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Buying a Car

Buying a car in Spain

It is fair to say that most people who relocate to Spain or plan on spending lots of time in a holiday home, will need access to a car.

Some people are quite content to rent a car each time they visit but many wish to purchase a vehicle so they have one all the time.

Buying a car in Spain differs from what most UK expats would be used to so we have put toegther this little guide on buying a car in Spain.


The first thing you will notice when you go to buy a car in Spain, whether it is a seconhand one or a new one from a garage, is the price. Cars in Spain are much higher than you will see in the UK, and many other EU neighbours too come to that.

VAT in Spain (or IVA as it is known in this country) is currently at 21%, which having a few years ago been much lower than in the UK, it is now virtually the same level. The main difference which affects the selling price of cars in Spain is the additional registration tax, which pushes up the prices as it is a percentage of the value of the car.

Paperwork for buying a car in Spain

Like most countries you will need to produce some papers in order to purchase a vehicle. In Spain you will need one or a combination of the following;

Residencia Certificate
NIE Certificate
Escritura (if you have purhcased a property in Spain)
Rental Contract (if you have rented a property in Spain)
Certificado de empadronamiento (certificate of residence)

If you are buying a brand new car from a garage, once you have produced the necessary paperwork and paid for the vehicle, they will get the car registered into your name, for which you will need proof of address. Expect this to take around 2 days to be completed.

If you are buying a secondhand car you should have a check done on the vehicle to ensure there are no fines outstanding as you, as the new owner will inherit them.

Also if the car is over 4 years old it should have the Spanish equivalent of an MOT which is known as an ITV. It will have a little coloured sticker inside the winsdscreen and there should be a ‘technical’ document to accompany it in the car.

When you purchase a secondhand car you should make sure you are provided with the following documents

1. Registration document (permiso de circulacion).
2. Road Tax receipt

It is probably a good idea to employ the services of a ‘gestor’ in order to help you file all the necessary paperwork for your purchase if you are buying a secondhand vehicle.

Click here for information on the basic driving regulations in Spain and child safety seat requirements.

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