Spain Explained

7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain

Last updated on March 2nd, 2020 at 12:13 pm.

If you are thinking about moving to Spain there are a lot of things that need organising before you make the trip over. Reading this article will certainly help you with all the practical things to organise after making this exciting decision.

These are the top 7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain that people make, so hopefully you will not now do the same.

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1. We only have to pay tax in one country, don’t we?

A commonly held belief is that you only have to pay tax in one country. However, this depends on your work, residency status, and your country of origin. Many countries have reciprocal arrangements with Spain, but it is essential that you check with your home authorities. Although, when in Spain you will need to pay taxes on any property you own. 

2. We’ve got a little spare cash until we get a job in Spain.

There is a high demand for workers with experience and specialised skills in Spain. However, as Spain is a country with quite high unemployment, we recommend saving up a fairly significant sum of money. This should be enough to keep you tied over until you find work. Moreover, we encourage you to learn Spanish. In addition to helping you communicate better with locals and meeting people, it will also be a great way into finding work.

3. I’ll have plenty of time on my hands – I can sort the paperwork out when I’m there

Once you arrive in Spain, there is sure to be a lot you will want to see and do. As well as getting settled, there will be many opportunities to see what the country you have chosen has to offer. This could include finding good, local restaurants or visiting the beach. This is why we recommend organising things such as your residency, health care, driving licence and CV beforehand. Also, you should be aware of how Brexit will affect your status.

4. We’re only moving to another European country. There’s not too much to get used to.

Spain is a different country and there are many different traditions that form Spain’s character. One of the most famous is the siesta. This is a few hours in the middle of the day to enjoy lunch, being with family and some time away from work. We also recommend having a little patience with another of Spain’s typical distinctions. Because here, bureaucracy is king; a lot is still completed on paper, so expect several trips to government offices.

5. One part of Spain is pretty much like another

Spain is an enormously varied country containing a diversity of incredible cultures, politics and people. To many, it is not even one country but three. This means that traditions, laws, and ways of behaving differ depending on where you are. Therefore, do your research on different parts of Spain to make sure where you have chosen suits your lifestyle, age and preferences, etc. There is a lot of information available online about travelling and living abroad, particularly on our blog about Spain.

6. I won’t have any income straight away so I don’t need a Spanish bank account.

For a few reasons, it is worthwhile having a local bank account. By constantly withdrawing cash from your home debit card, costs can build up. As well as rent or property purchase, utilities, insurance and other essentials need to be paid for from a Spanish account.

7. Everyone speaks English – I don’t need to learn the language

Of all the 7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain, this is possibly the biggest. Learning Spanish not only helps you to navigate the country with greater ease, it also opens up more opportunities. In the urban areas, many people do speak English, but if you want to truly understand the country, its people and its customs, then language is at the heart of it

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Do your research to get ready

Spain is a beautiful, varied and interesting country full of incredible things to see and do. Of course there will be some obstacles. However, by following the advice we have provided, and doing some proper research, a smooth arrival in Spain is guaranteed. Keeping organised means you will be able to fully enjoy this great experience as you deserve.

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Robert gill

11 April, 2020 4:10 pm

Hi Caroline I’ve been watching a lot of people on YouTube saying you need Central heating in your home around the Mercia region is that true. And electric is man has see him and his wife have a budget of £1500 a month in the winter some times more. He has a Room under the house that got flooded because of the rain’s I’ve been looking at average rainfall for Spain I was surprised how much you get in just a short time

Oscar Paoli

21 April, 2020 3:59 pm

Hello there,
We are sure that in some areas it might be a good recommendation to have central heating, but not mandatory. We would always recommend check with an independent technician or architect for them to recommend if you would need ir or not.
Regarding rains in Spain it is true that it does not rain much, but when it does it his very heavy rain. As mentioned above an independent contractor or architect can recommend how to best protect your property.
With best wishes,
Ábaco Advisers