Cost of living in the United Kingdom!

cost of living in UK

Home to some of the most prestigious institutions, the United Kingdom (UK) is one of the most popular education destinations for international students. Also, the strong economy with plenty of employment opportunities attracts professionals from across the world who look at it as a land of opportunities for their financial growth. However, the cost of living in the UK can be higher than in most other countries in the world. The average cost of living as a family of four is around $3,135(£2,268) without house rent. As a single person or student, the estimated cost of living per month in the UK is $900(£651) without rent. 

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The cost of living depends upon the number of family members

1. Cost of living in the UK for a family of four

The average cost of living for a family of four in the UK is between £4,000 and £4,500, including the rent. It will change if you live away from the main cities. Your living cost would also depend on how well you manage your finances; however, the main expense heads like rent, food, transport, tax should get covered in the above stated figure. 

2. Cost of living in the UK as a family of two or shared by two individuals

For a family of two, the average cost of living in the UK is approximately £2,500 to £3,000, including accommodation rent. Living together can help in sharing the rent and bills of other utilities.

3. Cost of living as a student 

As a student, the average cost of living in the UK is around £1000 to £1600, including the rent. It can be different depending upon the place you are living. It can be a single flat where you live alone or a shared accommodation with a roommate.

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List of necessary items with their cost

Necessities for a living are food, transportation, and other services.

Items

Cost (£)
   

Groceries

 
Rice (1kg)

1.1

Eggs (regular)(12)

1.94
Milk (regular)(1 liter)

0.91

Bread loaf (White)(500g)

0.98
Local Cheese (1kg)

5.58

Beef Round (1kg)

8.02
Apples (1kg)

1.83

Banana (1kg)

1.09
Oranges (1kg)

1.7

Tomato (1kg)

1.82
Potato (1kg)

1.12

Onion (1kg)

0.98
Water (1.5-liter bottle)

0.95

Bottle of wine (Mid-range)

7
Lettuce (1 head)

0.71

Domestic Beer (0.5-liter bottles)

1.73
Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)

1.91

   

Restaurants and cafes

 
Meal, normal Restaurant

12

A meal in Mid-range Restaurant (Two people), Three-course

50
McDonald’s McMeal

6

Cappuccino (regular)

2.76
Water (0.33-liter bottle)

0.97

   

Transportation

 
Monthly pass (Regular Price)

65

One-way ticket (local transport)

2.5
Taxi start

2.8

Taxi 1 hour waiting

17.5
Gasoline (1 liter)

1.26

   

Utilities

 
Basic utilities including (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Garbage, water, laundry)

160

Internet (unlimited-60mbps)

0.1

   

Sports, physical activities, Entertainment

 
Fitness center

30.72

Private, monthly tennis Court (Time-limited)

10.24
Movie Theater

10

Club/pub entry

15

   

Schooling

 
Preschool, full-day, private,( Monthly for 1 child)

950

International primary school (yearly for 1 child)

13,500

   

Monthly Rent

 

Changes with different city place

 
   

1 bedroom apartment in the city(London) center

750
1 bedroom apartment outside the city(London) center

400-600

3-bedroom apartment in the city(London) center

1,200-1,500

3-bedroom apartment outside the city(London)

860 – 1,100

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Average rent in the UK

The housing rent is no doubt one of your biggest budget items. For many, it even takes half of their salary. The rent in the UK varies on your location, your requirements and how many people are living together. The average rental cost in the UK in 2021 is at a record high of £1,007 a month. The average is slightly more on the high side due to the high rents in few places like London. So if you consider only the average, it’s not appropriate to get an idea of rents all over the UK. The rent depends on the type of household or the number of people living. For a single person living in the UK, the average cost is £725, and for a couple without children, the average rent is £870, which is around 30 percent more than a single household. For couples with children, the average rent goes up to £941. Single people sharing a room have a little less average rent that is reasonable.

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Average rent by regional basis

In the UK, the further north you go, the higher the rent rises. In the northeast, renters pay the least amount for accommodation. The people in the north pay 40 percent less rent in comparison to people in England. The housing rent is the highest in London, with the average rent going up to £1,480.

