Is Brighton Expensive for Individuals, Students & Families – A Helpful 2021 Guide

  • By: Carlo
  • Date: June 27, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Expensive is a relative term. If you live in Singapore or Paris then pretty much everywhere in the world appears to be cheap. If you’re based in Karachi or Nepal than everywhere else feels expensive. However, if you’re going to live or visit somewhere it can be very handy to know roughly how much it’s going to cost.

So, is Brighton, England expensive? Well, yes in relative terms it is quite expensive. It’s not as expensive as London but it’s possibly the most expensive city in the country apart from the capital.

So, let’s take a look at how that breaks down and why living and being in Brighton costs more than most other places in the UK. Though, it’s still cheaper than Singapore and Paris.

What is the Cost of Living in Brighton?

Before we begin, we would urge you to treat the numbers in this article and their sources with a certain amount of caution. Numbeo and Expatistan are the places we’re drawing our official data from on costs, unless we say otherwise, and both of them rely on user input to come to their conclusions.

That’s not to say they’re not a useful guide but they have both been known to offer data that’s not very accurate at times too. We’ve run a local eye over their data and can’t see anything too shockingly inaccurate but it’s possible that we’ve missed something too.

OK, so Numbeo puts Brighton at a cost of living rank of 70 out of 354 cities in the world that it tracks. That makes it one of the most expensive places to live globally and it means if you’re thinking about a trip to Brighton – you’re going to need to have some cash on hand to do it with.

However, if you are on a very tight budget, there is still plenty of entertainment that Brighton can offer without spending a fortune (though you will still need to cover accommodation and food).

This is How Expensive Brighton is for Students

Money-Saving Tips from Brighton Students

OK, so let’s take some worked examples to show the costs of living in Brighton. Let’s begin with students and we’re grateful to the University of Brighton for providing us with some figures that can help us generate a rough monthly cost of living for those considering studying in the city.

Their figures suggest that a student will pay between £115 and £166 in rent each week. The university then puts bills on top at an extraordinarily low rate of £15.50 a month (you’re not going to get much heating in the middle of winter for that). They then suggest that you will need another £75-£100 a week to live on to pay all your other costs.

That means they’re suggesting that you pay between £205.50 and £281.50 a week to live in Brighton as a student. That’s a minimum of £890.50 a month at which point you could expect to have to very tightly within your means to £1,219.83 a month which gives you a bit more flexibility.

You can’t live the high life on either figure but it’s fair to say that you’re not going to starve or go without entertainment on these amounts.

Students who attend Brighton University in Eastbourne can save substantial amounts in comparison to those living in Brighton.

This is How Expensive Brighton is for Families

The news for families is not great. Brighton is the second most expensive to live in the United Kingdom according to research from 2018. Now, admittedly they generated this data based on the costs of buying a 3-bedroom house. A 3-bedroom house would cost an average of £732,495 in Brighton.

Other data isn’t any more optimistic though. Numbeo predicts that your average 4-person family in Brighton will spend £2,336.79 a month before they’ve paid the mortgage or the rent! Expatistan puts the rent at an average of £1,234 for a normal area of Brighton for a family-sized place too. If you wanted to live in the best areas of the city, you can nearly double that rent.

The most expensive place to live in Brighton is Roedean Crescent where an average home will set you back £1,490,625!

Why is Brighton So Expensive?

The Daily Mail says that the reason Brighton is expensive is that it offers the perfect storm of benefits to people who live there: it’s on the seaside, the nightlife is varied and excellent, there are endless opportunities to shop until you drop and it’s a short train journey from London.

Property prices have risen by more than 40% in the last 10 years alone and have hugely outperformed the national average price rise.

Celebrities love Brighton and the city is home to many famous names, who also help drive up property prices.

Pros and Cons of Living in Brighton

We didn’t put this list together by ourselves. We surveyed what other people felt about Brighton too. We wanted to give you the most complete overview of the city without catering to our own biases.

The Pros of Living In Brighton

We’ve touched on some of these already but the best reasons to live in Brighton include:

  • The location – it’s a seaside resort with a long heritage as one of Britain’s favourite destinations. The South Downs are nearby and offer spectacularly pleasant walking routes. You’re also a stone’s throw from London if need be.
  • The facilities – you’ve got nightlife, pub culture, cafés, restaurants and shopping galore. There are also heritage hotspots and places to see and visit.
  • Tolerance – Brighton is famed for its tolerance and is one of the best places in the country for members of the LGBT community
  • Arts – Brighton is superb for its local arts community with both the main Arts Festival and The Fringe offering huge amounts of value for the artistically inclined.
  • Safe – Brighton’s residents say that they perceive the city to be among the safest in England.

The Cons Of Living In Brighton

There are some genuine downsides to living in Brighton too:

  • The cost – we’ve already explained that Brighton is just not a cheap destination. All those benefits of living in Brighton can’t be bought at a discount price.
  • The noise – this is not universally true, but as a vacation destination, Brighton does attract its fair share of stag dos and hen parties and they can be a bit noisy in some areas when they’re in town
  • The parking – it can be incredibly hard to find a space and when you do find one, you may need a second mortgage to pay for it
  • Some of the people – it’s not everybody in Brighton but there seems to be a growing population of self-obsessed hipsters on a much larger scale than in other British towns
  • Traffic – the city is a holiday hotspot and that means on summer weekends and Bank Holidays, the traffic can come to a grinding halt for hours on end

How Expensive is Brighton UK Compared to London?

There is some good news for those looking to save money in Brighton – it’s cheaper than living in London.

Numbeo notes that you’ll pay nearly 65% more for your rent in London than you would in Brighton. 4% more to go out for dinner in London and 13% more if you stay in and cook your own food in London.

Now, you may be thinking, “But Londoners are going to earn more money than people in Brighton do too” and you’d be right but what might surprise you is that Londoners don’t earn a lot more money than people living in Brighton.

In fact, Numbeo says that Londoners only have a relative boost of 2.35% in terms of their purchasing power. That certainly doesn’t make up for the increased costs of rent, does it?

Sadly, this is one of the reasons that Brighton is expensive and likely to remain that way. When you can cut your rent in half by living in Brighton, commuting to London becomes both affordable and appealing. This leads to increased rental competition in Brighton which drives up the rents.

Click here to see the complete Brighton to London Comparison Chart

Can I afford the Cost of Living in Brighton England?

We’ve had a few people ask us, “Can I afford the cost of living in Brighton, England?” We’re not sure how to respond to that because we don’t know the person’s individual financial circumstances.

Brighton is not unaffordable and its 250,000+ residents come from all walks of life but it is harder to live in Brighton on a regular wage than it might be to live in some of the other cities in the UK where the cost of living is lower.

Living in Nottingham, for example, is nearly half the cost of living in Brighton. Though most people would agree – Nottingham’s not as nice as Brighton.

Was £3.49 – Now Only £1.79


Is Brighton, England expensive? Yes, in relative terms it is. It’s the second most expensive destination in the UK outside of London. However, that shouldn’t let that stop you from visiting – Brighton is one of the country’s favourite places to go on holiday for very good reasons and you can manage on a budget and still have lots of fun here.

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