Cost of Living in Aberdeen

While the Granite City is one of the UK’s cheaper cities, it is still relatively pricey compared to many other expat destinations. The Mercer Cost of Living survey for 2018 ranked Aberdeen as the 134th most expensive city out of 209 cities surveyed worldwide. According to these rankings, Aberdeen is the most expensive city in Scotland.

The good news, though, is that expats will likely find that the cost of living in Aberdeen is matched by their higher earning potential and supplemented considerably by the city’s social infrastructure.

Cost of accommodation in Aberdeen

The cost of rent in Aberdeen is one of the highest in Scotland, outdone only by Edinburgh. This is largely a result of increasing demand for property while very few new homes are being built.

As is the case with most cities, accommodation near the city centre is usually more expensive than in the suburbs.

Accommodation will likely be the largest expense facing expats moving to Aberdeen, so they should try to negotiate an adequate housing allowance in their employment contract to ease this burden.

Cost of food and entertainment in Aberdeen

Most grocery stores and supermarkets in Aberdeen have standardised pricing across the UK, which are generally reasonable. Some budget supermarkets, like Aldi and Lidl, offer many cheap off-brand versions of products that are surprisingly good quality.

Entertainment can be expensive, especially if expats go out fairly often. Alcohol is heavily taxed in the UK, making for some of the most expensive beer prices in the world. Cigarettes are also particularly expensive.

Cost of transportation in Aberdeen

Transport in Aberdeen is generally more expensive than most, if not all, Scottish cities. However, it is reliable and efficient. Expats can get weekly or monthly bus passes to save money and make the most of the extensive bus network.

Taxis in Aberdeen are cheaper than in London but remain some of the priciest in Scotland.

Cost of living chart for Aberdeen

(Note that prices may vary depending on product and service provider and the list below shows average prices for October 2018)

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

GBP 1,200

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

GBP 1,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

GBP 700

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

GBP 500

Food and drink

Dozen eggs


Milk (1 litre)


Rice (1kg)

GBP 1.30

Loaf of white bread


Chicken breasts (1kg)


Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

GBP 10

Eating out

Big Mac meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

GBP 1.50


GBP 2.50

Bottle of beer (local)


Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

GBP 30


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

GBP 0.10

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

GBP 25

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

GBP 160


Taxi rate/km


Bus fare in the city centre

GBP 2.50

Gasoline (per litre)

GBP 1.20

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