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Importing a car into Spain: this is how it is done

Importing a car into Spain: this is how it is done

When it comes to moving to a new country, moving your car can cause more than a headache. What formalities do I have to go through? What taxes do I have to pay? Which companies can arrange transportation for my car?

We will try to answer all these questions. Because sometimes the good life goes on wheels to run smoothly. 🚗

Procedures for importing a car into Spain

Bureaucracy is indeed a drag, but it is also necessary. Follow these steps to get all the paperwork in order and the process will be much more efficient.

Gathering the vehicle’s documentation

To import a car into Spain, you must have all the documentation in order. The documents you need are:

  • Sales contract. If you purchased it from a private individual, make sure you ask for a photocopy of their passport, telephone number and place of residence. If you bought it from a dealer, as is usually the case, the invoice must contain the company’s VAT number.
  • Vehicle data sheet. This is like the car’s identity card, and is issued, authorised and supervised by the Ministry of Industry. It contains the approval certificate, the owner’s ID number, the make, version, model and trade name of the vehicle, the license plate, tyre dimensions, car dimensions, maximum authorized mass, engine characteristics, VIN, number of seats and tare weight.
  • Certificate of conformity, attesting that the car passes the MOT test in the country of origin.
  • Photocopy of the seller’s passport or identity card and contact details. If you are a foreigner, you must obtain an official sworn translation.

Transporting the car

Once you have purchased the car and obtained all the documents we have just mentioned, you are ready for the last step: transporting it to Spain. This is where economic and logistical criteria come in. You might want to bring it yourself if you come from the European Union. Another option is to transport it by truck or boat. It all depends on the conditions they offer you, but we do advise you to negotiate as much as possible with the shipping company so that costs do not go through the roof.

But do not let this deter you. It is worth enjoying the paradises on the Spanish coast by making a road trip.

Importing a car into Spain

Passing the ITV, the Spanish equivalent of the MOT test

Good! Your car has arrived safely in Spain. Congratulations! The hardest part is over. Now it is time to pass the Spanish MOT or ITV so that it is considered fit to circulate on our roads.

To pass this test, you must provide the following documents:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership
  • Proof of payment of fees and taxes
  • Driver’s license of the owner
  • Vehicle insurance policy
  • Vehicle data sheet

Associated taxes

That is right, to import a car into Spain it is also necessary to pay taxes. There are not many of them, but the important thing is to be aware of their existence:

  • Registration tax on foreign vehicles. It corresponds to Form 576.
  • VAT for new vehicles or the Property Transfer Tax for second hand ones. If your car is from outside the EU, you will not pay VAT or PPT, but rather the SAD or Single Administrative Document, which is a tax on the entry into the country of an imported good.
  • Circulation tax, which varies depending on the Town Hall where you are registered.
  • Expenses associated with the change of ownership, so that the car is in your name. This is done at the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT).

Good! Now it is officially YOUR CAR!

Register the vehicle

If the car does not have European plates, you will have to register it in Spain and change the plates. And of course pay the registration fee.

You will have to make an appointment at the Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura de Tráfico) of the place where you are registered and present the following documents:

  • The regulatory application form, available at the Traffic Headquarters.
  • Your NIE and proof of address.
  • Original and photocopy of the proof of payment of the municipal vehicle tax (municipal tax on mechanical traction vehicles or IVTM) and the registration tax (special tax on certain means of transport), both available at the Traffic Headquarters.
  • Proof of payment of VAT in the country of origin.
  • Invoice for the purchase of the vehicle.
  • Certificate of conformity provided by the manufacturer.

Do not worry, if everything is in order, carrying out all this will be a piece of cake. If you want to know more about the procedures that must be carried out when moving to Spain and living here we tell you all about it in our blog.

As you know, at Sonneil we want to help you live the good life on the Mediterranean coast. The sun, the light and the sea are waiting for you.

International schools in Spain

International schools in Spain

Find the best international schools in Spain

Moving to another country is an adventure in which we hope that the new path will lead us to a better destination. If the transition is bearable, the experience will translate into growth, rather than becoming a hindrance on the way.

