United Kingdom Cost of Living

New arrivals guide to the Cost of living in the UK and London
Living in the UK – particularly London, England – is expensive compared to many places in the World. The cost of living will of course depend on the individual situation (and tastes!) of each individual, but you still need to be prepared financially. Just because you’ve been working hard to save many thousands of your own currency, doesn’t mean it will be quite as many pounds!

Generally, you should prepare yourself (and save accordingly) for the following costs while in London:
•    Accommodation
Save money by learning about Longer Term Accommodation and when you first arrive Short Term Accommodation.
•    Food, Dining and Drinking
•    Transport
Save money by using public transport – Learn about Getting around the UK.
•    Entertainment
•    Initial Costs

While it’s important to be aware of the costs you will be facing as a working traveller, don’t let it put you off! As long as you plan carefully and think about cost-saving strategies the cost of living in England or the rest of the UK need not be prohibitive. In the UK, shared housing and utilising the excellent public transport networks are two significant ways to reduce your costs of living.


Average Cost of Accommodation in London

Flat-Share Rental per month One Bedroom Flat Rental per month
East London £290 – £390 (single), £430 – £600 (double) East London £650 – £750
West London £280 – £430 (single), £459 – £690 (double) West London £700 – £800
South London £280 – £500 (single), £350 – £650 (double) South London £600 – £700
North London £300 -£400 (single), £430 – £550 (double) North London £650 – £750

UK cost of Food & Drink

Average weekly grocery bill (including food, basic laundry and toiletry items for 2 people) £60
Average pub meal £6 – £10
Average restaurant meal £12 – £20
Pint of beer £2.50 – £3
Average bottle of wine £10
Average meal for two in mid-priced restaurant £40

UK cost of Transportation

Weekly Zone 1-6 Travelcard £41
Monthly Zone 1-2 Travelcard £86
Train trip to Edinburgh £110 (standard single)
Train trip to Cambridge / Brighton £17 – £20 (single)
Avg mid-sized car rental for a weekend £70
Return budget flight to Spain £120 – £150 (budget carrier)
Eurostar return ticket to Paris £125 (standard class)
Return flight to Ireland £50 – £60 (budget carrier)

UK cost of Entertainment

Movie £7-£10
West End Theatre £25+
Club/Pub Entry £5 – £20
Live music/concerts £10+
Chart CDs £8 – £12
New release DVD rental £3.50



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