You Are Here: Home » Living in Spain

For anyone that has been to Spain on vacation, they will usually leave the country commenting on how the way of life is so laid back and so relaxed. This is mainly true, it is a very different life to that of the UK especially in the coastal towns and and inland villages.

It takes time getting used to the mañana mañana syndrome (which for non Spanish speakers means tomorrow tomorrow). What the Spanish can put off until tomorrow, they usually will. This is in no way a criticism, once you adapt you will look back on your former life in the UK and be amazed at how fast paced and stressful it actually was.

Outside of the cities most commercial activities will come to a stop from anything between 2pm and 5pm. This is due to the famous Spanish “siesta”. Although many international companies in Spain work through the siesta, the majority of shops will close for at least a couple of hours. The big stores and some of the chains stay open but most smaller shops will reopen at around 5pm and stay open later.

Setting up your life in Spain

Once you have taken the plunge and decided to relocate to Spain you will be surprised at how simple moving to another country actually is. The infrastructure in Spain has come on a long way over recent years and some of the services are actually better than those of the UK.

You will find that many areas now have international schools and superb medical facilities.

So what do you need to do? Well the best advice is to carefully plan each stage of your move. If you have already purchased a property in Spain then some of your requirements will already be taken care of.

If you are going to rent a property in Spain then you will need to have made some plans before you arrive, unless you have the luxury of staying with friends and family.

You can take out short or long term rentals either privately or via an agent. Long term lets are anything between 6 and 11 months. It is unusual to get a rental agreement of more than 11 months at a time as this gives the tenants too many rights and could be difficult to evict them if they stopped paying or refused to move. Most long-tern rental contract just renew for each 11 month period.

One of the most important things you will need when spending time in Spain, whether part of the year or all year is a NIE number. This is the equivalent of a National Insurance Number in the UK. You will need this to rent a property, buy a property, buy a car, open a bank account (although you could open an account with a passport), get a job and for many other services in Spain.

In order to apply for a NIE number you will need one of the above reasons. Gone are the days you could just apply without any reason for needing one.

To get your NIE number you will need a form from the Local police station. Once completed you must return it to the police station together with copies of your passport. In a few weeks it will be ready for collection.

You can use an English plated car but only for 6 months in any single year. If you are moving to Spain for the long term then you should really buy a Spanish car. See here for information about driving a car in Spain

How about a bank in Spain? You will need a bank account in Spain as it will make life so much easier. There are many banks in Spain that offer non resident accounts to foreigners. If you do become a resident then the choice is much wider and your bank charges will be lower.

Working in Spain is much easier if you are from a member EU country. You will find that many employers will ask you to work for them as “autonomo”. This is virtually the same as being self employed in the UK. Employers are reluctant to employ you under a contract as employees in Spain have very strong rights and it is difficult to terminate someones employment, even if they are signed off for months at a time.

Flying to Spain: There are many Spanish airports up and down the country so you will need to find out which would be the best one for your destination. Sometimes you will find there is a choice of more than one for your final destination such as on the Costa del Sol you can fly to Malaga Airport or Gibraltar Airport. The same applies to some places on the Costa Blanca (south) you can usually choose between Murcia Airport or Alicante Airport.

Common Agreement For UK and EU Nationals

With the announcement that Theresa May will officially trigger article 50 on the 29th March 2017, starting the UK's negotiations to leave the EU, there are many nervous Brits living on the mainland and the islands of Spain. While many of us are optimistic that a deal will be struck sooner rather than later, until it has been agreed and on paper, things will remain unclear for the many expats in Spain, estim ...

Read more

Extra Income in Spain

A big question when people here about the potential profitability of Forex trading from home is; can anyone do it? If you have some extra time on your hands and want to start up your very own home based business, Forex trading could just be your ideal option. One of the big fears for expats that move to countries like Spain, Cyprus, Portugal or any other country is that they often need top up their income. ...

Read more

UK TV in Spain

When we first arrived in Spain back in 2003 watching UK TV was the norm. It was simple, you just used your Freeview SKY box and you had access to all the usual channels you were used to back in the UK. Some people had subscriptions and they were able to watch all the sports and film packages as an extra, but again it was all very simple. These days however it is a very different story. For whatever commerci ...

Read more

Black Money

What is Black Money? Many of you may have heard of the term 'Black Money' but may not be sure what is meant by it. Quite simply Black Money means funds, whether it be payment for work or part payment for a property which is not declared to the tax authorities. When buying a property it used to be common practice for a seller to ask for a percentage of the property price in 'Black Money' and the rest declare ...

Read more

Working

If you have decided to make the move to Spain and are not yet financially self sufficient you might need to seek employment. Like anywhere in Europe at the moment there is a high unemployment rate in Spain and jobs are much harder to come by, especially if you don't speak Spanish. Working in Spain as an EU citizen is relatively straight forward. You need your NIE number or Residencia. A fixed contract job ( ...

Read more

Buying a Car

Information on buying a car in Spain to help you understand the process and requirements from the types of places you can purchase from to how to register the car. Buying a car in Spain is generally more expensive than in most other EU countries. However, they do tend to hold their resale value much better. In order to buy a Spanish registered car you need a residencia, (residence card) or a NIE number, an ...

Read more

© 2015 - All Rights Reserved

Scroll to top