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Selling your Car in Spain

- Updated: 13/01/2014

The proceedure of selling your car in Spain is not as simple as you might think - find out how to avoid the pitfalls.

Selling your Car in Spain

When you decide to sell your car in Spain , and you have found a buyer, you first need to obtain and complete a transfer of ownership form (Notificación de Transferencia de Vehículos, usually simply called a transferencia) - available from your Provincial Traffic Department. This needs to be done in duplicate as one copy is given to the buyer and the other sent to the traffic department. (Always best to keep a photocopy for your own records aswell)

Upon completion of the sale you are required to pay a transfer tax (Impuesto sobre transmisiones patrimoniales y actos jurídicos documentados/ ITP), which is currently 4% of the value of the car. This value is decided by the tax office, which publishes a list of values for all new cars sold in Spain. This is reduced each year (e.g. by 12 per cent when a vehicle is between one and two years old) until it’s ten or more years old, when the fiscal value is 10 per cent of the new value. It’s the responsibility of the seller to pay the tax, and most sellers include this tax in the sales price (so check in advance what it is, and factor this in to your selling price if needs be !)

The tax must be declared on form 620 (Compra-Venta de vehículos usados entre particulares), which you can pick up from a tobacconist ( estanco) or tax office ( hacienda), and paid within 30 days of selling your car. Payment is made at the provincial tax office (Consejería de Hacienda) of the regional government. You can use a gestor or other specialist company to the paperwork for you.

When selling a car you also need to ...

• Complete, sign and date the reverse of the registration document (Permiso de circulación) under the section transferido and take it directly to the provincial traffic department along with your other car papers, such as the ITV test certificate, municipal tax receipt and a form from your local town hall on which you’ve de-registered your ownership (for municipal tax reasons)

• Inform your insurance company that the vehicle has been sold - stop the policy and arrange a rebate.

• If you’re selling your car privately, insist on payment in cash or with a banker’s draft ( cheque bancario), which is standard practice in Spain. If you cannot tell a banker’s draft from a personal cheque, insist on cash.It is not recommended to accept a personal cheque

• Include in the receipt the price paid, the car’s kilometre reading and a statement that you’re selling the car in its present condition ( Bought as seen ) without a guarantee ( sin garantía), and get the buyer to sign this.

Although it’s the buyer’s responsibility to re-register the vehicle in his name within 30 days of purchase, many fail to do this (to avoid paying a change of registration fee of €42.60), so unless the buyer accompanies you to the tax or government office, it’s in your interest to pay this fee (you must present a bill of sale signed by the buyer). If the buyer then fails to re-register the vehicle, you won’t receive any fines for parking and motoring offences committed by him, which you would otherwise.

You should also be aware that thieves can sometimes pose as buyers. Never allow a prospective buyer to drive your car alone or even to sit in the driving seat when you aren’t in the car (unless you retain the ignition keys). There have been a number of incidents where theives drive off with cars after duping the owner into getting out.