Among the decisions you will have to make, choosing a school for your children is one of the priorities if you decide to move to Spain. That is why today at Sonneil we will give you some tips on how to get to know the international school scene in Spain so you can choose the best school for your children.

Because the good life is also a good learning.

Educating your children in Spain

Congratulations! You have decided to set a new course in your life. Now all that remains is to offer the best possible education to your children in the new territory, so that they can enjoy the experience to the fullest and improve their present and, of course, future skills.

In this sense, you can find state schools or, if you prefer, you will have at your disposal a wide range of international schools in Spain.

International schools in Spain operate independently and follow their own curriculum, adapted to the educational system model of the country of origin. So, if you prefer to make the transition easier for your children, a school adapted to your country’s curriculum model is an excellent option.

International schools can follow a specific educational model -German, French, English…- but they offer a bilingual setting, so that your children can also learn Spanish.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Spain offers one of the most diverse and flexible international educational programmes in Europe, thanks to the large population of expatriates who decide to settle in the country.

(For their leisure time after all that studying, look everything you can do with kids in Alicante).

Brief guide | The ABC’s of international schools in Spain

  • Periods | There are international schools in Spain for all levels: from kindergarten to high school.
  • Costs | The costs of each school vary widely, depending on whether they are subsidized, public or private. As for the price, it can range, for instance, from 2,000 to 10,000 euros per year, depending on the coverage and subsidies.
  • Accreditation | If you are going to be in Spain during a certain period of time and then return to your country of origin, it is best to choose an education that can be validated. To do this, verify with your local embassy in your country that the school has the appropriate accreditation.
  • Check the curriculum and contact your fellow countrymen to find out their opinion and experience in a particular school.
  • Integration and follow-up system | When contacting your preferred schools, do not hesitate to analyse the willingness of the school management to help in the integration and follow-up of your child at school. The collaboration of teachers and the school management is essential to ensure a smoother integration.

Best international schools in Spain

Based on the comments of parents, the top international schools in Spain are the following:

If you were hesitating between a state school or an international school in Spain, we hope that this brief overview will help you understand the educational context a little more and serve as a support in the first days of your new life.

If you still have doubts on how to begin a new life in Spain, in our blog you can check out from all the necessary bureaucracy to the little paradises that make this part of the world a great place to live in.

And to make your transition even easier, at Sonneil we offer you apartments in Spain. We accompany you throughout the process and offer you advice on all aspects, so that you can find the home you are looking for. Our developments are designed to help you find the home you need.

Because a good life begins with a good home.

The adoption process in Spain

The adoption process in Spain

A new life in Spain can be accompanied by a decision as important as an adoption, so to create the home you have always dreamed of. In this sense, Spain is a flexible country regarding the requirements for adoption.

Because the good life is better when shared. 😊

What is adoption? A legal procedure to start a new family

Adoption is a process through which a family welcomes a homeless child, to offer all the vital, emotional and physical needs that a structured family offers.

Children looking for an adoptive family come from unstructured families, orphanages or unwanted pregnancies Thus, the host family commits to offer an environment of affectio and protection necessary for the development of the infant.

In this sense, the adoption process in Spain allows the adoption of a child to both Spaniards and foreigners. And although the process is strict to guarantee the protection of minors, it is true that the system is one of the most accessible in Europe. Because nothing should stand in the way of creating a family and a home. 👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👦

Even more, there are many things to do with your family. Here you can see the best plans in Alicante with kids!

Who can adopt? Requirements and legal framework in Spain

  • One of the parents must be at least 25 years old.
  • Both must be more than 15 years older than the adopted child.
  • The social services of the respective Autonomous Community (region) will determine through a rigorous evaluation process if the family is suitable to adopt the minor. The evaluation includes a psychological and economic certificate. The evaluation includes emotional state, maturity, nationality, or economic status of the couple, among others.
  • Depending on the Autonomous Community, the mother should not be over 40 in the case of babies. Each community sets the details of the criteria, for example, in Andalusia, the difference between mother and child cannot exceed 42 years.
  • Both parents must have lived together for at least two years.

These are the general lines, however, as mentioned before, each Autonomous Community has its own legislation.

