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How to Import or Re-register a UK Car In Spain

- Updated: 04/04/2011

The law in Spain states that you are required to register your Vehicle with Spanish plates within 6 months of bringing it into the country.

How to Import or Re-register a UK Car In Spain

The law in Spain states that you are required to register your Vehicle with Spanish plates within 6 months of bringing it into the country. After 6 Months it must have Spanish registration or it must leave the country for a continuous 6 month period. Why? - Think about the situation in reverse : Imagine that you are driving your completely legal UK registered car in the UK and you are involved in a minor accident with a foreign registered car which has been in the UK for over a year but still has foreign plates on it. After being in the UK for 12 Months it would not have a certificate of road worthiness (MOT) from its own country which will automatically render its insurance null and void and leave you with a legal and financial headache!

Now reverse the above situation and you have your answer! (but this time it's you who are at fault!)

One of the popular comments that you will hear from the various expat "experts" in your local bar could be " Tell them you are here on Holiday and then take the car back to the UK and get it MOT'd and Taxed and then bring it back again "

Wrong! Unless you have resident status in Spain you can only keep a car here for up to six months. Then it has to go back to the UK for a further six months. You might bluff a routine roadside stop from the Guardia Civil (of which there are surprisingly many) once or twice with that story but, in the event of something more serious, you would have to prove that the car was only here for six months of the year in a court of law and that might be a little difficult when the local Guardia Civil has been taking notes in his black book over the last year.

In the unfortunate event of you being involved in a serious traffic incident you would probably be asked by your insurance company to provide proof of continuous residence in the UK for a full six month period within the twelve months up until the date of your accident. This would include credit card receipts, debit card receipts, petrol receipts, rent/ mortgage payments etc... They could also ask to see your passport stamped at the correct dates with entry and exit stamps.

There have been many recent cases of cars being impounded byVarious Town Halls - reason being given that they had exceeded the six month time period and had still not been re-registered with Spanish plates.

The easiest way to avoid this unnecessary hassle is to....

  • Re-register your car.
  • Change your driving licence to a Spanish one.
  • Buy Spanish insurance.
It really is a simple as that.

If you are still in any doubt as to the legality of your car then simply ask your insurance company for a letter stating that they are aware that you are a permanent resident in Spain but that you are still driving a UK registered car with no Tax or MOT but they are quite happy to carry on insuring you on a fully comprehensive basis until the policy expires.

Once you have that letter, keep it with you at all times.

There are many Specialist Car Importation Companies that can do this for you, but most Gestors are also able to undertake this kind of work.

A special registration Tax of around 12% is payable which is calculated on the Vehicles Current Value (based on the vehicles original market value in Spain)

