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Towing Trailers in Spain and the Law

- Updated: 10/11/2011
Towing Trailers in Spain and the Law

So what do you need to know about towing a trailer in Spain and the law ?

The very subject of bringing a trailer to Spain, or buying a trailer whilst you are here and then towing it legally is of course closely associated with the subject of the legality of tow bars on cars, and as such it is strongly recommended that anyone interested in this subject firstly familiarises themselves with such regulations by clicking the link HERE .

NOTE : This process below applies to trailers purchased in Spain - A UK bought trailer can not therefore be legally towed by a Spanish Car - If brought from the UK they will need to either (in the case of less than 750kg) have the Fichas drawn up and be homologated, or (in the case of More than 750kg) be Homologated, then legally imported and registered with the Spanish DGT, as with a car - Not a quick, easy or cheap process to have to go through !

Trailers up to 750kg (Loaded)

- All trailers in Spain in this category are not required to be registered.

- Are required to have their own Fichas Tecnicas, separate to the towing vehicle.

- Are also required to hold a valid ITV in order to be road legal.

- Are not required to hold their own insurance.

- Are required to have the manufacturers plate affixed close to the Tow hitch.

*This applies to trailers for personal use only and not commercial use, which will be treated as below, regardless of weight.

Trailers Over 750kg (Loaded)

- All trailers in Spain in this category are required to be registered independently of the Towing Vehicle, showing red coloured plates.

- Are required to hold a valid ITV.

- Are required to clearly display the registration plates of the towing vehicle.

- Are required to have Insurance separate to the towing vehicle.

- Are subject to payment of road tax.

- Are required to have the manufacturers plate affixed close to the Tow hitch.

*Cars towing a trailer of any size are limited to 80km/h (50 mph) on dual carriageways and motorways, and 70km/h (44 mph) on all other roads.

*Any vehicle stopped by the Guardia for towing a trailer that does not comply with the law will not only have the appropriates fines and penalties applied to it, but the trailer will be unable to continue it's journey with the car and as such accrue fees with the GRUA for forward delivery.

*In case of a car towing a caravan/trailer exceeding 12m, there must be two yellow reflectors at the rear of the towed caravan or trailer.

*Using an 'A-Frame' to Tow another car is strictly forbidden.

Bringing a trailer to Spain that was manufactured and purchased in the UK can be hugely problematic, complying with the law on towing trailer in Spain can be a little confusing, but it is important to be aware of the differences between UK and Spanish law. Ignorance is no argument in the eyes of the authorities and the Guardia can and will stop and fine anyone that they see to be towing a trailer that is in breach of the law.

