Understanding household bills as a doctor relocating to the UK

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

On arrival to the UK, most doctors will be staying in short-term, temporary, or hospital accommodation. After a short period of settling in most doctors naturally move towards a privately rented property for a minimum of 6-12 months. It’s important to understand all of the monthly outgoings that you need to factor into your budget when planning to relocate to the UK. In this article, we outline a list of monthly household bills in the UK to support doctors moving from overseas to the UK. This list does not include your monthly rental cost which will be your most expensive monthly outgoing and paid directly to your landlord or letting agency. 

7 monthly household bills you need to know about 

Council tax

Council tax is an annual fee you pay to your local council. The cost is set by your council and goes towards funding local services. The amount of council tax you pay depends on the following factors:

  • your personal circumstances
  • which valuation band your property is in
  • how much the council needs to fund its services
  • where you live in the United Kingdom

You can find your local council and work out how much you need to pay on their website:

England  |  Scotland  |  Wales 

You can expect to pay anywhere from £828 to £4,287 a year on council tax. The UK average is £1,493 according to GOV.UK.


Water companies charge in two different ways. The first is unmetered and calculates a set rate that is decided upon by your home’s ‘rateable’ value. The second method is metered, where you are billed for the amount of water you use. The amount of money this will cost will differ based on the area you live in and the water company your area is served by. Water prices vary across the UK and the price changes based on which region you live in. The water companies are as follows:

  • Thames Water
  • Severn Trent
  • Northumberland Water
  • Yorkshire Water
  • Northern Ireland Water
  • Scottish Water
  • Anglian Water
  • Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
  • United Utilities
  • Southern Water
  • Wessex Water
  • South West Water

According to water.org.uk, the average annual bill is forecast to come down from £410 to £408, although there will be variations from company to company.

Gas & Electric

Calculating the average gas and electricity bill across the UK is difficult as it depends on a variety of factors. The cost of your own bill will depend on the type of property you live in, where you live, the heating system that you have, the energy efficiency of the property, the number of people living there, and your personal usage. In some properties, energy is supplied solely through electricity.

USwitch provides a thorough breakdown of understanding energy consumption in this article. With energy bills at the forefront of the media due to steep escalations, it is very difficult to predict and budget for your utility bills.

The average annual gas bill in 2021 was £575 and the average annual electricity bill was £764 but this number is calculated on personal usage. Utility bills are expected to increase by approximately 80% in 2022/2023 which would show an uplift in the averages to £1035 for gas and £1863 for electricity annually.


If you want broadband, to use the internet, to stay in touch with your family via video calls, or to stream TV from your home country, you will need to shop around for the best package to suit your needs using comparison websites

Some of the most well-known broadband providers in the UK are:

  • BT
  • Virgin Media
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • PlusNet
  • EE
  • Vodaphone
  • Three
  • Hyperoptic

According to Resooma, the average broadband bill is now just over £30 a month. However, like all other bills, internet costs vary, depending on location, package type and household usage.

TV license

Many people new to the UK may overlook the TV Licence. It gives you legal permission to watch live programmes on any channel, TV service, or streaming service, and to use BBC iPlayer, on any device, and helps to fund BBC services. 

A TV Licence costs £159 a year and you can set up a direct debit to spread the cost throughout the year. If you pay monthly this will cost £13.25 a month.

Streaming services (optional)

Streaming services are a relatively low-cost way to entertain yourself and your family while at home. Streaming involves playing a video over an internet connection, either using a web browser or an app, on a wide range of devices.  Ultimately, the best service for you is likely to come down to content - each streaming service has a slightly different offering, but all offer exclusive content.

Some of the most popular streaming services include:

  • Netflix
  • Now TV
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime
  • Britbox
  • Apple TV+

At the time of writing this article, the cost of these streaming services ranges between £4.99 and £10.99 a month.

Home Insurance

When you rent your property your landlord/lady will have a certain level of insurance in place to cover their property, but this may not suit your demands and needs. It’s worth making sure you know exactly what’s covered as a result of an insured event.

Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing and rebuilding the structure of your home should it suffer damage. Contents insurance covers your possessions at home against insured events.

The average combined home and contents insurance policy cost £140 a year in 2021, according to Money Supermarket. That’s just £2.70 a week.


Household UK bills vary greatly depending on your location, the type of property you live in, the number of people living there, and your personal usage. Based on the above the average household could be paying between £500 and £850 a month on bills excluding rent. If your usage is higher than the average household your bills will also be higher.

It’s important that you research all of the options available and work out what is best for you and your circumstances. The purpose of this blog is to give you a brief overview of some of the monthly outgoings a doctor will need to consider when they are planning to relocate to the UK. This article is not intended and should not be used as financial advice. We would encourage you to seek your own financial advice to support your decisions

Doctors choose A&E Agency because we give our doctors the best of both worlds. We offer the most diverse job opportunities with ongoing specialist career support, so you don’t have to choose between flexibility and progress. Our dedicated recruitment team has expert levels of knowledge in many specialist areas and regional insights all over the UK. Register your details with us today to get started. Our specialist team is ready to help you take the next step in your career as a doctor.


[Money Helper: Source for average annual water bill in the UK]

[FreeFlush: Source for highest and lowest water bill in the UK]

[What Mortgage:Source for lowest council tax in the UK]

[Gov.UK: Source for average council tax in the UK]

[Money Helper: Source for average gas and electric bills in the UK]

[Politico: Source for the expected increase in gas and electric bills in the UK]

[Reesoma: Source for average internet bill in the UK]

[Go Compare: Source for broadband providers in the UK]

[Money Helper: Source for understanding content insurance]

[Gov.UK: Source to pay TV licence]

[Money Helper: Source for average contents insurance bill in the UK]