Comment on this Article

 
I have just been told that Spain will not allow any more RHD cars to be registered with Spanish plates. Is this true and if so what are we supposed to do with our RHD cars? I have an MG TF which is perfect for this climate and am reluctant to get rid of it.
Richard Barron - Wed 10th Sep 2014
Hi. I have a 1987 Land Rover that is fitted with a similar size but more modern L/Rover engine due to the original's total failure. I am a Non-resident, but we have a property in Spain that we visit as often as possible. I want leave the vehicle there on Spanish plates, but I am told I cannot matriculate it because it does not have the original engine. Is this correct?Many thanks for your kind attention.Ray
Ray Quirke - Fri 29th Aug 2014
Strictly speaking he will have to change his speedo, but some ITV stations have been known to pass them with dual markings irrespective of the speedometer registering distances in miles. Ask your local ITV.
Carbine - Fri 22th Aug 2014
Hi - me again with another question. My boss' car has MPH on the speedo and it also has KPH too, would this class as being o,k and meeting the Spanish standards or does he have to change the speedo as it's counting in miles? Thanks
Deb - Fri 22th Aug 2014
Thank you so much for your advice, he does have a NIE number and also knows of legal advice over there. I will get in touch with them. Thank you
Deb - Tue 19th Aug 2014
He does not need to be a permanent resident, but will need an NIE number to do it. If it is a modern vehicle then the headlights can possible be changed simple by moving a lever behind them, It should say in the handbook, ask a local dealer. If you do have to change them, then buy them in the UK, not only cheaper, but quicker. Yes the speedometer will have to be changed as will rear fog lights if it is only fitted with one. The actual process of getting it reregistered in Spain shouldn't cost more than around 450-500. The paperwork is the problem so get a Gestor, the equivalent of a legal assistance of solicitors clerk in the UK to do it for you, cost about 70. Tax and MOT will be part of the change over then he will have to pay insurance separately.
Carbine - Tue 19th Aug 2014
My boss has a holiday home in Spain and has shipped his car over (in May this year) he is not a permanent resident but is looking to perhaps register his car and keep it over there rather than bring it back with him. I've heard he will have to change his head light, change the miles dash to kilometers and also then tax/insure/mot etc. As he is not a permanent resident can he do this? If so do you have any good contacts of how he can go about it please? Thank you
Deb - Tue 19th Aug 2014
Strictly speaking no. The law requires you to Matriculate/reregister your car in Spain after 6 months. Keep your ferry crossing ticket to show when you brought the vehicle across. in case you are stopped. The problem you face is that it would probably cost you more to drive back to the UK and to bring the car back to Spain to show it has not been in the country for longer than 6 months than it would be to Matriculate it.
Carbine - Fri 1st Aug 2014
Hi again, I am not going to be a permanent resident in Spain just going to be here for 11 months (extended holiday). I have a garage at the spanish rental property and at the end of 11months will be going back to UK with my car. Am I able to retain my uk registration.
Sandie Clark - Fri 1st Aug 2014
Hm! Interesting. I suggest that if you read your insurance documents they will state that your vehicle must comply not only with the legislation in your home country where the vehicle is registered, but also where practical, with current legislation in the country you are travelling to or through. For example it is obligatory to carry a first aid kit in Germany. In many European countries you need to carry 2 warning triangles. Likewise, in the UK it is obligatory to display your tax disc and that also means it should be displayed even in Spain. The Guardia in Spain look out for vehicles not displaying the tax disc because it generally means the vehicle is in the country illegally, usually because it has been in Spain and used beyond the 6 month legal limit.
Carbine - Thu 31st Jul 2014
thanks carbine,but I have just been informed by an insurance company in Malaga that the Tax Disk is not required and as long as the tax has been paid for in the uk the uk insurance is all in order.
Philip - Thu 31st Jul 2014
No, is the simple answer. It is as illegal to drive it in Spain as it would be in the UK and if stopped or in an accident will negate the insurance. Why not just post the Tax disc to her, it will only take a few days?
Carbine - Thu 31st Jul 2014
my wife has taken her car over to spain for 6 months,the tax is due to run out today,I have re-taxed the car but have the tax disk here in england,I am not returning to Spain until september,is she O/K to drive the car without a tax disk until then ???
Philip - Thu 31st Jul 2014
Sandie : The amount you pay in charges will vary (slightly) depending on which province you are moving to, and the taxes you must pay will depend on the age and value of your vehicle. You can do it yourself at your provincial DGT office, but it doesn't cost that much to get a professional to do it for you.
C Shaw - Sun 13th Jul 2014
I am staying in Spain for 11 months from October and wanted to bring my car. I do understand the law but how do I register the car, where do i go, what forms and paperwork do i need, how much does it cost. Can you help please Thanks Sandie
Sandie Clark - Sat 12th Jul 2014
HI Cheryl, As long as you have the original V5 (UK car documentation) in YOUR name, NIE, Padron LESS than 3 months, the car has correct EU lights (NOT UK) necessary Port authority documentations maybe required then you should be able to re-register it on Spanish plates no problem, Vanesa Perez
RegisteraCarinSpain.com - Sun 2th Mar 2014
Hi, I'm a UK resident in Tenerife and my brother in London is giving me his 2007 car as a present with hardly any miles on it. I'm flying back to pick it up and bring it back with me on the ferry. As I've been resident since 2002 will I have any problems doing this? I have all my Spanish docs in order and speak Spanish fine. I intend to register it straight away. Thanks for any comments. Cheers.
Cheryl - Tue 25th Feb 2014
My post on the 25th was meant to be following another one, seems it didn't make it. My original post was to say EU states its after 6 months of elapsed time of use in a year that is the trigger for Spanish registration. So if you use your car every third day and the rest of the time its on the drive then no legal requirement to loose your UK plates.
Mark Jones - Tue 11th Feb 2014
When you go to re-register the car Spanish authorities do not require to see whether or not UK tax has been paid. However, you should contact DVLA in the UK to check status of car and that all is OK. Perhaps carry out a VIC (Vehicle Identity Check) When the car is re-registered on spanish plates the original V5 is then sent to the DVLA and destroyed and car de-registered from UK system as permananently exported.
RegisteraCarinSpain.com - Tue 11th Feb 2014
I have a holiday property in Spain and am considering buying a UK registered vehicle which as been in Spain for about 8 years. This car has got it's Spanish MOT. However, I understand that it has not been UK taxed for some years. When I convert to Spanish plates will I be liable for all UK tax not paid ?
Andrew Smith - Tue 11th Feb 2014
Fully expect it to be a harder challenge with Spanish police but I'm going to prepare the evidence and consult a lawyer prior to attempting this. Often to prove correct EU law interpretation a citizen has to take on the system. Will let you know when they impound my motor :-)
Mark Jones - Sat 25th Jan 2014
Still think EU law means its not 6 months elapsed time in Spain and then you have to register. Its 6 months of usage in a calendar year that is the trigger. Same as the UK. Note a UK insurance company offering a policy for UK vehicles to cover Spain with only 28 days policy coverage in the UK. http://spainguidenews.com/1ICP-2325N-8DDXKO8BCA/cr.aspx. Yes law enforcement agencies in Spain and the UK for example would look for the easy root of interpretation of this by asking for proof of the car's entry and exit but in the UK if your prepared and there has been successful challenges based on proof the vehicle being stored on a drive and not used on a UK road for more then 182 days within a year i.e if its not on the road for a day in the UK that doesn't count you can win.
Mark Jones - Sat 25th Jan 2014
Hi John, nie, passport, v5 documentation (assuming uk registered, padron (or copy of your spanish property title deeds) is what you require to start process. where you pass your bike and car will depend on where you live and the nearest ITV (MOT) station. contact me if you require further assistance, vanesa, www.registeracarinspain.com
Vanesa - Fri 24th Jan 2014
i would like to know where and what i need to Spanish register my Bike and Car. thanks John.
John Taylor - Fri 24th Jan 2014
6 months is correct but you still have to prove to the Spanish police if stopped that the car has been in Spain less than 6 months. This is the tricly part for many expats as what documentation can prove it ? Stamped entrance into the country via a port, maybe but not many people have this. With local councils desperate for money it is more likely the drivers will receive a fine or have their car impounded until they re-register their car. For further information click www.registeracarinspain.com establised in Alicante for 12 years and re-register foreign cars onto Spanish plates.
Vanesa Perez - Thu 12th Dec 2013
Reading other sites including UK gov and the continuous 6 months time frame seems not so clear. I'm looking to be in Spain per calendar year no more then 150 days (3 days a week or less) from these other sites I get the impression as long as I keep my car MOT''d (so a single in and out to the UK) and insured I can keep my car in Spain on UK e plates. Any thoughts? Thanks
Mark - Sat 7th Dec 2013
