How Much Does It Cost to Live in the UK in 2024?

What is the average monthly cost of living in the UK?
The average cost of living in the UK is £1,315.99 per month.

Living in the UK offers a rich cultural experience. The country has famous universities like Oxford and Cambridge, and a diverse population. The UK’s diversity makes it a global hub for arts, music, and tasty food like the popular dish “fish and chips”.

London and Manchester are two major cities in the United Kingdom. London’s cost of living is high, with expensive housing and daily expenses. Living in Manchester is cheaper and appealing for people who want a balanced budget and city life.

In this article, we will provide valuable insights into the cost of living in the UK, helping you save money.

Methodology

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

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Housing costs in the UK

No matter where you choose to live, one of your most significant ongoing expenses will be housing prices. The average housing prices in the UK have continued to rise since 2016. In July 2023, the average price for a home was £289,824.00, compared to £288,156.00 in July 2022, according to UK house price statistics

If you’re looking to save money, having knowledge about the UK’s housing market is key.

Cost of rent in the UK

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

The UK (Outside of Center)

£719.96

£1,227.45

City (Outside of Center)

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Cardiff

£668.57

£1,077.78

Glasgow

£701.14

£1,100.08

Belfast

£649.09

£883.89

London

£1,530.00

£2,533.75

Manchester

£722.12

£1,112.71

Numbeo (Sept 2023) & Numbeo by city (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in the UK

Area

Average home price 

The UK

£289,824

City (Outside of Center)

Average home price 

England

£305,731

Scotland

£187,150

Wales

£212,834

Northern Ireland

£172,005

Office for National Statistics (Apr 2023) & UK house price statistics (Jul 2023)

Utility costs in the UK: Internet, electricity and water

Utility costs in the UK vary based on factors like location and property size. Households typically spend a significant portion of their budget on electricity, gas, water, and sometimes internet and TV. 

Energy-saving measures and green energy options are becoming popular to reduce expenses and environmental impact.

Utilities

Cost

Basic

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

£212.46

Internet

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

£30.39

Total

£242.85

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of utilities in the UK?
The average monthly cost of utilities in the UK is £242.85.

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Grocery costs in the UK 

In the UK, grocery prices have been on the rise, with an inflation rate of 13.6% for food and non-alcoholic items in August 2023, as reported by the Office for National Statistics

Across the country, there’s a range of supermarket options, from upscale to budget-friendly choices such as Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Lidl. As costs continue to climb, managing your budget is increasingly important for UK residents.

Grocery items in the UK

Cost

Milk (regular), (1 liter)

£1.07

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500 gr)

£1.10

Rice (white) (1 kg)

£1.42

Eggs (regular) (12)

£2.35

Local Cheese (1 kg)

£6.23

Chicken Fillets (1 kg)

£5.96

Beef Round (1 kg)

£9.30

Apples (1 kg)

£2.01

Banana (1 kg)

£1.11

Oranges (1 kg)

£1.88

Tomato (1 kg)

£2.15

Potato (1 kg)

£1.09

Onion (1 kg)

£1.00

Lettuce (1 head)

£0.74

Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)

£7.50

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

£1.85

Imported Beer 0.33 liter bottle)

£2.12

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

What is the average monthly cost of groceries in the UK?
The average monthly cost of groceries in the UK is £195.52.

Public transit in the UK

Public transport in the UK plays an important role in daily life, offering an extensive and efficient network of buses, trams, trains, and the iconic London Underground. Its affordability and reliability are especially vital for students, helping them navigate the h62.61igh cost of living in the UK. 

Notably, trains are the predominant mode of mass transit, overseen by National Rail, connecting England, Scotland, and Wales, facilitating both long-distance and regional travel needs.

City

Monthly pass cost at regular rate

The UK

£68.26

Cardiff

£54.00

Glasgow

£70.00

Belfast

£62.61

London

£170.00

Manchester

£80.00

Numbeo (Sept 2023) & Numbeo by city (Sept 2023)

What is the average fare for a monthly public transit pass in the UK?
The average fare for a monthly public transit pass in the UK is £68.26.

Entertainment costs in the UK

The United Kingdom is a hub for foodies and music lovers, but it’s the iconic West End theater district in London that sets it apart. Featuring renowned venues like the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre, it offers a diverse and vibrant theater culture that’s a distinctive part of UK entertainment.

Entertainment in the UK

Cost

Mid-range restaurant meal

£30.00

Taxi 1h

£17.40

1 cinema ticket

£10.00

Total

£57.40

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Sales tax in the UK

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 the UK

The UK offers universal healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS), which covers all medical services at no cost for eligible citizens and residents, including ambulance rides, 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

£86.07

Gym

£32.00

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

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

Conclusion

Relocating within the UK can be a seamless experience when planned correctly, ensuring a smooth transition to your new home. 

Understanding the cost of living in its main cities is crucial, as is doing research in advance about the best removal companies in London or removal companies in Manchester.

It’s a good idea to know how much things usually cost, which you can see in the table below.

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

£719.96

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list (£48.88 multiplied by 4)

£195.52

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

£212.46

Internet with 60 Mbps

£30.39

Transit pass

£68.26

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

£57.40

Gym membership 

£32.00

Total

£1,315.99

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Ann Nacario

The author

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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