Financial info for PCSing to the UK

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

COMMON BANKING OPTIONS

On-base options:

  • Community Bank
  • Keesler Federal Credit Union

Off-base options include:

  • Barclays
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Natwest
  • Santander
  • Yorkshire Building Society

POUNDS STERLING ACCOUNT

You are required to obtain a pounds sterling account or bill pay option in order to pay bills pertaining to cell phone plans, rent and off-base utilities. Opening a pounds sterling account can be accomplished at an on- or off-base bank.

  • To open a pounds sterling account off-base you may need:
    • Copy of orders
    • Passport
    • Proof of address or a letter signed by your unit Commander

Note: Do not try to open an off-base bank account online. Make an appointment to visit in person.

TAXES AND FEES

There are many taxes and fees that you may not be familiar with or aware of. Below is a list of common fees people pay while getting settled in the U.K.
Note: All prices below are an estimate.

  • Cars
    • Importing:
      • Annual MOT tax - £65.00
      • Light conversion -  £300.00
      • Number plate -  £25.00
    • Buying:
      • HPI Test -  £30.00
      • Annual MOT tax -  £65.00
      • Annual road tax -  £240.00 (exempt for the first year)
  • Phones
    • Cell phone: Prices will vary depending on the type of phone and plan you choose.
      • Monthly payment/contract - from £20.00 - £50.00
      • Pay-as-you-go cell phone – starting from £70.00
      • Pay-as-you-go plan - £15.00 - £22.00 per month
    • Home phone:
      • Set up cost for a telephone landline - £120.00
  • Life amenities
    • TV license/tax -  £150.50
    • Monthly cable -  £60.00
    • Monthly internet at home (package includes telephone landline)  -  £50.00
    • Monthly utilities – estimate £120.00 to cover electric and water.
    • Oil - an estimated 60 pence per liter will cost £600.00 to fill a 1,000-liter tank (may need to fill a tank twice a year).
  • Travel
    • Tourist passport - $135.00

VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) PROGRAM

The VAT program exempts you from paying sales tax of 20 percent on non-fixed goods that are individually over £100.00.  To enroll in the VAT program, obtain a ration card and visit your installation’s VAT office. 

Need to know:

  • The “over £100.00 rule” means that each item must be priced at over £100.00 (VAT is included in that total). 
  • VAT exemption does not apply to clothes, vehicles, real property purchases, online purchases or utilities.
  • For oil heating, you are exempt from paying 5 percent with VAT Form.
  • Vendors are not obligated to participate.
  • Do not pay for your items in advance of using VAT form.
  • Always check with your installation's VAT office for clarification on VAT form use. 

How to use a VAT form:

  • Ask vendor if they participate in the VAT program.
  • Have vendor address invoice to your installation’s FSS.
  • Bring invoice and pounds sterling to your installation’s VAT office (cash only).
  • Bring dollars for the processing fee your VAT office requires.
  • Go back to the vendor with invoice and collect your items.

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