Your Registration does not expire. I presume you are talking about the Road Fund License/Tax Disc. If it sill has a valid MOT and is listed to a UK address then just re-new through that address and get the tax disc sent out. Or, you can either go down the Spanish matriculation process, I don't think you will have much trouble getting that sorted out as it is really what the Spanish want and all the details are on here or strictly speaking you should load it onto a carrier and have it transported back to the Uk and re-taxed etc., over there. Alternatively you may get away with driving up to Calais and loading it on a train to the UK. If stopped at customs then maybe a fib about it being repaired in Spain, France what have you may get you past the barriers as long as you have some form of insurance and MOT as least.
Carbine - Thu 31st Oct 2013
My friend has a UK registered car in Spain. The UK registration expired when we were abroad. How do we either re-register the car in Spain or sell the car in Spain being right hand drive vehicle ?
John - Thu 31st Oct 2013
I am 84 and intend to reside permanently in Spain I would like to import my 11 year old Peugeot 206 legally. What would it cost? approx
John Giles - Sat 7th Sep 2013
Hi what would be the cost of ? Re-register your car ?
Deborah - Tue 20th Aug 2013
Rightway Insurance are English based in Malaga. I insure with them they are good. No. 952934963. Also it's best to have the Spanish insurance as the car itself is covered and this means other drivers are included in the cover, also breakdown cover comes ready included.
Teresa - Fri 16th Aug 2013
Thanks for help! apologies for spelling errors :)
Linda Jones - Fri 16th Aug 2013
@Linda - Insurance is a tricky one as most UK based insurers are not setup to insure a vehicle based in another country. Our partner iBex Insurance are English and based in Spain. They will be able to help and advice you further.
Click here for more information
Tumbit Admin - Fri 16th Aug 2013
hi, my in-laws are in spain for 6 months. they have transfered their english car to spanish with plates etc.(they are permanately leaving car in spain) now they have rang to say can we sort insurance out for them over here (england). i'm thinking they need to insure over in spain? am i right? and is it right they need to get a spanish driver licence even though they are not in spain all year?
Linda Jones - Fri 16th Aug 2013
Gareth : Issues such as this are addressed separately for the sake of clarity - You can read our full catalogue of Motoring "How To..." Guides by clicking on the link >> HERE <<
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 5th Aug 2013
Thanks for the post above. Although helpful you do not justify why it is important to change your driving licence to Spanish, presuming that you are in possession of an EU Licence ?
Gareth - Mon 5th Aug 2013
Hi Teresa, Many thanks for your reply. We are moving to Valencia area. Our car is registered in UAE and we would like to ship it there. Best regards, Manuch
Manuch Dost - Mon 5th Aug 2013
Hi Manuch, before you import your car, check the chassis number is clear, under any rust. This will avoid the trouble we have had. The government hav a list of cars and years and they charge you the value of your particular car, I have been advised it is between 4 & 8 per cent but can advise you more once we actually get past the ITV (MOT). If you can obtain a Certificate of Conformity before you leave, it will avoid having to have a ficha tecnica before changing to Spanish plates. Which area are you thinking of moving to?
Teresa - Mon 5th Aug 2013
Hi, We are Swedish citizens and want to buy a house in Spain and import our car which is Nissan Pathfinder 2007. Would you please let me know whether there is import duty? If yes, how much is that? In Sweden you do not pay any import tax if you have used the car for one year. Thank you in advance. Regards, Manuch Dost
Manuch Dost - Sun 4th Aug 2013
Please be aware anyone transferring there UK car onto Spanish plates that if the car has less than 6000 kilometres on it, it's classed as a new car, even if you bought the car second hand in the uk, You still have to pay %21 vat well this is whats happening to me, has anyone ever heard of this ?
Ryan Golding - Wed 24th Jul 2013
No, the ITV arn't having any of it. Wouldn't look at photos even. Said they can't see it clearly enough. But he said, don't worry we will get this Certificate in the end. So now we are trying Madrid Mitsubishi and I think if they can relate anything on the car build to the chassis, then Spain may issue the Certificate. Well all we can do is hope now. Once we have the Certificate, we have to have a new VIN number put on the engine, chassis and anywhere else the old one is or should be.
Teresa - Mon 22th Jul 2013
Hi, after 3 days of rubbing over the chassis number, we think we can see all digits, although feint. We have an appointment for re-inspection today. Also have sent email to Mitsubishi Europe re Certificate Spain requires and am awaiting a reply. Also have contacted Mitsubishi Spain, who are looking to see how they can help, but fingers crossed the ITV are nice to us today.
Teresa - Mon 22th Jul 2013
Great, I will also try that, if and when I get to the digits. lol!!! A bit of good old elbow grease is what's needed now. Thank you.
Teresa - Thu 18th Jul 2013
The only thing I can think of, is once you have sandpapered it down then use a pencil, not the point and rub it over the area. We use to do this with paper over a sculpture to bring it out. What will happen it that the pencil or crayon will outline the indentations or the numbers so they are easier to read.
Carbine - Thu 18th Jul 2013
Ok, thank you. I will do that right now. Meanwhile, I have been looking at where the chassis number should be and I can see 4 digits which are the same as part of the VIN. ITV tried sandpapering the area but where I can see the number is above where they have sandpapered, so I am going to have a go myself. Do you know any softer methods of cleaning rust away?
Teresa - Thu 18th Jul 2013
Try Mitsubishi Europe, they are based in Holland. I believe Mitsubishi UK is just a franchise operation like many of them. They couldn't give a stuff because it is something they don't get involved in on a regular basis.
Carbine - Thu 18th Jul 2013
Hi Carbine, well all was going so well with the changing of the car onto Spanish plates, until yesterday. The Inspector at the ITV station will not allow a new chassis number or anything until we can supply them with the following (I have translated into English) - A report from the manufacturer containing data that can relate the frame number with other features of the vehicle. IE Engine number Gearbox number. Signed and Official Mitsubishi Stamp. We have contacted Mitsubishi and they cannot supply any of this as it does not exist in England. Therefore after paying out everything, we have come to a standstill. Any thoughts on what we can do ?
Teresa - Thu 18th Jul 2013
The simple answer is Yes. No problem. Speak to your local town hall and Linea Direct and they wlll sort our you tax and insurance for you by direct debit and no hassle/ Go for it. Don't forget it is the car that is insured not the driver so visitors would also be able to use it.
Carbine - Wed 10th Jul 2013
I have an holiday home in Ibiza at which I spend three months a year. I wish to buy a car there for general use. However, I am NOT a tax resident in Spain? Is it possible to legally buy a car in Spain and leave it there all year-around, obviously fully insured and complaint with local laws.
Andrew Jago - Wed 10th Jul 2013
Thanks Carbine, it was your advice that put me on the correct path to begin with.
Teresa - Sun 30th Jun 2013
Like everything in Spain a bit of perseverance is always needed but with the cost of plates around 12 and your tax about 60 all in all that isn't bad compared to some organisations out there who will try to tell you it costs thousands. Well done.
Carbine - Sun 30th Jun 2013
We followed advice on this site and are now nearing getting our new Spanish plates for our English car. Firstly on buying the 2nd hand car, with no Tax or MOT, we went to trafico and after being sent from one place to another, managed to get temporary green plates which last some months, enabling you time to change headlights, (a must for ITV, no stick ons allowed) get insurance get around to enable you to eventually suceed in passing the ITV. Our difficulty was that (like most older English cars) the ITV couldn't find the chassis number on the back part of the car. However, there is a solution, the ITV have sent off for a new chassis number for our car, so we are just awaiting this. There seem to be solutions to all problems involved in changing the number plates, but it is very a stressful process. Followed advice on this site, the cost has been (to date) 360 euros, but still have white plates and tax on value of car to pay, but all in all not bad. Hope this helps people.
Teresa - Sun 30th Jun 2013
I am a little puzzled by some of these recent posts and question the intelligence of some of those posting. Well done Nigel, so you clearly haven't looked at the Guides as they contain all the information you need, who to apply to how to apply and what it costs. Or maybe it is just to simple and what you mean is you want someone to do it for you for free! Because you can't be bothered to read about it. The answer very clearly wasn't intended for such a clever dick as you. And Alan Martin has a car with a selector switch to change his headlights. Please sir, can we al have one sir? Well Done! I don't see any postings telling him he would need new headlights. Earlier answers make it quite clear that a number of vehicles have this facility. But a larger number of vehicles don't.
David - Sat 29th Jun 2013
My 5 Series BMW has a simple selector on the headlights for switching between UK or European use. Why would I therefore need new headlights?
Alan Martin - Sat 29th Jun 2013
I wish to import my UK car to Aguadulce in Almeria. Do you know of a reliable Gestor or specialist in my area?
Alan Martin - Sat 29th Jun 2013
Stupid post..........I want to know how to do it not read the patently obvious!
Nigel - Thu 27th Jun 2013

