I moved to Spain in 2010 and since moving to Spain I have been a Freelance working in Export Consultation and working for a one way van hire company that operates between the UK and Spain. My job consists of generally one of the following: A customer who has hired a van to drive from the UK – Barcelona would drop the van off at my house then I would clean and check the van over and a few days later a customer would come and collect the van to take it back to the UK. Sometimes when a customer wants a van in Barcelona but we only have a van in Madrid or Torrevieja I would fly to collect the van and drive it back to Barcelona sometimes this requires me to have a night away in a hotel. The company gives me 20 Euros per days in Expenses money, in Spain this money goes a long way I can get coffees at service stations for about 1 Euro and I can get a sandwich for 5 Euros and in the evening I can get a set meal of the day three courses for about 10 Euros. Also hotels in Spain are good quality and good value. However sometimes I need to drive the van from Spain back to the UK if a customer wants to hire the van and does not want to drive it back I may drive it back to the UK for them. Also if there has been a problem for some reason are two customers have hired the van in the UK but nobody has hired it in Spain then I may have to drive the van back empty.

Driving through France can be a nightmare. First France is very expensive last time I drove through France I spent less than 2 hours on a toll road and this cost nearly 20 Euros. When you stay at a hotel in France they have a lot of cheap but run down low quality hotels that I am sure where good 20 years ago and to top this off the French government charge a 40 cents per day tourist tax that gets collected by the hotels. France is meant to be famous for the quality of its food but food always seems to be of low quality and very expensive last time I was charged 6 Euros for a beer I could not believe it. When compared to Spain I was able to have a big Sandwich and a beer for only 3.50 Euros.

Also the customs police are very difficult in France last time I drove through France I was stopped by them 4 times. I was driving down the expensive toll road and a police motor bike pulled out in front of me and directed me into the service station where they checked the van up and down for cigarettes and alcohol. They even wanted to see my fuel receipts to see what I was paying. I think they are realising that they are so much more expensive than their neighbors and want to make sure that they get their share, but stopping me 4 times is taking the micky abit. Also they are taking there share most haulage companies that come and go from the UK, Portugal, Spain and Italy have to go through France and all the tolls, tourist taxs and other taxes go straight into the governments coffers.

So the point of my Expat Story is don't go to France go to Spain instead.