2021 Update: New Changes to the ITV Road Worthiness Test

If you’re currently living in Spain, or thinking of moving to Spain, then it’s likely that you will also choose to drive in the country. Whilst Spanish public transport links are excellent, many ex-pats favour the convenience of having their own vehicle. If you do choose to drive in Spain then you will need an ITV test (the Spanish equivalent of an MOT) for your vehicle, and you should take this into consideration when calculating the cost of living in Spain. Here’s everything you need to know about the ITV test, including the 2021 updates to the test:

The ITV Test: An Overview

The ITV (or Inspección Técnica de Vehiculos) is the Spanish equivalent of the MOT test that vehicles must undertake in the UK, and similar tests are also undertaken in much of the USA, and other countries worldwide. This test gives peace of mind by showing that your car is roadworthy, and once a vehicle has passed its test it is issued with a small coloured (year depending) sticker that is displayed in the car window; displaying this sticker is a legal requirement.

The ITV test must legally be carried out at an official ITV station or testing centre, but you can use any garage, or local mechanic, to undertake the work that you need to ensure that you pass this test.

How Often Do I Need an ITV Test?

In the UK, a car must be MOT’ed on a yearly basis, but in Spain the frequency with which you must receive a new ITV test for your vehicle will depend on the age of the car:

  • Cars less than four years old don’t need to undergo an ITV test.
  • Cars between four and ten years old need to have an ITV test every two years.
  • Cars that are older than ten years old need to have an ITV test every year.

Bringing the Right Documentation

When you bring your vehicle to the ITV testing centre, you must have all the correct paperwork, as well as your car, with you for the test to go ahead and the new certificate to be issued. You should ensure you have the following documentation, and that you pay the fee for the certificate to be issued. This costs between 30 euros and 48 euros, depending on the size of your vehicle and where you live. The documents you will need are :

  • Ficha Técnica or ITV card – This is the certificate you are given after your ITV test has been completed, and it details any faults that were found on your last test. You won’t need this if it is your cars first ITV test.
  • Permiso de circulación – This is your vehicle’s registration document.
  • Insurance receipt – You cannot be given an ITV certificate if you cannot show that your vehicle has the correct insurance.
  • Identification – You will need to bring your DNI, NIE or TIE for identification.

How The ITV Test Will Change in 2021

From the 1st June 2021, new rules and regulations were introduced to the ITV test, which are intended to adapt the test to suit new vehicle technologies, as well as make it easier to register UK vehicles in Spain following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Much of the ITV test regulations will remain the same, but drivers need to be aware of the following main changes:

  • If the anti-lock braking system has some kind of fault, this will be considered a serious defect now, rather than a minor one.
  • The possible detachment of the rearview mirrors is also considered a serious defect.
  • The driver of the vehicles driver’s licence can now be validated through the General Registry of Vehicles at the DGT, if the driver doesn’t present it at the testing station.
  • Emission testing on extended range electric vehicles (REEVs) or the identification of motorcycles with advanced emission control systems, will be more clearly specified, in a bid to focus on the environmental-aspects of vehicle ownership.

It is important to be aware of these changes so that when it’s time to take your vehicle for its ITV test you can ensure that it fulfills these criteria and you leave no grounds for rejection.

What Happens If Your Car Fails the ITV Test?

If your car fails the ITV test then you have up to two months to rectify any flaws and then return it to the garage or ITV station for a retest. If you drive your car without an ITV test then you could fall foul of four different fines, which could total up to €500. You are allowed to drive your car to the garage for any repairs, however.

According to AECA-ITV, there are a total of 2.5 million drivers who, in addition to not having their ITV up to date, are not covered by the corresponding insurance policy either. This is very dangerous both for the motorist themselves and for other road users.

Importing your UK Car to Spain

If you decide that you would like to import your UK car to Spain then you will need to secure an ITV test when you arrive; if you have recently gained an MOT in the UK then this cannot be transferred to Spain and the ITV test will still need to be completed. As soon as the transfer of your car to Spain is completed, you will need to head to the ITV station!

As well as providing the documentation detailed above, if you are gaining an ITV certificate for a British care then you will also need the following documents: foreign registration (may vary depending on the situation of each person and their vehicle), the circulation permit or equivalent document from the country of origin and the original copy of the vehicle’s technical sheet or technical inspection card, or equivalent.

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