How Much? A rough guide to UK living costs

Posted on November 3, 2021

Living costs are a crucial factor in determining how much you have to spend on rent, or purchase of your new home. The cost of living varies hugely across different countries so we thought it would be useful to detail some of the costs associated with living in the UK.

To give you an idea of what you can expect these costs to be, here are some average figures, based on current prices in November 2021.


It is a legal requirement if you rent or buy a property in the UK, to be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs as well as recommendations about how to reduce energy consumption and save money.

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years, so a guide, the following monthly costs are based on average properties – NB: fuel bills can vary considerably based on the energy efficiency of the property and individual usage (2021)

 1-2 bed flat3-4 bed flat4-5 bed house
Gas and Electricity£70£107£140

Council Tax:

This covers the cost for local services such as rubbish collection, roads and street lighting, maintenance of parks and playgrounds, public leisure centres and contributes towards local police, fire and rescue services. It’s an annual charge levied on every property and the amount charged is dependent on the size and value of your property, and also which borough you live in.

You have the option to pay one single lump sum or ten payments throughout the year.  To give you some idea of what your annual Council Tax bills might be (2021):

The cheapest borough (Westminster) charges vary between between £553 and £1659

The most expensive borough (Richmond upon Thames) between £1305 and £3917

TV License:

If you use a television, you must have a TV License. You are responsible for paying for and obtaining your TV License, which is currently £150.50 for one year. Failure to produce a TV licence when requested by the licensing authority could incur a fine of up to £1,000 (Nov. 2021)

Parking and Travel:

If you live in an urban area, and want to park a car on the road near your property, you may need to purchase a ‘resident’s parking permit’.  This doesn’t mean you get a guaranteed parking  space, but it does enable you to park in ‘resident parking bays’ within a certain distance of your home.

The cost of these permits varies depending on the area but expect to pay around £150 per year.  If you don’t drive, you will need to take the cost of public transport into account.  You can find out how much a season ticket will cost and more information about journey times, etc:

Congestion and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges:

In London there is a daily Congestion Charge of £15.00 for driving within the congestion zone between 07.00 – 22.00hrs, 7 days a week. This is to help reduce traffic levels in central London, but the cost can soon add up if you are regularly travelling by car.

Additionally, the Ultra Low Emission Zone was introduced in 2019 to help clean up London’s air. The ULEZ charge of £12.50 is payable if your vehicle doesn’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, except Christmas Day (25 December)

You can find out more about the costs associated with driving a car in London here Driving – Transport for London (

There are other costs involved in running a home – broadband, telephone, satellite TV for example, but these are all dependant on the type services you want, and it’s impossible to include them all here.  This is designed to provide a rough guide so that you have some idea – it is by no means a full and comprehensive list of everything.

Naomi Gleeson – Managing Director – Executive Relocation

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