Importing a Car

Importing a car or other vehicle into Malaga or 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.

To import a vehicle into Malaga or Spain, you must have a NIE,  and either 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 without a new residency as it is too costly and complicated.
Importing cars from an EU country is still a relatively easy process.

Car import into Malaga

Car Import in Malaga

We can import your EU registered car into Malaga from as little as €650. 

Importing a car into Malaga or Spain can be a complex procedure. Firstly, the car must be registered in the EU in order to be imported. This means that the car must comply with EU regulations, such as having a valid EU Certificate of Conformity. Additionally, the car needs to have a valid roadworthiness certificate.

Once the car is registered, the importer must obtain an import license from the Spanish Customs Agency. The importer will also need to pay taxes and duties on the car, which will vary depending on the type of car and the country of origin. The importer must also arrange for the car to be inspected by the Spanish Traffic Department (DGT), who will assess the car’s roadworthiness and legal conformity.

Finally, the importer must register the car with the Spanish traffic department and obtain the necessary insurance documents. Following these steps will help ensure a smooth, stress-free process when importing a car into Spain.


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 can be 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.

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.

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

Spanish Number Plates

To do the Spanish vehicle 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, work out the amount that will need to be paid in import taxes and register the car in Spain.

Collection of European license plates from various countries.

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.


Importing a car into Malaga

In conclusion, importing a car into Malaga can be a complicated process.
Firstly, if the vehicle doesn’t have EU homologation, the importer must obtain a certificate of conformity from the manufacturer of the vehicle. This document states that the car meets all the necessary safety and environmental requirements for it to be allowed into the country. If you don’t have this then an individual homologation is needed which costs between €1500-€2000.

Secondly, an ITV inspection is required to check that the car is roadworthy. 

Thirdly, the buyer must obtain license plates for the vehicle. This can be done at the local Traffic Office (Trafico) and requires the submission of certain documents, such as the certificate of conformity (or technicians report), and proof of ownership etc. Additionally, the buyer must also pay the necessary taxes and fees that are associated with importing a car.

If you would like to import your car from Switzerland or an EU country like Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Norway or Sweden into Malaga then contact us for a quote. We have contacts in Malaga ITV centres and Trafico and can speed the process up. We will take away the stress of car importation in Marbella, Estepona, San Pedro, Mijas, Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Torremolinos or anywhere around Malaga. 

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