With the average singleton going on up to two dates a month, costs can definitely start to rack up, especially since more time is devoted to dating today than ever before. Millennials are waiting longer before settling down – the average age for marriage in the UK right now is over 35. And according to a poll by Plenty of Fish, single Brits end up spending around £1350 a year on nights out for two!
Turns out the path to finding ‘the one’ can be a long and expensive exercise, so we looked at which areas of the UK to see how your nearest town compares! Sticking to the basics, we tallied up the price of two margarita pizzas, a couple of pints at the local, movie tickets for two and a ride home. Here’s who tops the list:
London is the Priciest UK City to Date In
Unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place for a date, at £68 for pizza, two pints, movies and a ride home. Two dates in a month will set you back £136! Anyone dating in Winchester, Kingston and Guildford won’t have it much better, with date nights all coming in at over £60.
On the other end of the scale, Newcastle enjoys the title of cheapest UK city for a date, setting lovebirds back £44 for a night on the town, followed closely by Bristol, Cardiff and Reading, who all keep the budget in the mid-40s.
Manchester and Liverpool straddle the middle, with a price tag of £58 across both cities.
Newcastle is the Cheapest City for a Date!
If you’re in Newcastle, you’ve got a major advantage. It’s the cheapest place in the UK for a date, followed closely by Bristol, Cardiff and Reading.
Coventry, Sheffield and Swansea are the cheapest places to get a pint, while those in Guildford will be shelling out – it’s not just the priciest place for a drink but also one of the top 5 most expensive cities overall. You’ll also have to fork out in Dublin, Winchester and Oxford, where two pints will cost you more than £8.
Movie buffs in Cardiff and surrounds will be happy to know this city is the cheapest place to watch a 2D blockbuster. London is on the other end of the spectrum, as the most expensive city to watch a movie.
Smart Tips for Singles
If you’re dating on a budget in one of the country’s more costly places, here are a few ways to help your money stretch a little further:
- Subscribe to some online coupon and voucher sites and look out for good deals in your area – hand these in on the sly and your date won’t even know!
- Booking “early bird” tickets online before an event is often more affordable than paying at the door.
- Get creative – ditch the traditional pizza and movie combo, and go for a picnic in the park followed by a trip to a local museum, gallery or free concert.
- If you’re comfortable enough to do this, invite your date over for a home-cooked meal. It’s cheaper than a restaurant and gives you a chance to show off your skills in the kitchen.
- Take advantage of local student discounts and vouchers. Most student cities have special offers in place to make eating out and entertainment more accessible to local uni students.
- Keep it on campus, and visit one of your favourite onsite spots, which will likely be cheaper than hitting the town.
- Be honest! Don’t go into debt trying to impress a date – that’s not a good look on anyone.
Cheapest place to:
- Grab a pizza dinner – Newcastle
- Watch a movie – Cardiff
- Enjoy two pints – Coventry
- Get a taxi ride home – Derby
Most expensive place to:
- Grab a pizza dinner – Stoke-on-Trent
- Watch a movie – London
- Enjoy two pints – Dublin
- Get a taxi ride home – Dublin
Singletons in London, Kingston and Guildford, face the most expensive dates overall. Going out twice a month can cost a Londoner around £1,632 a year, followed by £1,536 in Kingston and £1,488 in Guildford. Those in Cardiff, Bristol and Newcastle can stress less about money impacting their love lives, with dating costing around £1,104 a year in Cardiff and Bristol, and £1,056 in Newcastle.
When it comes to footing the bill, a YouGov study back in 2017 showed 40% of men think they should always pay the bill on a first date. Another survey of almost 4500 people showed that 85% of men think they should pay on the first date, and 72% of women agree!
Please note that all prices in this table have been rounded off.
Cheapest City for a Date
Most Expensive City for a Date
To work out how much a date would cost in each city, we calculated the following:
Cost of a basic margarita at the top-recommended pizza restaurant in each area on TripAdvisor. We took this from the menu of the top organic result in each area filtered for ‘cheap eats’, pizza’ and ‘dinner’.
Average cost of a pint in each city from Pint Price
Cost of an average five-mile taxi ride taken from the UK Taxi Price Index and Better Taxi.