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Import your car to Spain and Driving in Spain

Import your car to Spain and Driving in Spain

Import and Driving in Spain

When driving in Spain your vehicle must contain the following items:

  • Spare bulbs, tools necessary to change bulbs.
  • First aid kit
  • 2 red warning triangles
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Spare tyre and necessary tools to change tyre if necessary.
  • If you wear spectacles for driving you must carry a spare pair.
  • From May 2004 you will also be required to carry a reflective waistcoat.

An EU national may bring their EU registered car into Spain without completing formal paperwork and keep it in their second/holiday home but neither they nor any other person may use it in Spain for more than six months in any year. Any person who spends more than a total of six months in any one year in Spain is considered resident and consequently subject to different rules.

Residents importing a vehicle must register it with the local authorities and obtain Spanish national plates. A British vehicle's Registration Document should be surrendered to the DVLA in the UK and a Certificate of Permanent Export (V756) obtained for presentation in Spain. (Download THE DVLA form V756 here)

An EU driver's license is valid in Spain, and vice-versa. Depending on the country, non-EU driver's licenses may be valid for the first year after arrival in Spain. After that, you are officially required to have a Spanish license. Beware, getting a Spanish driver's license can be expensive. Direccion General de Trafico (Spain's Traffic Agency) [English/Spanish] includes sections on licenses, permits, vehicle registration, how to obtain documents, etc.

Road worthiness certificates for right-hand drive cars are now generally available from ITV centres but headlights may need to be adjusted to comply with EU regulations. Although most people seem to ignore the legislation, non-residents can only buy vehicles in Spain on temporary tourist plates. These are valid for a six month period in one year and must be renewed annually. Non-residents who change to resident status must obtain full national plates and pay the appropriate Impuesto Especial (Special Tax) of 13%, calculated on the estimated value of the vehicle.

When you buy a car in Spain, the documentation takes from thirty to sixty days. In order to make changes the dealer will need a copy of your passport, NIE number, property deeds, or if you are a resident a copy of your residencia. While waiting for your documents you will be given a "Justificante Profesional" which is a temporary document giving you permission to drive while waiting!

If you are planning to relocate to Spain ask your insurer for a letter confirming your ‘No Claims’ bonus (bonificacion/ systema bonus-malus). Large companies, such as Direct Line will accept your ‘No Claims’ bonus from your home country. Basic mandatory third party insurance will cost approximately €200, which will cover injury claims of up €330,000. It is always advisable to take additional cover for legal costs (defensa penal), theft (robo) and Road side assistance (asistencia en viajes).

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