Car Registration in Barcelona

Car registration in Barcelona

A permanent resident in Spain is not allowed to drive a car on foreign number plates, you have only 30 days to obtain the Spanish plates and make the car registration. Gestoría Guasch can help you during the whole process (taxes, technical inspection, registration, number plates).

Non-residents: Any resident in another country can bring a vehicle registered in another country to Spain and can use it (six months in any calendar year) without paying taxes.

Vehicle Imported from a non-UE country

In case the vehicle has been imported from a non-EU country, you will need to pay customs duties and obtain the Single Administrative Document issued by the Customs Office (Documento Unico de Administrativo – DUA), unless the import certificate appears in the Roadworthiness certificate.


Homologation (homologación) is a procedure to certify that the vehicle comply the Spanish requirements before it can be registered. This is been made by a Technical inspection carried out by the vehicle inspection authority (ITV, Estación de Inspección Técnica de Vehículos). We’ll provide you the nearest ITV station to your residence. ITV is like the MOT in the UK.

At the ITV station you will need to provide all the original car documentation as well as the Certificate of Conformity or the Spanish’s Technical Reduced List (Ficha Técnica Reducida).

Those two options are:

  • Certificate of Conformity – COC (Certificado Europeo de Conformidad) from the vehicle manufacturer or a certified representative (original and photocopy). This is a statement by the car’s manufacturer that it conforms to EU regulations.
  • Technical Reduced List (Ficha Técnica Reducida) issued by a Spanish registered engineer. This document certifies the car technical information. This process can be done totally online.

After you past the test in the ITV you will be given the Technical Certificate Card (Tarjeta ITV):

Ficha Técnica - ITV card


There are two taxes that need to be payed before the car registration:

  • Municipality vehicle tax or Road Tax (Impuesto de circulación municipal). The amount payable depends upon the cylinder capacity of the vehicle.
  • Vehicle Registration Tax (Impuesto de Matriculación) by the tax authority (Hacienda). The registration tax depends on the CO2 emissions. This tax can be avoided if you have been the owner of the vehicle for at least six months before arriving in Spain.

In case of used vehicles acquired within the EU:

  • If the sale is between private persons: Tax on capital transfers (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales)
  • If the vehicle is acquired in a car dealer other than Spain, the invoice detailing the VAT (IVA) figure is needed.

Car Registration

This are the documents needed to prove the owner Identification to the Local Traffic Department (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico):

  • NIE document
  • Passport
  • Spanish residency certificate (Certificado de Empadronamiento)

After all this process the traffic department will issue the Registration Card (Permiso de Circulación), that allows you to use your car in Spain.

Vechicle registration cardcar registration in barcelona

Number Plates

Once you have the registration Card you can have the Vehicle number plates used to display the registration number of a vehicle. Owners also are required to have a minimum of third-party car insurance policy.

number plates

Remember when driving your car in Spain

All vehicles over four years old must pass a technical Inspection and display a valid ITV sticker. The ITV (Vehicle Technical Inspection) must be passed periodically at an authorized ITV station.

As a legal requirement you need to have this documents with you when driving in Spain:

  • Valid Driving license
  • Vehicle Registration Card (Permiso de Circulación)
  • Non expired ITV certificate (Ficha técnica ITV)
  • Proof of payment of the Insurance Policy

Plus, is also mandatory to carry in your car:

  • Two warning triangles
  • Fluorescent reflective jacket

Call Gestoría Guasch for expert advice now:  

(+34) 933 939 718