28 Jan, 2010 @ 11:57
1 min read

We’ll drink to that!

A WEEK’s worth of beer, petrol and toilet paper is 20 euros cheaper in Spain compared to the UK.

When it comes to the basic essentials and our favourite vices Spain has emerged as the land of plenty at affordable prices, the Olive Press can reveal.

Despite a recent study by consumer watchdog Which? suggesting that Spain may no longer be such great value, many goods still undercut the UK’s finest.

In a survey of 25 common products, 75 per cent were cheaper in Spain.

When adding in groceries and vegetables – apart from carrots strangely – the average expatriate family living in Spain is saving around 100 euros a month.

“If you are going to shop locally here then you can definitely save yourself money,” said Mona Arain Crites, owner of Al Lago restaurant in Zahara.

“It certainly costs less than your average Waitroses and Tescos, and even the farmers’ markets which charge more because they are individually owned.”

The main things costing more in Spain are mobile phone tariffs, internet charges and electrical hardware.

However, the smart buyer in Spain could buy many of these items in Gibraltar at far cheaper prices than even in the UK.

It certainly pays to shop around but overall local produce in Spain is much cheaper.

The Olive Press found that – when converted to euros – six eggs cost 1.64 euros in the UK compared to just 0.95c in Spain.

Ronda artist Gabriella Chidgey, who runs a household of four, said: “Fruit and vegetables are definitely cheaper here and they are of a higher quality.

“However, I have found it much more difficult to get hold of free range chickens here.”

Meanwhile, petrol in Britain now costs 1.26 euros per litre, while it currently stands at 1.09 euros in Spain.

Furthermore, a bottle of San Miguel, bought at a Ronda bar costs 1.50 euros, compared to 2.28 euros.

Interestingly, a four-pack of Andrex in the UK costs an eye-opening 2.31 euros, while in Spain a similar brand (Sandrex) weighs in at just 0.72c.

See feature https://theolivepress.es/2010/01/27/does-it-costa-bit-more-in-spain/ for the full in-depth report.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. 12 ORGANIC eggs here cost 1.20€uro…garlic I remember buying ONE for 1.50 pounds in London normal supermarket NI… I pay less for a kilo… beer here is still a euro unless you sit on the beach terrace and then you will pay 1.50 euro… basics like Vileda mop heads cost centimos… last time I bought one in the UK 8 years ago, before we moved here, it was nearly 3 quid… of course it is shocking when you move and most especially from central london… we moved to central Barcelona and costs dropped by 70%…

    … where we live now I can´t really compare veg and cheese as they are made by friends, but basics are down 30% on Barca… oh dear that makes 100% down on london… sure ain´t free food, but many people live very well and drink very well on 2-5 euros a day… another world indeed… a kilo of this mornings fresh anchovies 2 euros, potatoes organic 30 cents a kilo, 20 kilos oranges organic picked yesterday 8 euros, 2 kilos of bread unbleached 1.70 euro… I thought that I had a good life in CENTRAL London, even more amazing here is that here people (REALLY REALLY) LIKE your kids… wierd eh!

  2. I worked out years ago that taking a van-load of garlic back to the UK was potentially a very profitable business and I’m surprised the drug smugglers didn’t cotton on. You don’t end up in jail either, but then it lacks that frisson of danger.

  3. I agree that food (especially the fresh stuff) tends to be cheaper over here. However you also have to factor in other costs, for example just having a bank account costs me 48€ a year plus 4€ per card on that account, then to take money out of a cash point from another bank (on the same network as yours) will cost you 80c a pop and if it’s on a different network it will be upwards of 3.50€. I calculate that banking in Spain costs me around 300€ a year which is 300€ more than in the UK. Internet & landline with ONO costs me 40€ a month for 1mb whereas in the UK I was paying 21GBP for 10mb. My mobile tariff is 45€ a month which gives me 300 free minutes and no texts and no phone, In the UK I was paying 25GBP for 400 minutes and 400 texts and got a free phone.
    In the UK I was paying 230GBP a year for car insurance and here I pay nearly 800€ both cars in the same insurance group and both with Direct Line. The cheapest travel insurance I can find here is 136€ whereas a similar one in the UK cost me just 76GBP.
    So perhaps a week in Spain will be cheaper than in the UK, but I can guarantee that a year won’t be such a bargain.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Demolition deluge

Next Story

Worst drivers in Spain

Latest from National News

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press