FAQs about the adoption process in Spain

  • Can I adopt if I am a foreigner? The answer is positive, anyone who is a resident in Spain, whether Spanish or foreign, can request an adoption.
  • Can we adopt if we are an unmarried couple? A priori, it is easier for marriages. However, unmarried couples can also adopt, although the process involves more paperwork.
  • What does the law say about gay couples? Gay couples have full rights to adopt. However, they must be married.
  • Hown long is the waiting time? Although the wait is worth it, you should know beforehand that the time is long. It can vary between 8 and 20 months, depending on the context, the child’s nationality or the couple’s suitability for adoption.

Discovering Spain’s most magical corners with your family will make all of this worth it, for sure!

Procedures and adoption process in Spain

Although the adoption process in Spain is more flexible compared to other countries, it is true that from an administrative point of view it is a tough process that tests both future parents.

  • If the administration and supervision of social workers is harsh in national territory, this is complicated if the child is of foreign origin, since it may entail regulatory trips and periods of stay in his / her country of origin.
  • As for the paperwork, it may vary from one region to another, but the base is usually the same; a birth certificate, the marriage certificate (for a married couple), medical certificates, a certificate attesting to the absence of a criminal record, and a certificate certifying your income level. If you are from another country with a different language, it is necessary to officially translate the documents.
  • Regarding the stages of the process, once the analysis by social workers and the submission of the documents is done, relevant authorities finally accept or deny the granting of the adoption.
  • If the answer is positive, the minor spends a period of coexistence with the new adoptive parents, if everything goes well, finally the adoption is officially approved, and the minor is entered in the registry with the new parents’ surnames.

We wish you can create a family and enjoy your home in Spain as soon as possible. At Sonneil, we really want to help you, and that is why we offer you wonderful homes in Spain so that you can design a new life with your family.

Our homes are designed for you to find the house of your dreams!

Inheritance taxes in Spain. What do you need to know?

Inheritance taxes in Spain. What do you need to know?

Okay, the topic of taxes is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it is necessary to know the types of taxes in order to avoid any surprises. The inheritance tax is one of them.

Whenever there is a donation, inheritance or transmission within Spanish territory, the scale of rates of the well-known Inheritance and Donations Tax is applied automatically and without exception.

This is a tax that also applies to foreigners or owners in Spain, whether they are residents or not. Do you want to know more about the inheritance tax in Spain? Today at Sonneil we have prepared a guide for you with all the keys to understanding more about what exactly this tax consists of and how it is applied in your case.

And, if you want to know more about other taxes, here is information about all those that affect you.

What exactly is the inheritance tax in Spain?

The inheritance tax in Spain is known as the Inheritance and Donations Tax, and it is one of the taxes that generates the most revenue in Spain, affecting residents, non-residents and foreigners.

The Inheritance and Donations Tax is applied at the time of inheriting any type of property, whether real estate or monetary.

Thus, by accepting the inheritance, you also accept the payment of this tax, which is quite significant and can result in the loss of more than half of the inheritance, or you might even end up owing money.  Therefore, based on one’s economic situation, it is convenient to think twice if it is really advisable to accept an inheritance transmission.

The inheritance is received after payment of the tax due.

The deadline for settling the tax payment is 6 months with the possibility of extending this deadline by 183 days.

Or, optionally as long as the corresponding administration accepts it, it can be paid in installments.

Come on, come on, it’s not all taxes. Look at the places we enjoy in Spain!

The legislation in force

The donations tax is stipulated and regulated in the Spanish Civil Code although, in Spain, the regional system has variations on the specifics of this tax depending on the Autonomous Community.

Each Autonomous Community has its own criteria when levying the Inheritance and Donations Tax.

In this sense, inheritance taxes in Spain are assessed differently according to the Autonomous Community: a resident of Madrid may end up paying twice as much as a resident of, for example, Barcelona.

However, it should be noted that national or regional legislation may be applied to inheritances, depending on each case.

For example, for foreigners habitually resident in Spain whose period of residence is greater than five years, the Autonomous Community legislation on inheritance and donations apply.

National legislation is applied to non-habitual residents abroad and non-resident owners.

Who must pay the inheritance tax in Spain?

