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Whether to study, work, retire or simply to explore a gorgeous country with plenty of sunshine and a rich history, there are a number of excellent reasons to move to Spain. Nor is the concept solely popular with British retirees: the continent has a great deal to offer regardless of your age, though that does not mean that we advise you to try making the trip tomorrow!

Indeed, moving to another country is a huge step. Proper planning will be essential, especially if you are planning to move with family, pets or a below-standard vehicle.

Needless to say, this process will come with a great deal of stress, especially if you are currently working in a full time job. So that you have enough time to finalise the details of the move itself, you may want to consider hiring an experienced removal company to Spain to handle packing and transportation. As well as providing the necessary packaging, vehicles and insurance to transport your belongings quickly and safely, a top-quality removal firm will also be able to provide details on any relevant taxes or regulations for Spanish customs.

Be sure to collect quotes from at least five different companies before making a decision on who to hire. Remember, your choice should have positive customer service reviews, as well as enough insurance coverage to fully protect your belongings.

Spanish residence permits and visas

Depending on where you are from, or if you are heading to Spain to visit, live or work, you may require a permit. You can find out online if this is the case, or you can visit your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate. Once you provide details of your current citizenship, a representative should be happy to provide a list of exactly what you need to apply for in advance of your trip.

The Freedom of Movement Act will allow you to visit, work, live or study in Spain provided you have a full UK passport or a BOC, BOTC, BS or BPP passport. That being said, it is currently very unclear exactly where the UK will stand if Brexit is completed, so keep this in mind when making long-term plans.

Residents of the UK who also have Schengen country nationalities will need to apply for a Spanish Schengen visa. Be sure to do this months in advance, as it may take a few weeks to process your request.

Moving your family to Spain

While it can certainly be stressful to move to Spain on you own, taking your family along can be something else entirely. It may be that your parents are retiring in Spain, or you may be taking your spouse and children along for a new job opportunity. Either way, you will need to do careful research on your new locale before leaving the UK behind.

Your first priority should be to get a good idea of all of the necessary local amenities, such as medical practises, dentists, transport links, stores and, if you have children, schools. You may also want to arrange for Spanish lessons in advance of the move in order to ease the transition once you arrive.

As long as you and your family are British citizens, you should not have any major restrictions on moving to Spain. If this is not the case, you will want to get in touch with your current local Spanish embassy or consulate for more information. Depending on the nationalities of your family and the purpose of your trip, you may need to apply for additional visas.

Moving a car to Spain

If you want to be able to drive a UK car in Spain, it will need to be registered. Foreign licence plates you only allow you to drive it from a port to a place of residence once you arrive. After this point, you will need to register the vehicle within 30 days.

Part of this process will require your vehicle to undergo an ‘ITV’ (inspeccion tecnica de vehiculos). This will ensure that it is fully up to Spanish road standards. Keep in mind that if it would take a great deal of work to make your vehicle suitable, it may be cheaper and easier to simply sell it before the move and replace it upon arrival. You should also keep in mind that cars with drivers on the right-hand side are increasingly being seen as unsafe in Spain, which could hinder your chances of gaining an ITV certificate.

New cars will require a copy of their technical specifications (as well as a Spanish translation), along with a receipt for import duty and a copy of the receipt from when the vehicle was originally purchased. For cars which are less than six months old, there will also be an import duty of 16%. Used vehicles will similarly require proof of import duty, purchase and registration.

Moving to Spain with pets

Leaving your furry friend behind when you make the move to Spain might sound unthinkable. Still, you will need to keep in mind that there will be a few key pieces of admin to complete if you want to keep your pet out of quarantine when you arrive.

Once you know the date for your move, contact a licenced veterinarian to arrange all of the necessary paperwork and treatments for your pet. They should also be able to inform you about any additional restrictions. For example, certain breeds of dog may need to wear a muzzle once they arrive in Spain.

If you have a dog, cat or ferret, it will need an ISO 11784/11785 microchip. An older model may require you to bring your own microchip scanner. After your pet is microchipped, the next step will be to book an up to date rabies vaccination. You will require proof that this was done at a time after the microchip was installed. If this is your pet’s first vaccination, you will need to wait for at least 21 days before travelling.

In order to travel over an EU border with a dog, cat, rabbit, rodent or ferret, it will require a valid European Pet Passport. This will contain information on its identification, vaccinations, clinical examinations, the name of the owner and so on.

It will be a good idea to register with a new veterinarian once you arrive. In case of any unexpected medical costs for your companion, you will also want to obtain adequate pet insurance before your departure.

Relocating to Gibraltar

Gibraltar really is a little bit of Britain in the sun. The British overseas territory is actually only 2.6 square miles in size, but there are 35,000 residents packed into the rock.

Moving to the area is pretty common as there are plenty of English firms located in Gib, due to it being a tax haven. There is a huge local gambling industry with many of the biggest gaming companies based out of here, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Bet365. You can also find many well-known investment banks, insurance companies and consumer finance companies stationed there.

If you’re moving to the local area, you have a couple of choices. You can live in Gibraltar or, like many, settle just over the border in Spain. Many expats or workers living in Gibraltar do so because their kids can use the English speaking schools. If you live over the border into Spain, children have the option of local Spanish schools or private international schools.

Living in Spain has its benefit. Rent is vastly cheaper than Gibraltar. Alcaidesa, Santa Grande and Duquesa are popular locations for many people who work in Gibraltar. Living on the coast is fantastic, with many of the accommodation options having communal or private pools. Getting to work from these areas is pretty easy, and a number people park in La Linea and walk over the border to their offices. This is because of the constant issues with vehicle border crossing, which can cause huge traffic jams.

If you are a Brit moving away for the first time, you might be a little worried about local food and shopping. Well, fear not as you can do your weekly food shop at the local Morrisons supermarket in Gibraltar. It offers all the brands you would expect, just as if you were in England. Main Street also has a food hall in its Marks and Spencers store, plus in La Linea there is a large Carrefour.

If you want things to do at the weekends in the area, then you have plenty of choices. Gibraltar has a couple of small beaches, but bigger and better ones can be found on the coast of Spain. If you like a round of golf then you’ll be spoilt for choice with the vast number of quality golf courses spanning the coastline all the way round to Malaga. If you’d like to soak up some history then head to Ronda, a beautiful 15th-century mountaintop town that’s set dramatically above a deep gorge. Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spanning the gorge, has a lookout offering views and is a very popular tourist location. Granada also offers bigger examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish times, set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Gibraltar is at the most southern tip of Europe and is only separated from North Africa by 11 km. This means you can take a day trip to Morocco and enjoy Tangiers markets, which is just a 70-minute fast ferry from Algeciras. If a big night out on the town is your thing, then you have a number of options. The most famous and luxurious location in the area is Marbella. The area has the Golden Mile of prestigious nightclubs, and the Puerto Banús marina is filled with luxury yachts and a host of expensive supercars.

If you’re looking to removal services to Spain or Gibraltar, see our European Removal services with prices starting from just £79.

Moving? Don't Panic!
Get ready with our top tips.
Home Removal Man and Van Vehicle Delivery Courier Service
Need to move
anything anywhere?
Get Instant Quotes
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