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Newlyweds moving to UK - Advice/ Help please

Discussion in 'Life in the UK' started by januaryprincess, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. januaryprincess

    januaryprincess New Member


    I'm Filipina and my husband is British. We're planning to move to the UK in a couple of months. I have A LOT of questions about moving to the UK, so any help in answering any and/or all questions would just mean so much to me! So before we start I'd like to say thanks!

    1. Where should we move to the UK?
    - We're looking at places around London. We don't need to be IN London, just around is fine. Somewhere where the rent is okay - not expensive or what. We're willing to move farther away from the city if that means we could have a bigger apartment/ space. However, we'd like to be a maximum of around 1-2 hours away from London, plus it would be great if there's a university/ college nearby since I am planning to study while we're in the UK. PS. If there's a filipino community around the place, it would be a big plus.

    2. How difficult is it to learn how to drive in the UK? And how long does it take to learn/ get a driver's license?
    - I don't know how to drive. Are there driving schools around london? If yes, what is a good driving school and how much do they usually charge?

    3. Is it difficult to buy a car in the UK?
    - We're looking to buy a used car to save money. Any recommended used car businesses would be great.

    4. Which bank should we bank with?
    - We're moving all out assets (money etc.) to the UK. We would love to have a bank that would be willing to open up a bank account for me (while I'm on my spouse visa), or a joint bank account for us.

    5. What's a good internet provider for the home?
    - We both don't watch any TV and just Netflix all the time. A strong, reliable and fast internet connection is also needed because my husband does a lot of work online.

    6. What's a good mobile service provider?
    - We'll both be needing new numbers and preferrably a family plan or something for our phones. We would like a mobile provider that has a big data usage limit since we'll both be frequently calling our families (mine in the Philippines and his in Australia) via Viber or WhatsApp.

    7. Where to buy cheap furniture in the UK?
    - Most of the apartments that we're looking at right now are unfurnished, I don't know if this is just hwo it is in the UK or if its just the apartments we're looking at. But since most of them are unfurnished, I'm assuming we'll have to buy furniture for them.

    8. Which universities/ colleges are "Philippine-friendly" in the UK?
    - I have a previous Bachelor's degree from the Philippines and I want to study when we get to the UK. Which universities would most likely recognize my previous degree and allow some of the previous subjects I've taken to be accredited/ recognized?

    9. What is a large grocery store chain in the UK that sell Asian products?
    - Just stuff like noodles or soy sauce or what. Are those available everywhere or do we have to go to a special Asian grocery store or what?

    10. Where are some nice places to go out? And how much will it cost for a night out?
    - Just dinner and drinks, a nice date place for a couple. How much would it cost for a nice fancy night out
    (special occassions just like for birthdays or anniversaries etc.) and for a normal "date"?

    11. Any additional advice/ comments etc. That you think might help us?
  2. Drunken Max

    Drunken Max Active Member

    1 Look at Birmingham. Its not far from London and in the future with HS2 will be very quick. Also housing is much more affordable. You are also then close to a great deal of employment and educational institutions
    2 Drinving lessons and test is not easy but then that's reflected in the quality of the driving on the roads.
    3 Autotrader magazine is a good place to look. Its online
    4. I'm with HSBC which is quite good and has good coverage / services though you may find issues with a bank account before you arrive etc.
    5. Plusnet seems to be the cheapest that still has quality. I'm on BT which is good
    6. A few providers offer family plans. Look at carphonewarehouse.com as they sell all providers and the price is no different. Again you need a UK bank account for a contract
    7. IKEA is the go to but also Dunelm (?) is very affordable. There is a lively second market on sites like gumtree
    8. No idea
    9. All major supermarkets have a healthy world foods section. Its more about the size of the store rather than the brand. Birmingham has a reasonable sized ethinc community so there will be many specialist stores as well. London also
    10. How long is a piece of string? London you can add minimum 20% to anywhere else. Date night maybe £50 per head ( can be alot more depending on how much trouble he is in), bite to eat with friends, maybe £20 per head depending on drinks.
    11. If you want to talk to a brit, you have to talk to them twice ( advice from a friend ). the first time they will be awkward but want to say something, the second time you will have made friend.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  3. Maley

    Maley Active Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    I wont be able to help with your question but add one more component to it:

    What about your husband? Has he made suggestions on the area he'd want to consider?

    Another thing to consider, child care is very expensive over here so what tend to happen is couple move closer to the grandparents' or uncles/aunties location so baby sitting is easier.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Markham

    Markham . Lifetime Member

    Unless you have an overriding, burning desire to be close to London, I'd suggest you looking at places away from the south-east of the country which will be less expensive and more pleasant places to live. I see Birmingham has been suggested: not a choice I would personally take but some of the towns south of Birmingham are definitely worth considering - Bromsgrove, Droitwich and Worcester.

    British School of Motoring is a national chain of driving schools and there may be other schools and individual instructors in your chosen location. BSM is not cheap and don't publish their prices on their web site.

    Unless your husband already has bank account(s) in the UK, he will find it a somewhat onerous and time-consuming undertaking due to all the security and counter-money-laundering procedures banks have to follow. If he has accounts with an Australian bank that has a branch (or more) in the UK (or banks with HSBC), then he can ask them to open one or more accounts in the UK. This will be far quicker and easier than opening the same accounts locally.

    PlusNet or BT.

    My advice would be to use PAYG - Pay As You Go - with a major provider such as EE or Vodaphone. Provided you have a SmartPhone (ie: internet-enabled), you can use your home internet connection for any VOIP calls you want to make around the world.

    You'll need to have your degree assessed by UK Naric who will require your university transcripts and other documentation and will issue you with a certificate of equivalence with UK qualifications.

    All the major supermarket chains - Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Aldi and Lidl - will cater for such basics as you mention.
  5. januaryprincess

    januaryprincess New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply :D
  6. januaryprincess

    januaryprincess New Member

    We were actually thinking of areas SouthEast of London since we're planning to travel a lot by train so somewhere close to Ashford Station would be ideal actually. One of the reasons why we chose the UK is because we're not planning to have any kids for the next 6-8 years so we want to travel as much as possible during this time around Europe. :)
  7. januaryprincess

    januaryprincess New Member

    Thank you so much :D
  8. Bluebirdjones

    Bluebirdjones Member

    A word of warning in regard to Ashford.

    The Eurostar used to stop there on a regular basis, but it's now down to 3 stops a day .... two early in the morning, and one in the afternoon.
    They've basically replaced Ashford with Ebbsfleet.

    However, on the plus side, housing is affordable (as per SE /London standards), there's a Designer Outlet, London is 30-35mins by train, and the Channel Tunnel & Dover are 15 & 25 mins away. Canterbury not too far either.
    Also, a good number of Filipinas in/around the town.

    We're just down the road at Folkestone

  9. januaryprincess

    januaryprincess New Member

    Thank you . We're thinking about Ebbsfleet, Sevenoaks, Ashford, Brighton and Ewell :)

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