Are you considering moving to Europe and require a specialist company that deals with removals to Andorra and can advise on transporting your goods? If you are planning a relocation to Andorra but have no idea how to go about arranging international removals, White & Company can assist.
There are several considerations often overlooked by people moving overseas rather than domestically. Will all my furniture fit in my new home? Do I need to leave certain items in storage while I figure out my new property or look to rent beforehand?
White & Company have been providing removals to and from Andorra and Spain for the past sixty years and can advise you on all the above issues and more. As proud winners of the 2016 British Association of Removers ‘Overseas Mover of the Year’ Competition, we possess the necessary skills and expertise to make your move stress-free.
What’s more, as founder members of FIDI & OMNI, the regulatory bodies for international removals, you can rest assured that in the unlikely event that something goes amiss on the day you have a reliable company to turn to.
Why Move to Andorra?
Andorra is a small landlocked country in south-western Europe, delicately poised between France to the north and Spain to the south. Located in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, of which Coma Pedrosa is the highest at 9,652ft, the country is perhaps best renowned for its beautifully diverse and scenic natural landscape.
Rugged mountains provide ample playground for all manner of different outdoor lifestyles, ranging from skiing and ice climbing in the snowy winter months to mountaineering and hiking in the warm, dry summers. Modern Andorran ski resorts have relatively recently undergone a huge re-development resulting in substantially better slopes and the attraction of skiers from other parts of Europe. With 80% of Andorra said to be natural wilderness heavy onus placed on citizens leading an active lifestyle — combined with favourable climates and facilities — has contributed to Andorra having one of the highest average national life expectancies.
Another oft-quoted pull to living in Andorra is its status as a tax haven, offering the lowest overall tax rate in the developed world. There is no income tax, corporation tax, wealth taxes or capital gains tax. Sales taxes are very low at 4% and local property tax amounts to around 0.05% per annum. Those countries which operate advantageous tax policies tend to be very expensive in terms of housing and leisure costs, however unlike Switzerland and Monaco, Andorra can be regarded as an exception in this regard and is in fact, far cheaper than most developed European nations.
A small population, mountainous nature and high standard of living mean that locals have very few security issues and the country is extremely clean and safe. For the many prospective expats looking to start an adventurous new life in the heart of Europe, Andorra is a gem waiting to be discovered.
Working in Andorra
Another bonus to living in Andorra is that, unlike other countries such as the UAE and Singapore, government requirements are minimal, and the residency application procedure is inexpensive, straightforward and generally quick.
Once the paperwork is in place and lodged with the immigration authorities, applicants can expect a processing time of 6-8 weeks after which they are free to reside within the principality and take advantage of all the benefits of tax free residency.
There are a range of jobs available to suit expats in Andorra, especially for those who speak Catalan, Spanish or French in addition to English. Andorra’s five celebrated ski resorts offer many jobs for the ski season (typically from mid-December through to April). There are some teaching opportunities available, however, these tend to be limited due to the size of the country. Prospective teachers will need a TEFL qualification — a degree in language or education would also be advantageous.
Opportunities for employment in the areas which support tourism, such as hotel, bars and restaurants, always require staff all year round and the added advantage of being able to speak Spanish or French will help with acquiring work.
For more helpful information about working and obtaining work permits in Andorra consult this guide.
Moving to a new country is a big change and there will be a host of things to adapt to when you arrive. Currency, laws, health, taxes, bank accounts, driving, and public travel are just a few of the new aspects of life you will need to adjust to.
Below are some helpful tips:
Learn the language — Learning Catalan will enhance your experience as will Spanish. Going to the shops, at the doctor or dentist, when renting/buying a property, in a local restaurant/bar etc, are so much easier once you have mastered the language.
Get involved with the local community — it is a great way to meet new friends.
Be open minded — things will probably be very different to what you have been accustomed to. Being able to change makes all the difference.
Forward planning — opening a bank account, registering for a school, renting/buying a place to live are just a few of the tasks that are necessary for you to complete and can involve significant paperwork and time. Doing your homework beforehand will give you that extra head start when you arrive.
Enjoy the challenge and be realistic — don’t look on everything as a negative. Expect the unexpected. Yes, there will be much to adjust to. But in the long run it will be worth it!
