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How much does it cost to live in the UK per month?

  • October 23, 2018

The decision to relocate to the UK is a big one and so understanding how much your new life is going to cost you per month is vital before making the decision to relocate. In today’s post, we provide you with a monthly breakdown of living costs in the UK, from accommodation to travel costs.

Please note, that the below breakdown is a guide, and this will differ depending on the size of your family and the lifestyle that you lead.

Expenses will differ depending on what part of the UK you live in

Generally speaking, the further up north you go the cheaper the cost of living is.

If you decide to live in London, you will be paying around 60% more than cities in the north. In 2018, London was ranked the 30th most expensive city to live in the world, according to the latest research from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

How much will it cost to live in the UK each month?





£550 per month outside of London

The average rent you will pay in the UK will vary depending on where you live. Typically, a one-bedroom flat averages around £550.

Council Tax

£100 per month

When you move to the UK, you will have to pay council tax. The price will differ depending on your property size and the area you live in. The tax contribution goes towards your rubbish collection, police forces and street maintenance.


£160 per month

These are bills that are not included in your rent, such as gas, electricity and water. Please note, that if you live alone and you are not often home due to long hospital shifts, socialising or studying these costs could be less.

Television license

£150.50 per year

In the UK, if you are watching a television in your home, you will have to pay for a license – even if it is on your computer. The cost is per home not per person, so if you share with others you can split the cost.


Monthly bus pass - £50 on average

Monthly train pass – This price can differ depending on the distance you are travelling. The price can range from £50 to £500 a month.

It is popular for people in the UK to buy a travel pass instead of using a car. As the cost is a lot lower and often the commute can be a lot quicker.

Mobile Phone


When you relocate, you will probably want to get yourself a local phone number to communicate with friends, family, colleagues. You will have a range of networks to choose from and some plans will be cheaper than others depending on the services they can offer you. A monthly contract of £40 should typically provide you with a phone and plan of unlimited calls and texts and 3gb of data per month.

Miscellaneous Costs:


Other monthly costs you will incur include food, internet, toiletries and other items and services you may need.


 £1290.50 per month

What additional costs can I incur?

Health care and Dental Costs

Healthcare in the UK is mainly provided by the National Health Service (NHS) – a system that provides free health care to all permanent residents of the United Kingdom and is paid for by public taxation. Although the NHS is free at the point of use for the patient, it is important to know there are charges associated with eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and other aspects of personal care.

Eye Test - £20-25

Dental Care

Please note you do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if you are:

  • Under 18
  • Under 19 in full-time education
  • Pregnant or you have had a baby within the 12 months before the treatment starts
  • Staying in an NHS hospital and the hospital dentist carries out your treatment
  • You receive government Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit guarantee credit or Universal Credit
  • You are entitled to a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • You are named on a valid HC2 certificate

However, if you do not meet the above criteria, there are three dental NHS charge bands:

Band 1: £19.70 covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes an X-ray, a scale and polish and planning for further treatment

Band 2: £53.90 covers all treatment covered by Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth

Band 3: £233.70 covers all treatment covered by Band 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.

Prescriptions - £8.80 per item

If you take in a prescription that lists several types of medication, you will pay £8.80 for each one.

Prescriptions are free in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


When relocating to the UK with children, making the right choice when it comes to picking a school for them will be your top priority. If you are a parent, you should note that you will have access to primary and secondary schools – completely free of charge. Factors that will affect your choice of school will include your child’s previous schooling experience, their academic ability and their English language capability.

Please note, there is also the option to choose private schooling. On average, a private pre-school monthly fee is around £1,039 and a primary and secondary schooling annual fees are around £15,250.

Furthermore, when your child is ready to attend university there is a fee of £9,250 per year. The UK Government has a Student Loan Scheme, which allows students to pay their university fees back once they are employed and earn over £25,000 a year.

For further advice and support on relocating to the UK please email [email protected] and we will be happy to help!


Secret London. (2018). London Is Now Only The 30th Most Expensive City in The World. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].

TransferWise. (2018). Cost of living in the UK: Your guide. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].


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