Cost of Living in Scotland

paying more because of council tax overlap
Image source: Pxhere / License: Public Domain Image

Moving to Scotland may actually save you more money than you think. The cost of living in London is 44% more expensive compared to Edinburgh. In general, housing and transportation prices are cheaper in Scotland. 

Home relocation can be an overwhelming task, especially when it comes to large families. Some of the things to take into consideration are the distance, the volume of your possessions and any other additional tasks we perform on your behalf. Moving to the Scottish isles would be costlier than relocating to the mainland, simply because there are supplementary ferry taxes that need to be taken into account.

Bank accounts

Since both countries are in the UK, you are free to open a basic bank account when you move to Scotland. You can use such an account for basic functions. Here’s what you need to open it:

  • Proof of identity
  • A recent photo
  • Proof of address within the UK with a form of a utility bill from the past three months

The earliest you can open a Scottish bank account even without having a work offer yet is three months. After six or twelve months you have the option to upgrade your account to a “current’’ one.

Accommodation cost in Scotland

Deciding on whether to choose temporary or permanent accommodation is another important part of the removals process.

The Scottish system represents a bidding war between all interested parties. While in England you usually expect an asking price, which you can either meet or negotiate to be lowered, in Scotland, you have the “Offers Offers”. This means that there is a starting price and you have to offer a higher price and enter a bidding match with other interested parties. If there are several serious bidders, a closing date might be announced to start gathering the best offers from each party.

Monthly rent for 900 ft2 *(furnished – expensive area)£2,557£1,290
Monthly rent for 900 ft2 *(furnished – normal area)£1,821£877
Monthly rent for 480 ft2 (*furnished – expensive area)£1,794£923
Monthly rent for 480 ft2 (*furnished – normal area)£1,311£621

Buying a property in Scotland

Although there are many differences between England and Scotland when it comes to purchasing a property, the Scottish system provides more safety nets to the buyers. One significant disadvantage of the English system is that there is no legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller until an exchange has been made. In contrast, the purchase process in Scotland is done through missives, such as the offer and counter-offer letters, which are legally binding.

If you’ve opted to buy a property rather than rent one, the process is relatively simple:

  • Hire a property solicitor once you find the perfect property
  • Arrange a viewing and if you like the place, request access to the Home Report. It consists of a single survey, a property questionnaire and an energy report.
  • Set up a mortgage. The lender may need to see the Home Report in this case
  • Ask your solicitor to “note interest”, which would allow you to learn the end date for the offers, as well as any other ongoing developments
  • Make an offer through your property solicitor. Your offer can include conditions related to the date of purchase, the price, the title, etc.
  • The seller’s solicitor addresses your offer or makes a counter-offer.

So, how long does it take to buy a house in Scotland? The whole process takes approximately six to seven weeks, provided there aren’t any other factors to delay the process.

Cost of utility bills

Here is a breakdown of the monthly cost of utilities based on the number of people living in your household. Keep in mind that for families with children the below-listed expenditures do not apply. 

Utilities (gas, heating, electricity) for 900 ft2 flat£151£150
Utilities (gas, heating, electricity) for 480 ft2 flat£136£74
Internet for 1 month£24£22
Prepaid mobile tariff for 1 min£0.14£0.09

Transportation expenses

Buses and trams are the most common forms of transportation to get around in Scottish cities. Glasgow is the only city with a subway system. 

1/4 gallon of gas£1.32£1.28
Public transport for a monthly card£141£54
Internet for 1 month£24£22
Taxi trip – basic tariff for 8km£18£18

For travelling long distances between cities if you do not have your own car, you can take advantage of a ride sharing app called BlaBlaCar. You split a car drive with another person and it’s not as cheap as the bus but it’s faster and more comfortable. It’s also pretty safe to use it. 

For smart financing, you should carefully choose where to live in Scotland.

Cost of necessities

In addition to the expenses, you can’t escape from like rent, utilities and transportation, the other most important and unavoidable monthly costs are those of food and personal care. Here are two tables to show you how much some of the basic foods and other necessities cost in Scotland.

Food costs in Scotland

Food is one of the main monthly costs for every household. The prices in London and Edingburgh are similar, but still, Edingburgh is a bit cheaper. 

Basic lunch menu£10£10
Basic dinner out for 2£32£35
Combo meal in a fast-food restaurant£6£5.42
3-course dinner for 2 *(in an expat area)£64£50
Boneless chicken breast for 1 lb.£3.94£3.72
Whole fat milk for 2.2 lb£0.93£0.83
A carton of 12 large eggs£2.85£5.24
16 oz. of local cheese£4.66£5.70
2 lb. of potatoes£0.85£0.81
16 oz. of domestic beer£1.87£1.96

Attire and personal care

Other monthly or bi-monthly expenditures you can expect to have when living in Scotland:

Gym membership for 1 month£65£40
2 cinema tickets£24£20
2 theatre tickets *(best seats)£152£83
1 pair of jeans£71£68
1 pair of sport shoes£71£76
1 summer dress in a high street store£32£24
Source: Expatistan website


There is no definite answer to this question because each house removals job is different. So, the international removals price is unique for each particular move.

Despite the many similarities with life in England, there are some very striking differences. Regardless of the reason why you’re moving from England to Scotland and the lifestyle you want, some of them might be just right up your alley.

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