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08 June 2009
Siesta Show Webisode 68 - The true cost of living in Spain!

For today's webisode Justin discusses what the true costs of living in Spain actually are. Have the costs become far more expensive now since Spain joined the single currency and is it still cheaper to live in Spain as opposed to the UK?



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26 Comments

Scotty said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:11

I agree with you Justin. We have a holiday home on the Costa Blanca and have noticed a big rise in prices over the last 6 months. No longer is Spain the place to go to live cheaper, that's for sure! The reasons to emigrate to Spain, it seems to me are 1. the weather and 2. the relaxed lifestyle. But now both of those come at an increased cost - for Brit's anyway!


carol sharp said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:12

I have found the costs have changed dramatically over the last year and it is expensive


Tana said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:25

The costs have gone up. As you said, Justin, the IBI has gone up, the electricity has gone up as well. The car tax is much cheaper than UK. However the fact that for several months now the Euro and the Pound have been as near equal as makes no difference, does make you stop and think. Also, as you said, they have put the prices up, with the result that we do not go out as we used to, buy a lot of stuff in Gib and marvel at the way the local businesses seem to be turning a blind eye to the current crisis and do not offer a better service or reduce things to pull in the punters. having said that, I notice that some of the supermarkets are doing a few deals on some items. Wouldn't consider going back to England though!! Just grin and bear it, 'cos it will improve!


Tana said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:27

The costs have gone up. As you said, Justin, the IBI has gone up, the electricity has gone up as well. The car tax is much cheaper than UK. However the fact that for several months now the Euro and the Pound have been as near equal as makes no difference, does make you stop and think. Also, as you said, they have put the prices up, with the result that we do not go out as we used to, buy a lot of stuff in Gib and marvel at the way the local businesses seem to be turning a blind eye to the current crisis and do not offer a better service or reduce things to pull in the punters. having said that, I notice that some of the supermarkets are doing a few deals on some items. Wouldn't consider going back to England though!! Just grin and bear it, 'cos it will improve!


David said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:29

I would say that some things are much cheaper (transport, coffees, prescriptions) than the UK; some things are more expensive (broadband, computer games, second hand cars etc.) and some things are more or less the same price (supermarkets, restaurants). So it´s swings and roundabouts really.

On the subject of local businesses putting up prices, our local bar (Bar Rojas) in Manilva pueblo is taking the mick. When we first started going a couple of months ago, he charged us 50 cents for a tapas. The next time we went, it was 1 euro. Then last night, he had the cheek to charge us 1.20 per tapas. He explained that the additional 20 cents were because we ate at the table and not the bar. We have always eaten at the table! My wife (she´s Spanish) had a bit of a go at him for his pricing. Needless to say, we won´t be going back. There´s plenty of other, cheaper bars in Manilva.


Sue said:
08 June 2009 @ 17:58

yes - things have gone up in Spain - but they have also gone up in the UK.

I find that all the outgoings on a 2 bed apartment, community fees , electricity, water , insurance, key holders fees, english TV, IBI and other personal taxes are only slightly more than the Council tax on an old house in the UK.


Louise said:
08 June 2009 @ 18:35

maybe on the coast prices are much higher, but inland, were we are, a tubo on the village square is 1 euro, same as last year! We clearly don't get as many euros for our £ as we did, bur now we know how Spanish tourists must have felt going to the uk! Obviously it depends where you are: as a tourist I paid £3 for a can of coke in London last year, so when I go down to the coast when in Spain, I know I'm going to be paying a huge premium. Can't wait to get back - roll on July 29th!


Colin said:
08 June 2009 @ 19:30

All I can say is thanks to the global economic crisis, prices have gone up everywhere... UK, Spain, France, Germany, etc. Not one country in Europe has escaped! Having said that taking all the bills in Spain and comparing them with our old UK bills, we are still better off here in Spain.

They way I look at it is this, we moved from only Holiday spot, Devon, to another, the Costa Del Sol. When we lived in Devon the cost of living was higher than here, and even though prices HAVE gone up here, so they have there, so we are still better off!

So you have to take things into perspective, as what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander. As for us, we are thankful to be with the goose. We have a higher standard of living and a better, more temperate climate. And a much better social life, as even with both of us working full time in the UK, we could hardly ever afford to go out and only did so when we went on holiday. Now, twice a week is the norm and we spend peanuts as compared to the UK... £1.35 for a pint of beer and £2.25 for a vodka and tonic, and as for eating out, you need to find who rips you off, and who gives value for money.

