Protection when buying a second hand car in Spain?

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30 Jun 2009 00:00 by Archoo Star rating. 1 posts Send private message


This is my first post so please excuse any bad netiquette.

I found a car on Autoscout24 that was advertised in Murcia but have since found out that the car is a trade-in so unavailable at present.  The advert had no pictures and I was suspect at first but on calling the mobile number for VIPCars in Murcia was told that the car was to be traded in for a Mercedes but both parties were on holiday until Friday so pictures would not be available until then.  On a further conversation I discovered that the dealer was from Rioja in the north of Spain but was on holiday in Murcia and was scheduled to trade the Mercedes on Friday in Malaga.  He was prepared to arrange for us to meet on Friday or Saturday so I could purchase the trade in car but was not sure exactly when.  I have subsequently seen the advert for the car disappear from Autoscout24 but his other cars remain, on speaking to the trader again he said that he had received so many calls for the car that he decided to remove the advert as he had enough leads and it was ruining his family holiday.

I have spoken to the Ofi-Auto office in Marbella (Dedicated Car Gestoria) and they have said that as long as I get an "informe" (€30 and 10 minutes equivilant to an HPI check in the UK) from them it would reveal any issues with the car (Finance, Embargoes, Fines and owner details) and although this could be up to two weeks behind any issues it acts as a guarantee from Trafico that there are no known issues.  If any issues appear  within the following weeks the "informe" would protect against any claims on the vehicle for the original owner.  According to OfiAuto it would protect against anything and stop anyone from repossessing the car, not sure on this but would be grateful if someone could confirm as googling has found nothing on "spanish vehicle trafico informe".

This will be my first car purchase in Spain and although I have researched as many do's and do not's I am still concearned.  If the dealer has the "Permiso de Circulacion", "Tarjeta Inspeccion Technica de Vehiculos" and the contract of sale signed by the owner, which all match the informe details I receive from OfiAuto/Trafico, should this be enough to proceed with the sale.  Should I ask to see the contract of sale for the Mercedes to verify the story or can I do something else to protect myself from any issues.

My concerns are the "Permiso de Circulacion" and "Tarjeta Inspeccion Technica de Vehiculos" do not seem to be the most sophisticated of documents and forging them does not seem impossible but as long as the details match the Informe should I not worry about this.

I will be buying a car from someone on the street and not at their place of business or the owners residence as the dealer is personally delivering the Mercedes to the client on returning from his holiday and I will be buying the trade in from him before he goes home to the north of Spain.  Is this just perfect random circumstances or some elaborate con?

I am paying for a qualified mobile mechanic to inspect the car as RACE nor RACC don't offer any kind of car inspection service like the AA or RAC in the UK.  Should I also insist that the deal be done in the presence of the current owner as I feel this would allay pretty much all of my fears if the address matches all the documentation.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer and I hope someone can allay my fears as I really want the car.


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