U.K. To Spanish Motor Vehicle Registration Transfer
data provided by Brian Beezwax, appended for press by Nicholas Gibbs
- Brian Beezwax is one of Ibiza’s very well known long-term residents. Depending on your own lifestyle choices you may know him by one of several guises. By day he has a successful sound system rental and DJ agency. By night he may be found donning the decks himself at a club, a bar, or an exclusive private event somewhere on the island. He also has the sometimes dubious pleasure (our words not his) of having formed the ‘Ibiza Winter Residents’ facebook group, which has something of a reputation for, er, frank exchanges of opinion. Whatever its critics may say, Brian’s group stands at just under 25,000 members and it’s one of the few places in social media land where you really can say whatever you want without fear of censorship.
- Another of the strings to his bow is that of Spanish Motor Vehicle Administration Expert (again our words not his). Brian has compiled a step by step guide in English for the process of importing a vehicle which is, in our opinion, unparalleled in its being current and complete. We are very grateful to him in allowing us to share this in the newspaper and we will also post it to our website for ongoing reference. This must have taken him a long time to put together and such community effort deserves a plug of his business which you can see at the end of the article.
- Please note that all information is provided in good faith and to the best knowledge of those compiling it. Regulations change and are sometimes seemingly unclear or conflicting even to those working in public administration. Good advice when dealing with any Spanish administrative process is to wear a big smile, keep calm, and go documented up to your armpits.
- We will start with some current advice from Brian on the issue of UK plated vehicles being towed in Ibiza town.
“Policia Local in Ibiza town are out clamping and towing foreign plated cars every day. It’s a €500 fine (reduced to €250 if paid straight away), plus €7 per day storage, and the fine is for having a car on the road that is declared ‘baja’ (so anything SORN or untaxed is fair game for them). This applies whether or not you have paid the Modelo 576 tax. There is also a €200 fine (reduced to €100 if paid straight away) for no ITV if appropriate.
As far as I’m aware, if you are unable to tax the car in its home country (i.e. if the UK MOT has run out) then you will need a grua (licenced tow truck) to retrieve your car and you won’t be able to drive it under any circumstances until you have green plates from trafico (see below). (Ed; from reports we receive this is not always observed in practice and sometimes cars are released where tax has expired. As is sometimes the case with Spanish administrative affairs, much is down to luck on the day.) You can pay them €80 to deliver the vehicle to you if you don’t want to book your own grua.”
So they are your risks. You may meet people who have driven cars on UK plates for many years without ever falling foul of the law, but make no mistake, as it stands and with one or two very limited exceptions excluded, you are breaking the law if you are living in Spain and do not re-register your vehicle.
Preparation for Transfer
Before you start the re-registration process you should have a Certificate of Conformity or a ‘Ficha Reducida’ for your car. You will need your car details (especially chassis number) to get one of these either from the dealer (in Ibiza), the Spanish distributor, direct from the manufacturer, or from an online specialist.
If your car is younger than about 10yrs then it should have a European Type Approval number and it should be easy to get a CoC. The Type Approval Number usually appears on the V5 but if not then it should definitely be stamped on a plate under the bonnet.
You should also get your LHD headlights before you start the process as it can often take some time to find these, especially if you are looking to save some money by buying secondhand. If your car does not have European Type Approval then you should try the local dealer first. If they can’t help you (i.e. if your particular model didn’t have Spanish type approval) then you will need to speak to a laboratorio to get a Ficha Tecnica drawn up and this could cost €500 – €1500 rather than the usual €100 – €300 cost of a CoC or Ficha Reducida.
You are then ready to begin the transfer. These are the steps in the process however note that the order of some steps may change depending on your circumstances):-
1, Make an appointment for a special import ITV (ITV = similar to UK MOT)
You can only do this if you have the CoC or Ficha Reducida, and 3 photocopies of the chassis number (which must be taken from a pencil rubbing of the stamp on the car). You have to book in person (or fill out an authorisation form if you are using a specialist transfer company or your gestor).
Take the original registration documents, CoC and ID with you. The cost is €103 and the ITV testing centre is located at Carretera San Miguel KM 2.7 in Santa Gertrudis.
There are often long waiting lists of several months but importantly once you have booked your ITV you can go to Trafico (similar to UK DVLA) to apply for temporary green plates (optional—see below).
- Pay Your Road Tax.
This is paid at the Ayuntamiento (local Council Town Hall. It is the same place as you will have completed your empadronamiento. No appointment is required.
- Pay Your Import Tax
Go to Agencia Tributaria de Ibiza to pay your Modelo 576 import tax. This must be done in person with original documents. You will need to ask to be registered on the Alta (Modelo 030) if you are not already on there.
You need to make an appointment here:
If you are unable to make an appointment, you are probably not on the alta, so you need to visit the Agencia Tributaria without an appointment, and explain this.
Cost depends on the car (see info and links at the end of this article). Location is Avenida Bartolome Rosello, 21. 07800. Currently 2-3 week wait for appointment.
- Get Your Green Plates (optional!)
