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How high is the cost of living in the UK?

By September 9, 2019December 1st, 2023FinGlobal

How high is the cost of living in the UK?

September 9, 2019


One of the first things you have to do before you move abroad is consider the cost of living in the country you are moving to. While your proposed salary might look great on paper, you need to consider how far it goes in terms of covering your monthly expenses in order to determine the quality of life in your new country. The last thing you want to discover is that you are battling to make things meet instead of living the life of your dreams. So let’s look at the cost of living in the UK and how far your hard-earned pounds will go.


Comparing the cost of living in South Africa to the UK

A website called: allows people to compare what it will be like if they move to another country by comparing your existing country to your proposed new country. When we compare the cost of living in the UK versus South Africa, the following things are highlighted:


Cost of living in the UK vs. South Africa:
  • South Africa is 42.4% cheaper than the United Kingdom
  • You pay 76.5% more when you eat out in restaurants in the United Kingdom. A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant in South Africa will cost you R114.30, while the same in the UK will cost 12.08 pounds – which equates to R211.52 at current exchange rates
  • You also pay 33.8% more for groceries in the UK
  • You pay 20.1% more for transportation in the UK. A new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 will cost you in the region of R251 068 in South Africa, whereas in the UK it will cost you 17 595 pounds – which equates to a whopping R299, 994!
  • The UK is notoriously expensive when it comes to housing and rents are 2.3 times more expensive than South Africa. A one-bedroom apartment in a downtown area will cost your R4 808 a month in South Africa, whereas you will pay 702 pounds a month in the UK, which equates to R11.969 a month – which is a lot more expensive!
  • Families need to be aware that they will also pay 4.6 times more when it comes to childcare.
  • When it comes to going out, the UK is a massive 62.6% more in terms of entertainment and sports
  • You will also pay 5.7% more for clothing in the UK. A regular dress from H&M or a similar store in South Africa will cost you R410 while in the UK a similar dress will be priced at 27.88 pounds, which equates to R475.35.

Quality of living in the UK vs. South Africa

The website goes on to compare the quality of life in the UK to South Africa and reveals some interesting facts:

  • You live longer in the UK, where the average life expectancy is 81 years versus 64 years in South Africa
  • You make 3.3 times more money in the UK – which goes some way to cover the higher cost of living
  • You are 84% more likely to be unemployed in South Africa



If you are a South African living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today for your free and no obligation consultation and quote.

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