In the first part of our guide to transporting your belongings to Spain, we took a look at air freight and container ship as two possible methods of relocating to Spain from the UK, with the promise of more options to come. And that’s exactly what this, the second part of our guide, aims to provide.
We’re going to explore whether transport by road could be the most appropriate solution for you, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using a professional relocation firm, and introduce the customs and import fees you need to be aware of.
Relocation by road
If you’re moving to Spain then sending your belongings by road can be a simple and cost-effective way to arrange the move. There are a number of road removal companies that offer a regular road freight service to major cities in Spain, but it’s also possible to book a door-to-door service if that’s more convenient.
The door-to-door service offered by most relocation companies will include everything from packaging your goods in the UK to unloading on arrival in Spain. Professional packaging will give you peace of mind that your belongings are packed safely using top-quality materials. There’ll also be insurance to cover the cost of any damages. This service is available on everything from single items to shared-load and full relocations.
It’s also worth noting that most relocation companies are booked up far in advance. We’d recommend that you start looking for a relocation firm at least three months before your intended moving date.
Do-it-yourself or use the professionals?
While it’s certainly possible to arrange the logistics yourself, you may choose to use a professional relocation team to remove some of the stress and allow you to focus on other aspects of the move. However, before you choose to go down the DIY route, you should be aware that organising a move of this kind is certainly not for everyone. There is a reason relocation firms are in such high demand, so it’s well worth thinking carefully about just what the benefits will be…
• Will you save a significant amount of money by arranging the move yourself? You might not save as much as you think, so ask for quotes from at least two professional relocation companies before you decide.
• How long will tasks like packaging and packing your belongings and arranging insurance take without professional help?
• When do you need your belongings with you in Spain? Relocation companies tend to be quicker as they know exactly how the process works.
Finding the right firm
If you choose to use a relocation company then finding the right firm can be one of the more difficult parts of the process. As always, word-of-mouth recommendations are difficult to beat, so ask other expats for their advice. You should also look for accreditations from recognised regulatory bodies like the International Association of Movers, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, and the International Air Transport Association. And then there are the reviews from previous customers on platforms like Trustpilot, which will give you an idea of the level of service you can expect.
It’s important not to base this decision entirely on price. The most expensive firm won’t necessarily be the best, nor will the cheapest always be the worst. In fact, in many cases, those firms that really care about the level of service they provide will do so at a competitive price.
Customs and import fees
The first point to note is that you will need to transport your items to your new home in Spain within three months of your arrival. Fail to do so and you will need to apply for a special permit. You will not need to pay any duty charges on your personal goods as long as you have owned them for a minimum of three months and have lived outside of Spain for at least one year. You will then be unable to sell the items for one year after the move.
When entering the country, you’ll need to create a full inventory of your belongings, in Spanish, and have a residence certificate and proof of employment. There are very few restrictions on the items you can bring into Spain. However, you will have to pay duty on any items of furniture worth more than €3,000. If you want to move with your pet, you can learn more about the requirements in our guide.
Ready to make your move?
Once you’ve found the Spanish property of your dreams, get in touch with the team at Costa Conveyancing for a fixed-price, English-speaking conveyancing service that meets the strict UK guidelines.