Comment on this Article

I am inheriting a classic car from my late uncle which is based in Madrid, which I do not want, as need to sell to pay spanish IHT. How do I sell the car without transferring it into my name? As it will devalue it?
Anna - Sat 27th Oct 2018
We bought a car in Tenerife a few weeks ago (1300 Euros) to move ourselves from La Palma to the UK. (We were in La Palma for 4 months and registered as resident there.) Now we are in the UK and would like to sell the car. It's very old (2000, petrol Berlingo) so companies are offering 200 GBP for it here. In that case, we thought it best to return to Spain and sell it. But we can't work out if it's worth it. We know we'd have to pay tax for bringing from Tenerife to Spain but can't work out how much. Also are there other charges we'd need to pay?
Chris - Thu 11th Jan 2018
Emilya : This shouldn't be a problem as it is only the Certificate itself that is Temporary - The NIE number issued to you does not expire, and will remain the same forever.
Big Doug - Wed 16th Mar 2016
Hello, I bought a car in Spain and I issued temporary NIE that was valid for 3 months. Now I want to sell the car as I will move in a month, do I need an NIE again to sell the car? Thank you , Emiliya
Emiliya - Mon 14th Mar 2016
I am going to buy a car in England that is registered in Spain from a ex service men how do I transfer the paper work so I can bring it back to Spain for myself
George - Sun 4th Oct 2015
I sold my car to a guy in Spain. we went and go it registered in his name. i never go a bill of sell. Know the guy want his money back for the car because it not what he wanted. This is a privately sell of a car. I stop my insurance, he payed cash to me, but when we registered the car we sing paper at the register office for the amount i never got those papers. Can this guy come after me for that money?
Peter - Fri 14th Aug 2015
Many thanks for that as it gives me a rough idea... I'll try and track down the one for Catalunya. Gerard
Gerard - Mon 12th Jan 2015
Gerard : Most Regional DGT Offices have their own website, which has a Vehiicle Valuation Calculator - I haven't run the exercise to see if there is any difference in value for the same model car across various areas of Spain, but the website for the relevant DGT page in Cantabria ( CLICK HERE ) might be a good place to start for a general rule of thumb.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 11th Jan 2015
Hello and thanks in advance. Can you provide me with the website that give Spanish government valuations for cars. I am planning to sell my car and understand the seller is liable for this tax. The car is Spanish registered and Spanish spec. Many thanks
Gerard - Sat 3rd Jan 2015
If you sell a car privately, are you then liable for any kind of warranty on that vehicle after its been sold?
Lee - Fri 19th Dec 2014
Hi. I bought a car last year and the seller moved to another country. I have also been away all year so never managed to complete the transfer. My fault I know. I had it insured and ITV'd so all was legal in this part of it. I need to know what I can do about the transfer now. I have the original transfer documentation but will I now have to start the process all over again? This would of course entail sending all new documents to this person abroad. Is there any way around it? Thank you in anticipation.
Killie Spain - Sat 25th Oct 2014
Hi there, I sold my car in July. As you say the buyer has failed to transfer the vehicle into his name. I am a Spanish resident, he is not and does not have an NIE so I am unable to deregister the car at Trafico. They told me not to worry as I have a contract and purchase invoice but of course I am. It is my belief he is selling the car on and will register the sale in the new buyers name straight from mine to avoid paying the transfer tax. What can I do? Thank you in advance
Steve - Mon 8th Sep 2014
What is the government website that shows official government valuations in Spain? I did have a note of this. I believe It is 6 letters starting with a 'C'? I can't find this anywhere, any help would be appreciated. Peter
Peter - Wed 3rd Sep 2014
Thanks to tumbit-admin it was a good help !
Peter Carver - Wed 7th May 2014
Peter : Until such a time that you can complete the Permiso and ensure that the change of ownership has been processed by the DGT, the vehicle legally remains the vendor's property, so no.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 6th May 2014
can a dealer change registration before you sell him the car even if he has some of the documents but not the permiso de circulacion and a signed bit of paper to say he can buy it
Peter Carver - Tue 6th May 2014
Hi, I am trying to buy a 2 year old car, registered in 1975, for export from Spain to the UK. I am a UK passport holder and will not be driving the car in Spain or living in Spain. The car is for export only. My questions are, 1. Do I need a valid NIE number to buy the car even though I am living in Spain. 2. Can I buy the car without a NIE number. 3. The car is for export, do I need to pay the transfer tax at the trafico. Is this tax only for vehicles remaining in Spain. 4. Do I have to re-register the car in Spain even though it is being exported and will be registered in the UK. Please provide any useful info and links. Looking forward to your reply
Ozzie - Mon 3rd Feb 2014
Varinder : You can do this by going in person to your Provincial DGT Office and asking them to verify the name of the current owner, OR waiting for your next Road Tax Bill. Bad news if you get one, good if you don't.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 13th Oct 2013
I sold my car through a garage. I paid the transfer fee and have been told that the relevant transfer documents have been submitted. I have no proof of this. How can check with the authorities that the documents have, in fact, been lodged?
Varinder Singh - Sun 13th Oct 2013
Marie : This is one of those occasions where contracting the services of a Gestor would definitely be recommended. Aside from them knowing the local laws, they will be able to liaise in person with the Provincial DGT Office on your behalf.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 29th Jul 2013