Comment on this Article

What about hitchibg, dragging a m bike? Front wheel off the ground, locked clamped to the vehicle... Been told this is not allowed, must be on a trailer, but cant find anything to back this up..
Jack Jones - Wed 23rd Jan 2019
Spanish car, Spanish trailer. Stopped because I did not have the two chains on the trailer attached to the car. The Spanish car had no attaching hooks. I was told the chains must be padlocked to the ball. Fined 200. Is this the law?
John Dymond - Tue 30th Oct 2018
We are moving to Spain in September and are taking a trailer behind our will be 6ft wide and 8ft long and 4ft tall, it will be fully loaded with all our worldly there anything we should know b4 we set out? And whats the law on tryres? Like the Uk, do tyres on trailers have to have a date on them?
Paul - Sat 24th Jun 2017
Hi, Is the information regarding the requirements for a caravan under 750kg to have an ITV correct? I own a Spanish caravan under 750Kg and my research before buying it revealed that although it needs to have it's own Fichas Tecnicas, it does not need an ITV other then the one given when first produced. Having read this article, I popped down to Cruz Canvanas in Elche who confirmed this. Regards Bob
Bob Grant - Wed 31st Aug 2016
We have a UK caravan and a Spanish car for towing (at the moment in England). The advice above is unequivocal in that a 'trailer' over 750 kgs has to be registered, plated etc., etc. before being towed in Spain by a Spanish car. But your other blog under 'Can I register my UK caravan in Spain' says you have 6 months to do the necessary. So if we were only touring in Spain, then returning the 'van to England after a few months, could we tow it with the Spanish car for that period or does it have to go through the process? Seems impossible to satisfy the bureaucracy the moment you roll off the ferry! I do understand of course that whatever the finer points of the actual law, arguing the toss with The Guarda Civil at the side of the road isn't recommended even if technically in the right.
David Shelley - Thu 24th Mar 2016
John : As you have no doubt already found, it is best to avoid an A-Frame altogether and use a trailer for transporting your Car (Especially if it will fall in the under 750kg loaded category) - And yes, this is legal. HOWEVER, the other point you will need to observe is that if your combination comes to more than 12mt long you will need to observe different 'length markers' - usually of the same type as HGVs carry.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 16th Mar 2016
Is it legal to tow a british manufactured trailer carrying a smart car behind a british reg motorhome in Spain?
John Brown - Mon 14th Mar 2016
I've never been to Spain and I most certainly don't intend to.visit as the grapevine informs me about Brits who have moved a few miles across the border to avoid Spanish officialdom. Allegedly life in Portugal is better although one can still be fined for not having a permit which according to the Town Hall, does not even exist! As to small French trailers of the Erde and Daxara type, these come complete with a European Type Approval plate when purchased. Admittedly some are sold flat-packed so its up to the buyer to assemble them correctly. The last one that I built-up was actually manufactured in Vietnam (a former French colony) nevertheless if the Spanish Police are thumbing their noses at the Treaty of Rome something is wrong. As to EU tow-bar law, if the vehicle was built before 1998 it does not apply. The British two-bolt tow ball situation is also peculiar as if the car was built after 1998 there is supposed to be a little type approval sticker on the tow ball.
Davey - Sat 20th Feb 2016
Having looked at the article at the head of this page, which is recommended to everyone, i did answer as much as possible about the potential nightmare of trailing in Spain. Last post was 18.3.15. Since then - more comments, questions etc., well, best i can say is go to the nearest ITV or TUV centre and find out ! They will tell you what is legal and how much it would cost to get the paperwork sorted.
Ian M Holland - Thu 21st May 2015
does any one know what the numbers and letters stand for on a tow bar hitch,
John - Thu 14th May 2015
I have a Humbaur H130 trailer but no paperwork. It has manufacturer's plate and so I assume it has been homolgated by Spain. Is it possible to legalise it and if so what is the procedure?
John Richards - Fri 8th May 2015
Hi, I have been offered a trailer with european papers : What does this mean ? - Also, can i legally use this on my spanish van ?
Anthony - Mon 4th May 2015
Where can I buy a smart car trailer in Spain
Brenda - Sun 3rd May 2015
A difficulty in answering questions, about towing is the status, of the person involved (ie. UK or other EU resident) UK or other country registered car ....and so we go on ... the guidance in the article above makes most of the law quite clear - but NEVER cross international borders doing a favour for someone else like this - especially from UK to mainland europe. Whether tunnel or ferry crossing, just about every agency is surveying everything that moves - just think, ? are the car decks really secured on a crossing, or are the probes, dogs and other methods in operation unknown to the passenger - think about it ! Aso, as previously mentioned a while back, just because one has bought a trailer in UK doesnt mean it is guaranteed to be made in UK - so problems at importation in Spain are sure to arise - and it cannot just stay in Spain - it needs registration, have a log book, be ITV inspected (MOT) the proof of ownership, etched chassis impression, matching paperwork. gd luck !
Ian M Holland - Wed 18th Mar 2015
I have been asked to deliver a boat over 6meters to southern Spain it is on a fully braked and registered trailer. Apart from yellow reflectors what other requirements must be met? The trailer will stay in Spain.
Rory Jackson - Sun 8th Mar 2015
