There are many reasons why Madeira is considered one of the best places in the world to live or retire in. The extremely affordable cost of living is just one of them…

If you’re thinking of living in a foreign country, the first thing you should ask yourself is, what lifestyle do you want to have? The climate, the landscape, the food, the language… all these small details will play an important role in your everyday life, and it is the combination of what’s most important for you that you should consider before deciding where to relocate.

It’s no coincidence that Madeira has conquered more and more expats searching for this unique “mix” between what the island has to offer and what families are looking for. And the best part is that in Madeira all this is available at an affordable cost…

Average cost of living in Madeira (Funchal)

From supermarket shopping to the cost of housing in general, Madeira provides a unique quality of life at a much lower price than the United States, the United Kingdom or the majority of Western European countries.

For example…

Comparison with London:

Consumer prices in Funchal are 38.12% lower than in London (without rent). Rent Prices in Funchal are 73.38% lower than in London. Restaurant Prices in Funchal are 54.97% lower than in London.

Comparison with Berlin:

Consumer prices in Funchal are 24.77% lower than in Berlin (without rent). Rent Prices in Funchal are 44.07% lower than in Berlin. Restaurant Prices in Funchal are 33.80% lower than in Berlin.

Comparison with Toronto:

Consumer prices in Funchal are 28.77% lower than in Toronto(without rent). Rent Prices in Funchal are 41.43% lower than in Toronto. Restaurant Prices in Funchal are 46.32% lower than in Toronto.

Comparison with New York:

Consumer prices in Funchal are 46.64% lower than in New York(without rent). Rent Prices in Funchal are 80.01% lower than in New York. Restaurant Prices in Funchal are 59.10% lower than in New York.

The same applies to average prices of restaurants, food, transportation and utilities, although there are differences from city to city.

Food prices in Madeira

At some mid-range restaurants, a three-course meal for 2 People can cost in average €32.50.

However, if you choose a restaurant that is mainly attended by locals, the cost will be significantly lower, especially if you choose the “prato do dia” (dish of the day) which usually serves traditional Portuguese food made with the freshest local ingredients.

And the average cost for inexpensive restaurants can be around €6.50.

Read The Fantastic Food and Amazing Drinks of Madeira that You should Try

In supermarkets, prices are also generally lower than what most expats are accustomed to, especially if you buy Portuguese products.

Transportation prices in Madeira

Transportation prices are also affordable in Madeira. If you’re thinking of using public transportation, a prepaid ticket of Funchal Buses (Horários do Funchal) costs €1.35, and a 1-day ticket €4.50.

If you prefer to drive, the average cost of owning a car is also cheaper in Portugal than in the USA or the UK, for example:

*AutoCosts website data.

Taxes

The IUC (Imposto Único de Circulação) is a tax that must be paid annually by anyone who owns a car in Portugal. It is calculated according to the car’s engine capacity and CO2 emission. The value of this tax is updated every year by the Portuguese Government.

Insurance

Even if you don’t leave the garage, your car must have liability insurance. The amount will depend not only on the insurance company chosen, but also on factors such as the age of the driver, previous accidents, the type of vehicle and, of course, the coverage.

The more basic the insurance, the cheaper. But the cheaper it is, the less protected you will be.

An online quick search will show you insurance from as little as €10 per month, but the best thing is to compare prices, see the coverage for each insurance and, of course, read the small print carefully.

Car Inspection

All cars over four years must have an annual car inspection that is mandatory by Portuguese law. The cost of this inspection is set every year by the Government and in 2020 the price for a small passenger vehicle was €31.35.

Utility costs in Madeira

When it comes to service costs, the amount will depend on your household size and lifestyle.

For example, for a 85m2 flat, you can expect a monthly average of €91.48 for Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water and Garbage. If you add a broadband internet service and cable TV to this, you can count on an additional €35.

Property prices in Madeira

Properties in Madeira are also reasonably priced, despite the increase in demand in the last few years.

Depending on the region of Madeira, if it is in Funchal or surroundings, the price of a new 2-bedroom flat with access to a shared swimming pool, can cost as little as €150,000.

The price per square meter to buy a flat in the city centre costs around €2,133.33 and the price per square meter to buy a flat outside the centre €1,332.00.

Although you can buy a house on your own, it is always a good idea to seek the help of a professional Portuguese real estate agent who will accompany you to find the best option for your lifestyle and budget.

Throughout Madeira, there are Madeiran companies who specialize in working with international clients and who will help you maximize your investment by advising you on such important matters as tax incentives specifically created for foreign investors.

But we always recommend that before you buy a property, you should first come to Madeira and rent a flat for some time in the city you want to buy the house. For that, we can help you, and you can contact us here. Also, strongly recommend you to rent a car here.

As you can see, prices in Madeira are very attractive for any budget and lifestyle, allowing foreigners from all over the world to enjoy a luxury lifestyle that doesn’t cost a fortune!