For EU expats established in England UK, the act of changing their driving license in to an English or British one, is often a mandatory step due to work requirements. Possession of a British UK driving license is also the first and easiest way to obtain proof of residence with a picture and address here in England UK. This is one of the few documents accepted by banks, real estate agencies or employers. The others are more difficult to obtain (bank card, local council bil / utility bill or British passport).
The procedure to change your driving license in England UK is fortunately very simple and relatively quick. All official information can be found on the British government website here. As it is clearly written on the website, the citizens of any EU state have no legal obligation to change their driving license and are allowed to drive with the European license until the age of 70. For those who have obtained their driving license in a country outside the European Union, the driving license must be changed to a British license within 12 months of arrival in England UK.
The war is long over, but who won in the end, Germany or UK England? Historians say that the United Kingdom and the Allies, but the modern reality on the ground says otherwise. In addition to official data, we will also look at the experiences of those who actually live in these two countries. I live and work in the UK – England since 2018, and my friends here have been living in various areas of England (London, Manchester) for more than 6 years. I have not lived in Germany personally (just in France) so I asked friends who have live there for research material. Three of them responded, out of which one is a doctor in the Dusseldorf area for 11 years, one works in retail in the Stuttgart area for more than 15 years and one came more recently (3 years) also in Dusseldorf metro area to work in the hospitality sector. Here is what I gathered from all of it:
Wages in Germany were already considerably higher than in the UK even before the Brexit referendum, which led to a decline in the value of the pound sterling, and this trend will continue in 2022. In 2020, the average gross wage in Germany was of EUR 47928 or GBP 40866 (at today’s exchange rate). In England UK – the average salary in the country is about 30000 Pounds per year or 35180 EUR at today’s rate. And the pound might continue to fall in 2022 due to the lack of strategy on the part of the British government and the general lack of management of the entire Brexit process; It is true that you pay more taxes in Germany, but even so, your NET income for the same job will still be higher there, no matter how you look at it (there are of course exceptions).
The UK is a great country with lots of nice places, but unfortunately some things are just out of reach because of nature. In my country, Romania, you can’t do a lot of things due to financial limitations, but you can do however a whole lot of other things like:
Go to the beach and enjoy a nice 32° C (90 F) degree sunny day with a beer in my hand, then if I get too hot, take a dip in the Black Sea, where the water in the summer is 22° C (72 F). After bathing, I can stay on the hot sand to dry while watching an endless parade of local girls that look like models pass by. After a superb day like this, I can come back the next day and repeat. I can do this for 2.5 months and almost never have to worry about rain, grey skies or wind; You can do it for an extra 2 months if you don’t mind sitting on the beach on slightly lower temperatures like 25° C (77 F). In England, last summer we had just one single day when the temperature reached 30° C, the summer average is 21°C (70 F), while the maximum sea temperature at nearby beach resort of Scarborough is a chilly 17° C (62 F).
The eternal question and rivalry on the European continent: which is better: London or Paris? France or England UK? I know you are tired of Covid, but let’s hope that 2021 will be better and we will be able to travel again.
Although Europe has many wonderful cities, few have the power, prestige, size or wealth of these two rival capitals. There is of course also Madrid, but it’s just not quite in the same league. Viennaand Amsterdam are very beautiful but quite small, Istanbul is huge but leaves much to be desired, and Berlin is …just Berlin I guess.
I had the pleasure of visiting both capitals over time. Paris in 2009 long before we moved to France, thanks to my sister, to whom I wish to thank once again, and London in 2018 before moving to England.
But let’s start with the beginning: after we landed we made our way to the hotels, both in somewhat peripheral areas and this was the first impression we had of the cities:
Intrebarea si rivalitatea eterna de pe continentul European: care e mai bun: Londra sau Paris? Franta sau Anglia UK? Stiu ca v-ati saturat de Covid, dar sper ca in 2021 va fi mai bine si vom putea calatori din nou.
Desi Europa are multe orase minunate, putine au puterea, prestigiul, marimea sau bogatia acestor doua capitale rivale. Desigur avem Madrid, dar nu este chiar in aceasi liga, Vienna si Amsterdam care sunt foarte frumoase dar relativ mici, Istanbul este urias dar lasa mult de dorit la unele aspecte, iar Berlin … e Berlin doar.
