DVLA local office. You'll need to provide proof of ID and there’s a fee for the service.You should make sure that you meet any international and national conditions for licensing and taxation.

Export licence for historic military vehicles If you are a military vehicle owner, and wish to take your vehicle to another country you will need to apply for an Open General Export Licence. For more information see the Department for Business link.

Taking a hired vehicle abroad temporarily The registration certificate for a leased, hired or rented vehicle will normally be held securely by the company that supplied the vehicle. When travelling abroad it’s important that you are able to show you are allowed to use the vehicle. The Vehicle on Hire certificate (VE 103) is available as evidence of this. The certificate, which is subject to a small fee, may be obtained from the following organisations:
  • AA - Automobile Association
  • RAC - Royal Automobile Association
  • RHA - Road Haulage Association
  • BVRLA - British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
  • FTA - Fleet Transport Association

More useful links Vehicle tax is due to expire while you're abroad

Preparing to move or retire abroad?

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 5:28 AM Comments comments (83)
Moving abroad is a big step. Apart from considerations concerning family and friends, there are issues around pensions, tax and healthcare costs that you will need to be aware of. Here's a checklist to make sure you've got the essentials covered.
Moving to the EU? As a UK national, you have the right to live in any European Economic Area (EEA) country. If you intend to move to any other country, you should first visit the British Embassy website of that country for further information.
Tax, benefits and pensions Before you move, you can:
  • get an estimate of your State Pension
  • ask HM Revenue & Customs for information about your tax liability on any income over the UK personal allowance, UK tax payable from abroad can vary depending on where you decide to live
  • if you are retiring abroad seek independent tax advice about the benefits of offshore banking, as this could reduce your tax liability depending on where you are living
  • inform HM Revenue & Customs Charity, Assets and Residence (Residency), and the International Pension Centre when you move and provide your contact details abroad
Health Here are some of the things you could consider doing to protect your healthcare needs:
  • find out about welfare rights abroad; some UK benefits are not payable outside the UK, others apply only in the EU or in countries which have agreements with the UK
  • find out about healthcare costs in the country you want to move to
  • you are strongly advised to take out health insurance if appropriate to cover private medical and dental treatment, as well as medical repatriation to the UK
  • inform your and your family's doctor, dentist and other relevant practitioners
Your home and family
Things to remember:
  • if you decide to keep your property in the UK and it is going to be empty or rented out, you will need to let your mortgage lender, insurance providers know
  • look at how the property can be kept secure while you are away, visit the link below for more advice
  • give Land Registry an address where you can be contacted abroad as empty properties or those with tenants can be targeted by fraudsters (see link ‘Protect your property with Land Registry’ below)
  • contact your local council - their Council Tax department and electoral registration unit will need to know when you are leaving and a forwarding address
  • notify your utility companies that you are moving in order to get your final bills and provide a forwarding address for them to send you any outstanding payments or refunds
  • tell your bank, building society or any financial institution that you have a policy or agreement with that you are moving abroad
  • have your mail forwarded by asking for a re-direction form at a Post Office - allow enough time for this to be set up as it can take a few weeks
  • if you have children, notify the school and the local education authority of the date when you will be withdrawing them from school
  • if you have children, ensure you have the other parent’s permission to take the children overseas - you might be breaking the law by taking your children out of the country without permission from the other parent or the UK courts
Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice on international parental child abduction

Managing your mov abroad

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM Comments comments (61)
Managing your move abroad
Relocating abroad? Be prepared! Kathy Dorf offers international movers this practical checklist of what needs to be done before you make the move.Related Articles:
Investigate your new country’s rules
Regulations and laws vary widely between countries so it is important to do your research before moving abroad. Contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for information relevant to expats relocating to the country, including:
  • Visas and permits
  • Vaccines for family members
  • Restrictions or taxes on shipped household items
  • Taxes involved in shipping your car
  • Vaccines and quarantines for pets
  • Insurance
File applications for passports, visas and permits
Do this early, as the process takes time. It is also wise to renew documents early, in the case that they are due to expire in the near future.

Gather important documents
Be sure to request official copies of important personal documents and allow at least several weeks to receive them. For instance:
  • Birth and marriage certificate
  • Naturalisation, green card, proof of citizenship etc.
  • Social security cards
  • Vaccination, medical and dental records
  • Insurance policies
  • Academic records and diplomas
  • Employment records
  • Proof of residency (utility bill, bank statement etc.)
  • Living will and testament
International moving and shipping companies
Request quotes from international moving and shipping companies for transporting your belongings overseas. Since it could take over a month for your items to arrive, plan ahead when scheduling your shipment.

It is critical to determine the exact insurance requirements and availability at your new destination, as limits vary widely throughout the world.

Car insurance
Anyone planning to drive a car internationally will need to purchase an international car insurance policy. Requirements vary among countries so select an insurance provider with the expertise and resources to ensure the policy meets your needs.

Property insurance

International personal property insurance, which can include transit and destination coverage, protects items damaged during the relocation process, while in your foreign residence or during shipping and transit. Contact an insurance provider specialising in expats for more information.

Health insurance
Even if your destination country has a social healthcare system, you may not be eligible for coverage. If you are not covered under a group medical insurance program, individual policies can be purchased to protect you in a foreign country. These policies include worldwide medical protection and also can include evacuation services.

Bank and credit card accounts
Review your accounts and notify your banks that you will be overseas. Also consider online international banking, which makes it easier to transfer and manage funds between countries.

Prescription drugs
If you or a family member takes prescription drugs, purchase additional quantities and obtain a copy of the medical file related to the condition. Keep them in your hand luggage, in case bags are lost in transit.

International driving permit
Renew your driver’s license if it is set to expire soon. Acquire an international driving permit (IDP) and take extra forms to renew it annually by mail. Remember to carry both your IDP and your national driver's license with you at all times.

Tax obligations
Each country has distinct tax rules for foreign earned income. Determine your obligations and gather the necessary paperwork.

If your pet is moving with you, ensure it receives proper vaccinations and identify a pet carrier. If you have decided not to bring a pet, allow enough time to find it a new home.

Flight and hotel reservations
Make all necessary travel arrangements as soon as your travel dates are set.

VOIP phone service
Consider using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone service, otherwise known as broadband phone service. This is an affordable way for expats to make local, long distance and international calls, all for a monthly fee.

Cancel subscriptions and forward mail
Cancel all publication subscriptions and complete the appropriate forms at the post office to ensure your mail is forwarded to your new address.

Do your research
Take some time to learn about the country’s history and culture before you move so you arrive prepared to adapt quickly to your new home.