How Does the Cost of Living in Australia Compare to the UK?

cost of moving to australia in 2023

If you’re considering moving from the UK to Australia, one major factor is how the overall cost of living compares between the two countries. With higher salaries, Australia may seem like an attractive destination – but are the everyday expenses higher as well?

In this post we break down the real costs side-by-side across key spending categories, so you know exactly what to budget for the Aussie lifestyle!

Housing

Major cities in Australia are notorious for sky-high rents and property prices. On average housing in Australia is 25.7% higher than the housing costs in the UK. Expect to pay 20-30% more for housing compared to equivalent UK cities.
Source: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Australia&country2=United+Kingdom

Groceries

Grocery bills run around 20-25% higher in Australian supermarkets. Produce, meat, dairy all cost more down under.

Eating Out

Dining at restaurants in Australia. A basic restaurant meal is pretty much the same in Australia as it is in the UK. A meal for 2 at a mid-ranged restaurant costs £63.34 (120.00 A$) in Australia and £60.00 (113.68 A$) in the UK. Source: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&country2=Australia

Utilities Electricity, internet, mobile plans.

Utilities across the board were previously 20-30% more in Australia, however with the recent spike in UK energy costs then gas and electricity costs are now more expensive in the UK. You should also bear in mind that whilst electricity costs are less impacted by heating your home this will be countered by the costs of air conditioning. On average these utilities are now 34% cheaper in Australia then in the UK.
Source: https://livingcost.org/cost/australia/united-kingdom

Petrol

Filling up your car is cheaper in Australia on average, with fuel about 25 – 30% less than UK rates. A rare win! Data showing average petrol prices are lower in Australia than UK.

Public Transport

Local buses, trains and trams in Australian cities charge fares comparable to the UK. Expect similar public transport costs. Analysis showing Australian and UK public transport costs are similar.

Childcare

The monthly cost of childcare in Australia is also comparable to the UK, however, with higher average salaries in Australia you’ll be spending a lower percentage of your salary on your childcare costs Down under. Source: https://www.money.co.uk/loans/cost-of-childcare-report

Healthcare

Doctor visits and private health insurance run around 25% higher in Australia. However, the public NHS provides free essential care in the UK. On top of universal public health insurance (Medicare) most Australians have private health insurance (PHI) which offers, potentially, quicker access and a greater choice of treatments than those offered by Medicare.

Taxes

Australia offers several other tax advantages compared to the UK. There’s no Capital Gains Tax on selling your primary residence in Australia. Australia has lower personal income tax rates, with the top 45% marginal rate kicking in at $180,000 AUD, compared to £150,000 in the UK. Source: https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Tax-rates—Australian-residents/

Transferring your UK pension to an Australian superannuation account within six months of becoming an Australian resident is tax-free, preventing double taxation and consolidating retirement funds.

Additionally, Australia allows tax-advantaged pension contributions of up to $27,500 AUD yearly, providing more flexibility for growing retirement savings.

Lastly, Australia does not impose inheritance tax, making estate planning and wealth transfer simpler.

Alcohol

Wine, beer, and spirits are heavily taxed in Australia, making alcohol about 30-40% more expensive at bars and liquor stores. The next highest alcohol taxing countries were the UK and Ireland, but this was still around 30% less than Australia. Thanks to Bob In Oz for giving us the lowdown: https://www.bobinoz.com/blog/2935/cost-of-living-in-australia-alcohol-this-week-beer/

More up to date information can be found here, but today the story remains the same: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Australia&country2=United+Kingdom

In the end, the common theme is you’ll be paying around 20%+ more for everyday basics like housing, food and utilities if moving from the UK to Australia. But with higher wages factored in and more favourable taxes, the country offers an appealing lifestyle for British expats. Just be sure to budget accordingly!

Let us know if you need help shipping your household goods to Australia! 1st Move International will help make Australia your home sweet home. Simply ask for a quote here on our website or get in touch to find out more about what we do.


About 1st Move International

1st Move International are a specialist international moving and shipping company offering packing, shipping and insurance for shipping household goods and personal effects overseas. We have a global reach covering over 80 countries and 6500 worldwide destinations. You can get an international removals quote here or find more information on our international moving services to Australia here.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.