Move countdown

3 weeks before M-day

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This week, you can have a rest from all that physical exertion. It's not going to be an easy week though. Time to root out your bills, papers, documents and phone book so you can notify all those people you need to tell before you move. There is a full checklist of the people we feel you need to inform in the tell the world section, but these are the people who it can be worth giving advance notice to.

Bank and building society
Find details of the nearest branch to your new home or workplace and arrange to have your accounts transferred there. Make sure any direct debits or standing orders for your old home will be cancelled at the appropriate time.

Life, pension and private healthcare providers
They all need to know to ensure your policies are not voided. This includes your pension provider, life assurance, buildings and contents (who you should already have told), private healthcare such as BUPA or permanent health insurance, your payment protection insurance provider, and any private clinics you use.

Post office
There are various things you can sort out in a single visit to the post office.

  • Inform the post office of your new postal address. You can arrange to have letters automatically redirected to your new home, which is usually a lot more reliable than relying on the new owner. Redirection costs 6 per surname per month, 13 for three months, 20 for six months and 30 to transfer all the mail for one surname for a year. An alternative is to have post held for you, but this is only of any use if you are moving locally.

  • Tell the post office if you have a pension book. They will need to contact a post office near to your new home as well.

  • If you hold premium bonds you will need to notify the Bonds and Stock office. This can also be done at the Post Office by filling in the appropriate form.


  • Notify the DVLC in Swansea. It is illegal to have a driving licence with an incorrect address. You will need a separate form for your licence and car registration documents. Both are available from the post office.
  • Make sure your vehicle insurance covers you for your new address. Sometimes the premium you have to pay rises or falls when you move home.

  • Don't forget your breakdown service company, such as the AA or Green Flag. If you break down en route, a really strict recovery officer may insist on taking your vehicle back to your old home, depending on what type of cover you have.

Arrange for someone to come and take a final reading for gas, water and electricity. It is a statutory requirement to notify your local electricity office at least 48 hours before you move, but this is leaving it a little late if you want them to come and read the meter in time. Get the request in early and then confirm it nearer the day. Start thinking about which providers you want to use at the new address - you could save a lot by switching.


  • Contact your telephone company to arrange for reconnection and installation of your new phone line. You don't need to ask for your current phone to be disconnected. If you are moving locally, you may be able to retain your existing number. If you use a paid-for ISP, don't forget to tell them too.

  • Notify the providers of all rental and hire purchase agreements. Find out which pieces of equipment can be taken with you and which must be re-rented when you get to your destination.

  • Inform the provider of any cable or digital television service you receive. Find out if you will still have coverage in your new area.

Government & agencies

  • Your doctor, optician, vet and dentist all need to know if you are moving. Make sure you have enough of any prescriptions you are taking to last until after the move. If you can, try to get a copy of your medical and dental records, these things can go astray. See if they can recommend appropriate practitioners in your new area.

  • The Inland Revenue will want to know. They want to know everything.

  • Notify old and new local authorities of your change of address. Arrange to pay or receive a rebate of any outstanding council tax and set up standing order mandates for your new home.

  • Arrange to have your TV licence transferred with the licensing office in Bristol.

Other services

  • Notify any local services that you will be moving - your gardener, car washer, cleaner, window cleaner or babysitter will all appreciate being in the know as early as possible.
  • Give advance warning to any magazines you subscribe to. It won't be long before the new occupant of your home stops forwarding them.
  • Notify any professional advisers you have - accountants, financial adviser, solicitor etc.

And last but not least, don't ignore your friends and relatives. Send cards out with your new details and help ensure you won't become a hermit in your new home. If you quite fancy a bit of peace and quiet for a change, you can leave this until later.

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