John : A couple of Guides we have written on the subject might help shed a bit of light ...

* "How to legally import your Spanish Vehicle into the UK" (Click >> HERE <<)

* "How to buy or sell a Spanish Vehicle in the UK" (Click >> HERE <<)

Tumbit - Admin - Sat 18th May 2013
Very interesting. I am in the opposite position,needing to re-register my Spanish car in U.K. Are there any companies that can deal with this for me. I have all the paperwork from D.V.L.A but find it impossible to understand it
John Pittard - Sat 18th May 2013
About 450 plus the cost of new headlights, changing fog lights, speedometer etc...
Carbine - Sat 11th May 2013
I would like to know how much it costs to register a uk car in Spain
Michelle Sales - Sat 11th May 2013
Yes is the simple answer. Many people that have only holiday homes out here have purchased spanish cars or re-registered their UK cars for use out here.
Carbine - Thu 2th May 2013
3 years ago rented an apartment in Barcelona. I have since brought my car a Jaquar XK to Spain and its parked in a lock up garage next to the apatment . I took out spanish Insurance for 12 months which has been continued. in 2012 and 2013. I now understand that this insurance is not legal on a uk plated car so the car cannot be driven in spain . The car no longer has UK insurance, mot or UK car tax. I think I have two choices: 1. Get the car registered in spain or 2. Transport it to a port ,ship it to the UK and get it MOtd ,taxed and insured back in the UK. My issue is I am now thinking of buying the apartment and spending more time in Spain (though not more than 182 days per year so I would not be resident in spain). Which of these two options would you advise? Can I register a car with spanish plates if I am not a resident in Spain ?
Kevin Houston - Thu 2th May 2013
Thanks but I'm in UK and just trying to get as much info as poss, regards who what and how.
Dave - Fri 26th Apr 2013
Personally I think this question has been answered many times over. You just have to scroll back through the messages to find all the answers needed. Go to Traffico or possibly your local town hall, depends on where you live, get the forms, get an ITV done on the vehicle or better, use a Gestoria, the Spanish equivalent of a Legal Executive who can do the paperwork and sort it out for no more than a few hundred euros, Plus of course any mechanical changes you may need to make, change of speedometer, headlights, foglights etc.
Carbine - Fri 26th Apr 2013
I understand what is required to register your car from England ,but you dont explain who or what to do about it. IE who do I contact and whats the cost?
Dave - Fri 26th Apr 2013

Phil : No, the law still states that you can drive your UK registered vehicle in Spain for 6 months before re-registering (Maybe your friend is thinking about Residency, which is 3 Months ?)