As David said, there are plenty of cheap bars around in Manilva, Sabinillas and even the Port of La Duquesa.


Colin said:
08 June 2009 @ 19:38

Sorry! Forgot to say that I also agree with Sue, that the council charge on our UK 4 Bed property in Devon was also very, very high and would pay most of the bills that we have here, month on month as it were.

So as I said, you need to exercise perspective when making like-on-like comparisons.

For those that have lived in Spain for some time it is now more expensive, however you will find that it is even more expensive in a lot of areas, but not all, in the UK.


Pete Lloyd said:
09 June 2009 @ 01:21

I don`t live in Spain,but visit my rented apartment for long periods.I think food is expensive in Spain in the supermarkets.This probably because of lack of competition here.Tesco,Asda,morrisons,and sainsburys are at war in the UK.Carrefort rule the roost here,with their large supermarkets.Tesco have gone allround the world,except western europe.So we will have to wait until there is more compotition.


dee said:
09 June 2009 @ 11:53

Has gone up tremendously. The Spaniards (businesses) do not seem to recognize there is a recession and instead of restaurants/bars/shops etc. having offers -they are putting up their prices !!!!! We cannot afford to go on holiday to Spain and eat out every night in a fairly decent restaurant.


margaret said:
09 June 2009 @ 12:17

yes I think the cost of food has really shot up. also electricity, water, community charges ect. the falling value of the pound has not helped. though we can get a good menu del dia for 8 euros, plus a glass of vino or a cana for 1 euro.


david ashby said:
09 June 2009 @ 13:41

hi justin i live in both spain and uk if you think its dear here try london in our village a glass of vino tinto is 1.20 euros about £1.10 in uk £2.80 its still cheaper in spain but prices are going up everywhere so we must all grin and bear it.
dr david ashby


martinm said:
09 June 2009 @ 14:32

Hi all, we are from ireland so euro is euro we find the cost of living in spain a lot cheaper than in ireland, we have our own apartment in benalmadena and go over 4 too 6 times a year &love it, what date in july is the party justin as i may make it lol.


jonny said:
09 June 2009 @ 16:52

In the 7 years we have been holidaying in duquesa we cannot beleive how the prices have gone up.In a good italian restaurant in the port a prawn cocktail is £8.00 or a side salad £10.00!!! And fuel has gone up far higher than in the UK, the only thing that i find is still cheap is my bottle of rioja from mercadona for 1.80 euros!!!


TreVys said:
09 June 2009 @ 21:49

The cost of living has definitely increased, mainly due to
the exchange rate values, £/€.
Spain too ,in Recession, still seems to continue with its rip-off,
crooked attitude, "Hit the Brits ".
With an Economy reliant on Building & Tourism, Spain should
now come to a realisation, a time to change attitude, towards
us , Extranjeros, who keep their Economy going.
Menu del dia, 10€ with drink for one equals £10 offer M&S for
two inclusive of bottle of wine !
"Greed ", "Overbuild", "Crooked ", seem to come into My
Vocabulary & Equation of Spain.
However, as one person has commented, at least You have the
Sun & less pressurized Life Style, which compensates ..??
I have lived here 3 years , have no intention to returning to
" Les Miserables ", Inglaterra ..!
Retired Caterer.


Allen said:
09 June 2009 @ 22:27

strange to hear that Spain is being singled out as a more expensive place to live
The fact is that all countries in Europe are becoming more expensive for us Brits ' The falling value of the pound compared to the euro is more at fault than any general price increases
Admitedly there are some increases ; as there are in the UK ; but - Last year a bottle of Mahou was 1€ or 1.2€ ; today it is the same price ; you can still get a good quality restraunt meal at reasonable prices and of course local produce is still cheaper than in the UK
If you buy English branded products from the supermarket then ; as always ; you expect to pay the extra
The answer is to buy local produce


Jeff said:
10 June 2009 @ 12:23

The rate of exchange has not helped. But we do also think prices have gone up in the shops and the restaurants have increased some prices making a meal out more expensive than the UK. Justin you are right the restaurants should be more creative with their pricing and many have with their Menu del Dia, Venta la Choza, Arroya Honda The Forge to name just 3, so look around.

Our solution is to buy meat, fish and veg etc. in the local shops rather than supermarkets and we BBQ more and make are own meals and share with friends. We go out once a week rather than 3 times a week.


