Importing a Car

Importing a car or other vehicle into Spain can be a headache.
Here is a guide to help you, or we can do it for you.

Vehicles need to be registered with the authorities (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) within 30 days of arrival in Spain. If you are from an EU country and are not yet classed as a Spanish resident, you can generally drive the vehicle for up to 6 months. After that, it will need to be registered with Tráfico. If you are a Spanish resident and spend more than 183 days of the year in the country, you are not permitted by law to drive a foreign plated vehicle.

We can import your EU registered car in Malaga from as little as €525. 

To import a vehicle into Spain, you must have a NIE,  own property in Spain, have a rental agreement for a minimum of a year or be registered on the padron. Honestly, since Brexit it usually isn’t worth importing a car from the UK into Spain as it is too costly.

The first step is making sure the car is roadworthy. 

Every vehicle on Spanish roads requires an ITV or Inspección Técnica de Vehículos. Some blogs/sites say it isn’t necessary if you have a valid MOT, this is INCORRECT!

If the car has a valid MOT and is from 2018 or newer then the test is cheaper and much quicker, (they just check the chassis number, car papers and the CO2 emissions.) usually taking less than 5 minutes.

You can find ITV testing stations in your region here,

The car needs to be homologated (where vehicles are made to comply with certain safety and other requirements before they can be registered.) If you import a car from a non-EU country, then it will need an individual Homologation and Type Approvals certificate.
This is a long and complicated process and has become more difficult since Brexit so if you haven’t already registered your car in Spain we highly recommend you get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Contact us if you want to import your car in Malaga from Germany, Holland, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden or another EU country.

If the car is from 2015 onward you can apply for a unique technical report, (costs around 1.500 euros). If the car has EU homologation it is possible to register if it comes from an EU country. 

uk to spanish number plates

Spanish Number Plates

To do the matriculation process the following must be submitted to Trafico to register the vehicle:

  • an application form from Trafico
  • personal documentation for the importer, which includes proof of residence in Spain (residence card or personal identification from your country of origin ie passport)
  • proof of owning or renting a property (the rental contract must be for a minimum of one year)
  • Technical Test Certificate Card (received after the ITV test)
  • registration document + fee
  • confirmation of payment of registration tax (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte)
  • receipt of payment of local car tax (impuesto municipal sobre vehículos de tracción mecánica/IVTM)
  • vehicle purchase receipt (original and photocopy)
  • proof that VAT has been paid in the country of purchase.
  • Certificate of Conformity (Certificado de Conformidad) from the vehicle manufacturer or a certified representative (original and photocopy). There are two types of Certificate of Conformity: 
  1. EC Certificate, which is valid throughout the EU, or
  2. National Certificate, generally issued for modified vehicles, buses, trailers and other large vehicles. It is only valid in the country in which it was issued.

If this all sounds too much then contact us and we can help you through all of the paperwork, apply for IVTM road tax duty and work out the amount that will need to be paid in import taxes. 

spanish license plate matriculation

Import Taxes

Here are the current import tax charges for both EU and Non-EU vehicles.

The following taxes and duty must be paid when importing a vehicle into Spain:

  • VAT (IVA) at 16 per cent on cars imported from outside the EU or on a tax-free car (on which VAT hasn’t previously been paid) imported from an EU country;
  • the registration tax depends on the CO2 emissions, and most likely you are required to pay 12 percent. The table below will give you more information.

Percentage tax   



less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre


from 120 to 160 grams of CO2 per kilometre


from 160 to 200 grams of CO2 per kilometre


not rated for CO2 emissions


more than 200 grams of CO2 per kilometre

Source: Agencia Tributaria

  • import duty of 10 per cent on vehicles imported from outside the EU unless you’re a resident (see above).
  • when importing a new vehicle, you will have to pay 21 percent VAT (IVA). However, used cars owned for more than six months prior to the owner becoming resident in Spain are not subject to import duty, provided that VAT was paid in the EU country in which the vehicle was purchased.
  • Registration tax (Impuesto sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte) of 0 to 14.75 percent based on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions (See above). To register, Application Form 576 from the Spanish Customs Office should be completed online at the Agencia Tributaria.

Each of the above tax rates is applied to the original price of the vehicle, with a reduction for each year of its age up to ten years, e.g. 20 per cent after the first year, 30 per cent after two years, 50 per cent after four years, and 80 per cent after ten years.

v5c car log book document

Notify DVLA - Certificate of Permanent Export

When removing your vehicle from the UK for 12 months or more, you need to inform the DVLA and complete the ‘Notification of permanent export’ section of your V5C/4 registration certificate (Logbook). You will then need to send this to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD. If you have a Spanish plated car and are going back to the UK, we can baja (deregister) the car for you so you aren’t liable for any more taxes and can reregister it in the UK.

If you would like a free quote for vehicle importation in Malaga or changing your plates from Germany, Holland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden or another EU country to Spanish plates then contact us and we will be happy to help.

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