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Car Garage

How to change your plates to Spanish ones - without using a gestoría.

When Al Herrera imported his car, he decided to do the re-registration process himself. Here is his step by step guide on how he did it.  

Al Herrera's story


I wanted to share with you all how I changed my plates to Spanish ones, WITHOUT using a gestoría. 

It will hopefully help people who want to save the 300+ € that a gestoría will charge you to help with all the steps.

It’s not completely straightforward, and you need at least a minimum working knowledge of Spanish, but you don’t really need a gestoría. You can ask a Spanish-speaking friend to help you with filling in the papers if you struggle with the language barrier.

1.  First thing is to change your front lights to European ones - this you will have to do without a gestoría anyway. The cost will obviously depend on your car brand and model. But a tip here is to ask your garage to quote you for second hand ones, from a scrapyard, which will be significantly cheaper (more than half) than new ones.


2.  Now, rear lights, please note that if the car has two rear fog lights, no problem. If one only, this needs to be on the left-hand side or the middle, if it’s not the case, you need to ask your garage to replace them so the fog light is on the correct side of the car (the passenger side on an UK car) and the reversing light will light the kerb line. Again, a scrapyard could give you the lights for a fraction of the price of new ones.

3.  Next you need to go to your ITV station to ask for an ‘ITV de importación’ (here is the one I used, but it’s only available in Catalonia, note that the Certio is a two-step process: first you need to take the documents for checking and pay the admin fee.


You don’t need to take your car with you, or make an appointment, but you need to take the following documentation:

  1. CE CoC (European Community certificate of conformity) issued by the car manufacturer. I asked Vauxhall to send me one, by just giving them a copy of the V5C, and they did, free of charge, and sent me a Spanish language one. But apparently some car manufacturers charge a small admin fee, and others a very big one, for the same. If they want to charge you extortionate rates, best to ask a certified engineer for the ficha técnica reducida.

  2. V5C (original)

  3. Your TIE (name needs to match the V5C)

  4. Padrón from your council

  5. They asked for a ‘Baja Consular’, however the British Consulate hasn’t issued them since 2013, so I printed this letter to justify not presenting it.

  6. Due to not being able to present the baja consular, you need to present your job contract (or evidence of commercial activity if you do freelance) for both, from when you lived in the UK and your current Spanish one.

  7. Pay the administration fee (95.75€)

4.  ITV check. Once your papers are reviewed, and you pay, you will be given an appointment to take your car, on the appointment day you will need to pay 25€ for the actual ITV checking.


PLEASE NOTE: procedures might (and will) vary from ITV centre to ITV centre, so best to ring (or email) them in advance, so they let you know how to do it, some will do everything in one go, others in two like Certio.

5.  Calculate how much Matriculation Tax you need to pay

  1. Download the BOE 17270, and look for your car on the tables to get the government’s assessment of its price

  2. Deduct the amount due to the car being second hand, according to the Appendix 4 of the BOE (page 166 of the PDF), the older the car, the bigger the deduction, that would give you the VM (market value)

  3. Google for what was the IVA (VAT) applicable in Spain on the year your car was first registered

  4. Look for the % of the car value that is applicable to your car (varies in accordance to the car’s CO2 emissions) from here

  5. Use the formula on page 3 of the BOE (PDF) to calculate the Taxable basis (BI), where VM is the commercial value (see 2..); tipoIVA is the VAT (see 3..) TipoIEDMT is the % (see 4.) 


6.  Go to the Agencia Tributaria website to present the 576 model (you will need your Cl@ve PIN or digital certificate -

7.  Fill in the on-line form  - here’s some help on how to do that and pay.


8.  Go to your local council website and pay Road Tax (IVTM) which varies from council to council, but most will only charge you for the remaining months of the year, not the whole year


9.  You need a ‘Certificado de estatuto de la Unión’ (EU customs statute) for your car if you entered Spain before before 1 January 2021. There’s an ‘information note’ by the DGT that explains this in more detail:

In order to get a Centrificado de estatuto UE, and not pay any taxes, there are three requirements:

  • You need to have arrived in Spain (and prove it with your empadronamiento) before Jan 2021

  • Your car needs to be registered before Jan 2021

  • Your car’s invoice needs to be less than 15,000€

So, prepare a letter asking for it, get a copy of your car’s invoice and V5 form, and your empadronamiento, scan them to PDF and upload all of them at the Sede Electrónica of the Agencia Tributaria go to Aduanas/otros tramites/otros procedimientos de aduanas.

They will send it to you via email. If you entered after 1 January 21, you will need to pay and get a Documento Único Administrativo - DUA (Single Administrative Document) . I don’t have info about how much it is or how to do it, since it didn’t apply to us.

10.  Once you have the ITV certificate, and both taxes, make an appointment with Tráfico (easiest way is by calling 060 or  Take your documents and you will need to pay the fee (98.78€)

11.  Once you get your matriculation certificate, you will need to buy the physical plates, which cost around 20€ (there’s always stores around the Tráfico office that sell them). Remember, you need to take your car documentation with you when ordering the new plates.


And that’s it, you have your Spanish plates.

spanish number plate creative commons.jpg

With thanks to Al Herrara who brought his car to Spain from the UK whilst the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement  was in place.

Post Brexit, the situation with respect to Duty and Taxes has changed – please check the current rates.


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