Relocation to Sweden: Your Removals Guide
Sweden has a fantastic quality of life and an extremely high standard of living. Small wonder then many people relocate here from across Europe and the US, often for work. Nearly 6% of the whole Swedish population is made up of non Swedes. Whether you are moving to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo or out in the country, there’s lot to consider when organise your house removal. You may choose to hire a relocation specialist, go direct to international removals companies or do it yourself. There are benefits to each of the three options, but drawbacks too.
Relocation specialists take away a lot of your headaches. For a fee, and it can be considerable, they will organise all the transportation, visas and admin of your move to Sweden. Though Sweden is a member of the EU, so every European Union citizen has a right to move freely there and buy property, there are conditions: including residency and work permits. There are issues for non-EU residents that will require liaison with the Swedish Migration Board. Then, there’s the sheer logistics of transporting what is often a couple of container loads of furniture and possessions across Europe. A relocation firm will handle all this for you.
Though Sweden is accessible by road, many removals – especially from the UK – take place by sea. It’s usually cheaper using this route, as the road tolls and in particular the road bridges from Germany do cost a lot of money for larger trucks. So, you’re looking at freight forwarding by sea in most cases, particularly for larger loads. So, if you are relocating with your family and need to move a 4-5 bedroom home’s contents lock, stock and barrel, a container (or even two) may be the most economic option.
Now, there are many companies who will do regular runs by van, lorry or trailer to Stockholm, as often as once a week. By sharing a trailer load, you get good value for money, and the company wants to travel with full loads both ways. So prices work out well. The journey takes around three days with some pretty solid trucking, but that’s fine providing you plan in advance. You may choose to fly over, with your arrival coinciding with that of your household goods, or you could also drive your vehicle.
There are also smaller man with van services who will do the run. Because they tend to have lower overheads and a small operation, you get good prices and also a very personal service. You can even find such firms who will do your unpacking and reassembling at the other end in Sweden too, meaning you can arrive with an awful lot less work to do. Don’t think that a ‘man with a van’ service need only involve a small van or just one man, either. They usually have a small fleet that includes long wheel-based vehicles, and several men. So you’re not necessarily hiring a one man band.
As with all removals, international or otherwise, prices, service and standards vary dramatically. Alas, hundreds of people each year are ripped off by merchants who charge to earth and under deliver. So always be wary, get personal recommendations and check out honest reviews on internet forums for expats in Sweden. You’ll learn a lot more from those than glowing testimonials (often anonymous and unsubstantiated) and flashy websites of companies themselves.
Of course, you can do the move yourself too. This works well if you are single and not taking too much with you. Don’t forget though, you’re going to need a big enough vehicle – at least 3.5 ton. You’ll need adequate insurance and the endurance to do drive the 1,900-odd kilometres from London.