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The Foreigner and the Car

The Foreigner and the Car

1. General Information

If you are intending to bring your own car to drive through Spain you are perfectly able to without bothering to stop at customs. You must have with you, your passport, current driving licence, valid insurance and vehicle registration document.

According to Traffic Regulations, it is mandatory that you keep the following equipment in your vehicle:

You may be fined if you do not carry these.

Be noticed that children aged under 12 must travel in the back seats of cars unless the front seat is fitted with an approved child seat.

Minimum driving age in Spain is 18.

You may bring into Spain your EU registered car without further formality but you may not use it in Spain for more than 6 months in a calendar year. If you spend more than 6 months in any year in Spain, you will be considered resident and consequently you must obtain full national plates and pay the special vehicle registration tax (impuesto municipal sobre circulación de vehículos).

You may also matriculate your foreign car on Spanish plates, you shall do it within 2 months from the time of entry. You should present all original documents as it is a complicated procedure. The auto insurance you need is the coverage by your insurance company in your country of origin, extended to cover travel in Spain.

About driving licences

All EU driving licenses are recognized in Spain. If you are European Union citizen, you may drive in Spain until your license expires, then you must apply for a Spanish driving license and prove your residency in Spain (showing your NIE no. and registration of your property with the local Town Hall would be enough).

If you are from outside the EU and wish to drive throughout the Spanish territory for long periods, then your driving license shall be translated by an official translator. You can also drive on an international license. After 1 year, you must obtain a Spanish driving license as you cannot continue driving under your license duly translated, nor under an international permit. You should then apply for a Spanish driving license for which you shall need to proof your residency in Spain. Once you get your Spanish driving license, your foreign license is returned to the issuing office of your home country.



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