Coles versus Tesco: Battle of the Batteries!

Also known as: the cost of living in Australia compared with the UK explained with batteries.

Time I did another of my scientifically flawless cost comparisons between the UK and Australia, this one should be slightly easier to complete than my post Buying a Bed in Australia: It’s a Nightmare!

For one thing, both of our countries sell Duracell and Energizer batteries and both Tesco and Coles do their own brand batteries as well. So this week, the price comparison will be like falling out of bed.

Or will it? Let’s go shopping for batteries…

batteries for saleThere are alkaline batteries, lithium batteries, rechargeable batteries, coppertop batteries, pre-charged batteries, ultra batteries, plus batteries, ultra plus batteries, ultra power batteries, plus power batteries, advanced batteries, advance + batteries, max batteries, ultimate batteries, power hi-tech batteries and good old-fashioned extra long life batteries.

Not forgetting, of course, that when you most need a battery, there are dead batteries.

And that’s just from those four different above-mentioned brands. So, maybe it is, just like the beds post, another nightmare?

But no, it wasn’t that bad, here are the prices in our respective countries for a mixture of batteries, comparing as closely as possible like for like.

Battery prices in Australia:

Cost of Australian Batteries
Battery prices in the UK:

Cost of UK BatteriesConclusion:

With the great British pound currently worth around $1.50 AUD, to buy this selection of batteries in the UK would set you back something like $55.86, whereas those same (or at least similar) batteries would have cost you $75.73 here in Australia.

On that basis, batteries in Australia are something like 35% more expensive here than in the UK.

But if we look at it in terms of the hard yakka, then it would take someone in the UK about 2 3/4 hours to earn the money to pay for those batteries, our Aussie worker would need to put in a slightly shorter shift; something like two hours and seven minutes would buy the same batteries in Australia.

If you need to know what I’m talking about here, check out my page about the hard yakka.

Rule of thumb: the cost of living in Australia

Remember the rule of thumb? What ever you earn in the UK, you should try to earn double that here in dollars. So if you earn £50,000 a year in the UK, you’ll want to earn $100,000 a year here in Australia. That’s because as a rule of thumb, if something costs £2 in the UK, it’ll probably cost you around $4 here.

Now, apart from the rechargeable batteries at the top of each list, pretty much every other item is, roughly speaking, twice as much in Australian dollars as it is in GBPs.

See how simple it is? Rule of thumb: what it costs in the UK in pounds, it’ll cost double that here in Australian dollars.

I explain all of this on my page called Calculating Your Comfortable Family Income in Australia.

There you have it; the cost of living in Australia compared to the UK all explained with batteries.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Ian Daniel May 17, 2013, 1:29 am |

    Hi Bob-Rob. Site is looking pretty sweet. Nice posts dude!

    • BobinOz May 17, 2013, 7:57 pm |

      Thanks mate, long time no speak. Hope you are well, I’ll flick you an email over the weekend, we should catch up!



      • BobinOz May 20, 2013, 3:55 pm |

        Tried emailing you Ian, it bounced back twice as undeliverable. Let me know what email address you are on these days if you get the chance. Cheers!

  • jim May 16, 2013, 7:06 pm |


    Is it better to err on the side of caution when looking at affordability etc. and use 2.5x as a figure (moving UK to AU) as that gives a buffer for future cost of living increases and some things are way more in Oz whereas some things are much cheaper (if I could live on steak and red wine australia would be a sure fire winner!)

    • BobinOz May 16, 2013, 7:59 pm |

      Hi Jim

      Well, for sure, if you can get 2.5 times your salary here in dollars compared with British pounds, then I think you will find yourself in a great position.

      I think it’s different for everyone, for example, petrol and as you’ve pointed out, steak is cheaper here, but books and alcohol, for example, dearer. Much depends on what your needs are. Personally I think it all pretty much evens out in the end, but if you can get 2.5, even better.

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