What is the cost of living in Spain for expats?

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Spain is said to stand out because of its quality of life, maybe because of its health system, its climate or its daily life. When moving into this country, there are many questions that might jump into our heads, and one of them is how much is the cost of living in Spain for expats.

In BMI Brokers we will provide you everything you need to know about how much is the cost of living in Spain for expats. We will take a look at the home insurance you might need and the health system of Spain among others things you might be interested in.

Home insurance and the cost of housing in Spain

The first thing you should know is how much does it cost to buy a house in Spain. However, there are some differences in the cost of property depending on the region of Spain we are talking of.

Some cities like Madrid or Barcelona are more expensive while cities like Seville or Valencia are cheaper and it is easier to find a good house at a reasonable price. Finally, if you move in to the provinces in the centre of Spain like Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragon or Navarra you will find that the cost of housing is the cheapest in the peninsula.

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To buy an apartment or house in the city centre can cost around 2,800€ per square meter as average. Then, an apartment outside the city centre would be something like 1,900€ per square meter.

Home insurance in Spain for expats

One of the costs of living in Spain for expats is getting a good home insurance. This will prevent you from possible water damage, theft and legal protection and advice, among other possibilities.

It is important to think in advance of taking care of your house and making sure that you are covered if an unexpected sudden event occurs.

In BMI Brokers we can help you finding the best and most affordable home insurance so you know you are paying what you deserve. If you are interested, you can fill our contact form and we will contact you in no time.

Find more about home insurance in the following post: How to calculate home insurance in Spain.


How is the healthcare system in Spain?


There are two types of healthcare systems in Spain, both private and public. The public system gives basic coverage for anyone who contributes to the Spanish social security system and it covers pretty much everything, but there are also many other things that remain uncovered.

Getting a private health insurance in Spain for expats

In order to have access to a wider and quicker treatment, we recommend you considering a private health insurance. This will cost you around 35 euros per month depending on the region you are living. This is one of the costs of living in Spain for expats that we think you should consider.

Once more, we remind you that in BMI we are experts in finding the best offers and that we can help you to find the best health insurance for you that suits your needs at best. Private health insurance coverage can include:

  • Dental care
  • Assisted reproduction
  • Worldwide emergency service 24 hours a day
  • Specialist
  • GP and paediatrics
  • Hospitalisation
  • 2nd medical opinion
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If you need more information, you can click on this link: Quote for your health insurance.

Choose the right car insurance

If you are thinking about buying your own car in Spain, you should know that it is obligatory to have a car insurance with at least a third party liability cover.

If you are planning to bring your car with the plate of your country, you can insure it in Spain for a maximum period of three months as long as the change of license plate to Spanish is processed.

A Spanish car insurance quote can be very diverse and it depends on what kind of coverage you are looking for, the type of car, its horse power and the age of the insured.  There are also different types of coverage that you can get: third party, third party fire and fully comprehensive. In Spain it is obliged by law to have your car insured with a third party insurance.

From there, it is possible to improve it and get a wider coverage. Both options will cost you around the same amount of money since the price you will pay for an accident with a third party insurance is almost equivalent to fully comprehensive annual quote.

For more information: How to buy a car in Spain: everything you need to know


What is the cost of living in average in Spain?

Now that we have covered the basics, the next thing you need to know is how much are the costs of living in Spain for expats in the daily life. In general numbers, Spain is one of the cheapest places to live in Europe, being the average cost of living for one person around 18,000 euros a year.

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Cost of living in Spain: the cheapest and most expensive cities

The 10 most expensive cities in Spain

Position City % regarding the global average Income (€)
1 Barcelona 35,51 26.632,84
2 San Sebastián 29,90 30.640,72
3 Madrid 25,22 25.797,84
4 Palma de Mallorca 13,98 26.213,35
5 Valencia 8,48 24.994,42
6 Vitoria 6,89 28.372,56
7 Girona 6,46 28.149,63
8 Albacete 5,51 24.956,65
9 Oviedo 4,68 26.969,18
10 Tarragona 4,33 27.811,33

The 10 cheapest cities in Spain

Position City % regarding the global average Income (€)
1 Palencia -30,06 23.654,17
2 Melilla -17,13 26.519,32
3 Lugo -16,94 23.977,63
4 Logroño -16,72 25.581,16
5 Teruel -14,71 21.782,41
6 Cáceres -13,44 22.559,08
7 Zamora -12,98 22.353,53
8 Ávila -12,18 23.980,50
9 Soria -11,10 24.238,88
10 León -10,24 25.474,71

Credits to Kelisto

Daily life in Spain: general costs of living in Spain for expats

Even though the cost of living can differ from one city of Spain to another.

Normally a good meal in a good restaurant will cost you 10 euros or so, and this will include first and second course, desert and the beverages. On the other side, a weekly grocery shopping for one family will be approximately 100 euros to 200 euros, depending on what you buy.

Public transport is highly encouraged in cities like Madrid and Barcelona were they have become the most used means of transport, so it is quite cheap. In average, a monthly pass will cost around 40€ or so.

When it comes to leisure and entertainment, Spaniards spend around 40€ per week, depending on their social life and how many times they go out during the week. Just so you can get a general idea, a ticket for the cinema plus medium size popcorn will cost you 10€ approximately.


This is the cost of living in Spain for expats and how much you will have to spend in every aspect of your daily life. If you need more information regarding insurance in Spain, do not hesitate and get in contact with us. We will be pleased to help you.