New Zealand and Australia have the lowest cost of living

A survey by Foreign Currency Direct reveals that the cheapest places for British expatriates is Australia and New Zealand, where the cost of living is one third lower than in the UK.

The study compared the cost of various purchases commonly made by a British person living overseas. New Zealand is the cheapest, with a cost of living 33 per cent lower than in the UK. Australia is not far behind, offering a cost of living 22 per cent lower than in the UK.

Some typical price differences quoted in the survey were:

Ford car

Australia - £9,338

New Zealand - £9,401

UK - £12,866

Half a dozen eggs

Australia - 84p

New Zealand - 70p

UK - £1.61

Starbucks cappuccino

Australia - £1.10

New Zealand - £1.28

UK - £2.12

British residents in Europe are paying 10% more on purchases compared with September 2008. The cost of living within the Eurozone is now higher than the UK, with France being the most expensive destination for British expatriates, a substantial 34% more expensive than the UK. Italy and Cyprus remain cheaper with the cost of living 14% and 8% cheaper than the UK respectively.

The survey covered the top ten countries where Britons would most like to own a property. The countries concerned were New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Greece, USA, Spain, Portugal and France.

Peter Ellis, chief executive of Foreign Currency Direct, comments: “When considering a move abroad, Britons should not only consider the quality of life and cost of property overseas, they should also be aware of significant variations in the cost of living.  If your main source of income is in sterling, the cost of items overseas can vary significantly with exchange rates.”

Potential expatriates should also check out what they will get from state healthcare and what they need to insure either locally or with an international health insurance.

New Zealand health care is less sophisticated than in Australia and some New Zealanders do have to travel to Australia for specialist care on cancer and weight loss treatment.


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New Zealand and Australia have the lowest cost of living