Cost of living in France and the UK: Where is it cheaper to live?

Living in France vs UK

If you’re living in the UK, the upcoming Brexit might make you consider moving your business from there to France, especially since the exact circumstances of the Brexit are still very blurry. In this case, there are many things to take into consideration, not the least of which is the cost of living. Indeed, this is going to determine if you’re going to be able to enjoy the same quality of life in France, and even how much French consumers would be willing to spend on your product. As such, how do these two countries compare against one another?

The UK and France as a whole

If you just look at prices supermarkets, it’s easy to think that the UK is cheaper than France. Indeed, overall, groceries and consumer prices are lower in the UK than in France, and by more than 10%.

However, that wouldn’t be completely fair; indeed, rents also need to take into account. Considering how rents are 15% higher in the UK, they certainly influence the score quite a bit, as expenses that almost everybody has to pay. If your company is a store or needs a place to have stocks of your product, then it’s all the more important to pay attention to.
Nevertheless, even when taking rent into account, France is still slightly more expensive than the UK. The difference is negligible, however.

Comparing the capitals: Paris and London

Obviously, the prices can vary quite a bit from city to city. And considering how, if you’re planning on moving from one country to the other, the capital is probably your first choice, it’s worth going in-depth comparing them.

Here, observations stay mostly the same, aside from the fact that, this time, the rent is significantly higher in London; specifically, rent prices are 50% higher than in France. This is enough to have consumer prices including rent be higher in London than in Paris. Because of rent alone, you would need over 5 000€ to enjoy the same standard of life London than what you would get in Paris with only 4 500 €.


Overall, the prices between these two countries are surprisingly close. They’re higher in France as a whole but lower in Paris specifically when comparing to London. Prices in everyday life are higher in Paris, but the rent is so high in London that it undermines that completely.

As such, if you’re paying rent for your company or for yourself in London, it’s safe to assume that it would be cheaper to live in France; albeit not by that much.