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Where in the country is the best place to rent a house?

With house prices skyrocketing in recent times, many people cannot afford to get on the property ladder. Consequently, renting is the best option for many families and individuals looking to move into a new home.

There are many advantages to renting over buying, one of which is that you aren’t tied into a property long term and can therefore move if you do not like the property or area. However, finding the best area to move to straight away is always a positive.

By studying numerous factors such as: monthly wages, number of jobs, safety, cost of bills such as heating and water, and most importantly the average rental cost. We have been able to reveal the best towns and cities to rent in, and the ones that should be avoided.

Top three best towns to rent

Top towns to rent

1 - Carlisle, rent location score of 7.90/10:

The best location to rent in the country is Carlisle. The Cumbrian city almost achieved a score of 8/10. This made it the best performing city by over 0.8, this is 3.9 higher than the average score of 5. Carlisle achieved top place in the rankings as a result of having extremely cheap average monthly rental costs of £588. Moreover, it scored well for safety, cost of utilities, and the number of available jobs.

2 - Warrington, rent location score of 7.08/10:

Warrington was the second-highest scoring town, as it achieved just under 7.10/10. Although there are higher average wages and slightly more jobs available in Warrington than in Carlisle, the former performs worse in every other category. The Cheshire town is situated between the big cities of Manchester and Liverpool, with excellent transport links by road and rail.

3 - Chester, rent location score of 7.04/10

The third best city to rent in across the whole of the UK is Chester. The historic walled city on the banks of the River Dee achieved a rent location score of over 7.04/10. Chester achieved the second-highest safety score, 79.03/100. Additionally, there are over 200 jobs advertised per 10,000 people which is one of the best scores in the country.

Rent table

Top three worst towns to rent

Bottom 3 rent

1 - Salford, rent location score of 2.49/10

At the other end of the scale, Salford is the worst place to rent in the country. Salford sits in the top 25% for average rent prices and does not score well enough in the other categories to make up for this. It was in the bottom echelons of the rankings for the number of advertised jobs and wages, and also has one of the worst safety ratings.

2 - London, rent location score of 2.51/10

Somewhat surprisingly, London does not have the highest rental prices. However, they do have extremely high average basic utility costs at £240 per month. Combined with poor performances in a number of the other categories London only scores a poultry 2.51/10, despite it having one of the best average wages.

3 - Worthing, rent location score of 2.8/10

Worthing completes the terrible trio of towns and cities with a rent location score under 3/10, the West Sussex town achieved this by performing poorly in a number of categories. It has the third-highest average utilities cost anywhere in the country, as well as a poor safety rating of 43.44/100.

Worst rent table

The cheapest towns to rent in

Cheapest Rent

1 - Burnley, £506 average monthly rent

Out of the towns and cities studied, the cheapest average rent is found in the Lancashire town of Burnley. At £506 it is less than half that of the average cost of £1,068 per month, and over £1,800 less than the most expensive place.

2 - Halifax, £520 average monthly rent

It is only £14 more on average in Halifax to rent than it is in Burnley, meaning that the West Yorkshire town is incredibly cheap as well. Just like Burnley, Halifax was a thriving mill town during the Industrial Revolution and is still one of the largest towns in the area.

3 - Doncaster, £525 average monthly rent

Yet another Northern town comes in third place, in fact, only four of the top 20 cheapest towns are outside the north of the country. The average rental price in Doncaster is £525 per month, this is only £19 more than Burnley, and £5 more than Halifax.

Cheapest rent table

The most expensive towns to rent in

Most expensive

1 - Oxford, £2,357 average monthly rent

There are three places with an average monthly rent of over £2,000, and Oxford is the most expensive of these by more than £200. The famous university city is incredibly expensive, in fact, rates are almost £1,300 higher than the nationwide average.

2 - Bath, £2,115 average monthly rent

Another town famous for idyllic locations, and breathtaking ancient architecture is Bath. The Somerset location is one of the most desirable in the country, but for that, you have to pay a pretty price. £2,115 is the average monthly rental cost in the city, over £1,000 higher than the average.

3 - Brighton, £2,014 average monthly rent

Most expensive table

The final location with an average rental cost of over £2,000 is Brighton. The south coast seaside town is the third most expensive in the country. It is over £100 less than in Bath, but this is still enough to comfortably make the top three.

Methodology

  • A list of the 150 most populous towns and cities in the UK was compiled using Geographist.
  • This was cut down whenever there was incomplete data for a town, leaving a final list of 103 places.
  • The average monthly rent for each place was collected from home.co.uk, and was collected on 1/4/2022.
  • The average annual wage was found from the 2021 edition of the ONS earnings and hours worked, place of residence by local authority data. We used the local authority area for each town.
  • This was then divided by 12 for the average monthly wage.
  • The number of advertised jobs was found on Indeed, then calculated per 10,000 people.
  • The cost of basic utilities was sourced from the Numbeo cost of living index.
  • Safety rating came from the Numbeo quality of life index.
  • Each city was given a normalised score out of ten for each factor, before a final average of each of these scores was taken.