No matter where you are in the world, understanding the currency and the banking systems is vital for getting around. To help you out we’ve put together this handy guide with some of the most important information you’ll need to consider if you’re thinking of living in Scotland.
In Scotland, the unit of currency is the pound (£), which is used throughout the entire UK. All major credit cards can also be used across Scotland, with Visa and MasterCard being most widely accepted.
Scotland has its own bank notes that look different to those in the rest of the UK, however their value is the same. Both Scottish and UK-wide notes can be used throughout Scotland.
With more than 300 years of banking experience, your money is in safe hands in Scotland. With a large variety of banks offering different types of services, we have everything to meet your financial needs. Most banks in Scotland are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:00pm. In addition, many banks are also open on a Saturday morning.
You’ll find cash machines (ATM) everywhere in our larger towns and cities, and most rural areas will have at least one place where you can withdraw cash. Our cash machines will accept international bank cards and credit cards, as long as they have a four-digit PIN code.
Foreign currency is rarely accepted, but don’t worry, it’s easy to exchange any foreign currency in Scotland. Banks, hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks can be found at our international airports and also in most of our city centres.
*Disclaimer: the currency converter is provided by a third party and is for illustration purposes only. It is meant only as an approximate conversion tool based on the latest information available.
Cost of Living
Compared to the rest of Europe, and cities like London, Zurich, Paris, Dublin, New York and San Francisco, Scotland is a less expensive location to live and work.
Cost of living expenses (excluding accommodation) in Scotland’s cities relative to New York City are 38% less expensive in Aberdeen, 37% less expensive in Dundee, 34% less expensive in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and 31% less expensive in the capital, Edinburgh.
If you compare rents, Aberdeen is 80% less expensive, Dundee is 77% less expensive, Glasgow is 71% less expensive, and Edinburgh is 68% less expensive than New York City.
Source: Numbeo Cost of Living Index – April 2022
Along with highly competitive salaries, Scotland’s cities offer monthly living costs that are typically around 10% lower than other UK cities such as Cambridge and Oxford and as much as 39% lower than London.
Tax and social security
Individual tax rates make up a fairly large proportion of take-home pay in European locations. These taxes usually go towards the provision of public services and Scotland has a progressive approach to tax with lower earners paying less tax.
Personal income tax rates for different income bands in Scotland
|Band||Taxable Income||Scottish Tax Rate|
|Standard UK Personal Allowance||Up to £12,570||0%|
|Starter Rate||£12,571 to £14,732||19%|
|Scottish Basic Rate||£14,733 to £25,688||20%|
|Intermediate Rate||£25,689 to £43,662||41%|
|Higher Rate||£43,663 to £150,000||41%|
|Top Rate||over £150,000||46%|
Source: Scottish Income Tax: 2022-2023, Scottish Government
With convenient commute times between our major cities, Scotland gives you the opportunity to find the work-life balance that suits you. You might have heard of our stunning scenery, our vibrant cities and our famous golf courses – our low cost of living gives you even more chance to enjoy them all. City? Countryside? You don't choose, you get both. Coast to coast, learn about Scotland's vibrant cities and regions. Find out more about locations to live and work.