How much money to live in London?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Feb 12, 2008 12:03 AM Last Post By: moving2london
Feb 3, 2008 9:08 PM
How much money to live in London?Hi all
Im coming to London end of the month to live. Planning on getting a job after 2 months of being there. Have somewhere to stay so bond is not going to be an issue. How much money do you think I will need - bearing in mind half of the 2 month stay with be with relatives, so no rent or food to buy. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.....nervous aussie girl!!
Feb 4, 2008 2:17 AM
1See this post from the FAQ page to give you an idea of living costs in London. Have you also tried doing a search on this branch? It's a popular question that is asked often.
What is your budget? Are you planning to do a lot of sightseeing or day trips in those 2 months? Do you plan to visit the pub or socialise frequently?
How much money you need depends on what you plan to do.
Feb 6, 2008 6:25 AM
2You can (just) get by on about £18k-20k per annum in London. The average salary is said to be around £29k but don't expect anything near that figure if you intend on working in a bar or other retail hourly rate temp job.
If you're looking at moving into a share house in London you should typically expect to pay around £80-£110 per week for a double room including all bills which is usually something like elec, water, gas, TV, council tax, Cable TV, internet, phone.
Depending on who you're moving in with you could expect to pay 4 weeks rent in advance as well as 4 weeks bond. Typically though you're normally only expected to pay the bond upfront.
If you're thinking about getting a one bedroom fully furnished place on your own, look for a minimum of £180-200 per week in London, plus all those bills so probably about £250-270 per week all in. Upfront you can expect to pay 4-6 weeks bond plus a month in advance depending on the real estate agent and/or landlord.
There's a myriad of things to consider when determining "how much you need" to live in London. Travel is extortionately expensive especially if you work in Zone one (central London). For a monthly travel pass you're going to pay about £95 to go from Zone 2/3 to Zone 1 - as you can imagine it gets more expensive as you travel from further out.
Costs come down to lifestyle, if you go out every weekend and hit the clubs, it's going to take a hellova lot out of your bank account. If you travel over to Europe that'll also hit your pocket, so you need to find a balance in order to live as well as travel, because if you don't, you'll be like the other 85% of Australian's and Kiwi's who haven't seen the light of day outside the M25 (the big motorway around London).
Good luck, don't be too nervous! Once you get settled, a job, a bank account, a place to live and some friends, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. And stay away from the Walkabout pubs if you know what's good for you!
Check out the following resources before your move to get an idea of what you need to do and where to find it;
- Very popular site for finding jobs, accommodation and a place to live
- As above.
- A popular (free) magazine found throughout London at Tube and Train stations, lots of useful info as well as Aussie/Kiwi/Saffa get togethers.
National Insurance Numbers
- It's like your Tax File Number... technically you need one to work, best to do it.
Change your Licence
- You must legally do so after 12 months. You can exchange when you get back to Oz so do it before your Aussie one expires.
- These guys are probably the easiest service to help you get yourself setup... opening a bank account has never been so hard until you land in the UK.
Feb 6, 2008 7:06 AM
3Scaryant, you don't have to change over to a UK licence after 12mths, only if you wish to continue driving legally in the UK. I always advise people to think carefully about changing over if they are not going to be living in the UK long term.
OP, as you will be new to the UK, changing your licence requires going into a DVLA office to have your photo verified. You then hand over your Oz licence, passport and £45 fee which are all sent to DVLA HQ in Swansea for processing. It can take up to 6 weeks for them to return everything to you. This means 6 weeks without any photo ID (unless you have a 3rd form of accepted photo ID), which may be a problem particularly if you plan to do any travel in that time.
The process means that the Oz licence is surrendered, the DVLA will send it straight back to the Australian authority that issued it, who will stamp "surrendered" on your file. You won't get the licence back.
Upon return to Australia, you will then need to exchange your UK licence for a new Australian licence (they won't give your old one back), which will involve paying for another 10yr licence.
Feb 7, 2008 2:23 AM
4Well of course you're right, you don't have to. I omitted the important part which was "legally if you want to drive any vehicle in the UK" which IMO is pretty important if you are intending to stay on.
You could try to drive on it after 12 months as I'm sure quite a few people do, but if you are caught, have an accident damaging the car or worse, injure someone - your insurance will be void and you could wind up in court charged with driving without a valid licence and other offences. I think you'd agree that the benefits of changing over far outweigh the benefits of not.
Changing your licence does not require you to go into the DVLA as #4 suggests.
You can go to any post office and pick up the form, fill it out and send off the necessary documentation and the £45.
You do not have to send your passport off providing you have a JP (Justice of the Peace) verify the passport photograph you send. If you can't be bothered with that (like me) then you simply send your passport off with your licence application, this allows them to verify the the photo you sent is actually you. If you choose you can pay the addition £5 P&H to insure it in the post and have it sent 1st Class, Next Day Delivery.
They do say that it can take up to 6 weeks, for myself and three of my friends it took only 2 weeks to get it all back. They send the licence back to your home address as well as you passport of course, but the passport comes separately a day or so later.
The fee of £45 is for the licence itself, which is valid for ten years and as for paying for another licence when you return to Australia... big whoop... with all the pounds you saved and take back, that Aussie licence will only cost you half as much!
