Moving to Spain from the UK: A Complete Guide

So you are moving to Spain from the UK, what an adventure! However, before you can kick back with a glass (or pitcher) of Sangria, we imagine there are a few things to organise. That is why we have put together this complete guide, outlining the cost of moving to Spain from the UK, a moving to Spain checklist, and all the other tips and tricks you need.

How Much Does it Cost to Move To Spain from the UK?

How long is a piece of string? With fear of sounding too philosophical, unfortunately there is no single answer to how much it costs to move to Spain from the UK. The cost of your move is dependent on several factors, most significantly the exact distance you intend to travel and the volume of your things. If you don’t fancy spending hours with a tape measure, use our handy furniture volume calculator instead.

Right, let’s get to the numbers. While the only accurate way to work out how much it costs to move to Spain from the UK is to request removal quotes from us, we have done our best in the meantime to outline some estimates. The table below indicates the cost of moving various size properties from London to Madrid by road.

Household SizeTimeCost
1 bedroom apartment9 – 13 days£2,000 – £2,700
2 bedroom house3 – 5 days£2,500 – £3,400
3 bedroom house3 – 5 days£3,200 – £4,400
4 bedroom house3 – 5 days£4,300 – £5,800
5 bedroom house3 – 5 days£5,400 – £7,300

Disclaimer: The above figures are just estimates. Final costs will depend on the exact points of departure and arrival, and the service rates of the company. 

Please note that this table only shows the cost of moving to Spain for one mode of transportation. You can also opt to transport your belongings by sea or air. There is more information on this on our container shipping costs page.

Moving to Spain on a Budget

It is safe to say that moving to Spain from the UK can cost a few bob. However, there are a few tricks and tips available to you to minimise costs if you are moving to Spain on a budget.

  • Declutter, declutter and declutter some more. As we mentioned, the volume of your furniture is a crucial determining factor in the final cost of your move to Spain. While we understand the value of sentimentality, any items which don’t get the love and attention they deserve, consider selling and repurchasing on arrival; it often works out cheaper!
  • Do your research. Finding the best removal company for you is important both for financial reasons and, more importantly, for your peace of mind. If you are not sure how to get going, we have compiled a list of the top international removal companies; what better place to start?
  • Consider what services you need. Often surplus charges will be added to your moving to Spain quotes for things like packing assistance. Consider whether you are able to do this yourself instead. With some help from our how to pack to move house guide, we have every faith in you 😉

We hope we have shown you that there is no blanket answer to how much money you need to move to Spain. Instead, get your thinking cap on and you will be surprised how thrifty you can be!

moving to spain

Moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit

We understand that Moving to Spain from the UK may feel more overwhelming and confusing than ever, given the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the proceeding negotiations. If your mind is running in circles, we have an entire page dedicated to moving to Europe after Brexit, so don’t hesitate to check it out.

Given this subject is everchanging, we do our best to constantly update our website. However, for a comprehensive overview of the intricacies of the Brexit talks, we recommend visiting the government website.

A Complete Moving to Spain from the UK Checklist

We believe there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off a checklist, which is why we have put together this one for you. It outlines all the ins and outs of moving to Spain, so you can ensure that you, and all your possessions, arrive in one piece!

If this moving to Spain checklist doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry, we won’t take it personally! Instead, take a look at our more general moving abroad checklist.

Organise your paperwork

Instead of trying to convince you that piles of paperwork is all fun and games, instead think of it this way; once you get this ticked off your moving to Spain checklist, your dreams of engorging on tapas under the Spanish sun will be that much closer to reality! What are you waiting for?

  • Register on el padrón. This is the Spanish population register. Once you are registered here, you get the same rights as Spanish citizens. Sounds like a pretty good deal! To register, you will need:
    • A form of identification
    • Public or private healthcare or insurance
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support you and your dependents.

After you register, you will receive your NIE Number (Número de Identificatión Extranjeros) which is required to open a bank account, get paid and pay taxes.

  • Inform HMRC. Fancy paying tax twice? Thought not. You must inform HMRC that you are moving abroad to avoid this.

Money, money, money…

Whether we like to admit it or not, money makes the world go round. Therefore, it is imperative that you get your finances in check when moving to Spain from the UK. There are a couple of things to organise.

  • Open a bank account. Getting a local bank account is guaranteed to make your life easier, so get this sorted as soon as you have your NIE number. If you are not sure where to start, explore these banks’ websites to find the right fit for you:
  • Transfer your money. Not much point having a bank account if there is nothing in it, so transfer any money in your British account into your shiny new one!

