The Cost Of Living In London, England (UK) In 2018

Rental Costs - Utility Bills - Council Tax - Living Costs

On this web page you will find information about the cost of living in England (UK) in relation to Food, Drink, Transport and Housing and Lifestyle costs/expenses, taken from Tünde's, friends and my own costs/expenses and experiences of living in England (UK). The cost/expenses below should be used as guidance only, in terms of getting an idea of how cheap/expensive it would be to live in England (UK) in 2018.

Although the examples below are based around London (UK) house rents, utility bills and transport costs for example, they also include nationwide costs relating to the post office, supermarkets, driving and childcare; among other things.

Post & Package

Service / Product Price Time Comments
1st Class Letter (UK) 67p 1 Day Envelope - Max: 24cm (L) x 16.5cm (W) x 0.5cm (D) - Up to 100g
2nd Class Letter (UK) 58p 2 Days Envelope - Max: 24cm (L) x 16.5cm (W) x 0.5cm (D) - Up to 100g
1st Class Letter (UK) £1.77 1 Day Signed-For / Proof of Delivery
1st Class A4 Envelope (UK) £2.50 1 Day Signed-For / Proof of Delivery
1st Class A4 Envelope (UK) £6.50 Next Day Guaranteed 1pm Next Day, Signed-For, Delivery.
1st Class Letter (Hungary) £1 3-5 Days Envelope - Max: 24cm (L) x 16.5cm (W) x 0.5cm (D) - Up to 100g
1st Class Parcel (Hungary) £52.38 7-9 Days 5Kg - Max: 150cm (L) - Max Combined Size (W L D): 300cm
More Information Post Office - Price Finder


Public Transport

City/Town Type Of Travel Pass Payment Price Comments
London Bus Pass Weekly £21.20 (P.A.Y.G) Zones 1 to 6
Nottingham Bus Pass Weekly £17 (P.A.Y.G) 'Everyday' Easy Rider
Liverpool Bus Pass Weekly £19.20 (P.A.Y.G) Solo (Zone C only)
Hull Bus Pass Weekly £13.50 (P.A.Y.G) Hull Card
Sheffield Bus & Tram Pass Weekly £16.80 (P.A.Y.G) CityWide
Brighton & Hove Bus Pass Weekly £20 (P.A.Y.G) '7-Day' Saver


Private Vehicle

Vehicle Product/Service Payment Price Comments
Car Driving Licence One-Off Fee £34 online £43 by post
Car Insurance Yearly £1,140 - £1,210 Considerations: Age Of Car, Accidents, Etc
Car M.O.T Yearly £54.85 This is the maximum a garage can charge
Car Tax Yearly £290 (Real Example) Considerations: CO2/Engine Size/Fuel Type
Car Driving Lessons Hourly £24-£25 Look for 10 Lesson discounts
Car Theory Test One-Off Fee £23
Car Driving Test One-Off Fee £62 £62 Weekdays / £75 Other Times
Car Petrol Weekly £1 Per Litre
Car Second-Hand One-Off Fee £1,500 £1,500 should get you a reliable car


Self-Employment

Service / Amenity Payment Price Comments
Public Liability Insurance Yearly £70+ Up To £1 Million Policy
Self-Employment N.I Yearly £145.60 £2.80 Per Week (Class 2 National Insurance)
Travel Card (Zones 1-3) Yearly £1,520 £29.23 Per Week
Leaflets/Flyers Bi-Monthly £180 10,000 Colour Both Sides, Luxury Matt, 170 gsm
Custom Receipts Yearly £60 8 receipt books with 100 duplicated, numbered, pages each.
Domain (www) Name Yearly £7.52 Namecheap
Web Hosting Yearly £40 Fits Basic Needs. Pay no more than £60.
Basic Website Creation Once £70-£150 Additional Maintenance Fee: £20 Per Hour.
Accountant Yearly £180-£220 Annual Tax Return / Self-Assessment.


Rent & UTILITY BILLS

Utility bills vary in price, depending on your particular household usage of course, but here is an example of what Tünde and her family of three pay per month in their one-bedroom flat.

Utility / Amenity Payment Price Comments
Rent - 1 Bedroom Monthly £1,200 Plus additional £1,200 for 1 Month Deposit
Electricity & Gas (EDF) Monthly £120
Water Rates (Thames Water) Monthly £27
Council Tax Monthly £96
TV License Monthly £14.50
Internet And Landline Monthly £37.50 £48 with Mobile Phone contract

A single person might pay £40 for Gas, £30 for Electricity and £72 for Council Tax. Utility bills will vary purely because of radiator type, heating usage and thermostat levels, condition of boiler, the amount of water used (bath and/or shower), water temperature and so on.

The LAUNDERETTE

Although launderettes vary in price because there is not really any competition between them, usually because there is only one laundrette in your local high street, the difference in price is normally due to whether or not you want self service (you do your own laundry) or a service wash (the laundrette worker does your washing). A service wash fee normally ranges from between £1.40 and £2. The prices below are based on one black bag (dustbin bag) of clothes that need washing, spinning and drying without a service wash.

