If you’re looking for private residential care there’s no denying that these fees will make a large dent in any budget. A private residential care home typically costs around £800 a week, according to the Department for Work & Pensions. That’s more than double the £320 average weekly income of people in retirement. But care home fees do vary significantly across the nation.

Care home costs are a bit of a postcode lottery in the UK. If you’re looking for private residential care you could save a lot of money, without compromising on standards, by choosing a care home in a lower cost area. For many people it isn’t practical or desirable to be in a care home far away from loved ones. But if you have family based in different locations around the country who can offer support, you may want to look at the average fees charged in these areas to help you make a decision.

The highest and the lowest areas  

Unsurprisingly the most expensive areas for residential care costs are in the Greater London boroughs, with Islington, Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham topping the tables for weekly costs. Outside of the capital, Windsor & Maidenhead and Elmbridge, Surrey have the highest costs for private residential care.

However, there are areas where the care costs are much lower, with Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool  and Merthyr Tydfil  having some of the lowest costs for residential care in Great Britain. Between the highest costs in Islington, London at £1,488 a week and the lowest in Blaenau Gwent, Wales at £621, there's a difference of more than £800 a week. That adds up to a staggering £41,600 difference each year. 

Costs in major cities: 

City  

Weekly cost of private residential care 

London 

£1,197 

Edinburgh 

£900 

Bristol 

£860 

Cardiff 

£787 

Glasgow 

£767 

Leeds 

£746 

Birmingham 

£724 

Sheffield 

£723 

Manchester 

£710 

Newcastle 

£703 

Bradford 

£687 

Liverpool 

£678 

Care costs in your area 

You can find out more about the cost of care in your area with our Care costs calculator. It will also give you an indication as to whether you will need to meet the full cost yourself or if the local authority will provide support. It’s really important to budget for the longer term. If not, financial pressures could mean that you need to change the level of care received or the type of care home, which can be very unsettling, especially the older and more fragile you become. 

Make sure you claim the benefits you are entitled to for help with the cost of care. For example, Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested, so it can be paid regardless of your income and savings, and whilst self-funding the cost of care. If eligible it could pay you up to £4,635.80 a year towards your care home costs. 

Where to go for support and advice 

A good starting point is to ask your local authority for a free care assessmentThere are three parts – assessing your care needs, deciding on the right level of care and looking at your finances. What funding they will offer depends on your assets and savings. Even in areas with the lowest  private care home feesthere is very likely to be a gap between what the local authority will contribute and the cost of private care. Our calculator will help give you an indication of what to expect in your circumstances. 

Finding the right type of care can be a stressful and worrying time. It often comes at a point of crisis so you may have the additional burden of needing to make decisions quickly. The care system can be complicated to navigate with many unique variables.

To support people on this journey you can find information and guidance on our website.  If you know what type of care you need you may find our Care homes in your area tool useful.  

We also offer a personal service to help people when they are starting to look for care. The Care Concierge Service offers confidential telephone advisory service with an expert who can help you through the care planning and funding options. You can choose different levels of service to suit your budget and needs.  

Other useful sources of information include: 

Find out more

Men taking a break from basketball

The health benefits of making a fresh start

We can sometimes feel stuck in a rut, or so busy with life that it’s hard to find the motivation to make positive changes to our routine. Making a fresh start can have a huge impact on our lives, though – both for our physical and mental health.

Women photographers

Find out about learning on holiday

With busy lives and family commitments, it can be easy to forget about ourselves and the activities that make us happy. That’s why being on holiday, when you’ve left life’s distractions at home, is the perfect time to get back to learning.

Woman playing guitar

Rewrite your retirement with lifelong learning

Retirement is a time for rest and relaxation, and for taking your foot off the pedal after years of hard work – or at least, that’s the typical narrative. In reality, lifelong learning can enrich our lives and help combat cognitive decline.