Moving to Spain


move to spain

Moving home to Spain from the UK

So I do have experience in this and can actually offer some great advice on how to prepare and make the transformation successful. I have made the mistakes so hopefully you wont have to.

I spent the first few months looking at regions and as much as I would have loved to live on the island of Majorca it is just not feasible, why? Well firstly there is only 1 airport and in peak times you will pay through the nose if you are trying to get back to the UK in a hurry, it’s expensive to get off an island!. Secondly don’t look at this move as an extension of a great holiday, trust me when I say wherever you move to you will have a great life, great food, peace of mind and about 10 years added to your life.

When I first found Catalunya in the NE of Spain back in 2011 it was the perfect choice, 5 airports servicing the area and only a 14 hr drive back to London if I had to. Had I been looking for just sunshine I would have chosen the south of Spain for sure, but it really isn’t that important. What was important were the following factors;

  1. Accommodation costs, 75% less than the UK, purchase or rental it’s about the same
  2. Grocery shopping 40% less
  3. Petrol 25% less
  4. Car insurance 65% less
  5. Warm weather (t-shirt warm) from mid-March to Early November, either side of that a mild climate with December and January being cold. Obviously this depends where you move to but in the North this is the case.
  6. Better health service
  7. Better form of education

These are just a few;

I had planned to move there one day but events in the UK forced my hand slightly late 2014 / early 2015. I was lucky enough to run a removals company and priced the move down to the penny using one of our vans, however, when I looked at what we were moving it was at best second hand furniture, that’s all. When I weighed up the value of the goods it was on a par with the cost of the move, so I listed everything that wouldn’t fit in the family saloon on eBay and sold it all. Although that was the right move financially, bringing the car here wasn’t the best idea I have had. Although it served its purpose for the first year I found now that I cannot MOT it without importing it first, the alternative was to list it for sale in the UK but it seems that the value is deeply affected due to its location and with a cost of £400 to drive it back, again the value is reduced. My recommendation is to sell the car before leaving and rent one when you arrive on a long term deal, its about 280 Euros a month from Gold Car for example, this will give you time to source a second hand vehicle but beware as they are expensive here.

Property rental deposits will set you back between 3 to 4 times the actual monthly rental cost, this is due to the agent taking one month and more often than not 2 months deposit plus the first month up front.

If you have children research the schools in the area, they generally work the same as far as catchment areas in the UK. There are many private schools but they come at a premium obviously, we looked at English schools but opted for a Montessori school purely because our Son was used to that method back in the UK. After some months though it was obvious that it didn’t suit him and the 2 hours a day travelling to and from school on a bus was wearing him down not to mention the school fees which we just couldn’t afford. Speak with the school beforehand so that you are prepared, and bear in mind that when it comes to children this is a major upheaval so as little disruption as possible is best practise.

I will keep updating this blog with more information so keep checking back.

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