TEMPORARY IMPORT PLATES
Green Plates / Placas Verdes
Temporary Import plates (known in Spain as Placas Verdes) are the green plates with white lettering you may have seen on some vehicle in Spain. They are normally used on a foreign vehicle, when it cannot be driven on it's current registration plates.
To legally drive a vehicle on the roads in Spain it must be fully legal in the country of current registration, for example a U.K. registered car must have road tax, an MOT and not be shown as exported. Clearly in some circumstances tax / MOT may have expired or drivers may have marked as exported believing it was the right thing to do. Temporary import plates allow you to legally drive your car whilst in Spain irrespective of the status in the country of registration.
Temporary import plates last a maximum of 60 days and are intended as a stop gap whilst you complete the import process or return the car to its country of registration to make it legal.
Once the plates have expired the vehicle should not be driven on the roads in Spain; that said, in almost all cases the registration process is completed well within this period. Officially the DGT website states that in “exceptional circumstances” they can be extended; however, this is not quantified and even during the pandemic, cases of bereavement and even where delays have been due to the Spanish authorities, applications to extend have been refused. Our professional advice is to undertake the import process as soon as you receive the plates whilst your car can be driven legally.
Insuring on Green Plates
As the temporary import plates are a Spanish registration you will also need to have a Spanish insurance policy in place. The benefit here is that in Spain the car is insured and not the driver, so typically anyone can drive your car with your permission and once your car is registered in Spain permanently, most insurance companies will simply switch the registration free of charge.
If you've had your vehicle taken by the police or Guardia Civil then you'll almost certainly need to get temporary import plates to be able to retrieve it from the pound. Before collecting your vehicle you'll need to ensure that you have paid any fines issued (take proof) and you may also need to pay storage charges and a tow truck fee if one was used to remove your vehicle. You'll also need to ensure that you have a 12 month insurance policy in place at least 24 hours before you go to collect your vehicle, so that it shows up on the insurance database.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation or would like us to supply you with free temporary import plates please don't hesitate to get in touch.
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.