Spain Explained

Cars for sale in Spain: Where and how to buy a car

If you’re starting a new life in Spain, it’s likely that you’ll be looking to buy a car. This is especially the case if you’ve purchased a rural retreat, where it’s highly probable that your car will be your key form of transport. However, purchasing a vehicle in any country comes with a healthy dose of bureaucracy and Spain is no exception. That said, you should be by no means intimidated by the process; with the right guidance, you’ll be well on your way to hitting the open road in beautiful Spain. Here, we explain where to look for cars for sale in Spain and how to buy.

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Where to look for cars for sale in Spain

ankfully, finding cars for sale in Spain is far from rocket science. Exactly like other European nations, you can visit a dealership or purchase a second-hand vehicle. In terms of where to look for second-hand cars, most local newspapers and the occasional national paper will have a traditional ‘cars for sale’ section where you can contact private vendors. Equally, Spain has a few websites and car magazines comparable to the UK’s Autotrader. To find used cars for sale in Spain, you can either buy a copy of Coche Actual or Mi Coche or visit their website. There’s also plenty of advertising services that operate online only, one of the largest being Super Motor.

What you’ll need to buy a car

Before buying a car in Spain, you’ll need to prepare your documents. You’ll need originals and photocopies of the following:

  • Your Permiso de Residencia or NIE.
  • Your passport.
  • The title deed to your home or a rental contract for a minimum of one year.
  • Certificado de Empadronamiento or proof of residence in your municipality, This document is available free or for a few euros in your local town hall and it can’t be more than 3 months old.
  • If you are thinking about financing or car leasing in Spain, you will also need to provide your three last payslips or some other proof of income.

A small quirk when it comes to car sales in Spain is that you don’t need a driving license to purchase a car.

What the seller needs to provide

The vendor is also responsible for gathering some documents to finalise the sale. Depending on whether you’re buying a used car in Spain, the seller will have to provide the following:

Buying new

If you’re buying a new car in Spain, the dealership has to provide you with the following documents:

  • Permiso de Circulación or logbook.
  • The vehicle’s technical sheet.
  • Your guarantee, in writing.
  • The instruction manual.
  • The purchase invoice.

Usually, you’ll be responsible for paying the registration fee. However, in some circumstances, the dealer might pay if you’re paying for a new, undiscounted car in cash. There may also be opportunities to part exchange your old car – inquire with the dealer for valuation and details of the discount. 

Buying used

If you’re looking for second-hand cars in Spain, there are various documents the seller will need to provide. These include:

  • The car’s Permiso de Circulación or logbook. Like in other parts of Europe, these papers prove that the car’s chassis number matches the one on the registration document; detail its service and owner history; and the make and model. 
  • For cars older than four years, they’ll need to provide the Inspección Técnica (ITV), which is the Spanish equivalent of an MOT. This needs to be stamped and dated with the most recent inspection and details of when the next one is due. 
  • The Impuesto Sobre Vehiculos or road tax for the current financial year paid in full.
  • Receipt of the Impuesto Municipal Sobre Vehí­culos de Tracción Mecánica, which is a municipal tax that varies from town to town.
  • A Transferencia, or transfer of ownership form.

The vendor is also liable for the following expenses:

  • A transfer tax, which is 4% of the sale price.
  • Any traffic penalties raised when the transfer of ownership is submitted.

Lastly, either the seller or buyer needs to apply for a new registration certificate to complete the transfer of ownership. This is available from the local traffic department.

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Stay informed and protect your interests

Bear in mind these guidelines are subject to change and will vary from region to region. However, looking for cars for sale in Spain has many similarities with purchasing a vehicle in other parts of Europe. So, whether you’re looking for cars for sale in the Costa Blanca, cars for sale in Torrevieja, or any other part of Spain, the process should be quite smooth. Remember, if you’re looking to buy second-hand cars in Spain, you need to make sure you have comprehensive details of the vehicle history. If you have any questions about the process of purchasing a car in your region, you can contact a legal expert.

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2 comments

Free car check

1 December, 2020 10:39 am

This is a very useful guide who all are going to buy a car and where to buy. The blog explains well. Thanks for the article.

Oscar Paoli

1 December, 2020 11:26 am

Thank you!