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Moving to Spain

Are you moving to Spain? Discover the prices for an international move and the steps to take to settle in Spain. Like many British people who have fallen in love with this country, it is important to prepare your project well before moving to Spain from the UK.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is the Cost of Moving to Spain?

The average price range for moving to Spain from the UK is estimated between £1000 and £5500.

As a national removal, the cost of international removal depends on the volume of your items and the distance between your old and new home. Means of transport and the destination’s proximity to a port are also important factors. The most common way of transportation for a removal to Spain is a shipping container.

Below you will find an estimate of the costs based on distance and volume. Prices can also vary depending on the additional services you will require. Finally, you can save around 30% on the total price if you opt-in for groupage-transport.

House Size Shipping Container Via Sea Cost Via Air freight
1-2 Bedroom Flat £1,026 – £1,134 (20ft)£2,668 – £2,948
3-5 Bedroom House £1,949 – £2,155 (40ft)£3,875 – £5,430

How to Estimate the Cost of a European Removal?

The cost depends largely on your destination within Spain: a removal to the Canary Islands or even to Gibraltar in the southern end of the Iberian peninsula will have a higher cost. The transportation method is also important in determining the price of your long-distance move to Europe. This is especially the case if you wish to ship your vehicle from the UK.

Save Up to 40% on Your Removal to Spain

Information on Moving to Spain from the UK

Before you arrive in Spain, take the time to research the administrative formalities of your new country. Consider the following:

1. ID in Spain

As a British citizen moving to Spain for more than one year or an indefinite period, you can apply for a visa at the Spanish Embassy nearest to your city.

2. Moving to Spain After Brexit

Remember to check Spain’s visa and immigration requirements before you plan your move. For the latest information on visa and immigration for UK nationals planning to move to a country in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, take a look at the European Commission’s resource (here), and the UK Government’s Living in Europe Guidance.

3. How Can you Move to Spain With your Car?

If you are transporting your car to Spain, you will need to register your vehicle in Spain. Be aware that formalities can be long and tedious. Find more information on this subject on the website of the British Consulate General in Madrid.

4. Cost of Living in Spain

You’re probably already aware of the low cost of living in Spain compared to the UK. It may be one of the main reasons why you’re considering moving there in the first place. Renting or buying a house can be quite reasonable, even if living in the city centre. Below you find prices comparisons of certain items:

Restaurant€10 menu£26 menu
Gym€38€ 29

5. Housing in Spain

Depending on the area, the price of rent can be relatively cheaper than in the UK. However, if you want to live in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, you should account for a 60% price increase compared to the rest of Spain. Landlords sometimes tend to inflate rental prices for foreign tenants. Below is an estimate of the rental prices:

Citiesroom/shared apartment1 room apartment3 rooms apartment

6. Spain’s Thriving British Community

Sunshine all year round, a wide diversity of landscapes to explore and a relaxing way of life are among the main reasons people from the UK decide to make Spain their new home.

It’s no big surprise that Spain hosts the largest group of UK nationals living in the rest of the European Union. As of 2017, there’s a total of 310,000 UK-born people, according to The UK’s Independent FactChecking Charity.

Moving to Spain Checklist

1. Applying for an NIE number

British citizens who relocate to Spain are required to register within the province of their new home and to obtain an NIE number (Registration Number for Foreigners). The latter is necessary for many procedures (working, acquiring real estate, opening a bank account, registering your car, etc.).

How Long is the NIE Number Valid?

The NIE is valid for 5 years. It can be requested at the police station of your residential area or from the Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjeros), upon presentation of the duly completed form, an identity document and two photos.

2. Register at the British Consulate

When you arrive abroad, you must register with the British consulate in the district of your place of residence. British citizens are not required to complete this registration, although it is recommended. This will allow you to participate in local elections and ensure your safety in the country (important information, warn your loved ones in case of problems, etc.).

3. Which Spanish Bank to Choose?

To open a bank account, you will need an identity document and your NIE number. The most popular Spanish banks are BBVA, La Caixa and Santander, popular with individuals and Banco Sabadell, more directed towards professional customers. Online banks are very popular and preferred by the Spanish because they provide all services for free.

You can open an account as a non-Spanish resident, i.e. potentially non-taxable and not subject to Spanish income tax if your main residence is defined in the UK.

4. Social security Number

To obtain your social security number, you must register with the municipal census (empadramiento) at the town hall of your place of residence.

5.Taxes in spain

Your taxes will depend on your living situation when registered either in the UK or Spain. If you work in Spain, you will be considered a resident and subject to income tax. The tax treaty signed between the UK and Spain specifies the conditions to avoid double taxation in matters of income and wealth tax.

6. Will your qualifications be recognised in Spain?

Depending on the job you practised in the UK, you may have to request a diploma equivalent from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to have your UK qualifications accredited.

7. Moving to Spain with a Pet?

If you plan to move to Spain with your pet, you will need to follow the Spanish legislation, at least 21 days before the travel date. Your cat or dog needs to have an ISO pet microchip inserted and may need to be vaccinated for rabies.

Quick Facts About Life in Spain

With its favourable climate (although it can still snow in Madrid), the quality of life and its world-renowned culinary delights, Spain strongly resembles an El Dorado for many students, retirees and young workers who have come to start a new life here. Here is some basic information about Spanish culture:

  • Spanish is the official language, but if you live in Barcelona you will encounter people speaking Catalan, or Basque in Navarre.
  • Lunch or dinner time is later than in the UK, on average around 2 pm to 3 pm for lunch and not before 10 pm for dinner or even midnight!
  • It is not customary or compulsory to leave a tip.

To avoid paying more than needed for your international move, compare companies to find out which one offers the best offer and service for your needs.

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