Service Price Comments
Small Washing Machine £4
Medium Washing Machine £5
Large Washing Machine £6
Extra Large Washing Machine £8
Spin Dryer 60p - £4 Cost depends on spinning time
Tumble Dryer £1.10 - £2.20 Cost depends on drying time


The SUPERMARKETS

Putting the quality and speciality of certain food and drink products aside, all of the major high street supermarkets in England (UK) sell the same basic food and drink products (i.e. milk, bread, sugar, coffee, biscuits, meat and so on) at roughly the same prices due to the fierce competition between them.

According to National Statistics WebsiteNational Statistics, the minimum spend for an 'average sized' family in England (UK) in 2017 was around £60 per week (£8.57 per day).

In terms of food quality, prices and shoppers - Waitrose WebsiteWaitrose and Sainsbury WebsiteSainsbury are seen as "for the upper-class", Tesco WebsiteTesco, Morrisons WebsiteMorrisons and Asda WebsiteAsda are seen as "for the middlle-class" and Lidl WebsiteLidl, Iceland WebsiteIceland and Aldi WebsiteAldi are seen as "for the lower-class". Yes, even with shopping there is a class system! Here I have used Morrisons as the example and converted prices into Hungarian Forints.

Item Quantity Amount GBP HUF Comments
Free Range Eggs 6 Large Half Dozen £1.87 701
Free Range Eggs 6 Large Half Dozen 91p 341 Morrisons' own brand
Milk 1 Carton 4 Pints (2L) £1.23 461
Bread 1 Loaf 800g £1.27 476
Sugar 1 Packet 1Kg 55p 206
Baked Beans 4 Tins 4 x 200g £2.38p 892
Coffee (Nescafe Instant) 1 Jar 200g £5 1,875
Tea (PG Tips) 1 Box 80 Tea Bags £2.27 851
Butter 1 Pack 250g £1.70 637
Marmalade (Jam) 1 Jar 454g £1.27 476
Blackcurrent Jam 1 Jar 340g £1.48 555
Tomatoes 1 Packet 750g £1 375
Vine Tomatoes 1 Packet 450g £1.75 656 These are always expensive
Cucumber 1 N/A 48p 180
Lettuce 1 N/A 56p 210
Cheddar Cheese (Canadian) 1 200g £2 750 Better cheeses at Sainsbury
Rice (Basmati) 1 Bag 500g £2.53p 948 1Kg - £4.51p
Pasta 1 Bag 1 Kg £1 375
Potatoes 1 Bag 2.5Kg £2 750
Onions 1 Bag 1Kg 58p 217
Carrots 1 Bag 1Kg 60p 225
Garlic 2 Bulbs N/A 55p 206
Cabbage 1 Whole 600g-700g 82p 307
Cauliflower 1 Whole N/A £1.85p 693
Runner Beans 1 Packet 170g £1 375
Broccoli 1 335g 50p 187
Lemons 1 Bag 5 In 1 Bag £1 375
Apples 1 Bag 5 In 1 Bag £1.47 551 Gala Apples / Granny Smith Apples
Oranges 1 Bag 9 In 1 Bag £1.52 570
Porridge (Quaker Oats) 1 Box 1Kg £2 750
Corn Flakes (Kellogg's) 1 Box 750g £2 750
All Bran (Kellogg's) 1 Box 750g £2.88 1,080 Healthy cereals always expensive
Hellmann's Mayonnaise 1 Jar 400g £2 750
Colman's English Mustard 1 Jar 170g £1.41p 528
HP Brown Sauce 1 Bottle 425g £1.68p 630
Heinz Tomato Ketchup 1 Bottle 570g £2 750 Also called Red Sauce in UK
Whole Black Pepper 1 Bottle 50g £2 750 Bottle is also a Pepper Grinder
Sea/Rock Salt 1 Bottle 100g £1 375 Bottle is also a Salt Grinder
Saxa Table Salt 1 Pot 750g 82p 307 Cheaper salts sold, but vile taste.
Cooking Oil 1 Bottle 5 Litres £5 1,875 Other sizes roughly £1 per litre
Extra Virgin Oil 1 Bottle 500ml £3.70 1,387 £3.70 to £6.50 depending on brand

You might be able to save a little money by shopping for the basics at one particular supermarket, your meat at a butcher's and your fruit in a street market, but with the supermarkets selling fresh meat, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables you wouldn't really save that much.

Take-Away Food / Restaurants

If you live in London, Chinatown has a nice restaurant called Mr WU where you can eat as much as you like for £7.50. It is very popular with tourists and Londoners alike, at most times of the day. There is also a branch in Leicester Square.

Take-Away Shop Portion/Size Decription Price
Chinese Regular Egg Fried Rice / Sweet & Chicken £6.60
Dominos Pizza Personal 7 Inch Cheese & Tomato £5.99
McDonalds Large Big Mac Meal £4.69
Kebab Large Chicken Doner £5.90
Fish & Chip Regular 2 Pieces Of Chicken And Chips £2.90


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