Cost of living in Crete…
This Cost of Living in Crete page is from the Living in Crete section of the Completely Crete website.
It is very difficult to make precise cost comparisons between Crete (Greece) and the UK and other countries. Wages are still lower here, so you would expect prices to be too. In the past, a UK work's or retirement pension went a lot further here than in the UK. However, in recent times, the British Pound has lost ground on the Euro, squeezing pensions and savings for UK ex-pats.
Also, austerity measures imposed by the Greek Government (or some would say, the IMF) has put paid to the notion of Greece having the cheapest grocery basket in modern Europe
Food and General Cost of Living
LOCAL FRUIT & VEG IS CHEAP & PLENTIFUL
The cost of living for things like local foods is still competitive. Buy fresh local produce and you can still feel that things are cheaper than in the UK and northern Europe. Things are
more expensive than in the recent past, primarily because transport costs and taxes have increased considerably.
Eating out is currently very inexpensive compared to the UK and France. There is such competition in the resorts, that many restaurants are still battling to keep prices down and the pinch might come in quality for some places.
We found that with many things, what we would pay in the UK in pounds we would pay the same in Crete BUT IN EUROS. For example, if something were to cost £1 in the UK, you could buy the equivalent in Crete for €1 (about 85-90p).
Generally alcohol is much cheaper in Crete. Most local spirit and wine is produced by the person selling it to you, and there's no duty of course. Imported spirits and wines are more expensive. Imported beers are expensive though.
As you would expect, some items are more expensive than in the UK such as branded toiletries, cosmetics, sun lotions etc. Also 'British' foods such as Heinz baked beans, HP sauce, Kellogg's cornflakes, Typhoo tea bags etc are more expensive too.
But if you choose to eat more like a local and opt for only fresh seasonal locally produced foods, take advantage of local markets and eat out at non touristy places you'll soon find the Euro in your pocket goes much further.
EATING OUT IS CHEAP IN CRETE
Eating out is Crete is a pleasure, and if you choose places off the beaten track you will be surprised at how little it costs still. Look to see where the Cretans eat for the best value and quality.
A meal with wine for two in a traditional kafeneion regularly costs us no more than €15-€20. A plusher eatery or Estiatorio will probably cost €25-€30.
A carafe of local wine from the barrel will set you back about €4-€6, but watch out for the free carafe of Raki at the end of your meal if you are driving!
Electricity is charged on how much you use and you'll also pay a small standing charge every two months.
THE GREEK ELECTRIC COMPANY
You will need to pay local council tax which covers the cost of refuge collection, street lighting and this is included in your electricity bill, together with your TV licence fee, (whether you have a TV or not!). Expect to pay for electricity roughly the same amount as you would in the UK for a similar sized home for electricity and gas combined. And of course you don't have costly council tax to pay.
Unlike many Greek Islands water is less scarce, but is still a precious resource. Again, you pay for what you use. Our water bill is very low - about €6 per month, but sewage costs added to this will make the water charges about ½ what we paid in the UK.
Telephone cost vary between companies and mobile telephone providers. We've found that costs compare very favourably to UK telephone company charges and rates.
For some more detailed and very useful information on utilities in Crete click here.
Petrol varies from place to place and from garage to garage in the same place, so shop around. Recent increases in tax have pushed the cost of petrol up to one of the most expensive in Europe. This will, of course, have a knock-on effect on everything else, as will the increase in VAT.
Expect to pay €1.50-€1.70 per litre.
As for insurance, I recently (April 2010) paid €280 for 6 months fully comp on a Citroën C3 1.1, with 2 years no-claims bonus - which works out at about £470 for 12 months.
The Greek equivalent to car tax for a 3 year old Citroën 1.1 is €120 for 2011 (about £100).
Rates depend on size and age of the car and can rise to €1,200 for older, bigger (4L) vehicles.
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