While we are on the subject of money, it is worth understanding all of the factors that contribute to the final cost of a move to Spain. Our international moving costs page does a pretty good job at that…if we do say so ourselves!

Transferring money when moving to Spain

Are you moving to Spain with a car?

We know how easy it is to be attached to your four wheels. If you can’t bear to part ways, don’t worry; you are not the only one! However, if this is the case, it is imperative that you consider the following guidelines amidst your move to Spain.

  • Driving licence. First for some good news, your UK driving licence is valid in Spain. However, there is always a catch: if you intend to move to Spain for more than two years, or commit a traffic offence, you will be obligated to exchange your licence for a Spanish one.
  • Quarantine and taxes. As well requiring a bigger container, and therefore increasing your container shipping costs, moving to Spain with your car incurs further expenses. The import tax on your car will depend on the value of it. More information can be found on this article about importing a car to Spain.

Tip! Trying to move to Spain from the UK on a budget? Why not drive to Spain yourself and save space in your container for other belongings!

And what about your pets?

Got a furry friend coming along? Or indeed a reptile, feathered creature…or whatever you’re into! The good news is, it is possible to move to Spain from the UK with your pet. The bad news is, it requires a certain amount of planning and organisationas if you didn’t have enough on your plate already!

  • Your pet must be microchipped. Get this done first if your pet hasn’t got one already.
  • Rabies vaccination. Cats, dogs and ferrets must have had a rabies vaccination administered after the microchip is implemented. The good news is, unlike with a lot of countries, Spain does not insist on a grace period after the vaccination before entry is permitted. Toma!
  • Health certificate. Your vet must complete the non-commercial EU health certificate for Spain. Enquire at your vet for more information.

Feeling homesick? You’ll be pleased to know that Yorkshire Terriers are the most popular dog breed in Spain. So if nothing else, a small (and cute!) part of the great British North will be plentiful upon your arrival in Spain.

Moving to Spain by the beach

Life in Spain as a British Expat

Once the long and tedious process of moving to Spain from the UK is out of the way, it is time to sit back, relax and absorb everything La Piel de Toro has to offer. Read on to learn a little more about what to expect from your new home!

The cost of living in Spain

Some more good news: once you have moved to Spain, you can expect your cost of living to drop by 15.44% from the UK. So that’s more money to spend on paella and rioja; a good deal if you ask us!

Check out the following table which compares common cost of living metrics between the UK and Spain to gauge an initial idea of your future living costs.

MetricUKSpain
Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre£671£609
Basic monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment£196£107
1L of milk£0.71£0.72
0.5L of draught beer£3.16£2.26
1L of gasoline£1.38£1.17
Cappuccino£2.50£1.49

Did you know? Spain is the first country in the world to have wind energy as its greatest source of electricity. Consider this when switching over your utilities as it can help save on your cost of living. More information on how to do this can be found on our moving house utilities page.

Working in Spain

There is both good and bad news when it comes to seeking employment in Spain. The bad news is the Spain has the second highest unemployment rate in EuropeBut let’s brush over that, and instead focus on the fact that it is also one of the best places for female entrepreneurs. More than 40% of Spain’s new businesses have been set up by high-flying women! 😎

If you have moved to Spain from the UK and are still in search of work, signing up to some of the following job portals is a good place to start:

Beyond this, it is important that you adapt to Spain’s working customs and culture, including:

  • Time doesn’t exist as we know it. And we don’t mean you are entering a new galaxy…but just scrap your nine-to-five routine because meetings overrun, deadlines are ignored and don’t be surprised if you are still working at 8pm. On the plus side, lunch breaks tend to be leisurely and Fridays end early!
  • Get your names right. Spaniards are quite formal in a business setting. Scrap your ‘mates’ and ‘buddies’, and adopt senor, senora and señorita. Wait until your superiors introduce themselves as such before you get onto first name terms.
  • Dress smart. There is a focus on looking professional in Spanish work culture, so do yourself a favour and leave your jeans and hoodies for the weekend.
  • Last but not least, speak loudly: if not, you will never be heard amidst the roar of the Spanish!

What Next?

First of all, congratulations! You are now complete experts on how to move to Spain from the UK. Before we let you off the hook, we imagine you head is still swirling with questions. If that is the case, continue to explore the Sirelo website to settle your queries:

In the meantime, be sure to take it easy, and get excited! Spain has more bars per capital than any other nation; if you don’t get there soon, then we will 😉.