Freelance: Britain’s best places to become your own boss

New research from MoneySuperMarket reveals the best cities across the UK for freelance and how current freelancers feel about self-employment.

Freelancing has a lot to offer, from giving you complete flexibility over time and the projects you work on, to being able to work from home every day.

More than 1.7 million Brits have chosen the freelance lifestyle, an increase of 43 per cent between 2008 and 2016 alone. So, with the popularity of this lifestyle set to continue to rise, is it for everyone?

To help those considering a freelance career, leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, has conducted a study revealing the best locations in the UK to live as a freelancer.

The results give an insight into the thoughts and feelings of freelancers on their career path and the benefits of taking the leap into self-employment.

Main motivations

For those surveyed, the primary reasons for making the move into the freelancing stemmed from the growing constraints of traditional working life. Within the survey, MoneySuperMarket looked into the pet peeves of working a traditional nine to five role.

The research found that that emotional wellbeing played a part, with 14 per cent admitting that their previous job was too stressful. Fourteen per cent also cited that working hours and the ability to take more time for themselves was also a reason for becoming freelance.

Perks of the ‘job’

Although, it can be daunting to become a freelancer, there were a number of benefits that came through from the survey:

  • 58 per cent of respondents cited flexible working hours as a key benefit of being freelance, with the average weekly working hours of freelancers surveyed being only 27 – 10.5 less than average full-time work
  • 42 per cent found being your own boss to be one of the biggest perk
  • An improved work-life balance has been a great benefit for many freelancers, with 45 per cent of freelancers surveyed seeing it as a major advantage.
  • In fact, 60 per cent of freelancers surveyed have never considered quitting and only 10 per cent feel becoming a freelancer was a bad career move.

The downside

As with all jobs, there are pros and cons to becoming a freelancer and it is important to consider these when making a decision on your career. When asked for their biggest annoyances and concerns, the survey found that:

  • Financial fears were the biggest worry for those surveyed, with 46 per cent saying that the lack of a steady income was the biggest part about going freelance. This deteriorated for those who actually became freelance, with 58 per cent remaining troubled by an inconsistent cash flow.
  • When starting out, relying on their personal network for work was also a worry for many. In fact, 18 per cent of those surveyed expressed worry about finding their own clients and 38 per cent stated that finding their own work is a concern now they are freelance.
  • 39 per cent stated that job security was one of their main concerns about being freelance.
  • While freelancing may have its perks and can improve your work-life balance, it’s equally important to consider how to protect your financial situation.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket comments, ‘The freedom and flexibility of self-employment is clearly seductive enough to tempt people away from traditional jobs, but freelancers should remember that it also brings a lot of responsibility.

‘Take accounting for tax – a freelancer has many tasks that a company employee doesn’t have to worry about.’

Pratt adds, ‘There’s also the management of personal finances. A freelancer doesn’t get sick pay or holiday pay, and doesn’t get commonplace employee benefits such as life insurance or critical illness cover – even though they need them just as much.

‘So it’s crucial that freelancers think about the financial products they need and make sure they get the best possible value when buying them.

‘Life insurance is a nailed-on essential for any freelancers that has dependants. It provides vital financial support in the event of the policyholder’s death, which can make a world of difference at what is inevitably a difficult time for those left behind.’

Further reading on freelance

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics


Leave a comment