cost of living in London, UK

How Much Does It Cost To Live In London

London offers endless opportunities to those willing to find it. It is a city of many cultures providing its residents with great careers, entertainment, and exotic dining experiences. These are some of the reasons why London is a top choice for people to settle down and spend a great life in London city.

However, this high-quality and exciting life comes at a cost. Bear in mind that London is the most expensive city in the UK and the second most expensive city in Western Europe. Moreover, the cost of living in London is 96% more expensive than in other cities of the world.

The average monthly cost of living for an individual is about $3,838, and a family of four would have to bear $6,489. Nevertheless, because English is the main language spoken in London, it attracts expats from across the world. Since there is no limit to great job opportunities in London, bearing these expenses does not pose a problem to many as they continue to live in London.

Let’s see in detail what the monthly expenses look like in a big city like London.

Average housing rent

Being one of the most expensive cities globally, renting in London requires a huge monthly sum. On the other hand, if you are thinking about buying property in London, think again! It is quite common for Londoners to spend half their monthly salaries on rent.

While a basic two-bedroom apartment costs around $3,177, a studio apartment accommodation in the same area will cost you $2,369, this cost is for a furnished property in an expensive area like central London. However, the monthly rent in the outskirts of London for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,834, and you can get a studio apartment in the same area for $2,435.

These high rental costs should not be discouraging for those who are planning to live to London. A bit of research can get you what you are looking for easily. For example, an accommodation, which is located near the Tube station will cost more than an accommodation that is a 15-minutes walk away.

Consider these points when looking for accommodation in London, and you will be able to save hundreds of dollars (or pounds in this case) each month. The average housing rent in London will also include the monthly renter’s fee, which can be anywhere from around $8 to $20.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to pay the Council Tax if they rent or own a house anywhere in the UK.
  • You can be exempted from paying the monthly tax if you are a full-time student or an international student.
  • The amount of tax will vary according to the value and size of the accommodation in question. Nevertheless, you can expect to pay at least $105 every month.
  • Use the Council Tax Calculator to determine your monthly tax.

Average cost of transportation

The cost of transportation is a considerable amount when it comes to the cost of living in London. Whether you choose to drive or take public transport, the average cost of transportation in London is another big number. Londoners commonly use the Oyster Card, which is a monthly travel card residents use for traveling.

Oyster Card is a great facility that allows residents of the city to save a lot of money on all modes of public transport. Each time you travel, buying a single ticket will eat at your earnings quicker than you can imagine. The locals highly recommend using the Oyster Card, whereby you will pay-as-you-go through the system. Moreover, the more you travel around London using the card, the better it gets. A daily cap allows you to get free rides after reaching a specified credit limit.

The average monthly cost of public transport in London is around $182. On the other hand, the tariff of a taxi ride on a business day for 8 km is $29. However, if you choose to buy a car and drive yourself around London, the cost of fuel and the Congestion Charge must be kept in mind. While 1 litre of fuel in London is $1.98, the congestion charge is around $15.

The famous black cab of London costs a little on the higher side, around $13 to $45 depending on the distance. However, if you live in London, you cannot miss the black cab! Moreover, there is always the option of cycling in great cities like London. Several public cycling services are operational around London that charge $2.61 for 24 hours. These services also offer monthly memberships where the daily cost of commute decreases considerably for a comfortable life in London.

Average Food and Entertainment expenditure

Individual eating habits usually determine the average food expenditure when it comes to the cost of living in London. Choosing to shop at upscale grocery stores will mean incurring high food costs. However, when you live in London, shopping at stores like Tesco and Sainsbury can save you tons every month.

A combo meal in a fast-food restaurant costs $8, while a basic lunch in the business district will cost $20. When it comes to entertainment, a dinner for two in a good restaurant will cost $102, and two tickets to a movie are $29. If you are one for live theatre, the cost for two tickets with great seats is quite high at $282.

A cup of coffee in the expat area of London will cost around $3.99, while a pint of beer is $8 at any nearby pub. Londoners who have gym memberships pay a monthly fee of $73 in the business district. If you are interested in free entertainment, especially if you have children, look for parks and museums. Search the internet for the best available options and enjoy life in London.

Average medical and healthcare costs

The healthcare system of the UK is modern and advanced when it comes to medical technology. However, the quality healthcare and medical facilities that the UK government offers comes at a cost. Commonly, Londoners have a health insurance card, which allows them to avail of top-quality healthcare free of cost. This is only applicable when the individual is a regular taxpayer and similarly if you live in London.

Coming to over-the-counter medications, a box of medicines for the common cold costs around $3.99. However, a prescribed box of antibiotics of 12 doses is around $14. If you wish to consult a private doctor, you can expect to pay upwards of $162 for a short 15-minute consultation.

Average phone bills

Apart from other obvious, bigger costs, other costs can stress your monthly budget. The cost of mobile phones and the internet is necessary and needs a separate tab on the budget list. Using Billmonitor, you can analyse your needs and choose the best phone plan that fits. While some phone plans are as low as $25 a month, others can cost more.

An internet connection of 8mbps per month costs around $35, while the tariff for a minute on a prepaid connection costs $0.46. This tariff is independent of any mobile plans or discounts. Moreover, an iPad with a WI-FI of 128GB costs upwards of $778.

Average utility costs

Utilities can put a great dent in your earnings, but they are necessary for survival. The average utility costs for life in London include gas, electricity, and heating. Londoners get their water from Thames Water since it is the only water-providing service in London. You can sign up for their services here.

The average utility cost for two people in an 85 m2 flat costs around $241. However, this cost comes down for one person in a 45 m2 flat. In this case, the cost is around $164. You can save more money by using the heating and electricity only while inside. Make sure to switch off lights and heating when you are at work or out with friends.

Average cost of childcare

The childcare cost in London is quite expensive if you choose a private setup for your children. A registered childminder in London can go upwards of $400 per week. You can find the right person for your little ones from ChildcareRockmybaby, and Nanny job.

Despite the high cost of private schooling, many locals in London choose to send their children to private schools. However, it is quite expensive as a full day of a private preschool costs about $1695 a month. As your child moves to high school and college, the costs also increase. You can expect to pay an annual fee of $13,037 to $29,984.

Despite the high cost of living in London, the city’s population continues to grow. The main reason is that London offers a thrilling life and some great work and business opportunities. You and your children can get access to a high quality of life with unmatched entertainment all year.

With care budgeting and cutting corners, life in London can prove fruitful in many ways. Moreover, there is always the option of doing business in the big city. London offers cultural diversity through food, entertainment, and shopping outlets. Business is great for the locals since it is the landing point for many European tourist destinations. Additionally, landing your dream job and excelling in a business is a great way to live a fulfilling life in London.

Feeling ready to make the big move?

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Or start ticking off your relocation checklist here

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Learn more about the UK here
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