Relocate to Mallorca
Mallorca is an increasingly popular place to move to on a permanent basis. If you are thinking of relocating to Mallorca, some simple research and planning will increase your chances of getting the most out of your new home. We’ve compiled some notes here that we hope will be useful to you.
If you use our property finder service we can help a great deal more. You’ll get the full benefit of our experience, contacts and knowledge of Mallorca, not just in finding a property, but also more broadly in any areas we can help with relating to your move.
If you know Mallorca from having spent holidays on the island, bear in mind that holiday resorts are not necessarily the best places in which to live on a permanent basis. Of course it depends on the individual, but factors like access to employment and schooling become important. It’s likely also that you’ll want to be part of a year-round community. Many of the resorts are seasonal, busy with tourists in the summer and very quiet off-season. For permanent living, a place with a more consistent, residential population may be preferable.
We are more than happy to give up-front guidance on possible location choices. And we’d thoroughly recommend following this with your own on-the-ground research in order to be sure you have a good feel for the places you have shortlisted.
There are two approaches to schooling in Mallorca: the international schools that cater for children from different countries, or local schools which have the standard Spanish curriculum.
If the children are young, perhaps up to 10 or 12 years old, they are likely to be able to integrate reasonably quickly into a local school. If you are considering this route, be sure the locations you choose have a suitable school within reach. In many countryside locations for example, schools will be smaller and more provincial.
The international schools offer more internationally-focused learning with generally high standards of education. Many expats feel more comfortable with their children at one of the international schools and our advice is to research options as early as possible as places are limited.
There are many removals companies to choose from. However, many of the adverts you see will be for online brokers, so try to deal at first hand with the people that will do the moving. They should visit your home in advance and give you a written estimate detailing what they will do as well as what you need to do to prepare. Be sure to check they are BAR (British Association of Removers) members.
There are two companies that specialise in Mallorca. Whites, who operate in a number of Mediterranean locations and Webbs Removals, who specialise only in removals to Mallorca.
The local language in Mallorca is Mallorquí, a form of Catalán. It is still widely used across the island. Castilian Spanish, the main form of Spanish used in mainland Spain, is also commonly used.
While it is perfectly possible to get by speaking only English, you will certainly get more out of living in Mallorca if you learn at least the basics of the language. Castilian Spanish is often the best starting place. If you become proficient you might like to learn some Mallorquí too – you’ll be very well received by the locals for doing so!
If you study while still in the UK you’ll be on the front foot. And when you get to Mallorca, there is a good selection of language schools across the island. There are also private tutors – The Mallorca Daily Bulletin classifieds often have one or two listed. Some local Town Halls offer free classes too, although these generally focus on Mallorquí.
There are many courses on the internet and CD-based courses you can buy. Two of the most well-known are:
Rosetta Stone Spanish – a computer-based “immersion” course based on language-association with visuals.
Spanish with Michel Thomas – a well-known, audio-based lesson format that will build your vocabulary and grammar.
Our top recommendations though are two more recently-developed learning resources which are both free:
Duolingo Spanish: a superb interactive learning course via PCs and Macs, phones and tablets.
Language Transfer (LT): Spanish an excellent, comprehensive and engaging audio-based course.
Note down the various insurance policies that you have in the UK so you can get similar, appropriate cover for all the important things when you move to Mallorca. Insurance for your possessions and your car are obvious requirements. As in the UK, valuables may need to be insured separately. There are several insurance brokers such as Insurance Express offering services primarily for expats. Another option is to speak to a Gestor – a type of financial services administrator who will act as a broker for you.
The medical services in Mallorca are comprehensive and generally of a good standard. There are good local doctors and dentists and there are some who focus primarily on the expat sector. The best option will depend on where you are going to be living, so this is something you will want to research on the ground early in your move to Mallorca.
Health insurance policies are not essential but are probably advisable and will give you more choice as to which doctor or specialists you can use. Your existing UK policy may give you some cover in Spain but a local policy is likely to give better cover and be more cost effective. Your insurance broker or Gestor will be able to take you through the options.
If you are an EU citizen, there are no barriers to living and working in Spain but if you are relocating, it can be beneficial to become a Spanish resident. New regulations came into effect on 27th March 2007 meaning that residence permits are no longer necessary. All you need do to attain resident status is register at the National Police station.
We advise that you seek professional advice on this – see Personal financial management and taxes below.
Of course Brexit might well have some effect on how this works for British citizens. At the time of writing it is impossible to say how, so this section will be updated when the hot air and political rhetoric has abated.
You will need an accountant or gestor to help administrate your finances and tax affairs. They will take care of your annual tax returns and advise on any other financial matters you wish to discuss. A gestor is likely to be the best option and we recommend researching and meeting gestorias in your area or in Palma depending on your requirements.
Payment for regular services and utilities tends to be by direct debit, so you will need a Spanish bank account for bill payments of services like water, mobile phones and insurance.
Setting up an account is easy and the Spanish banks in Mallorca tend to have a more open and helpful approach than high street banks in the UK. Your lawyer, accountant or gestor will go through the options with you and most-likely make an intriduction if you wish them to do so.