British in Germany

Living in Germany

If your company is paying your relocation expenses check if they use a relocation service. If not look into finding one for yourself, they can be very helpful.

Here is a useful little check list of things to do and not to do before you come to live in Germany.

To do list:-

Make sure your (and anyone else who is coming with you's) passport is up to date. I know we are all one big happy Europe, but believe me you need that little maroon booklet.

Get certificate E111 for urgent health cover whilst in Germany. Leaflet T4 gives information about healthcare cover in Germany and can be obtained from any UK Post Office along with an E111 application form. (There is a plan to replace this form and to give every EU citizen a card which guarantees them free medical care when they travel around Europe. However, to date it is still only a plan).

If you want to take anything for medical purposes ask your GP for a note explaining what medicine you have to take for which illness, the daily dose and the quantity you carry for the duration of your trip.

Inform bankers, solicitors, accountants and other advisers of your new address.

Close any building society deposit accounts.

Make arrangements for offshore banking if possible (maintain a current account for remaining commitments in the UK and a small amount in a deposit account).

Bring your tax affairs up to date - get some advice through the Inland Revenue Web Site.

Inform social security - leaflet SA29 issued by the Department of Social Security available at Post Offices in Great Britain - get some advice through the National Insurance Contributions Web Site.

Check the continuing validity of any private insurance (health, life etc.).

If you want to drive in Germany for any length of time then you should have proof of any no-claims bonus for insurance purposes. If you are going to drive here see below.

Review any existing investments not already mentioned.

If you are keeping your house in the UK don't leave any valuables at home.

If you are renting out your house in the UK, take legal advice (especially if you have a mortgage you will need permission from the Building Society/Bank).

Make or revise your will (I don't want to depress you but if you don't ....).

Most important though do not leave everything to the last minute!

Before you come to Germany, whether as an employee or self-employed you should have Certificate E111. This provides for urgent healthcare treatment whilst temporarily in Germany. Treatment will be provided on the same terms and conditions as an insured German National and the cost of the treatment borne by the UK. Application forms, and . If, however you arrive in Germany without Form E111, you should apply to the Contributions Agency, Overseas Contribution (EC) for a form.


Planning your Journey

When planning your journey you should try to ensure that you do not arrive at the weekend because banks and public administrative offices are closed from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. Shops usually shut about 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays nothing opens (apart from restaurants and bars so it isn't all bad news). You should also make sure that you do not only have Euros in large denominations in your pocket as they might be difficult to changem. The Bureau de Change at airports or main railway stations are usually open in the evenings and at the weekend, too. Here you can change foreign currency and travellers' cheques. You can get money at any bank or post office with a Eurocheque made out in €.

Most banks and savings banks open Monday to Friday from 9 to 4 and on Thursdays to 5.30 or 6.30, but check locally.

For more information see Travelling to Germany.



Driving in Europe - things to do before you come

All UK car insurance policies automatically provide you with third party cover in Europe at no extra cost. However, even if you have comprehensive cover in the UK, your policy may only give you third party cover in Europe - note that's not third party fire and theft, but just third party. Check your policy terms or call your insurer. Consider upgrading cover to include fire, theft and personal injury as a minimum. You can usually do so for an additional premium based on the number of days you intend to be out of the UK.

Carrying a 'green card' is not a legal requirement in most European countries (you can carry your Certificate of Insurance instead), but it does make life easier. A green card is an internationally recognised document which confirms that you have at least the minimum level of insurance required by the country you are visiting. Ask your car insurer for one. They do not charge to issue a green card, but some insurance brokers make a small administration charge.

If your insurer has a 24-hour emergency helpline make sure you take the number with you.

Consider having your car serviced before you come. As a minimum, you should check your spare tyre, adjust your headlamps for driving on the right (with adhesive or a clip on converter) and attach a GB sticker to your car (if you don't have a GB plate).

Getting your car repaired in Germany is very expensive. Consider taking out vehicle breakdown cover. These policies will usually cover roadside assistance, emergency repairs and the cost of hiring a car. They can also cover the cost of emergency accommodation whilst your car is repaired and of returning you and your car to the UK. Greenflag, the AA and RAC all offer European breakdown policies.

Bring your vehicle registration document with you.

German law requires you to carry a warning triangle, a first aid kit and spare light bulbs. But let's face it, it's a good idea to carry these anyway.

Bring a spare set of keys, a fire extinguisher and a small tool kit too.

If you are renting a car and bringing children, don't forget to arrange for a car seat when you make your reservation.

For more information see Driving in Germany.



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