We sent our Spanish writer out to the local bars, restaurants and shops armed with a pen a paper, so you know what you will pay for going out, groceries, utilities and transport in Spain.
Buying a home in Spain doesn’t just mean you’ll be able to benefit from a more relaxed lifestyle compared to the UK; you’ll probably be able to bag yourself a bargain property too. The average house price in the UK is £226,200, compared to just €108,200 (£95,000) in sunny Spain. But have you considered how much your new life will set you back once you have the keys to your affordable property? To help give you an idea of the cost of living in Spain, we’ve researched the price of life’s essentials so you will be able to budget ahead with confidence when you get there.
Have you considered how much your new life will set you back once you have the keys to your property?
Here are the prices of an average grocery shop in Mercadona – a leading Spanish supermarket chain – compared to similar items on the Tesco UK website.
|Item||Price in €||Conversion price in £s||Tesco UK price
|Loaf of bread (fresh)||1||0.87||0.75|
|12 medium eggs||1.19||1.04||1.75|
|2 litres of milk||1.55||1.35||1.30|
|1kg of apples||1.49||1.30||2.20|
|500g chicken breast||3.90||3.41||4|
|500g stewing beef||3.10||2.71||2.89|
|400g standard cornflakes||0.87||0.76||0.75|
|100g chocolate bar||0.75||0.65||0.45|
|200g Instant coffee – Nescafé||5.25||4.60||5.69|
|20 teabags||0.60||0.52||1.10 (for 80)|
|Bottle of red wine – Rioja||2.69||2.35||4.50|
|Domestic beer, 6 bottles – San Miguel||2.29||2||5.40|
|600ml washing up liquid||0.99||0.86||1.50|
|35 detergent tablets||4.25||3.72||3|
|1200g tin dog food||1.40||1.22||2.50|
The total value of this shop is almost £10 cheaper in Spain (£35.59) than the UK (£44.64).
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Home costs – The range of prices for two-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom villa
|Item||Average cost in €||Conversion to £|
|Electricity||58 – 170 per month||50 – 148|
|Internet, line rental||25 – 50 per month||21 – 43|
|Gas||40 – 120 per month||35 – 105|
|Mobile phone tariff, prepaid 1 minute||0.16||0.14|
|Council tax (and other housing costs, such as refuse)||500 – 1100 (varies by region)||437 – 963|
|Pool maintenance (if appropriate)||60 – 90 per month||52 – 78|
According to Numbeo – the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide – the average cost of basic utilities for a two-bed apartment (electricity, heating water, rubbish collection) is around 40% more expensive per month in the UK than Spain. While the average cost of an internet connection is around 23% cheaper in the UK.
The cost of transport is typically higher across the board in Spain compared to the UK.
|Item||Average cost in €||Conversion to £|
|1 litre petrol||1.18||1.03|
|1 litre diesel||1.12||0.98|
|One way train ticket in large town||2.15||1.88|
|Monthly train pass in large town||42||36.77|
|Taxi starting tariff||2.50||2.18|
|Taxi km/mile tariff in large town||1.10||0.96|
|Car tax for the average five door hatchback||65||56|
The cost of transport is typically higher across the board in Spain compared to the UK. For example, a litre of petrol rises from around £1.03 in Spain to £1.15 in the UK. What’s more, public transport, particularly train travel, is considered more efficient in Spain, meaning you get excellent value for money when you compare the price of a monthly train pass in Spain (£36.77) with the UK (£60).
|Average cost in €||Conversion to £|
|Three course set meal||12||10.50|
|Glass of white wine||2.20||1.92|
|Bottle of beer||2.50||2.18|
|Cup of coffee||1.30 – 2.10||1.13 – 1.83|
|Cinema ticket||6 – 8.50||5.25 – 7.43|
|Gym membership (monthly)||36.50||31.94|
Social costs will vary depending upon your location. If you’re looking for a meal in a tourist hotspot, for example, try to avoid the high prices by avoiding the crowds. Head back a couple a couple of streets from the main plaza and look for the restaurants the locals are going to. Not only will you save a fair whack, the quality is likely to be better as well.
If you’re buying a home on a strict budget, learning a few negotiating tips could net a you more house for your money. Download our guide, How to Negotiate Abroad. It’s written by a licensed estate agent and is packed with insider tips.