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Moving To London From California

Moving to London from a different country, even one as close in spirit as the United States is a journey. The differences between the two countries are more than surprising, especially if comparing the foggy capital with one of the sunniest places globally – California. Contact us to learn more about apartment rental agencies

The weather

Let’s start with getting the elephant out of the room: the weather in the UK differs dramatically from what you are used to on the sunny coasts of California.

LA, for example, bathes in the sun all year round, with the average temperatures ranging from 18 to 25 degrees C.

On the other hand, London has four severely distinct seasons, with the average temperature ranging from 7 to 22 degrees C. Additionally, London is much more rainy, with an average of 106.6 rainy days per year, VS 35.7 in California.

That said, a thunderstorm is the worst thing Mother Nature can toss at the capital of Great Britain, while living near the coastline comes with a constant fear of earthquakes.

Cost of living

Life in London and LA can cost you a pretty penny, but how do they fare in comparison?

London LA
Rent (1 bedroom in the city center) $2,664 $2,152
Rent (1 bedroom outside of center) $1,604 $1,632
Utilities $205 $146
Transport (one-way ticket) $1,75 $3,25
Transport (monthly pass) $100 $195
Gas $0,97 $1,69
Meal (McDonalds) $7,8 $7,89
Meal (restaurant) $19,52 $15
Meal (expensive restaurant) $65 $70
Preschool (monthly) $1,656 $1,141
International Primary School (annually) $22,041 $21,658

 

Taxes

There are but a handful of states, like Florida or Texas, that are somewhat different from the UK regarding taxes, as they don’t have a State Tax.

Luckily, we are talking about California here, so you shouldn’t see a larger or a smaller percentage of income flowing out of your pocket and into the state treasury.

Healthcare

One cannot say that the healthcare system in the US is fine without adding a grain of salt to the statement. It may function well as a business model, but it is not a public service in its current state. The bills are simply out of this world, even with health insurance and the service… let’s say it needs a touch or two. Or twenty-seven hundred and forty-three.

The healthcare system in the UK is the polar opposite. It is free, available, and community-oriented. How it works?

You are feeling a bit under the weather. You visit the nearest NHS office, where you are treated by a physician. After a few days pass, the good doctor will give you a call to check on how you are doing. Yep, it is as simple as that.

To top things off, 24/7 phone lines and official websites are available to provide you with free consultations and healthcare advice.

Food

Speaking of living a healthy life, your diet options in the UK are far superior to the ones you are used to. The government has a series of strict laws ensuring that the food is always fresh of the batch. If you are grocery shopping, be sure that whatever is in your basket today grew on a farm yesterday.

The same can be said about restaurants and diners. Even some of the biggest fast-food chains, like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, treat visitors to the freshest patties and toppings imaginable. Not a single slice of food was frozen or pre-cooked.

The rush

California is a pretty chill place. Sure, many people live in major cities and are always busy with something, but what you believe to be rush hour is a Saturday afternoon in the Big Smoke.

In the US, the weekends get most folk out into the streets. Not so much in the UK. People are constantly getting from point A to point B here. Most of that is related to the fact that the lion’s share of Londoners choose to live in nearby cities from where they have to commute to the center.

And there’s also the fact that nearly 9 million people live in London, while there are only 3.9 million living in LA.

Another thing worth your attention is the Determination (yep, from a capital “D”) of Londoners. They neither smile nor talk to each other while on their merry way.

Where London shines brightest

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s take a look at the factors that make your relocation to London worthwhile:

  • The unemployment rate here is lower (8.1% vs 8.7%)
  • Income inequalities are much lower (0.35 VS 0.47)
  • The Smoke has a public healthcare system
  • London is better for raising children and providing them with vast opportunities for education and growth (The number of Universities in London is a whopping 21, while there are only 2 in LA)
  • There’s a smoking ban in public places.
  • There are 240 museums, 13 stadiums, and 4 UNESCO World Heritage landmarks in London.
  • London is a city of billionaires (72 vs 20 in LA)
  • The Smoke is a capital city and a centralized hub for worldwide travel
  • There is a stock market

By the way, we have been helping people relocate to London for 15 years, so if you have any other questions or need professional help, feel free to call us.

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