1. Registration document (permiso de circulación). The Permiso de Circulacion is the Spanish equivalent of the English Registration document and owner's details have to be changed when vehicles change hands. However, this is a far more complicated process than in the U.K. (see what it looks like here)
2. The ITV test certificate plus the technical sheet 'Ficha Tecnica' and a photocopy.
3. The road tax receipt and a photocopy.
4. A receipt for the payment of transfer tax (8%). This transfer tax is often paid by the BUYER so add this to the expected purchase price. The tax is calculated by the trafico dept and NOT negotiable. It is calculated on the value of the vehicle.
You have 15 days to register the vehicle in your name.
VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE ON PURCHASING SECOND HAND CARS
It is vital that a history check is made on the vehicle before you purchase it. This is the Spanish equivalent to an HPI check in England.
check is important in Spain because just like property, previous
owners debts can be put on the car. This can include unpaid
social security, loans and taxes. The debts stay with the car, so it is now the responsibility of the new owner to clear the debts.
If you have any concerns regarding a Spanish registered vehicle you may have purchased privately, there are qualified companies that would be happy to check out the history for you, and offer HPI checks on English registered vehicles.
Buying a new car
Spain is generally a buyers' market for new cars and you should be able to find a bargain although some cars are more expensive in Spain than in some other EU countries. The taxes on new cars are higher in Spain than in most other EU country due to the registration tax of 12 per cent, which is charged in addition to VAT (IVA) at 16 percent. Denmark in particular is more expensive than Spain.
Buying a new car for cash
When you buy a new car from a garage, you will need to supply them with a copy of your national insurance number form which was given to you by the police station. You will also need to produce evidence of your address such as a rental contract or house deeds etc. The garage will undertake all the registration process with the Trafico department. This process usually takes two working days. A new car does not need an ITV (MOT) for four years. Your new car should come with one year's road tax paid to the local council. Check this. On collection of your new car you will be given the registration document. Keep this safe; a replacement will be expensive and very time consuming. DO NOT KEEP THE ORIGINAL IN THE CAR. Take the original and a photocopy to the Town Hall and ask them to stamp the photocopy as a true copy of the original. Keep the copy in the car and save the original at home. You should also carry your insurance certificate with this, as well as a receipt for your premium paid.
Financing your purchase
Currently there are very few companies that will give finance to a non-resident, although this may change with the abolition of the residence permit. Most new car dealers offer finance on purchases.
It is possible to buy a new tax-free car in another EU country, such as from the factory of a European manufacturer or from an exporter and personally import it into Spain. Before importing a car from another country, you should ensure that its manufactured to Spanish specifications, or you may encounter problems getting it through the homologation inspection.
When you drive in Spain you must ensure that certain documents are carried with you.
See our section on driving in Spain here.