Moving to Spain: Do You Need a NIE to Buy a Static Caravan?


We plan on moving to Spain in a couple of years time but we’re thinking of buying a static caravan this year so that we’ll have a base to explore from. I understand that we’ll need an NIE to do that, could anyone please tell me how we can do that from the UK and an idea of cost? Thanks.


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“I had to get an NIE to buy a house in Almería. My solicitor sorted it as I gave him power of attorney. You do need an NIE to buy absolutely anything: car, furniture, set up electricity, water contracts, broadband, mobile phone.

I’m non-resident and I was flabbergasted when asked for NIE every time I bought anything of value. It’s like big brother keeping an eye on what you’re buying.”

“You need a satisfactory Spanish ID reference for all of those things, and a Spanish NIF is one of those acceptable numbers. How do you think Spanish citizens go on, as they do not possess an NIE (an ID number for foreigners only)? They use a DNI, which is another acceptable ID number for financial or official transactions. An NIE is one of several acceptable numbers.”

“You are right, you need an NIE for anything in Spain: rental, mortgage, phone bill, etc.”

“We bought ours through Caravans In The Sun. Didn’t need an NIE but got one once there. Best move ever although we’re only doing the 90/180 thing.”

“Fabulous view.”

“Hi. You can apply to the consulate near you to get an NIE. Not sure of the cost via the consulate but it won’t be much. Likely less than a tenner.”

“Easy to do at the local Spanish consulate. We went to Manchester. You submit forms and evidence online. This is done in Spanish but Google ‘completing NIE form’ – can get translation and example of what to put, which is super helpful if you don’t speak Spanish! After you submit everything you will get an appointment. Then your NIE comes through in email about 3 weeks later.”

“You are far better getting an NIE. You are going to need one anyway, they don’t run out or need to be renewed, and are cheap. You don’t need to leave the UK to get it.”

“Before Brexit, I bought one in the UK and had it brought over on a low loader.”

“That’s a really good idea, we did the same but just check the T & C’s of the static site. You can generally get a bargain on the run up to site fees needing paying. We didn’t need an NIE to buy our static but I do strongly recommend you get one. Spanish consulates in Edinburgh, Manchester, and London. Choose the one closest to you, do it in the UK yourself, no language barrier. I would also recommend learning basic Spanish.”

“I did it at the London Consulate and it cost about £7. It was easy to do and they were very helpful.”

“Email your local consulate and ask for an NIE appointment. They will email you the forms plus instructions with an appointment. We got ours in London Consulate. Really helpful they were.”

“I’d buy land to put it on, not a site.”

“I wouldn’t buy a caravan, the site fees are horrendous! You could buy an apartment for similar money or even rent.”

“But it isn’t solely for tax. It is one of the three ID numbers required in Spain to carry out most fiscal transactions. You seem to miss the point that there is more than one way to validate a transaction. If we were to rely solely on your assertion that an NIE is necessary to take out contracts, no Spanish citizen would be able to do so, as they don’t have an NIE.

You can use an NIE as a foreigner. You can use an NIF as a foreigner who has not yet obtained an NIE or if you hold a Spanish ID card you can use a DNI. Your initial statement is a bit like saying you can only get to Madrid in a car, ignoring the existence of planes, trains, buses, etc.”


When considering buying a static caravan in Spain while preparing for a permanent move, having a NIE can simplify many transactions, including purchasing high-value items and setting up contracts.

Applying for an NIE through your local Spanish consulate in the UK is straightforward and affordable, usually costing less than £10. It’s advisable to secure an NIE early on to facilitate smoother transactions and ensure compliance with Spanish regulations.