Moving to Belfast

Nov 23rd, 2014, 05:26 PM
  #1  
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Moving to Belfast

Hello all. New to the forum and am looking for some information on Belfast. My wife and I are both American and will be moving there sometime in late April/early May. We have 2 kids who will be attending primary school so I'm really looking for info related to them. Specifically information on schools. From my research I've found that schools are the best in the UK and there really isn't American or Canadian International schools. Not used to that as we are living in Dalian China at the moment. Also any and all info on where to live. Specific areas that are family friendly and definitely areas to avoid. All visa and govt related is sues will be handled by my wife's company so I guess I'm looking for miscellaneous stuff that we may have to pay for. For instance I just learned about paying for the TV license! Lol. As for vehicles, what's the average cost of a 4-door sedan and most importantly how do I go about licensing. Anything u guys can give me would be great and thank u for all the help you can give!
dzr9212 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2014, 06:41 PM
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This is a travel forum, not expat/relocation site. You get better response and other similar threads to read on dedicated forums of which there are many.
Alec is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:51 PM
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While alec is correct in saying this is a travel board . . . there are several expat living in the UK who regularly post here. Non that I'm aware of in Belfast/NI specifically but lots in other parts of the UK and in Ireland as well.

My own expat experience was years ago so my advice would not be currant/all that helpful, but some of the others may see your post and offer advice.

But in general I agree w/ alec that you should also seek out specific expat forums.
janisj is online now  
Nov 23rd, 2014, 10:51 PM
  #4  
 
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There are two simple answers to most of your questions:

1. http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/ Virtually all relationships between individuals in NI and governments (civic, provincial and national) as well as key public-sector corporations (like transport and health) are explained on this site. Including motor vehicle licensing and education (and even TV licensing, though strictly speaking retailers are supposed to explain that, and if you're renting a house with a TV you'll get a reminder anyway).

2. Google. I've no idea what the average price of any car is (New/used? How old? How big? How heavily specified?) But googling any related term (like "buying a car") and setting "UK sites" under "Search Terms" will instantly throw up loads of transactinal sites (like autotrader.com) and pro bono advice sites (like theaa.com or which.co.uk)
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 12:34 AM
  #5  
 
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Read this lot of information.
http://uk.angloinfo.com/
ribeirasacra is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 01:33 AM
  #6  
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I was under the impression that it was a travel site too until I saw quite a few posts from expats. Otherwise I would have skipped it. I gave this a shot because many of those sites are hard to get responses from and some of the posts are from 3/4 years ago. Either way thanks again to all of u so far
dzr9212 is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 04:59 AM
  #7  
 
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I am reading a book called the Silver lining about NI and the person had to relocate to Belfast. He chose Holywood for his kids school and the area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holywood
flpab is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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Don;t know much about the north - but do know a little about the south. I was there working a congress and in the downtime was discussing cars with a local colleague - since I had just helped my brother negotiate for a new Accord (I am the bane of car dealers - we got him a loaded car with larger engine for about $22 K plus loan at the lowest bank - versus dealer - rate).

So looking at the local newspaper I saw the prices for a Honda and was amazed at how expensive they were and my colleague said that's what you have to pay for a luxury car - it was probably a third more than in the US. So apparently - unlike in the US - a Honda or Camry is not a basic family sedan but considered a luxury vehicle and it appears that all cars may be much more expensive than in the US. Not sure if this is due to the small size of the market and applies to all cars - or that the Japanese car manufacturers don't undercut prices in order to grab a large share of the market as they do in the US.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 06:45 AM
  #9  
 
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This might give you a general idea on car prices in NI, BTW what you're looking for is a saloon car, the term sedan isn't really used over here.
http://www.usedcarsni.com/
Hooameye is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 07:05 AM
  #10  
 
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I was wondering what a sedan was.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 07:25 AM
  #11  
 
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For more info on cars have a look at http://www.parkers.co.uk
They have info, pics and pricing info. Try also http://www.ebay.co.uk and http://www.autotrader.co.uk
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:14 AM
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saloon = sedan
estate = station wagon
people carrier = mini van
janisj is online now  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:21 AM
  #13  
 
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Have no idea if the OP wants a sedan - they may be looking for an suv or mini-van - just used info for the specifics that I had. Generally Japanese cars are such big sellers in the US because the market is undercut - that is, a Japanese car costs less in the US than it does in Japan - versus european cars that tend to charge at least the same.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:25 AM
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>> . . . they may be looking for an suv or mini-van . . . <<

They probably don't want a 'mini van' since that would basically be a panel truck

see above.
janisj is online now  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #15  
 
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I post regularly (much more often than Fodors) on expat sites as I have a particular interest in immigration and relocation, and have occasionally replied to queries here. Google expat sites and you get a lot of response. Some are sub-divided into countries, and if you go to a UK/British section, your question will receive much more pertinent replies from people who live or have recently lived in Belfast, with children, owning a car etc.
Alec is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 03:06 PM
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<>

A conveyance for the wealthy in the UK, no? Sedan chair, palanquin, litter . . . etc.

Now, if you're looking for a saloon in the US, that won't be a car.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 05:29 PM
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In the US a "saloon" is a type of bar - typically of the type they had in the old west/hangout and cheap booze.

In NYC the word "saloon" was banned for may years since the saloons ere though to have been the centers of the draft riots related to conscription in the civil war. One actor famously named his casual restaurant O'Neal's Balloon - since he couldn't call it a Saloon. Law has been changed since then - but to americans that's all a saloon is.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:47 PM
  #18  
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Lol. Loving the conversation here! Sorry about the term sedan. And yes a minivan would be like a people carrier. One of the things I'm obviously gonna have to get used to is the language and terms. @Alec- I was on expat-blog and internations.org and had 1 response. That's why I started floating around. So far it seems like south Belfast is the place to be. Just out of curiosity, are car payments made monthly as in the US? And also are u required to put a certain percentage down? Thank u so much again everyone. I'm a stay at home dad so I'm the one gathering up all the info for the wife.
dzr9212 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 01:03 AM
  #19  
 
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if you have no credit history in the UK then getting a loan will be hard.
More resources for you.
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/bri...ats-living-uk/
http://www.uk-yankee.com/
http://www.expatexchange.com/uk/liveinuk.html
http://www.theamericanhour.com/
ribeirasacra is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 03:40 AM
  #20  
 
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Some YT videos also to help ;-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D_-Q0LkTao
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eblWu66vYS4
ribeirasacra is offline  

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