Go to Trafico to get green temporary plates. You will need your stamped photcopies of car papers from the ITV, residencia (original), (or NIE & empadronamiento originals), Modelo 576 payment receipt, and road tax payment receipt.
You need to make an appointment here:
The cost is €20 to apply, plus around €30 to buy the plates from Recambios Ibiza or similar. Location is Carrer Vicent Serra y Orvay, 43. 07800. Currently 2-3 week wait for appointment. You may also need to pay for the main import application at the same time, which is another €95.
- Take Your Vehicle for the Special Import ITV.
Your vehicle must pass its ITV test which is similar to the UK’s MOT but with requirements differing according to Spain’s regulations. The specific requirements of the ITV, and special import ITV are beyond the scope of this article, but make particular note of the need for LHD headlights mentioned in the section on preparation. Beam converting stickers are not accepted.
- Finish the Importation
Go to Trafico to finish the import.
You will need your stamped photocopies of car papers from the ITV, residencia, (or NIE & empadronamiento), special ITV, tax payment receipt, modelo 576 payment receipt (all originals). You need to make an appointment here:
The cost is €95 to apply (you may have already paid this in step 4), and around €30 to buy the plates from Recambios Ibiza or similar.
Location is Carrer Vicent Serra y Orvay, 43. 07800. Currently 2-3 week wait for appointment.
More information about importing
Once you’ve been living here for six months (or working here for three months), you are obliged to get residencia, and once you have got your residencia, you are obliged to put your car on Spanish plates and change your driving license for a Spanish one.
Regardless, for these six months, you are required (by EU law) to have your car taxed, MOT’d and fully legal in your home country, so as soon as you can’t meet any of these criteria it will be very difficult to avoid a fine/clamp/tow. You will usually be OK until the tax runs out, as long as you have a valid MOT or voluntary ITV to satisfy your ex-pat insurance.
If your car is less than about 10yrs old then it should have the European type approval number on the registration document (V5 if it’s a UK car) and in this case, the process should be relatively straightforward.
Many people choose to have the transfer undertaken by a gestoria or specialist vehicle registration company. It can be very time consuming and complicated if you don’t, particularly if you are relatively new to living in Spain. The gestoria will charge you around €200 + IVA (VAT) on top of the costs of the import.
If you have owned the car for at least 6 months before you applied for your residencia there is an exemption that says you do not have to pay the Modelo 576 tax. To obtain this benefit the re-registration process must be finished within 2 months though, which in practice is almost impossible.
If your car is over 25yrs old then you also have the option of a ‘historico’ import. The process is basically the same, but you need a specialist engineers report for the Ficha Tecnica and you need to join the local classic car club. The cost for the inspection rises from the usual €150 (for a car with European or Spanish Type Approval) to around €650. You should also use a specialist gestoria, and the good ones charge €350 + IVA (my regular one charges €200 + IVA), partly because they have more work to do, and partly because they offer a more comprehensive service. So it costs a fair bit more, but on the plus side, you don’t pay any road tax and you only have to take an ITV test every 2 or 3 years (depending on the age of the vehicle).
- €20 – Green temporary registration document
- €95 – White permanent registration document
- €103 – Special import ITV
- These taxes depend on your vehicle (age, engine size etc):
- €20-150 – Circulacion/Road Tax (paid yearly)
- €66-500+ – Modelo 576 (Emissions tax) (You should probably allow €100 road tax & €500 Modelo 576 for most cars)
- These costs depend on your gestoria and whether or not you want historico plates for an old car:
- €242-423 – Gestoria charges
- €150-650 – Engineers report and Ficha Tecnica (or €1500 for single vehicle homologation if your car is under 25yrs old, but has no European Type Approval)
To calculate the Modelo 576 Payment:
First find your car on the list in the link below and it will say the NEW PRICE on the far right.
Then you use this table to work out the CURRENT VALUE (for tax purposes) (up to 1 year old = 100%, 1 to 2 years old = 84% and so on.
- Hasta 1 año 100 %
- Más de 1 año, hasta 2 84 %
- Más de 2 años, hasta 3 67 %
- Más de 3 años, hasta 4 56 %
- Más de 4 años, hasta 5 47 %
- Más de 5 años, hasta 6 39 %
- Más de 6 años, hasta 7 34 %
- Más de 7 años, hasta 8 28 %
- Más de 8 años, hasta 9 24 %
- Más de 9 años, hasta 10 19 %
- Más de 10 años hasta 11 17 %
- Más de 11 años hasta 12 13 %
- Más de 12 años 10 %
Finally, you work out the Modelo 576 tax as a percentage of the CURRENT VALUE. If the car is older than 1997 then it’s always a flat 12%, but if it’s not then you need to find out the CO2 emission figure (google is your friend)
- <140 g/km = 0%
- 120-160 g/km = 4.75%
- 160-200 g/km = 9.75%
- >200 g/km = 14.75%
And that’s it! Easy right? Best not to dwell on the fact that to re-register a Spanish car in the UK takes one online form and a £75 payment.
With thanks for such a tremendous community effort to Brian Beezwax
Sound system rentals and event DJs and musicians with over 10yrs experience in Ibiza