Using a UK registered Car in Spain

Spanish Property Insight Forums Spanish Property Forums Property Questions & Answers Using a UK registered Car in Spain

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    • #55697

      Having trawled through numerous forums I have yet to come up with any definitive answers to the perennial question of when and if to get rid of my UK car and buy a used Spanish Car.

      Game plan

      1. Drive to Spain in UK car taking a car full of essentials, put rest of household furniture etc. in storage.
      2. Spend 4 weeks in holiday let until we can find a suitable long term let for up to a year.
      3. Whilst in long term let find a place to buy.
      4. Buy a suitable residence.
      5. Drive back to England get rid of car and drive back to Spain with a one way hire van full of the rest of my posessions.
      6. Buy a second hand Spanish Car

      The flaws in my plan seem to be that Spanish law does not allow me to drive my car for longer than 6 months without registering it in Spain which would render it unsaleable in Uk without reversing the process. Also I need an NIE in order to do anything financial and I believe that you have to make a joint application for residencia/NIE now. As a Spanish resident I am prohibited from driving a car on foreign plates even though I have not been living in Spain for six months yet.

      Is there any way I can carry out my game plan without bending the law or taking a chance of not being caught using my UK car. I am perfectly willing to get it insured and MOT’d in Spain. The official wording includes the words ‘…any person who has either a residence permit or is a fiscal resident in Spain must register a car staying PERMANENTLY in Spain….1st diposition of LAW 38/1992

      Kindest regards

      Steve & Jill

    • #99294

      Check whether it is 6 months or 6 months in one year…it could be that you could have a car from July to Dec 2010 then Jan to June 2011 without breaking the law if its 6 months of any year…

      I have a LHD car that was brought in the UK and “imported” it (except its not importation but a change of address according to traffic here) as you may have seen from my previous post on SPI, its quite expensive if you have a new expensive car as the tax is a percentage of the purchase price, reduced for cars of a certain age.

      Good luck with your move,


    • #99328

      It never used to be the case that residence & NIE went hand in hand I know these kinds of things change frequently, but I would check if you can just get NIE 1st

      You are correct, that if the car is in Spain for six months you have to register it here (which is not worth the cost & hassle, unless it’s a special vehicle) Many, though just carry on with UK plates, I’m not sure if the police have anyway of checking this, my guess is that they haven’t a clue I appreciate that you want to keep everything to the letter of the law, but in this case it’s probably more sensible to bend the rules

    • #99339

      NIE and Residencia are different things and do not go together, i.e. if you buy a holiday home in Spain you will need NIE for taxes but you are not a resident so do not need Residence, as you say this all changes after 180 days in any one year.

      As far as the car goes if you do keep it on UK plates when in Spain you will need to keep current UK MOT, insurance in Spain for a UK reg car (your UK insurance will normally only last 30 days from when you leave UK) and valid UK road tax, your problems may start when/if the local police make a note of seeing the car about over a long period of time

      You can’t get an ITV on a UK reg car

      Hope it all goes well

    • #99417

      But if you are a Spanish resident , then it’s illegal under Spanish law to drive a foreign registered vehicle . Some regions classify anyone with an NIE as a resident , ( Cataluña is one ) & as such the 180 days & then re-reg. applies.

    • #99464

      The residencia card used to be given to you when you applied for your NIE as a member of the EEU, its very useful for paying for things with a credit card/ debit card etc as has your photo on it, as well as needing to proof who you are for anything offical.

      However, a few years ago the EU decided it was illegal for EU members to need such “permission” to live in other EU states and eventually the system here caught up with this and so the residencia cards are no longer issued. You still get a NIE but its just on a large piece of paper and is completely useless for anything practical, as you then have to show your paper and your passport for anything requiring your identity!

      Hope that helps clear things up…


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