Yes petrol is one of the few things cheaper here. That and tvs (I have no idea why).
Personally we lived in a two bed semi in Manchester, about 9 miles out of the centre. We had plenty of nice canal walks through beautiful fields etc near us. It wasn't far to go for good shopping or eating (neither of which compare here in my opinion).
The only things I think are better here is the space (you can't really buy space around Manchester no matter how much money you have) and the weather. But even the weather gets COLD here in winter, and unbearably hot in summer.
If you like beaches it has that too. Personally I don't.
I do love being able to grow more veggies, and never (well once) having to scrape ice off my car. :-)