Driving In Spain? Here’s Your Guide To Getting The Right Car Insurance

Think car, think car insurance! The very first thing you should do before you get behind the wheel in Spain is ensure you have the right car insurance because the risks, and the penalties, are so high if you don’t.

Car insurance is a legal requirement in Spain. So here’s your complete guide to making sure that you’re getting it right:

Do You Need Car Insurance In Spain?

The simple answer is yes. To drive legally in Spain you will need car insurance to at least 3rd party liability level. You will need individual insurance for every vehicle you own. The only exception to this is bicycles, which don’t need to be insured. It doesn’t matter if your vehicle is parked or not roadworthy, it should still be insured.

If you are found to be driving in Spain without insurance you could be fined up to €3,000.

In Spain it is the vehicle that is insured, not the driver. So being insured to drive one car doesn’t mean your insured to drive another. If your car has more than one driver then you can add another driver to the policy. It’s important to note though that second drivers aged under 25 or with a poor driving record may affect premiums.

The car insurance market in Spain is huge and is considered the biggest Spanish insurance market.

Do I Need Insurance For My Motorcycle In Spain?

Under Spanish law motorcycles, scooters and mopeds are all considered to be vehicles and therefore they should all be covered by at least 3rd party insurance.  To purchase coverage, you need a driving license that is valid in Spain, and that covers you to drive a motorcycle.

What About If I’m Already Insured In My Home Country?

If you move to Spain from an EU country then you can move your vehicle and your vehicle insurance policy with you. Your car insurance will continue to be valid provided you have international coverage with your insurer.

Things get a little more tricky if your home country is outside of the EU. You may be able to use your insurance for a limited period of time (usually between 3-6 months) as part of your international holiday coverage.

But if you are relocating to Spain full time then you will need to register your non-EU car in the country and then secure a new, Spanish insurance policy for it.

There are 3 main different types of car insurance in Spain that you can choose between.

These are:

  • Third-party liability (responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio). This is the most basic and usually the cheapest policy. It will cover the costs and damages incurred by any 3rd party you’re involved in an accident with, but won’t cover your own costs.
  • Third-party fire and theft (responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo). This covers everything outlined over in the 3rd party policy but will also cover a few extras. These are usually your expensies if your vehicle is involved in a fire or if you are a victim of theft or vandalism.
  • Comprehensive (todo riesgo). As the name implies, this is the most comprehensive car insurance you can choose. It will cover all costs involved for both third parties and yourself, even if the accident was your fault. However, if you weren’t obeying the law and this caused the accident (drink driving, for example) then this will invalidate your insurance policy. This is the most expensive policy you can choose, but is a good choice if you drive a lot or have an expensive car.

How Much Is Car Insurance In Spain?

Of course this depends on which type of policy you choose, what type of car you drive, and how long you’ve been driving. But the average car insurance premium in Spain is  just over €350 per year.

Where you live will also impact your insurance costs in Spain. You’ll pay more if you live in a busier city such as Madrid and Barcelona than if you’re driving in the countryside.

There are ways to reduce your car insurance costs. You could voluntarily increase your excess (the amount you would have to pay towards each claim) to bring your annual premiums down.

Can I Earn No-Claim Bonuses In Spain?

The No-claim bonus system is a commonly used one worldwide, and it is also one that is operated in Spain. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the no-claim bonus system reduced your insurance premiums for each year that you hold an insurance policy but don’t file any claims. Effectively you are being rewarded for proving that you’re a good driver.

 Typically, you will earn a 5% discount for each no-claim year. The maximum discount is around 65%. In Spain you can carry over no-claims periods from other insurers when switching providers if you are able to provide proof of no-claims history.

Whilst this is great news for careful drivers, at the other end of the spectrum, if you make a claim (and especially if you make more than one claim) in any given year then you’re likely to see your insurance premiums go up.

Choosing A Car Insurance Company In Spain

Some of the most well-known car insurance companies in Spain are:

How To Apply For Car Insurance In Spain

The car insurance application form and system will vary from insurer to insurer. There is not a standardised system in Spain. But in order to complete your application, either online or on the phone, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

How To Make A Claim With A Spanish Car Insurer

Like the process of applying for the insurance policy, there is also no standardised system for making a claim with your insurance company in Spain. But if you have been involved in an accident, or had an incident which means you need to make an insurance claim, then the following general advice may prove useful:

  • complete your EU accident report form (declaración de siniestro de automóvil) which should be signed by both parties;
  • obtain a copy of the police report form, if you are involved in an incident where the police are called;
  • get the contact details of the other party along with any witnesses to the accident;
  • take pictures of the damage if possible.

You will usually have a set time period in which to make your claim (this varies from insurer to insurer) so get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible after your accident.

 Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Would you like to bring your car with you and explore the best of Spain’s roads? Whatever your dream, we can help. Why not get in touch with our team of local property experts today, to find out more about how we can help you.