Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to many of the popular questions that we are regularly asked. We've tried to cover the most common areas of the import, registration and legal process, but there are many aspects to re-registering a vehicle on to Spanish plates, so do feel free to ask us any other questions you may have.
Coronavirus - Can I import my vehicle at the moment? Coronavirus is the single biggest concern for most people right now and has of course made many things grind to a halt here in Spain. Under the current state of emergency all ITV testing stations have closed so it is impossible to carry out vehicle imports at the moment. Likewise the DGT / Tráfico offices are also currently closed to the public.
Brexit - Can I import after the "Transition Period" ends?
Brexit and it's implications seem to have faded into the background at the moment, but it's worth bearing in mind that under current rules, vehicles imported after the end of the transition period which ends on 31 Dec 2020 will likely attract significant additional taxes and customs duty. Whilst the position currently remains unclear, we would recommend importing your vehicle before 1 Jan 2021.
Do I need UK tax and MOT to drive my car in Spain?
If you are going to use your car on Spanish roads then it will need to be both taxed and MOT'd in it's country of current registration. SORN is exactly the same as untaxed and will usually result in a fine and your vehicle being towed away if stopped by Spanish authorities. As you'd expect, your vehicle will also need to be insured.
Can I SORN my vehicle?
No, as outlined above, if you SORN your vehicle in the UK you cannot use it on Spanish roads, just as you wouldn't be able to use it on UK roads. SORN is treated as untaxed, risking a fine and vehicle confiscation if stopped by the police.
How does the UK MOT Extension affect my entitlement to drive?
The UK government recently announced that UK registered vehicles with MOT expiry dates after 30 March 2020 will have them extended for a period of 6 months. It's currently unclear whether this will be accepted here in Spain and will largely depend on how DVLA update their database. We'll update as soon as we have confirmation.
For vehicles with expiry dates before 30 March 2020, there are temporary import plates available which allow you to drive your vehicle for up to 60 days, before and during the import process. Please contact us for more details.
How long can I drive a UK registered car in Spain?
As a non resident you can drive your foreign registered vehicle for up to 6 months before you need to import it on to Spanish plates. If you're a Spanish resident then it's 30 days. In both cases the vehicle must be both taxed and MOT'd in it's country of registration and of course, insured.
Do I need to own a Spanish property?
No, you don't need to be a property owner in Spain to be able to import / re-register a vehicle on to Spanish plates, but you will need proof of your Spanish address, such as rental contract, (escritura) property deeds or padrón. You'll also need to have an NIE certificate.
Will I need to change my headlights?
If you have a UK registered RHD vehicle then your standard headlights will generally not pass the import test here in Spain. Even modern "low beam" headlights will not pass the import test and will need to be replaced or realigned. Here at Car Registrations Spain, we are the only company that can realign 100% of headlights, even the latest LED headlights, which is far cheaper than having to purchase expensive replacements.
My car has been towed away... Can you help?
If you've had your car taken away by the Spanish police then we should be able to help you. We will be able to supply you with temporary import plates that will allow you to retrieve your vehicle and can also provide full support in liaising with the Spanish authorities. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation please contact us for immediate attention.
Can you help with motor insurance quotes?
Yes, we can help you find very competitive insurance pricing for when your vehicle is registered on to Spanish plates and can also arrange temporary insurance whilst your vehicle is still on UK plates if necessary, although this is a more expensive option. If you would like us to get you some quotes, just fill out the details on our insurance form.
How long does it take to get my quote?
We'll generally be able to send your quote out within an hour or two during the day, although it may take a little longer at the weekends. Please don't forget to add our email address email@example.com to your email address book to ensure that your quote doesn't end up in your spam or junk folder. In any case, if you haven't received your quote wihin 24 hours please contact us as it will almost certainly have been sent.
Can I start the import process now?
Yes, if you're happy with the quote we sent you then we can start the process straight away, by preparing the technical paperwork for import, checking and collating your ID documentation and booking you a slot for when the quarantine period ends and Spanish authorities reopen their doors. Simply reply to the quote we sent you and we'll let you know what we need.
Does your quote include EVERYTHING?
Yes, the quote we sent you includes all taxes, fees and charges to register your car on to Spanish plates. Importantly, it includes road tax for the year which is often missed off competitor quotes, so that the headline price is cheaper. For your peace of mind our quote is a guaranteed price and will not change (unless tax rates or the law changes here in Spain). There are absolutely no hidden charges whatsoever, so the only other considerations will be any physical changes to the car such as tyres, standard MOT items or headlights for example.
Why do I need to register my vehicle?
EU law states that a car must be registered where the vehicle is normally kept and that it must also be taxed and insured in that country. If you spend time in both the UK and Spain, you are only legally entitled to drive the vehicle for 182 consecutive days.
How long does it take to register my vehicle?
Once your vehicle has passed it's ITV test it will take about 7 days to complete registration although you will still be able to use your vehicle during this time. Do however allow for local and national fiesta days.
What do I get with my registration?
When your vehicle has been changed over to Spanish Number Plates you'll receive the following:
How long do you need my vehicle?
We'll usually only need your vehicle for a maximum of 2-3 hours for the engineer's inspection and ITV. You're welcome to accompany us to the ITV Station if you like. Once your vehicle has completed this step you can legally drive it on the Spanish roads.
What if my car fails the ITV Test?
If your vehicle should fail it's import test then you'll have 60 days to fix and retest your vehicle. However before your vehicle is tested we will carry out a full and free pre import inspection, to ensure that your vehicle passes the import test at the first attempt. Our team includes highly skilled mechanics and specialist auto electricians to ensure import success.
Do ITV Testing Stations fix cars too?
No. All ITV testing centres in Spain are government agencies and just carry out the ITV Tests. They don't quote for work and don't carry out any repairs, which has the possible benefit that they won't be tempted to be too strict on the test to obtain repair work. If you do find that you need a quote for repairs we will be happy to offer you trade pricing if we are importing your vehicle.
Get a Free No Obligation Quotation
If you'd like us to supply you with an accurate 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.