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Old 23rd March 2010, 01:34 PM   #1
Davehodgo
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hi does anybody know how much it costs to register a British car in Spain.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 02:58 PM   #2
Ricardodaforce
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My friend paid a guy who does this for a living to do it. He took it away to get the physical work done (headlamps changed, installation of a fog lamp on the left rear) and looked after all the paperwork. So, now my mate has a lovely white Spanish plate on the back of his car. It cost him €1000. Seems a lot to me, and I reckon the guy who did it is on a good mark-up, but it did save my mate a lot of hassle.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 03:04 PM   #3
Culebronchris
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It depends. I re-registered a 1977 MGB here and all in all it came in at about 600€ as I remember but it was 5 years ago.

My memory isn't what it was so some of the details may be wrong but first I had to get the ficha tecnica, a bit like a log book, which meant going to the ITV (MOT) station and doing that along with the general test. I seem to remember that coming in at about 120€. I had to pay roadtax at my local town hall which was about 80€ on the MG but it's either engine capacity or emissions related so my current car, a mini, only costs 30€. I also had to pay some sort of import duty. I seem to remember that varied on things like age and value but as the MG didn't exist in the official lists they used an MG 1100 for tax purposes so I only had to pay about 110€. I think, though I'm far from sure that it was something like 12% (or maybe 7%) of value so it can be a hefty whack. There was some sort of process that if you got some sort of declaration from the British Consulate and you then re-registered the car within 30 days you could avoid that tax. The certificate from the consulate used to cost 30€ I think but they charge a lot more now. In my case I presented the certificate too late (not knowing about the 30 day thing) so that was a dead loss. Somewhere in the process you had to get a permiso de circulación too. That may have come from the ITV people. Finally with all the other bits of paper you then have to go to the traffic office and pay them something. I seem to remember that was in the region of 60€ and then if everything goes to plan you have to pay for the regisration plates which were about 30€. The figures don't seem to add up to the 600€ I remebered so there may be something I've forgotten. I don't think it was the insurance but I'm sure that needed to be in place too to re-register the car.

Anyway, garbled as this may be I hope it gives you some idea. There are lots of expats who speak a bit of Spanish and offer to do it for you - some prices were reasonable and others were daylight robbery. Any gestor in any town will also do it for you and lots of driving schools seem to be willing to handle the paperwork for you at a cost.

It wasn't particularly difficult, I managed and my Spanish is rubbish, but it was a lot of toing and froing.

I've just remebered I wrote an article about it for the MG magazine at the time. if I still have that I'll post it up.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 03:06 PM   #4
Culebronchris
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This is the article I wrote for the MGOC at the time. You will notice that this, which is more accurate because it was written at the time, bears no relationship to my post above. Ahh, the joys of age!!

Re-registering an MGB GT in Spain

One Thursday morning my partner suddenly decided that, after years of talking about going to Spain it was time to do it. Time to sell the house and go she said and I agreed with just two conditions; we take the cat and the car.

My MGB GT is nothing very special. In fact it’s probably quite a rough example with a fair bit of body rot and far too many miles on the clock; but it’s my MG and we’ve been all over together. I wasn’t going to abandon it in the UK.


Before setting out I changed my insurance in the UK to a firm that offered a longer green card, changed the headlamps for ones that dipped the right way for Continental driving and bought a few essential spares from the Club. Then I loaded up the car and the cat and set off, through France to near Alicante where my partner had already rented a flat. The cat and the car behaved impeccably and about 36 hours after setting off we were in our new home.

Legally, Britons who are resident in Spain for more than six months have to re-register their cars with Spanish plates. Lots of people don’t bother and there are all sorts of truths and half-truths about running cars on UK plates amongst the expat population. There is a half way house for Britons who go back and forth and want to leave their cars in Spain, the system of tourist plates, but I have never met anyone who has used them.

As well as the legal niceties of re-registering there was the much more pressing need to get the car off UK insurance and on to Spanish insurance as the green card would run out and I could end up without any sort of cover. Arguments about registration niceties are one thing but running without insurance is quite another.

Any car that runs on the Spanish roads has to be homologated with the Spanish authorities. I’d not realised before but car manufacturers prove that their products comply with the relevant legislation in any country by having them homologated. The way to do this in Spain is to get a Ficha Tecnica (a technical certificate) for any imported car. For most modern cars this is a pretty painless process. The car owner finds a qualified engineer who checks the car against the technical specification held on the official database in Madrid. The engineer provides a report to say the car conforms to specification. That report is then taken to the equivalent of an MOT test station where it is swapped for the Ficha Tecnica proper.


My problem was that the MGB was never imported into Spain in any quantities because the Francoist regime slapped huge import duties onto foreign cars to protect the homegrown product. Franco died in 1975 but by then I suspect that BL may not have been too bothered about trying to sell MGBs in the Spanish market.

This meant that the MGB GT did not exist on the database of homologated cars. Fortunately for me the engineer I found just happened to have gone to university with the chap who ran one of the local MOT stations (actually called an ITV in Spain). They agreed that the engineer would do the best he could; he measured the car and filled in as much detail as possible from the handbooks and from information I gave him. When I went along to the test station I had to make a point of introducing myself to the university pal who cobbled together a Ficha Tecnica from the report and from a couple of Roadsters that he had tested locally. I have no idea how they originally got their Spanish plates.

So I was now at the point where I could get the car tested. It sailed through without the least problem and, as a bystander, the process seemed to be easily as strict, and probably more thorough, than the UK test. They even do the brake tests using a rolling road.

