Registering a vehicle in Spain after Brexit

Registering a vehicle in Spain post Brexit

It could be a lot more costly than you think!

With the negotiations continuing between the EU and UK regarding post Brexit trade, no one really knows yet, what changes there may be that how this will affect the people bringing in and registering of their vehicles from the UK into Spain post- Brexit. 

To get an idea we can look at the paperwork, taxes and requirements that are currently applied to vehicles from outside the EU when they are imported into Spain. 

Like all cargo from countries outside the EU, for a vehicle to enter the country legally it must go through customs in Spain, known as ‘aduanas’.

If you are shipping the vehicle then the carrier will be asked to provide a Bill of Lading, also called B / L or, in Spanish ‘conocimiento de embarque’

If on the other hand, you have driven the vehicle to Spain, then you will need to go to aduanas or a customs agent to deal with the paperwork and tax presentations. An agent will typically charge around €300 for this service.

You will be asked to prove ownership with the vehicle documentation or in the case that you have recently bought the vehicle, you will need to produce 

  • the original invoice, receipt or contract of sale. 
  • a copy of the seller’s identity document and contact information.
  • Evidently you will also have to provide your information, passport and NIE certificate/residency card. 

You will need to pay both VAT (IVA in Spain) and duty. The VAT/IVA  is 21% and is based on the value of the vehicle, calculated using the invoice/ receipt/contract of sale for the vehicle, or using the Spanish book of vehicle prices BOE with a depreciation applied for the age of the vehicle. The duty – which is 10% – is also based on the value given for the VAT calculation. 

Once you have your customs clearance, they will give you a document called DUA (Documento Único Administrativo,) you will need this when registering the vehicle in Spain with the DGT to prove you have cleared customs and taxes have been paid. 

If you were thinking that maybe you could save a few euros by declaring a lower value to your vehicle, then think again. Aduanas or your customs agent will check the declared value on any sales documents against the BOE and even if you do get away with declaring a fictitious low value, Hacienda (Spanish Tax Office) have up to 4 years to review the paperwork and request a tax payment if they feel you haven’t paid enough.

The problems for vehicles from outside the EU don’t stop there. When being inspected at passing the ITV,  although the vehicle may have EU conformity, if you don’t have a manufacturers COC then the ITV will request a ‘acta reglamentaria’ to complement the ficha tecnica reducida.

It’s worth mentioning that if the vehicle is being brought in for change of residence, although you still need to go through the Aduanas (customs) process, in some circumstances and with the right paperwork, the taxes can be waived. That said, because we don’t know what the requirements will be for British citizens to gain residency post Brexit, we don’t know how difficult it will be to register a vehicle for change of residence.

All in all, if you are thinking of registering a vehicle in Spain or are thinking of bringing one over from the UK, it would be a good idea to do it before the end of the Brexit transition period, currently 31st December 2020.  During this Transition Period, vehicles are being treated the same as any other vehicle being registered from within the EU, and so do not need to go through customs. 

For now, until trade agreements are in place, we just don’t know what the future holds, how vehicles from the UK will be treated post Brexit when they are being registered, but the assumption is that they will need to follow the same process as any other vehicle from outside the EU.

The information in this article was current on the date published. Article last reviewed 17.06.2022

Share this page on social media