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Spain is one of the most popular relocation destinations for Brits. There are several airports and shipping ports as well as a huge road and rail network making a move to Spain a simple enough task for your chosen international removal company.
There is plenty that goes into choosing the right company for your removals to Spain but luckily for you, you’re in the right place.
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Y Viva Espana!
There are several options to choose from when you’re relocating to Spain and need to find out the most suitable way to ship your goods.
Shipping freight tends to be the most cost-effective way to get your goods abroad, whether you decide to share a shipping container or opt for a dedicated one for your sole use. When you choose the shipping freight option, your chosen removals team will collect your goods for you and deliver them to your new location, or the job will be passed to a trusted sister company that specialises in shipping to Spain.
Many people decide to choose road freight to Spain when shipping goods, with removal companies collecting your items from you and making use of Europe’s vast road and rail networks to safely transport them.
You'll be able to save significant amounts off the total cost of moving your items to Spain by opting for part load. This means you'll have a proportion of a container to fill, perfect for those only moving a small amount of items.
If you have a smaller consignment or need to access your goods quickly, you may wish to use an air freight to Spain service. This can be more expensive but also incredibly convenient. You may also wish to send a few items via this method and direct the others via sea.
Getting things right can seem tough, but when you have an expert removal company to assist you, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that come with moving your belongings and arranging freight shipping to Spain.
Final moving to Spain costs can depend on several factors including the weight, size and insurance costs of your load. The shipping method that you choose will also have a substantial influence on the final cost.
The cost of getting loads including furniture over to Spain often fall between around £2,600 and £6,000. Save costs by opting for part loads when you can.
Air freight is significantly more expensive than road or shipping freight, as the cost is calculated by weight. If you're only moving a small amount of goods to Spain, this might not be an issue. Keep in mind the fact that air freight will need to be professionally packed to meet safety standards.
You may be able to cut costs by de-cluttering and selling goods before replacing them once you have made the move. Don’t forget that you are likely to incur costs such as insurance, taxes, custom fees and duties as well as quarantine inspections. Plus, remember the easier it is for a removal company to gain access to your home, the less you are likely to pay.
It’s vital that you do your research on Spanish customs regulations in advance of your journey, so let's cover the basics.
Most items won’t cause any issues, but you may encounter problems when transferring some items even when they are being transferred within the European Union. Items that should be avoided include inflammable substances and goods, firearms and ammunition without licences, dangerous items, alcohol and tobacco over your personal limit, offensive material, foodstuffs including perishable and non-perishable goods plus plants and plant material without a Phytosanitary certificate.
There are several other items that you are prohibited to take into the country, such as ivory, hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and asbestos fibres.
Any works of art or antiques that you are planning to sell will incur duty charges unless they are more than 100 years old and being shipped as personal items. New furniture costing more than €3,000 will be subject to duty.
Most goods can be taken into the country without Spanish customs formalities if you have paid tax or VAT when you purchased the goods, or if you have owned them for more than six months. There are no duty charges on personal goods that you have owned for at least three months, or six if you’re a non-EU resident.
You will need your passport, a customs declaration form, an inventory in Spanish and a British passport.
You will not be able to sell any items you’re importing until you have been in Spain for a year. All goods must be moved over within three months of your arrival. You will need a special permit after this point. You will need a special licence to import a firearm into the country.
We strongly advise you make sure your goods are as safe and secure as possible when you are relocating, and here are some ways to do so.
One way to avoid sizeable stress is to begin the packing process early, as packing can take much longer than you initially expect. Using as many small boxes as you can is a good move, as it will make the transportation process much easier, so attempt to make the weight of individual boxes as small as you can.
All boxes should be clearly labelled with information about what is inside and which room they are for. If boxes contain fragile items, label them appropriately.
Place the heaviest items towards the bottom of each box so lighter goods can be rested on top. Use bubble wrap to protect breakable items and deploy pillows and blankets to avoid damaging furniture.
Make sure you keep important documents together. Remember to keep documents you'll need during the process with you at all times, safely stowed in a folder.
Many movers choose to use professional movers to make the process smoother. Professional moving companies can also use their specialist equipment so unforeseen expenses and damage can be avoided. Our international removals guides include a great deal of advice on safely moving your belongings to Spain.
Here's the basics if you want to import your vehicle to Spain.
You won’t need to pay VAT on any car you’re taking into Spain if you have owned it for a minimum of six months and are moving from another EU country.
New vehicles are subject to 21% VAT, and non-EU citizens will have to pay 10% extra in import tax.
