Importing a car to Spain is a tedious and costly procedure. The majority of cars from outside of the EU must be modified in order to satisfy European safety regulations and receive a Certificate of European Conformity. There is also heavy taxation on cars imported into the country.If the car is new, you will have to pay 16% VAT (IVA), which can be paid at any bank that collaborates with the Spanish Tax Department. You will also have to complete Application Form 565, which you can obtain from the Spanish Customs Office located at the Barajas airport (T: 913 937 560 & 913 033 223). However, if you wish to import a car that has been in your possession for more than 6 months prior to becoming a Spanish resident, you are not subject to paying the import tax, as long as you have paid VAT in the country where the vehicle was purchased.

There is also a registration tax that all cars owners must pay to the local tax office (Agencia Tributaria). This tax is based on the engine capacity of your car, regardless of whether it runs on diesel or petrol. (Locate the tax office nearest you at the following link: http://www.aeat.es/wps/portal/Detalle_delegaciones?channel=5e96a5435fa19010VgnVCM10000050f01e0a____&ver=L&site=56d8237c0bc1ff00VgnVCM100000d7005a80____&idioma=es_ES&menu=1&img=8)

  • Cars of 2,000cc or less are taxed at 7%
  • All other vehicles are taxed at 12%

Imported vehicles are required to pass an ITV test to determine their road worthiness. However, upon entering the country, your car will be granted temporary green registration plates, which allow you to drive to your local ITV Centers in order for your car to be inspected. You can find a list of centers at http://www.automovilesmultimarca.com/centros_itv_madrid.asp. The following documentation is required for the inspection:

  1. A NIE, thereby proving that you are a legal resident.
  2. A completed application form that is available at the local Traffic Department Office.
  3. Proof of address, such as a lease or deed or a utilities bill in your name.
  4. Receipt of payment of the local car tax (impuesto municipal sobre vehículos de tracción mecánica/IVTM) from the local town hall or Traffic Department.
  5. Receipt of payment of registration tax (impuesto especial sobre determinados medios de transporte).
  6. Registration document (Permiso de Circulación y Permiso Para Conducción)
  7. Proof that VAT (IVA) has been paid in the country of purchase (original and photocopy).
  8. Technical Test Certificate Card (Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica), obtainable from an ITV station.
  9. A vehicle purchase receipt.
  10. Certificate of Conformity (Certificado de Conformidad) from the vehicle manufacturer or a certified representative.

If the vehicle is from the Netherlands, you will also need form RDW 323, which is available at the local Traffic Department.

All cars must be registered and insured with a Spanish insurance company, and an imported vehicle cannot be sold, rented or transferred within a year of its registration.

Once all of your paperwork in order, and you know that you will be able to import your car, you can begin looking for proper insurance coverage. The following companies are some of the better know insurance providers in Spain:

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