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Buying a Car in Spain

- Updated: 02/10/2013

Information on how, as a foreigner in Spain, you can buy a new or used car. Information includes information on what forms to fill out and how to find your local traffic department (Jefatura de Trafico)

Buying a Car in Spain

Buying a car

Buying a car in spain is easy and any foreigner may buy a spanish-registered car in spain. however, when buying a car in spain, you must be able to provide ONE of the following documents:

  • An official residence permit
  • Proof that they are a spanish home owner (by showing title deeds)
  • Documentation as proof of being a registered inhabitant of a town in spain (a Certificado de Empadronamiento - available from the town hall)
  • A rental contract for a duration of minimum one year
  • An NIE/NIF number

A new or used vehicle bought (or leased) from a dealership will almost certainly include the registration and ownership transfer to be handled by the dealer. The dealer may also offer insurance contracts (it is a legal requirement for all vehicles to be insured. Because 21% IVA is applicable to all new cars it is usually attractive for those that are self employed (autonomo) to buy a new vehicle and reclaim some of the IVA.

Used cars are widely available from dealers or private sellers.

The seller is responsible for providing the following:

  • Proof of roadworthiness (a valid itv test certificate)
  • Proof the chassis number corresponds with that on the vehicles registration document (Permiso de Circulación)
  • A transfer of ownership form (Transferencia)
  • Receipt to show proof of paid-up car tax
  • A dealer should supply a warranty and service history

The buyer must apply for the renewal of the vehicle's registration document at the local traffic department (Jefatura de Tráfico) within 30 days of purchase.

A foreign buyer will need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of habitation in spain as outlined above (proof by means of residence card, NIE certificate or Certificado de la Policía, property title deeds or rental contract)
  • The vehicle's paperwork (blue and pink copies of the ITV test)
  • Original of the Certificado Único
  • Proof of up-to-date payments of vehicle tax (original and copy)

In an effort to try to get some of the less environmentally efficient cars off the road, the spanish government has been running a scheme known as the Prever Plan since 1 january 2004: the government will contribute to the cost of the new car when an old vehicle is traded in against a new one. It is worth asking at your car dealership for more information.

Get Your Car Insurance Quote By Clicking Here Today

Comment on this Article

There is a person I know who has brought a car over to Spain from the UK in May 2016 it is still on UK plates - surely this is illegal ? Who do you inform ?
Jack Emmerson - Wed 19th Jul 2017
Its well worth looking at importing a car from Germany into Spain as you get a better specification and can save 20% VAT if buying from Germany in a EU company. The import costs and paperwork on a 40K car are approximately 1500€ and took 3 weeks to get it on Spanish plates
Anna - Tue 2th May 2017

Mr Stone : If by "New" you mean "Brand new, from the dealer", then this should not be necessary, as it will be done for you as a first registration of the vehicle.

However, if "New to you" (and therefore a used car), this can be done for you by almost every Gestor, and a few specialist agencies who charge quite reasonable prices. Generally they are located very close to the Offices of the Jefatura (where they can do your transaction in person), however they can liaise with you over the phone or by post.

If you ARE buying a used car we would recommend you first read our guide by clicking the link >>HERE<<

Tumbit - Admin - Tue 1st Dec 2015
Can I transfer the ownership of my new vehicle at a Gestoria.? I'm a little confused on where to go. Thank you in advance for your help. Mr Stone
Mr R B Stone - Mon 30th Nov 2015

Mr Stone, there is no such office in Benissa - the closest Jefatura del Trafico is in Alicante City : Ferre Vidiella, 4 (corner San Juan Bosco, 12) / Phone: 965 125 466

Tumbit - Admin - Mon 30th Nov 2015
I am buying a car in Spain and need to put it into my name where is my local Jefatura de Trifico in Bennisa? I have property in Spain so I need a car, thank you for your help. Ronald Barry Stone
Mr R Stone - Mon 30th Nov 2015