Moving to Spain from the UK in 2023

Are you considering moving to the UK from Spain?

Recent years have seen a lot of changes, especially when it comes to moving around Europe.

We have lived through numerous lockdowns and legislation changes that have changed the way we live.

People are, therefore, no doubt starting to re-evaluate what they want from their personal lives.

Getting onto the property ladder, getting new experiences, and reconnecting with family and friends are among the many goals that many people are aiming to achieve.

No matter why you are considering moving to Spain from the UK, we are here to help.

The UK moving process has undergone some significant changes for those relocating to the EU.

In this article we focus on those thinking of moving to Spain from the UK, providing all the top tips required to ensure the move goes as planned.

We hope you find our moving to Spain from the UK guide helpful!

Good Areas to Live

Your choice of where to live depends on whether your job requires you to be in a big city or if you can move to an area with a slower pace of life.

Spain’s sunny coastal regions are the most popular destinations for expats moving to Spain from the UK.

Beautiful beaches and affordable property can be found in various areas, with the Costa Blanca being particularly popular.

English-speaking schools and friendly locals that live in this region make adjusting to life here easier for expats.

Spanish city Valencia is famous for its traditional food and is the third largest in the country.

The mountainous area surrounding the city is popular with expats seeking good-value homes.

Located further south in Andalusia, Malaga is a laid-back city with an eclectic mix of old and new.

This is another very popular location for those thinking of moving to Spain from the UK.

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Rule Changes

Many of you will already be aware of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Until Brexit, British citizens could live, work, and visit anywhere in the European Union.

It was possible to move to Spain without a visa restriction or a maximum stay period for British citizens.

Following Brexit, however, British citizens who want to live in Spain will have equivalent rules as non-Europeans.

As a result of the new rules, UK passport holders are now permitted to stay in Spain for a maximum of three months.

If you wish to stay longer, you must sign up as a resident.

Those wishing to work in Spain will require a visa or work permit.

Spanish Property

House Prices in Spain

If you are thinking of moving to Spain from the UK you will need to be up to date on the housing market.

A high percentage of Spaniards own their homes.

Sitting at almost 80%, it is well above the EU average and a higher percentage of ownership than the UK.

There are a large number of foreign investors who own Spanish property.

Among them are British expats who are drawn to coastal regions that often have low interest rates.

Spanish properties are plentiful, and some great deals can be found across the country.

Prices will however vary according to the location, size, and type of property.

Global economies have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Spain is no exception to this!

In the first half of 2020, house sales to foreigners dropped by 37% from a year prior!

At the start of 2023, the average house price in Spain is sitting at €249,400.

This represents very good value to the UK average, which was £296,000 in October 2022.

Renting in Spain

Renting is another great option for many people thinking of moving to Spain from the UK.

Spanish rental markets will be very similar for people moving from the UK.

It is important, however, to conduct some comprehensive research prior to moving, especially checking your rights as a tenant.

It is always advisable to put rental agreements in writing in Spain, even though they are not always legally required.

A short-term contract, typically lasting a year or less, tends to offer fewer legal protections than a longer-term agreement.

In the center of Madrid, a three-bedroom property costs around €1,739.79 (£1,540.86) as of January 2023.

The cost of a similar-sized apartment in the center of Barcelona is about €1,743.34 (£1544.01).

Prices will drop as you move further outside the city center in both locations.

Jobs in Spain

Job Opportunities

Expatriates in Spain are commonly thought of as retirees enjoying the glorious Spanish weather.

This is not necessarily the case!

Nearly two-thirds of expats living in Spain were of working age, according to ONS statistics.

Spain, like many European countries, has yet to fully recover from the economic downturn.

There is currently a high rate of unemployment in the country, particularly among young people.

Pandemic effects have also been felt economically!

As a result, finding work may be a challenge.

This does not mean it is impossible to find employment!

Job opportunities are plentiful in emerging industries like IT and consultancy.

As you might expect, seasonal job openings in tourism and hospitality are common.

Social Life in Spain

Moving to Spain from the UK can offer some huge changes in lifestyle!

In addition to being friendly and open, Spanish people love to socialise.

You are sure to enjoy your time in Spain if you believe this holds true of yourself.

Spanish people are open to meeting new people, so making new friends here will be straightforward even if you aren’t especially open to it.

It is likely you will be welcomed into your newly purchased Spanish home by your neighbours, helping to quickly settle into your new life here.

The feeling that you have always been there and are very welcome is a huge factor in assisting people moving to Spain from the UK.

Healthcare in Spain

It is essential to understand healthcare provisions when moving to Spain from the UK.

CEOWorld Magazine’s Health Care Index ranks Spain 8th among all countries for its healthcare system.

To provide some perspective, the UK currently sits in 10th place.

The Spanish healthcare system offers both public and private options, similar to the UK.

Social security contributors in Spain have access to free public healthcare.

