Some pointers on buying a car in Spain
I have put together some information on how to go about buying a car in Spain. Be careful because in Spain a car can have a debt attached which you would be resonsible after purchase not the old owner.
If you intend to buy a used car in Spain from either an owner or a garage it may help if you check the following:
That the vehicle has a current ITV or test certificate if one is required there is no evidence of involvement in a major accident or rebuild Chassis and engine numbers tally with those on registration docs, name on the registration documents is that of the seller. (Passport) Service coupons stamped by accredited dealer that you receive a transfer of ownership document from the seller what guarantees are available and in writing
It is quite common for used vehicles to be given good warranties by garages and these will depend largely upon the age and type of vehicle. 12 months is not unusual and in expatriate areas probably more common than in other areas.
There are advantages and disadvantages with living in areas where there may be significant number of expatriates. One of the advantages is that there is usually an excellent choice of most things including cars and car parts. For many expatriate retirees, their car becomes their hobby, as well as their method of transport.
As in the UK and other countries, Spain is no different in that it has its share of journals advertising used cars.
In many of the property free sheets you will find advertisements for garages selling new and used cars as well as advertisements placed by owners. Prices for vehicles seem to depend upon which area of Spain you happen to be in.
You may drive an EU plated car in Spain for up to 6 months in any one calendar year so if you arrived here in July, you could drive it until July the next, making it 12 consecutive months, however if you get stopped it is up to you, not the police to prove there and then you are not contravening the law. Beware though, the policia local sometimes have a blitz and wait outside such places as schools and note down details to use in 6 months time! They are then ready to pull you over and may serve a denuncia (Report/fine) and or fine. If you work here legally you have 30 days to re-register your foreign-plated car with Spanish plates. Keeping your non-registered car in Spain brings it’s own set of problems in any case as they need by law a British MOT to be legal, which needs to be carried out in the UK, then there is the problem of insurance, which will need to checked that it is valid here in Spain for an unlimited time, even if you do re-insure you still need to double check.
Please Note that if you are contemplating bringing over a commercial vehicle there are some Registration Difficulties- All commercial and leisure vehicles with RHDrive have a problem that does not exist on the ordinary car- The drivers vision is restricted especially when pulling away to join the traffic flow.
You need to ask yourself in your own set of circumstances whether it is worth buying a left hand drive vehicle in the UK where it may be cheaper, and drive it over or buy one here, if you have a right hand drive vehicle then consider who would want to buy it if, and when you want to sell it as well as the other problems previously mentioned?
When you buy your car it will be necessary for it to be transferred into your name. If you buy from a car dealer he will no doubt arrange the transfer and necessary documentation for you in consideration of a modest fee. If you purchase a vehicle privately, whilst you can sort the paperwork yourself, good advice would be to seek the services of a Gestor who specializes in this type of work. Again, the fee is likely to be quite modest but the saving in time and frustration will more than justify it.
If you want to take on the Spanish motor vehicles department yourself this is the procedure:
- An application form that you can obtain at the provincial traffic department.
- The Circulation Permit of the car, with the transfer of owners shown on the back, including the seller’s signature.
- A receipt showing that the municipal vehicle tax has been paid and a photocopy or computer scans of it.
- A receipt showing that the 4 per cent vehicle transfer tax due on the sale has been paid.
- The current ITV report and a photocopy or computer scan.
- Residence permit and photocopy.
- 35 Euros being the fee payable.
- Take all your documentation to the traffic department and ensure that you include a large self, addressed, stamped envelope so they are able to return the completed documents to you.
Whilst the above does not appear too complicated, the fact of the matter is likely to be different. The Spanish can make a drama out of the most insignificant happenings and together with any language difficulties there may be, you could end up regretting the day you decided to cope with your own paperwork.
For 2,000 – 3,000 euros it is quite possible to pick up a clean car in good condition. If you spend a day wandering around the various garages you are almost certain to come up with a quite acceptable vehicle that will be quite adequate for your purposes in Spain. You may be rather surprised at just how well some Spanish garages renovate and refurbish second hand cars.
One final thing on this subject – if you are selling your own car in Spain, ensure that the transfer is completed into the new owner’s name. As with the UK, failure to do so could have you being chased for parking tickets and other offences you did not commit. It is your responsibility to make sure the transfer tax is paid even though the buyer has to pay it!