Discover the essential steps for a smooth move to Spain as a UK citizen. Contact Gentlevan Removals for expert moving services and make your dream a reality.

Moving to Spain Checklist

Are you dreaming of starting a new chapter of your life in the sunny land of Spain?
Whether you're considering retiring under the Mediterranean sun, seeking a new adventure, or looking for a career change, Spain offers a wealth of opportunities for Brits.
Although moving to Spain and the European Union in general might be a bit more challenging after Brexit, there's nothing you should be worried about. With the proper preparation, the process can still be easy and stress-free.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps and considerations for a smooth and successful move to Spain.
Moving to Spain from the UK: A Complete Checklist for a Smooth Transition

Spain Relocation Checklist:

Before moving:
  • Research and choose your desired destination in Spain.
  • Consider the cost of living and create a budget.
  • Explore job opportunities for UK citizens and the local job market.
  • Determine whether renting or buying a property is the best option for you.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Spanish visa requirements for UK nationals and the necessary documentation.
  • Translate your documents and obtain a medical certificate if needed.
  • Plan your financial arrangements, including currency exchange and banking.

During the Move:
  • Arrange for transportation of your belongings to Spain.
  • Secure suitable housing based on your preferences and budget.

  • Learn the basics of the Spanish language and familiarise yourself with the local culture.
  • Register for healthcare and obtain necessary health insurance coverage with Spanish authorities.
  • Complete administrative tasks, such as obtaining the Spanish NIE number.

After Moving:
  • Register with local authorities and obtain necessary identification documents.
  • Get a SIM card.
  • Explore your new surroundings and immerse yourself in Spanish life.
  • Connect with the local community and build new relationships.
  • Take advantage of Spain's healthcare system and understand its procedures.
  • Enjoy the beauty and adventure that Spain has to offer.

Choosing Your Destination

Exploring Spain's diverse regions

When considering your move to Spain, we recommend that you make sure to explore the country's diverse regions and find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Spain offers a wide range of climates, from the sunny beaches of the Costa del Sol to the lush greenery of Galicia.

City scale under blue sky

We’d suggest that the main things to consider are cultural differences, cost of living, and your preferred lifestyle.

For example, ask yourself this: do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, or would you prefer the tranquillity of a small village? Research the different neighbourhoods and their unique charms to find the best place to call home in Spain.

Some popular destinations for British nationals include Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Malaga.

Considerations when selecting a city or region

Sometimes, the excitement of moving abroad can overshadow the need to consider practical matters such as affordability, job opportunities, and other important amenities in your daily life.
Create a budget that fits the cost of living in Spain and consider expenses such as housing, transportation, and healthcare. Research the job market and explore potential career opportunities.

People near building during the day

When it comes to housing, decide whether renting or buying is your best option. Look for popular neighbourhoods among expats and locate those which offer the amenities you desire. Proximity to public services like healthcare facilities, schools, and transportation is also worth considering.

Legal Requirements and Visas

Do you need a visa to move to Spain? The answer depends on the duration and purpose of your stay.
Post-Brexit, the process of moving to Spain has changed for British citizens.
You can explore different visa options depending on your circumstances, such as work, study, or retirement. Familiarise yourself with the necessary documentation and application process for each type of visa.
To ensure accurate and up-to-date information, seek professional advice from the Spanish consulate or Spanish embassy in the UK. They can guide the requirements and procedures for obtaining Spanish citizenship or a Spanish residence permit.
Additionally, you will need certain documents for the move, such as a valid passport and the Spanish NIE number, which is necessary for opening a bank account, signing rental contracts, and conducting other official transactions.

Financial Planning

Budgeting for the Move

Moving to another country can be costly, so it's important to budget carefully. Proper financial planning is crucial when moving to a new country. Create a budget that considers the cost of living in Spain, including housing, groceries, transportation, and leisure activities. Establishing a financial safety net is also an option for a smoother transition.

Managing Currency Exchange and Banking in Spain

Always make sure to research currency exchange rates and consider the best options for banking in Spain.
Opening a bank account and transferring funds can be done before or after your arrival in Spain, depending on your preferences and needs. Research and compare different banking options to find one that suits your needs.

Securing Housing

Spain offers a variety of housing options, from modern apartments in the city to rustic villas in the countryside. Renting is a popular choice for ex-pats, providing flexibility and the opportunity to get to know an area before committing to buying a property.

Whether you rent or buy, exploring your options and considering your long-term plans is important. Research popular neighbourhoods and cities among expats, ensuring they align with your lifestyle preferences and budget. Take the time to visit Spain beforehand, check potential properties and research the renting and buying processes in Spain.

Working with a reputable real estate agent can simplify the process and help you find the ideal place to settle in Spain.

Language and Cultural Integration

Learning the basics of the Spanish language will be helpful in your everyday life and is a sign of respect for the local culture.
Embracing the local language and culture is key to immersing yourself in Spanish life.

Brown Church

Learn about local customs and etiquette, and make an effort to build connections with the local community. Spain has a rich cultural heritage, and exploring its traditions, festivals, and cuisine will enrich your experience as a UK ex-pat in Spain.

Healthcare Essentials

Spain's healthcare system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. As a UK expat, you can register for public healthcare or obtain private health insurance.
If you opt for public healthcare, you can access the system through various means. Employment in Spain grants you the right to use the public healthcare system. Additionally, if you are eligible for UK funding for your healthcare, you can also access public healthcare services.
Students in Spain and individuals who have lived there for at least five years under a residence permit are also entitled to use the public healthcare system.
Research the requirements and procedures for registering for healthcare in your chosen region. Obtaining health insurance will ensure you comprehensive coverage and peace of mind.

Settling In

After arriving in Spain, there are a few essential tasks to complete to settle into your new life.
Registering with the local authorities is mandatory and will provide you with an identification number known as the NIE. This number is required for various official transactions, such as opening a bank account or buying a car.

Concrete building near the beach

Once you've taken care of the administrative tasks, it's time to explore and enjoy all Spain offers! From stunning beaches to historic landmarks, there’s no shortage of beauty and adventure awaiting you in your new home.


Moving to Spain from UK is an exciting and life-changing decision. It offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich culture, enjoy a fantastic climate, and build a new life of adventure.

While the process may seem daunting, with careful planning and preparation, it can be a smooth and rewarding experience.

So, if you're ready to embark on this incredible journey, take the leap and choose Gentlevan Removals for a hassle-free and reliable moving experience.