Littlebeach :If you take your car back and forth to the UK every 6 months (twice per year ?) You wouldn't need to import you car anyway. You would probably find it a costly and pointless exersize to do this, unless you dislike the drive.

Tumbit - Admin - Fri 19th Apr 2013
My position is that I am not a resident but spend quite a bit of time in Spain. I have a house and I bring my car over twice a year with full MOT and insurance (from SAGA) who allow the car to be outside the UK for the whole year. I would love to register the car in Spain but as I am not a resident I can't! Or can I?!!
Littlebeach - Wed 17th Apr 2013
I have recently been informed by a friend who lives in Spain that the law regulating the usage of an English registered car in Spain has changed from six months usage to three months before you need to register for Spanish registration. Is this the case please ?
Phil H - Wed 17th Apr 2013
Joy : The Information you require (How to Buy a Car in Spain) Can be read by clicking the link >> HERE << - Also, I would urge you to check that there are no outstanding debts on the car, given that it is currently untaxed.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 17th Apr 2013
I have seen a car advertised here in Spain for sale that I would like to own. It is a RHD MG two seater sports 2001 and is advertised for 1400. I am living in Spain but have not taken residencia as yet. What I would like to know is if it is worth my buying this car, which incidentally has no Tax or MOT, and getting it onto Spanish plates. I would appreciate knowing how to go abut that and the likely cost complete. Thanks.
Joy Nudds - Wed 17th Apr 2013
Many thanks Carbine. will update when received the certificate, albeit that we have to wait minimum 35 days. Appreciate all your advice.
Teresa - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Yes, that is correct. My car was first registered in Germany and I had no problem matriculating it in Spain even though paperwork was only in German & English. As I said, many Spanish have a knack of stretching the truth to suit themselves, especially if they think they can make a few hundred Euros out of it. 120 seems reasonable, better than the ITV station.
Carbine - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Hi, I make you right. I had a conversation directly with Mitsuibishi who said the CoC only comes in the language where the car is originally registered (English) and the cost is only 120. Then I went to the website you advised and their answer was:

" CoC is furnished in the language of the constructor, if your Mitsubishi were first registered in EU since 1996 and was produced for EU market than it is generally in English. However CoC has to be accepted in all EU countries in all EU languages, because COC has all anticpoy signs requested by European Union."

The way I read it is that they have to accept it in English. Am I reading it correctly do you think ?