The tax must be paid on a mandatory basis if the heir:

  • Option A | Is resident in Spain, but receives assets from abroad.
  • Option B | Is also a foreigner, resident in Spain, and the assets received are in Spanish territory.

Inheritance tax rates

The inheritance tax in Spain is calculated based on factors such as age, residence, relationship with the deceased… All these factors are included in a calculation whose result indicates the percentage to be paid.

Therefore, it is difficult to establish in advance and in a general way the exact amount to be paid.

However, as a guide, let us look at some examples based on national legislation:

  • For an inheritance of € 8,000, you will pay approximately 8%.
  • For values between € 8,000 and € 32,000 the rate ranges from 8% to 12%.
  • For values between € 80,000 and € 240,000 the rate ranges from 16% to 22%.
  • € 240,000 – € 400,000: 25.5%
  • € 400,000 – € 800,000: 50%
  • And finally, values over € 800,000: 40%

*Approximate calculation

Now that you have some more information about the taxes that affect Spain, are you ready to take your place in the Mediterranean? At Sonneil we offer you apartments in Spain so that you can enjoy the good life on the coast whenever you want. Our promotions are designed to help you find the home you need, so all you have to worry about is enjoying it.

Because the good life is waiting for you.

How to get a mortgage in Spain

How to get a mortgage in Spain

If you don’t know how to get a mortgage in Spain, you will be so glad after reading this post! Did you know that the granting of mortgages in Spain is one of the most advantageous in Europe? This means that you can buy a property with minimum interest rates, and all this without the need to be a resident of Spain.

Because living the good life should be this easy, don’t you think?

Do you want to know how to get a mortgage in Spain? In today’s post we will give you some tips.

And here you can check out the requirements when buying a property in Spain. You fullfil them all, sure thing!

Mortgages in Spain, an opportunity in Europe

The mortgage legislation in Spain for the sale of property to foreigners or non-residents is one of the most advantageous compared to other European countries.

One of the main advantages has to do with the low interest rates of the transaction, as well as the flexibility to become an owner.

Main advantages

Exemption from payment of Stamp Duty

With the new mortgage law of 2019, mortgage holders have more advantages and flexibility, including the cancellation of associated costs such as registration fees or notary fees, among others.

Associated costs, such as Stamp Duty, are now the responsibility of the bank.

So, what do you have to pay in terms of associated costs? The fee for assessing the real value of the property, which varies between 300 and 500 euros, as well as the agreement fee, which is between 1% and 1.5%, depending on the bank. Although it should be noted that some banks are starting to assume these costs.

Low interest rates

Interest rates on mortgages in Spain are among the lowest in Europe. This has been the case for more than 30 years. 🙌🏻

Payment with foreign currency

If you come from a non-European country, the good news is that the mortgage payment can be made in any currency other than Euro. This also applies to UK citizens.

The advantages are great, right? Now, it is time to know how to get the mortgage and start discovering Spain as soon as possible. Keep on reading!

How to get a mortgage in Spain

General guidelines for getting a mortgage in Spain

  • For foreigners in Spain, as a general rule, a maximum of 60% or 70% of the value of the property is granted.
  • To obtain 80% or more of the financing, it is necessary to demonstrate that you have lived in Spain for at least two years, having made the relevant tax payments.
  • As for residency, it is not necessary to live in Spain: you can buy a home even if you spend only a few days a year in the country. However, in the case of non-residents, the interest rate is higher.

If you want to know how to get a mortgage in Spain, today at Sonneil we have prepared a guide with only 6 steps to get your dream apartment on the beach. 🏖

1. Prepare the appropriate documents for the bank. The mortgage should be signed with the bank that offers you the best guarantees. To do this, prepare all the necessary documents such as your payment slip and the ones concerning income, existing liabilities and the taxes you pay. An official translation of each and every document is required, such as a copy of your passport or your income sources if you work abroad.

2. Receive the offer. The bank will then make you a personalised offer based on your situation.  Please note that the first offer is not always the best.

