Sun cream cheaper abroad?

PollyDoodle86
PollyDoodle86 Posts: 1 Newbie
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Hi, I was just wondering if it is worth waiting and buying sun cream in Spain, rather than buying it here and paying all the VAT that is applied. With fair skinned husband and kids we will be needing lots at a high factor (they wear factor 50 most of the summer in the uk). I’ll take one so we can get going on the first day but wondered if it might be cheaper to buy it out there than here?
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  • sarah1972
    sarah1972 Posts: 18,887 Senior Ambassador
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    edited 3 September 2023 at 6:10AM
    I have always found it more expensive abroad as it’s a captive audience. 

    Pmd the team to move this post to an actual board as it’s currently not posted on one. 


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  • maisie_cat
    maisie_cat Posts: 2,067 Forumite
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    VAT  in Spain is broadly the same as the UK so any price difference has nothing to do with VAT. I am a factor 50 redhead and I would never risk not taking it with me.
  • I agree suncream is much more expensive abroad.
  • Probably depends what and where you are buying but in general no I've never found suncream to be cheaper abroad - certainly not in tourist areas. I'm also a little bit suspicious at times if the stuff sold in random tourist shops is genuine.  I just stocked up with sun cream, and mosquito repellent for my next travel from Sainsburys and the prices seemed pretty good. 
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Posts: 6,098 Forumite
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    edited 4 September 2023 at 9:36PM
    I'm always surprised by how much sun cream seams to cost abroad in countries with much more sun than the UK.  I think we get it at really good value here.

    As said above it probably does depend where you're buying it (imagine Aldi/Lid; or hypermarkets would be far more reasonable than small shops in tourist resorts).  Still think it's cheaper here on the whole.

    EDIT:  Got me thinking so did a quick Google:

    Aldi
    Spain: Lacura SPF 30 spray 250ml €5.99
    UK: Lacura SPF 30 spray 200ml £3.29

    Lidl
    Spain: Cien Children SPF 50+ spray 250ml €6.99
    UK: Cien Kids SPF 50+ spray 250 ml £4.99

    Supermarket 
    Spain: Mercadona SUNMED SPF50 spray 250ml €6.20
    UK: Tesco Soleil SPF50 spray 200ml £3.60
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,648 Forumite
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    I always take my suncream with me. I use a high factor.
    I used to use Boots soltan as that had 5* protection but have recently changed to Aldi as that has the same.
    Asda received good reviews for their sun protection recently.
    I've seen suncream in overseas holiday resorts out on display in the sun - not great.

    I wouldn't risk it.
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,547 Forumite
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    bagand96 said:
    I'm always surprised by how much sun cream seams to cost abroad in countries with much more sun than the UK.  I think we get it at really good value here.

    As said above it probably does depend where you're buying it (imagine Aldi/Lid; or hypermarkets would be far more reasonable than small shops in tourist resorts).  Still think it's cheaper here on the whole.

    EDIT:  Got me thinking so did a quick Google:

    Aldi
    Spain: Lacura SPF 30 spray 250ml €5.99
    UK: Lacura SPF 30 spray 200ml £3.29

    Lidl
    Spain: Cien Children SPF 50+ spray 250ml €6.99
    UK: Cien Kids SPF 50+ spray 250 ml £4.99

    Supermarket 
    Spain: Mercadona SUNMED SPF50 spray 250ml €6.20
    UK: Tesco Soleil SPF50 spray 200ml £3.60
    bagand96 said:
    I'm always surprised by how much sun cream seams to cost abroad in countries with much more sun than the UK.  I think we get it at really good value here.

    As said above it probably does depend where you're buying it (imagine Aldi/Lid; or hypermarkets would be far more reasonable than small shops in tourist resorts).  Still think it's cheaper here on the whole.

    EDIT:  Got me thinking so did a quick Google:

    Aldi
    Spain: Lacura SPF 30 spray 250ml €5.99
    UK: Lacura SPF 30 spray 200ml £3.29

    Lidl
    Spain: Cien Children SPF 50+ spray 250ml €6.99
    UK: Cien Kids SPF 50+ spray 250 ml £4.99

    Supermarket 
    Spain: Mercadona SUNMED SPF50 spray 250ml €6.20
    UK: Tesco Soleil SPF50 spray 200ml £3.60
    they have a fairskinned captive audience who have forgotten to bring it with them or thought it might be cheaper abroad
  • VAT  in Spain is broadly the same as the UK so any price difference has nothing to do with VAT. I am a factor 50 redhead and I would never risk not taking it with me.
    I believe sun protection products are rated at their 21% equivalent of our VAT in Spain.
    In the UK they are classed as cosmetic products and attract the highest rate of VAT - it's reasonable to assume the Spanish apply the same policy.
    Such big name brand items are significantly more costly in Spain, especially in resort locations for obvious reasons.
    We buy ours here much cheaper - Nivea is our choice - I wouldn't ever remotely consider travelling without it.
    Incidentally, these products have a limited "use by" life.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,648 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Savvy Shopper!
    VAT  in Spain is broadly the same as the UK so any price difference has nothing to do with VAT. I am a factor 50 redhead and I would never risk not taking it with me.
    I believe sun protection products are rated at their 21% equivalent of our VAT in Spain.
    In the UK they are classed as cosmetic products and attract the highest rate of VAT - it's reasonable to assume the Spanish apply the same policy.
    Such big name brand items are significantly more costly in Spain, especially in resort locations for obvious reasons.
    We buy ours here much cheaper - Nivea is our choice - I wouldn't ever remotely consider travelling without it.
    Incidentally, these products have a limited "use by" life.
    Once opened.
  • Thanks, I hadn't absorbed that specific criteria.
    We stick within the recommended life cycle once opened, so that's more or less an academic point.
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