Cost of Living in Spain

Have you always dreamt of making a permanent move to Spain? Or perhaps you’re hoping to buy a holiday home in Spain for long, hazy summers of fun? You’re not alone! Each year, around 12% of Brits were seriously thinking of moving abroad, and Spain is one of the most popular choices of relocation destinations. If you’re in that 12%, then you’ll need to know more about the cost of living in Spain!

 

From the cost of your supermarket bill to the price of your monthly utility bills, as well as the expenses involved in eating out and other fun activities, here’s a full breakdown of the costs involved in living in Spain:

Picking the Right Region

If sticking to a budget is one of your main concerns, then the region of Spain that you choose to relocate to will be a big factor in how much you can expect to spend on a monthly basis. Just like in the UK, the cost of living can vary wildly from city to city. Taking data from the Numbeo cost of living calculator, the most expensive Spanish city to live in is Bilbao, followed by Spain’s two largest cities, Barcelona and Madrid. Here is a full break down of twelve of the largest Spanish cities, and the cost of living in each of them:

cost-of-living-spain

The higher up the list a city appears, the more expensive it will be to live there, whilst regions that are popular with tourists such as Malaga and Alicante appear much lower on the list, making them a more affordable option for your relocation.

Calculating the Costs of Your Grocery Bills

One of the questions people most often ask about the cost of living in Spain is how much your weekly supermarket bill will be. Of course, this will depend where you shop when you are in Spain, and where you are used to shopping in the UK. But for the point of a meaningful comparison we will compare the prices of some of the most commonly purchased grocery items from Asda in the UK and Mercadona in Spain. These figures were most recently calculated in June 2020, so the exchange rate used for the purpose of this calculation is £1.00 = 1.12 Euros.

It is also worth noting that you can find both Lidl and Aldi stores in most major towns and cities in Spain, meaning that if you already shop in these stores in the UK, or are hoping to shave even more money from your grocery bill, then you are likely to find that the prices are a little lower here.

Item

Price in UK (in Euros)

Price in Spain (in Euros)

Loaf of bread

1.06 per 800g loaf

0.95 per 820g loaf

Milk

1.23 per 4 pint carton

0.79 per litre carton

Butter

1.73 for 250g

1.50 for 250g

Sugar

0.77 per kg

0.78 per kg

Coffee Granules

2.24 per 200g

2.37 per 250g

Coca Cola

2.35 for 1.5 litres

1.59 for 2 litres

Potatoes

0.56 per kg

1.00 per kg

Bananas

0.84 per kg

1.29 per kg

White pasta

0.59 per 500g

0.98 per kg

Extra virgin olive oil

5.98 per litre

3.17 per litre

Chicken

3.80 per 650g

5.06 per 650g

San Miguel beer

1.67 per 660ml

1.64 per litre

Absolut Vodka

25.00 per litre

18.07 per litre

20 Marlboro Cigarettes

13.27

5.00

Red Peppers

0.56 each

0.81 each

 

Time to Talk Utility Bills

How much will my utility bills cost is really a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, because the cost of your bills will vary wildly depending on the size and the condition of your property. But if you have already purchased your property, or know what time of Spanish home you are looking for, then it would be possible to calculate the cost of your utility bills using this information. Here will break down the costs of the most commonly purchased utilities and other expenses in Spain, to help you with your planning:

  • You can expect to spend between 30 and 55 euros per month for your landline telephone and broadband internet of between 50Mb-300Mb.
  • Water bills will depend on how many people live in your household and your usage, but the average cost for a monthly water bill is between 40-60 euros.
  • A bottle of Butane gas will cost a maximum of 13.37
  • The average monthly electricity bill in Spain is around €60 - €100. However, the contracted Kw of your home will influence this figure, as will its size and how much you are at home. Small/medium-sized homes should be contracted for 3.45kW, Larger homes 5.75 kW and Larger homes with heavier electrical consumption 10.35 kW. If the kW assigned to your home isn’t correct, then this could lead to larger bills.
  • Council tax costs will vary from region to region, but the good news is that you can expect to pay around a quarter of what you would pay in the UK.
  • If you don’t intend to buy your own property, then you will be interested to hear about the rent costs in Spain. Prices are generally cheaper inland than by the cost and will also be higher in areas popular with tourists. But a good estimate is that a 1-2 bed apartment will cost €500 per month (Outside of a City). A 2-3 bed apartment will cost €750 per month (outside City). A  villa with a pool will cost around €1,000+ per month. 1-2 bed city apartment will cost €675 per month, and a 3-bed city apartment will cost €1,000 per month.

Running a Car in Spain

Whilst the public transport links in Spain are very good, many people choose to buy a car when they move to Spain because it is my far the fast and most convenient way to get from A to B, particularly if you choose to live in a rural vacation. Driving in Spain is a relatively easy process, but it’s important to understand the costs involved: for example, whilst petrol is cheap, toll roads can be expensive if you’re driving across the country.

You can expect to spend around 50 euros a year on your road tax, which is much cheaper in the UK, whilst petrol is around 1.12 euros per litre and diesel is 1.03 euros per litre. Other expenses to take into consideration the cost of your annual ITV test (the Spanish equivalent of the MOT) which is 35 euros. You will pay 175 euros for a full service, which many people choose to have annually in line with their ITV test.

Budgeting for your Leisure and Entertainment

Everybody needs some ‘fun money’ so it’s important to know how much it will cost to enjoy some of your favourite leisure and entertainment activities once you’ve living in Spain. Here is a full breakdown of how much some of the most common leisure activities will cost:

  • If you love working out then a gym membership will cost between 25-45 euros per month, depending on the gym you choose.
  • Movie buffs can expect to spend around 8 euros per ticket each time they visit the cinema.
  • Golf costs vary depending on the size and quality of the course you choose. A good rule of thumb is to budget at least 50 euros per round.
  • In a medium level restaurant, a meal for two with wine will cost around 40 euros.
  • If you choose the menu of the day, then you can expect to pay just 10 euros a head for a set three-course lunch.
  • Want to head to your favourite pub or bar and quench your thirst? A beer will cost you 2.50 for half a litre of domestic brand lager, and you can expect to pay 2.50 for a glass of wine. A soft drink will cost 1.70 whilst a coffee would cost 1.50 euros.

The Cost of Insurance in Spain

Whilst it's not as fun as budgeting for leisure and entertainment, it is just as (if not more) important to understand the cost of insurance in Spain. Your national insurance will cost between 50 and 285 euros per month (you may have to pay this whether you are working or not), you will also need to secure car insurance and life insurance, but the expense of this will depend on your age and any relevant history.

Health insurance is essential, and you can expect to pay at least 30 euros per month for this, and you should also allow around 250 euros annually for your building and contents insurance.

 Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Hoping to invest in your dream Spanish bolt hole or retirement home? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.



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