11 Essential Tips For Removals To Spain

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11 Essential Tips For Removals To Spain

We could sugar coat it, but the simple truth is moving overseas does come with extra worries, paperwork and challenges. That certainly doesn’t mean it can’t still be a positive and yes, enjoyable experience. With the right removals team and company behind you, this can still be a wonderful start to your new life in Spain.

To help get you started, here’s a quick guide covering the most frequently asked questions;


How much does it cost to move to Spain?

It really does all depend on the size of your move; distance, size of property, volume of items, time of year, type of services required (storage, packing, etc). These will all affect the cost of your removal.

Overseas Banking

Will I need a specialist international removals company?

Yes. Your removals company must have an ECMT International Removals Permit (European Conference of Ministers of Transport). An experienced removals company will know how to navigate the customs regulations. They’ll also have a network of contacts and agents in the various ports and cities.

It’s worth getting more than one quote for your removal, you’re about to pack all your worldly goods into a van and let a stranger drive off with them, cheaper is definitely not better. Find a company you trust, that is the right fit for you and that makes you feel comfortable about their service.

Read more here; How to choose a removals company…


What paperwork will I need for my Spanish removal?

You must have a visa and work permit to move to Spain. If you have agreed a new job, your employer should have applied for your visa once you signed your contract (check with your employer). You will still have to apply for a visa which can be done via the Spanish embassy.

You’ll also need to obtain a ‘foreigner’s identity number’ (N.I.E.), this can be done in Spain, which is slower, so enquire at the embassy when applying for your visa.

Finally, you must have a valid passport.

Other documents that you should keep handy in case they’re needed and to help speed things up are;

  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical documentation (including dental and immunizations)
  • University degree(s) and qualification(s)
  • Police background check

Spanish Visa



What documents will I need?

As well as personal documentation, you’ll also need a full inventory of items you’re moving, this will need to be completed in Spanish. You might also be asked to produce your work permit and visa alongside the inventory. There is no tax import for most goods, however you may be liable to pay tax on single items valued above €3,000.

There are restrictions on items such as firearms and even plants. These items require further documentation which you should ask your removals coordinator about prior to your removal.

Customs Forms

You’ll also need to register – El Padrón

El Padrón is the Spanish population register, once registered you’ll have many of the same rights as a Spanish citizen including healthcare. Without registering you will only receive healthcare if you have health insurance. To register you’ll need;

  • Photo ID (passport, etc)
  • Proof of public or private healthcare
  • Proof of sufficient funds to live (such as bank statements and/or contract of employment)

El Padron

What documents are required for pets?

If you are taking a pet with you when moving to Spain, you will need to show proof of;

  • A microchip (fitted at least 21 days prior to your move)
  • Rabies vaccination
  • General certificate of health

At present, as long as all the above are produced, there is no quarantine period.

Dog In Box


Ready to start planning your move? Get a free quote.

    Do I need to register to pay taxes?

    Yep, no matter where you’re moving to, there will always be a taxman. In accordance with Spanish law, you’re required to pay Spanish taxes the moment you start working. Before leaving the UK you should check with your tax office to see if you’re required to fill out a P85 form which is a declaration that you’re leaving the UK and paying taxes in your new country of residence. If you still have UK savings or interests, you should also complete an R105 which should be passed on to any banks or institutions that are holding your funds.

    You can find further information at the .Gov website.

    Paying Tax Overseas

    Do we need health insurance?

    Spain does have a state founded health system, similar to the UK, however some documents require further health insurance. Having your own health insurance can also help avoid waiting times for procedures, although it’s worth noting Spanish hospital waiting lists are a fraction of those in the UK.  You must be registered on El Padrón.

    Spain Healthcare


    Do I need to register my car?

    In accordance with the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico), cars from non-EU countries need to be registered in order to drive on Spanish roads, this should be done before you travel; “The registration of a vehicle is a prerequisite for you to be able to circulate with it on public roads. You must register and affix the license plates before you can circulate with any motor vehicle.” Full details are available on the DGT website.

    Driving In Spain

    Can I use my UK driving license?

    If you have a full, valid UK driving license, you can drive in Spain for up to 6 months, after which you will need to pass a Spanish driving test. The Spanish and UK governments are currently in talks to allow UK and Spanish passports to be fully recognised in either country (check the .Gov website for the latest updates).

    Driving In Spain

    Our Top Tip – Prepare a Travel Box

    Have a secure case, bag or box where you can keep everything you’ll need for your overseas move such as;

    • Documents (visas, health certificate, proof of earnings/employment, etc)
    • Paperwork (removals inventory, in Spanish, removals contract, etc)
    • Passports
    • Printed copy of contact numbers (removals office, driver, family members, etc)
    • Phone charger
    • Water
    • Sun cream, hats
    • Medication

    The box/bag should be kept handy at all times and secure and out of sight if you do leave it in your vehicle.