Am avut placerea de a vizita de a lungul timpului ambele capitale, Paris in 2009 cu mult inainte sa mutam in Franta, datorita sorei mele care ii multumesc inca odata, si Londra in 2018 inainte sa ne mutam in Anglia.
I was born in Romania and came to UK from Marseille France and the weather was a complete shock for us here. Even though we were warned by our friend who lives here, and despite the fact that we came to visit ahead of relocation to scout the place, we were still hit hard by it. Remarkably during our visit here, it didn’t rain once, so whoever was working on the sales pitch up there, did a very good job.
So what is the cost of living in England? Salaries are probably higher than in your home country, but so are the costs. Is it true that some people are are living hand to mouth here? … In some cases yes, but most are living just fine. The cost of living in England is quite good compared to wages, although the pound is dropping quite fast since Brexit… We already established in the previous article that food costs in the UK about the same as in countries in East Europe, so from the start you are at an advantage. Let’s see what costs and expenses we have in England:
Accommodation: by far the biggest expense you will have will be securing a roof over your head. Unless you bring along around 150 to 200 thousand pounds to buy your own house, you will most likely rent like most people. The rental expense depends a lot on where you are. In general in the South of England (London, Southampton), and especially in London, to rent of a house costs double or triple compared to renting a similar house in the North of England (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull, Newcastle). If in the North you can easily find a house of your own at 500-600 pounds per month, in London on the website www.rightmove.co.uk, the only rental house located in a decent area that is less than a thousand pounds per month was in Brentwood (one hour by car or train + subway to central London)
We have all heard the myth that the cost of food in the West is even cheaper than food in Romania and East Europe, despite the fact that salaries are about 4 times higher than in the East Europe. How much does food cost in England UK? Living in UK England and seeing every day the prices in pounds I could never figure it out, so I decided to make a detailed comparison.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask for any receipts from folks back home, today we have online groceries shops in both countries. I compared the same food products from 2 large chain stores, respectively Mega Image in Romania, and ASDA in UK England. We went for products of medium quality or cheaper lower end, because let’s be serious, both the Romanian and the English do this. On the below list we have on the left side the online shopping cart from England with the prices of the products in British Pounds with their converted values into Romanian Lei currency below (at the exchange rate of the day: 1 GBP pound = 5.43 Lei), and on the right side the same products (or their similar equivalent in terms of weight and quality) with their price in Romanian Lei and their converted values into British Pounds to see the difference.
Corona Virus is in all the news right now, but let’s not lose the long-term essential. Who does not have Settled or Pre Settled Status after 31 December 2020 will no longer have the right to reside and work in the UK. However the government of the UK also said that the deadline for applying for UK status is 30 June 2021, so nobody really knows what to make of it.
The procedure is simple and fast. All you need is an email address, a UK mobile phone number, a camera phone that supports the EU Exit application: Document ID, electronic passport (the type with chip), NINO number and possibly a proof of residency. (utility bill, bank statement, P60 form if you are self employed). It can be done without the application on the phone, but this means sending the original documents by mail, a process that takes much longer and is riskier. I also definitely recommend using your passport when applying. You can also apply with the national ID card, but I have heard many cases when they were very delayed with the granting of Settled Status due to the lengthy procedure of manual verification of Identity cards.
Obtaining an UK Provisional Learner Driving license for those who do not have it, is often a priority for every new arrival here. Without it you often cannot apply to many jobs and in general, in this country it’s very difficult to get any daily chores done if you do not have a car. Furthermore, I also noticed that commuting by public transport is more expensive than commuting by car.
If you have an EU driving license, the process is quit simple. Any EU driving license is valid here. If you want, you can change it to a UK one quite easy. If you did not come with a driver’s license here, it’s not a problem, the procedure for obtaining one it’s relatively simple here.
First you apply for the UK Provisional Learner Driving License. With this license you can drive anywhere in the country except the motorways (the roads that start with the letter “M”) as long as you are supervised from the left seat by an experienced driver. You have be registered as a Learner driver on the car insurance. The experienced driver who supervises you must also be registered on the insurance of the car, must be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license (UK or EU) for at least 3 years.
The driver who drives with a provisional learner permit must have displayed 2 square signs with the red letter “L” placed somewhere in a visible place in the front and on the back of the car. I recommend the magnetic ones because they do not leave permanent traces on the car.