Register a car in Spain

Immatriculer son véhicule en Espagne

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There are those who sell their car before moving abroad and buy a new one in Spain and those who do not want to sell it and decide to move with it. If you find yourself in the second situation, you will need to register your vehicle in Spain as soon as possible upon arrival.

Let’s see the procedures in order to register your vehicle in Spain. 


1. Am I required to register my foreign vehicle in Spain?

It all depends on your situation.

If you are coming to Spain for less than 6 months, you don’t need to register your car in Spain, nor to pay the various taxes related to your circulation within the country.

However, from the moment you become a resident in Spain, it becomes compulsory to start the procedures in order to register your vehicle in Spain.


2. When do I have to register my vehicle in Spain?

You will need to register your vehicle in Spain within one month from the time you become a resident.

This period can be extended to 60 days if it is following the transfer of your main residence to Spain.


3. Steps to register your vehicle in Spain

Now let’s take a look at the process of registering your vehicle in Spain.


Step 1: Sworn translation of your documents

The first step is to collect all the documents needed to register your vehicle and have them translated by an official sworn translator in Spain.

Among the documents to be translated are the vehicle registration document, the purchase invoice and its technical sheet.


Step 2: Obtaining the European Certificate of Conformity (Certificado de Conformidad Europeo or C.O.C)

The European Certificate of Conformity is a European certificate issued by the car manufacturer certifying that your vehicle is compliant and has a community type-approval number. This document is necessary to pass the technical control (see step 3).

If this document was not given to you on the day you purchased your vehicle or if you no longer have it, you can request it to the car manufacturer or to an official dealer in Spain. Do the request as soon as possible as there could be delays.


Step 3: Pass the technical control (MOT) or the ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos)

It is recommended to book an appointment for your ITV on the following site: In this website, you will find the various ITV approved centers for the technical control of your vehicle. On the day of your appointment, you will need to bring the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration document.
  • European certificate of conformity.
  • Vehicle purchase or rental invoice.

You will also need to mention that the ITV is for the registration of a foreign car in Spain as it will be much more complete than a standard one. The mechanic will do a comprehensive road worthiness check and check the vehicle documentation. If your vehicle passes the ITV, you will receive your ITV certificate and sticker for the car windscreen. 


Step 4: Pay the taxes

A- Road tax (Impuesto de Circulación) to your municipality

This tax is paid directly to the municipality where you reside. Its cost depends on both your municipality and the horsepower of your vehicle.

This tax is paid annually and applies to both foreign and Spanish vehicles.


B- The registration tax (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte) to the tax authorities

You will need to complete the modelo 576 in order to pay the registration tax to the Spanish tax authorities (Hacienda). Modelo 576 can be downloaded here.

This tax is based on the model of the vehicle, its CO2 emissions and its value. Its cost can be up to 15% of your vehicle’s value.

In some cases, you will be exempt from this tax and you will have to complete the modelo 05 to obtain the recognition of the tax advantage or the modelo 06 if no prior recognition is required. One of the example of exemption is when the car registration is requested as the result of the transfer of a main residence to Spain.


Step 5: Apply for the change of registration to the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT)

Courage, we’re almost there!

You must now pay the registration administration fee to the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) in order to receive the Spanish registration card of your vehicle.

Fees (currently 98.78 euros) can be paid:

  • From the internet on the site if you have a digital certificate or an electronic identity document or from a bank authorizing the payment of this tax via a transfer or payment by card.
  • From the miDGT app.
  • In person by going directly to the Oficina de Tráfico with an appointment or to a bank authorizing the payment of this tax.

Be sure to keep the proof of payment because you will need it on the day you submit your application.

Now that all your taxes have been paid and your file is prepared, you are ready to submit your documentation to the DGT. It can be done either telematically or in person by going directly to the Local Traffic Office (jefatura provincial de tráfico). You must first reserve a cita previa in the province where you reside.

Your file must contain all the documents and proof of payment obtained previously as well as a valid identity document and a proof of residence. Once your file has been verified, the DGT will give you a Spanish registration number and the new registration card of your vehicle.


Step 6: Change your license plates

With this precious document given by the DGT, you can now go to a specialist to make up your new licence plates.

Last but not least, you can insure your vehicle in Spain.


4. Temporary registration

In some cases, registration takes a long time and you will need to request a temporary car registration. The DGT will then give you a temporary license plate, green in color and valid for 2 months. It can be extended until you have finalized your car registration. This can be particularly useful for obtaining a car insurance in Spain.

To obtain it, the process is similar to what we have seen with payment of the corresponding taxes and submission of your documentation:


5. Conclusion

Registering your vehicle is therefore a complicated process when moving to Spain, which is why many people decide to buy a vehicle once there.

However by contacting Vivre à Valencia, you will be guided and supported throughout the whole process. You can contact us at [email protected].

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