Cheapest Place To Live In UK

Dr Mohammad Shafiq

Top 10 Cheapest Place To Live In UK in 2024

Top 10 Cheapest Place To Live In UK in 2024

Living in the UK is an enriching and exciting experience, but navigating the cost of living can be challenging for many. The UK offers diverse options, from bustling cityscapes to charming countryside villages, but finding the right balance between affordability and safety is key to a fulfilling life.

Choosing the right place can transform your UK experience from a budget-busting nightmare to a delightfully affordable adventure. So, let’s explore the cheapest place to live in UK.

Understanding the Factors Determining the Cost of Living

The Cost of Living Factors

  • Housing: The biggest bite out of your budget, housing costs vary drastically across the UK. Major cities like London command sky-high rents, while smaller towns and rural areas offer more breathing room. Research average rent prices, council tax rates, and utilities costs to get a realistic picture.
  • Transportation: Getting around to places can be a significant expense. Consider public transport options, car ownership costs (fuel, insurance, parking), and cycling/walking feasibility. Weigh the convenience of a well-connected city against the potential savings of a car-dependent area.
  • Groceries and Essentials: Food, clothing, and everyday items can add up. Compare supermarket prices, explore local farmers' markets, and consider budget-friendly brands. Remember, your spending habits also play a role!
  • Taxes: Council tax and income tax rates differ across regions. Factor these into your calculations to better understand your disposable income.

Safety & Cost Effectiveness

While affordability is paramount, safety adds another crucial layer to the cost-of-living equation. Consider these aspects:

  • Crime rates: High crime rates can increase security costs, such as home alarms, insurance premiums, and personal safety measures. Living in a safe neighbourhood can significantly reduce these expenses and provide peace of mind, making it a worthwhile investment.
  • Healthcare: Quality healthcare is essential for overall well-being. Cities with well-equipped hospitals and affordable healthcare options can significantly reduce your financial burden in case of illness or injury.
  • Quality of life: Feeling secure and comfortable in your environment contributes to overall well-being, reducing stress and potentially lowering healthcare costs. A safe and supportive community can also foster a sense of belonging, enhancing your quality of life.

Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in the UK

Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in the UK

Living in the UK doesn't have to break the bank. This list explores 10 fantastic cities where you can enjoy a thriving atmosphere without burning a hole in your pocket.

1. Sunderland, North England

Nestled by the North Sea, Sunderland offers picturesque beaches, friendly locals, and a surprisingly low cost of living. Rent averages around £450 per month, and essentials like groceries and transportation are affordable. Safety-wise, crime rates are well below the national average, making it a peaceful haven.

2. Hull, North England

Hull, a vibrant port city with a rich maritime history, is another budget-friendly haven. Rent averages around £450 per month, and you can grab a delicious fish and chips for under £5. While some areas have higher crime rates, the city council has invested heavily in regeneration projects, making Hull a safer and more attractive place to live.

3. Bradford, North England

Affordability, character, and a touch of urban grit – Bradford offers a unique student experience without the hefty price tag. It has budget-friendly rents, a lively student scene, and a multicultural tapestry. While safety might not be its strongest suit, community initiatives, and ongoing development rapidly transform the city.

4. Stoke-on-Trent, Midlands

Stoke-on-Trent, the pottery capital of England, offers more than just beautiful ceramics. Boasting a thriving arts scene, scenic parks, and a low cost of living, it's a hidden gem for budget-minded travellers. Renting an apartment here is around £400 per month, and the crime rate is significantly lower than the national average.


5. Derby, Midlands

Derby, a city steeped in history, delights with its affordability, vibrant nightlife, and community spirit. Bustling markets line the River Derwent, while grand cathedral spires pierce the skyline. Rent averages around £450 per month, and the city boasts beautiful parks, museums, and a lively cultural scene. Crime rates are low, and the friendly locals create a welcoming atmosphere.

6. Lancaster, North West England

Escape the urban sprawl and embrace the rolling hills of Lancaster. This picturesque town offers stunning scenery, affordability that's music to your ears, and a safety record that puts your mind at ease. The lively student population keeps things vibrant while the historical Lancaster Castle whispers tales of medieval intrigue.

7. Swansea, Wales

Swansea is a stunning coastal city with a welcoming atmosphere and the title of "cheapest place to live in the UK for international students." Hike up the scenic Swansea Bay, explore the vibrant waterfront area, or catch a rugby match at the Liberty Stadium. Safety is good, and the city's student scene adds to the friendly vibe.

