Cost of Living in Australia vs UK

Cost of Living in Australia vs UK

Life down under is like no other and Australia is ranked one of the highest nations in terms of quality of life.

The two countries are undeniably different in many ways.

The climate, geography, and lifestyle differ greatly but each provides its unique appeal and opportunities.

The people are friendly, they enjoy a fantastic work/life balance and unlike many other locations there is no language barrier so, you can start to settle in very quickly.

However, careful research and planning are going to be essential if you are contemplating a move to Australia.

One of the first and most important factors is going to be financial. Is it going to be cost-effective for you to emigrate?

Determining which country aligns best with your financial aspirations can pose a challenge as like-for-like comparisons are almost impossible.

The cost of living in Australia can vary significantly, depending on the city or region you choose to settle in.

While some areas might be more expensive, others could be more affordable compared to living in certain parts of the UK.

In our article, we provide examples and practical advice to assist you in deciding whether a move to Australia could be a feasible option for you.

Getting a job in Australia vs UK

Applying for an Australian work visa is a long process. However, it is a necessity if you are planning to relocate there permanently.

Finding an Australian company to sponsor your visa application is going to be the best and fastest pathway to obtaining a visa.

Earning as much as you can is key, as without stating the obvious, your salary will have a direct impact on your cost of living.

But what skills do you have, how does the pay compare with the UK, and how likely are you to secure a job within your chosen vocation?

The Australian Skills Occupation List (SOL) is a good place to start. From here you can find out what kind of skills the Australian Government is in need of.

If your area of skills and expertise is in demand, you stand a far better chance of gaining employment there.

Comparative earnings between the two countries can then be made.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average weekly wage for Australians is $1,838.60 or $95,607.2 per year.

The UK is seriously lagging behind Australia when it comes to annual average salaries at £29,139. Stats according to ONS Office of National Statistics.

Common Job Roles and Average Annual Salary Comparisons


Job Role NZ Salary UK Salary
Accountant $73,496 (£39,394) £35,704
Car Mechanic $58,884 (£30,761) £35,183
Teacher $63,100 (£32,963) £30,000
Builder $83,968 (£43,864) £33,500
Plumber $64,502 (£33,695) £31,703
Nurse $68,802 (£35,942) £27,055
Doctor $253,000 (£126,943) £79,392


As you can see, although the overall average for the UK is substantially lower than our Australian cousins, average salaries by profession are quite similar.

But the general consensus is that you will earn more in Australia.

There will always be anomalies such as general practitioners which is one area where you can earn substantially more down under.

Another good way to compare job roles in other sectors a little more precisely is to make use of the many online resources available.

Jobsite websites are a great help here. These sites list hundreds of employment opportunities and what you could potentially earn in both countries.

In Australia try jobrapido and in the UK try Totaljobs.

House Price Comparisons

House Prices UK vs Australia

Average House Prices are lower in the UK than Australia. Image credit: Depositphotos

After considering your financial prospects, the next aspect to explore is the cost of renting or buying a home in Australia.

Notably, there are significant differences between purchasing property in the UK and Australia.

In both countries, acquiring a home in a city comes with higher expenses, and home prices vary based on the specific locations you are considering.

However, living outside the city and commuting to work offers substantial benefits in Australia such as owning a large home on a spacious plot with amenities like a swimming pool.

As a “for instance”, let’s take a look at Perth, where approximately a third of the population consists of British ex-pats.

The average price of a house in Perth, according to, is $855,000 (£446,977.49).

On the other hand, the current average cost to buy a home in the UK stands at £264,900.

Though there is a significant difference between the averages, it’s essential to consider that you can find more affordable options in certain areas in both countries.

The town of Camillo, located about 40 minutes south of Perth, offers an average home cost of just $369,500 (£193,167.47).

Similarly, in Koondoola, a popular district nearly 30 minutes from the city, you can purchase a property for around $416,000 (£217,476.77).

To save on costs, it is advisable to consider moving to the suburbs or smaller towns instead of major cities in both countries. This way, you can potentially find more budget-friendly housing options.

To see exactly what you can get for your budget in Australia, spend some time searching for a home in your desired location via one of the popular real estate websites such as:

Renting a Home

The global surge in house prices has led to a significant increase in demand for rental properties worldwide, making it increasingly challenging for many people to afford to buy a home.

