Practical Help Moving to and Living in Spain

NEW! Updated content Jan 2012
Onwards and upwards - new enquiry forms and new experts

Practical Spain - enjoy life in the sun

After a flying career I developed the first computerised information service, the only consultancy business to have its results guaranteed by Lloyds of London. For thirty years I advised small businesses, industry and the Government before retiring to live in Spain where I was astounded by the mass of pitfalls waiting to entrap the unsuspecting émigrés. Not just Spanish laws, tradition and red tape but unscrupulous people, largely within the property market, waiting to relieve people of their money.

I set up to offer free objective and unbiased advice relating to moving to Spain and living in Spain. The site has now received over 3 million hits relating to every region of Spain and asking help about retiring, opening spanish bank accounts, money exchange, money transfer, insurance, tax, child education, health service provision, buying and selling property, holiday homes, rental investments, and even whether or not the indigenous wildlife could sting or bite.

Practical Spain has helped literally tens of thousands of people over the last eight years. I take great pleasure in negotiating the best of breed deals for my users to benefit from. Do also use the feedback form to let me know what you think of the site, and if there is advice or information you feel should be added to the site.

Maurice Hamlin (founder)
August 2010

Currency Exchange & Money Transfer to Spain new contacts, better value!

click to get better value from currency exchange

Get MORE Euros for your currency exchange when moving to Spain

Foreign exchange service companies can offer a better rate of exchange and faster transfer than high-street banks.
Whether you are moving to Spain or buying property in any other foreign country the savings can be significant.

Learn more about Money Transfer

A Brief History of Spain
From ancient times to the present day

Spain has a rich and varied history: 780,000 year old human remains; invasion by Rome, Visigoths, Moors and Napoleon; voyages of discovery and empire; arts, literature and science; civil war, despotism and democracy.

Learn more about the history of Spain

Banking in Spain
Spanish Bank Charges

The fees charged by Spanish banks for their services including money transfer have always been a cause for concern. However in a major breakthrough, one bank is now offering no bank charges to receive your money transfer to Spain for a property purchase together with other benefits.

Learn more about this low-cost Spanish bank offering

The NHS in Spain
How to get the new European Health Insurance Card

Overseas health cover for visitors and those considering moving to Spain is available under the UK/Spain reciprocal health agreement. To be covered you must obtain your European EHIC Card before you leave the UK.
(Note - this does not replace personal travel insurance.)

Find out about this and other Spanish health matters

Telefonica Message Service
How to set up for English language

A step-by-step guide to setting up and using your Telefonica Domo handset to access voice mail.

Read about this and other Spanish telephone services and issues

Spain - A Land of Opportunity?
Working in Spain


Spain suffers from the high unemployment common to much of Europe. If you intend to relocate to Spain to work, either as an employee or starting your own business, careful planning must be given to ensure you can sustain your family until sufficient income is secured. Certainly there are opportunities, but more fail than succeed.

Find out more about working in Spain

- Get help here! English forms available now!

An NIE is required to purchase property, arrange insurance or start a job in Spain. What is it? How do I apply? And can you get the forms with an English translation? You can indeed, thanks to Practical Spain's helpful form order service.

More about this and other Spanish NIE & NIF

Dreaming of moving and owning/renting in Spain?
A helping hand to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy life in the sun

click to get help finding property in Spain

Practical Property - Advice on Buying, Renting or Selling

See Practical Spain's extensive knowledgebase on the Spanish property market. Whether buying, renting or simply looking for a longer-term holiday rental, you need to do your research and follow some basic guidelines to protect yourself and any investment, particularly in a property market which has changed signficantly.

Practical Spain Property Check List

These are the most important searches and services you need to have checked when buying a property in Spain. Whoever advises you, ensure that all these items are part of their remit.

Property, Residency and the Law

In Spain, placing a deposit on a property is a commitment to buy. This secures both buyer and seller but does have its hazards

Valencian Land Grab - LRAU
Property Purchase Pitfalls

This iniquitous law, condemned by the European Parliament, can catch both expat and native Spaniard alike, resulting in loss of part or all of your Spanish property and a considerable financial burden.

Find out more about the LRAU

The information in this site is offered with the best of intent. Readers must appreciate however, that I am neither a legal nor a financial expert. My knowledge comes from having travelled the dusty road from England to Spain, absorbing the Spanish culture from Gibraltar to Barcelona and finally settling in what my wife and I feel is the finest town of all. Gandia.

My moving to Spain guide was initially intended as a helping hand to expats contemplating living in Valenciana, but countless emails I receive from such far away places as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, USA and all parts of Europe, saying how much the information has assisted them moving to Spain all the variouse provinces of Spain confirmed its wider interest.

The site is currently undergoing major updating and I continue to enjoy my retirement developing this resource to inform my fellow expats and aid them with the most trustworthy contacts, local expertise and practical help I can find.

My aim is to be helpful but in all things legal or where money is involved, I can accept no responsibility and strongly advise you to obtain professional advice.

Maurice Hamlin (founder)
August 2010

[Practical Hints
to Living in
Spain - Gandia - Valencia]

General Information
Emergency services, natural hazards & daily life
Language & Education
The languages of Spain and the education system
Health Care
Registration, english speaking doctors, A&E, hospital etc
Property Matters
Property purchase & residency, pitfalls and property for sale
Currency Transfer
Better rates from foreign exchange service companies
Telecomm, water, gas & electricity service & supply issues
Useful Contacts
Recreational, consular, medical, travel & service contacts
Sports & Leisure
Sports, leisure & tourist information and contacts
Cars & Driving
Motor vehicle use age and ownership in Spain
Working in Spain
For those wishing to work or run a small business in Spain
Spanish Taxation
Introduction to Spanish taxes and where to get help
Hospice Appeal
Please help the Franciscan Brothers