Changing Ownership of a Car in Spain Made Easy

Driving is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get around in Spain. Whilst the country is also well known for its excellent public transport links, Spanish roads are well-maintained, safe, and offer a great way for motorists to get from A to B. But if you’re ready to give your car an upgrade and buy something new, you may be wondering about the process of selling your car. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here’s everything you need to know about transferring the ownership of a second-hand vehicle between two people in Spain:

There are two ways to transfer an ownership document: you can either hire a Spanish Gestor to do it for you, or you can do it yourself. If you speak a little Spanish (or know someone who does) then the process is actually quite simple to do yourself, and this will save you money too.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Transfer

Once you have found someone to buy your car, and are ready to transfer its ownership, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Making sure that the IVTM road tax for your vehicle has been paid for the year before the transfer takes place and that you can demonstrate this with a receipt or record of payment.
  • Pay any outstanding fines.
  • Demonstrate that you own the car in full and can legally sell it (i.e. that there are no restrictions such as hire purchase agreements in place on the vehicle)

 Whilst you are doing this, your buyer should check for themselves that the vehicle is legal: you can obtain either a free report or a more detailed report for €8.50 outlining the full vehicle history.

 Agree to a Contract of Sale

 You should create a written sales contract outlining the date and time of the transfer of ownership; this should be agreed and signed by both the buyer and the seller. It is important to have this contract in place before the car is exchanged, so that if there are any speeding offences or fines they can be legally attributed to the right person.

 The Responsibilities of the Seller

If you’re selling your vehicle then you will need to ensure you have the following documents, before the car ownership can be transferred:

  • Original Permiso de Circulación (Logbook)
  • Current ITV/MOT certificate - Inspección Técnica de Vehículos - If the vehicle is over 4 years old.
  • The previous years IVTM road tax receipts (Impuesto de Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica)

You will also need to make sure that you inform your insurance company about the change of ownership.

The Responsibilities of the Buyer

Once the sales contract (as onlined above) has been signed and agreed to by both the buyer and the seller, the buyer will have 15 days to provide the seller with a copy of the new Permiso de Circulación logbook, which will prove that ownership has in fact changed hands, and it will be their responsibility to register that they are the new owner of the vehicle (and pay the associated transfer fee too).

The process of completing this is outlined below:

  • Visit the  Jefatura de Tráfico office and provide the following documentation:- sales contract, applcation form, log book and MOT certificate (known as the ITV test certificate)  for the vehicle (if it is over 4 years old), the tax receipt (which you should have been given by the seller) and photocopies of both the buyer and seller’s ID.
  • You have 30 days to compete this process.
  • Before you attend this appontment you should go to the local tax office (Hacienda) to pay the transfer tax (Modelo forms 620/621) which is around 4% of the official/fiscal value of the vehicle.
  • You can then attend your appointment at the Jefatura de Tráfico office, pay the associated fee, and completed the official transfer of the vehicle.

What Will it Cost?

As well as the cost of purchasing the vehicle, the buyer will also have to pay a fee of €54.60 (mopeds €27.30) to the local traffic office (Jefatura de Tráfico) for the official transfer of the vehicle. You will also need to pay a transfer tax to the Hacienda tax office which is currently set at 4% of the purchase price. The seller will also need to pay €8.50 to inform the DGT traffic department of the sale of the vehicle.

Are you thinking of moving to Spain, and buying a new property, and a new car? Perhaps you’ve always imagined having your own Spanish bolt hole for getaways and holidays? Our locally based property experts can help. We’re perfectly placed to help you find the right home for you, and turn your dreams into a reality.



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