There are a variety of gym chains in the UK and, depending on where you live, you may be within a short drive of several of them. Assuming your gym requirements are not too complex, since most gyms nowadays provide a wide range of equipment for both aerobic and weight training exercises, the deciding factor on which gym to choose may well come down to price…
Are gyms expensive in the UK?
At £47 per month on average, the cost of gym membership in the UK is mostly reasonable relative to the average salary of £26k / year. Assuming you earn an average salary and pay the average price for a gym membership, this represents spending 2.6% of your take-home pay on the gym.
How do I choose a gym membership?
Gym chains typically set distinct membership prices per each of their locations. Gym membership tends to be most expensive in cities like London where gyms have to pay more to rent premises, and where people tend to have more disposable income.
Most gyms tend to offer a range of different pricing tiers, with variables such as whether you can come at on-peak times, and whether you can work out at multiple locations typically bearing on the price you pay for your membership.
Another option that will impact the price you pay is whether you are prepared to lock yourself into an annual contract or not. Be warned, whilst this will make the monthly cost a little cheaper, if you later change your mind it can be expensive to cancel before the end of the agreed term.
When considering whether to join a gym, it can be most useful to first purchase a day pass. You can conveniently purchase a day pass for your local gym via Hussle.
Which gym has the cheapest membership?
With an average price of just £29 per month, The Gym Group offers the cheapest gym membership in the UK. This was closely followed by PureGym for which the average membership cost is only £2 more at £31 per month.
It’s worth noting that with 294 gyms and over 1 million members, PureGym is now the UK’s biggest gym chain. I have personal experience of PureGym as I was a member for about a year. In my view, they are a mostly well-equipped and maintained gym group, and I did enjoy visiting my local Bow Wharf gym. That said, I do think PureGym have somewhat become a victim of their own success. Some of their central London locations, for example, are ridiculously busy at lunchtime mid-week, and it can be tough to get on the equipment you want to use.
Can I get free gym membership?
When researching for this article, I came across Google searches by people looking for free gym membership. I was not able to find any gym chains in the UK offering free membership to people in any circumstances. I did however find cheaper membership pricing for students and over 65s at most of the gym chains I researched.
Cheaper alternatives to a gym membership
There are of course cheaper alternatives for working out versus joining a gym. The most obvious cheap forms of exercise include running or cycling. Although not everyone feels confident enough to run or cycle in public and cycling can be a little dangerous if you live in a built up area with lots of traffic.
Spin bikes can be relatively inexpensive solution for people who prefer to work out from the comfort of their home. To make sessions more engaging, you could follow a class for free on Youtube or, if you want something really engaging, you could purchase a Peloton for £1,350.
How much does gym membership cost at David Lloyd?
Gym membership at David Lloyd gyms costs £101 per month on average. Prices range from £77 to £124 depending on location, and there is also a joining fee costing between £60 and £150. This makes David Lloyd the most expensive gym chain in the UK, £54 more expensive than the average gym membership price across all major gym chains.
Which gym chains charge a joining fee?
Most gym chains charge some form of joining fee and this normally costs in the region of £10 to £40. However, it’s typical for the joining fee to be waived during certain promotional periods. At the time of writing, Virgin Active, Bannatyne’s and Fusion Lifestyle are not charging a joining fee to new customers.
|Gym chain||Average membership price||Joining fee|
|Nuffield Health||£86||£0 - £40|
|David Lloyd||£101||£60 - £150|
|Pure Gym||£31||£10 - £30|
|The Gym Group||£29||£0 - £10|
|Fitness First||£47||£10 - £20|
|Antyime Fitness||£38||£0 - £30|