If you are a citizen of the European Union and wish to visit Spain and drive your vehicle, you do not need to take any specific actions. However, if you are a resident in the country, it is mandatory to register your foreign-registered vehicle in Spain, and you have one month from becoming a resident to do so and obtain Spanish plates for your vehicle.
For a citizen who wants to transfer their usual vehicle from another EU country, the following three steps need to be followed for re-registration:
In case you are unable to complete the registration procedure within the one-month deadline, you can apply to the DGT for temporary registration of your vehicle. You will receive green temporary registration plates with which you can drive your vehicle for two months (extendable) while you complete the proper registration process. See further below for full details.
Below we provide you with some additional information for each of the steps above.
STEP 1: Take your vehicle to the ITV testing station
To get your vehicle registered in Spain, you will need to take it to an ITV station for a physical inspection to make sure it is roadworthy and not a danger to yourself and other road users. Don't forget to take the following documentation with you:
Once the inspection is completed and all the documentation is verified, the ITV station will provide you with the vehicle's ITV Card in Spanish format.
If the vehicle's current year's ITV is not valid, it will have to pass the corresponding technical inspection.
Learn more about the ITV test in Spain.
STEP 2: Pay the vehicle’s registration tax
Once your vehicle has completed and passed the ITV inspection, you will need to pay the corresponding import taxes.
To register a vehicle, the individual is responsible for declaring and paying the relevant taxes. These include:
If the car was bought within the EU, you are exempt from having to pay the specific customs tax or import duty (IPSI).
In terms of VAT, there are different rules depending on whether it is a new car – i.e., it has been in use for no more than 6 months, or it has been driven for no more than 6000 km, or a used/second-hand car – which is a car that is more than 6 months old or has more than 6000 km on the clock. It also depends on whether you paid VAT at the time of purchase.
You will need to pay the registration tax (IEDMT) when you import a foreign car and re-register the car to Spain. The registration tax on imported cars in Spain is based on market value and the CO2 emissions it produces. These are both important considerations, as you may think that it is good to bring an older car, as the market value is less, however, if it has high CO2 emissions, then it will negate this fact.
Market value can be calculated based on the purchase price minus the period of time it has been in operation. For example:
- 0-1 year = full market value
- 1-2 years = market value minus 20%
- 2-4 years = market value minus 30%
- 4-10 years = market value minus 50%
- 10+ years = market value minus 80%
The CO2 emissions are based on the levels of CO2 emitted into the environment. For example:
- Emission levels 120-160g of CO2 = 4.75%
- Emission levels 160-200g of CO2 = 9.75%
- Vehicles not rated for CO2 emissions = 12%
- Emission levels 200g+ of CO2 = 14.75%
STEP 3: Register the vehicle with the DGT
You can register your vehicle either online through the DGT's electronic register or in person by submitting all the required documents to any vehicle registration authority (of the DGT). In the latter case, you need to schedule an appointment in advance. The registration process incurs a fee that varies depending on the type of vehicle you want to register.
To complete the registration process, you need to provide the following documents:
The applicable fee for 2022 is EUR 99.77 for any type of vehicle except for mopeds, which incur a fee of EUR 27.85 for 2022 (fee number 1.1 and 1.2, respectively). You can pay the fee online or at the DGT's offices using a credit card, but cash payment is not accepted. Once all the documents are verified and approved, the DGT will assign a registration number and provide you with a vehicle registration certificate.
After completing the registration process, you need to purchase registration plates from a specialised shop and install them on the vehicle.
Temporary registration and green plates
If you're unable to complete the registration process for your vehicle within the given one-month deadline due to personal reasons, you can opt for temporary registration by applying to the DGT. This process will provide you with green temporary registration plates that you can use to drive your vehicle for a period of 2 months, which can be extended while you complete the permanent registration process.
To temporarily register your vehicle and obtain the green plates, you can either apply online through the DGT's electronic register or in person by submitting all the necessary documents to any vehicle registration authority (of the DGT). However, in the latter case, you will need to request an appointment in advance. A fee will be charged for this procedure, which will vary depending on the type of vehicle you want to register.
To complete the temporary registration process, you will need to provide the following documents:
After completing the procedure, you will need to purchase the green registration plates from a specialist shop and install them on the vehicle. Once done, you can use the vehicle for 2 months with the green plates while completing the permanent registration process.
See the official page for further details on obtaining your temporary green plates.
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