If you are thinking of moving to Spain´s Costa del Sol, there are plenty of things to consider before you make the final decision. Many people have a romantic notion of Spain, and dream of the long, hot, sunny days and sipping a gin and tonic while the sun sets. All of that is great for a while, but it soon loses its novelty value if you are not earning money.
Try to secure employment before you move, and rent a place for 6-12 months before buying anywhere so you can be 100% sure you have made the right choice.
Once you have made your mind up to move:
If you have decided to drive to Spain study the driving laws and regulations and how they differ from those in the UK. Consider the cost of a ferry crossing, petrol etc., compared to a flight, as the latter could work out much cheaper.
Take photocopies of all your important documents, including your European Health Insurance Card, your passport, your driving licence etc. On arrival in Spain it is important to obtain an NIE number when you arrive. Go to the local National Police Station for an application form, which is available in English.
A residencia is a form of permit for those who intend to reside in Spain on a permanent basis. It is not compulsory but there are advantages. Visit your nearest police station and collect the application forms.
Go to the police station and collect the forms. Complete and return the forms along with the documents they request and usually you can collect your certificate one month later. Residencia cards are no longer issued as EU courts ruled that they were illegal. Now it is just an A4 piece of paper. You MUST by law carry this with you at all times.
If you plan to work in Spain you will also need a social security number. The process of getting a social security number is straightforward. Go to the nearest social security office (there is one in most Costa del Sol towns) with your original passport and a copy of your passport. You will be asked to fill in a form with name, address details and you will be issued with a temporary card there and then.
You do not need to have a job to obtain a social security number, but you do need one in order to gain employment. You are only entitled to social security payments pro-rata to how much you have paid into the system.
If you want to store your household goods before you move into your new property, contact a secure self-contained storage warehouse on the Costa del Sol.