Hello! Thanks for clicking on my post link and taking in my little wealth of knowledge. In case you didn’t know, I scribble about living in London among other things. So in this post, I’ve put together some bills that you should be aware of if you are a newbie in this part of the world or if living in the UK is ever on your list. I would have found a post like this very useful, so I really hope you find it useful.
This is a mandatory local property tax in England, Scotland, and Wales. The Council Tax pays for local services such as; planning, transport, highways, police, fire, libraries, leisure and recreation, rubbish collection and disposal, environmental health, adult social care, and trading standards. Council Tax is based on the band for your home, which is based on recent valuations, and issued by your local council under the directive of the UK Government. There are eight (8) property bands, ‘A – H’, with (A) being the lowest and (H). Don’t be surprised if you find out that your monthly tax is different from that of someone else (even within the same building).
Click here to view the current band valuations (updated yearly).
Like some other countries might have, the UK has several energy suppliers with promising rates. Properties are powered on either gas, electricity, or a combination of both, so your bill will be dependent on this. Keep in mind that the charges are usually higher during winter because the weather is colder and you will require more heat to keep warm. A tip for you, study your supplier’s consumption cycle to know when the charges are higher (usually during the day) and lower (usually at night). This will help in ensuring you do not pay heavily for your consumption. You can plan to do things like laundry, run your water heater or long-term cooking when the charge is low. I learned the hard way, after paying so much during our first few months in London.
Luckily for a few homes (like mine), we do not get to pay for a water bill. It’s all taken care of by the property management. But if you rent an apartment where this is to be paid by you, then you should prepare for it which is also monthly.
Permit me to use a bit of my Nigerian lingo, this one weak me! So in the United Kingdom Crown dependencies, you are required to hold a TV licence in your home if you intend watching or recording live transmissions. This is apparently not limited to TV alone but includes your computers and devices. This fee is paid once for an entire year and covers 15 units. The current cost is £154.50. For every 5 extra units or less, you pay £154.50. So if you plan on watching live TV programmes like football games, then get ready to pay for your TV Licence. You can be like most of us and just limit your entertainment to Netflix. 😉
This is one thing I enjoy in this country and feel the price I’m paying for it is right. There are several providers to choose from (for both mobile and Wi-Fi), who offer very attractive rates. But I got to find out that when selecting your WiFi provider, you have to ensure that there is coverage around your home location. Some providers have made it easy for subscribers to first check using your postcode if there is coverage around your home.
Some other bills you should know about include;
Parking permits (if provisions haven’t been made by your landlords or you need to get a permit for your visitor).
Congestion charge in London which is a daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. The charge is £11.50. If you do not intend driving then you do not have to worry about this. You can also click here to learn about Low Emission Zones and Ultra Low Emission Zones and their associated charges
Thanks once again for reading this post. You can also check out my post about getting started in the UK (London) right here. Remember to subscribe so you can receive notifications when there are new posts. Your comments, shares, and likes would also be appreciated.