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Register a car in Spain

Any EU citizen is entitled to bring their own car with them to Spain. However, after a period of six months has elapsed the owner of the car, in order that the insurance remain valid, must legally import the car and register it. Residents of Spain who need to renew their licence should apply for a Spanish one.

In order to avoid importation taxes, the car must have been in the individual's ownership for at least six months before arriving in Spain.

The following process must be followed to import a car to Spain from the UK:

  • Obtain a certificate of permanent export from the DVLA.

You can notify the DVLA that you are intending to export the car by filling in the purple section 'Notification of Permanent Export' (V5C/4) of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), and send it to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD. Please note you should send only the purple section and keep the rest of the certificate/log book.

  • Copy of the bill of sale which should show that you are the owner of the vehicle for longer than six months (in order to avoid importation taxes). It may be sufficient to carry the 'log-book' if the car came from a EU source.
  • Further to c), you will need to show that you are currently resident in Spain. A copy of your Empadronamiento is sufficient for these purposes.

Click on the following link to find out how you do this: How to get your document of empadronamiento

  • Ficha Reducida de Homologaciones Parciales.

In the absence of a Certificate of Conformity it will be necessary to obtain what is referred to as the 'Ficha Reducida'. This document certifies that the car is officially approved in the European Union. Effectively the engineer is saying that your Ford Focus/BMW really is what is appears to be. You should bring your registration certificate/log book.

One thing to be particularly careful about is that if your car is a right-hand-drive, it will be necessary to change the headlights as they will naturally point in the wrong direction. Failure to comply with this will prevent the car from passing the ITV.

  • Pass the ITV (Inspeccion Tecnica de Vehi­culos) - Spanish MOT.

The car will need to pass the ITV. The exact tests that are carried out can be checked by clicking on the following link Tests carried out by Spanish MOT.

You should bring the original log book (plus photocopy) as well as the 'Ficha Reducida' and a copy of your DNI/NIE. Click here to find out how to get NIE. Upon passing the ITV you will receive the Ficha Tecnica.

  • Road Tax

As in any other country road tax (Impuesto Sobre Vehiculos de Traccion Mecanica) is payable in Spain and the amount payable depends upon the cylinder capacity of the car.

If your current address is different from that shown on your NIE document, you should also have your document 'Empadronamiento'. You must carry proof of payment of this tax at all times when driving and be able to present it upon request by authorised persons (e.g. traffic police).

Cars Amount
Up to 800 horsepower 22,00€
From 800 to 1200 horsepower 66,00€
From 1200 to 1600 horsepower 143,00€
From 1600 to 1900 horsepower 179,00€
Above 2000 horsepower 224,00€

The moment in the fiscal year when the tax is paid will affect the amount payable:

  • From 1st January to 31 March inclusive, the entire year's tax is payable.
  • From 1st April to 30th inclusive, three-quarters is payable.
  • From 1st July to 30th September, half of the years tax is payable.
  • From 1st October to 31st December inclusive, one-quarter should be paid.
  • Permiso de Circulacion

Upon payment of the road tax you may proceed to the Jefatura de Trafico to obtain the Permiso de Circulacion. (Art. 99 del Real Decreto Legislativo 2/2004).

This document carries information about the car and its owner. Upon change of any of the details including change of ownership of the car this document must be handed in to the Jefatura de Trafico. The document must be carried at all times when driving and must be presented to an authorised official upon request.

  • Licence Plates

Once you have obtained the ITV Certificate, Proof of Payment of Road Tax as well as the Permiso de Circulacion you can then request the licence plates from any of the specialist establishments that produce them.

Updated March 2014