Moving to Scotland from England - Primary

Moving to Scotland from England: 9 Things to Do and Know

Scotland typically ranks well in terms of quality of life, with low crime rates, excellent healthcare, and easy access to outdoor activities. Being known for its unique culture and friendly people, this place is a good start for those who want to live a high quality of life with a lower cost of living compared to other parts of the UK.

Before deciding to move, it’s crucial to thoroughly weigh all the options to avoid conflicts and to help you decide, here’s MovingWaldo’s 9 things to do and know when moving to Scotland from England.

Important things to know before moving from England to Scotland

1. First steps before moving to Scotland from England

Know about the immigration policy in Scotland

Discover the types of Scotland visa requirements and permits

If you are a UK citizen moving from England to Scotland, you do not need to complete any extra paperwork or fulfill any specific conditions. The UK government will determine the immigration policy in Scotland, since it is part of the United Kingdom. 

You can apply for settled status under the EU settlement plan if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or one of those countries, and you lived in Scotland before the end of December 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme expired on June 30, 2021, however, you may visit Help and Advice for EU Citizens in Scotland or Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for further details, including if you can submit a late application.

Learn more about Scottish citizenship?

If you are a British national, you do not need to apply for a visa or work permit in order to live and work in Scotland or to have a Scottish citizenship. As Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, citizens of Scotland are also British citizens.

Get a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your identity. If your passport or travel document has expired or has been lost or stolen, you can apply for a biometric residency permit (BRP) to replace the visa (or wet ink stamp). Your visa information (including your facial appearance) has changed. When you apply, you will be invited to schedule an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to present your biometric details (fingerprints and a photo).

Know about the currency in Scotland

The pound (£), which is used across the UK, is the currency used in Scotland. Although the banknotes in Scotland have a distinct appearance from those in the rest of the UK, their value is the same. Scotland accepts notes issued by the UK and Scotland.

What is Scotland’s currency?

The pound (£), which is used across the UK, is the currency used in Scotland.

Prepare for travel from the UK to Scotland

How to travel to Scotland from England?

By plane

Flying can be a convenient option when moving to Scotland from England, although it may be more expensive than other means of transportation. There are several airports in Scotland, including Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow Airport, which are served by several airlines. The average flight duration between England and Scotland is 1 hour 15 minutes.

By train

The East Coast Main Line and the West Coast Main Line are two train routes that operate between England and Scotland. These services connect cities like London, Manchester, and Birmingham with cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow. Trainline can help you move to Scotland from England.

By bus

Bus travel can be a cheaper option than any other means of transportation when moving to Scotland from England, although it may take longer. There are several bus services that operate between England and Scotland, including National Express and Megabus

Moving to Scotland with Your Car

You can travel from England to Scotland if you have a car. If you bring your car to Scotland, you must register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You may also need to update your insurance policy to reflect your new Scottish place of residence.

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How long does it take to fly from England to Scotland?

The average flight duration between England and Scotland is 1 hour 15 minutes.

2. Upon your arrival in Scotland

Update your driver’s license

If you are an England and want to apply for a driver’s license in Scotland, you must apply for a provisional driving license from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In Scotland, you must first pass a theoretical test before taking your driving test. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) website allows you to arrange a theory exam online. You may arrange a practical driving test on the DVSA website or by calling their booking line after you are confident in your driving abilities. 

If you already have a full driving license from England, you may not need to take the test in Scotland. Rather, you can exchange your license for a Scottish one. You can do this by updating your information and sending it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

Know about Catchment Area Policy In Scotland

If you are moving with your child, councils make use of ‘catchment areas’ to determine where your child will be sent to a school. Some authorities give you a letter to confirm that your children has a place at a nearby school the year before your child reaches primary or secondary school age. All you need to do is reply “confirm” if you want your child to attend this school. You should notify your local council if your child has a spot at another school. Some councils might not send letters. 

Set up a bank account

If you are moving to Scotland from England, you can continue to use your existing UK bank account. However, it is recommended that you create a new bank account in Scotland to facilitate financial management and access to local banking services.

In Scotland, you may establish a bank account at any major bank branch, including Lloyds, RBS, Barclays and Santander. Many banks also allow you to create an account online or via phone. It is important to note that certain banks may need you to have a particular amount of credit history or income to create an account, so do your research before applying.

Get informed about Healthcare in Scotland

If you move to Scotland from England, you will continue to have access to the Scottish National Health Service (NHS). The NHS offers free healthcare to all Scottish citizens, regardless of nationality or immigration status.

To register with a GP in Scotland, just find a nearby GP practice and complete a registration form. Proof of your identification and address, such as a passport or driving license, as well as proof of your Scottish residence, such as a utility bill or council tax bill, will be necessary. Once enrolled with a GP, you will have access to a variety of free healthcare services. It is important to note that some services, such as dental treatment, may require you to pay a fee. These costs, however, are often cheaper in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

Know about the taxes in Scotland

If you move from England to Scotland, you may be subject to a variety of tax rates and limitations, as Scotland has its own taxation system apart from the rest of the UK. Here are some important facts concerning taxes in Scotland:

  1. Income tax Scotland has its own income tax system, with different rates and thresholds than the rest of the United Kingdom. If you work, your employer will withhold income tax from your pay at the Scottish rates and thresholds.
  2. Council tax – A local property tax that funds municipal services such as schools, roads, and rubbish collection. 
  3. Value-added tax (VAT) – VAT is a tax on goods and services that businesses charge and the government collects. Scotland has the same VAT rates as the rest of the UK.
  4. Other taxes – There may be other taxes to consider when relocating to Scotland. Such as stamp duty land tax (SDLT) if you are purchasing a home, or capital gains tax (CGT) if you sell assets such as property or investments.

