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Don’t forget these seven things before moving to Spain

Retired in Spain

If you’re emigrating to Spain, here are seven important things to do that you might not have considered.

Moving to Spain comes with plenty of paperwork and legal processes – but it’ll all be worth it once you’re settled in your new villa, enjoying the sunshine. While things like opening a Spanish bank account and organising an international removal service might come top of the to-do list, there are other less obvious things that you need to think about before emigrating to Spain.


  1. Redirect your UK mail

It’s vital to redirect your mail so that potential fraudsters don’t get their hands on valuable information about you. Although you should be notifying banks and other financial institutions about your move, it’s easy to miss one. That’s when redirecting your mail for a few months can come in handy.

Royal Mail’s redirection service starts from around £5.60 a month. However, be aware that they can’t redirect anything larger than letter-size to outside the UK.

  1. Notify insurance companies of your move

If you’ve got any insurance policies, whether home, car or life insurance, you need to let them know you’re moving. Some policies may not be valid in other countries, in which case you may need to take out a new policy in Spain.

For any policies that will still be valid in Spain, make sure that the insurance provider has your new address and contact details.

  1. Register with a Spanish doctor

Registering with a doctor in Spain may take some time. It can easily fall to the bottom of your to-do pile once you’re in your new home, unpacking and enjoying your new lifestyle.

That’s why you should think ahead. If possible, register with a Spanish doctor in advance. You should also ensure you have enough medication to last between leaving the UK and being able to collect a repeat prescription in Spain.

  1. Arrange for your pets to travel abroad

If you’re bringing a four-legged friend to Spain with you, there are rules and regulations that you must follow. If you break these rules, your pet may have to stay in quarantine for several months.

Your pet should be microchipped and their microchip number should be on their EU Health Certificate. You will also need to provide proof that they have had a rabies vaccination. Find more advice about bringing dogs, cats and ferrets to Spain on

  1. Get your transport sorted

If you’re planning to import your car to Spain, there’s some paperwork (and fees) involved. It will need to have a valid MOT. You will also need to register the vehicle with the local Traffic Department and pay import taxes. The amount you will pay depends on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.

Alternatively, you may decide to sell your car in Britain and buy a new car in Spain. This is usually easier, as you won’t have to arrange for your car to be imported, which can be expensive.

  1. Have a Spanish will written

You should think about having Spanish wills made for you and your partner. This in addition to any UK wills that you may already have.

It is essential that you get legal help to write these wills. Your British and Spanish wills need to ‘dovetail’, so that there are no conflicts or confusions. This can be complicated, so seek out a legal advisor who is experienced with helping British expats in Spain.

  1. Buy a Spanish funeral plan

 Though it’s not nice to think about, especially when you’re ready to enjoy your new life in the sun, it is important to give some thought to what would happen if you died abroad. Would your loved ones be able to arrange a funeral with a Spanish funeral director? Would they struggle with the language barrier or cultural differences?

Funeral s in Spain can take place very quickly – within 48 hours of the death in many cases. That means it’s a good idea to plan ahead so that all the arrangements go smoothly.

An Avalon funeral plan lets you secure funeral director fees at today’s prices and make arrangements in advance. Not only that, but your plan is also valid in any country Avalon operates in – that includes the UK, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. So if you split your time between Britain and Spain, you’ll be covered in both countries.

Find out more about Avalon’s Spanish funeral plans and how they can help you.


About the author

With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.