No-one knows yet what Brexit will cost Britain or the EU as a whole, and they won’t until the exit deal is worked out, but I sat down today and worked out a ‘worst case scenario’ for myself – what it would cost me if I had to leave Spain and move back to Britain. It was quite shocking!
I calculated 2 different sets of figures. The first was the cost of relocation with all my animals, and the second was how much my cost of living would increase if I had to live in Britain. All costs are estimates, and some are based on outdated information. They could be higher.
- Somewhere to live – with all the animals, I wouldn’t be able to find a small, urban house or flat to rent. No landlords would have this many dogs and cats, so I’d be looking at a larger, rural property, with a garden. The dogs need a garden, in any case. They’re used to being outside from dawn until dusk, so moving to a country that’s significantly colder and wetter than they’re used to would already be a shock. Since I’m not on the electoral roll and don’t have a job, I wouldn’t be able to pass an agent’s checks, so I’d need to pay 6 months’ rent up front, as well as one month deposit, and a pet deposit of at least £100 per pet. Considering the kind of house I’d be looking at would be around £1000 a month to rent, that’s £7800 just to secure accommodation.
- Pet transport – I’ve seen transporters taking cats from Spain to Britain for £250, so I doubled that for the dogs, for a total of £2500 in transport costs. I couldn’t save money by hiring a vehicle and taking them myself because owners are only allowed to travel with a maximum of 5 pets. They’d have to go with a registered transporter.
- Furniture transport – back in 2009, it cost nearly £3000 to get our furniture over here, so I’ve assumed £3000.
Total relocation costs – £13,300.
Of course, this doesn’t allow for ‘sundry expenses’, and my experience of moving here 7 years ago suggests there would be many, and they do add up!
Increased monthly living costs
These figures are very rough estimates, but I don’t think they’re unreasonable because the cost of living is generally a lot higher in Britain than it is here in Spain.
- Food, household, toiletries – £100.
- Vet bills – £100 (probably a low estimate because vets are a lot more expensive in Britain).
- Rent – £500 (I currently pay about £500, depending on the exchange rate, so my rent would double).
- Transport – £100. This is a guess, and it could be a lot higher if I ended up living in a place that’s poorly served by public transport. If I had to buy a car, it would add to both my monthly living costs and my relocation costs.
- Council tax – £100, although I don’t think it’s actually called that any more.
- Water – £40, based on what I paid in Cornwall, so it could be lower depending on which part of the country I ended up living in.
- Heating – £50, on average across the year.
Total increase in monthly living costs – £990.
The first number isn’t so shocking, but the second one is. I’d be paying out nearly £1000 a month extra just to live somewhere I’d rather not be! I’ve discussed it with a few friends on FaceBook, and we’ve almost unanimously decided none of us would go back. We’d find another country instead, where we would be welcome.
It’s a worst case scenario, but those are always worth considering in case they actually do happen.
Rather like Brexit itself.