The next stage was to have the car listed as being imported to Spain so I trotted off to the local tax office (Hacienda) to do just that. Somebody had told me that by going to the British Consulate it was possible to get a document that showed I intended to take up residence in Spain. This document was supposed to stop me having to pay import duty on the car. It turned out though that the document only worked if the date of entry to Spain shown on the Consular form and the date on the application to import the car were within a month of each other and as I had now been in Spain three months mine didn’t. The alternative strategy is simply to pay the import duty. The tax is paid as a percentage of the value of the car, with some variation dependant on engine size, and there are official tables for the values of particular makes, models and ages of cars. The snag here was that there was no listing for the MGB GT because there were no homologation papers. I raised my hands in horror, looked worried and grovelled – what can I do Mr Official, I’m trying to pay taxes, I want to be legal; please, please help me. The man decided that I could pay tax on the only old MG he had on his lists. He never did say what model it was but I didn’t really care because he gave me a form that I took to a bank so I could pay the duty. Another hurdle cleared.

The next step was to pay the road tax. In Spain the road tax is a local tax levied by the Town Hall. The tax year runs from 1 January with reductions at quarterly intervals. My insurance didn’t run out till April so it made sense to save a bit of money by not paying the tax till after 1 April. I went to the Town Hall and, apart from making me come back the next Thursday (that’s when we collect road tax) the process was pretty straightforward. I was beginning to run out of time now as that only left me five days until the UK insurance expired.

On the Thursday I got out of the Town Hall, with the road tax paid, at 12.30pm and the Traffic Office, where I would finally be able to get a logbook and my new registration mark, was nearly 40 miles away in Alicante. I suspected it would close at 2.00pm. The car and I belted down the A31 and headed for the centre of Alicante, I was surprised how light the traffic was in town and even more surprised to find a parking space near the Traffic Office. I was at the door by 1.30pm. As usual there was a problem; it was a local Fiesta and the office was closed!

I was back the next day. The office was heaving with people. They all looked as confused as me even though the majority of them had the advantage of speaking Spanish fluently. I can manage coherent Spanish phrases only with a following wind. I joined the queue where I burbled and mumbled as I pushed a wad of forms towards them. They gave me another form to fill in. I did my best with the form and joined another queue where they took the fee and gave me a numbered ticket. I stood around and watched the display boards that would tell me where to go. The man at the counter looked very fierce and lots of people were being turned away because their paperwork was not complete, I did not feel confident. Two hours later it was my turn, I handed over the sheaves of paper (I have learned in Spain to take every conceivable document to any official office) and the man gave me most of it back keeping the few documents he needed. “That’s fine “ he said, “Come back on Monday, after 1.00pm”. So I went back at 11.00am guessing that I would have to queue again. I did. I got my ticket and I got to the front of the queue just after 1.00pm. The fierce man was smoking a cigarette as he handed me the logbook. I nearly whooped for joy. TFL 559S was just about to become 9962 DJG and I still had a day’s worth of insurance to run! All I had to do was to pop across the road to the local equivalent of Halfords where they made up the number plates.

I’d made all sorts of enquiries about insurance in Spain whilst I’d been getting the car re-registered. There is a local firm that do Classic Car insurance with a 5,000kms per year limit but as the car was our main vehicle at this point and doing 1000kms per week that wasn’t much use. Because I hadn’t registered the car as a Historic Vehicle (a very complicated process) and because it is more than 10 years old none of the local insurers will cover it for other than third party so that’s what I did that afternoon. And suddenly the whole thing was done with nearly seven hours to spare.

I was legal and insured and all I had left to do was to return a bit of the V5C to Swansea to show that I’d exported the car to avoid any SORN problems and also to reclaim the balance on my road tax.

The engineers report cost 159€, I paid 31€ for the Consular form, 133€ for the import duty, 74€ for the ITV, 62€ for the road tax, 67€ for the logbook, 30€ for the plates and 343€ for the insurance. It was all quite a palaver really but I’ve never forgotten what we agreed that Thursday morning. I didn’t abandon the cat and I didn’t abandon the car and we’re all having a good time in sunny Spain.

Now if you’d like to hear about the joys and frustrations of running an MG in Spain….

Last edited by Culebronchris; 23rd March 2010 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 24th March 2010, 02:59 AM   #5
Pippa
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I got RACE to do it (Real automovil club de España). Got the insurance and breakdown cover from them also, so I got them to do the registering, and it was in total €1000, but €500 was from changing the headlamps which I sorted out myself. More or less it was €230 for them doing all the papers (they contacted the town hall, traffic department, got the spanish traffic permit and the number plates and the road tax); then about €120 for some sort of tax to recognise that the car complied with European standards, €63 the town tax, and the rest for the ITV (MOT).
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Old 24th March 2010, 11:02 AM   #6
Davehodgo
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Not cheap then, i was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy a left hand drive car from Britain as the second hand market is so expensive here. thanks guys interesting reading, i love M.G´s too!
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Old 25th March 2010, 09:39 PM   #7
ribeirasacra
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The cost is all relative if you take the easy route and cannot be bothered to do all the running around you have to pay a Gestor. Tier costs vary from one to another. However the alternative is to do the entire running around yourself. Cheaper but you must have a good command of Spanish to understand the forms you have to fill in etc.
I have done it twice so maybe I am an old hand at this too?
The cost will be the same for RHD or LHD. You cannot import and register a RHD commercial vehicle, not even a small van. You must have owned the vehicle for over 6 months or pay import duty. This will vary on the value of the car (the governments and not your value) plus more modern cars also go on emissions too.
Once you live here you have 6 months to register the car or pay import duties on it. You cannot drive a non Spanish registered car once you register and live in Spain, unless it is hired or lent to you. It seems that in a lot of areas the Guardia Civil are now understanding what constitutes a legal U.K. car. i.e. what paperwork you need to have from the U.K.

PS I have an old Austin Westminster..should we start a classic car club?
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