Frequently Asked Questions
There are so many questions one wants to ask when undertaking a property transaction in Spain. Whilst we can't answer everything, below are a list of the most popular questions that we get asked by our clients.
What is an NIE?
N.I.E. means Numero de Identificación de Extranjeros. The English translation would be Foreign person's Identification Number. This number is given by the Spanish authorities to substitute the Passport ID for residents in Spain. It is then required in order to register at any public office. So it is vital to get your number as soon as possible. Even simple things like buying a car and registering it in your name, presenting tax returns or being covered by the National Social Security, require that the applicant have a NIE assigned. To apply for a NIE you need two passport size photographs, an official application form signed by the applicant and a photocopy of the applicant's passport.
How easy is it to get employment in Spain?
Finding a job in Spain without speaking any Spanish will reduce your options to “expat only” jobs. Even an English teacher, a waiter in an Irish Pub, or an expatriate working in a multinational company, will need to speak at least a bit of Spanish, however there are exceptions to the rule. Look at websites such as www.thinkspain.com where they have up to date lists of vacancies.
Can my children be educated in Spain?
Yes. Many expat families within the EU educate their children in Spain. There are options ranging from Spanish state schools to paid for private International schools. Each school has its own entry requirements.
What happens if I am ill in Spain?
The Spanish health system is amongst one of the best in the world focusing on preventative care. There are various options for healthcare from being registered at your local health centre, to obtaining private insurance from companies such as Sanitas. English is widely spoken due to the amount of expats in this area.
Driving in Spain?
Cars drive on the left hand side in Spain. The roads are well sign posted and in general are well lit and maintained. The national speed limit is 120kmph
Can I bring my pet to Spain?
One thing that the Spanish love, is their pets. Dogs will be seen in restaurants, shops, cafes and are a great part of everyday life. You need to register your dog with your local vet and they will advise you as to the rules and regulations applying to your pet.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Many people have lived in Spain for many years without speaking a word of Spanish. In this part of Spain, due to tourism English and many other foreign languages are widely spoken. It goes without saying that it will certainly help if you can speak a little Spanish because many utility companies, delivery drivers and emergency services will only converse in Spanish.
Can I buy my home comforts?
In Spain shops such as Iceland are very prevalent on the coast and stock products from Waitrose, you also have the Dutch Spa shops here and in Hipercor they stock foods from all over the world. I don't think that there is anything that you cannot buy here and if you can't, there is online shopping as a backup.
Can I watch my favourite television programmes from home in Spain?
There are many options in Spain for obtaining television in your desired language. With the way technology is advancing the methods of receiving your favourite channels are becoming more varied and competitive. You should expect to pay a monthly fee of around €30 per month. By law, all communities should receive a minimum of Spanish television for which there are a few American channels included.
How good are the internet and telephone services in Spain?
We are now starting to see fibre optics being installed in the main towns of Spain, however in general internet speeds are not what you will find in other countries. Mobile phone and landline providers are in an abundance as you would find anywhere else in the world.
What utilities are available to me in Spain?
Electricity, mains water & sewage is normal with mains gas becoming more available. If you are in the countryside you may not have mains gas or sewage.
Is there a public transport system in Spain?
In this part of Spain, the main public transport is via bus which is cheap, and frequent. There is a train system but not widely available.
What airports best serve the Costa Del Sol?
Serving this area you will need Malaga or Gibraltar airport. Both are modern, newly built with Malaga being larger in size accepting International flights.
How long can I stay in Spain?
As an EU member there is free travel within Europe so there is no limit on the numbers of days that you can stay in Spain. If you do not have a Golden Visa, the limit for a non EU member is 90 days, of course there are exceptions so it is best to check with the consulate relating to the country in question.
What are the general opening hours in Spain?
A general store in Spain is open Monday to Saturday 9am - 2pm and 5pm - 9pm. Some stores do not re-open Saturday afternoon. The large commercial shopping centres and International stores are open all day without a siesta. Shops are generally closed on a Sunday.
What are the emergency numbers in Spain?
- 112 is the European emergency number
- 062 is Guardia Civil
- 091 is the Police
- 092 is for the local Police
- 061 is for Health emergencies
- 080 is for the Fire services
If you have a question that has not been covered here, please do not hesitate to and we will do our best to help with free, impartial advice.