Many people now live or work overseas, meaning there's more demand than ever for foreign money transfers, especially if you have family living on the continent and regularly send them cash.

Transferring money between accounts based in the UK is pretty straightforward and can usually be done in a matter of minutes.

When it comes to sending money abroad however, it can take a bit longer and is complicated by exchange rates and transfer fees. So how can you get a good deal?

Use a specialist exchange company

Approaching a bank and asking them to transfer money to Europe might seem like a no brainer, but if you do this you're likely to get a raw deal.

If you're looking for a cheap money transfer to Europe you're better off using a dedicated money exchange company or broker.

While banks tack on pretty hefty fees and charge commission, specialist companies will more than likely charge less - if they charge anything at all.

Check exchange rates and transfer costs

Every company will claim that it has the best exchange rates for transactions, but of course some are better than others.

Some companies don't advertise their rates, preferring to give you an overall quote for any transfer money Europe deal.

This is why it's important when you send money to Europe that you make a European money transfer comparison to see which company offers the best quote.

Each exchange company will have its own charges and fees and most brokers will have a tipping point figure where transfers over value won't be hit with a fee. For smaller money transfers you will often be charged a flat rate fee.

Some companies will have lower thresholds than others, so if you wanted to transfer 5,000, some might charge fees, while others won't. This is another reason why it's important for you to compare European money transfers.

What are your transfer options?

Many major transfer companies advertise same day transfers, meaning that when you send money abroad it will reach its destination within 24 hours. Some will offer this at no extra cost, while others will charge an extra fee - so check this when comparing your options.

Remember, transfers rates vary between each broker, so it's important that you check with the company how long it should take. Payments to some countries may take a number of days.

Get a better deal with online transfers

The internet has made transferring money much easier, you can now login and move your cash in a matter of minutes from anywhere in the world.

It's not just the simplicity of online transfers which makes them appealing - you can also get better exchange rates. This is because they're able to offer competitive rates and, unlike banks, have fewer offices - meaning their overheads are smaller and the savings can be passed onto customers.

It's also easier than ever to compare rates offered by each company, so you make sure you shop around and get the best value for your transfer. For more information read our guide How to transfer money abroad.