Country Guides June 29, 2022

7 Things to Know When Moving From Los Angeles to London

Lucy Lucas

Born and raised in Miami Lucy is a content writer with a love of moving and packing. She is an expert at making sure everything fits into her suitcase.

LA and the UK capital are some of the world’s most famous cities, so it’s no surprise they attract people from all over the globe. Even though these two have some similarities, they are actually very different. If you are currently considering moving from Los Angeles to London, there are seven things you should look into before actually deciding to move.

#1 Moving From Los Angeles to London Is Generally a Big Step

Changing continents and moving overseas is obviously a very demanding process that takes a lot of preparation. Many Americans who are interested in living in the UK’s capital wonder: Is it hard to move to the UK from America? Even though the answer to this question would be positive, moving internationally is always a huge step in one’s life. However, although relocating to another country is always challenging, it is far from impossible. If you inform yourself well and prepare on time, you’ll be more sure about whether you’re making the right decision or not.

You Must Prepare All the Necessary Documentation for Moving From LA to London

Moving abroad means you’ll have plenty of things to figure out before actually booking that plane ticket. If you’re wondering, “Can Americans just move to London?” keep in mind that the US and UK are two completely different countries with different rules and regulations, and you will have plenty of legal matters to deal with.

Preparing documents needed to travel abroad is simply not enough. If you’re planning to live and work in the UK, you are going to have to sort your visa, work and residence permit, taxes, healthcare, and all the other important documents. One of the best relocation tips would be to contact their embassy and have them provide you with the list of documents you must prepare for the transfer.

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#2 The Cost of Living in the UK Capital Is Similar to LA

When you are thinking about, “Is it better to live in LA or London?” one of the most important things to consider is the cost of living. Whenever you plan to live abroad, you must figure out how expensive the city you are planning to relocate to is. When comparing LA and the UK capital – both of these cities are pretty expensive and have sky-high costs of living.

If you’re still wondering, “Is London cheaper than California?” there are still a few things that you should consider. Even though LA has the reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in the US, according to available resources, yes, the UK capital is more costly in some aspects. Here is the breakdown of the expenses:

  • According to Numbeo, rental costs for a one-bedroom apartment are around 15% more expensive in the UK capital than in LA.
  • Eating out is around 10% more expensive in the UK capital, but the groceries are cheaper there.
  • Salaries are much lower in the UK’s capital than in LA (around 40%).
  • You would need around $6,300 in UK capital to maintain the same standard of life that you can have in LA for $6,700.

It’s hard to tell which city is more expensive because the prices vary in different categories. Even though the UK’s capital is much cheaper in some aspects, the salaries there are much lower than in LA. So the best scenario would be to become a resident in this capital but keep your American salary.

Don’t Forget That You Also Have to Set Aside Some Money For Movers

Relocating across the world can be pretty pricey, so setting a budget and calculating expenses should be a priority on your relocation to-do list. The best way to relocate would be with the help of an international moving company. If you contact them, they will provide you with a free quote for the moving cost from LA to London, and you will immediately realize how much these expenses would be. If you choose to relocate by sea and some other services such as packing assistance or even storage, you’ll be able to have a much more efficient move.

#3 It’s a Bit Tricky for Americans to Get a Job in the UK

The UK’s capital city has a vast job market and offers plenty of opportunities for people willing to grow professionally. This especially goes out for American citizens, who often apply for jobs in the UK. However, it could be tricky to get a job in the UK for some Americans, mainly because the work culture is a bit different than in the US. The good thing is that there is no need to break the language barrier, and there are plenty of American companies in the UK capital hiring US citizens.

An excellent relocation tip is networking with plenty of expat communities in the UK, as they can update you on critical business information. Here are some tips you should consider when applying for a position in the UK capital:

  • The employers will most certainly want to look at your CV and cover letter, so make sure they are well prepared and updated with some new information.
  • Research and find out as much as possible about the company you’re applying for. This way, you will be able to prepare your answers and perform better during the interviews.
  • Get a work permit after you land a position and find out where your job is going to be. This way, you’ll make sure you are getting the proper visa.
  • Apply for the (NI) national insurance number, as this is vital for all Americans that want a job in the UK. You should get one before or while you’re applying for positions.

