How to register your car in Spain

A helpful guide

If you are planning to import your car into Spain, there are a number of steps to follow in order to make your car roadworthy. The law states that you must register your vehicle in Spain with Spanish license plates within 6 months of bringing it into the country.

Safety inspection

First things first, you will need to take your car to an authorised agency for a vehicle inspection (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos). If your vehicle passes the test you'll receive a Technical Test Certificate Card (Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica) which you will need to keep safe.

Documentation

In order to register your car, you will need to locate your nearest provincial traffic department (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico ) and submit the following documentation:

  • An application form (available from your local traffic department)
  • ID card (i.e. passport or residence card, with additional photocopies)
  • Proof of address in Spain/home country (empadronamiento or bills)
  • A receipt of your local car tax payment (Impuesto Municipal sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica/IVTM) from the local town hall or traffic department
  • A receipt of registration tax payment (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte)
  • Registration document (Permiso de Circulación y Permiso Para Conducción)
  • Registration fee (dependant on municipality)
  • Completed Form 576 (instructions for electronic filing of form  here)
  • Technical Test Certificate Card (Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica) obtainable from an ITV station (original and photocopy).
  • Vehicle purchase receipt (original and photocopy)
  • Certificate of Conformity (Certificado de Conformidad) from the vehicle manufacturer or a certified representative (original and photocopy).

List of documentation is accurate at time of research (2015). All up to date information on registering your car in Spain can be found on the Dirección General de Tráfico  website.

Tax

You will need to pay both local car tax (Impuesto Municipal sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica/IVTM) and a registration tax payment (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte). The percentage of tax you pay is likely to differ depending on where you are living in Spain.

Once your vehicle has been deemed roadworthy, you will also need to pay road tax (Impuesto de Circulación) in the town hall where your residency is registered (the fee varies depending on the municipality).

Car insurance

It is illegal to drive in Spain without valid car insurance and proof of this insurance must be carried at all times in case of an accident.

EU regulations state that third party insurance must be purchased in the country of registration. So, if you have successfully registered your vehicle with the Spanish authorities, you must take out car insurance with a Spanish company. Spanish car insurance operates a no-claims bonus, meaning that drivers who have not made a claim on their car insurance can enjoy lower premiums.

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This article was submitted by Caser Insurance , a leading Spanish insurer who offer special car insurance rates for expats. For more detailed information on any of the above, check out their free information service for expats.

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