Cost of Living in Australia VS the UK: Everything You Need to Know

Contributed by 1st Move International Ltd, 27 July, 2020

Generations of Britons have flocked Down Under, seeking a sunny climate, stunning scenery and friendly Aussie locals. With quality of life rated so highly in Australia (it rank number four in the world), it's easy to see why so many of us consider living in Australia as a way to maintain a better work-life balance, enjoy a more exotic location and do it all without having to learn another language.

But, of course, if you are one of these aspiring expats, you'll want to know how far your money will go and analyse the cost of living in Australia before you take the plunge.

While the Australian government's immigration page will provide you with all the details on just how you can make the move to Australia, it's essential to get clear information on how your day-to-day life will look in your new home country as well. From housing to groceries, and bills, restaurants, pastimes, and the all-important price of a pint, this is how Australia compares to life in the UK.

How Do Australian Dollars Compare to Pounds?

Before getting into the specifics, let's get a feel for how the currencies compare. In recent years, the British pound has steadily declined against the Australian dollar, and that trend continues today. UK residents holidaying in Australia will likely complain about prices in the country being quite steep. Things Down Under are certainly pricey, but if you're living in Australia on an Australian salary, your wage will compensate for the difference and help you keep up with the lifestyle.

Average Wages

Wages are a major deciding factor if you're on the fence about a move to Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics states that as of November 2019, the average earning for a full-time adult worker was AUD 1,658.70 (GBP 933.30). The UK's Office of National Statistics puts the same figure for UK workers at GBP 585 as of April 2019.

So if you're worried about cost of living in Australia, keep this information in mind. Australian wages will take you further in the country than you may have experienced through previous holidays on UK wages.

Australian Housing

Any expat will tell you that the price of housing can make or break the decision to move abroad. Comparing living in Australia to the UK reveals rent for a one-bedroom apartment in London will set you back AUD 3,253 per month (GBP 1,832), while a similar flat in Melbourne will cost around AUD 1,855 per month (GBP 1,045). In Sydney, your rent would be around AUD 2,538 per month (GBP 1,430) for the same flat. Despite the expensive lifestyle in Australia's largest city, rent prices in London are still about 34 per cent higher than in Sydney.

Buying Groceries

No matter where in the world you live, one tangible place you'll see your money go is the supermarket. Aussie supermarkets are known for being quite pricey, even for those living in Australia, but the climate makes way for great farmer's markets. This allows you to support local businesses and find delicious produce at an affordable price. On the whole, grocery prices are 40 per cent higher in Australia than in the UK, so eating out is a popular option among Aussies.

Paying Bills

Of course, when talking about the cost of living in Australia, we have to talk about everyone's least favourite topic. Bills. While the average basic utilities in the UK are around GBP 155 (AUD 276) per month, Australian utilities will set you back around GBP 124 (AUD 222), which will give you a slight saving.

The Price of Petrol

While living in Australia, you'll realise quite quickly how useful a car can be for covering some of those vast distances, especially if you want to explore outside of the cities and enjoy the scenery. But how much will your trips set you back in terms of petrol? A comparison of fuel prices reveals that while a litre of petrol in London is around AUD 2.48 (GBP 1.38), the same amount will cost around AUD 1.47 (GBP 0.82) in Sydney.

A Night on the Town

When measuring the cost of living in Australia, you'll also want to consider your leisure time, especially as this is a strong part of the Aussie culture. On average, restaurant prices in Australia are around 1.79 per cent higher than in the UK, so the two are fairly similar on that front. You may be used to paying around GBP 3.75 (or AUD 6.68) for a beer in the UK, but you'll have to shell out around GBP 4.49 (AUD 8.00) in Australia.

Your Favourite Pastimes

Your pastimes are another fun thing to imagine as you ponder living in Australia. You'll likely live near the beach, so you may spend less on holidays and excursions. You can ski without leaving the country, and may even save on flights to Asia if you get the travel bug again.

For some specific comparisons, let's take a look at gym memberships and cinema tickets. In Australia, the monthly fee for a fitness club will be around AUD 66.90 (GBP 37.54) compared to the UK's average of AUD 54.36 (GBP 30.50). Cinema prices are almost identical for those living in Australia, with tickets generally costing around AUD 17.82 (GBP 9.89) in England and AUD 18.00 (GBP 9.99) in the land Down Under.

Emigrating to Australia

So, you like what you see and you're ready to begin living in Australia? One last consideration is the price of emigrating. A lot goes into a big move like this, including plane tickets, moving expenses, visa payments, and many other factors of setting up in a new country. Use this tool to estimate your visa cost, and make sure you contact a reputable moving company like the friendly team at 1st Move International, who can help you through the whole process of shipping your belongings in the fastest and most cost-effective way so you can begin your new life in Australia.

Tags: Global Mobility | International Living | Personal Finance | Finance | Australia |



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