Cost of Living in Australia

Aerial View of Fremantle

Aerial View of Fremantle

Cost of Living in Australia

We often asked how much it costs to live in Australia – particularly about the costs in Perth & Brisbane.

Perth has picked up something of a reputation for being an expensive city. Not only for apartment / house rental but also for food, transport and going out. This is not entirely fair as some things are cheaper over there than they are in the UK or Ireland. Nevertheless some areas of expenditure like house rental & eating out can be more expensive than the majority of the UK (these costs are more on a par with the south east of England) .

On balance though, with higher incomes and lower taxes than the UK / Ireland, you’ll be better off in Australia than here. Your income is likely to be around £150,000 per annum and tax rates are about 5% less than the UK – See note at the bottom of this page on Taxation

Here is some more detailed information on what it costs to live in Australia in general and Perth & Brisbane in particular:


Outside of Perth Central Business District (CBD) a 3 bedroom house will cost from $450-$650 per week.  4 bedrooms will be around $700 per week. For this, you’ll get a decent sized house in good area, which is close to amenities

Apartments are generally only in the CBD and these can be expensive.

These sites will give you the latest information on apartment & house rental in Perth and across Australia:


Note: when you use their search facility and you put in “Perth”, it gives properties only in the central post code area of WA6000. If you want to find properties in the area near where you’ll be working use the following codes:

North of the Swan River: Joondalup, WA6027, Kinross, WA6028

South of Swan River: Yangebup, WA6164, Maddington, WA6109, Rockingham WA6168

East of the CBD: Midland, WA6056

Brisbane property is about $50 to $100 per week less expensive

Brisbane specific:

Perth specific:


Assume gas to be about $30 per month for 2 bedrooms. $60 for 4

Electricity: $120 per month for 3 bedrooms, $150 for 4

Council rates: these should be included in the rental agreement – but best to double check

Water / Sewerage: these should be included in the rental agreement – but best to double check

Insurance: $40 per month

Phone / broadband: $100 per month (assuming calls back to the UK etc)

TV: $50 per month for a basic subscription

Total per month: $340

Total housing costs per month:

3 bedroom: $1,950 rental plus $340 utilities – $2,290 (£1,500)

4 bedroom: $3,033 rental plus $400 utilities – $3,433 (£2,230)

If you want to buy a house, mortgages are available and a typical interest rate is 6.15%

Food etc

Prices fluctuate quite widely according to local harvests / local demand. Plus there are often also lots of offers available via the supermarkets. So it’s hard to generalize on costs. However, we would expect you to spend around $200 to £270 per week for a family of 4 (£130 to £175)

To compare specific prices, have a look at these two sites:

Eating out / Takeaways

Eating out costs are quite expensive compared to the UK – more akin to London or Gastro pub prices. Typically, you’ll pay around $30 per head for a two course dinner.

Here’re the menus for a few restaurants:





Takeaway pizza is roughly $13 to $16 for a 13in  pizza in Perth:


Cars are more expensive than the UK. On the other hand, fuel is cheaper

A typical 2 year old VW Golf will cost about $22,000 (£14,300) in Australia. The same car in the UK is about £10,000. However, locally built cars – Holden and Ford – are cheaper. A Holden Cruze (mid-size with diesel) is about $18,000 (£11,700)

Diesel costs: $1.51 per litre (£0.98 per litre) Petrol $1.36 per litre (£0.89 per litre). So a tank of say 60 litres costs £60 in Australia / £84 in the UK

See this site for more information:

Clothes & Shoes

It depends where you shop.  These sites will give you an idea of clothing costs in Australia:


The Iconic:

Plus quite a few of the main brands such as ASOS and GAP will ship to Australia:

Tax rates

Australia has a progressive tax system.

You’ll be taxed as a resident and then following bands are current as per the Australian tax office

Tax rates 2012-13The following rates for 2012-13 apply from 1 July 2012.

Taxable income Tax on this income
0 – $18,200 Nil
$18,201 – $37,000 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 – $80,000 $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$80,001 – $180,000 $17,547 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000
$180,001 and over $54,547 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

 For example, if you earn $200,000, you’ll pay tax of $66,550 – a tax rate of 33%

If you earn $240,000, you’ll pay tax of £85,150 a tax rate of 35%

The equivalent in the UK (for employee status) is:

On income of £130,000 (about $200,000), you’ll pay £51,000 tax – a tax rate of 39%

On income of £156,000 (about $240,000). You’ll pay £62,500 tax – a tax rate of  40% 

N.B. Please note that these figures are the tax rates on net income. In a similar way to the tax rules on UK self-employed doctors, Australia allows certain costs to be deducted from gross income so that you are taxed on a “net of expenses” basis.

Final note: We’re giving this information in good faith and just as a layman’s guide. We believe it to be correct but we are not accountants or real estate vendors or even restaurateurs, so we can’t give any guarantees as to accuracy. If you find any errors or don’t agree with our information, it would be helpful if you’d let us know – thanks

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