Treated.com has collected data from a number of sources, including Just Eat, Uber, Numbeo and a selected number of inner city bar, pub and restaurant online menus, to calculate the cost of a night out in some of the UKs biggest and most prominent cities.
“We’ve done this to help give people living in or around these cities an idea of what they might be spending when they go for a typical night out.” comments GP clinical lead at Treated.com Dr. Daniel Atkinson.
“Our intention is to help people think about what they might be spending on a night out, how this might be impacting on our health and what healthier alternatives may be available to us.
It’s important to stress, however, that getting out, socialising and seeing friends is in itself a great way to wind down and relieve stress, and can be beneficial to our mental wellbeing. We’re not suggesting that people shouldn’t go out and spend time with their friends or family. We just want to highlight that there may be other, healthier ways to do this, than spending an entire evening drinking alcohol.”
We considered data for the following variables:
- the cost of 1 imperial pint
- the cost of a 175ml glass of white wine
- he cost of a 175ml glass of red wine
- the cost of a takeaway
- the cost of a new piece of clothing (we chose a dress and a pair of jeans)
- the cost of a 4 mile Uber journey (journeying out to our destination)
- and the cost of a 4 mile taxi journey (journeying back home from our destination).
By illustrating the independent cost of a number of variables, people can calculate for themselves what they might spend in advance.
The Cost of Alcohol
Using data from cost of living comparison website Numbeo, we can show the typical price of a pint per UK city. Perhaps unsurprisingly, data for London shows that it has the most expensive price of a pint in all cities considered, at £5.60.
The city with the most affordable pint was Sheffield at £3.36. This represents a difference of £2.24 between the cost of a pint in London and Sheffield.
We also collected data for the price of a 175ml glass of both white and red wine. We did this by looking at a selection of pub, bar and restaurant price charts in each city, choosing establishments with a central postcode. Using these results, we then calculated an average for each city.
The data we collected told us that London was the priciest city for a medium glass of white wine, costing £5.71. Edinburgh was the most expensive city to buy a glass of red, at £5.65.
Cardiff and Glasgow were the cheapest cities for a medium glass of white and red wine respectively. The cost for a glass of white wine in Cardiff was £4.13, and £4.18 for a glass of red in Glasgow. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that Scotland, and now Wales, have both introduced legislation surrounding a minimum price on alcohol per unit. It may be somewhat surprising, then, that both Cardiff and Glasgow were still the cheapest cities for a medium glass of white and red wine respectively.
“We all know that alcohol isn’t very good for us.” comments Dr. Atkinson. “The official UK advice on low-risk drinking states that we shouldn’t be consuming anymore than 14 alcoholic units per week, and we should spread these units across the week with non-drinking days in between.
Doing this will reduce the chances of developing a number of serious health conditions later in life as a consequence of alcoholic consumption. This includes, but is not limited to, high blood pressure, stroke, pancreatitis, liver and kidney problems, cancer, infertility and a number of mental health conditions.”
If a woman were to consume over 6 units, and men 8 units, in one session, this is considered binge drinking. If the average person living in London, an expensive city, were to drink to the higher end of these units, 8, they would spend £16.80 on beer, £17.13 and £16.47 on white and red wine respectively.
In a more affordable city, like Sheffield, consuming the same amount of alcohol would cost only £10.08 for beer, £14.07 for white wine and £13.77 for red wine.
In the UK, The Chief Medical Officer advises that if you drink 14 units in a week, these units should be spread out across several evenings with non-drinking days in between.
However, if someone exceeded these in one sitting (and many people on a big night out might), and drank the weekly lower risk level in one night, they would spend around £31.36 on beer, £31.97 on white wine and £30.74 on red wine. In Sheffield, they would spend £18.81 on beer, £26.26 on white wine and £25.70 on red wine.
But there are benefits to living in an area where alcohol prices are higher: namely, that the more expensive it is, the less of it we’re likely to drink.