Teresa - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Each manufacturers CoC is different, there is no standard layout/design, which I think is rather shortsdighted for an organisation that loves tinkering. Anyway, the language of the certificate will almost certainly be in the language of the home country of the manufacturer, unless they are from outside the EU in wjich case the language used will be a combination of English, French and/or German as laid down by the EU. I'm sure your local ITV can get one for 400! Just like the private organisations that can matriculate your car for 4000. Forget about the Spanish language, there is NO legal basis for this, it's just another bit of misinformation to persuade you to go with them. All the ITV stations have a copy of the various manufacturers CoC so they can do a comparison. Mine was in German and I had no problem what so ever. Unless of course the rules have been changed without anyone being told about it! www.certificate-of-conformity.co.uk
Carbine - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Thank you so much for your reply, we will certainly try the web address you gave us. This car is 2004 so not that new but registered first time in England. Can you give me an idea of what the certificate looks like? We are in Huelva and our ITV says that they can obtain the certificate from Madrid but at a cost of 400 euros. They say the Certificate has to be in Spanish. Is this correct? will post results from eurococ later when have contacted them. Again many thanks.
Teresa - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Yes, it is necessary to obtain a CoC for your car. Surprisingly some of the ITV centres seem to hold them for various vehicles. If you are in the area try Lorca. Otherwise, if new, you will either have to go to the garage you purchased the vehicle from or the manufacturers, most of them offer Certificates quite readily. Alternatively, or you could try these people: http://www.eurococ.eu/en. As for cost, it does depend to a certain degree on the country where the vehicle was registered for the first time and where you are now but generally I wouldn't expect the cost to be much more than around 80-140 maximum.
Carbine - Wed 20th Mar 2013
Re registering, can you tell me if it is necessary to obtain a Certificate of Conformity from the Maker of the car as we have been told this alone costs 400 euros before you start with any papers to re register. This has to be obtained (apparently) in Spanish. Can anyone tell us why or advise us please.
Teresa - Tue 19th Mar 2013
Rachel, In all honesty when you have added up all the associated costs you may find that it is cheaper and easier to either Scrap the car in Spain (Click link >> HERE << for details), or to Sell the car to somebody planning on returning to the UK (Click link >> HERE << for details). It would be a pointless exersize to get a Spanish ITV for a UK vehicle in Spain.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 6th Mar 2013
Hi. My mother is currently staying with us for an indefinite period. She has her (old) car with her. The MOT is now due and we are comparing the cost of taking it back to the UK (for an MOT or to get rid of it) versus transferring it to 'Spanish'. The car would be worth about 400 in the UK. What would you advise?
Rachael Williams - Wed 6th Mar 2013
I have a ford ranger pick up rhd uk registered 4 doors all with windows. I have been told i can not transfer it onto spanish plates I know this can not be possible with a panel van but this is just a 4x4 like most cars it does say on the registration book it's a light commercial. Please can you advise me
Karl Rutter - Tue 5th Feb 2013
In a word, NO. Although the car already has a certificate of Conformity etc., it will still cost you as much as, if not more than, it is worth to get it Matriculated in Spain. If you wish to go ahead then unless you speak fair Spanish and can write it then use a Gestoria to do it for you. They will guide you through the whole process. Their should be at least one in every town. Askthe local inhabitants or at the local town hall. A Gestoria (gesture) is a like a Legal Executive or Assistant Solicitor in the UK. He is qualified to carry out certain legal duties and paperwork. In Spain they are able to work as individuals where as in the UK they are part of a legal practise and their work is signed off by a solicitor. For instance in the UK they will probably carry out the majority of the conveyancing work when buying or selling a house.
Carbine - Mon 31st Dec 2012
Hello Im after advice for exporting an Opel corsa 1.4 1995 which is owned by my son which Iwould be looking to buy off him. It has been registered in Germany Is LHD It has high mileage and is of very little value. Maybe 300 pounds Would It be worth the expense of going though all the legal marlarky to get It there Also who or what is a gesture (spelling)that you keep refering to and If they can help how do you get hold of one. I read in one of your earlier reports that it would be better if we didnt have padron which we dont be we do own a house there . The car currently in England and until recently was German legal.Hope the above makes sense to you and look forward to hearing from you.If you do reply please make the instructions as simple as possible
Harry Clark - Mon 31st Dec 2012
Many cars built in the last 10 years or so do not need their headlights changed instead the aligment can be changed from within the engine compartment. Consult the owners handbook.
Carbine - Thu 15th Nov 2012
Dan : You need to change the headlights as soon as you import your RHD UK vehicle onto Spanish plates as this is a requirement of the ITV / MOT (Where if you are just here on holiday or for a short period of time the headight stickers will usually be ok). If you think about it, the RHD lights are deflected slightly to one side of the road, away from the glare of any oncoming drive, whereas if the same car was driven on the opposite side of the road the light would dazzle the oncoming driver.
Robster - Thu 15th Nov 2012
Correct. I did mention about changing the headlights!! Why, do you have a question about this?
Carbine - Wed 14th Nov 2012
Hi. You mentioned about changing the headlights??
Dan Moxon - Tue 13th Nov 2012
what is the cost of re register your car to spainish plates thanks ron
Ron Beach - Sat 20th Oct 2012
@ Carbine - The car is in Spain about a year. It is still on UK plates and has not gone through the ITV yet. I am hopping the will switch the lights before the test, The owner will put it through the test prior to the sale. The car is a 2001 model. I am here about a year. I have residencia/DNI.
David - Fri 5th Oct 2012
The original certificate of compliance should have been issued by the manufacturer, however you will probably find that the ITV station has it on their computer system, particularly if you go to Lorca. Alternatively try a local Mercedes dealer. It is issued against the make and model, not an individual car. How have you calculated the Import Tax? it sounds a bit high to me. It used to be based on a percentage of the original value of car minus 10% per annum, down to zero after 10 years. However, it has recently changed and is now done on emissions, which seems in most cases to work in the importers favour. The other questions are: How old is the car? How long have you owned the car? How long have you been in Spain? Do you have your residencia/padron, if so when did you get them? How long has the car been in Spain? These can all make a difference to what you have to pay. Saying that,800-1000 including replacing of headlights seems pretty reasonable. Remember you may also have to change your headlights !
Carbine - Thu 4th Oct 2012
I have researched the transfer of paperwork, number plates etc for the Mercedes E320 listed below. Initial step: Visit local Traffic Police Station to acquire the Matriculacion Ordinaria de Vehiculos form which breaks down the procedural steps (in Spanish). Step 1: Go to Hacienda/Tax Office (not customs). They calculate the import tax by using the original RRP, the age and some other aspects which are minor. ie: RRP = 33,000 Import Tax = 435.oo (Plates could be an extra 70 max. Step 2. Change of headlights 200 on this car. (price is taken from ebay, D.I.Y). Step 3. Visit the I.T.V. (vehicle transport inspection). Cost = 70.oo approx. Bear in mind none of the above is valid unless your car has the E.U. headlights. I figure it will cost me between 800 and a 1,000 Can someone inform me who issues the EU Certificate of Compliance, should the original owner/seller have this documentation and if not, what happens?