#4 UK Capital Has Better Accommodation Options

When it comes to renting an apartment in the UK capital, it’s certainly a better option than in LA. Even though the capital is the most expensive out of all British cities, it is still less costly than LA. Also, in the Big Smoke, you will be able to find much better-looking accommodations with open spaces and will overall get a better standard of life than in Los Angeles. On the other hand, London’s real estate is more expensive, and the prices have been rising in the past few years even more.

Short Guide to Some of the London’s Best and Most Popular Neighborhoods

The good thing about living in the UK capital is having plenty of different neighborhoods to choose from. All the communities have unique vibes and are well connected with the center. Here are some of the most popular and the prettiest areas in the UK’s capital:

  • Bloomsbury – a beautiful intellectual and literary hub in a fashionable residential area.
  • Notting Hill – the most charming neighborhood in a buzzy, bohemian area that is highly desirable.
  • Chelsea – a classy neighborhood that is known for being one of the most exclusive residential areas.
  • Kensington – is home to gorgeous Victorian buildings and super close to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, as well as some prestigious museums.
  • Hampstead – is known for its beautiful landscapes, classy restaurants and stores, and historic buildings. It is a lovely residential community loved by artistic souls.
  • Little Venice – is a gorgeous tranquil canal area located in the middle of the city but still away from all the craziness.
  • Shoreditch – is an excellent and hip neighborhood with a unique, edgy vibe. It is known for its amazing artistic community.

#5 London’s Crime Rates Are Higher Than LA’s

Many people who plan on transferring from LA to the UK’s capital are wondering, “Is Los Angeles safer than London?” and the answer is positive. The UK’s capital has a slightly higher crime level than LA, which is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning a new life there. Both of these cities are known for their higher crime rates which is why the UK capital is certainly not the best place to live abroad with family. Of course, some neighborhoods are safer than others, and you should consider renting there even if you plan to live alone.

#6 UK Capital Is Easier to Get Around, and You Don’t Need to Have a Car

When relocating to a big city, an essential factor to consider would be the city’s transportation and how functional it is. Regarding getting around, the UK capital is more commuter-friendly than LA. Also, in LA, it’s necessary to own a car to get from one place to another. The Big Smoke is known for having an excellent public transport system, so you won’t need to spend a ton of money on gas if you ship your car overseas.

Pros of Taking London’s Public Transportation

When living in the UK capital, public transport should be your everyday transportation option. It is much cheaper than buying gas for your car and faster too. You’ll have a choice of commuting by bus or by the city’s underground transport, both of which are efficient options. Public transport also functions amazingly well when traveling between different cities in the UK for weekend getaways.

London on a rainy day
London's public transport is much better than LA's

#7 Life in the UK Capital Has Its Disadvantages

There are plenty of reasons to move to the UK capital, but there are also some disadvantages. Both cities are at the center of large metropolitan areas with plenty of advantages. So, is LA better than London? When deciding which place offers better life opportunities, it’s best to write down a relocating abroad checklist with all the pros and cons. To help you figure it out, here’s a list of some typical cons of life in the Big Smoke:

  • Too many tourists,
  • High costs of living expenses,
  • The weather can get quite depressing,
  • It is not the cleanest area in the world,
  • It’s hard to live spontaneously when you constantly have to get reservations,
  • There are some areas with high crime rates.

You should also figure out which pros and cons apply to LA as well to help yourself understand whether these cities are the best places to live abroad for you. If you need some more information, you can always search for some YouTube videos and hear about the experiences of different people. Here’s a video that might be helpful to you.

Final Decision – Is Moving to London Worth It? Figure This Out Before Hiring Movers

So now that you have read about some of the important stuff you should know about when planning a life in the UK’s capital, you might have a clearer idea of what your expectations should be. Whether this move is worth your time and energy will primarily depend on your personal preferences and needs. We believe there are plenty of benefits of relocating to a new place and that each move can bring you lots of memorable moments and be a great learning experience. However, it is totally up to you to decide which metropolis is your perfect destination.

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