Spain does not have a system to issue personalised licence plates. It does however have a system to identify and recognise Classic Cars. Cars that qualify can achieve the status of being certified as a ‘historical vehicle’. Classic Cars with this status can be registered with historical licence plates, so the owner can enjoy the kudos of having their beloved motor officially recognised and marked as a Classic Car.
Getting ‘historical vehicle’ status for a Classic Car, also brings with the added perks of cheaper insurance, longer gaps between ITV´s and road tax exemption.
The starting qualifying criteria is the age of the car, the qualifying age being 30 years. The age for a Classic Car in Spain used to be 25 years, however was changed to 30 years in May 2018. This change was not retrospective. Classic Cars that already had historical number plates kept them, so there are cars with these plates that are less then 30 years old.
Aside from being old enough, a car must be in original condition to qualify as a ‘historical vehicle’ i.e. not modified or changed since it left the factory.
Whilst in most cases age will be the determining factor for a vehicle to achieve ‘historical’ status, there are other ways a vehicle could make the grade, e.g. if it is listed in the Spanish Register of Heritage Cars, or if it is of cultural interest due to rarity or it’s association with a specific event.
The Process to Register a Classic Car with Historical Number Plates in the Costa del Sol
If a Classic Car meets the qualifying age and original condition criteria, the first step in the process to register a Classic Car with historical number plates, is cataloguing of the vehicle.
Cataloguing a Classic Car for Historical Vehicle Approval in the Costa del Sol
This is a process that has to be undertaken by an official Historical Vehicle Laboratory that is authorised by the Regional Government (Autonomous Community). In the Costa del Sol, it is the Junta de Andalucia that regulates the laboratories that catalogue historical vehicles.
In the cataloguing process the vehicle is examined by an approved Vehicle Technical Engineer from the Historical Vehicle Laboratory. They determine whether or not in their opinion the car qualifies, and prepare a detailed report and submission to be presented to the Junta to get the ‘historical vehicle’ status approval.
Along with the report, the submission has to include a:
- certificate certifying the characteristics and authenticity of the vehicle1
- statement explaining the reason why the vehicle could be classified as historic2
- technical characteristics sheet (ficha tecnica reducida)
1,2 These can also be provided by a recognised Classic Car Club.
The Junta de Andalucia website has pages providing information about the cataloguing process and requirements, as well as lists of authorised laboratories and recognised Classic Car Clubs.
Historic Vehicle Qualifying Pre-requisites
Historic Vehicle Cataloguing Procedure & Laboratories
Presenting the Historic Vehicle Case
The application is submitted online. This requires a digital certificate, and once submitted it is a case of waiting, (usually months) for a response.
When the ‘historical vehicle’ status has been granted, the vehicle can then proceed to the next steps. This is the technical inspection and then registration at trafico, (DGT).
Classic Car Technical Inspection for Historical Registration
To get the technical registration papers (ficha tecnica’s), for the historical registration, the Classic Car has to go through an historical inspection at the ITV. Like a regular ITV, the inspection checks that the Classic Car is road worthy, it also checks that the ‘historic vehicle’ approval tallies.
Assuming all is present and correct, the vehicle will pass the inspection and the technical papers will be issued. Road tax (IVTM) and registration fees must then be paid and the paperwork submitted to the DGT to obtain the historical registration number.
If the Classic Car is from another country, and being registered in Spain for the first time, a 13% registration tax will apply calculated on the current value of the vehicle.
Getting a Classic Car Registered with Historical Number Plates in the Costa del Sol
The inspection and final registration parts of the process to register a Classic Car with historical number plates are relatively straight forward. The most important part is the cataloguing of the vehicle and submission to the Junta de Andalucia. If this has mistakes, things missing or is otherwise not well prepared, getting the approval from the Junta de Andalucia will drag on for months or inevitably fail.
If you are considering registering a Classic Car with historical number plates in the Costa del Sol, it is advisable to use a company that specialises in handling the process.
For more information about getting your Classic Car registered as a historic vehicle, details of the costs, or to find out if it qualifies, click on the link below to send us your enquiry.
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