3. Open an account to make your mortgage payment.

4. Compare and accept the offer. It is time to compare counter-offers with your bank.

5. Sign the final mortgage documents.

6. Contract additional services, such as insurance.

Do you want to have your place reserved in the Mediterranean paradise? At Sonneil we offer you apartments on the beach and we accompany you through the whole bureaucratic process, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Our developments are designed to help you find the home you need, and all you have to worry about is enjoying yourself.

Because that’s what life is for. Don’t you think?

How to buy real estate in Spain: requirements

How to buy real estate in Spain: requirements

Are you looking for your dream home in the best place in the world? First of all, make sure you know how to buy real estate in Spain and meet all the requirements.

Also, here you can check out the taxes and cost of purchasing property in Spain.

How to buy real estate in Spain

Everything in life has its requirements. Buying a house in Spain is no exception. (Certainly fewer than for finding a partner).

Identification Number for Foreigners or NIE

If you are a foreigner, among the steps of the house buying process in Spain, obtaining a NIE is one of the most important. It is an identification document that foreigners who are connected to Spain must have. It is necessary either to work in a Spanish company, to become a Spanish resident or, as is the case, to buy a house. This number is personal, unique and exclusive.

You have two options: you can apply for it from your home country or once you are in Spain. To find out how to do this, check out our post on how to obtain a NIE.

If you are Spanish, we assume that you have a Tax Identification Number or NIF. Either that, or you are a hermit. 


If we ask ourselves how to buy a house in Spain or anywhere else, we will all come up with the same answer: money. Unless the day comes when houses fall from the sky, we need cash, bucks, gold, dough, chips, bread.

You may already have this figured out. Problem solved! If this is not the case, you can apply for a mortgage loan to buy a house in Spain. You should visit several banks to find out about the conditions.

Sign an earnest money contract

Relax, it’s not like you’re marrying someone. The earnest money contract is usually signed prior to the signing of the deeds before a notary public. It’s a sales agreement. Buyer and seller make a commitment and the buyer pays a portion of the final price. Therefore:

  • The buyer reserves the right to purchase.
  • The seller undertakes to deliver the property.

Prevention of Money Laundering

It sounds like a Scorsese movie, but it is a mere formality (although essential for buying your home). Since the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering was passed in 2010, anyone who wants to buy a home in Spain must justify the origin of the money that will be used to do so.

To this end, you need to sign a document provided by the developer or real estate agency. It includes your data, economic and professional situation and the origin of the funds.

Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it actually is. 😉

If you are lucky enough to find the house of your dreams in Spain, you might need some advice on the moving process.

How to buy real estate in Spain: tips

Our tips are like an apple a day at keeping stress away. You can take them if you want or decide not to. (But it’s better to play it safe).

Hire a lawyer

Paperwork can overwhelm us all at times. To avoid any concerns, hire a specialist lawyer and stop worrying about how to buy a house in Spain. The lawyer may represent you before the notary public, carry out procedures on your behalf, handle your application for a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE), etc. It is important to hire the services of a lawyer before signing any type of document or paying deposits.

You can start looking for housing lawyers on the AIPP or the RICS member lists.

Just behave better than De Niro in Cape Fear.

Foreign Exchange Specialist

When transferring large amounts of money to another country, or doing so on a regular basis, it is best to hire a currency specialist. The specialist will get you a more favourable exchange rate, acting almost like a superhero!

Normally, their services cost between 3 and 4% of the exchange rate. Trust us: you will save a lot of money. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are as safe as a traditional bank.

Opening a bank account

More than a procedure for buying a house, opening a bank account in Spain is a recommendation. This way, you will avoid headaches when making transfers, paying bills by direct debit, etc. Find out about the conditions of the accounts offered by the different banks. It’s a drag, yes, but it’s worth it!

Do you want a Golden Visa?

If you are a non-EU citizen, you might be interested in getting a Golden Visa. This is a residence visa that is granted to non-EU citizens who buy a property in Spain with a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros.

So, if you were thinking of investing almost that amount, pour a little more in and you will become a Spanish resident.

Now that you have a clearer idea of the requirements for buying a house in Spain, it’s time to start looking for it! At Sonneil we offer you homes in the best areas of the coast. You just have to fulfill one more requirement: to be a good life lover