Both the UK and Australia have witnessed a rising trend towards renting rather than purchasing, resulting in intense competition for quality rental homes in both countries.

Despite the high demand, there are still plenty of excellent rental properties available.

Let’s now compare the cost of renting in Australia to the UK, focusing on the most expensive cities in each country: Sydney and London, respectively.

For a one-bedroom home in the centre of Sydney, the average monthly rental cost is $3,330.15 (£1741.22).

In comparison, the same one-bedroom property in central London will cost around £2,282.23, a huge difference of over £500!

For a larger three-bedroom property in the centre of Sydney, you can expect to pay approximately $6,561 (£3,439). While on the outskirts, this drops to $4,046 (£2,022).

Conversely, a similar three-bedroom home in London’s suburbs will cost around £2,636.00, offering a saving of over £600 when living in Sydney.

This is one area where you will clearly save money by renting a home in Australia.

Healthcare Differences


Both countries offer excellent healthcare options. Image credit: Unsplash

Those who manage to obtain permanent residency in Australia can look forward to one of the most impressive healthcare systems in the world.

Medicare is Australia’s universal health scheme. It is a Commonwealth government program that guarantees all citizens access to a wide range of health services at little or no cost.

The Australian healthcare system is a collaboration between various entities, including the government, federal, territory, and local administrations.

In Australia, individuals have the option to choose private health insurance if they so wish. Private care is often offered as part of expat employment contracts by many employers.

Some Australians may also opt for a combination of Medicare, the public healthcare system, and private insurance.

Private healthcare works in harmony with Medicare, but with a key distinction – patients are required to pay upfront for their care and later claim reimbursement from their insurers.

On the other hand, in the UK, the NHS (National Health Service) provides comprehensive healthcare to all residents, primarily funded through general taxation and National Insurance contributions (NICs).

You will not pay for medical treatment, but you will pay for prescriptions, which come with a current cost of £9.65 unless exempted for specific reasons.

Private healthcare is available in the UK too; however, it is generally costly, making it affordable mostly for individuals in executive positions.

Some companies may offer partial or full coverage for private healthcare costs, but overall, it remains an expense accessible to a limited group.

Due to the significant differences between the two systems, comparing them can be challenging. It is, however, important that you understand the way the Australian system works.

For more information on the Medicare system, individuals can visit the Australian Government Department of Health website here.

Transport Costs

Having access to efficient and reliable public transportation is essential for daily life.

Australia boasts a comprehensive public transport system, including buses, coaches, subways, and trains, with each territory having its own user-friendly, clean, and punctual service provider.

In the UK, local bus services are the most common mode of public transportation, with well over 1.5 billion journeys taken on them in the past year.

Trains and taxis are also popular options for getting around cities, although they can be quite expensive in both countries.

Let’s compare the costs of public transportation in Australia and the UK.

A one-way bus ticket in Australia costs around £2.41, while in the UK, it is slightly higher at £2.50.

However, a monthly pass proves to be more economical, costing £88.89 in Australia compared to £68.00 in the UK.

Given that Australia is a vast country, many residents opt for driving, so fuel costs should be taken into account.

In this regard, petrol costs in Australia are cheaper at £1.05 per litre compared to the UK’s £1.55 per litre.

Statistics from Numbeo.

Food Shopping Comparisons

Food Shop

Food shopping is typically cheaper in the UK. Image credit: Pexels

One very noticeable difference between the UK and Australia is the cost of groceries and this at least, is an area that is easier to make direct comparisons.

Food in Australia is generally more expensive than in the UK. Several factors contribute to this difference.

Firstly, Australia experiences higher production costs for certain agricultural products, driven by factors such as harsh weather conditions, limited water resources, and higher labour costs.

Additionally, many areas in Australia are geographically isolated, leading to higher fuel costs for transporting goods to and from major food production regions and onto the towns and cities.

Moreover, import tariffs and government regulations play a role in impacting the cost of food products brought into Australia, which can subsequently affect retail prices.

To effectively compare shopping costs, a useful approach is to take basic everyday food items and examine the price differences between the two countries.

