The E.U. legislation makes provisions to avoid double taxation with all E.U. member countries. This detail is of crucial importance when it comes to exporting a car from Spain. However, in some cases, if the procedure of cancelling the car’s registration in Spain has not been carried out correctly (or not completed at all), a used car can remain a taxable entity (subject to road tax, which varies by country) even after its export to another country. Therefore, when considering exporting a used car from Spain, the most important procedure to understand is that for cancelling the car’s registration in Spain.
In case a car is purchased in Spain by a non-resident who plans to export it to another country, the act of purchase of a motor vehicle carried out on Spanish territory is not registered directly in the General Traffic Directorate of Spain (Dirección General de Tráfico), since the buyer will not be included in the database of Spanish car owners. The car is then withdrawn from registration and registered as ‘out of ownership’ for the period of time from its purchase to its delivery at a destination abroad. For this reason, once a used car is purchased, one must initiate the process of cancelling its registration immediately, including making the mandatory note, ‘for export’ (por exportacion). Otherwise, it will not be possible to export the car from Spain. The General Traffic Directorate of Spain (DGT) charges a tax fee in the amount of €8.30 (a fixed rate) for this procedure. Should the car be a classical automobile (a retro model not newer than 25 years since the vehicle’s production), the tax is not levied.
Before exporting a car from Spain and in order to cancel the car’s registration, one must submit the following documents to the DGT:
- Information about the seller and buyer of the car. For physical entities, an official document identifying the person and confirming the residence address (ID, Spanish driving license, residence permit, NIE) is required. For legal entities, confirmation that the company pays taxes is required (by means of the tax identification card).
- Motor Vehicle Registration Certificate.
- Confirmation of successfully passing the technical inspection (ITV card - Inspección Técnica de Vehículos).
- Completed application for the car’s registration cancellation (The form is available both online on the DGT website and in person at the office.)
- Confirmation of a tax fee payment (if the car is not a classical automobile).
The certificate with the note, ‘por exportacion,’ along with the certificate confirming that the vehicle has passed successfully the technical inspection (ITV) before export are necessary in order to register the car in its country of destination. The best option is to cancel the car’s registration before its export, taking into account that this procedure is not very time-consuming (lasting a maximum of 10 days). During this procedure, one is allowed to use the vehicle for an additional two weeks on Spanish territory. Otherwise, if one exports a car from Spain before the process termination, difficulties may arise. In order to complete the process of the car’s registration cancellation remotely, it is necessary to send personal information (ID/NIE information) to Spain from another country.
How to export a new car from Spain
There are two key differences in exporting a new car from Spain as compared to exporting a used vehicle:
- In this case, it makes the most sense to purchase tourist registration numbers for a car. It is quite easy to obtain these numbers, as submission to the DGT requires almost the same documents as for used cars. Additionally, one is required to present the state fee payment slip for a new car (100 euros) and a special permit issued by the Spanish customs agency (for further export), where, apart from many other data, the technical specifications of the car must be stated. The validity period for a car’s tourist registration numbers in Spain is limited to 12 months, but this period can be extended. Also, one should keep in mind that when exporting a car from Spain after using it for six months, it will not be considered a new vehicle anymore.
- If you want to export a new car from Spain, you will have to pay a customs fee, the amount of which depends upon the price, type, and technical characteristics of the car.
Moreover, when discussing the topic of exporting a car from Spain, it is worth mentioning that the process is subject to some regional particularities (varying from country to country). For instance, when exporting a car from Spain to the United Kingdom, one should make sure that the following requirements are met:
- A car must not be more than 10 years old.
- Its technical characteristics must meet the British standards. (This requirement has been introduced with the purpose of controlling the car’s atmospheric emissions.)
- The headlights must be installed according to the British standards.
Once you make sure that your car meets the aforementioned requirements, it is important to take the following steps:
- Obtain a Conformity Certificate issued by the Vehicle Conformity Agency. Every motor vehicle type (motorcycle, car, van, etc.) has its own specific criteria that must be followed. The types of application also vary depending on vehicle type. The cost of this certificate constitutes, on average, 70 euros.
- The motor vehicle for export must be insured in accordance with the requirements of Great Britain (with minimal insurance coverage, or third-party insurance). To meet this requirement, it is necessary to present the original car insurance document.
Should you require any consultation on how to export a car from Spain, contact the specialists of INEEDSpain service center, who will assist you in answering all your questions related to the car export procedure.