Driving a Foreign Registered Vehicle in Spain

Basic Rules

As a general rule, a non-resident can drive a foreign registered vehicle in Spain for up to six months in a calendar year. However for a Spanish resident, itís just 30 days from the date the vehicle first entered the country. In all cases the vehicle needs to be fully legal in the country of current registration. So for example, if you have a UK vehicle then it must be taxed, have a current MOT and of course be insured.




If you drive your vehicle for longer than this, Spanish authorities may consider that you are importing the vehicle and issue you with a notice to pay the import taxes and customs duties if applicable as well as an associated fine.


When driving in Spain, it is mandatory to carry a driving licence, original vehicle registration document (logbook), passport or ID card and for a foreign registered vehicle proof of insurance. If your driving licence is non EU then you may also need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Proof of Entry

Itís also essential when driving a foreign vehicle that you have adequate proof of when your vehicle entered Spain, in case you're stopped as the onus will be on you to provide this. Normal proof could be a ferry ticket, eurotunnel receipt, border crossing documentation (such as a stamped date in your passport), toll receipts that show the date and time of entry or a transport company delivery note and invoice.


When stopped, if you cannot satisfy the police or Guardia Civil that your car hasnít outstayed itís welcome then they are within their rights to impound your vehicle. To retrieve your vehicle you will have to pay any fines issued along with any tow truck and storage fees. You may also have to pay any import taxes or customs duty if applicable. (You will also need to show a valid drivers licence and proof of insurance when you collect the vehicle).

If your vehicle has been impounded we can usually help so please donít hesitate to get in touch if you find yourself in this unenviable position. Likewise, if you have a foreign registered vehicle that you would like to register on to Spanish plates, please donít hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Get a Free No Obligation Quotation

If you'd like us to supply you with a price for importing your UK registered vehicle on to Spanish Number Plates then click on the button below and we'll be happy to provide you with a no obligation quotation, completely free of charge.