Excellent Feedback ! Thanks Ian.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 26th Nov 2014
Just going through several versions of the truth on this question of trailers in Spain under 750kg. It seems one can go to a trailer dealer who might - might - for the right money give a paper whcih would satisfy the Gardia. Or go to an ITV station and get the real truth, which i am about to do. Remember - there are several autonomous communities in Spain, and umpteen other layers of government, all of which think they are in charge ! Best service I ever had was from a TUV centre rather than an ITV centre. Trailers of this kind do need to go through a form of registration once only ! I think ! Warning today is that they dont like French trailers. mine is an ERDE and Spain ITV definitely doesnt like those - although Spain does sell them !!! When one says 'a UK trailer' it is important to know what make it is, that it has the plate and an impression can be taken off the chassis as well. Car must be insured for towing, and towbar if fitted to a spanish car also MUST be on ficha tecnica.
Ian M Holland - Wed 26th Nov 2014
How do you homologate a UK trailer under 750kgs? is it that hard a process? thanks
Eddie Chappell - Sun 23rd Nov 2014
Further to a previous message about trailer weights, does anyone know of a list of approved weights for trailers with brakes - relating to cars registered in Spain. As the fisca tecnica states the approved weight, surely there must be a list - but , like finding a bus timetable - it also seems to be secret !
Ian M Holland - Tue 4th Nov 2014
According to the police and Guardia a trailer under 750kg does not require a valid itv just registration papers.
Mark Langton - Mon 16th Sep 2013
can l tow a Spanish trailer with a British Reg car? if the number plate is made in Spain on the trailer but a British reg. Because l am going back to live in UK
Richard Gibson - Fri 30th Aug 2013
Chris, I agree with you - but unfortunately so many EU Driving regulations allow the induvidual member states to apply each of them as they see fit. As this allows so much discrepancy from country to country, the fault - in my opinion at least - lies with the EU and not necessarily with the Spanish authorities.
Tyler - Wed 15th May 2013
I have read at length many forums relating to towing with an A frame in Spain in particular. Surely when the new braking laws come into force in 2014 it should apply europe wide? Another thought is that a towed car becomes a trailer when towed by an A frame as in the UK and must comply with trailer and towing laws in the country of origin. Would I be right in saying that a vehicle is self propelled and driven by an operator/driver where a trailer does not require a driver or operator but is "trailed" behind the self propelled vehicle?
Chris - Tue 14th May 2013
A- frames are not totally legal in the UK either. The police class them as coming under trailer regulations requiring over-run brakes, etc...
Gus-lopez - Tue 26th Mar 2013
Charles : Frustrating as it is, most of the EU's law on all thing Motoring, mean that the induvidual Member States are allowed to apply certain aspects of the law at their own discretion. Until the EU becomes more strict on this, Spain can hardly be blamed for not following how other EU member states may or may not chose to interpret the regulations.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 17th Feb 2013
If any one questions why some Motorhomers needv to take cars to spain on holiday ... In my case I have 2 disabled people on board, when we arrive we park the motor home on site then we can enjoy the rest of Spain. It seems that Spanish car-caravan people can enoy their holidays - disabled or not - the law in Spain should be the same as EU law we are all Europeans !
Charles Piddington - Sun 17th Feb 2013
Lets hope somebody in power will be able to change this fact in 2013-14 amedments. ( Fact) : I have towing my car on all fores for 6 years to and from spain and heard of one case in which the guy took it euro courts and had is money returned.
Mr Piddington - Wed 3rd Oct 2012
Charles : A Frame trailers are not road legal in Spain at all.
Robster - Mon 1st Oct 2012
When towing trailers / towing caravans the spanish law should be the same the A frame on a tow car are the same break cable hand break the same safety chain the same tow hitch the same light fittings the same??? towing car on for wheels is the same a twin axel caravan ??? please explain the differance?
Charles Piddington - Fri 28th Sep 2012
George > I am guessing that this question is asked in preparation for you re-registering / homologating a UK trailer as a Spanish trailer ? If so, you could either see if the same make & model of trailer is widely sold in Spain or take it your local ITV station. The trailer will require an ITV before it can be registered anyway, and they will know the requirements.
Mekon - Mon 30th Jul 2012
What are the specifications for over 750kgs, such as double axles, hand brake, overide (thrust) brakes etc, as I want to tow my boat, and can't get any answers.
George Fee - Mon 30th Jul 2012
A Trailer of 750kg still needs to be registered if it is intended to be for commercial use.
J Timpson - Sat 21st Jan 2012
Not a lot of help! So, a trailer up to 750 kg (loaded) does not have to be registered, fine, However you state that it does have to have a "Ficha Tecnica". How is this obtained? Lightweight trailers are often sold (New), with no other papers than a receipt, are these then illegal?
John Shorter - Fri 20th Jan 2012
Trevor, if you mean that you were not given any Fichas Tecnicas when you bought the trailer - withouth this you can not ITV the trailer and as such it would not be road legal. If I were you I would take your reciept back to the place where you bought the trailer and ask them to supply the required documents.
Mr Grumpy - Thu 5th Jan 2012
I recently purchased a small trailer from Fuevert at carrefour and was given no paperwork, does this mean that it is not legal ?
Trevor Powell - Mon 21st Nov 2011