How to Take an ITV Test in Spain

The ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) in Spain is known as an MOT in the UK. It checks your vehicles roadworthiness. Taking an ITV test in Spain can be quite a daunting experience for foreigners, especially if it’s your first time. We have made a guide below with helpful vocabulary to help you navigate this process. If you live in the Malaga area and would like to use our ITV service (door to door) then contact us for more information. 

ITV Test Guide

Here’s a simple guide on how to take your ITV test in Spain.
(This is for tests at Malaga ITV centres but most of it applies to the ITV renewal process in the whole of Spain).

1. Appointment

Make an appointment at your closest ITV centre

a) Add Matricula (Licence plate number). Select ‘Fecha Matriculacion’ (Registration date) from the drop down box.
You can find this in the B column of your Permsio de Circulacion (logbook).

b) On the next page just click ‘SIGUIENTE’.

c) Next choose the station you want and the date and time. Add personal details. 

d) You can pay in advance with a card on the next page (ITV stations only accept payment by card – no cash).
Click FINALIZAR and that’s it. You’ve booked the appointment. That’s the simple part.

2. Prepare For The Test

Before you attend your ITV appointment, make sure your car is in good working order. This pretty much goes for any country and Spain is no different, although in my experience they are less strict than the UK. The ITV inspector checks the following things:

  • Lights
  • Emissions
  • Horn
  • Windscreen wipers and fluid
  • Tires
  • Wheel alignment
  • Brakes
  • Shock absorbers

If you are unsure about any of those items it is best to get a mechanic to do a check before you go for the ITV. 

3. Documentation

Documentation needed can vary depending on which centre you go to. In Malaga, it is usually not needed (more below). However, other stations may not be like this so the following documents need to be shown.

  • Ficha Técnica or Inspecciones Técnicas (Technical sheet). For older cars it will be a blue sheet and for newer cars it is white.
  • Permiso de Circulación (logbook). The green card.
  • Proof of car insurance payment.
  • Some centres may ask for ID.
Car import into Malaga

ITV Test Service
in Malaga

If you live in the Malaga area and would like to use our ITV service (door to door) for only €40, then contact us for more information. 

4. The Process

When you enter the ITV centre go to one of the computer screens and enter your licence plate number. In Malaga if there are no problems you will then be shown how much to pay and you pay by card (if you haven’t pre-paid). You then receive a ticket that says go straight to the line. You wait outside and look at the large display until your number comes up and you see which line to go to.

If there is a problem or maybe in other regions, you will be given a ticket and you wait for one of the assistants. You then show them your documents, pay and wait outside. Once your number comes up you drive to the designated lane and follow the instructions given you by the inspector. Useful vocab below.

The order may change in other regions but generally the checks go as follows:

  • Car functions – lights, horn, wipers, indicators, belts etc.
  • Open boot and check oil etc.

Next they will ask you (or sometimes they do it themselves) to rev the engine and keep it about 2500 rpm to check the emissions.

Then they ask you to drive forward onto a machine. They will ask you to push the brake and keep the mark in the yellow on a screen. Then when finished, apply the handbrake slowly. You then drive forward so your back wheels are on the machine and repeat.

Then you drive over a bay and they check your brakes, shock absorbers etc. They will put a walkie talkie on your window and bark barely audible instructions at you 😂. Basically, they are asking you to move the steering wheel and press the brakes.

Once this ordeal is over they ask you to move the car outside and wait. After a while they come and give you your ficha back and a little sticker (if you passed) and your ITV certificate. You put the sticker in the top right corner of the windscreen and drive off with a sigh of relief.

What Happens if my Car Fails its ITV Test?

If your car doesn’t pass the ITV test, the inspector won’t give you a little sticker and may explain what it failed on. If not then the reasons are displayed on the test sheet. ‘Grave’ means serious and this will be what needs fixing. You are given one month to get the failures fixed and return. You won’t be charged for the re-test. 

If you have any doubts about passing it is a good idea to book the test well before the ITV expiry date. You can book a test up to a month before and it doesn’t affect your renewal date. This way if it fails you can still ‘technically’ drive it to get it repaired. 

Useful ITV Vocabulary

Here is some vocabulary that can help you when getting your ITV test. 

  • Indicators – Intermitente
  • Hazards – Cuatro intermitentes/luces intermitentes
  • Headlights – Luces/faros
  • Brake lights – Luces de los frenos
  • Back lights – Luces traseras
  • Fog lights – Faros antiniebla
  • Reverse lights – Marcha atras
  • Hand brake – Freno de mano
  • Left – Izquierda
  • Right – Derecha
  • Reverse – Marcha atras/atras
  • Steering wheel – Volante
  • Seat belt – Cinturón
  • Windscreen wipers – Limpia para brisas
  • Move the steering wheel – Mueva el volante 


Hopefully this will help you when you take your vehicle for its ITV test. If your Spanish isn’t up to par or you get a feeling of dread at the thought of an ITV test.  Contact us at [email protected] or 951 74 51 68 if you live in or around Malaga West and we can take it for you. We can also provide you with temporary red plates if necessary. 

If you have just bought the vehicle we also do car ownership transfers for €60 (plus official fees).

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