After buying a house, the next biggest investment that most people make is in buying a car. For many expats living in Spain this comes with the extra added procedure and cost of transporting a car to Spain from their country of origin. The following is Sonneil’s guide to the process involved in registering your car in Spain. 

If you are a Spanish resident you must register the car in Spain within 30 days, if you are not a Spanish resident you can drive the car in Spain for up to six months before you must get it registered.

To register your car you will need to go to the Jefatura de Traffico, offices of which can be found in Alicante or Elche and present 

  • – the obligatory application form, available from the local Jefatura de Tráfico.
  • – your NIE, and proof of address.
  • – The original and a photocopy of the Receipt of payment of the local car tax (impuesto municipal sobre vehículos de tracción mecánica/IVTM) and registration tax (impuesto especial sobre determinados medios de transporte), both of which are available at the Jefatura de Tráfico
  • – Proof of payment of VAT in country of origin
  • – Receipt of purchase of the vehicle
  • – Certificate of Conformity (Certificado de Conformidad) available from manufacturer 

A translation of the vehicle documents into Spanish may also be required.

The Spanish vehicle registration offices have also requested proof that the vehicle has not been reported as stolen. 

ITV inspection

The vehicle inspection process for roadworthiness in Spain is called the ITV, Inspection Technica de Vehiculos and it is mandatory.  The first inspection of a brand-new car or motorcycle must be carried out four years after registration. After that it will be every 2 years until the vehicle is ten years old, after which inspections must be carried out every year.

After passing the ITV a sticker will be attached to the windshield bearing the ITV date as proof after verification. It should be noted that there is no grace period with regards to completing the ITV. Even if you miss the deadline for inspection by a few days you risk being fined. 

Deregistering a car

In the event of deregistration, the relevant forms must be filled in at the Traffic Office in Alicante (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico).

In case of theft, you must report to the National Police or Guardia Civil, who will issue you with a document (Justificante) acknowledging that you have reported the vehicle as stolen, which you must bring to the Traffic Office to have the car deregistered.