Have you thought about having your own car in Spain? There could be advantages for you. We outline what you should consider when making your transport arrangements.
Once you have your property in Spain, you want to make the most of it. That means spending as much of your holiday time out here as you can and finding the easiest methods of transporting yourself, your family and friends.
Most people will need to make arrangements for a car of some kind. In the early days, most people opt for a rental. There are plenty of agents to choose from, although do be careful of price comparison sites that can mask the final cost.
However, if you plan to spend months rather than weeks in Spain then you should consider investing in your own car to drive. There are perhaps three alternatives you might consider:
- ) using your own car in Spain
- ) bringing a car and leaving it here
- ) buying a car in Spain
Using your own car in Spain
If you are planning to spend a few weeks in Spain then some people prefer to travel by car and avoid hiring a car when they’re here. This cuts out the cost of the flight but can quite easily be matched or even surpassed by ferry costs, the price of petrol and toll role charges. It will also take you a lot longer and this travel time will need to be built into your holiday allocation.
Some people make the journey part of their holiday, taking time to stop off on route and enjoy the scenery. Do resist the temptation to drive non-stop – it is important to build in sufficient breaks to make sure that you don’t take unnecessary risks during your journey.
There have been accounts of those travelling down to their properties in Southern Spain being robbed on route. You should not be unduly alarmed but do be cautious if someone indicates for you to pull over whilst you are driving. Always make sure that you are in sight of other travellers and remember to ask to see police ID.
Even if you are only in the country for a short space of time with your car there are adjustments you need to make to it. You will need to have a sticker that indicates where the car is registered unless your car has ‘Euro-plates’. For right-hand drive vehicles you will need to have headlamp converters. You must make sure that you have the correct documents and emergency items in your car. These include:
ID document (passport)
Driving licence – both photo and paper
Vehicle registration documents
Current road tax receipt
2 warning triangles
Spare tyre and tyre repair kit
Spare pair of prescription glasses
Bringing a car over to Spain
You might prefer to bring your car over to Spain and leave it here. This can be a good option as buying second hand vehicles in Spain is relatively expensive compared to many other European countries. It also means that you feel a little more assured over the background to the vehicle you are using. If you have only just bought property in Spain you might be reluctant to embark on the process of buying a car here too.
Similarly to when your car is only ‘visiting’ you will have to make adjustments to it and ensure that you have the correct documentation whilst you make arrangements to have it registered in Spain. It is important that you do this if you intend to leave your car here rather than driving back on a regular basis to your home country.
To re-register your car you will need to have the headlights of a right-hand drive car changed, a new number plate and an ITV inspection (MOT). You will need to pay taxes and be registered with the (DGT) Dirección General de Tráfico’. The majority of people choose to have this done for them and it is one of the services we offer from EasySpain:
If you are leaving your car for long periods in Spain whilst you return to your native country you will need to make sure that the ITV (MOT) doesn’t lapse during the time that you are away and that road tax and insurance continues to be paid to cover it. You will need to cancel any insurance in your own country and take out new car insurance in Spain. Insurers will cover you for a period of time whilst you do re-register your car.
Some people find it easier to leave their car at the airport waiting for them to return rather than leaving it at their house and paying expensive taxi fees backwards and forwards. Easy Spain provides an airport parking service that can be arranged with cover for your car and it ensures that your car is ready for collection on your return.
Buying a car in Spain
Another alternative is to buy a car in Spain. This means that you don’t have to re-register the vehicle and it should come road-ready for driving in Spain. However, you should ensure that you employ a gestor or specialist to help you transfer the documentation officially.
When you buy a car in Spain it is important to make sure that all documentation is transferred from the seller to the buyer. If you do not, the car will not be officially registered with you and can cause issues in the event of an accident or when you come to sell it on yourself. Easy Spain can help with transfer of vehicle ownership.
You will need to pay road tax each year and once your car is over four years old you will need to have an ITV (MOT) test every two years until it is 10 years old. After this it will need an ITV every year.
Insurance is usually paid in one block although increasingly you can pay in instalments if you prefer. In Spain it is the car that is insured rather than the driver, although you will have to name any driver using your car that is under the age of 25. Some companies are reluctant to insure under 25 year-olds at all.
Again, you might prefer to make arrangements with a company such as EasySpain for your car to be left at the airport whilst you return to your home country.
Whatever you choose
The biggest decision has already been made. Buying a property in Spain will not have been done lightly. Now, your next decision, about how to transport yourself, is worthy of almost as much attention.
What you don’t want is to be worried during your holidays here that your car is not legal. At a time when you should be relaxed and enjoying yourself it really is worth investing in a good gestor who will make sure you travel problem-free.