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Cost of Living in the UK

Generally speaking, the UK (London in particular) is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Therefore, it is likely that the cost of living in the UK for an expatriate is going to be higher than in his/her home country.

You should also consider that, even if the cost of living in the UK is cheaper than in your home country, expatriates often find themselves spending a considerable amount of money buying goods (especially food) imported from their own country. Most items bought in the UK attract a tax called VAT (value added tax), which is currently 20%.

These are some typical prices that may help you in understanding the difference in the cost of living between your home country and the UK:

Item

Price in Gbp (approx.) 
Average groceries bill (2 people)  £60 - £100 per week 
Average meal in average restaurant    £20 - £40 
Underground single ticket (London)  £4 
Zone 1-2 travelcard in London  £86 per month 
Zone 1-6 travelcard in London   £41 per week 
Rent one bedroom flat (West/Central London)   £800 - £1200 per month 
Rent one bedroom flat (other London areas)  £600 - £800 per month 
Average electricity bill   £20 - £25 per month 
Average gas bill  £20 - £30 per month 
Buying the average house in London (2 to 3 bedrooms)  £300,000 - £400,000 
 

Average UK Salary

It goes without saying that the average UK salary tend to match the cost of living in the UK. Generally speaking average salaries are higher in the London area than in the rest of the country.

If you are moving to the UK on an expatriate assignment from your existing employer in your home country, make sure that you carefully evaluate how your new UK salary package is calculated and the relevant allowances. Bear in mind that the cost of accommodation (either renting or buying) tends to be particularly expensive in the UK.

 
 
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All the information on Expats Plaza is free to view. If after having reviewed the information on Expats Plaza you believe this has been useful to you, please visit the Support Us page.
 
 
This page was last updated on 24/02/2011
 
 
Expats Plaza is the website for the Expatriates living in the UK