Importing your car into Spain

A common question from clients with relocation plans, is about importing a car into Spain. Therefore, this article will explain more about the procedure.

Read more about moving to Spain.

When should I import my car into Spain?

As a tourist or second residence, you may drive around Spanish roads with a non-Spanish number plate for 182 days per calendar year. Therefore, if you do not intend to move to Spain, a Belgian number plate is fine. However, if there are suspicions that you are driving around Spain with a Belgian number plate for more than 182 days per year, the Spanish police may confiscate the car. Also, your insurance may then no longer be valid. This is because insurance policies do not usually provide for you to drive abroad all year round.

If you are a resident in Spain, it is illegal to drive around with a foreign number plate. You must register your car within 30 days of import.

How do I import my car into Spain?

First, you need to register the car with the Jefatura Provincial de Trafico. You, or your authorised representative, must contact the traffic department in person.

Then there is the technical inspection (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos or ITV). When doing so, you should present the purchase invoice, the certificate of conformity (and its Spanish translation), the homologation number if applicable, and the insurance certificate.

After the technical inspection has taken place, you can register the car. You can import new cars free of VAT provided you already paid VAT in the country of purchase. If you own the car for more than six months, you also do not have to pay municipal tax. For used cars, there is the tax on entry. You can be exempt from this if you import the car within 2 months of emigrating. If you bought the car without VAT, you will have to pay VAT in Spain. Taxes are based on the purchase price, but this value is reduced according to age.

Finally, you will receive your Spanish number plate after registration.

Also listen to our podcast where we discuss the input process with a specialist.


Importing a car into Spain is a very bureaucratic procedure. Moreover, at the technical inspection, they are very strict about additional placements not mentioned on the conformity certificate (e.g. self-installed tow bar). Therefore, it may be easier to buy a new car in Spain. At a professional dealer, they will probably arrange the registration for you.

Read more about taxes as a resident in Spain.

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