David - Wed 3rd Oct 2012
John, the simplest way is to use a Gestor. The paperwork itself can be a bit complicated and it may well involve a couple of journeys to your local ITV centre. The actual cost of the inspections and registration etc shouldn't come to more than a few hundred 's. Depending of whether you have an EU Certificate of Compliance etc. I imported a 12 month old 4x4 into Spain in 1998 and it cost me just over 400 including Road Tax for 16 months. I would say that anyone quoting you more than around 600$ without a very good reason, maybe having to pay to change headlights or foglights or similar, is taking the michael!
Carbine - Tue 2th Oct 2012
John : On top of knowing the age, make and model of your car, It would also depend how good your Spanish is, how far you are prepared to travel and how long you are prepared to wait to undertake the process. It is quite likely that it CAN be done done cheaper, just whether or not it can be done cheaper by you and for your car.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 2th Oct 2012
Can someone tell me in simple terms how to import my UK registered vehicle to Murcia, Spain? I hav been quoted 1000 euros plus by my solicitor which seems excessive.
John - Mon 1st Oct 2012
First, because of the age of the car it is doubtful if you will have to pay anything, Spain writes down the value of the vehicle by 10% per annum over 10 years, as it is 11 years old now it should be exempt. As to headlights, then try a dealer on the way down through France or somewhere, don't wait until you get to Spain. Prices will be horrendous and it will take months if not longer, to get them. Also try Ebay or Amazon but be sure you put in European Union as your search parameter otherwise it generally just shows what is available in the UK.
Carbine - Sat 22th Sep 2012
Hi, there's some great info on here, thanks all. I am in a position where I can buy a right hand drive British car with British plates at a good price. It is a 2001 Mercedes E320 CDI Diesel with an Engine Capacity of 3226cc and a value of 3,000 euro. I believe it is cheaper to do things directly by going to the Customs Office (oficina de aduanas, near the bus station in Malaga). The Gestor is always more expensive. Is there an alternative solution to buying new or second hand head lights for this car? Please advise asap. Thanks again. David.
David - Sat 22th Sep 2012
David : Yes, that's the deal !
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 22th Sep 2012
Hello and Thank you for the very useful information on this page regarding the Re-register of a car in Spain. Am I right in saying that if I buy a UK in Spain at the value of 3000, I would be required to pay about 12% (about 350) of that value to have the car Re-registered here in Spain? Regards David
David - Sat 22th Sep 2012
Hi everyone, Can anyone please give me a step by step set of instructions as to what is required for me to register my UK vehicle in Spain. I have had it here and back to the UK over the years and now as I am a resident and have been on the voting register for some time now I know I would not benefit from the discounts available. I think I have to pay the following Registration/Co2 Tax Engineers Report ITV Traffico payment Annual road tax but in which order to do things I am unsure. Can anyone please help to clarify this process? And in the end, where would i get the registration plate? Do i have to go to a ferreteria and get one or do they supply it as part of the procedure? Thanking you in advance John
John - Mon 30th Jul 2012
Oh dear! How long is a piece of string? It all depends on the make. original cost of the vehicle, how old it is, engine size/CO2 emissions, how long have you owned it? how long has it been in Spain? Do you already have your Residencia/Padron? Anything from a few hundred to a few thousand.
Carbine - Sun 15th Jul 2012
How much would it be to make my car legal in spain ?
Sue - Sun 15th Jul 2012
If you wish to do it yourself you will need a good level of Spanish. A gestoria should have the paperwork and be able to do it for you for no more than a couple of hundred.
Carbine - Mon 9th Jul 2012
Hi : Can I do the transfer for my car myself as I was quoted 600 euros but was told I could do it myself for half the price. I need to know where to go and what forms I need etc... any help would be great !
Mavis Chadderton - Mon 9th Jul 2012
It used to be that you had to re-register your car within 60 days of applying for your Residencia and/or Padron, whichever was first. As far as I am aware that hasn't changed. We didn't apply for our Residencia until we had been here for 5 months. The only changes that I know of have been to the levels of duty payable which have had to be very substantially reduced to comply with EU legislation.
Carbine - Sun 1st Jul 2012
Please let me know the amount of time allowed to re re-register a UK plated vehicle here in Spain to avoid paying import tax. I understand it is 30 days from arrival date (personal property) and also requires the issue of residencia or green paper as it is now known. Help please !
Cynthia Clark - Sat 30th Jun 2012
Many thanks for the prompt response Carbine! It IS 'quite old' - approaching 20 years, but in superb mechanical order and looks good too! We love it and would really want to keep going with it for a while yet, so I am very encouraged by your input! Sounds like the next step is a 'Gestor' and some thinking around the timing of our plans to relocate.
Sootyboy - Sun 10th Jun 2012
Depends on what you mean by quite old! Spain writes down the value of the vehicle by 10% per annum over a ten year period so it could have little or no value by now. However, if you are concerned go to a Gestor, he has access to a website that will give the current value of the vehicle. Then you can decide whether to go through the process or not. If you do want to do it then a Gestor is as good a person as any and he will complete the paperwork for you. Your headlights should be fine if you take the deflectors off and your fog/reversing lamps need to be on the offside of the vehicle. Providing you have completed forms like the slip from the V5 declaring it has been exported permanently then it really shouldn't cost you more than a few hundred Euros. Remember that if you do the change over at the same time as applying for your Residencia/Padron, then it counts as personal property and there is not tax or duty payable.
Carbine - Sun 10th Jun 2012
This is helpful stuff - BUT, I have an American vehicle, which has been registered in the UK for most of its life - and is not only quite old now, but has little financial value. It has USA headlamps, which get through the MOT each year with tape to 'deflect' the beams, so presumably it will not need any modification at the front end!? The Fog/Reversing lamps are single 'add-on' units which could be adapted with little/no cost....SO, how would/could it be valued and what would the likely TOTAL cost to make it fully legal in Spain?? (we are intending to spend more than 6 months a year there - and take residency!
Sootyboy - Sun 10th Jun 2012
You will get all sorts of con artists telling you it will cost you 4,000 etc., etc. That is all bull, as the authorities have been forced to make changes to the rules by the EU. If the car was originally registered here then go and see a Gestoria as the car should have a Certificate of Conformity in which case it should only need an ITV to rematriculate it, about 70 the rest of the paperwork you get from your local Traffico office, depending on where you are, Almeria for me. for an import like mine about another 170 plus about 80 road tax. It also helps if you haven't registered as a Resident or on the Padron yet, though you can still get round that.
Carbine - Fri 30th Mar 2012
Carbine, how did you import the car for 350 - I have a car to import but I am being quoted ridiculous amounts. The car was originally registered in Spain but imported into the UK ?
Stuart Burrell - Fri 30th Mar 2012
Carbine, that just goes to show the importnance of fully understanding the law. You deffinately did the right thing by researching around the subject.
Jo Green - Thu 22th Sep 2011
There are few car importation organisations that won't try to rip you off. I bought a car in Germany and knew if I re-registered it when getting my residencia I would pay no tax and only about 350 yet no one would quote me less than 4,000 most knew about the scheme and others told me I was talking rubbish. It actually cost 338
Carbine - Wed 21st Sep 2011
Dot : The costs will very roughly be a 12% Tax on the Book value of the car The Cost of new headlamps The cost of an ITV Car Tax.