Prepare your pets

Pets from certain countries are allowed to enter the United Kingdom (GB) without quarantine if they satisfy specific requirements. The laws are in place to help keep the United Kingdom free of rabies and other infections. More information is available on the UK government’s website, or by contacting your veterinarian or the appropriate transportation provider.

3. Living in Scotland

House in Scotland living in from uk image

Finding a place to live and Home Report

Finding a place to live when you move to Scotland from England is quite tricky as it depends on some factors such as your budget, proximity to your work place, essential places, etc. Here are some trustworthy websites that you can check when you decided to buy or rent a place in Scotland:

Learn about Home Report

If you already choose the house you prefer, request a Home Report from the seller, their solicitor, or their estate agency. If the house is known to be for sale, it should have a home report. This is a document that contains all the information you need to know about the house. It is divided into three sections: a survey and valuation, a property questionnaire, and an energy report.

What is a Home Report?

This is a document that tells you what you need to know about the property. It’s split into three parts: a single survey and valuation, a property questionnaire, and an energy report.

Utilities in Scotland

Although Scotland’s utilities are typically similar to those in the rest of the UK, there might be certain regional differences in service providers and costs. Here are a few of Scotland’s most popular utilities:


Scottish Power and SSE are two of the country’s largest electrical suppliers, although there are also a number of additional choices. Depending on your region and the size of your household, prices may change.


In Scotland, Scottish Water is the principal company offering water and wastewater services. Prices are uniform throughout Scotland and are regulated by the Water Industry Commission.


British Gas, Scottish Power, and SSE are Scotland’s three main gas suppliers. Once more, rates can change based on consumption and region.

Best places to live in Scotland

Here’s the best places to live in Scotland while also considering their quality of life. The criteria used to determine quality of life include health, pollution, green areas and leisure, climate, education, and employment. We based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability, and access to recreational amenities and parks

  1. Orkney Islands – Affordable housing
  2. Shetland Islands – Paradise for birdwatchers
  3. Na h-Eileanan Siar – Perfect for nature lovers
  4. East Renfrewshire – Home to Whitelee Windfarm (UK’s largest onshore windfarm)
  5. Aberdeenshire – Best for foodies
  6. Moray – One of the most affordable coastal areas in the UK
  7. East Dunbartonshire – Near Glasgow
  8. Angus, Scotland – Historically rich city
  9. Argyll and Bute – Over 3,000 miles of coastline
  10. The Highlands – The most mountainous terrain in the UK

4. Scotland time difference to England

Scotland and England share the same time zone, which is either Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST) depending on the season. However, when daylight saving time is in effect when Scotland is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the time in England.

5. Cost of living in Scotland vs England

Below is the cost of living in Scotland vs. England for 1 person monthly. There are huge differences when it comes to prices and Scotland is cheaper on average compared to England.


Average Cost in Scotland

Average Cost in UK

Buying a property

(per square meter outside city center) 



1-bedroom outside city centre




 (Numbeo’s data €36.05 multiplied by 4)




(electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 Apartment






Public transport (monthly pass)



Meal at mid-range restaurant



Movie ticket



Clothing (2 items)



Monthly gym membership







How much is the average cost of living for one person in Scotland?

The average cost of living of one person in Scotland is approximately €1,391.61

6. Broadband and cell phone in Scotland

Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, your UK mobile phone plan and device should work without any additional charges or fees.  Broadband and cell phone service providers in Scotland include BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, O2, Three, Vodafone and EE. Because coverage varies based on your area, it’s a good idea to compare coverage maps before selecting a plan before moving to Scotland from England.

Here are some general price ranges: 

  • Broadband – packages ranges from £20 to £70 per month (35mbps to 500mbps) depending on the level of services included. 
  • Cell phone plans – pay as you go, with monthly contracts, or sim only plans ranges from £5 to £50 per month depending on the amount of data and level of service included. 

To enhance the coverage for some areas, Scottish has programs like the Scottish 4G Infill Programme

7. Things to do as a local in Scotland

Scotland things to do mountains coastline
  • Scotland has a lively music culture, with many towns and cities hosting live music venues or music festivals that locals love.
  • The Scots are also big fans of sports, particularly outdoor activities. During their free time, some of the things that locals do in Scotland are skiing, walking, hiking, riding, fishing, football, shinty, golf, curling, and water and extreme sports.
  • Scottish people like going to sporting events as they have a strong sporting culture, with football, rugby, and golf being especially popular. 

8. Weather in Scotland

Despite being small, weather in Scotland has the most unexpected aspects of Scotland’s climate is how much it changes from area to region. 

  • Spring – during the months of March, April, and May, average maximum temperatures will vary from 7°C (45°F) to 13°C (55°F). 
  • Summer – the hottest months of Scotland are typically June, July, and August, with average maximum temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F). 
  • Autumn – from September through November, temperatures in Scotland are expected to range from roughly 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F). 
  • Winter – the coldest months in Scotland are typically December, January, and February, with average maximum temperatures hovering around 5°C (41°F). 


9. What to expect in Scotland

  • In Scotland, the cost of living and housing costs are both affordable and reasonable based on Numbeo’s data.
  • Scottish accents are unique and vary significantly from area to region; they are typically distinguished from accents heard in England.
  • Different accents and dialects: It may take some time to become familiar with the particular accent and dialect used by Scots when speaking.
  • The design of Scottish banknotes is unique and frequently shows interesting Scots such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.
  • The weather in Scotland differs from that in England in that it may be much more unpredictable, wetter, and windy. You should be ready to pack clothes that are suited for the Scottish climate.


Moving to Scotland from England may be an exciting and fulfilling experience in general and after reading our 9 things to do and know when moving to Scotland from England, you should be able to make a decision about moving. If you are moving soon, you should know how to update or change your address for your convenience.

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