Heather said:
10 June 2009 @ 13:55

I holiday in Spain about 3 times a year for the past few years and I have noticed the increase in prices in the bars/restaurants, especially the British places. My partner and I tend to try and eat/drink in Spainish places as firstly we get to try and learn a bit more Spanish, the people are more friendly and we have a laugh with them, we get away from the 'Brit on Holiday' people, you know who I am talking about and finally we find that the prices are much much cheaper than any British owned place that just seem to put their prices up for the holidaymakers and then again when the season starts they put them up again.....That is WRONG!!


Colin said:
10 June 2009 @ 17:44

Very interesting comments from both sides of the coin.

However in this area of the CDS, Manilva, it is the British and Irish owned places that have been keener to lower prices or give you more for your money, just look at ItZabar in Sabinnilas or C Bar in the port of La Duquesa just to name two! They do the both.

Where ever you live and where ever you holiday, you have to shop around and vote with your pocket.


Anthony said:
10 June 2009 @ 18:03

Hi. I have read some of your comments,it would be nice to know where you are all from when you comment?? i am in Tenerife and have been here now 12yrs,and yes the prices have risen, mainly due to the euro and yes the pound had dropped badly, but hey the xchange is on the way up, hang on in there, i worked for a travel agent in the airport [tfs] we were linked to a uk co from Manchester doing more flights on a Friday than any other company to tfs, but alas it was bought by a w.....r [silly person] and hit the floor in 15 months, me and my tfs co with it, so i am now, out of work and have been for 18months, no work lots and lots of people have gone back to the UK, as rents are high here and now no work.....not easy, so yes things are difficult, but i can still get a jarra for 1€, in an British bar,local stuff 'Dorada' not bad beer, also a name of a fish here, and if i go into the hills, not difficult as the island is one big hill, i can still get, in a Spanish restaurant a good meal for 18€ including local wine from Tacoronte, very nice red, so things can be found if you are willing to ask around and travel a little,if you think there is no competion on the main land,see here for details, Liddle will be opening next year and have been given a hard time by the Canarian gov, as there know they will chalange the other supers here,but all is not lost they are on course to open still !
I was thinking of asking Justin if he would be interested in me...us doing a slot , as he seems to have faulted a little, sorry Justin, we have a very interesting island .....and can give you a good chat about it's history with some Spanish thrown in....any comments welcome..Regards Anthony.



DAva said:
10 June 2009 @ 19:14

I own a holiday apartment on La Torre, Murcia so my visits to Spain are infrequent.

With regard to the comments about prices being increased I can attest to that. a recent visit to Makro, in Murcia found me astounded, bemused and leaving without purchase. They have increased prices there immensely since my last visit 15 months back. Why??? Don't they want to sell goods?


Dave said:
10 June 2009 @ 19:16

I own a holiday apartment on La Torre, Murcia so my visits to Spain are infrequent.

With regard to the comments about prices being increased I can attest to that. A recent visit to Makro, in Murcia found me astounded, bemused and leaving without purchase. They have increased prices there immensely since my last visit 15 months back. Why??? Don't they want to sell goods?


George said:
29 December 2009 @ 13:00

I have a place in camposol mazaron and I live in hope that the housing market in spain gets better as I a trying to sell my villa
due to the very high cost of living in spain hear in bridgend sth wales my local it cost £1.79 for a pint of strongbow or fosters lager and for a basic meal about £3.00 a curry and a pint will cost you £4.95.
In any big supper market if you buy supper market brands this is the prices you will pay.
tin of beans £0.27
loaf of bread £0.45
pint of milk £0.79
ready cooked chicken £3.00
a good jar of cooking sauce £1.00
twix £0.35
marsbar £0.35
3 ltr of cider £3.00
500ml can of carling £0.49
one ltr of diesel £1.09
one ltr of lead free £1.07
the list goes on and on





lauryn o connor said:
08 February 2010 @ 20:28

love Eye on Spain. I live close to Torrevieja and am looking to send a box of items (no alchol) back to the west of Ireland. Anyone know of a service that does this. would appreciate an answer. Incidentally the two for one offers for meals are brilliant around Playa Flamenca area or cabo roig (both places only a few miles from Torrevieja).


mitch said:
30 December 2010 @ 19:01

i agree prices seem to be rising all the time here bank charges have gone sky high iv been here 2 years sod the sun it ages you anyway im off back to the uk when i can sell my place and i know a lot of people are going back .also work has dried up here and we are struggling to get by its good here for alcholic chain smokers but im neither,[my dad would have loved it lol]also the system here is very frustrating unless your totally fluent mind you i even saw a spaniard pulling his hair out the other day at the water board ,wed been cut off for the 5th time in a month no one knew why in some ways spain is like living in a third world country ,in other ways far beyond the uk ie health care xx



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