Cost of Living in the UK and Canada: What You Need to Know

writer icon

Allaa Ashraf

calender icon

07 August, 2023

time icon

5 mins read

time icon

Student Finance

Share NOW

fav icon
main topic image

The cost of living UK vs Canada is a crucial factor to consider when moving to either country. Both countries offer high standards of living and a wide range of opportunities, but the cost of living can vary significantly depending on location and lifestyle choices. 

Generally, the prices in Canada are quite a bit more affordable than the prices in the UK. However, transportation and healthcare costs are generally lower in the UK.

The best way to determine which country is right for you is to compare the cost of living in different cities and towns. By understanding the cost of living in the UK and Canada, you can make informed decisions and plan your budget accordingly. This will help you ensure that you are able to afford your lifestyle in either country.

In this guide, we draw a cost of living comparison between the two countries. So, why don’t you join in?

Cost of Living UK vs Canada

Cost of Living UK vs Canada

1. Housing/Accommodation

Both the UK and Canada offer a range of housing options, from urban apartments to suburban houses. However, it's important to note that housing costs can vary significantly depending on the location within each country. In major cities like London and Toronto, housing tends to be more expensive than in smaller towns or rural areas. Rent prices, property taxes, and utility bills are all factors to consider when assessing the cost of housing.

In general, housing costs are higher in the UK than in Canada. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in London is £1,500 per month, while the average rent for a similar apartment in Toronto is $2,000 per month.

Princess Street

Starting from 580£

Book now!

2. Utilities

Utilities are also more expensive in the UK than in Canada. For example, the average monthly cost for electricity, gas, and water in London is £100, while the average monthly cost for the same utilities in Toronto is $80. As for mobile and internet packages, Canada ranks among the top 20 countries for the most expensive data plans.

Cost of Living UK vs Canada

3. Food

Food prices are generally comparable in the UK and Canada. However, there are some items that are more expensive in the UK, such as alcohol and tobacco. For example, a pint of beer in London costs around £5, and $4 in Toronto.

4. Transportation

Transportation expenses in the UK and Canada can significantly impact your monthly budget, but they vary depending on where you live in the country. In the UK, cities like London offer extensive public transportation networks, including the iconic London Underground, though fares can be relatively high. Meanwhile, in Canada, cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal boast well-established public transit systems that are often more affordable than those in the UK. 

In both the UK and Canada, transportation costs exhibit notable differences. For city dwellers, public transportation tends to be a necessity. However, in Canada, public transportation proves more budget-friendly than its UK counterparts. For instance, a monthly pass for unlimited travel on the London Underground costs £156, whereas a similar pass for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto is priced at $126. Considering these variations can help individuals make informed decisions about managing transportation expenses in their chosen location.

5. Healthcare

Healthcare costs are generally higher in the UK than in Canada. When considering the cost of living in either country, it is important to factor in the cost of healthcare. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) provides comprehensive healthcare coverage to residents, funded through taxes. However, some treatments, medications, and dental care may require additional payments. In Canada, universal public health insurance is provided. It is known as Medicare

However, it is important to note that certain medical services and prescription medications may not be fully covered, leading some individuals to opt for private health insurance. It is important to understand the healthcare system and associated costs in both countries in order to make informed financial decisions.

Cost of Living UK vs Canada

6. Education

Education is generally more affordable in the UK than in Canada. This is because primary and secondary education are generally provided by the state in the UK, which means there are no tuition fees for public schools. However, private schools and universities in the UK have varying tuition fees. In Canada, primary and secondary education are also primarily funded by the government, but private schools and universities have tuition costs.

When comparing the two countries, it is important to consider the quality and cost of education. The UK has a well-respected education system, and many of its universities are ranked among the best in the world. However, the UK's education costs can be high, especially for private schools and universities. Canada also has a good education system, and its universities are well-respected. The cost of education in Canada is generally lower than in the UK, but it can still be expensive, especially for private schools and universities.

Ultimately, the best country for you depends on your circumstances and preferences. The UK may be a good option if you are looking for a country with a high-quality education system and affordable tuition fees. However, Canada may be a better choice if you are looking for a country with a lower cost of living.

Overall Cost of Living and Expenses

The cost of living in the UK and Canada can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, and personal choices. However, in general, the cost of living in the UK is slightly higher than in Canada.

Beyond the specific categories mentioned above, additional factors must be considered in determining the overall cost of living. These include groceries, dining out, entertainment, clothing, and personal expenses. Prices for goods and services can differ depending on the region and individual preferences. Researching the average costs in your desired location can help you gauge and plan for your everyday expenses.

For example, if you live in a major city in the UK, you can expect to pay more for rent, transportation, and other expenses than if you live in a smaller town or rural area. Similarly, if you have a taste for fine dining or expensive clothes, you will likely spend more than someone who is more frugal.

Ultimately, the best way to determine the cost of living in the UK or Canada is to do your research and compare the costs of goods and services in different locations. This will give you a good idea of how much you can expect to spend on a monthly basis.

Final Thoughts

Here are some additional tips for saving money on the cost of living in the UK and Canada:

  • Cook at home instead of eating out.

  • Take advantage of free or low-cost activities like visiting museums or parks.

  • Use public transportation instead of driving.

  • Shop around for the best deals on utilities and other expenses.

  • Consider getting a roommate to share the costs.

And there you go! Considering these aspects is essential when comparing the cost of living UK vs Canada. By analysing the cost of living and factoring in housing, transportation, healthcare, education, and other expenses, you can effectively manage your budget and make informed decisions about your relocation. Bon voyage to whatever destination you choose!


Subscribe to download

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to live in Canada or UK?

down icon

This is a subjective question; the answer will depend on your preferences and circumstances. However, here are some factors to consider when deciding:

  • Cost of living: Canada is generally more affordable than the UK.

  • Job opportunities: Both countries have strong economies, but the job market may be more favourable for your skills and experience in one country than the other.

  • Quality of life: Both countries offer a high quality of life, but Canada may be a better fit for you if you prefer a more outdoorsy lifestyle.

Culture: The UK and Canada have different cultures, so you will need to decide which one is a better fit for you.

Which is more affordable UK or Canada?

down icon

Canada is generally more affordable than the UK. This is especially true for housing, which is much more expensive in the UK. However, the cost of living can vary depending on the city or region you choose to live in.

Is tax higher in UK or Canada?

down icon

The tax rates in the UK and Canada are similar. However, the UK has a value-added tax (VAT) of 20%, while Canada does not have a national sales tax. This means that the overall tax burden may be slightly higher in the UK.

Share NOW