A Guide to Moving From England to Spain: Transportation, Visas, and More

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Are you planning an international move from the UK to Spain? It’s not as simple as packing up a few boxes and moving into your new home. Since this is a long distance move, you’ll need to hire long distance movers who have experience in international moving. After all, it’s not every day someone makes the jump between countries.

Spain is a popular holiday destination for British people, but you may not realize that it’s also an expat’s haven. In fact, it’s estimated that well over half of British expats living in the EU are in Spain.

It’s a beautiful country, of course, but there is so much more to the reasons people move there. These include the climate, which is pleasant year round, and the lower cost of living.  It’s considerably cheaper than living in the UK and there are many opportunities to enjoy life in Spain.

Whatever your reasons for moving, Spain is a fairly accepting country. However, there are a few other things you need to consider when you are planning an international move like this.

Moving to Spain from UK: Step-by-Step

The first thing you need to do when thinking about moving to Spain, is decide which part of the country you want to settle in. This will give you a place to start looking for real estate, whether you plan to rent or buy.

Visas and Residency

If you’re moving permanently, you’ll probably want to become a resident. When you first get to Spain, you’ll be issued a visa for three months. However, since you’ll be staying long after that, you’ll need to head to the nearest Oficina de Extranjeros to get a residence certificate. This will work for five years, then you can apply for permanent residency.

It’s worth getting your residency, since you can then stay in the country without worrying about renewing your visa or any other issues. If you’re planning on staying for a longer period of time you definitely want to get residency.

However, to start out with, you just need a visa. It will take a little longer to settle in properly and then you’ll have a better idea of what kind of paperwork you want to do.

Taxes and Pensions

When you arrive in Spain, you’ll need to get an NEI number. This is simple enough to get. You’ll need to get copies of your passport and fill out some forms, including a form that asks what you need the NIE for. Once you’ve done this, you should be as prepared as possible.

You’ll need to pay tax on anything you are earning and this is why you need the NEI. It lets you become a legally responsible member of Spanish society. You will also need your NEI if you want to work or open a bank account. You’ll also be able to purchase vehicles in Spain once you have your number.

Setting Up a Bank Account

Of course, if you’re going to live in Spain, you’ll need to set up a bank account. You should start planning this far in advance, since it will take a while to get your residency once you’re in Spain. You can set up an account as a non-resident if you do this before you arrive in Spain. However, once you have your Certificate of Residency.

With your NIE and passport, as well as your certificate, you can open up a bank account quite easily. Santander is the bank you may want to choose since you can set up an account in the UK and then use it in Spain.

Prohibited Items

Before you get into any kind of trouble, you should be aware of what is not permitted to cross the border. Do not pack any of these items or you could end up with customs stopping you and going through everything.

Things you cannot bring into Spain include animal skins, beetroot, mustard seeds and other food items that you will need to check on before bringing them. Any plants that do not have a phytosanitary certificate will also not be permitted and sports guns sans license will not make it across either. Some telecommunications equipment is also prohibited.

You can bring a certain amount of alcohol and tobacco to cross with, but these limits should be checked. Or you can simply avoid all issues by skipping the whole process and not bringing tobacco or alcohol and simply purchasing these in Spain.

Buying vs. Renting in Spain

You may already have your home sorted out and ready to go, but if you don’t, here is some important information for you. First, if you’re renting, be sure to get a written agreement. It’s not the law in Spain to do this, so they can refuse, but it’s best to have everything in writing. You can also request a longer term contract if you want more legal protection.

For buying a home, hire a gestor to help you out. They are clerks who can manage everything with the purchase of the property. They’ll help you navigate the paperwork and sticky red tape. Gestors usually have some good contacts, so they can ensure that you get your new home with minimal issues.  They aren’t expensive and it’s well worth the fee.

 Getting Extra Help

You may want a little extra help when it comes to packing and unpacking. You can often hire someone to come in and help you with packing up your home in the first place. There will be a lot of stuff that you don’t want to take with you, so consider either selling it or getting a storage unit to put your things in.

Then you need to arrange to have someone at the other end who can help you unpack it all again, though the unpacking is far easier than the packing.

You may also want to have extra help in other areas. Look at the move and consider how other people helping out might aid you and make the entire process faster. You can enlist friends and family, too.

Car Shipping to Spain

If you have one or more vehicles and can’t drive them to Spain, you might want to consider car shipping. Vehicle transport can be a good, effective way to get your automobile to Spain while you fly or drive a different car.

When you ship a vehicle, you need to know that it is in good hands. The best way to do this is to make sure you research the company and see that they have the qualifications to haul vehicles across multiple countries. After all, they’ll need to bring your car to Spain and there, they will deliver it to your doorstep.

The car should be on a trailer, rather than driven. This will help keep the mileage down and reduces the possibility that your vehicle could be in an accident. There will be much less of an issue if it is on a trailer and handled properly, rather than being driven.

You can use international freight services as is or you can combine them with the international vehicle hauling. It all depends on what works best for you and for your belongings. You may want to drive to Spain in your own vehicle, or you might just prefer to fly there. The ability to let someone else worry about the practical stuff is relaxing.

Choosing the Right International Freight Company

You know that you want to move overseas, but how are you going to pick the right company for your needs? The fact is that the company you choose can make or break your move. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a mix up at the border or other problems that may occur with an inexperienced company. You can obviously change things up if you like, but it’s best to get the best company right from the beginning.

Start by checking for reviews. The company should have a majority base of positive reviews, preferably with mentions of how they handled adversity. You want a company that has the experience necessary to drive from the UK to Spain and to handle any potential incidents along the way.

You also want a company that can handle everything you own. Do you need to ship a car alongside your belongings? Then you need a company that will do both, in order to save time and money.

A good removals company will provide you with the answers to all your questions and will be able to handle both cars and goods.

Are you ready to start planning your international move? Contact SG Haulage today for a quote.