By Daniel Hunter

Londoners are used to the fact that the cost of living in the capital is often more expensive than in the rest of the UK - but do they realise that costs are higher than those in major cities in the US and Australia, too?

Budget Direct, an Australian-based insurance provider, researched the cost of properties, utilities and everyday living expenses in nine cities across the UK, Australia and the US, and presented the findings in a new interactive tool. The nine cities chosen were London, Manchester and Birmingham in the UK; Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, and New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in the US.

Central London has by far the highest property cost per square metre of any of the major cities covered in the research, at £7,608 per square metre. The lowest cost per square meter figure was also found in the UK in Birmingham, where the price to purchase an apartment in the city centre stands at just £1,331 per square metre.

Budget Direct's tool also matched London prices against other cities in the research and found that residents of the UK capital pay the most for petrol (£1.33 per litre), milk (94p per litre), utilities (£152.74 for a 85m2 apartment), taxi rides (£2.85 per km) and public transport (£2.85 for a one-way ticket on local transport) .

Londoners have a smaller median monthly disposable salary after tax (£1,902) than the typical resident of any of the other cities featured, which highlights the financial pressure they're under in the current climate.

The highest monthly disposable salary was found in Sydney, where the average resident has £2,569 to spend each month.

However, Londoners did get some respite when it comes to nights out, with the price of a night out in the UK typically being lower than that in the US and Australia. The average price of a 0.5-litre domestic beer on a night out in Australia is £3.31, and in the US it is £3.40. However, in the UK, drinkers pay just £2.90. Wine is also less expensive in the UK, with Brits paying just £3.19 per glass, while those in Australia pay £4.18 and Americans pay £6.26.

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