Car Transfers

Having your own vehicle when you live in Spain may be essential. You may decide to import your current car or buy a new or second-one in Spain. Whatever your option is, it will involve considerable paperwork, all of which is much easier if you use our expert team to help you. We can provide assistance with the following:

  • Buying a car in Spain
  • Importing a car into Spain

Buying a car in Spain

The complexity of paperwork involved in a car purchase depends on whether you buy from a dealer or a private owner.

Buying from a car dealer in Spain

In most cases, the dealer will transfer ownership of the vehicle (new or second-hand) into your name and register it as yours. However, you may wish to employ our services to ensure this process has been carried out diligently.

Buying from a private owner in Spain

If you buy a second-hand car from a private owner, the onus is on you to transfer ownership into your name and register it as your vehicle. Furthermore, you must carry out this administrative task within 10 days of buying the car.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you with this.

Importing a car into Spain

If you already own a vehicle in your home country and wish to bring to Spain, bear in mind the following:

  • Import taxes can be high, particularly if you bring the vehicle into Spain from outside the EU.
  • Driving a right-hand-drive car in Spain is not easy and can be dangerous. It may be wiser to buy a left-hand-drive car instead.
  • There’s considerable paperwork involved and it’s highly advisable to use expert services to help you with it.

If careful consideration you decide to go ahead with importing your car into Spain, the following process applies:

Importing the vehicle

Once you have driven the vehicle into Spain or it has arrived by ship, you must register it within 30 days of arrival.

Import from outside the EU – you must pay import taxes at the corresponding customs before you are permitted to drive the vehicle in Spain.

Import from the EU – non-residents in Spain may drive the vehicle for up to 6 months after arrival. During this time, you must register it with the Spanish Traffic Authorities.

Note that you cannot be resident in Spain and drive a vehicle with foreign number plates.

Providing the vehicle’s roadworthiness

To drive an imported vehicle in Spain, you need to prove its roadworthiness through a valid inspection certificate, known as the Inspección Técnica de Vehículos (ITV) in Spain (similar to the MOT in the UK). If your vehicle’s current certificate is valid, you do not need to take a Spanish ITV until the certificate expires.

Requirements for the ITV

These are extensive and depend on whether the imported car is new or not. In both cases, you need the following (original and photocopy in most cases):

  • The document listing the vehicle’s technical specifications.
  • Existing or previous roadworthiness inspection certificate.
  • Receipt of payment of duty.
  • Receipt of purchase.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Your driving licence and passport.

In addition, new vehicles need:

  • Certificado Único (from the Spanish Traffic Authorities).

And used vehicles need:

  • Registration papers

Registering the vehicle in Spain

Once you have brought the vehicle to Spain and proved its roadworthiness, you now need to register it to obtain Spanish number places.

  1. Obtain your foreigner’s identity number (NIE).
  2. Submit the application and accompanying paperwork to the appropriate office of the Spanish Traffic Authorities.

Note that the list of required accompanying documentation is long and it’s advisable to employ a professional to help you with this and ensure you present the correct paperwork and all of it.

Paying import duty

Unless you have a new vehicle bought in the EU and VAT paid, you will be liable for import duty as follows:

Importing a new vehicle registered in the EU

If you have not paid VAT on your car, you will have to pay 21% VAT (IVA) in Spain.

Importing a used vehicle registered in the EU

Import tax on second-hand cars depending on their emissions and the vehicle’s market value. It ranges from 0% for vehicles whose emissions are below 120g of CO2 per km to 14.75% for vehicles with emissions over 200g of CO2 per km.

Importing a vehicle registered outside the EU

There are three taxes including:

  • 10% import duty levied on the original market price minus a reduction for the vehicle’s age.
  • 21% VAT (IVA)
  • Registration tax, is based on CO2 emissions and ranging from 0 to 14.75%.

As the above information shows, importing a vehicle into Spain is a complex process. To make it easier for you and to ensure you get it absolutely right, use our expert services. Get in touch now for a no-obligation quote or fill in the form below.

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