So you want to start a new life in Oz, but you want to know how expensive it is to live in Australia. Well, you’re in luck! We’re here to breakdown the cost of living in Australia and to help you feel at home down under.
We caught up with Mairi Macleod – a Scottish native who has spent that past 3 years living in Melbourne – to ask for her personal experience on emigrating to and living in Australia.
Reasons To Move To Australia
“I first went to Australia on holiday, with a group of friends who were looking to emigrate. I wasn’t thinking about moving there but I was won over by the exceptional standard of living. Melbourne had all the cool things that Scotland has to offer, but much better weather. I loved being able to have dinner on the beach!
“As a UK citizen, getting an Australian visa was generally easier and more affordable than getting a visa for America or Canada, making it a convenient choice. I felt that the lifestyle was also better.
“In Australia’s cities, working days are generally shorter and you are paid more for them. Employers encourage you to be active, with later starts and longer lunches for leisure breaks. Good food is readily available, and as such, people are generally healthier and happier.”
Australian Visa Costs, As An Expat
Depending on the nature of your move to and time in Australia, you may opt for a working holiday visa for young workers (aged 18-30) or a skilled migration visa. Working holiday visas start at $440 ($239.42), where skilled visas range in price. The skilled – independent (subclass 189) (points-tested) visa starts at $3,670 (£1996.26). This useful tool can help you estimate the cost of your Australian visa.
Average Salary In Australia
The national minimum wage in Australia is currently $18.29/hour (£9.95/hour). This is comparable to the national minimum wage in the UK, which stands at £7.83/hour.
When looking at take-home pay, the average net salary after tax is $4088.13/month (£2,224.76) in London and $4277.05/month (£2327.57) in Melbourne.
Housing Costs In Australia
Housing in Australia is much more expensive than the UK. Gathering sufficient funds for a deposit before securing an Australian salary can challenging. Whilst expats and travellers with little or no history in Australia can find it difficult to get into the rental market at all.
Many landlords and letting agencies insist on Australian references as part of the rental process, which can be difficult to acquire if you’ve never lived in Australia before. Good references are so important that without them, your rent may be increased.
Furthermore, the Australian rental market is less protected than in the UK. Without the need for HMO licenses, you can find yourself living with a number of people if you aren’t careful.
Average Rent – One Bed Apartment
Average Rent – Three Bed Apartment
Living Costs In Australia
Transport In Australia
Public transport is much more reliable in Australia than it is in the UK. Transport services in major cities are well-kept and very frequent. The cost of a one way ticket is very similar in the UK and Australia, averaging $4.46 (£2.43) in London and $4.10 (£2.23) in Melbourne. However monthly travel passes are much cheaper in Australia than the UK, averaging $235.37 (£128.16) in London and $146.02 (£79.51) in Melbourne.
Groceries In Australia
Supermarkets are renowned for being expensive in Australia. When compared with London, grocery prices are 21.39% more expensive in Melbourne, 23.46% higher in Sydney and 17.25% more costly in Perth. For this reason, eating out is highly popular, and shopping in cheaper local fruit and vegetable markets is advised. Alcohol isn’t available to buy in supermarkets and must be purchased in separate bottle shops, where the comparative cost is slightly more expensive than the UK.
Eating Out In Australia
Thanks to more affordable restaurant prices and better weather, Australia enjoys a big ‘foodie’ culture. When compared with London, the cost of eating out is 23.01% less expensive in Melbourne, 29.22% cheaper in Sydney and 9.61% less costly in Perth.
Cost Of Moving To Australia
If you are travelling light, you may choose to start your Australian adventure with nothing more than a suitcase or two. Long-haul flights often offer a generous baggage allowance and can be a good way to start.
However, if you are moving more permanently across the world, you will want a removals company you can trust. Removal Services Scotland offers a reliable, door-to-door international removals service. Your treasured belongings will be safely transported by shipping container, paying only for the space you need. Our full-service includes assisting with customs clearance and marine insurance if required.
Contact Removal Services Scotland for an International Removals Quote.
Budget For Australia
When considering how expensive it is to live in Australia, you’ll need to have at least $5000 set aside just to get into the country. On top of this, you’ll want to be prepared to sustain yourself through your job search. Be aware that this can take some time for UK expats, who are sometimes seen as ‘unreliable’ employees (thanks to the many British travellers who fail to consistently turn up for work).
Check that you have the appropriate medical cover too, either through Medicare (the Australian NHS equivalent) which can be free, or through your own private medical insurance.
Is Australia Better Than The UK?
Australia offers an incredible standard of life in its diverse and multicultural cities. Each suburb offers such variety, it can feel as though you are in a different country. With exceptional weather, healthy lifestyles and good work/life balance, it is true that people are generally much happier in Australia.
When asked, Mairi confirms that if her family and friends weren’t so far away, she would move back to Australia tomorrow. Though she is quick to add that many Australians are desperate to move to Scotland, so maybe it is a case of the grass is always greener!
DISCLAIMER: This article has been produced for guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Copyright © 2020 Removal Services Scotland
About The Author
Mairi Macleod is a fashion and textiles professional from Scotland. She emigrated to Australia in 2015, living in Melbourne for 3 years before travelling Australia’s east coast from Sydney to Brisbane, and returning to the UK.