It will help you to plan, budget and settle in better if you have a good idea of what it really costs to live in Spain before go. While most of Europe has experienced an increase in the cost of living over the past ten years, particularly during the financial crisis, Spain often comes out as cheaper than many other countries within the Eurozone countries, and is noticeably less expensive to live in than France, in particular.

The Cost of Living survey we conduct every year compares the prices of a basic supermarket shop and other everyday living costs in a range of countries popular with British expats. The results should give you an idea of the main day to day price differences when comparing Spain to the UK.

Spain is regularly tipped as one of the cheaper countries in which to live.

The price of fuel in Spain

In 2015, the biggest change highlighted in the survey was the considerable drop in the price of fuel in Spain.

Electricity prices

Electricity prices went up in Spain, much like elsewhere in Europe, including the UK.

Spanish groceries

The cost of basic groceries essentially remained at similar levels to the year before.

Dining out in Spain

When dining out in Spain, particularly at lunchtime, the menu of the day (Menú del día) option is always a bargain, usually priced around €10 for a three course meal, wine, water and bread. This offer is becoming increasingly popular for evening meals, too, with many restaurants now offering similar deals in the evenings, at a slightly higher price.

The price of drinks in Spain

The price of wine, beer and coffee are all much the same as they were previously, remaining stable as the Spanish economy improves

Transport costs

Public transport in Spain is cheaper than the UK system, with particularly good value local train fares available. Over 60s are eligible for an annual 6€ tarjeta dorada (golden card), which reduces each fare up to 40%, depending on the time of day, day of the week and particular train you use. There are also frequent traveller cards available, which offer a discount for regular rail travel – this is useful if you regularly use the AVE or high speed trains.

There are also frequent traveller cards available, which offer a discount for regular rail travel

Insuring your home and property

House insurance is also cheaper than in the UK, and you can get good deals on car insurance – fully comprehensive cover for a new Ford Fiesta costs in the vicinity of 430€.

Clothes shopping in Spain

Clothes shopping in Spain varies from the very cheap to the very expensive, with not many mid-range options available. Well-known high street brands like Mango, Zara and H&M can all be found in Spain, with more choice in the larger cities, including the big department stores, like El Corte Inglés. There are also lower priced clothing stores, such as C&A, in the cities, and you can even find Primark in Spain now! You will find a wide variety of small local boutiques in the local areas, again, ranging in price from bargains to blowing the bank!

The cost of healthcare in Spain

Medical treatment is free with a Spanish Health Service card, but you will need to pay for prescriptions, which vary from charges of 10-40% of the overall cost, depending on your level of income.

White goods and home equipment

White goods can be more expensive in Spain, but there are regular special offers available at electrical chains and the larger supermarkets.

Every year in May, we compare prices of an average supermarket shop between Spain and the UK

 

Cost of Living Survey 2015

This price survey compared one of the more popular supermarkets in Spain, Mercadona, with Sainsbury’s in the UK. Mercadona provides an online delivery service, a store credit card for payments on a monthly or daily basis, and they even have a dedicated English part of their website. Parking is free, but you need to pay for carrier bags. Their opening hours are usually 9.15am to 9.15pm from Monday to Saturday, and they close on Sundays.

Item Spain Cost  Spain Cost  UK cost** UK cost** Comparison ES vs. UK
EUR GBP* EUR GBP
Baguette €0.45 £0.32 €0.63 £0.45 LOWER
British style loaf of bread €1.00 £0.72 €0.77 £0.55 HIGHER
1.5l of milk €1.06  £0.76 €1.10 for 2 pints – €1.45 for 1.5l £0.79 for 2 pints – £1.04 for 1.5l LOWER
6 eggs €1.17 £0.84 €1.24 £0.89 LOWER
500g cheese €3.22 £2.31 €4.18 for 450g – €4.64 for 500g £3.00 for 450g – £3.33 for 500g LOWER
200g jar instant coffee €4.95 £3.55 €3.90 £2.80 HIGHER
40 teabags €1.77 £1.27 €0.98 £0.70 HIGHER
1kg apples €1.39 £1.00 €2.72 £1.95 LOWER
1kg banana €1.19 £0.85 €0.95 £0.68 HIGHER
2 medium chicken breasts €2.67 £1.92 €4.18 £3.00 LOWER
500g pasta €0.99 £0.71 €1.05 £0.75 LOWER
500g fresh fish (e.g. salmon) €7.45 £5.35 €5.58 £4.00 HIGHER
500g cornflakes €0.99 £0.71 €2.09 £1.50 LOWER
Laundry detergent (40 washes) €4.95 £3.55 €8.37 £6.00 LOWER
Washing up liquid 600ml €1.95 £1.40 €1.05 for 450ml – €1.39 for 600ml £0.75 for 450ml – £1.00 for 600ml  HIGHER
Tube of toothpaste 75ml €1.55 £1.11 €1.32 £0.95 HIGHER
2l Coca-cola €1.39 £1.00 €2.58 for 1.75l  – €2.94 for 2l £1.85 for 1.75l – £2.11 for 2l LOWER
100g chocolate bar €0.77 £0.55 €0.84 for 43g– €1.94 for 100g £0.60 for 43g – £1.39 for 100g LOWER
1 400g can of dog food €1.40 £1.00 €0.63 £0.45 HIGHER
1 litre petrol €1.29 £0.93 €1.58  £1.13 LOWER
1 litre diesel €1.20 £0.86 €1.66 £1.19 LOWER
Monthly water cost for three bedroom property €38.00 £27.29 €62.74 £45.00 LOWER
Monthly electricity cost for three bedroom property €80.00 £57.46 €135.24 £97.00 LOWER
Monthly internet + satellite cost €69.32 £49.79 €48.80 £35.00 HIGHER
Glass of house white wine in a restaurant €2.50 £1.80 €4.18 £3.00 LOWER
Bottle of beer in a restaurant €2.25 £1.62 €4.32 £3.10 LOWER
Main course in a local restaurant €11.50 £8.25 €14.81 £10.62 LOWER

*Survey conducted 12/05/2015 – GBP/EUR rate 1.3923.

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