If you use the services of a Gestor you will need to allow for this aswell. A cost saving tip is to buy the headlamps from E Bay and fit them yourself.

I would 'Guesstimate' a cost to be between 300-400 Euros all in.

Tumbit - Admin - Fri 12th Aug 2011
HI, I actually own on the Costa Blanca but dont live there. I am thinking of buying a British car in Spain so I can use while I am there. Do you have any idea of the cost to re-register it in Spain ? It is a 1.4.Corsa 2001 16v, 3 door Hatchback 1450 Thank you
Dot - Fri 12th Aug 2011
Just one word of caution on your ITV : It is not legal or valid on a UK car. A Spanish ITV on a UK registered car is basically a voluntary safety check on your vehicle to check it's roadworthy-ness and nothing more. It does not replace an MOT and I would check the small print on your Insurance policy to see if it is invalid in the case of accident with regards to this matter. I am sure that you should be able to legally import your car aslong as you have a Spanish NIE number and address.
Mr Grumpy - Wed 27th Apr 2011
Thanks for these helpful comments. I want the car to be legal in Spain I do not intend taking it away from Spain to any other country. As i have already invested in Spanish headlights, a 2 year ITV Certificate, fully comprehensive car insurance which was issued in Gibralter for driving in Spain and am probably still driving illegally it seems only sensible to resolve the problem by completing the process and importing the vehicle but I have been unable to discover the answer as to whether I, as a UK resident, can import a UK registered car into Spain? I wonder if anyone can tell me if I can do this. and if so what documents do I need? ThanQ
Carole Macintyre - Wed 27th Apr 2011
@Carole - the other thing to consider here is that if you are not paying UK road taxes and have a valid MOT (many don't bother), in most cases your Spanish Insurance will be void in the event of anything happening, as the vehicle has to be legal in it's country of registration.
Mr Grumpy - Wed 27th Apr 2011
Carole, what you are 'supposed to do' and what you can 'get away with' can often be two different things. Importing your car legally obvioulsy comes at a cost and you need to decide what this cost is likely to be compared with the true financial value of the car to decide whether it will be worthwhile to do this or sell it and buy a Spanish registered vehicle. I believe that you have been advised that you will be ok in your situation due to your vehicle being parked 'off the road' for long periods at a time and that 'it could be argued' that the vehicle was out of the country during this time. It all sounds good in theory, doesn't it ? - I doubt that you would have a leg to stand on if you were ever involved in an accident.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 26th Apr 2011
Reading this article I think I may have been ill advised by my insurers and Spanish garage. I am a UK resident with no Spanish property but I keep a UK plated car permanently in a Spanish airport garage for my use when visiting. It has fully comprehensive Ibex insurance from Gibralter, a current ITV certificate and Spanish headlights is it illegal and as a non resident what should I do?
Carole Macintyre - Tue 26th Apr 2011
You would have thought so wouldn't you ? The problem is that with regards to motoring, the EU allows a certain amount of leeway to each member state with regards to how they interpret certain recommendations. An example of this would be how the regulations differ between the UK and Spain with Tow bars.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 4th Mar 2011
Recently arrived from South Africa and thinking of taking a UK registered car to Spain. Useful content on the site and an 'Interesting argument' proposed by the author re the MOT period. Surely the MOT regulations across all EU member states are linked to the MOT expiry date itself not some arbitrary 'other period' i.e. do not all countries in the EU simply require that the MOT be renewed where the car is 'resident' at the time that it expires and why should you need to do an MOT just because the car has been for 6 months in another country (Spain in this case) when the current MOT is (irrepective of its origin within the EU) still valid? Of course this implies a Union in the real sense which judging by the constant 'bickering' between various member states seems to be a long way off!
John C - Fri 4th Mar 2011
John, when you legally import your UK regsitered car into Spain and register it with the Spanish DGT, part of the procedure involves obtaining a new Spanish ITV (MOT), without which it will not be road legal. Your car will be legal up to it's being here for 6 months, at which point you will need to take action. Many people do not import their vehicle - however a Spanish ITV on a UK regsitered vehicle is nothing more than a 'voluntary safety check' and could invalidate your insurance in the event of an accident.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 15th Feb 2011
The above info is interesting but does not cover my situation I have brought my car over, I plan to visit about 4 times a year and leave my car in the garage when I am away. At the moment it is insured and has a current MOT. I want to register it in Spain and leave it hear for my use when I am here. I also want to insure and MOT it in Spain Is this possible? Hope you can help
John Gibson - Tue 15th Feb 2011
Andrew, for the purpose of clarity here we have taken your suggestion and removed the 'International Model' wording, however, it is stil a good idea to obtain a Spanish licence.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 13th Jul 2010
Will you please delete reference to the "International model (Driving Licence)" as all the information I ever see about it on websites is invariably wrong. Firstly, there is no such thing. Secondly, an International Driving Permit is a document to accompany a full driving licence when travelling abroad (i.e. outside the EU) as a tourist. It is valid for up to a year, but can be renewed. It serves to authenticate the holder's normal licence, and does NOT take its place and it has no status as an "international driving licence". Within EU countries it is a useful document to have for those who hold older non-photo licences, although a photocard licence is a much more sensible idea.
Andrew - Mon 12th Jul 2010
Alvin, this is a service that any Asesor or Gestor should be able to assist you with. Altrnatively, there are also a number of specific Re-registration companies in operation throughout Spain. A local company is always better as it saves the risk of sending important documents in the post. If you mail your location we can advise.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 22th Jun 2010
I would like to Re-register my UK car in spain and need help to do it. Kind regards Alvin
Alvin Karia - Tue 22th Jun 2010