“Regardless of where we live”, comments Dr. Daniel Atkinson, “alcohol can be expensive, particularly for something that isn’t going to benefit our health in any measurable way. If the typical person didn’t consume alcohol for the whole week, and they normally would, they could save anywhere from £25-35, depending on what they drink and if they stuck to the low-risk drinking guidelines.
With that money you could start a gym membership subscription in most cities, you and your friends could go swimming, try rock-climbing or take a dance lesson. Or you could use the money to buy a considerable amount of healthy, organic food for the week.
However, there is also something to be said about the risk to health in places where alcohol is more affordable. Lower prices may tempt people to drink more, and exercise less restraint.
So for those who need a bit of extra motivation to call it a night before drinking too much, alcohol at the more expensive end of the scale can actually be a blessing in disguise (and a prompt to stop at a sensible limit).”
The Cost of a Kebab
After a night out drinking, the thought of a takeaway can be extremely tempting and, sometimes, hard to refuse.
“However”, comments Dr. Atkinson, “we should all try to resist the temptation. Buying a takeaway at the end of a night will deepen the hole in our wallets or purses, likely not be a healthy choice from a dietary point of view, and may even exacerbate that nasty hangover the following day.”
Using the online takeaway website Just Eat, we calculated the average price of a Large Kebab by taking the cost of a Large Kebab from a number of venues in each city, and then creating an average.
The most expensive city to buy a kebab was Edinburgh, in Scotland, at £7.50, and the cheapest place to buy a kebab was Liverpool, costing just £4.26 on average.
We also calculated the price of a portion of chips and the cost of a 12 inch margherita pizza, from the same restaurants used to calculate kebab prices. You can see the results below, from most affordable to most expensive:
“The odd takeaway every now and then”, comments Dr. Atkinson, “shouldn’t be too harmful. However, it’s important that people are aware the majority of these food types represent little to no nutritional benefit at all.
They can often be highly calorific, and sometimes one takeaway alone will be enough to cause us to surpass our daily recommended calorie intake. They’re also often high in saturated fat and salt.
Evidence shows that in the UK, we’re consuming takeaways with increased frequency. This will serve to increase the risks of developing a number of serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and heart problems. This is without mentioning things like the impact on sleep and mental health. If you are going to have a takeaway, I would highly recommend reading up on what makes a healthy takeaway, or how to prepare similar foods at home that you can easily warm up at the end of the night, and will likely be healthier too.”
The Cost of a Taxi
Using data from Numbeo, we were able to calculate the cost of a 4-mile taxi journey in each of the cities considered. This may help paint a picture in people’s heads about how much they may expect to pay for a taxi if they use one to get into, or out of, town during a night out.
Once again, London is the most expensive place to use a taxi service - costing £20.72 for a 4 mile journey. Belfast, in Northern Ireland, was the most affordable city to use a taxi service, costing only £8.64 for a journey of the same length. This represents a staggering difference of £12.08 between the two cities.
We also collected data from Uber’s Price Estimator Site for the cost of a 4 mile taxi journey, which is viewable in our full table of results. We did this by taking a central location in each city, the largest central train station for each, and using Google maps to find a location exactly 4 miles away from the station. We then entered both addresses into the Uber calculator, to receive an estimate for each journey in each city.
“Evidently, taxis can be pricey”, comments Dr. Atkinson, “and on top of things like alcohol and a takeaway, can drive up the price of a night out.
For bad weather, late nights, longer journeys or where public transport is available, they can be really helpful - but it’s important to consider the benefits of walking where possible, and safe. As well as being cheaper, it’s going to be better for your health because you’ll be burning calories. Although we wouldn’t recommend a long walk at the tail end of the night, it’s something to keep in mind when you’re making your way out somewhere at the beginning of the night, given it’s within a reasonable distance.”
If you would like to see a copy of our findings and methodology, you can do so by clicking here.