You will need to register any non-EU vehicle immediately, but will have six months to register one imported from an EU country. You will have to pay the registration tax officially known as Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte no matter where you are moving from. The cost of importing your car to Spain will be determined by factors such as the car’s emissions and value.
Although you are welcome to take pets into Spain, there are certain rules and regulations you need to be aware of.
You will need the appropriate papers for all the countries you plan to pass through on your way to Spain and the pet will need an ISO microchip and be vaccinated for various diseases including rabies.
The vaccination must have taken place at least 21 days before the journey but not more than a year. Should the pet have been vaccinated before the chip was inserted, they will need to be vaccinated again. You will need your own microchip scanner if the chip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant. You will also need an Annex II for Spain certificate for your pet.
If your cat or dog is less than three months old, they won’t need to be vaccinated, but there may be other regulations to meet when moving pets to Spain. For instance, some dog breeds are not permitted to enter Spain.
You may need a special travelling container if you are making your way to Spain via plane, and you will need to ensure your pet has enough food and water. Make sure you read and understand the IATA requirements on Spanish pet import before you travel. You will normally be able to take a small cat or dog with you in the cabin if your flight is less than ten hours.
If you are travelling from within the EU, you will need a pet passport. Pet passports include information like your name and address, a description of the animal, the microchip number and vaccination dates as well as your vet’s signature. It’s also wise to invest in pet insurance when moving dogs to Spain or transporting any other type of animal.
What you need to know about living in Spain.
As a UK Citizen, you will not need a work permit, but should apply for a Spanish residence permit. The permit will be used for identification and for proof of address.
You will need an NIE number to open a bank account, file taxes and make property transactions in Spain.
A temporary residence permit allows you to remain in Spain for between ninety days and five years, and you may need to apply for this permit if you are not an EU national. Non-EU nationals who wish to remain in Spain for more than five years may apply for a permanent residence permit.
You may be able to obtain permanent residence if you have lived in Spain for five years without irregular exits from the country. In some cases, you do not need to have lived in the country for five years to obtain a permanent residence permit, for instance if you have a special link to Spain or are Spanish but have lost your Spanish nationality, are married to a Spanish citizen or have dependant Spanish children.
If you're a UK Citizen, you won't need a Spanish Visa to live and work in Spain. Here are the different types of Spanish visa available.
If you are an EU national or from Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, you will not need a Spanish visa to live, work or study in Spain. Croatian nationals will require a visa until 2020.
There are three main types of Spanish visa. An airport transit visa gives you access to the international transit zone in Spanish airports. The short-stay Schengen Visa for Spain allows you to stay but not work in Spain for a maximum of 90 days during a 180-day period. If you are from the US, Australia, New Zealand or Canada, you won’t need a short-stay visa but must apply for long-term residence if you wish to stay for more than three months.
If you have a short-term visa and wish to change your status, such as from student to employee, you will not be able to do this within Spain – you will need to return home and make a new Spanish visa application there.
If you are not an EU/EEA or Swiss national and wish to remain in Spain to live, study or work in Spain for over three months, you will need to apply for the longer-term national visa.
Non-EU nationals including skilled professionals and entrepreneurs may be able to obtain a fast-track Spanish visa. After 10 years living in Spain, you may apply for Spanish nationality.
What you need to know about bills, utilities and banks in Spain.
As an EU national, you shouldn’t have any real problems with opening a bank account in Spain. Documents that you will normally need to open your account include your passport, proof of address and employment status and your NIE.
Non-EU nationals will need to present their Spanish work permit and prove their registration. Your chances of getting a Spanish bank account will improve if you have an employment contract and a detailed financial history.
You should be able to have your post forwarded to you from the UK for up to a year and will need to pay a small to Royal Mail for mail forwarding to Spain.
Make sure you inform HMRC that you are leaving the country and tell your utilities providers when you are moving.
You should set up your new utilities around 3-4 weeks before you move. As your new home is likely to be connected to providers of water, electricity and gas, the whole process shouldn’t be any more complicated than it would be if you were moving to another UK address.
You should have access to Spanish currency as soon as you start your new life in Spain. Some providers will charge more than others, but you can avoid substantial fees and get the best rates by using a broker instead of a bank. Compare My Move is partnered with Currencies Direct, a market-leading company that can help you with currency exchange in Spain.
Currencies Direct can surpass the exchange rates of many high streets and is also able to provide free transfers. You can even have your Euros forwarded to your new Spanish bank account on the day that it is opened.