Saturday, March 12, 2016

The crudest rule of thumb is buying goods in the U.S. is often cheaper than the UK, but paying for services is far more expensive

Tourists flock to New York from the UK for shopping trips, seeing the US as a cut-price retail mall of their dreams with some spectacular buildings thrown in for good measure.
However, the reality for those of us who moved here permanently is rather different with many services costing considerably more than they do in the UK.
After arriving in 2013, and settling down in Maine, we soon found out that having no credit history in the US can make things a tad on the pricy side.
After comparing prices between the United States and the UK, The Daily Telegraph's David Millward brings it down to this:
Perhaps the crudest rule of thumb is buying goods is often cheaper than the UK, but paying for services is far more expensive.

 … Of course goods are not subject to 20 per cent VAT and though sales tax exists in the majority of states, it is far more modest.

The real delight, of course is motoring. We bought a Ford Escape – the US equivalent of what is sold as a Kuga in the UK. It was about 25 per cent cheaper, saving us thousands of dollars.

Petrol is, of course, cheap as chips – especially now. It costs around £15 to fill up the tank.
 … The good news for anyone living and working here is that income tax is lower, but we are paying twice as much in local taxes as we were in London.

Then there is the frightening cost of health care. We pay around £800 a month for a decent policy – and even then we are expected to chip in a substantial amount on top for any treatment we receive.

As I discovered, these bills are not cheap. A brief stay in hospital cost a few thousand dollars even after insurance.