How Much Gym Membership Costs

The fitness industry in the UK is booming, with a vast array of gym memberships on offer.

But how much should you expect to pay?

This comprehensive guide will delve into the gym membership cost in the UK, helping you understand why prices vary and assist you in making an informed decision when choosing a gym that suits your budget and fitness needs.

Overview of Gym Membership Cost in the UK

When considering joining a gym in the UK, prospective members will find that the average cost of a gym membership hovers around £40 per month. This figure, however, is not set in stone and can vary significantly based on several crucial factors.

At the more affordable end of the spectrum, certain gyms offer memberships for as low as £15 per month. These are often no-frills establishments that focus on providing basic fitness equipment and facilities without the added luxury of, for example, a swimming pool. Examples of such budget-friendly gyms include PureGym and The Gym Group, both of which have numerous locations across the country and are known for their competitive pricing and flexible membership options.

On the other end of the scale, there are gyms that cater to those looking for a more exclusive fitness experience, with membership fees that can stretch into the hundreds of pounds each month. These high-end gyms often boast a wide array of additional amenities. Examples of these premium establishments include Third Space and Virgin Active’s Collection clubs, which are situated in more affluent areas and are designed to meet the demands of those who wish for an upscale gym experience.

Gyms located in more affluent or central urban areas tend to charge more due to higher operational costs, such as rent and utility expenses. Additionally, the type of gym — whether it’s a large chain, an independent gym, or a boutique fitness studio — plays a significant role in determining the price. Larger chains might offer more competitive rates due to their scale, while boutique studios might charge more for specialized classes and personalized attention.

What Makes Gyms Cheap Or Expensive?

Gym Membership Expensive or Cheap

All sorts of things can influence the cost of gym membership, but in general, they can be broken down into the following categories.

Type of Gym

The type of gym can significantly impact the cost. For instance, gyms offering 24-hour access may charge more than those with set opening hours. Likewise, high-end gyms with amenities like saunas, spas, and personal training services will likely cost more than local leisure centres with basic equipment.


Gyms located in high-traffic, urban areas with expensive real estate, like London, often charge more than gyms in less populated or rural areas. Moreover, gym chains may adjust their prices based on the popularity and affluence of the location.


The number and quality of amenities offered by a gym can affect the membership cost. Gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, diverse fitness classes, spas, saunas, and personal training services are likely to charge more than gyms offering basic facilities.

Size of the Gym

The size of the gym can influence the cost. Larger gyms with a wide variety of equipment and facilities may charge more than smaller gyms with limited equipment.

Personal Trainers

The availability and expertise level of personal trainers can also affect the gym membership cost. Gyms offering access to highly qualified personal trainers will likely charge a premium.

Regional Variation

The cost of gym memberships can vary across different regions in the UK. For instance, gym memberships in London tend to be more expensive due to the high cost of living and real estate in the city. On the other hand, gym memberships in smaller cities or towns could be more affordable.

Breakdown of Gym Membership Options

Types of Gym Membership

You can think of gyms as fitting into one of three categories: budget, mid-range, and premium.

Budget Gyms

Budget gyms, such as The Gym Group and PureGym, offer memberships starting from £15 to £20 per month. These gyms typically provide basic facilities and 24/7 access, making them a cost-effective choice for those on a tight budget.

Mid-Range Gyms

Mid-range gyms, like JD Gyms and Better, offer memberships ranging from £25 to £35 per month. These gyms usually offer a broader range of facilities and classes compared to budget gyms.

Premium Gyms

Premium gyms, such as Virgin Active and David Lloyd, offer memberships that can cost upwards of £50 per month. These gyms provide a luxury fitness experience with a wide array of high-end facilities, including swimming pools, saunas, and exclusive fitness classes.

Perks of Expensive Gym Memberships

While premium gyms come with a higher price tag, they offer several perks that may justify the cost for some people.

These can include:

  • Access to a wide range of high-quality, modern equipment
  • Diverse fitness classes led by professional trainers
  • Luxury facilities such as saunas, spas, and swimming pools
  • Personal training services
  • Nutritional advice and meal planning services
  • Exclusive member events and workshops
  • Fewer members and less crowded workout sessions

Benefits of Budget Gym Memberships

Gym Equipment Rows of Dumbells

Budget gyms, despite their lower prices, offer several advantages too, including:

  • Affordable and flexible membership options
  • Basic but functional equipment
  • 24/7 access, allowing you to workout at your convenience
  • Bolt on services for additional payments
  • Some budget gyms also offer free or low-cost fitness classes

How to Save on Gym Membership Cost

Several strategies can help you save on gym membership costs:

  • Opt for off-peak memberships where available: These are often cheaper as they limit access to non-peak hours.
  • Take advantage of free trials: Most gyms offer free trials, allowing you to test out the facility before committing.
  • Look out for discounts and promotional offers: Gyms often run promotions offering reduced membership fees or waiving joining fees.
  • Consider pay-as-you-go options: Some gyms offer pay-as-you-go options, where you only pay for the days you use the gym.

Final Thoughts on Gym Membership Cost in the UK

Choosing a gym membership is a personal decision that depends on your budget, fitness needs, and lifestyle.

Whether you opt for a budget-friendly gym or a premium facility, the most crucial factor is finding a gym where you feel comfortable and motivated to reach your fitness goals.

Remember, the best gym for you is the one that you’ll regularly use.