Feb 7, 2008 2:55 AM
5You can go to any post office and pick up the form, fill it out and send off the necessary documentation and the £45.
When did you apply for your licence? Was is recently? If someone hasn't been in the UK for two years & has someone who has known them in the UK for two years, they can't just go down to the Post Office & send off their application. A JP can't verify your photograph unless they have known you for two years.
You have to go to a DVLA office.
See here for further information.
As for driving in the UK, all depends on what the OP is planning to do. I know of several WHVers who never drove the entire time they were in the UK. So it all depends on what they want to do. Telling someone they legally have to change their licence after 12mths without qualifying the statement is misleading.
As for all the costs, I'm just making people aware of what they are in for. It is nice to know what all the little things are, as they can add up. Especially if you're living in London & pulling beers (rather than working in finance). £45 for a licence exchange grates when you find out a European licence holder can do it for free! The UK licence may be valid for 10yrs, but what use is that if you're only in the UK for 2yrs? Upon return to Australia, you have to stop driving on a UK licence within 3mths anyway.
Feb 7, 2008 3:38 AM
6I can assure you with 100% certainty that you do not have to go in to a DVLA office, I did not go anywhere near a DVLA office when I applied for my licence last October. I sent everything to them by post. It states very clearly on the paperwork, if you don't have a JP verify your photo you MUST send in your passport with the photo for ID verification.
The OP is not a WHV'er, they hold a British Passport which is why I brought it up in the first place. I agree that a lot of WHV'ers probably never drive, but if the OP is re intending to stay on indefinitely it's a nice option to have a valid licence in the event you need or want to drive. You can see a whole lot more of this country if you can drive.
I wasn't intending to mislead, I omitted the extra information accidentally, why would I want to purposely mislead the OP? My intention is clearly to help them! In any case, what I have clarified is not misleading - they legally have to change their licence over if they intend on driving after 12 months of residing in the UK. It's the law... and I quote;
"If you are the holder of an ordinary driving licence (car, moped, motorcycle entitlement) and provided your licence remains valid, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown on your licence for up to 12 months from the time you became resident. To ensure continuous driving entitlement a provisional GB licence must have been obtained and a driving test(s) passed before the 12-month period elapses. If you obtain a provisional licence during this period, you are not subject to provisional licence conditions eg displaying 'L' plates or being supervised by a qualified driver or being precluded from motorways."
Rules for exchange
The following conditions must be met before a licence can be granted in exchange for a GB one:
* you must be normally resident in GB and have a permanent address here
* if you are a community driving licence holder applying for a British test at the same time as exchanging your licence and you have moved to GB having recently been permanently resident in another state of the EC or EEA, you must have been normally resident in GB for 185 days in the 12 months prior to your application for a full driving licence
* licences from the designated countries must be current at the time the application for exchange is received at DVLA: licences from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands are acceptable for exchange if issued after 01/04/91.Those issued in any EC or EEA country may be valid for exchange even if they have expired
* you must surrender your foreign licence which will be returned to the issuing authority
* international driving permits are not exchangeable
* test pass certificates are not exchangeable except for those issued in Northern Ireland or Gibraltar when the test was passed within two years of the date of the licence application
* Japanese licences must be accompanied by an official translation, available for a fee from the Consulate General of Japan at 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1V 9FN or 2 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7HW
* Republic of Korea licences must be accompanied by an official translation from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea at 60 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ
* motorcycle licences from the Republic of Korea and Faroe Islands are not exchangeable
Feb 7, 2008 3:43 AM
Feb 7, 2008 8:43 PM
Feb 8, 2008 12:55 AM
Feb 8, 2008 1:51 AM
10I did actually read your post and answered it in my #3 post where I also went further to give you some information on things you've probably not even considered let alone know to plan for.
The ensuing conversation Isafjordur was just a little side track from that post. If you don't find it in the least helpful then that's unfortunate, but that's what happens on open forums you get all sorts of information.
Unfortunately for you, it looks like most people aren't interested in answering your post because it's been asked a hundred times before and it's really a very subjective question based on your personal situation ie what do you do for work, your lifestyle, your travel plans, how much you eat, how much you drink, etc, etc.
You need to really do your own research, use the links above and find out how much you might earn on average, find out what it will cost to rent a place that suits your tastes and find out how much it will cost to travel on public transport etc. All the information is out there, but average costs of living will vary depending on your personal circumstances.
Feb 12, 2008 12:03 AM
11yo nervous aussie girl,
honestly it comes down to how much you're going to go out and about as this will determine your depletion of funds.
first you'll prob need a weekly travel card, 25+ quid p/wk, then if you have friends in London and go out, your looking at 30-40 quid a night including drinks and food. And of course comes the temptation of shopping.
bus tours if your keen are 20 quid. then you have london eye and all that jazz.
the month by yourself without a job will be the big hit.
bond for a new place, 4 weeks rent + then another 4 weeks upfront for most places. so about 1000 quid.
then food and drinking travel etc on top of that.
to be comfortable id like to have 5k before you rely on your job.
But what i really suggest is checking out www.moving2london.com
It's a free guide on moving to and living in london and can help with getting accommodation, jobs, transport, money saving tips and going out etc.
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