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How to ..... ?

This blog is intended to be helpful to English-speaking foreign residents in Spain by explaining "How to ... " do certain things. "The Crazy Guy" has lived in Spain full time since 2008. A fluent Spanish-speaker he reckons he knows his way round the bureaucracy, the indifference and sometimes downright rudeness of "funcionarios".

HOW TO ..... IMPORT A FOREIGN VEHICLE to Spain and re-register it onto Spanish number plates
Saturday, March 19, 2022 @ 7:52 AM

The Crazy Guy recently completed the process of importing a UK vehicle to Spain and re-registering it onto Spanish number plates.

Much to his surprise he found it extremely straightforward.

When I decided to buy a UK vehicle here in Spain, I knew I needed to re-register it as soon as possible. I asked some friends who’d already done this and they referred me to companies on the coast that do it for you for a pretty hefty fee.

I decided that I probably didn’t need to waste money I didn’t have so I decided to do it myself with the help of a gestor.

Irene, the gestora, told me what I needed to do and how much each stage of the process would cost. Once I’d completed the process, I just needed to bring all the paperwork in and she would deal with tráfico in Málaga. All for a fee of just 80 euros!

This is what I had to do:

Get an independent engineer’s report (una ficha técnica reducida). She gave me the phone number of a local engineer, Natale, and told me it would cost 110€.

It cost…110€.

I had to get the headlights changed, as it is a right-hand-drive vehicle. My neighbour Antonio, a car mechanic, did that for 380€.

Next, I had to go to the ITV station to request an inspección técnica de vehículos, like a super strict MOT. A few days later I was contacted with an appointment. They did the test. It passed. 150€.

I returned to Irene, my gestora, and gave her all the paperwork. A week later I was contacted to be told everything was in order with tráfico in Málaga. I just needed to pop into the office to pay some tax and the gestora’s fee.

A few days later I was summoned again to collect my new placas, number plates. Bob’s your uncle! My car was now Spanish and legal.


Here’s my final bill:

  • Ficha técnica reducida €110
  • Change of headlights €380
  • ITV €150
  • Import tax €600
  • Gestora fee €80

TOTAL €1,320


Please note:

My vehicle was imported to Spain before the UK left the EU. From 1 January 2021 onwards, you have to pay import duty on top.



car registration, change of headlights, ficha técnica reducida, gestor, import a foreign vehicle, import tax, independent engineer’s report, inspección técnica de vehículos, ITV, re-register a foreign vehicle, van, VW Transporter



Like 0


Radam said:
Saturday, June 11, 2022 @ 10:51 AM

When I moved here years ago, from the US, on a residency visa, I had 6 months to import my household goods, including my car, duty free. I had to have a rear bumper fog light added (about Euros 60) and had to chase paperwork, including a Baja Consular form stamped by the US Consular Agency office in Fuengirola, and paid many fees (customs clearance, port charges, etc) BUT no import duty for importing the car and goods as part of my residency move. Are you sure that import duty now applies if the person is doing a residency move here?

PablodeRonda said:
Tuesday, March 26, 2024 @ 6:10 PM

Since Brexit, yes.

PablodeRonda said:
Tuesday, March 26, 2024 @ 6:12 PM

In fact, I had to prove that the vehicle had entered Spain prior to the UK finally leaving the EU. The ferry ticket was sufficient for me not to have to pay the Import Duty.

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