What Is The Cost Of Living In London UK? | Common

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What is the cost of living in London UK?


The average cost of living virtually anywhere is something that is on the minds of many people at this juncture. The reason? 

These days, the average cost of living almost anywhere is quite high, particularly when compared to previous costs. 

People deserve to know where they can afford to live and where they cannot. That is why we at Common are providing an easy-to-use guide to the cost of living in London. 

Comparing London to other large cities

There is some good news for individuals who are weighing their options and considering London as a potential place to call home. Right now, it is estimated that the cost of living in London is approximately 33% lower than living in New York City

To be fair, New York City is an expensive city to live in, but London is also a premier world city, and thus, the living comparison is valid. That said the estimated cost for a family of four to live in London per month is £4,944

It takes a significant income to live directly in the middle of London but that’s because there are so many high-powered and lucrative jobs specifically in that area. Therefore it’s reasonable that people might expect to pay more to live in the city than in some other areas of the country. Not to mention the fact that the city offers additional amenities that the rural parts of the country do not. 

Expenses you can expect in London

If you do decide to move to London, what might you expect to pay in regards to necessities? You probably want to have some facts like this in your back pocket so that you can best prepare yourself and your budget for the realities of living in London. 

To that end, let’s examine the average costs a Londoner can expect to pay for the necessities of food, transportation, and entertainment.


It’s important to understand that the best data points we have on average food costs in London come from averages of restaurant prices and store-bought food items. However, they can still give you a decent idea of what it costs to eat in London. 

  • A simple lunch at a sit-down restaurant – £15
  • A combo meal at a fast-food restaurant  £5.73
  • 16 oz. domestic beer  £1.65
  • Bread for two people for a day  £0.76

As you can see, these are a combination of essential food items, as well as some additionally enjoyable items people frequently purchase. By having the data on all of it, you can be sure you know what you are getting into before deciding to move to this premier city. 


It’s always necessary to know what the transportation costs are when considering a move to a new city. In London, you can expect to put a decent amount of money towards your transportation needs. The reason for this is because you are going to have to travel to and from wherever it is that you work (at a minimum). 

Although you can decide to move very near to where you work if you wish, or opt for walking day trips from London instead of driving, you will still need to account for transportation costs when it comes to exploring your new city or going out to eat with new acquaintances. 

Common transportation expenses for commuters in London include the following: 

  • The cost of a Volkswagen vehicle (average features)  £20,636
  • 1 litre of gas  £1.51
  • Monthly transportation ticket  £139
  • Taxi ride  £22 (depending on the length of your trip)


In this city, you’ll find it effortless to fill your schedule with the myriad spectacles and events only a life in London can provide. The trick is balancing your outings schedule with your budget. 

Here are some examples of common consumer prices for various entertainment staples: 

  • 2 tickets to the cinema  £22
  • Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant that includes wine and dessert  £78
  • 1 cocktail drink at a club  £11

These are the type of activities that people like to get into when they are in London, and you might also appreciate partaking in some of these activities from time to time yourself. If that is the case, you should make sure to budget for these types of entertainment expenses.  

If you’re looking for entertainment that comes at a more affordable cost, consider: 

  • Walking around the city
  • Visiting museums and galleries
  • Picnicking in a public garden

Your living accommodation options

In all honesty, many of us do not have the necessary funds to live an extravagant life in London. Even the average consumer prices listed above may seem quite high for many people, and those who are able to afford these monthly expenses may find that they will have to live on a more strict budget than they are accustomed to when looking for places to live in London.

Furthermore we must factor in the inflation rate. This is why it is so important that people understand their living accommodation options before deciding to move to London, particularly if they are looking to live in more private accommodations, such as a micro-unit. 

In the United States, it is incredibly challenging to find a private accommodation or micro-unit. In fact, most people in popular US cities have to rely on renting a private bedroom in someone else’s home instead. This is what allows them to afford the costs that come with living in premier cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

Fortunately, individuals in the United Kingdom can easily find private micro-units. They are available throughout the best places to live in London. 

Micro-units allow you to avoid sharing your space with another person, as many people find sharing their living space with another person uncomfortable. If this sounds like you, and you would prefer to have your own private living space where you are able to do what you like when you like, a micro-unit may be the optimal living accommodation for you.

However, it is important to note that micro-units are generally not all-inclusive. This is what allows micro-units to remain affordable. Certain amenities will need to be added to your monthly expenses, such as your:

  • Wi-Fi connection
  • Utilities (including water and electricity)
  • Laundry
  • Furniture
  • And more

These are all living expenses that are placed on the shoulders of the person who rents a micro-unit. Therefore, people who choose this style of living accommodation should understand that it is less about included amenities and more about getting themselves into the city of their dreams.

With a micro-unit, you can place yourself where the action is. And truthfully, that is often what people are most interested in anyway. 

It is also worth noting that even with these added expenses, micro-units generally provide an affordable private living option in a city with private housing options that are otherwise quite expensive. 

Prepare for a city lifestyle

Those who think that they are ready to move to the premier city of London need to stop and ask themselves if they are truly prepared to take on all that it entails. There are an untold number of wonderful things about living in the city, but don’t forget that you will also have to tolerate some of the annoyances of city life as well, such as traffic, hustle and bustle, and higher living expenses.  

That said, some people simply cannot get enough of the action and excitement that city life affords. They love to be right in the middle of it all, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. If that describes you, then you should absolutely pursue this dream and make London your new home, despite the higher cost of living.  

In fact, while some of your daily expenses are expected to go up when you move into the city, you may find that other costs decline. For instance, you may discover that you are able to get by on far less money allocated to transportation expenses (particularly if you use public transportation more than you did previously). It may even be possible to balance the increased costs in some areas with lowered costs in others if you plan your budget out just right. 

These are all financial aspects of city living that you can consider as you make your dream of moving to London UK a reality. 

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