The procedures relating to importing and registering a foreign vehicle are complex. It is possible to complete the process independently, but companies which specialise in providing this service are available.
In order to register a car in Spain, a vehicle must undergo a safety inspection similar to the UK's MOT test. Import taxes as well as IVA may be payable on imported vehicles.
Taxes for vehicles from non-EU countries include the following:
It is generally considered easier to purchase a new vehicle, or a vehicle already registered in Spain. The process involved in importing and registering a foreign car can be time-consuming and expensive. Many people who choose to do so hire an agent (gestor) to handle the procedure.
When buying a vehicle in Spain that is intended for export, apply for temporary tourist plates (matrícula turística) from the Customs Office. These are assigned to cars that are to be eventually exported from the country and registered elsewhere. The period of validity varies, depending on circumstances. If an extension of the tourist plates is needed (one extension is possible), apply with all original paperwork at the local Traffic Department Office in which the tourist plates were originally obtained.
The following documents must be provided to obtain tourist plates:
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