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Cost of Living in London

London – many want to move there, but few can finance that life choice without breaking a sweat. If you wish to build a life in the capital, our overview of the cost of living in London and our tips on planning your budget wisely will help you make that dream a reality!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Many Faces and Many Costs of London

Surely one of the first things that come to your mind when you think about London is the fact that life here is not cheap. While true overall, you would be remiss if you did not get down into the specifics. The truth is, the cost of living in London can be quite variable, and there is plenty you can do to influence the bottom line. For starters, you should determine the kind of lifestyle you are after and adjust your dreams to your means.

Average Cost of Living in London

Accommodation (to rent):

  • Budget: £1,220 (e.g., 45 square metre studio)
  • Normal: £1,704 (e.g., 85 square metre apartment, outside Central London)
  • Upscale: £2,388 (e.g., 85 square metre apartment, Central London)

Accommodation (to own):

  • Budget: £4,368 per square metre, outside Central London
  • Normal: £7,181 per square metre, outside Central London
  • Upscale: £13,043 per square metre, Central London

Restaurant meal:

  • Budget: £7 (e.g., fast food combo meal)
  • Normal: £15 (e.g., one course at an inexpensive restaurant)
  • Upscale: £65 (e.g., three courses for two at a mid-range restaurant)

Sports and Leisure:

  • Budget: £45/month basic fitness club fee
  • Normal: £90/month business-level fitness club fee
  • Upscale: £15/hour for a tennis court rental


  • Budget: £4 per pint of local beer
  • Normal: £12 per adult cinema ticket
  • Upscale: £160 for good seats at a theatre

To the average sums above, you can add a range of ongoing expenses, such as basic utilities (£140), home internet (£31), transportation (e.g., £132 for a monthly pass), and the dreaded council tax, which falls anywhere between £628 per year and almost triple that amount, depending on your location. As you can see, the precise nature of the total cost of living in London varies widely, but these figures can help set you in the appropriate price ranges and the right frame of mind before your move.

Start Your London Move with the Perfect Remover on Your Side

When planning your relocation to London, it is easy to get caught up with penny-pinching, but one budget item where you should not be cheap is the move itself. In this often gargantuan task, it pays off to leave the logistics to the professionals. Nowadays, there is a seemingly overwhelming number of removal companies online, and it is easy to get lost in their abundant offerings. This is where we come in to help:

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Cost of Living in London

Top 5 Tips on Making Your Move to London Financially Viable

Just to state the obvious, it is, of course, counterproductive to move to the capital, only to be crushed by the seemingly unmanageable cost of living in London. But this is where you can undertake a host of measures to save yourself time and financial woes:

#1. Location

The choice of dwelling will make up the bulk of your total cost of living in London, and it is good to know the trends before you set your heart on a place. There are no firm geographical divides between boroughs where housing prices are currently rising or dropping. For instance, Croydon has enjoyed greater popularity and a pricing surge since 2018, while neighbouring Richmond upon Thames has been losing buyers’ and tenants’ interest.

Choosing the best-suited location based on housing prices, council tax, distance to your work or other places you will frequent regularly, scouting out the area for good childcare, entertainment, and grocery shopping options – consider all your basic requirements, and your nice-to-haves.

Living in Central London

Two pints of full-fat milk go for £1.20 normally, but a supermarket located in Central London will charge you up to £1.75 for the same amount. If living centrally is important to you, you should consider driving away from the heart of the city and buying in bulk. In that case, keep in mind that a litre of petrol will set you back about £1.45 – remember to factor that into your grocery shopping budget.

#2. Home Utilities

Consider signing up for your utilities and comms services through a cashback website. These will pass the usual agent’s commission back to you, the customer.

#3. Groceries

As already indicated above, location plays a crucial part in the cost of living in London, but the effects of your postal code do not stop at your price per square foot or council tax. Where you do your grocery shopping determines how much you will leave in your neighbourhood shop’s till.

Opting for local products is a smart strategy to make the most of your food shopping, beverages included. British ale, for example, is often more affordable than imported beer and many say it’s just as delightful, if not more so (at least if you ask us!).

#4. Find a Cheap and Reliable Removal Company in London

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#5. Compare and Contrast to Calculate Your Cost of Living in London

As you see, many factors at play combine to land you at your final monthly cost of living in London. When planning your move, you should carefully compare and contrast the different locations where you can imagine yourself settling down. And remember to add the typical utility costs and comb the area for good grocery stores, gyms, pubs, and whatever else fits into your picture of a good life in London.

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