Tag Archives: moving to Spain

Healthcare and Pensions in Spain

Healthcare and Social Insurance

Once you are registered to work in Spain and make National Insurance contributions, you’ll be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a Spanish national. For further information, visit the Seguridad Social website (http://www.seg-social.es/Internet_6/index.htm) which gives up-to-date information, appropriate for you.

If you’re a beneficiary of a UK state retirement pensions in Spain or long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state-funded healthcare paid for by the UK. You’ll need to apply for form S1 from the International Pension Centre (tel: 0191 218 7777). You need to register your S1 with Spanish authorities. This entitles you to an EHIC issued by the UK. Which in turn allows access to medical care in other EEA countries, including Britain. (more…)

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Transportation in Spain

Driving in Spain

Driving can become your favorite mean of transportation in Spain. There is spectacular scenery and little, or no congestion, but speed limits often change.

Don’t even consider drink driving, unless you like the thought of incarceration in a Spanish prison. The blood alcohol level is 0.5 per mg ( which equates to one small beer), dropping to 0.1 mg for drivers who passed their test within two years.

Documents you MUST carry

  • Insurance certificate obligatory at least for third party
  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle registration documents


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Social Life in Spain


Learning national language may be one of crucial points of diving into the social life in Spain. The only language with official status throughout Spain is Spanish or Castilian. Various other languages have co-official status in specific parts of Spain and there are also a number of other unofficial languages and dialects spoken. Nearly everyone can speak Castilian either as a first (89%) or second language. For around 9% of Spanish people Catalan or Valencian is the first language, Galician is spoken by 5%, and Basque by 1%. All these have publishing and media interest and in the cases of Catalan and Galician, they are the main languages used by the Catalan and Galician regional governments and local administrations.

There are also many dialects around the country — but as almost everyone can speak and understand Castilian they can communicate quite easily with each other. (more…)

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Living in Spain

Cost of living in Spain


If you exclude the popular tourist destinations in the season, you’ll find that the cost of living in Spain is much lower than in the UK. To compare Barcelona and London: 


  • Consumer prices are around 30% lower in Barcelona.
  • Rent prices are nearly 70% lower in Barcelona.
  • Groceries are around 20% cheaper in Barcelona.
  • Apartment prices are around 80% lower in Barcelona.

And altough properties seem rather affordable, keep in mind that legal regulations in Spain are an adequate counter-weight for that.

Buying a House in Spain

Buying a house in Spain appears to be quite straightforward — but you must be prepared for the expenses — translator, notary, lawyers and taxes. You must also be aware of the notorious Valencia Land Grab Law, where the government seizes land from owners of property, without compensation. The idea was to facilitate low cost housing — but the result has been catastrophic for many British expats. (more…)

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Moving to Spain from The UK

Can 87 880 people be so wrong?

There are around 90 000 fewer UK nationals registered in Spain in 2013. This means that nearly a quarter of Britons who dreamed of a life in the sun have had their dreams shattered. The rising cost of living, the loneliness, and possibility of losing a partner, together with the seemingly endless struggle to legalise the ownership of their homes, has caused many Britons to return home.

Spain joined the EU in 1986 and has been a member of the Schengen area since 1991. The capital city is Madrid and the currency is the euro. With its high plateau and dramatic mountain ranges, the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada, together with a stunning coastline, Spain is a land of drama and contrast. It can be very windy in the south-west, and not for nothing is a café there called “The Hurricane”. The Canary Islands are an autonomous part of Spain. (more…)

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Relocating to Spain

Spanish Customs

Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply. However because UK is a member of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to Spain. You will need prior permission if you wish to bring arms in, and there is no free import of technical drawings. Otherwise you can bring in most things, with no currency restrictions. That’s including a limited quantity of alcohol and cigarettes. You can check this site for more information: http://www.iatatravelcentre.com

Registering Essentials

The Spanish are famed for bureaucracy, which can be difficult to deal with. However, there are some things you have to do, and one of them is to apply for your national identity card.

You must register in person at the nearest Office for Foreigners (Oficina de Extranjeros) which is normally part of the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), or at specific police stations. (more…)

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