Taking Vehicle Abroad
IMPORTATION AND REGISTRATION
UK nationals who are not residents may bring their car into Spain, but
neither they nor anyone else can use it in Spain for more than six months in
any one year. Anyone who spends more than a total of six months a year in
Spain is considered resident, and so not entitled to this.
The procedures relating to importation are
complicated. The motoring
associations in Britain, and the Real Automóvil Club de España can provide
guidance, but the main source of information is the
Directorate-General of Customs in Madrid. (Dirección
General de Aduanas en Madrid, C/ Guzmán el Bueno 137, 28003 Madrid. Tel.
(00 34) 91 553 02 00, Fax. (00 34) 91 553 52
If non-residents become resident they
must obtain full national plates and pay the Impuesto Especial of 12%, which
is based on the car’s ready-reckoned value. (Non-residents from outside the EU
are exempt from the Impuesto Especial).
Residents importing a vehicle must
register it with the local authorities and obtain Spanish national plates.
They should surrender the British vehicle’s Registration Document to the DVLA in the UK and obtain a certificate of permanent export (V756) from them to
present in Spain.
Road worthiness certificates for right-hand drive
cars are available from Spanish ITV (MOT) centres. Some adjustments to the
vehicle may be needed to comply with EU regulations.
For help with the transfer of vehicles from
English to Spanish plates, please email us and one of our staff will be happy
to assist you in this, and will let you know how much we charge to aid in the
completion of the ITV, and the paperwork. Email us now…
Purchase of new cars in Spain is subject to 16% IVA (VAT), payable the
first time a car is bought and registered. When the car is sold on in Spain,
the Impuesto de Transmisiones (Transference Tax) of 4% must be paid.
Traffic Regulations require that the following items be kept in the
vehicle (subject to change):
- Set of bulbs and tools necessary to replace them
- Two warning triangles – officially approved by the Ministerio del
Interior, bearing a round symbol E9 and the code 27R03
- Spare tyre and the tools necessary to replace it
- 1 reflective jacket
- A spare pair of glasses (for those who wear spectacles to drive)
MOTOR INSURANCE REGULATIONS
Spanish insurance regulations differ from those in the UK. For example,
when a vehicle is declared a write-off in Spain, the insurance company pays
only a percentage of the vehicle’s current value, even when the policy is
EU legislation requires that motorists in member states have full third
party insurance. However, there is nothing which regulates what is applicable
to third party or comprehensive insurance. This is a matter for member states,
whose regulations differ.
It is important to check carefully what cover your policy provides.
ASEGURACE may provide guidance, Tel: 902 120 441.
The Green Card System was introduced on 1st January 1953 under the aegis of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United
Nations and is managed by the Council of Bureaux, a body established in London
where is the green card system operated
The Green Card System is primarily a European System. It
presently includes most, but not all European Countries, west of the Urals and
the Caspian Sea and Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
What are the objectives
of the green card system?
- to ensure that Third Party victims of road traffic
accidents do not suffer from the fact that injuries or damage sustained by
them were caused by a visiting motorist rather than a motorist resident in the
- to avoid the need for motorists to obtain insurance cover
at each of the frontiers of the countries which they visit.
How are the objectives achieved?Through the activities of the Green Card Bureaux established
by Law or Regulation in each of the 44 Countries participating in the System.All Green Card Bureaux operate with the recognition and
approval of their Governments.
Each Green Card Bureau has two functions:
- as a “Bureau of the country of the
accident”, it has responsibility in accordance with national legal provisions
for Compulsory Third Party Motor Insurance for the handling and settlement of
claims arising from accidents caused by visiting motorists.
- as a “Guaranteeing Bureau” it guarantees
certificates of Motor Insurance – (“Green Cards”) which are issued by its
member insurance companies to their policyholders.
National bureau cooperate on the basis of the Internal
Regulations signed bilaterally between each of them.
What exactly is a Green Card?The Green Card is equivalent to the national Motor Insurance
Certificates of each and all of the Countries which a motorist visits. As such
it is accepted without any obstacle or cost by the Authorities of all countries
for which the individual Green Card is valid.The Green Card certifies that the visiting motorist has at
least the minimum compulsory Third Party insurance cover required by the Laws of
the countries visited.
How can I get a green card? Motorists should obtain Green Cards from the Insurer who has
issued their motor insurance policy.
Do I need a Green Card for all countries that I may visit ? For visits by motorists to 29 of the 44 Countries
participating in the Green Card System the Green Card is not a required document
since it is substituted by the national vehicle registration plates of those 29
Countries, which are – the 25 Member Countries of the European Union as well as
Croatia, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.
The national registration plates of the 29 countries
signify to the Authorities of the country that the vehicle concerned is insured
in respect only of the Third Party liabilities for which insurance is
compulsory. Motorists are therefore urged to find out from their Insurers:
- what, if any, insurance documentation is necessary for the
countries to be visited; the extent of the cover provided by their own motor
insurance policies for the countries visited
- the procedure to be followed in the event of an accident in
a visited Country.