Moving to Spain

This page includes important information if you are thinking of moving to Spain.  From how to find a house, to the strange Spanish customs and everything in between we’ve got you covered. Below is what you can find on this page:

Tips and Cost of Moving to Spain

Here you can find everything you need to know about the cost of moving to Spain and also some tips to help you save money on your move!

Moving Costs

Household sizeTimeEstimated Cost
1 bedroom flat5-7 days£2,000 – £2,700
3 bedroom house5-7 days£3,300 – £4,500
5 bedroom house5-7 days£5,400 – £7,300

Spain is a big country, therefore the cost of moving to Spain can vary depending on where you would like to move to in addition to the volume you want to move. You can use our removal volume calculator to help you when you ask for removal quotes.

The most popular way of moving your things to Spain is to use overland transport which takes around 3-5 days. Sirelo has estimated the removals costs above. If you want further information you can have a look at our international removal costs page or our top 10 international removal companies.

Request a Free Removal Quote

You can fill out our quick and easy form and request up to five free removal quotes if you are moving from the UK to Spain. It takes less than five minutes and can save you up to 40% on your move!

Car Transport

The driving licence of citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, are valid in Spain, just as it is in their home country. Therefore, a licence issued in the UK is also valid in Spain. If you stay for two years or commit a traffic offence then you will be obligated to exchange your UK driving license for a Spanish one.

  • Generally a car will fit into a 20ft container which costs a base price of around £1100. Quarantine and taxes also need to be factored in which costs a further amount, usually between £1,000 and £2,500 amounting to a total of £3,600.
  • Due to the cost many expats choose to drive to Spain themselves as a mode of transporting their cars as this works out cheaper, even with the additional costs of accommodation on top of the journey.
  • Fortunately car insurance tends to cost less in Spain. Additionally there is an EU law which prohibits companies to charge more if a car is right hand drive (or vice versa) so you won’t be out of pocket for having a UK car.

Pet Transport

Are you thinking about moving to Spain with dogs or cats? Well, you will be pleased to know that you can bring your pet with you, but you have to make sure that you have met the requirements for your pet to enter the country. For example, your pet must be micro-chipped and you must have proof that your pet has a current rabies vaccination.

For more information on the import regulations, you can read this page on the immigration of pets to Spain. Also, take a look at our moving your pets abroad blog for tips and other things that may want to consider.

Saving Money on your Move

Moving abroad can be expensive, but there are many things that you can do to save money. Here are some tips:

  • Plan your move and be organized; use our moving checklist for help.
  • Throw away belongings that you haven’t used within the past year. If you haven’t used them in the past 12 months, you probably don’t need them!
  • Do your research on which removal company would be best for you. You can take a look at our list of top 10 international removal companies for some help.
  • Request multiple removal quotes so that you don’t end up paying more than you should for your move.
  • Removal companies may offer you extra services to help make your move easier, however, these will come at a cost e.g. packing, insurance, renting a storage unit etc. You can try and do these yourself to save money.

For more handy tips about moving to Spain that you won’t find anywhere else on the internet check out our blog 24 tips no one tells you before you move to Spain.

Save up to 40% on your removal!
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Visas, Jobs and the Housing Market

Here you can find important things you need to know if you are considering moving to Spain: visas, property and the Spanish job market.

No Visa Needed

If you are an EU national or are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) you do not require a visa to enter Spain. Therefore, a UK national does not need a visa to be allowed to enter or live in Spain. Moreover, since the UK is part of the Schengen Agreement, a UK national can stay in Spain for up to 90 days without having to do any paperwork.

Register at the Oficina de Extranjeros

If you are moving to Spain for longer than 3 months you have to register at the Oficina de Extranjeros in your province. You will need to bring a form of identification as well as public or private health care or insurance. You may also have to produce proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents.

After your registration, you will recieve your NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjeros). The Número de Identificación Extranjeros is important because you will need this number to open a bank account, get paid or pay taxes.

Moving to Spain

The Housing Market

For rental properties there are several options but the main one is to go through an estate agent (inmobiliarias). There are also several online portals to find a property abroad. Bear in mind that if you use a portal targeted at expats you will be paying more than average.

Here are some online property portals to help you find a place:

Although renting a property might seem like a great option, many expats choose to buy a place in Spain. Mainly because the market was hit hard by the global financial crisis which caused the price of properties to plummet. You are able to get a lot for your money, often it can be cheaper than renting.

Jobs in Spain

There are a lot of job websites that you can use to find English-speaking jobs in Spain as well as Spanish-speaking jobs. Here is a list:

You can read more about the Spanish job market and how the Spanish work culture differs to the UK on our working in Spain page

Your Moving Checklist

To make sure that you don’t forget anything when you move abroad, Sirelo has developed a checklist to help you with your move to Spain:

  • Double check all Spanish paperwork – it may be well known that the administrative process in Spain is difficult but it is still a surprise for those that move abroad.
  • Register on el padrón– Once you and your family are registered at the town hall you will have the same rights as a Spanish citizen. This includes registering for the local bus pass rates or being able to enrol your children in school.
  • Renew your EHIC – as a temporary measure it is important to have a valid European Health Insurance Card. After registering and you have an NIE number you will be entitled to the same healthcare as Spanish citizens. You can read our page on healthcare in Spain for more information.
  • Make sure you have access to euros. If you want more information about how to transfer money abroad effectively check out our page.
  • Make sure you have told the tax authority that you are moving abroad. There are agreements in place to avoid being taxed twice, but you need to tell the authorities in order to ensure this works. Read our taxes in Spain page for a more in-depth explanation.

For help, you can take a look at our time lined checklist for moving abroad and the steps you should take to prepare for you move.

Moving to Spain

How to Live like a Local

Interested in finding out more about the Spanish lifestyle? Read on…

Cost of Living

City scoresCosts per city
CityQuality of lifePurchasing powerSafetyHealth careCost of livingPollution
Barcelona645668644872
CityCappuccino price1L milk priceOne dozen eggs priceThree room apartment rent
Barcelona£ 1,47£ 0,70£ 1,60£ 889,03

The cost of living in Spain ranges significantly between each city. Even more so when it comes to moving to smaller villages. You should take a look at our moving to Madrid and Barcelona pages for more information.

Education in Spain

If you are moving with your family to Spain, you may want to know what the education system is like. Here is a rundown of the different age groups:

  • 0 -3 years: Guarderia, called nursery in the UK
  • 3-6 years: Escuela Infantil, pre-school
  • 6-12 years: Primaria, primary school
  • 12-16 years: ESO (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria), secondary or high school
  • 16-18 years: Bachillerato, A levels
  • Formación Profesional: Apprenticeship
  • 18+: University and higher education

If you are planning to move to Spain for university, you may interested in reading what the top 10 universities in Spain are and if you want to find out more you can read our education in Spain page.