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Guide to costs of living in London for expats and holiday makers

London is one of the most expensive cities to live in but also a city full of opportunities.  At Your Service Apartments feel it is important for expats to be furnished with the right information of the cost of living in relation to the salary they’ll be earning to ensure that budget accordingly. Lifestyle, entertainment and shopping, can be tailored to accommodate various different tastes and budgets as there are plenty of ways to save money in these areas, check out our blog on top 10 things to do in London! Public transport is reliable and efficient in London however can also be costly.

Cost of accommodation in London

The majority of expats living in London tend to rent property rather than purchase a home. The cost of rentals is very high especially in the more sought-after areas and suburbs. Space is limited in areas close to the city centre but luckily London’s public transport networks are excellent and make commuting easy. Expats and holiday makers find it easier to rent a serviced apartment as opposed to a flat as they are often bigger and include all bills making the total monthly amount, the final amount making budgeting easier. Fully furnished serviced apartments also come with fully fitted kitchens, towels, linens, cutlery and crockery making moving in that bit more convenient. Some serviced apartments also have concierge serviced making them safer for guests.



Cost of transportation

London has an extensive transportation network. Public transport includes the tube, buses, trams and taxis. However, getting around can be expensive especially for those who live in outlying suburbs. The best option for people commuting regularly is to buy a monthly or annual travel card. Some companies offer their employees an advance to pay for their annual travel at the start of the year and this is definitely something worth investigating. There is little need to own a car in London but those that wish to drive should factor in the cost of parking which is costly, especially in central areas. Furthermore, people driving into central London will be subject to paying the congestion charge which was implemented to deter people from driving into the city unnecessarily and causing more traffic.



Cost of education

Expats legally resident in the UK are entitled to send their children to a state school at little or no cost. The standard of these schools vary and there are some schools in inner-city London that are known for being very bad. However, there are plenty of good state schools and this is an option worth exploring especially for those who plan on settling down in The UK. Those who wish for their children to continue following the curriculum of their home country will find that London is home to the largest selection of international schools in the UK. Fees at British private schools and international schools are very high and these institutions tend to be oversubscribed. Wherever possible expats are advised to negotiate an allowance for school fees into their employment package.

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Cost of entertainment and eating out

London plays host to excellent entertainment facilities – from world-class theatres and music venues to museums and art galleries, there is truly something to suit all tastes. Those who want to try out the most exclusive establishments in the city can expect to pay a small fortune for the privilege. However, those on a tighter budget will also be catered for – there are plenty of places that offer special deals and last-minute offers where one can sample some of the best events at the fraction of the usual prices. When it comes to eating out London has countless options from fine dining at Michelin-starred restaurants to hearty street food.