If you live in Spain and drive a vehicle on Spanish roads you will need an ITV which is the equivalent of an MOT in the UK. The inspection determines whether your vehicle is roadworthy or not.
In this article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about getting and renewing your ITV test in Spain.
You will find out more about:-
Let’s dive in and find out more!
ITV Spain - Getting Your Car's MOT In Spain
In the UK, we have the annual M.O.T for keeping our cars roadworthy. The Spanish equivalent of this is the I.T.V, which stands for Inspecciòn Tècnica de Vehiculos.
How Often Should I Have an I.T.V/MOT Inspection in Spain?
If your car is less than four years old it does not need to undergo this inspection. Once your car is between four and ten years old, an I.T.V test must be done every two years. Then, when your car is over ten years of age, an inspection must take place yearly.
Motorcycles are treated differently, they are exempt from inspection for the first four years, and then they have to take the test every two years.
Mopeds are exempt for the first three years and then must be tested every two years.
The rule for vans and goods vehicles is also slightly different. Once they reach the grand old age of ten years, they must have an I.T.V inspection done every two years.
Again with caravans (that are towed by vehicles) the rule differs. Once they reach six years of age they must be inspected every two years.
If your vehicle is an MPV/people carrier it may be classed as a Vehiculo Mixto Adaptable, which will mean the ITV is taken after two years, every two years up until six years old. Then every year between six and 10 years of age. After 10 years the ITV is taken every 6 months. Mixto vehicles that are registered as 'tourist vehicles' will only have to have an ITV every year after 10 years instead of every six months.
You can find out how often your vehicle is due for an ITV test at the following address
What Documents Do I Need to Take With Me For An ITV Test In Spain?
When you go to the I.T.V testing station you will need to present certain documents. These include:-
You will also need to have the appropriate fee. Current rates can be found at https://www.veiasa.es/itv/tarifas
The test should also be carried out ten to fourteen days before the registration date, which can be found on the green Inspeccion Tecnica Card. At the top of this card, you will also find the 'vehicle type'. These are represented as Tourismo (car), Furgon (van) and one that people get confused by, which is 'Mixto Adapta' or 'Vehiculo Mixto Adaptable'( 7 seater cars, that in Spain are classed as vans).
How Much Does an I.T.V Inspection Cost in Spain?
The costs of booking an ITV test do vary and depend greatly on the vehicle you drive. The prices below are the maximum and in Euros.
You can see all the rates at https://www.veiasa.es/itv/tarifas
Where do I go to Get an I.T.V Inspection?
There are over 50 Spanish I.T.V test centres and stations in Andalucia alone, so there must be hundreds across the whole of Spain.
To find your nearest I.T.V Testing centre, visit https://www.veiasa.es/itv/red_de_estaciones
How do I know When my ITV is Due?
Veiasa no longer writes to you when your ITV is due. However, you now have the option to be notified electronically when your ITV is due to expire. You can enter your mobile phone number and email address at the official web address below and you will receive an advanced notification via email and SMS.
Do I Have to Book an ITV Appointment?
Luckily, things have changed and you no longer need to get to the testing centre at the crack of dawn and wait in long queues. You are now able to make an appointment and this has sped things up quite a bit. You can book your I.T.V Inspection online at https://www.itvcita.com
You can also book via telephone with the number available on the website above.
Spanish ITV Testing Stations Opening Times
Opening times do vary very slightly depending on which region you are in. Most ITV testing stations do generally open nice and early from around 06:45 am. They also have reduced hours at weekends and around the holiday periods.
For specific opening times in your region, please check out the following page and click on your region and nearest ITV testing station. https://www.veiasa.es/itv/red_de_estaciones
What is Tested During a Spanish ITV Test?
Now, getting the test carried out, can be quite daunting. If you feel a bit nervous about taking your car yourself, you will find many garages that will take it for you for a small fee. You just drop your car off at the garage and let them do the rest!
Unlike in the UK, where you take your vehicle into an M.O.T garage and leave it for them to do the checks, in Spain you are asked to perform certain tasks in the process.
When you take your car documentation into the I.T.V Office and have paid your fee, you will be given some documents. These are to be passed onto the mechanic, who is waiting to start the checks in another building.
You will then be asked to drive your vehicle through several different checkpoints.
The first station check is generally for lights, wipers, indicators, hazards and seatbelts etc, the second station is for wheel alignment and the third station is for hand brakes and brakes and the fourth station is for omissions and oil etc.
You will then be told to park your car and come back for the paperwork.
Below you can see a video from Spain Speaks showing you the process at the testing station.
What Happens if my Car Passes the Test?
If your car passes the inspection you will be presented with your test certificate and a small coloured sticker that has to be displayed at the top right-hand side of your windscreen (from inside the car). This shows the month and year of when the next test is due.
If you fail to display the sticker and get pulled up by the police, you will be fined on the spot and you will be given ten days to provide proof of passing the test.
ITV stickers are also known as V-19 stickers and rotate in colour between green, yellow and red each year.
Although you may see cars that have lots of different coloured stickers on the windscreen, you should not do this. You can be fined for not displaying the sticker correctly. Just the last one is all that is required.
What Happens if My Car Fails the ITV Test?
