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International Moving

Cost of Moving Overseas from San Francisco

By October 19, 2022December 12th, 2023No Comments
Moving overseas from San Francisco

Moving overseas from San Francisco is exciting. However, it’s essential to prepare for all the costs of relocating to a new country and budget yourself accordingly. 

This article will cover everything from visa fees to hiring an international moving company. If you plan to ship household goods overseas, it’s always best to speak directly with the international moving company of your choice. 

1. Cost of hiring an international mover

 Moving overseas from San Francisco with an international mover is $3000 to $12,000. Your final destination, move size, and international moving services will be the most significant cost factors. 

You can reduce the cost of your overseas move by self-packing, decluttering, and choosing a less expensive shipping service like door-to-port or port-to-port. 

Your international mover in San Francisco will be able to help you with tips on how to reduce your moving costs. 

Moving overseas with a car


2. Auto Transport costs

Most international moving companies in San Francisco offer auto transport services. The average cost for shipping a vehicle overseas from the Bay Area is $1800 to $5000. The make, model, and service will be the most significant cost factors. See your options below: 

Least expensive: Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) is the least costly way to transport a car overseas. However, you will be responsible for dropping your car off at the Port of Oakland and picking it up at the destination port. 

Mid Range: A consolidation is another great way to save money while having your car in a container. You will share a container with others moving overseas from San Francisco. 

Most expensive: If you have a high-end vehicle or want your car in a container, you can consider getting an exclusive container. It’s the most expensive transport method for shipping a vehicle overseas. 

If you’re shipping your household goods with a car, you can consolidate them into a 20′ or 40′ container. 

3. Airfreight costs

Moving overseas from San Francisco can get costly, and airfreight is the most expensive transport method. You can expect to pay anywhere from $4000 to $15,000. The size of your move and service will be the most significant cost factor. 

However, airfreight is the best option if you’re in a hurry. Transit times for air freight range from 1 to 3 weeks, making it a lot quicker the ocean freight transportation. It’s best to speak with San Francisco international movers about the details of your move. 

4. Storage costs

Most San Francisco international movers offer storage at the origin or destination location. The best international moving companies will offer one month of storage at no cost. 

Storage costs range from 50 cents to $1.00 per cubic foot. It would help if you spoke with the international relocation company of your choice about the details of your move. 

5. International moving insurance

If you’re moving overseas from San Francisco, you should consider moving insurance. Moving insurance is through a third-party and costs 2.5% to 4% of your household goods value. 

If you’re self-packing, you will only be entitled to total loss coverage, which covers complete loss only. Having your household goods professionally packed will allow for premium coverage. 

Most moving insurance has a $500 deductible. However, it would help if you spoke with an international moving company in San Francisco. 

6. Customs clearance, Duty, and Tax

If you’re moving overseas from San Francisco with used household goods, you will not have to pay tax or duty fees. However, if you’re picking your household goods up from the destination port, you will have to pay customs clearance charges. 

Customs clearance charges vary based on the destination and move size, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $800. Most international moving companies can provide you with the costs and include them in your moving estimate. 

Additional costs to consider when moving overseas from San Francisco are visa fees. They vary based on your destination and personal situation but average $500 to $2000. 

Visas can get complicated when you’re moving to a new country, so you must prepare in advance. Certain countries have easier processes than others. Additionally, the requirements can vary if you’re a retiree or if you plan on going to work. 

The cost of moving overseas from San Franciso will depend on a few factors. You can use an international moving checklist to help you stay on track with your tasks. 

 8. International Healthcare costs

All US citizens moving overseas from San Francisco should get international health insurance. You will have three insurance options depending on your final destination:

•In countries with sound public healthcare, employees are typically automatically enrolled and pay monthly contributions.

• In countries without good public healthcare, many Americans rely on private insurance offered by private companies.

• Sometimes expats choose to have a combination of public and private health insurance for access to better quality care.

Companies like can help you get set up with international health insurance. 

Overseas housing costs


9. Housing costs

The average cost of housing overseas can vary greatly depending on the country and location. In popular cities like London or Tokyo, the average cost of housing can reach upwards of $3,000 per month. 

On the other hand, in countries like Mexico or India, the average cost of housing may be less than $500 per month. It is vital to research and consider the cost of housing before deciding to live abroad. Factors like the strength of the local currency can also impact housing costs. Overall, planning and budgeting for potential housing expenses when moving overseas from San Francisco. 

10. Utility cost

According to a study by Expatistan, the average cost of utilities (including electricity, heating, water, and garbage) for an 85m2 apartment in Europe is approximately $171 per month.

In Asia, the average cost is slightly lower at $145 per month for the same-sized apartment. In South America, the average price is even lower at $87 per month.

However, these numbers can vary greatly depending on the specific country and city. For example, in Tokyo, Japan, the average cost of utilities for an 85m2 apartment is $253 per month, while in Jakarta, Indonesia, it is only $74 per month.

11. Accommodations

The average cost of a hotel room overseas can vary greatly depending on the destination. According to data from Statista, the average daily rate for a hotel room in Europe was $145 in 2018. The average daily rate in Asia was $95, and in South America was $91.

Of course, popular tourist destinations like Paris or Tokyo will have higher hotel prices than lesser-known cities. It’s essential to research and compare prices before booking a hotel room abroad. 

Additionally, there are ways to save money on accommodations, such as booking during off-peak seasons or opting for a hostel or Airbnb instead of a traditional hotel. Moving overseas from San Francisco requires planning. 

12. Flight costs

According to a recent study by Expedia, the average cost of international flights from San Francisco is $1,265. It’s slightly higher than the national average of $1,177. However, prices can vary greatly depending on the destination and time of year. 

It’s essential to thoroughly research and compare prices before booking a flight. Additionally, being flexible with travel dates and using reward points can help save money on international flights from San Francisco.

13. Childcare costs

Childcare costs can vary greatly depending on location and the care used. The average price of full-time child care for an infant in the United States is over $9,000 per year. In comparison, in Germany and France, where the government heavily subsidizes childcare, the average cost is less than $5,000 per year. 

However, in some Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, the average cost can be upwards of $18,000 per year. It is essential to consider the financial aspect and the quality and availability of childcare options when deciding where to live or raise a family.

14. Clothes for new climate and culture

When downsizing before a move, clothes are often the first to be scrapped—and with good reason! Most people have more than they wear. Your old American clothing might not fit right in your new country and climate, so you waste money on something that doesn’t work for either situation (even if it’s temporary). 

That means after packing all those boxes from home: lots of shirt options but no jeans? Reinvesting could prove worthwhile; this time around, invest wisely by getting outfits appropriate for both weather conditions & culture shock alike.



What’s the least expensive time of year to move overseas? 

The winter time is off-season for international moving companies. You will also find travel and accommodation rates less expensive than in the summer months. 

How can I reduce my international moving costs? 

The number one way to save money when moving overseas is to declutter. You can also consider self-packing boxes. 

How much money should I save for an overseas move? 

Before moving overseas from San Francisco, you should save at least three months of expenses. 

Do international moving companies handle customs clearance? 

Yes, international movers can handle customs clearance, but you will want to ensure it’s included in your cost. 


With the proper research and preparation, you can find ways to save money on your international relocation. You can use an international moving checklist to help you stay on task. 

The best international moving companies will assist you with everything from moving to getting acclimated to a new culture. We wish you the best with your new venire, and feel free to contact us with any questions!


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