    Removals Box


    If you have any further questions we’ll be happy to help. You can contact our friendly team with any questions regarding Spanish removal tips and advice, from paperwork and packing to import restrictions and best road food (our teams have learnt a LOT about great Spanish food!).

    Or if you’re getting ready to move and want a free no-hassle quote (we don’t believe in hard-sell), then drop us an email and we’ll arrange a time to come to you, or we can arrange a video call and give you an estimate online.

    Many Britons dream of packing up and relocating to sunny Spain, whether it’s for retirement, business or to be with family, and there are many positives in doing so. Spain is one of our most popular European removals locations, and its stunning weather and idyllic pace of life attracts many. We have helped a large number of people start their life in Spain, but what has this beautiful European country on the Iberian Peninsula got to offer?


    The cost of living in London is 47% more expensive than living in Barcelona, and 48% more expensive than Madrid. The cost of food in stores and restaurants is sometimes as much as half the price compared to Britain and Scandinavia, the same goes for clothes and services. People living in Spain tend to spend less on rent and groceries, but eat out more, to save time and enjoy the finer things in life.


    Spanish food is nothing short of spectacular. The traditional dishes vary depending on which region you live in, but the tapas, sangria, jamon and gazpacho will make you completely fall in love with the country. Each Spanish dish offers a variety of flavours, with a fine balance of pretty colours and exquisite taste. The famous “Spanish Diet” is based on olive oil, fruit, fish and vegetables, for which the Spanish cuisine is known for.


    Spain is a country that has one of the best all year-round climates in Europe. The southern regions are one of the most attractive for sun seekers during the cold winter months. Southern Spain has 320 rain-free days on average per year, and rainfall is very rare. If a beautiful, warm location is what you are after, Spain is the clear choice.


    The Spanish culture has influences from Romans, Barbarians, Moors and French. Today’s culture is a mixture of all of them, and it is visible in the architecture, language and food. The history of the country is very interesting, and there are several museums and castles in the country where you can learn more about the vibrant past of Spain. The landscape of each region is stunning, and the architecture truly is a sight to behold.


    Spanish is often considered as one of the most beautiful languages in the world. It is also quite fun to learn and is spoken by 450 million people around the world. It takes a while to learn it fluently, but when you have, you will be able to express yourself in a different way and experience the country from a whole new perspective. What better opportunity to try something new than by immersing yourself in the culture and scratching up on your Spanish.


    Spaniards are usually very pleasant and familiar. If you show interest and consideration, they will welcome you with open arms and treat you like family. They also like to greet with a hug and a kiss, and they are not afraid to say what they think. Most people you come across will be very polite and calm. If you’ve learnt Spanish, your relationship with the locals will be even better, but regardless they’ll still welcome you if you show appreciation.


    The typical Spanish expression of ‘mañana mañana’ meaning ‘tomorrow morning’ is appreciation of life and not getting stressed out. It is meant to encourage people to value the important things in life, and not get caught up in work. Whilst it may be frustrating a t first, you’ll learn to embrace ‘mañana mañana’ as you settle into Spanish life. During the baking hot summers, there are often ‘siestas’, where a short nap is taken after the midday meal, to help reduce stress and to cool down during the heat.


    Having operated in many regions of Spain, we’ve learnt that no matter what you are looking for, Spain seems to have the answer. Whether it’s sunny beaches, beautiful cities, or vast countryside, there really is something for everyone. Those looking for a busy and engaging city life will tend to choose Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Seville, however those wanting the sea air and coast will opt for Costa Blanca, Costa del Almeria, Costa del Sol or Costa Brava.


    Whichever region you are moving to in Spain, the people there are proud to be from that particular area. Markets sell locally produced meat and vegetables, restaurants provide meals which use locally sourced ingredients, bakers often drive/cycle down the roads in towns and villages, selling homemade bread, milk and pastry. The regions act like countries, having rivalries with other areas, having their own flags and their own signature dishes. Everyone is very proud of the area they live in and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    We offer a full door to door service, designed to give you complete piece of mind so that you can focus your time on starting your new life in Spain. We can provide small or large loads, and have extensive experience in European Removals, which we’ve operated for over three decades. We are here to minimise the stress of a move and let you focus on get immersed in all that Spain has to offer.

    For a free no obligation quote on your European removals service requirements, call us on 0800 917 1015 to talk to a member of our team. Or you can use our overseas removal form to start your enquiry.

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