Buying and Selling a Car in Spain
Enjoy Buying and Selling Cars in Spain
Buying and Selling Cars in Spain

General information
Cars, both new and second-hand, are generally more expensive in Spain than in most other EU countries. They do however tend to hold their re-sale value better. In order to buy a Spanish-registered car you need the following documents: a residencia, (residence card) or an NIE number; evidence of address in the form of an escritua (deed) or rental contract for a Spanish property; or a certificado de empadronamiento (certificate of residence) in a Spanish community.

Buying a new car
Taxes on new cars are higher in Spain than in any other EU country due to the registration tax of 12%, which is charged in addition to 16% IVA (VAT).

The dealer will normally organise all the paperwork, such as registration with the Trafico department. A new car does not need an ITV (MOT) for four years. Your new car should come with road tax paid for the first year. On collection of your new car you will be given the registration document. Do not keep the original in the car, as a replacement will be expensive and time consuming. 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.

If you require finance, there are currently 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, and personally import it into Spain. However, you should first ensure that it's manufactured to Spanish specifications, or you may encounter problems getting it through the homologation (standardisation) inspection.

Buying/Selling a second hand car
Buying and selling a used car is a more complicated process than in the UK, and it is important to ensure all the paperwork is handled correctly to avoid being fined. Many people find it worth employing a Gestor (Government licensed agent).

It often pays to buy a used car that's about two years old, as depreciation in the first two years is considerable. Older cars (outside of their warranty period) aren't always well maintained and it is advised to buy from a reputable dealer, even if you pay a bit more, and obtain a warranty, rather than pick an 'unknown' from the local paper. Dealers usually give warranties of from three to 12 months.

A good source of used cars, thanks to thriving tourism, is a secondhand rental car. You may be required to service the vehicle at the dealership for the first year in order to ensure the guarantee is valid.

It is worth requesting a history check, as any outstanding debts will become the responsibility of the new owner.

When buying a used car privately, make a note of the vendors NIE number, residence card or passport for peace of mind and check that the chassis number tallies with the registration document, which should be in the name of the seller.

When you buy a secondhand car you must obtain the following documents from the seller: Registration document (permiso de circulación); the ITV test certificate if relevant, which is equivalent of the UK MOT and required for vehicles over four years old, plus the technical sheet 'Ficha Tecnica' and a photocopy; the impuesto sobre la circulación de vehiculos (road tax) receipt and a photocopy; a receipt for the payment of transfer tax (4%). You have 15 days to register the vehicle in your name.