Single figures: British daters spend an average of £1,304 each year looking for love

Brits splash a total of £4 billion yearly to woo potential partners

  • Average single now spends £120 per date – over £1,304 each year
  • Dating’s contribution to UK economy tops £4 billion for first time
  • Brits’ spending on dating increases by 20 per cent between 2013-2014
  • £175 million was spent on gifts in 2014, rising from £120 million in 2013
  • Spending on ‘Date Bait’ (clothes, cosmetics and gifts) increases 42 per cent

As the British economy continues to strengthen, singles are investing more than ever before into finding a partner, new research from and The Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr), has shown. The average British dater now spends £1,304 each year on restaurants, bars, gifts, clothing and cosmetics to improve their dating success: an average of £120 per date. This means that, for the first time, dating’s contribution to UK GDP now tops £4 billion.

The research from and supplemented by Cebr, shows that –Britons are the most generous daters in Europe. British singles splashed out almost three times more per date (£120) than other European daters, with Italians spending an average of £43, the French £31 and the frugal Germans just £39 per date.

Over a third of the UK’s total dating spend (34 per cent) can now be attributed to ‘Date Bait’ –products that singles buy to impress their partner, such as new clothes, cosmetics and even pre-date gifts. Date Bait expenditure increased by 42% last year, with the nation’s singles spending £814 million on clothes alone: more than any other country surveyed, including the style-conscious Italians (£715 million). Gifting is also on the rise, seeing spending increase from £120 million in 2013 to £175 million (up 46 per cent).

The traditional dinner and drinks date remains a staple of the British dating scene, with a total of £2.2 billion spent on entertaining – a figure that has seen a £203 million increase from 2013. Daters spent an average of £712 per person a year going out to bars, pubs and restaurants – a significant increase on the £630.22 spent in 2013. To cater for this demand have increased their range of singles events and interested based activities.

UK Dating Expenditure

Category 2014 Total national date-related spend per year 2013 Total national date-related spend per year
Entertainment, restaurants, pubs, bars £2,209,300 £2,006,620
Clothes £813,800 £555,020
Transport £343,540 £281,780
Hairdressers / beauty salon £227,670 £196,390
Gifts £174,880 £119,540
Cosmetics £158,460 £99,050
Contraceptives £118,980 £115,270
TOTAL £4,046.62 billion £3,373.67 billion

Karl Gregory, MD UK & Ireland, said: “It’s great to see that as a country we continue to invest in romance. It seems single Brits go a step further than other European nations, investing more in preparation and the date itself. The huge growth of mobile dating means singles have a wealth of potential partners at their fingertips so UK singles find it more important than ever to look their best and go the extra mile to impress their date.”

Notes to editors:
*Exchange rates calculated on 12.05.15, EUR 1 = GBP 0.7164
** Research conducted by OnePoll between 3rd and 17th September 2014
All calculations were made by the Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr), based on an economic analysis of the TNS Lovegeist 2014 and 2015 survey, which samples around 4,500 active daters in the 2014 survey and just over 3,000 active daters in the 2015 survey throughout Germany, France UK, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. For the 2013 data for the UK a YouGov survey was conducted. The surveys have been supplemented with official statistics on the adult population and consumer spending in each country.

About Cebr:
Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd (Cebr) is an independent economics and business research and consulting practice. Cebr uses economics and econometrics, surveys, qualitative research, expert interviews, computer modelling and scenario planning to help clients understand their environment and forecast changes in it.
Over the past 22 years the Centre for Economics and Business Research has established itself as one of the UK’s leading economics consultancies. Cebr provides high-quality independent research to clients in a wide range of sectors including technology, financial services, business services, construction, rail, telecoms and retail.