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The Spanish ITV Test : A First-Hand Experience

By The Equalizer - Tue 31st Jan 2012

I know about the Spanish ITV : What it is and why I need one etc... However, my Spanish is not what you may call fantastic, and neither am I particularly familiar with the mechanical working of a motor vehicle.

I have read a number of guides on the subject of the Spanish ITV, but to be honest with, I didn’t want to know the theory of what was tested – I am neither a qualified mechanic, or likely to employed by the Ministry of Traffic – I just wanted to get the correct piece of paper in my hand that confirmed that my Car was road legal. In short, I wanted a practical guide.

>>> CLICK HERE to read about Your Car's ITV (Spanish MOT) <<<

I scoured the net and could not find any up to date or particularly informative experiences of getting an ITV done, so decided to have a bash at doing it myself.

*( This assumes the reader is at least ‘aware’ of the theory of the ITV – if not, please click the link above.)

Making the appointment

Most larger Towns have an ITV station. If you don’t where the nearest one to you is you can either call 902 108 368 or visit

There is no requirement to make an appointment – you can just turn up an wait and take your chances – but this is not always guaranteed. (Tip : Make an appointment as early as possible in the morning to ensure you are not kept waiting with by an delays or ITV’s that have been ‘slipped in’ due to them not having an appointment).

On calling the number to make an appointment the automated service (in Spanish) gives an option of what services were available: Option 1 was to “Hacer una Cita” (Make an appointment) and on selecting this, I was directed to an operator.

I was asked which dates and times I would like to chose for my test, together with the “Matriculatcion” (Registration number), which he entered into a computer and confirmed that it was both correct, and that I was the named owner, and then asked for my phone number as a confirmation. (Tip : If you give a mobile number a confirmation of your appointment is sent by text to you.)

On arrival

Park up, and go to the office, taking with you your “Permiso de Circulación” (log Book) and previous ITV Slip - These should be original copies and not photocopies. The desk staff will then check these details on the computer, confirm that you have not changed address or phone number since your previous ITV, and take the fee for the test - 50.95.

On payment your paperwork will be handed back to you together with an A4 slip for the testing mechanic to tick off the things tested and record any results. You will also be directed to which ‘lane’ to drive into.

(Tip : Take cash – the swipe machine was broken when I turned up, fortunately I had just enough cash on me.)

Taking the test

Queue up in the appropriate lane – my appointment was early in the morning so there was queue.

You should not get out of your vehicle during the test, but wind the window down so you can hand him the paperwork and follow his instructions.

The instructions are pretty basic and reasonably obvious, so almost everyone should be able to get by with a basic understanding of Spanish.

The are 3 ‘areas’ to the lane that you are in and the mechanic will tell you when to move from one to the other :

1) He will test all of the lights, indicators, brake lights, fog lights and reverse lights and then check your exhaust for emissions. He will then pop your bonnet and have a look at god-know’s-what.

2) You will be directed to drive forward onto the rolling road (back wheels and front wheels separately) and use the “Frenos” (Brakes) and “Freno de mano” (Handbrake) as directed.

3) You will be directed to drive over the ‘Pit’, where he will check your exhaust, the shock absorbers, and your tyres together with the integrity of the bodywork under your car.

Once this has been you will be handed your test and be asked to pull out of the test lane : Park your car and take your paperwork back into the office, where your new ITV certificate will be printed and you will be issued with a new sticker to affix to the top of the inside, passenger side of the windscreen (as proof of ITV test in any Guardia inspections).


I was fortunate in my car passing the test so can’t give first hand info on the failure process, but understand that upon failure, a report is issued which details the defects, which can then be taken to your local garage for the appropriate repairs. If a re-test is taken in the same day the re-test charge is often waived, but if it is taken at anytime up to the 10 days limit allowed by law the charges can vary considerably depending upon what the defect was – up to a maximum of the full fee.


Anyone wishing to use my ‘experience’ as a guide should know that this is based upon a Spanish Registered LHD road vehicle – testing criteria is totally different for Mopeds to Cars; Commercial to Private and from Petrol to Diesel vehicles – as do the prices charged for their tests and the frequency of test required.

Any ITV test done on a UK registered vehicle is considered as nothing more than a ‘voluntary safety inspection’ by Spanish law and therefore anyone undertaking one should be aware that this in no way replaces the UK’s MOT test and as such could invalidate an insurance policy.

Lastly, I am pretty sure that procedures can and will vary between test stations and so this should be considered for guideline purposes only.

Comment on this Blog

Have automatic car fitted with hand controls UK reg..can anybody advise how to get car Spanish registered with itv test without removal of hand controls.The car can be driven without using the controls.thanks
Andrew Macdonald - Sat, 23rd Sep 2017
Well done ! I would advice contacting MAPFRE. They are a large international insurance company, in almost every town in Spain. I was in Frigliana, near Nerja, at the timee. They charged me 150 for someone to come to my apartment, and take all the details of the car, and compare with owners manual. No Certificate of conformity needed. They then prepared the docs and booked the car in for an ITV in Algarrobo. The vehicle failed ITV, which I expected. I was given 2 calendar months to correct the issues, which I did yeaterday. The ITV process is simple and automated.... There is a machine to book your car in on arrival, in English. Even if you don't have an appointment. Which I didn,t for the re-test. I don't speak Spanish so during the first time I the examiner jumped in and took it through the process. When I went for the re-test, I did see the same thing with female drivers, who proferred to just let the examiner take the car through the process. Friendly and helpful people.
Ron Hind - Fri, 12th May 2017
I have just come back from a re-test, after a failure. I am going through the process of getting Spanish reg. It is important to remember. The test for Spanish registration requires the vehicle to be as manufactured...Including towbar if one was not fitted from new. I was given 2 calendar months to return with the issues corrected. I was asked to removed my reversing camera. Towbar I had already removed. Spanish law does not allow diffence make of tyres on the same axle. And must have the correct speed and load rating, not like the uk. Where you can choose. Finally I changed the lights to Lhd myself. Modern cars no longer have diffuser lenses and instead use Projector lamps with deflectors. A bit tricky but easy to do yourself. Just take the metal plate out, turn it round and re-insert. Job done ! Costs nothing and no big lighting cluster to carry round. Bye the way. It was all done in a few weeks. I will get the new reg docs in two days.
Ron Hind - Fri, 12th May 2017
Sounds like you were one of the few to have it easy that day !
The Expatrinator - Sun, 24th May 2015
Thanks - very helpfull !
Althetiler - Sun, 24th Feb 2013

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