Cost of Living in Manchester

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Manchester in 2024?

What is the average monthly cost of living in Manchester?

The average cost of living in Manchester is £1361.35 per month.

Manchester, often referred to as the ‘Capital of the North,’ is located in Greater Manchester, UK. Serving as the largest city in the region and its economic and cultural center, Manchester boasts a rich industrial heritage dating back to the Industrial Revolution. It is also known for housing top universities like the University of Manchester.

Compared to London, Manchester is considered budget-friendly, although housing costs can be high. The city offers dependable public transportation, a vibrant nightlife, and plenty of entertainment options. Despite occasional rain, the ‘Rainy City,’ is renowned for its friendly community and green spaces, such as the Peak District National Park, making it a dynamic and enjoyable place to live.

In this article, we will provide valuable insights into the cost of living in Manchester, helping you save money while enjoying the advantages this big city has to offer.

Methodology

The main data collection source for this article is Numbeo and trusted city-related websites, including Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Government of the UK. The costs presented are estimates and pertain to an individual living alone on a monthly basis.

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Housing costs in Manchester

No matter where you want to live, one of your most significant ongoing expenses will be housing costs, and this is no exception in this European city. In Manchester, average home prices have continued to rise. In July 2023, the average price for a home was £223,830.00, compared to £230,967.00 in July 2022, representing an increase of 3.09% according to UK house price statistics.

Cost of rent in Manchester, CA

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Manchester (Outside of Center)

£722.12

£1,112.71

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Manchester

Area/Neighborhood

Average price 

Manchester

*All property types

£230,967.00

UK House Price Index (Jul 2023)

Utility costs in Manchester: Internet, electricity and water

Whether you own or rent, you are responsible for utility costs. Manchester’s utility expenses are comparable to the national average, which can help you determine if the cost of living in Manchester is affordable for you. Additionally, because the weather in Manchester can change quickly, it’s essential to have enough money to purchase a heater and other weather-appropriate items.

Utilities

Cost

Basic

(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment

£239.60

Internet

(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

£29.12

Total

£268.72

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of utilities in Manchester?
The average monthly cost of utilities in Manchester is £268.72.

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Grocery costs in Manchester 

Food is another daily expense that significantly impacts the cost of living in Manchester. According to the Office for National Statistics in the UK, the annual inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages has consistently increased over the past ten years, reaching 13.6% in August 2023.

The cost of food in the UK varies depending on where you purchase it, and there are several supermarkets available to supply to various budgets.

Grocery items in Manchester

Cost

Milk (regular), (1 liter)

£1.11

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500 gr)

£1.15

Rice (white) (1 kg)

£1.52

Eggs (regular) (12)

£2.73

Local Cheese (1 Kg)

£6.10

Chicken Fillets (1 Kg)

£5.71

Beef Round (1 Kg)

£7.73

Apples (1 Kg)

£1.87

Banana (1 Kg)

£1.15

Oranges (1 Kg)

£1.88

Tomato (1 Kg)

£1.76

Potato (1 Kg)

£1.31

Onion (1 Kg)

£1.01

Lettuce (1 head)

£0.65

Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)

£8.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

£2.43

Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)

£3.45

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of groceries in Manchester?
The average monthly cost of groceries in Manchester is £198.24.

Public transit in Manchester

Similar to London, Manchester has a reliable public transportation system. When you think about the cost of living in Manchester, it’s essential to consider transportation. 

Manchester’s public transportation system includes Metrolink (a light rail/tram system), buses, and trains, which are operated by different agencies. However, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is responsible for ensuring the seamless operation of these services.

Here are the ticket prices for one adult in Metrolink:

Type of fare

*For Travelcard

Rate

1-day Anytime (Zone 1,2,3 or 4)

£2.70

1-day Anytime (All zones)

£7.10

Weekend (6pm Fri to Sun)

£6.80

28-day Anytime (Zone 1,2,3 or 4)

£36.40

28-day Anytime (Zone 1,2,3)

£84.20

28-day Anytime (All zones)

£101.80

Annual Anytime (Zone 1,2,3 or 4)

£416.00

Annual Anytime (All zones)

£1,154.00

Metrolink Fares (Jan 2020)

How much is the Metrolink 28-day travelcard?
The Metrolink 28-day travelcard is £101.80 for all zones.

Entertainment costs in Manchester

Manchester is home to a wealth of year-round live music performances and art galleries. You can choose from some of the most forward-thinking nightclubs, world-famous comedy clubs, groundbreaking music venues, and theatres in the country. 

The city also boasts the National Football Museum and a rich history museum, adding to its cultural richness. The Great Northern is a popular destination for enjoyment due to its luxurious casino and theatre. The cost of entertainment should also be taken into account when assessing the cost of living in Manchester.

Entertainment in Manchester

Cost

Mid-range restaurant meal

£30.00

Taxi 1h

£18.60

1 cinema ticket

£9.95

Total

£58.55

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Sales tax in Manchester

VAT rates for goods and services in the UK vary, with a standard rate of 20% applying to most goods and services. However, there is a reduced rate of 5% that covers specific items like children’s car seats and home energy. Additionally, certain essential items, such as most food and children’s clothes, fall under the zero rate, meaning they are exempt from VAT at a 0% rate.

Certain items, such as postage stamps and financial/property transactions, are VAT-exempt.

Government of the UK (2023)

Healthcare costs in Manchester

The UK offers universal healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS), which extends across the entire UK, including cities like Manchester and London, providing free coverage for all medical services, from ambulance rides to surgeries and medications.

Foreign residents can access NHS healthcare by obtaining an NHS number, often necessary for appointments with a General Practitioner (GP) who acts as the primary care provider and the gateway to specialist care.

Also, private insurance options are available for faster access, the choice of specialists, and better amenities, even for elective hospital procedures, and can be obtained through employers or individually.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

*It depends on the employee ages and the tier of cover.

£45.00

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

£75.85

Gym

£29.52

Numbeo (Sept 2023), NimbleFins (Jan 2023), & My Tribe Insurance (Sep 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Manchester?
The monthly cost of employee-sponsored health insurance in Manchester is £45.00.

Conclusion

Relocating to Manchester can be a good choice, but it’s important to be aware of the living costs. If you budget well, you can settle in this major city in the northwest of England comfortably. 

It’s a good idea to know how much things typically cost there, as shown in the table below.

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

£722.12

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list (£49.56 multiplied by 4)

£198.24

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

£239.60

Internet with 60 Mbps

£29.12

Transit pass

£84.20

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

£58.55

Gym membership 

£29.52

Total

£1361.35

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Ann Nacario

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Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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