Sample Prices for Everyday Items:

  • 1 litre of milk is $2.30 (£1.20) in the UK £1.08
  • 500g loaf of white bread $3.54 (£1.85) in the UK £1.10
  • 12 medium eggs $5.79 (£3.03) in the UK £2.38
  • 1kg cheese $14.58(£7.62) in the UK £6.34
  • 1kg beef $22.14 (£11.58) in the UK £9.42
  • Fresh lettuce head $3.54 (£1.58) in the UK £0.75
  • 1kg potatoes $3.72 (£1.95) in the UK £1.11
  • 20 pack Marlboro cigarettes $40.00 (£20.91) in the UK £13.00

Overall, purchasing your food in Australia is going to be 40% more expensive than in the UK.

Statistics provided by Numbeo, the price comparison website.

Monthly Utility Bills

Over the last couple of years, utility prices have experienced a global increase, primarily due to a combination of factors.

One significant influence has been the reduced supply of resources from Russia following the Ukraine conflict.

Additionally, the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic have also played a role in driving up these costs worldwide.

As a result, utility expenses have risen not only in the UK and Australia but also in various other countries.

It’s worth noting that the UK stands out as one of the countries with the highest electricity prices across the globe.

At a staggering 19.31 per kWh of electricity, the UK surpasses all other nations in this regard. In contrast, Australia pays 14.01 per kWh for electricity.

This discrepancy can be partially attributed to the fact that Australia experiences less demand for heating due to its relatively mild climate for most of the year, so you are likely to save a little here.

While the UK ranks among the countries with lower water consumption, as indicated by the water footprint calculator.

  • The average annual water bill in Australia is currently $832 (£431).
  • The average annual water bill here in the UK is roughly £448

Perhaps you will save on your electricity, but the difference in annual water bills is very similar between the two countries.

Cost of Living in Different Locations

When discussing the cost of living in Australia compared to the UK, it’s important to focus on the variations in living standards and expenses across major cities in both countries.

This section will provide a concise comparison of key cities in the UK and Australia.

Regarding Australia, the following are the estimated monthly budgets needed for cities including Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Canberra, encompassing living expenses without housing costs:

  • Sydney requires a minimum budget of AUD $1,815.8 (£949.42)
  • For Melbourne, you should plan for at least AUD $1,811.2 monthly (£947.01)
  • Canberra’s living costs demand a minimum of AUD $2034.3 per month (£1063.66)
  • To reside in Brisbane, expect to spend at least AUD $1,842.2 monthly (£963.22)
  • In Adelaide, the minimum monthly budget is around AUD $1,996.7 (£1044.00)

In contrast, the UK’s requirements for various cities are as follows:

  • If you’re living in London, you’ll need to budget at least £1,104.2 per month for your living costs.
  • For those living in Bristol, a monthly budget of £803.00 is required.
  • For Brighton, you should plan for a monthly budget of £809.2.
  • Living in Manchester will require a monthly budget of £794.4.
  • For Newcastle, you’ll need a budget of £762.3 per month.

As you can see, living costs vary from city to city both in the UK and Australia.

However, the general trend is this costs are lower in the UK.

There are various reasons for this as we have discussed throughout this article, but it is important to remember that wages are also higher when moving down under.

Overall, taking some time to decide where you are going to live when moving to Australia can clearly have a huge impact on your living costs!

Are You Contemplating a Relocation to Australia?

White&Company Truck in Transit

White & Company Truck

Understanding the expected cost of living is crucial when planning a house move, especially if you’re relocating to a different country.

It’s common to have little to no idea about the expenses awaiting you in a new place.

We hope that this article has shed a little light on the cost of living in Australia, helping you make informed decisions.

If the idea of moving to Australia appeals to you and you’re considering making the move to this beautiful country, White & Company is here to support you and ensure a stress-free relocation.

With extensive experience as an international removals firm, White & Company has earned a reputation as the preferred choice for removals in the UK.

Being members of reputable organisations such as BAR, FIDI, and OMNI, we have been facilitating people’s moves to various destinations for 150 years.

Our highly skilled teams will meticulously pack and prepare your valuable, delicate, and bulky furniture, making them export ready.

If you’re eager to kickstart your dream move, feel free to get in touch with us today for more information on how we can assist you.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or chat with our Bot and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.

Your smooth and successful move to Australia awaits and we look forward to assisting you with your removals to Australia!

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