Region

Average cost(£)
North East

530

Yorkshire and the Humber

550
East Midlands

561

West Midlands

602
South West

752

North West

623
South East

940

East

860
London

1,480

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Study cost and University tuition fee

University fees have always been a topic of discussion in the UK due to skyrocketing fees in recent years. Presently in the UK, students at the universities of the UK must pay around £9,250 per year. International students who are graduating have tuition fees varying from £10,000 and going up to £38,000. The university fee is different according to the degree you are pursuing. Social sciences and humanities cost less, while courses including laboratory and clinical degrees are more expensive. Combining these costs with the average cost of living in the UK, which is around £12,500 a year, you can see how costly studying in the UK can be.

While the cost of studying in the UK can be so high, it is important to consider that in the UK, the duration of programs offered by the universities is shorter in comparison to other countries. The UK students visa requirements are that you should have at least £1,015 in your bank account per month if you plan to study in UK. It sums £12,180 per year.

But living in the UK as a student can come with many student discounts. Students in the UK can use their college IDs to get discounts on services like transportation etc. There are two types of tuition fees at UK universities, home student’s fees, and international student fees. For home students, universities in England can take up to £9,250 for each year for any undergraduate degree. In Wales, the undergraduate degree programs can cost you £9,000. Home students studying in private UK universities have the option for applying for study loans, which can provide them with some financial help. International students pay a little more than home students as the university fee, which can be around £11,000. 

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Transportation in the UK

In the UK, most of the public transportation is owned by private companies. The government doesn’t have anything to do regarding public transportation in the UK. In London, a public bus ride will cost you £1.50 per hour. The average monthly commuting cost of London is $186, higher than any other city in the world. Trains are also expensive in the UK because their ownership is under private organizations.

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Cost of Utilities and Bills in the UK

In the UK, the average cost for fuel is £1,131 per year, which is around 4 percent of the average household budget in the UK. The average cost of electricity per month is £34, and that of water can vary in different places in the UK. The estimated cost of the water and sewerage bill is £400 for a year. Saving on water and unnecessary usages of it can also save some money. The average cost of broadband in the UK is £27.50, including internet services as TV services. 

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Living cost in the UK for international students

The cost of living in UK will depend on the city you choose to live in. Being the capital city, cost of living in London is higher than other places. However, the advantage of living in a metropolitan like London is that you can also find high-paying part-time jobs. But if you are on a tighter budget, there are some regional cities and small towns where the living cost is low.


Cost of living in London (excluding rent)

Average cost (approx.)

Single person per month

£859 or INR 85,000

Single person per year

£10,308 or INR 10.30 lakh 

Cost of living in Edinburgh (excluding rent)

Average cost

Single person per month

£684 or INR 68,400 (approx)

Single person per year

£8,208 or INR 8.20 lakh

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Cost of living in Cardiff (excluding rent)

Average cost

Single person per month

£662 or INR 66,200 (approx)

Single person per year

£7,944 or INR 7.94 lakh

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Education cost in the UK

One can find world-class universities and great schools in the UK. But the cost of attending these is not cheap for international students, who need to pay higher than UK nationals. This cost of tuition can be as high as £7,000 or INR 7 lakh per year on an average, and the international fees 3x higher than the domestic fees. The cost of living in UK for Indian students will depend on the place of study and residence.

Here is an average education cost in the UK:


School

Average education cost

Preschool/ kindergarten in London

£7,160 annually or INR 7.16 lakh

Private schools

£15,250 annually or INR 15.25 lakh

University tuition (University College London, international students)

Tuition fees range from £23,750 to £40,600 annually, depending on the type of course. This is roughly INR 23.75 lakh to INR 40.60 lakh. 

University tuition (University of Manchester, international students)

Tuition fees range from £19,500 to £46,000 annually, depending on the course, or INR 19.50 lakh to INR 46 lakh. 

University tuition (University of South Wales, international students)

Tuition fees range from £13,500 to £14,500 annually (approximately INR 13.50 lakh to INR 14.50 lakh), depending on the course. Scholarships of £1,500 to £2,500 are available. This is approximately between INR 1.5 to INR 2.5 lakh. 

