General tips   


Finally here is a selection of points that may be of interest!

Spain does not have its reputation for bureaucracy for nothing. However all the forms are not there simply to annoy you and if you have the time, patience and reasonable Spanish then you can achieve anything. If you have any problems you will find the informacion staff in both the tax and social security offices more than helpful, although sometimes it pays to ask the same question to two different people. If you donít speak Spanish then you should find someone (like a gestor to help you. Itís all part of the fun.

For the average earner, income tax in Spain is similar to that in the UK. There is also a "wealth tax" for property owners and local rates (again payable by the property owner, unless explicitly stated in the contract). Social Security payments are higher for low earners, however.


Spanish television consists mostly of South American soap operas and inane quiz shows., although with patience you will find something watchable (Quiere ser millonario? Or Who wants to be a millionaire? is particularly entertaining even if your Spanish is very basic). However bear in mind that Spanish TV is not compatible with either British or North American TV. If you bring your existing TV, you will not be able to watch Spanish TV on it.

British satellite TV (BSkyB) is accessible in Spain via an enormous (1.3 metres) satellite dish. There are many companies in tourist areas who will install a dish for you, and for the right price they may also travel inland. Expect to pay around 500 euros for a complete system. You should probably be aware though that having a Sky satellite in Spain is against the rules (due to copyright restrictions and the TV license). Because of this if you want British satellite TV you will need a UK address and a UK bank account. Naughty but necessary.

Business hours
The Spanish are famed for their late mornings and late nights. Most Spanish businesses open at 10 in the morning and then close for siesta between the hours of 2pm-ish and 4 or 5pm. They then open again until 8 or 9 at night. Banks are open mornings only, but they do usually open at 8am. Bars and nightclubs open very late.

Importing a car
If you take your car to Spain, then legally you should think about officially importing it (i.e. getting Spanish plates) within 6 months. Again, many ex-pats don't bother, but you should be aware that your car could be impounded if you don't, and insurance is very expensive for foreign cars. On the other hand, importing a car into Spain is quite a long and painful process, especially if the car is right-hand drive. If you do decide to import your car, then it is a good idea to get your residencia (see above) first, as you will not then have to pay import tax. Visit your local ayuntamiento (town hall) or a gestor for a full list of requirements.


Site last updated July 2017.
All content is copyright 2002-17 © except where stated.