It's Officially Cheaper For Brits To Move To Europe Than Live At Home

A cup of coffee is 220% pricier in the UK than Spain and Portugal – and that's only for starters.
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We’ve all thought about it: packing up everything and moving somewhere sunnier, more spacious, a bit more scenic.

Well, now you’ve got another incentive – it would probably be cheaper, too.

UK-based property experts, Your Overseas Home, compared the cost of everyday necessities, setting up a proper home abroad and living there long-term in seven of the most popular European expat destinations with current life in the UK.

In their new Overseas Cost of Living Index, the experts found the most popular countries among people looking for a fresh start overseas were Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece.

And when the researchers calculated the average cost for the country as a whole (rather than breaking it down by region), the UK still come out as the most expensive.

Still – it’s hardly surprising to see the UK sitting in top spot.

The country is on the cusp of a recession, and inflation is at a 40-year-high with a cost of living crisis driven by global fuel prices.

While these are not factors unique to the UK, it seems the country has passed most of these increased costs onto the consumer, unlike some of its popular European neighbours.

Italy is the the cheapest place to live long-term (as long as you’re not spending like you’re on holiday). It has the cheapest groceries going when it comes to milk, bread, eggs, fruit, vegetables and toiletries.

One basket filled with 17 basic items come to £48.82, according to Your Overseas Home.

Buying the same items in the UK is almost 40% more expensive than that, with fish, chocolate and gin more than double the price in Italy – we do have the cheaper lettuce and pineapple prices though (yay?).

UK annual inflation rate
PA Graphics via PA Graphics/Press Association Images
UK annual inflation rate

Even in France, fish costs less than in the UK, with Brits paying more than 300% the prices than our European counterparts.

Italy is also the cheapest place to live if you compare electricity, decorating supplies, furniture and electrics, as well as the cost of hiring a local cleaner to the UK and the other top overseas destinations in Europe.

Greece, Spain and Portugal were the least expensive places to socialise and have fun too, with the UK again taking the most costly spot, followed by Germany.

After all, the average cup of coffee costs £3.20 in the UK, but only £1.03 in Portugal and Spain. That’s a difference of 220%...

And while Greece has the highest fuel prices, but it actually has the lowest overall travel costs when the car hire and train tickets are counted too.

Italy is also the cheapest place to get the train, although the most expensive place to buy a pack of paracetamol (It is 29p in the UK, and £2.59 in Italy).

Chief editor of, Christopher Nye, said: ”We know that thousands of Britons are considering moving abroad – more so than ever! UK natives are looking to jump ship to avoid high energy costs and never-ending price rises.”

But Nye also warned there is a risk of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” as these are just a handful of average prices, not a sum of every miscellaneous cost and prices have increased in the eurozone, too.