As a non-resident you can keep a foreign registered vehicle in Spain for 6 months before you are required by Spanish law to either re-register your vehicle as a Spanish one or physically take it out of the country for 6 months. If you are a resident in Spain, you only have 1 month to register it.

Your vehicle must at all times be road legal in its country of registration. There are 3 main police forces that you can come across in Spain, Guardia Civil, Policia Nacional and Policia Local all of these can deal and investigate traffic matters. They all have access to UK DVLA and other complying countries databases so can check a vehicles legality in minutes using a smart phone. They are able to check if your vehicle is taxed, MOT'd and insured i.e road legal in the country that the car is registered in. If any of these are not up to date you could have your vehicle impounded. Additionally please do not drive a SORN vehicle in Spain as it is not road legal anywhere in Europe. 

Can I import any type of vehicle into Spain?

If you owned a vehicle before moving to Spain, there are virtually no restrictions that will prevent you from re-registering it. If you buy a non Spanish vehicle or Motor home after moving to Spain or are thinking of purchasing one there may be certain restrictions, so please check with us and we will be able to advise you on any relevant matters.

Can I import a right handed car? 

Yes you can import a right hand dive car or motor home. Usually right hand drive vehicles will need to have continental headlights fitted, left hand drive headlight beam conversion stickers are acceptable for permanent importation of a car into Spain. We can supply you with headlights for all types of vehicles.

Can I use my caravan in Spain?

The UK & Ireland are the only European countries  

Does my vehicle need European type approval?

From and including 1 January 1998, all new vehicles that are registered for the first time must have a type approval according to the base Directive 70/156/EEC, later amended by Directive 2001/116/EC. Vehicles with EC type approval usually have a model year of 1995 or later. A vehicle with an EC type approval is supplied with a manufacturer's plate that contains the vehicle's approval number, for instance *98/14*0004*01. Furthermore, the manufacturer will certify with a CoC (Certificate of Conformity) that the vehicle is covered by an EU type approval. If you are unsure if your vehicle complies with this please feel free to contact us. 

Can I avoid paying registration/import tax?

Yes, the Spanish authorities will class your vehicle as part of your personal possessions brought with you to Spain and will exempt you from tax, but only within 2 months of your arrival (see below) and if you can meet the following criteria.

a) You owned the vehicle for more than 6 months (as shown on the vehicle registration document) before obtaining Padron/Residencia/paying Spanish income tax.

And Then... 

a) Your original "Padron" is less than 2 months old.


b) You can prove that you have lived in the UK for at least 12 months. This can be done via a letter from your employer or information from the UK tax authorities for example. Having a property, bank account or being on the electoral role is inadequate for this purpose

c)   You obtain a Notary letter confirming your past and present addresses and the date that you moved to Spain


You may be able to obtain a Baja Consular (residency transfer document) from your  Consualte (or in the case of UK citizens from the Consulate of the country in which you were previously resident)

Or you may have other official documents supporting the fact that you lived in a specific country

Please contact us for specific advice regarding this subject as it may not be straightforward

Please note that for importation purposes, the date of your arrival in Spain is taken as the date that you APPLY for your FIRST Padron at your present address (or "Residencia" at any address so in practice, you could have been in Spain for some time before obtaining your Padron and still be exempt from the tax.

Should you need a Baja Consular, then a trip to the British Consulate in Alicante, (which covers the provinces of Albacete, Alicante, Castellon, Murcia and Valencia), is needed; we normally accompany all customers there at no extra cost. The cost of a Baja Consular is presently 168.00€ (January 2013), which is usually less than the cost of import tax.
Most countries have a Consulate in Alicante (including Ireland) and charge less than the British!
If you are outside of the above two regions, then you will find your local Consulate via . 
Other Consulates can be found via the web on