Importing a right-hand drive car into Spain

Right hand drive car being registered in Spain

Top tips for preparing your RHD vehicle for a Spanish ITV test

If you are importing a right-hand drive car into Spain from the UK, part of the registration process is a technical inspection (ITV) to ensure the vehicle is road worthy.

When it comes to the time of the technical test there are a few issues we need to be wary of, to make sure that the car passes first time. Aside from standard safety tests, the inspector will also check that the vehicle is fit to drive on the left-hand side of the road

Here’s a list of items to check before taking your vehicle to an ITV test.

– Headlights – in the UK headlights are set for driving on the right hand side i,e they have an  angle up to the left. On the continent this would obviously would blind drivers, simply lowering the beam or putting masking stickers on is not enough. The beam pattern must conform to left hand driving.

– Halogen Headlights – Normally have a fixed reflection plate at the back normally the units must be replaced.

– Xenon and LED Headlights lights are often switchable, using the vehicles software or an internal switch in the actual headlight unit itself. These tend to be in more modern vehicles so it’s always advisable to check with manufacturer first.

If you have access to the vehicles handbook you can often find the information you need – Kiauto is a great website for sourcing headlights which are delivered to you door or garage, (normally within 24 hours).

– Rear fog lights – Can be either double (i.e one either side ) or a single light in the middle or left-hand side. As  vehicles overtake on the left in Spain (opposite to the UK), in some cases when vehicles come from the UK, they only have the fog light on the right.

– Velocimeter (Speedometer) – Needs to show KPH (Kilometres Per Hour). Most vehicles have the KPH on the inside of the MPH ring, or if digital can be switched from MPH to KPH using the dashboard software.

– Tyres – The UK isn’t as strict with its load and speed rating laws as Spain. On many occasions, I have had clients that have put on brand new tyres in the UK before coming to Spain, only to find they are not valid, because they don’t meet the minimum required standard set out in the certificate of conformity.

When registering your vehicle you will need a certificate of conformity or a ‘ficha tecnica reducida‘ .You can find the correct tyre information here. Muchonuematico is a popular budget website in Spain with an abundance of fitters in every area.

– Window laminates – If you have had aftermarket window laminates installed in the UK then it’s a good bet they haven’t the correct stamp or certification on them to pass a technical inspection in Spain. Most installers are happy to validate the laminates, stamp them and give you a certificate without the hassle of a completely new install.

– Tow bars, side steps and other extras – these must have an EU conformity part number which must match to parts authorised on the certificate of conformity or they must be removed completely. The inspectors will be on the lookout for suspension modifications, aftermarket exhausts and also extras like modified bumpers, spotlights etc. – Basically, anything that has been added after market could be a problem.

When Importing a right-hand drive car into Spain, these rules are based on vehicles with EU conformity, there are exceptions for vehicles being registered for change of residence and other non-conformed means i.e. historic, individual homologation or correspondence.

Happy Motoring!

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