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Affordable Cities to live in the UK

Some of the most affordable cities with low living costs in the UK for international students are:

  • Durham
  • Belfast
  • Leicester
  • Stirling
  • Lancaster
  • Cardiff
  • Newcastle
  • Coventry
  • Warwick
  • Lincoln
  • Nottingham
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Norwich

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Tips that can be useful to save money in the UK

1. Share a flat

Housing in the UK is very costly, and the rents in the UK can be around half of your total budget. To overcome this, sharing a flat is considered a general thing in the UK. 

2. Getting a local bank account

Everything can get very easy when you have a local bank account. It is easy to get one when you arrive in the UK, and it just needs some documents. First, get accommodation and the documents that will help you get a local bank account.

3. Try to reduce your household bills.

The general utility bills like electricity, heater-cooler, etc., can be managed to reduce the overall usage. Like in winter, rather than always turning up the heat, you can try to wear some warm clothes.

4. Try to pay your debt as soon as possible.

Getting rid of credit cards, student loans, and any other type of personal loan is foremost. After doing that, you can start saving money. It is necessary to understand that the best way to save money is to first pay off your debt as the interests from the loans are huge, and this cannot allow you to save money.

5. Search for good deals in connection 

Search for “sim only” deals if you have a phone already and get the ones with good returns and less money. These minor changes can save a lot of money for you at the end of the year.

6. Avoid eating at expensive places.

Regularly eating in restaurants and cafes can cost a lot, and you cannot afford to lose so much money on luxury food and services. Look for places charging less money with good taste, and make sure to use the benefits of offers and deals. You can also make your food and avoid spending so much money outside. You can buy good quality food at a low price in the supermarkets; wait till the end of the day and pick products with bright yellow stickers on them.

7. Smart commute and comparing prices

Transportation costs in the UK are very high, and people are annoyed by that fact. Having a transportation card can be a little helpful, you can use busses and trains. The cost of traveling by a contactless card is capped, which will not allow you to pay more in a week. You can also get an oyster card for commuting. But it is always good to do some online research about trains and their cost. Compare them and try to get yourself a good deal. For short commutes, taxis are costly and hard to afford, but Uber can be cheaper. Coaches are the most economical way to travel long distances in the UK. Go online, check, and compare the prices and book your tickets. It also follows while traveling on the plane, as plane tickets can cost a lot. Try to book the tickets in advance and find good deals.

8. Try to bargain your way out while buying.

In the UK, it is necessary to bargain to save money and survive on a low budget. Have the confidence to ask the shopkeeper to make some reduction. You need to understand what items you can bargain for and the items you cannot.

Living in the UK can be awfully expensive, whether as a student or a family. But with good planning and a planned approach, you can save a lot of money. These changes may seem very little, but they sure have significance to your overall budget.

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FAQs: Living Cost in United Kingdom (UK)

What is the average living cost in the UK?

If you are an Indian student, the cost of living in the UK for Indian students can be exorbitant compared to Indian standards. The average living expense is as follows: Accommodation in halls of residence including bills: £400 – £600 monthly (INR 40,000-60,000) Private accommodation excluding bills: £320 – £530 monthly (INR 32,000-53,000) Utility bills: £40 – £50 monthly (INR 4,000-5,000) Food/Housekeeping: £160 – £200 monthly (INR 16,000-20,000) TV license: £12.6 per month (INR 1,260) Mobile phone: £15 – £50 monthly (INR 1,500-5,000) Clothes/shoes: £25 monthly (INR 2,500) Leisure/sport: £10 – £20 monthly (INR 1,000-2,000) Books/stationary: £21 monthly (INR 2,100) Socializing: £120 monthly (INR 12,000) Travel/transport: £32 monthly (INR 3,200).

How much is the monthly rent in the UK?

The average rental cost in the UK is approximately £758 for one-bedroom flats in the city and £614 outside the city. It works out to roughly INR 75,800 and INR 61,400, respectively.

How much does a single person need to live in the United Kingdom?

In the UK, cost of living has always been expensive. An individual’s monthly cost of living is around £652, excluding rent. This works out to INR 65,200.

Is the UK more expensive than India?

Yes, the cost of living in UK is 6.5 times more than India. India ranks at 194 in the list of the most expensive countries globally, while the United Kingdom holds the 12th rank. For some perspective, a McDonald’s meal that costs around INR 245 in India will cost £6.16 (INR 618).

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