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Moving to Scotland From England

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

25th Jan 2023 (Last updated on 26th Apr 2023) 8 minute read

Scotland is a beautiful country to live in. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the Argyll Coast and the Isle of Skye are unmatched. For those looking for a quieter pace of life, Scotland is a great place to consider.

In comparison to England, the cost of living is significantly lower, as are property prices. 47,500 people moved to Scotland from other parts of the UK in 2019, according to the National Records of Scotland.

In this article, we will be discussing moving to Scotland from England. We cover topics such as living expenses, buying a property and removal costs.

  1. What Do I Need to Do to Move to Scotland?
  2. Buying property in Scotland vs England
  3. Property Market
  4. Travel and Commuting
  5. Jobs and Salary
  6. Cost of Living
  7. Education
  8. Culture/Art
  9. Nightlife/Social Scene
  10. Is it Worth Moving to Scotland from England?
  11. Removals from England to Scotland

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What Do I Need to Do to Move to Scotland?

As Scotland is part of the UK, UK citizens are not required to apply for a visa or permit when moving from England to Scotland.

If you’re moving to Scotland from a country outside of the UK, you will need to look at the correct visa options for you. The GOV.UK website provides details on whether you will require a visa.

Buying property in Scotland vs England

There are some fundamental differences when buying a property in England and Scotland. The main differences involved the surveying process.

Home Report

In England, it’s not a legal requirement to carry out a Home survey. Instead, it's a recommendation, and the buyer will need to pay for this.

The buyer will choose the most suitable survey depending on the type of house they have purchased. This can be either a RICS Home Survey Level 1, Level 2 Homebuyer Survey or Level 3 Building Survey.

In Scotland, the seller legally has to pay for a Home Report. This survey made up of three elements:

  1. Single Survey
  2. Energy report
  3. Property Questionnaire

    The home report costs anywhere from £585 - £820. Sellers are fined for non-compliance.

    When purchasing a property in Scotland, ensure the Home Report has been carried out within 12 weeks of the property being placed on the property market.

    Read more on Do I Need a Survey to Buy a House.

    Government Schemes

    Government schemes in Scotland differ slightly compared to those offered in England.

    The current scheme in Scotland is the Low-cost Initiative for First-Time Buyers (LIFT). In England, there are Help to Buy schemes first-time buyers can use. This includes the Equity loan and shared ownership.

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    Property Market

    Property prices in Scotland are cheaper than in England on average.

    The UK House Price Index Scotland shows that the average price of a property is currently £195,391. The average property price in England sits at £316,000, which is a significant difference.

    Here are the average house prices in both Scotland and England for November 2022:

    House TypeScotland (Average Price)England (Average Price)

    Flats and Maisonettes

    £128,696

    £254,485

    Terraced Houses

    £163,639

    £259,045

    Semi-detached Houses

    £205,406

    £302,583

    Detached houses

    £349,342

    £495,804

    * Data taken from the UK House Price Index for Scotland and England.

    The average monthly rent in Scotland is £840 according to HomeLet. In England, the average rental is £1,174.

    Popular areas to live in Scotland include Dundee and Fife. Falkirk is situated conveniently between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Stirling is one of the most affordable areas to live in, while Inverness is great for those looking for a quieter location. East Dunbartonshire is a more expensive area of Scotland.

    All costs listed in this article are correct at the time of writing. Costs may vary slightly and this is just an estimated number.

      Travel and Commuting

      Travelling and commuting in Scotland is particularly good thanks to its great public transport systems and road networks. Although Scotland doesn't have trams in the cities, Glasgow has an efficient subway system.

      While there are more remote areas in the Scottish Countryside and Highlands, they are accessible by public transport. Even so, having a car is useful if you live in a remote area of Scotland. Ferries operate to the Scottish Islands frequently.

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      Jobs and Salary

      There are many types of jobs in Scotland available. The most popular jobs according to Scotland.org include:

      • Healthcare
      • Teaching and Education
      • Technologies
      • Sciences
      • Oil, gas and renewables
      • Creative Industries

        There is a good mixture of different roles available in Scotland. The median salary in Scotland was £25,007 in 2021 according to The Scottish Parliament stats.

        Jobs in England aren’t too dissimilar to Scotland for those looking for a similar job role. The most popular industries in England according to the 2021 Census are:

        • Wholesale, retail and motor trade
        • Human health and social work
        • Education
        • Construction
        • Manufacturing

          The average salary for England is £26,192 according to Think Plutus stats. While England’s average is slightly higher, the increased London Living Wage needs to be taken into consideration.

          Cost of Living

          There is a cheaper standard of living in Scotland, especially when compared to high-cost areas of England like London. This is great if you're thinking of moving to Edinburgh from London or moving from London to Glasgow.

