Guide Retiring to Spain - Frequently asked questions
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Life is easier if you can speak some Spanish! Many learn a few words
prior to moving and then continue lessons in Spain. Locals will always
be more helpful and appreciative if you make the effort to attempt some
Spanish. Happily, Spanish is considered a relatively easy language to
learn and you'll be surprised how quickly you pick it up and how many
words are similar!
Can we take our pets with us?
Yes, and under the UK's new pet passport scheme, they can return to
the UK without going into quarantine. To qualify for a passport, your
pet will need to be 'identichipped' and have certain inoculations.
You should speak to your vet for more advice.
Can we get English TV in Spain?
English programmes are available via satellite services such as Sky.
English newspapers are printed daily on the Spanish mainland and available
from local stores
in the mornings. For sports fans most events, including English
football, are available
Can / use my UK driving licence in Spain?
Yes, although if you are a going to become a Spanish resident you
will have to apply for a Spanish driving licence.
Do / need to take out Spanish car insurance?
UK car insurance tends to be more comprehensive and can cover you
in Spain, however check this directly with your own insurance company.
Are disabled people catered for?
Yes. Spain is considered very forward thinking in this area. The only
real problem areas are likely to be in older parts of towns.
How do I find a doctor?
Doctors are usually located within medical health centres although
many are independent. All can be found in the telephone directory.
What does a medical prescription cost?
In Spain there is no set charge. When you get the doctor's prescription
you have to take it to a pharmacy where you will only be charged for
the medication prescribed.
Do British Banks have branches in Spain?
Some of the UK high street banks have branches in the main towns and
cities. Smaller towns have only Spanish domestic banks. Your own bank
should be able to point you in the right direction.
Do / need a Spanish bank account?
You will need a Euro account for utility companies to collect payments
for water, electricity, etc. This works very much like the UK's direct
Are all the main religions practised in Spain?
Most of the major religions and churches can be found in Spain with
a little effort. The vast majority of Spaniards are Roman Catholic.
How does Spain's transport compare to the UK?
Very well indeed! The Spanish government have invested vast sums of
money in both the road network and public transport infrastructure.
Buses and trains generally run on time and are a clean, economic and
convenient method of getting about.
How cold does the climate get in winter on the Costa Blanca?
The typical Spanish winter day is comparable to a gentle Spring or
Autumn day in the UK - very pleasant for anyone who has had enough
of British winters!
Do we need medical vaccinations to live in Spain?
No. Remember...Spain is about as healthy an environment as it is possible
Are the public holidays the same as the UK?
Spain has more public holidays than the UK. Some occur at similar
times, like Easter and Christmas, but it is worth making a note of
them - especially if you are planning to do business in Spain.
What are the shop opening hours?
Generally speaking, shops are open between 10am and 2pm and again
between 5pm and 8pm - Monday to Friday. Supermarkets tend to be open
all day. On Saturdays most of the smaller shops are closed in the