As with so many counties worldwide the global economic crisis has had its impact in Andorra too and property prices are normally high.
Middle and lower end real estate sales dropped dramatically during 2007/2008, noticeably in the popular ski resort areas. With interest in the property market being low and an excess of chalet style apartments available to buy, now is reported to be a great opportunity to ‘bag a bargain’.
Interestingly, the higher end market has not been affected. This is mainly due to the government putting in place new incentives to entice high earning individuals to purchase property. This has lead to a shortage and a higher demand for luxury homes.
To purchase an apartment in Andorra the cost is approximately €3,125. (£2,901) per square metre. Outside the centre prices drop to around €2,600 (£2,346).
Rental contracts are legally five years in length and work in favour of tenants. Property rental and purchase costs vary from city to city. As a guide, to rent a 3-bedroomed home in a city centre, you can expect to pay an average of €941 (£849) per month. Outside the city this drops to €690 (£622).
Under the new law for foreign investments that has recently come into force, it is possible now for all Andorra residents to purchase property without any limitations. Non-residents can buy without any limitation as well, but they still must apply for an authorization from the Andorra government.
Local Andorran children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required by law to have full-time education. Education up to secondary level is provided free of charge by the government.
There are three systems of school, Andorran, French and Spanish, which use Catalan, French and Spanish languages respectively, as the main language of instruction. Parents may choose which system their children attend.
For expat children, Andorra’s International schools are generally the most popular. There may be a few local children, but the majority will be other expat youngsters. Schools usually follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, France, or Australia and the IB is the usual accreditation.
Admission and enrolment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited, and preference may be given to students based on nationality, so you need to do your research before you arrive.
For more information and advice on the different types of school system and for help placing your child in the right school visit the Andorra Guides
Export Packing UK To Andorra
You will want to know that during your door to door service, your possessions are treated with respect and care. Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile and bulky furniture ready for export.
We use a modern range of environmentally friendly, purpose-made packing materials and can pack everything for you prior to your move. All china and glassware will be wrapped in special paper and then packed in double-thickness cartons.
Furniture can be wrapped in bubble blanket for extra protection. Items requiring specialist care, such as antiques, can be packed in made-to-measure wooden crates.
Upon arrival at your residence in Andorra, our trusted agents will place boxes and furniture in appropriate rooms as directed. They will unpack your belongings onto flat surfaces and dispose of all packing materials.
You may find you need to store some or all of your possessions for a period of time prior to moving abroad. White & Company have storage facilities at all our branch depots across the UK. Our depots offer secure containerised storage in personal dedicated storage containers. All our warehouses are clean, dry, secure and accredited to European standard BS EN 14873.
Our partners in Andorra can also offer you storage. You may be renting for a while and may not need all of your effects to be delivered immediately. If so, you can arrange for certain items to be delivered and once settled in your new home, the rest can follow. Please note that storage rates may apply.
Contacting White & Company
For further information on our removals service to Andorra, or any other international destination, contact our international office on 01489 858733. Alternatively complete the form below with your details and we will get in contact shortly.
Shipping My Effects to Andorra
White & Company move thousands of families around the world each year, including Andorra and Spain. We can arrange a free no obligation home survey to be carried out by one of our qualified surveyors, who will answer any questions you may have and offer advice where necessary.
The purpose of the survey is to ascertain the volume of effects you will be shipping. The cost of shipment is based on the space your effects will take up in the container. Following the visit, you will receive a written quotation covering every aspect of your move in easy to understand language.
According to the leading medical journal, The Lancet, Andorra offers a very high quality of medical services and has been rated as the best healthcare system in the world.
The system is given to all employed persons and their families by the government-run social security system, Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social (CASS), which is funded by employer and employee contributions in respect of salaries.
Residents have the unusual advantage of being able to choose their place of treatment from the best of the Andorran, French or Spanish hospitals serving the country and a number of GPs speak English. New residents are however obliged to subscribe to a private medical scheme. A private room in any of the hospitals costs as little as €150 per day.
The main hospital, Meritxell, is in Escaldes-Engordany. There are also 12 primary health care centres in various locations around the principality.
White & Company
Providing European Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all European moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Main Towns in Andorra
- Andorra la Vella
- Sant Julià de Lòria
- La Massana
- Santa Coloma
- El Pas de la Casa