8. Liverpool, North England

This iconic city, the birthplace of the Beatles, offers a vibrant music scene, historical landmarks, and surprisingly affordable living. Rent averages around £500 per month, and while certain areas have higher crime rates, the city centre is generally safe and well-policed.

9. Glasgow, Scotland

Scotland's largest city is a haven for student affordability, with a thriving nightlife scene and a rich cultural tapestry. Explore the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, wander through the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, or catch a gig at the legendary Barrowland Ballroom. Safety has improved in recent years, and Glasgow's unique charm and friendly environment make it an extraordinary place to live.

10. Sheffield, North England

Steel City Sheffield surprises with its affordability and green spaces. Discover the vibrant independent scene at Kommune, explore the lush Sheffield Botanical Gardens, or catch a show at the Crucible Theatre. Safety has significantly improved, and the city's street art scene and independent cafes offer endless charm.

Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis

Side-by-side comparison


Cost of Living Index

Crime Rate 

Bradford, West Yorkshire



Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire



Belfast, Northern Ireland



Hull, East Yorkshire



Sunderland, North East England



Swansea, Wales



Blackpool, Lancashire



Derby, Midlands



Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire



Aberdeen, Scotland



Additional factors to consider

  • Your budget: Define your monthly costs for rent/mortgage, groceries, transportation, etc.
  • Your career: Research job opportunities in your field in different locations.
  • Lifestyle preferences: Do you prefer urban excitement or a slower pace? City buzz or countryside tranquillity?
  • Family needs: Consider schools, childcare facilities, and family-friendly activities.

Must Read:

Tips for Moving to the Cheapest Areas in the UK

Adjusting to a New, More Cost-Effective Area

  • Embrace local activities and hobbies: Explore free or low-cost options like hiking, cycling, community events, libraries, and open mic nights.
  • Cook at home: Embrace local ingredients and budget-friendly recipes. Consider joining or forming a food co-op for bulk discounts.
  • Become a DIY expert: Learn basic repairs and maintenance to avoid expensive calls to professionals.
  • Utilize public transport and cycling: Ditch the car and walk, bike, or take buses and trains. Consider travel passes for frequent commuters.
  • Get to know your neighbours: Build relationships for local knowledge, borrow tools, and potentially share resources.
  • Focus on experiences over possessions: Prioritize spending time with friends and family over expensive outings or material purchases.

Relocation Tips for Students and International Students

  • Research student accommodation options: Explore university halls, shared houses, and private flats to find the best value for money.
  • Utilize student discounts: Take advantage of discounts on everything from transport to meals and entertainment.
  • Work part-time: Consider student-friendly jobs on campus or in the local community to boost your income.
  • Connect with student societies and clubs: Build a social network, find support, and access discounts on events and activities.
  • Learn basic budgeting and money management: Plan your expenses, track your spending, and avoid unnecessary debt.
  • For international students: Familiarize yourself with UK visa regulations, banking systems, and cultural nuances. Consider joining international student associations for support and guidance.

Finding Cheap and Safe Housing

  • Look outside city centres: Consider exploring smaller towns, suburbs, or villages for lower rents and house prices.
  • Utilize online portals and property finder websites: Set budget filters and compare options carefully.
  • Be flexible with your accommodation type: Consider shared housing, studio apartments, or house-sharing to split costs.
  • Research the neighbourhood: Check crime rates, amenities, and public transport links before committing.
  • When calculating your budget, check for hidden costs: Factor in bills, council tax, and potential agency fees.
  • Don't rush into the first option: Visit properties in person, ask questions, and negotiate if possible.

frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Which city in UK has the lowest cost of living?

Determining the absolute cheapest city in the UK depends on specific needs and priorities. However, cities like Hull, Bradford, Sunderland, Durham, and Belfast consistently rank among the most affordable.

Which part of UK has cheapest houses?

The North East of England and Scotland typically boast the most affordable housing options, with areas like County Durham, Northumberland, and South Ayrshire offering houses at significantly lower prices than the South.

Which is the cheapest place in UK for international students?

It also depends on factors like student lifestyle and chosen university. However, cities like Belfast, Sunderland, Durham, and Stirling offer relatively low living costs and affordable student accommodation options.


While the cheapest place to live in UK offers attractive affordability, remember that budget-friendliness comes with trade-offs. Some may have limited job opportunities, fewer amenities, or a slower pace of life compared to larger cities. Ultimately, the ideal location depends on your priorities and desired lifestyle.

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