My mother died in Ibiza and left me a car but I need to sell it out there and ive been told I cant as im not a resident of Ibiza. how do I go about it? any ideas or advice would be so grateful.
Marie - Fri 26th Jul 2013
If I fill out the Baja do I just send to DGT or do they need other documents. Your advice is much appreciated, many thanks louise
Louise - Mon 24th Jun 2013
Louise : In Short, No. SUMA is basically a collection agency working on behalf of the DGT (amongst others). Unless and until the DGT change their details you will continue to get billed each year. You might want to read our Guide on ”How, Why and When to ‘Baja’ a Vehicle in Spain” by clicking the link shown.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 24th Jun 2013
we sold our Spanish registered car in july last year to a garage in the uk who told us they would sort all the necessary paper work. However we have just received a suma bill for this year and have been told by the suma office that the vehicle is still registered to us. If I send the receipt of purchase to the suma to prove the vehicle was sold last year would we still have to pay this years suma ?
Louise - Mon 24th Jun 2013
Okay, thanks. But this was a brand new car so technically we will be first owners so am guessing we are liable for the tax AND we will be liable for this years tax on the car we sold last month! unfair but that is the system I guess
Barbara - Mon 18th Mar 2013
Barbara : In theory yes, but in practice many Garages do not actually own the cars that they are selling. Many 2nd hand cars are legally owned by the previous owner and then transferred straight into the new owner's name once sold as this reduces costs and responsibilities of the Garage. I would make sure that you see written evidence of the Tax being paid before you agree any purchase.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 18th Mar 2013
Well if that is correct then so be it. We bought our new car direct from the garage so presumably they will have paid the SUMA on the new one so at least we wont be paying 2 lots! which is what I had thought. But, I will need the SUMA receipt from the garage wont I ?
Barbara - Mon 18th Mar 2013
Barbara : Yes, this is correct. It might seem unfair, but this ruling also works in YOUR favour if and when you are buying another car.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 18th Mar 2013
We sold our car in February. We have just received the SUMA bill for that car. The man that bought our car has told me we are liable to pay the full amount as we were owners of the car on 1st Jan, but this doesn't seem very fair? Can anyone clarify
Barbara - Mon 18th Mar 2013
Mike : Is it a UK or Spanish registered vehicle ?
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 30th Jan 2013
My car is in Spain and I am having it scrapped in Spain. Right now how do I go about this with an assurance that it will be scrapped. I am in the UK and will be going to spain in March for a week is there anything I can do before I leave the UK so as to ensure all goes well when i am there?
Mike Jupp - Wed 30th Jan 2013
John : This is one of those times when a good Gestor is worth their weight in gold ! - She should start by gathering copies of the will (assuming there is one, and regardless of which country it was drawn up in) and any proof of co-habitation. The Gestor should then be able to petition for a change in ownership with the DGT.
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 22th Nov 2012
My friends partner has just died they were not married and she wants to sell the car, Is she able to legaly do this as its not in her name ?
John Henderson - Thu 22th Nov 2012
Re my earlier comments and response from Mark Woodward - Yes, my old car was covered by a different policy from the new one. I was always covered by Linea Directa but it refused to cover me on a new Seat. For this reason, and as my insurance was due to expire the day before I was changing cars, I took cover with Liberty. Liberty ended up charging me for a few days' cover - they insisted on covering the old car until the change of ownership was proven - and as this appears to be normal in Spain I accepted the explanation and charges. (Liberty cancelled the existing policy and issued a new one, it wasn't an adjustment. My broker advised that Insurers will only make adjustments to the drivers of a vehicle policy, they cannot adjust the vehicle details.)
Scooby - Tue 5th Jun 2012
I Bought a car 2004 in Tenerife and later shipped it to mainland Spain and on to Portugal where is has been garaged.However now decided to return to UK but wish to sell car to UK person in Spain. So I need to reregister the car in Spain and sort out road fund tax so should I do this first prior to sale or do whole thing at once ? How do you find a gestor and what would be the total sum of charges involved ? Help much appreciated.
Bernard Hoskins - Tue 5th Jun 2012
You are right, Spanish companies do not generally give refunds however there are some companies -such as Ibex who would treat your change of vehicle as a mid-term adjustment to the policy simply substituting cover from one vehicle to another. If however this is NOT possible due to certain circumstance a pro rata refund would be issued before a new policy is incepted. The full cost of one days cover should have been fully explained to you by Liberty or their agent and you can request a full breakdown of the costs involved but it is unlikely to change the outcome. Was the old car not covered on a different policy to drive to pick up the new one?
Mark Woodward - Sun 13th May 2012
"Inform your insurance company that the vehicle has been sold - stop the policy and arrange a rebate." Generally this is not possible in Spain. Linea Directa do not give refunds for any unused part. They point out that it is an agreement for cover for a year, and if you pay monthly and stop your payments they can (and in these times of crisis, they do) take you to court for the balance. Other companies - such as Liberty - do give refunds but take massive "handling charges." I needed cover for 1 day when I was buying a new car (to drive to the garage to p/x it) and I paid nearly 320€ for the year's cover but my refund was less than 260€, so I think Liberty ripped me off.
Scooby - Sat 12th May 2012