Your social security number will be on the registration card provided.

By using this card, you will have access to the public health care system.

Keep in mind that some procedures may require a small fee to cover costs.

Private health insurance is available, with around 15% of Spanish citizens having it in place.

This is certainly worth considering.

Alternative or complement to public healthcare is becoming increasingly prominent, both in Spain and the UK.

Spanish Beach

Spanish Climate

Despite Spain’s immense size, the majority of the country is blessed with sunshine all year round.

There is a cool but humid climate along the north coast of the country with the average temperature sitting at 14oC.

South coast regions experience a warmer climate throughout the year.

Temperatures in this region remain in the 20s from May to October, sometimes even later into the year.

Cost of Living

Spain has a much lower cost of living than the UK and most other Western European countries.

Wages, however, tend to be significantly lower as well.

In a comparison of Spain’s costs of living and the UK’s, Numbeo indicates that pretty much everything is cheaper in Spain.

For example, a meal for two at a restaurant cost £44 in Spain compared to £55 in the UK.

The cost of a monthly train ticket in Spain is £35 and in the United Kingdom it is £65.

Monthly utilities cost £112 as opposed to £187 in the UK.


Schools in Spain

A good education is a must for families moving to Spain from the UK.

For children between 6 and 16 years old, education in Spain is free and is overseen by Ley Orgánica de Educación (LOE, Organic Law of Education).

Many English-speaking schools also exist throughout the country.

When it comes to further education you should be fully aware of the qualifications.

A Spanish Bachillerato is roughly equivalent to an A Level.

Most expat families, particularly those who plan to stay for a short time, send their children to an international school.

Depending on the school, fees can range from €2,000 to more than €10,000 per year.

Moving Box

Moving Your Belongings

When relocating, it’s imperative to hire a removal company with experience moving goods to Spain.

Most removal companies offer full and part-load services.

If you want to have all your belongings transported on a fixed date, the full-load service is the most expensive.

In contrast, a part load involves sharing the consignment with other customers and receiving your goods over a certain period.

Whether it is moving furniture that is difficult or dealing with accessibility issues, they will be able to handle your goods with care.

In addition, they will inform you about what documentation is needed to satisfy local customs and duty regulations.

Exchange Rate

Spain uses the Euro as its official currency.

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in large shops, restaurants, and hotels.

You must ensure you get the best exchange rate when moving from the UK to Spain.

Your return could be substantially increased if you move a large amount of money.

This is especially the case when you purchase a home!

It is common for banks to charge high rates when transferring money abroad.

Use trusted FX partners to compare rates with your own bank and see how much you could save.

Moving to Spain with Pets

Taking Your Pets Abroad

Spanish law prohibits the import of pets that are under three months old without the necessary vaccinations.

This means that taking your pet dog, cat, or other animals with you will require advance planning.

It is imperative that your pet is vaccinated against rabies and microchipped with a 15 digit microchip.

Your pet must wait 21 days before travelling if this is their first rabies vaccination.

For all the up-to-date facts about moving to the EU with pets post-Brexit visit the BlueCross website.

For more guidance read our blog post on moving abroad with pets.

Travelling with your pet requires you to fly with them on board which means keeping them in their crate.

Alternatively, you can store them in cargo storage with the rest of your bags or classify them as live animals.

Transporting Your Car

Taking your car abroad has become a common practice in recent years.

When moving your car abroad, you have a couple of options.

Getting it shipped in a container is the first option.

It is possible to fit most cars inside a 20ft container. This typically costs around £1000.

Additional costs mean that this whole process is not cheap.

You will have spent over £3000 on this plus quarantine checks!

In general, people prefer to drive to Spain in their cars when relocating there.

It’s more time-consuming, but you save a lot of money and get to see parts of Europe along the way!


Banking in Spain

Getting your finances in order is important before moving to Spain.

Non-residents may open an account before they live in Spain.

A Certificate of Residency is needed if you plan to become a permanent resident.

After receiving the certificate, you can request a change of account with the following documentation; An EX15 Certificate, Passport and NIE number.

There are several major banks in Spain, including Santander, ING Direct, and Banc de Sabadell.

In the case that you bank with Santander in the UK, you will still have to open a Spanish account.

Opening a bank account is an important consideration when moving to Spain.

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Ready To Start Moving To Spain?

If you are thinking of moving to Spain from the UK, we are here to help!

We have decades of experience handling removals throughout the UK and Europe.

Our customer-centric approach to removals has earned us critical acclaim.

We also offer flexible self-storage options to our customers either as part of a tailor-made removals package or as a standalone service.

All our experienced staff are fully trained in all aspects of the removal industry.

This combined with excellent communication and customer service is what marks us out as the premier removal firm when moving to Spain.

To find out how R.H Pardy’s removals service can work for you don’t hesitate to contact us on the number listed above or use the quick quote form.