          LivingCost.Org highlights the differences between Scotland and England:

          Cost of Living ExamplesScotlandEngland

          Public transport pass (monthly)

          £63.80

          £77.80

          Utility bills (monthly)

          £94.40

          £113

          Gym membership (monthly)

          £29.20

          £33.10

          Chicken Breast (1kg)

          £5.70

          £5.87

          Beer (0.5L)

          £1.73

          £1.88

          Taxi (5 miles)

          £12.50

          £14.10

          Preschool (monthly)

          £795

          £1059

          Inexpensive restaurant meal for 2 people

          £48.20

          £49.80

          NHS Prescriptions (per item)Free£9.35

          *Data is based on one person

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          Education

          Scotland and England are known for their high-quality education systems.

          The country follows the Curriculum for Excellence and there are many high-performing schools. These include Jordanhill School in Glasgow and Cults Academy in Aberdeen.

          Scotland is also home to world-class universities. The most popular universities are:

          • University of Glasgow
          • The University of Edinburgh
          • University of St Andrews
          • University of Aberdeen

          There are far more universities in England compared to Scotland. However, the universities in Scotland are some of the best in the UK. The highest-rated universities in England are:

          • University of Oxford
          • University of Cambridge
          • Imperial College London
          • University College London
          • University of Manchester

          If you've lived in the country for more than three years, you can receive free university tuition fees if you choose to stay in Scotland to study.

          Culture/Art

          Scotland is deep-rooted in culture and you’re not short on places to visit and new things to experience when moving there. There are many Scottish traditions to experience such as the Highland games and bagpipe playing.

          Scotland is well-known for Burns Night and Haggis with neeps. Scottish residents are proud of their heritage and many people continue to speak Gaelic.

          If you enjoy visiting traditional buildings, Edinburgh is a fantastic place to live. Edinburgh’s old town is home to beautiful architecture. There are cobbled streets, the Royal Mile and the famous Edinburgh Castle.

          There are many museums and galleries to visit in the country, such as the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. There are many lochs such as Loch Lomond ad Loch Ness.

          Traditions in Scotland and England are different, but both are similar and multicultural overall. It's easy for someone that has previously lived in England to feel comfortable living in Scotland.

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          Nightlife/Social Scene

          The best cities to visit for nightlife and social life are Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Edinburgh city centre is full of clubs, bars and great places to eat. It’s known for its atmosphere, and there are plenty of pubs for those looking for something more traditional.

          The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a popular yearly comedy event. Glasgow is also home to many great bars, and restaurants. It’s well-known for its nightlife.

          When moving to Scotland from England you’re not going to miss out on events and activities. While rural areas have fewer events

          In England, there are many fantastic places for nightlife and a social scene. In particular, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. Being such a big country, there are many places to visit if you enjoy social and nightlife.

          Both England and Scotland have many different activities and clubs to suit all interests. This will help you to keep social when moving.

          Is it Worth Moving to Scotland from England?

          If you're looking for a lower cost of living and a slower pace of life, moving from England to Scotland can be a great idea.

          Here are some pros and cons of living in Scotland:

          Pros:

          • Lower living costs
          • More affordable house prices
          • Free university tuition after living in Scotland for 3 years, if you study in Scotland
          • Cheaper rent
          • Rich in culture
          • Good public transport systems
          • Good education system and universities
          • Less populated overall
          • Free NHS prescriptions
          • Good job opportunities

          Cons:

          • Scottish weather is not as great as England
          • There are more remote areas in Scotland
          • House buying process varies slightly
          • Tax is significantly higher in Scotland
          • Not as many universities to choose from

            Removals from England to Scotland

            The average UK removal company cost is £1,181 according to our research. This is based on moving the contents of a 3-bedroom house over 50 miles.

            The total cost of moving to Scotland from England will vary depending on the distance travelled and the removal company you use.

            Based on our cost of moving house calculator, here are some estimated long distance removals costs for locations in England to Scotland:

            • London to Edinburgh - £1205
            • Bristol to Glasgow - £1171
            • Manchester to Edinburgh -£997
            • Newcastle to Glasgow - £918
            • Exeter to Edinburgh -£1256

            (We used the average house price in each area according to Rightmove. The distance of the move was used to calculate the estimated removal costs. Results are based on the cost of a 3-bedroom home relocation)

            If you need any additional services when moving from England to Scotland, the average costs are:

            • Packing - £250
            • Dismantling and reassembling - £125

              If you’re looking to move from England to Scotland, this is something we can assist you with here at Compare My Move. When looking at removal companies it’s important to choose the best removal company for your needs.

              We are able to place you in contact with up to 6 of our trusted and verified removals partners. Compare My Move can also help you to save money on your move to Scotland.

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              Ashleigh Williams

              Having written book reviews and content for For The Love of Books for over five years, Ashleigh now creates advice articles for Compare My Move, focusing on all things home-related.

              Dave Sayce

              Reviewed by Dave Sayce

              Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

              Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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