Hopefully, it won't, but if it does fail, you will be given back your documentation and the test sheet with a rubber stamp displaying the word 'Disfavorable' and with the reasons for failure. These are not normally discussed with you, so you may need to get out the Spanish/English dictionary if your Spanish is minimal.
You are then given one month to return to the test centre with all failures fixed.
If you can get them done and return on the same day, you will not be charged again and if you return with the faults mended within 15 days you will normally be given a discount on the previous test price. If you fail to return within this period you will be charged the full test fee again.
You must return to a test centre, as if you don't they will inform the Department of Traffic that your car is on the road without I.T.V. In other words 'illegally!'
Note that from October 2017, you no longer have to take the vehicle back for a re-test at the same ITV station. You can use any ITV station for the retest.
Also note that if your ITV has expired, you must not drive the vehicle on the road, period. No exception. Even if it is to get it to the ITV testing station. If it has expired, you will need to get the vehicle to the testing station on the back of a grua truck.
How Long Can You Drive Your Vehicle For Once Your ITV Has Expired?
Many people falsely believe that you can drive for one month after your ITV has expired before being fined, but this is not true.
If you check your ITV card/certificate, there will be a date stamped on the back. This is the deadline that you can officially drive the vehicle without being fined.
You can take a vehicle for an ITV test up to one month before the expiration of the ITV certificate and this does not affect the expiry date of the current ITV. So for example, if your current ITV is due to expire on the 31st of December, you can have an ITV done on the 1st of December. If the vehicle passes, the ITV will still expire on the 31st of December the following year rather than on the 1st.
It is also worth noting that due to changes that were approved on April 13, 2021, if your vehicle has been in an accident and is considered a right off or 'total loss' by the insurance company, it may be repaired and driven again, however, it must resit an ITV test to establish that it is roadworthy.
In such circumstances, you will have two months in which to make sure it is retested and fit to circulate on Spanish roads. Learn more here.
If you need to tow a trailer or caravan you will need to have a tow bar fitted. These generally come in two forms either a fixed ball hook or a removal ball latch. Having a tow bar installed incorrectly can be dangerous to yourself and other road users, so the installation has to be done correctly and by a certified garage.
Before 2011, tow bars were not categorised in Spain and were therefore just seen as an added accessory.
When it comes to your ITV test, tow bars can be a real issue if they have not been factory fitted by the manufacturer or an authorised garage. If you do have a tow bar fitted to your vehicle, it will need to be included on the Fichas Tecnicas document.
If you are going to have one fitted, make sure that you get it fitted at an approved and certified garage and make sure that you retain all of the documentation so this can be presented during your ITV test if required.
If you buy a car that has one fitted, you will want to make sure that all paperwork is in order and that it has been fitted by an authorised garage. If you do not intend to use the tow bar, you could always just have it removed before taking the ITV test.
We have heard of people in Spain taking their car in for an ITV test, only to have it fail due to a lack of documentation in regards to the tow bar or not having it fitted by an approved garage.
Foreign vehicles can have the I.T.V test carried out but will be issued with a 'Voluntary Certificate'. The ITV station will also not issue a sticker for the windscreen, but the certificate itself will serve as proof that the vehicle is roadworthy.
It is important to note though that under Spanish law this is NOT classed as a valid ITV!! A technical inspection certificate is only valid when done in the country of registration.
A vehicle that doesn't have a valid ITV is illegal. It may not be safe to drive on the road and may also invalidate any insurance cover.
Generally speaking, a foreign vehicle must have a legal ITV/MOT in the country in which it was registered. A foreign vehicle can have a full and legal ITV in Spain only if it has been correctly imported and has been transferred to Spanish plates. You can read more about this via our Importing a Car or Other Vehicle Into Spain. If you are driving your UK registered vehicle in Spain, you may want to read our other article, Driving Your UK Registered Car In Spain and The Dangers of Driving a UK Car in Spain
Important: If a vehicle is in Spain for more than six months it is considered to be permanently imported and must be re-registered on Spanish plates.
Important Changes to the ITV Test from 20th May 2018
Useful vocabulary to help you when getting an I.T.V test
It's worth noting that if your Spanish is not too good and the idea of taking your car for an ITV here in Spain fills you with fear, there are several expat garages up and down the country that will be only too pleased to take the car to the ITV test centre for you. For a small fee of course!
ITV Tests Extension During the Coronavirus Lockdown
If your ITV car inspection is due during the lockdown do not worry. The DGT has said that If the ITV expires during the State of Alarm, it will automatically be extended for up to 30 days from the end of the State of Alarm.
On Monday, May 11, 2020, all of the Spanish regions (excluding Malaga and Granada) entered into Phase 1 of the de-escalation of the lockdown.
As a result, the vast majority of ITV testing stations have now reopened allowing owners to get their vehicles tested.
However, bookings must be made online or over the phone. NO walk-in appointments will be permitted at this time.
Due to a backlog, the testing centres are currently prioritising vehicles where the ITV has already expired or where it is almost due.
Perspex screens will be fitted at all testing centres to protect customers and staff. Payments will only be permitted using a card. No cash payments will be accepted.
There will also be a requirement to wear a face mask at all times during the testing procedure.
Drivers are also being advised to register their contact details with Veiasa including phone and email addresses so that they can be easily informed as to when their ITV is due.
This will help to clear the current backlog of outstanding ITV tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can register your details at the following address https://notificaciones.veiasa.es/#/
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