Cost of living in UK is one of the first things that students consider before applying to any university in the UK. All prospective students must be aware of the various costs that they might need to handle while in UK. It is always advised to be prepared with an estimated budget before going abroad. Choosing the right city for studying is as important as choosing the right university, if not more. UK is an expensive country to live in. Compared to India, the living cost in UK is 174% higher. Cities like London are among the most expensive in the world. A student needs to take into account the accommodation expenses, travel expenses, food charges, and other miscellaneous expenses. If planned well, students can easily manage their expenses. By making informed choices, prospective students can greatly reduce their financial burden and efficiently handle their cost of living in UK.
In this article, we will talk in detail about the various costs that students who wish to study in the UK might face. First, we will have a look at the average cost of living in different regions of the UK.
Cost of living in UK – Region-wise comparison of average costs
The living cost in UK increases slightly as you move to the South of UK. Similarly, the costs in the North of the UK are comparatively less. Simply put, the further up North you go, the cheaper the cost of living is.
The table below shows the average of living per household in terms of annual spend in GBP.
|S.No.||Region||Average annual cost of living (in GBP)|
|4.||Yorkshire & the Humber||23,506|
*The costs mentioned here are tentative and the actual value might vary slightly based on a number of factors.
The average annual cost of living in UK is GBP 25,766.
Cost of living in UK – Expenses involved
Being an International student, you need to take care of a number of expenses in the UK. Not just the basic rent but numerous other costs are also involved. The table below talks about the different expenses that an international student has to manage in the UK.
|S.No.||Cost involved||Average expense (in GBP)|
|1.||Rent||650 per month (within the city)
550 per month (outside the city)
|2.||Council tax||25 per week|
|3.||Other utilities||40 per week|
|4.||Television license||150 per year|
|5.||Travel costs||55 per month|
|6.||Mobile phone plan||40 per month|
|7.||Other costs||250 per month|
|Total cost||1300-1500 per month|
Now let’s take a deeper look into these costs.
The rent that you may pay in UK will vary depending on the area you live in. For a one-bedroom flat, the average rent will be GBP 650 or GBP 550 if it is outside the city. The rent may go up to as much as GBP 1,800 in some cities and areas. The cost may increase even further if the energy costs are not included.
- Council tax
Those living in UK need to pay a council tax. The council tax is calculated based on where you live and how many people you live with. The council tax covers amenities like trash collection, street maintenance, and police forces. The average council tax is GBP 25 per week.
- Other utilities
Along with the rent, there are other expenses like electricity, gas, and water. These utilities cost an average of GBP 40 per week. Seasonal weather conditions may also play a role in altering these costs.
- Television license
The residents of UK are charged a television license for watching television in any form, whether on a TV set or a personal computer/tablet. The license usually costs around GBP 150 per year.
- Travel costs
It is quite expensive to own a car or a personal vehicle in the UK. However, the availability of good public transport makes it easier for students living there. Students can get a monthly pass at about GBP 55. Students are also eligible for further discounts on such passes which can reduce the costs even further.
- Mobile phone plan
There are plenty of mobile carriers for students to choose from. On average, students can get a decent mobile plan for GBP 40 which offers call, text, and data services.
- Other costs
In addition to all these, you also have to spend money on various other costs like food, internet, healthcare, entertainment, groceries, etc. On average, it might cost around GBP 250 per month.
Thus, the monthly expenditure for students in the UK might come out to be in the range of GBP 1300-1500 per month.
Cost of living in UK – Cost of items
Let’s have a look at the specific costs of daily use items as well as other necessities which would help us better estimate the living cost in the UK.
The table below gives us a detailed idea of the cost of various items in UK.
|S.No.||Item||Cost (in GBP)||Cost (in INR)|
|2.||Combo meal in a fast food restaurant||5.67||512|
|4.||1 litre Milk||0.86||78|
|6.||1 kg tomatoes||1.89||171|
|7.||500 gm cheese||4.49||405|
|8.||1 kg apples||1.93||174|
|9.||1 kg potatoes||0.88||80|
|10.||Red wine bottle||8||763|
|1.||Monthly rent for an 85 m2 apartment in an expensive area||1950||175,878|
|2.||Monthly rent for an 85 m2 apartment in a normal area||1229||110,873|
|3.||Utilities per month||145||13,118|
|4.||Monthly rent for a 45 m2 apartment in a normal area||867||78,184|
|5.||Utilities per month in a 45 m2 apartment||119||10,774|
|1.||Pair of jeans||67||6,081|
|2.||1 summer dress||32||2844|
|3.||Pair of sports shoes||72||6530|
|4.||Pair of business shoes||74||6,653|
|2.||1 litre gas||1.28||115|
|3.||Monthly ticket for public transport||96||8,698|
|1.||Cold medicine for 6 days||3.50||315|
|2.||1 box of antibiotics||8||751|
|3.||Private doctor visit||83||7,524|
|1.||Basic dinner for 2||30||2,739|
|2.||2 movie tickets||21||1,871|
|3.||2 theatre tickets||96||8,698|
|4.||Dinner for 2 at an expensive restaurant||56||5,038|
|5.||1 drink in a club||9||823|
|9.||Monthly gym membership||43||3,874|
It must be noted that these costs may vary slightly depending on a number of factors. However, it will give all the prospective students who are looking forward to studying in UK an idea for making their budgets.