There are many UK vehicles on roads in Spain, especially in the summer months when numbers driven by tourists swell, an equally large number are kept here by holiday home owners and also by people who have moved to Spain and who now live here permanently. If you’ve brought your car from the UK, bought one that’s already here, or are considering buying one, the following information is useful to know if you are considering registering a UK vehicle to Spanish number plates.
For any UK vehicle in Spain to be issued with Spanish number plates (placas de matricula), it has to go through a special ‘importation’ process to make sure that it is legally compliant, (homologado), and then it has to be registered with the various authorities that govern vehicle ownership, licensing, tax and driving.
Our specialists divide the task of registering a UK vehicle to Spanish plates, into the 3T’s – Technical, Tax, and Trafico.
Registering a UK Vehicle to Spanish Number Plates – Technical
As we’ve mentioned, the vehicle must comply with Spanish rules and so the process begins with the homologation checks of the vehicle, i.e. ensuring and certifying and that it meets the Spanish legal standards, specifications and other requirements. Therefore:
- The vehicle must be presented for and pass the ITV (MOT) from which a – Ficha Tecnica is obtained, certifying the car as roadworthy and mechanically legal.
- If your vehicle has an EU Homologation number, you will need proof of the homologation specification of the vehicle, with a Certificate of Conformity from the car´s manufacturer.
- This confirms that the vehicle meets the EU legal technical requirements to be imported into Spain. These should have been with your documentation when you originally purchased the car. If not then you will have to obtain the Spanish equivalent known as a Ficha Tecnica Reducida from a qualified technician.
- You will also need to have your passport and NIE cert/Resident card, when attending the appointment.
Registering a UK Vehicle to Spanish Number Plates – Tax
Armed with your Ficha Technica and your documents, including your proof of address (via Padron certificate, deeds or rental contract), you can head to the local Town Hall (Ayutamiento) to pay the required Local Taxes –
- Vehicle Tax – IVTM (Impuestos Sobre Vehiculos de Traccion Mecanica)
You then need to head on to Hacienda to pay the:
- Special Tax – Modelo 576 (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte)
Registering a UK Vehicle to Spanish Number Plates – Trafico
With the Technical and Tax taken care of, you now have to present documentation at the DGT, the same as if you were completing a Transfer of Ownership i.e.
- Your Passport.
- NIE or Residencia card.
- Proof of Address (again)
- The Ficha Tecnica (Inspección Tecnica de Vehiculos) that you have obtained by successfully passing the ITV.
- Original vehicle documents from country of origin (which will be retained, so if you need a copy to terminate on-going vehicle taxes in the country of origin, you need to get one before you go to Trafico)
- Receipt for Circulacion Tax and Importation Tax.
- And pay another fee – this time to the DGT
Once this is all done you will be given a document, the Permiso de Circulacion, which confirms that the car is registered in Spain and now has a Spanish registration number (matricula). All that is now left to do is take this Permiso de Circulacion, to your nearest number plate supplier and purchase your shiny new Spanish number plates to replace your old foreign ones.
Whether you are bringing a car straight from the UK for the first time to be registered to Spanish number plates, or looking to register a vehicle that’s already in Spain, the process is essentially the same – it’s not straight forward, it’s time consuming, and if you don´t get it right, it can cost you much more money than you bargained for. So whilst we offer this information as a general guide, if you are like most people we speak to, it’s likely that you’ll probably be best off getting someone who knows exactly what they are doing to either do the whole job for you, or at very least managing or guiding you through the process.
Click here to find out about our services for registering a foreign vehicle in Spain, and request your FREE comprehensive personalised foreign vehicle import and registration report.