Cost of Living United Kingdom


Cost of Living United Kingdom – ExpatFinder Articles


Expats continue to flock to the UK for employment, even if the cost of living is higher than in their own country. The UK continues to rank as one of the nations with the highest cost of living, but the benefits are in essentials.

Housing Cost 

The UK's housing costs have continued to increase over the past ten years at an average annual rate of 1.1%. 

Apartments in downtown areas are pricey and suburban houses are rising quickly in value. Rental rates for a one-bedroom apartment range from 200 to 300 Euros every month.

"Poland is one of the cheapest countries in the EU. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so it was definitely a shock at the beginning – but after first two payslips, I was settled."- Patryk Klosowski, Expat in London, United Kingdom

Houses with amenities like a pool can add up to 2,000 euro every month to your rental bill. Suburban homes with yards are available for rent from 500 to 1,500 euro monthly. 

Renters typically pay a bond and the first month's rent upon signing a rental contract. There are significant expenses when it comes to leasing a flat or room in a flat-share. If the rental price looks low, it normally excludes utility costs.

"The main cost is housing in London. Apart from the rents, the cost of living is similar to France. Education doesn’t come cheap if you decide to send your kids to private schools."- Muriel Demarcus, Expat in London, England

Compared to the US, rental costs in the UK are much higher. For a 600 square foot apartment in the US you might pay roughly $500, but in the UK, the same space can cost as much as $1300.

Owning property in the UK is strictly for citizens only. Expatriates can own land if they have changed citizenship or have legal implications as result of marriage or diplomatic documentation. 

Service, Transportation and other expenses

Rates for internet usage are around 15 euro a month. With a state-of-the-art transportation system, locals and expatriates can travel quickly between destinations at any time of the day in a cost effective manner.

The cost of cars in the UK is high, compared to Germany and Italy, where cars are manufactured. The fact that cars are right-hand drive in the UK is one reason for the increased prices. 

"We’re paying about the same amount to live here as we did in San Diego CA, but we don’t drive because car insurance and the cost of driving is way more expensive here."- Clarissa, Expat in England

Food and drink costs in the UK are higher than in other European nations, as most of the goods come from provincial harvests and products are subject to value-added tax. Imported goods are also taxed.

The average Briton spends between 200 and 350 euro every month on food. Grocery items in supermarkets are the cheapest finds but fish and seafood are expensive, especially those imported from Asia and the United States.

Wine and beer is usually imported from neighboring nations like Germany, Italy or France. Prices differ little between the imported and local beverages. 

Shopping in London, where branded items and designer labels are freely available can be expensive. Local makers with styles and technique handed down from generation to generation produce excellent, but expensive products.


Photo: Chris Beckett


Expat Services in The United Kingdom