How to buy a car from Spain

How to buy a car from SpainBuying a used car in Spain is open to residents, non-residents and those living in the country with a residence permit. Used cars are sold by private individuals, car markets or specialized salons. To buy, you will need a passport, driver's license, foreigner identification number, and a document confirming registration at the place of residence. We will tell you more about how a non-resident buys a car in Spain in our article. 

Why people from other countries buy cars in Spain

Someone prefers to go to Lithuania for a new car, others choose Germany for this purpose, but there are those who do it only in Spain. The main advantages of buying a used car in this southern European country:

  • Cost. If you decide to buy a used car, you will be offered options with prices ranging from four to six thousand euros. The key to finding the cheapest cars is their age. Cars older than 10 years are the most profitable (they can be bought even for parts). The average price of used cars is about twelve thousand euros.
  • Semi-new or "de ocasión" cars. You have the option of buying a car directly from a private individual or buying it through a dealership that offers so-called half-new or "de ocasión" cars. The latter have low mileage, which does not exceed 15,000 kilometers. 
  • Technical condition. Regular technical inspections, quality roads and fuel are the reasons why cars in Spain remain in good technical condition for a longer period of time. 

How to buy a car in Spain: car dealerships, online auctions, classifieds

It is possible to buy a car in Spain:

  • at car dealerships;
  • from private citizens;
  • with the help of car brokers;
  • in an online auction.

Car dealerships

purchase of a car in Spain by a non-residentSpain has thousands of car dealerships scattered all over the country. This is an opportunity to buy a new car. To do this, you need to determine your budget, compare prices in showrooms to get a good deal. There are special online platforms to compare the price of new cars, such as Carnovo.

Private individuals

Buying from private individuals is possible and in some cases it is actually more preferable as you have the opportunity to communicate with the direct owner. When buying a used car, you can find out the actual condition of the car, its major defects and the costs directly related to its operation and maintenance. You can get a detailed history of the vehicle's usage history from the VIN code. 

The process of searching for a car in this case can be quite lengthy. 

Automobile broker

You can make the buying process easier by utilizing the service of a car broker. They usually work for a client at a car dealership. You tell them what you are looking for and your budget, and they will try to find the best car for a fee. One of the advantages of working with a broker is that they take care of all the paperwork, including taxes and insurance. 

Online auction

The easiest way to become the owner of a used car from Spain is the online auction PLC Auction. All the necessary actions of the buyer are reduced to the selection of a suitable car and participation in the auction. Having become the winner, the buyer entrusts the company with the delivery of the car, which will be responsible for all stages of the purchase process, including inspection of the car, execution of documents, payment of taxes and fees. You can also check the history of the car by VIN-code using a special service.  

Taxes and documents required to buy a car in Spain

Taxes and documents needed to buy a car in SpainThe algorithm of actions when buying a car in Spain is as follows:

  • Checking the payment of fines and ITV (technical inspection). Before you buy a car, you should check it for outstanding fines. If the vehicle has not been inspected, the vehicle can be sold, but it cannot be operated.  When a vehicle is sold, it cannot be subject to fines, arrests, administrative or judicial penalties. You can request a vehicle report from the General Traffic Office to make sure there are none. You can do this online, by phone or in person.
  • Contract of sale. The contract of sale is binding and must be signed in duplicate on each page by the seller and the buyer. Each of them receives a copy of the contract. The contract is accompanied by a copy of the buyer's and seller's ID or residence permit, the vehicle's technical passport and proof of payment of road tax.
  • The contract shall contain the following information:
  1. The name of the seller and buyer;
  2. ID or green card and the address of the seller and buyer;
  3. Vehicle information (make, model, license plate number, mileage);
  4. Terms of sale (final price, delivery of the car and method of payment).
  • Property transfer tax. The amount of tax depends on the price, make, model and age of the vehicle. Each autonomous community applies a tax rate ranging from 4% to 8%. The buyer pays it within 30 working days of signing the contract.
  • Procedure for changing ownership. Registering a car for a new owner involves registering the change in legal status within 30 days. The car owner must pay all local taxes and fines.  Documents required to change ownership:
  1. An application form filled and signed by the buyer. The seller submits it to the Directorate General of Road Traffic Safety (DGT) or it can be downloaded on the official website.
  2. An official document proving the identity and address of the interested parties (buyer and seller).
  3. Confirmation of payment of the DGT transfer fee.
  4. Confirmation of payment/release/absence of property transfer tax.
  • Notice of Sale. The seller must give notice of sale. This releases the seller from liability for the vehicle if there are violations after the sale.

How to buy a car in Spain: the main steps

How to buy a car in Spain: the main stepsThe process of buying a car involves the following steps:

  • Choosing a car. Pre-select a suitable vehicle for purchase.
  • Search for and contract with a customs broker.
  • If you transport the car yourself, you must have a certain amount of money in currency and a card with a hryvnia account to pay customs clearance through online banking. 
  • Buying a car. Registration of the purchase, conclusion of the contract of sale, receipt of the customs declaration.
  • Transmission of electronic copies of documents to the customs broker.
  • After the customs broker has calculated the customs clearance amount, you must pay it by bank transfer and send the receipt to the broker.
  • Obtaining a preliminary customs declaration.
  • Border Crossing.
  • Delivery within 10 days of the car to the customs terminal (it is necessary to have a certificate of conformity Euro 2-Euro 5.
  • Vehicle Registration.

Costs when buying a car in Spain

Costs incurred by residents and non-residents when buying a used car in Spain:

  • change of ownership tax - 4%;
  • automobile transfer tax;
  • car registration tax (depends on the level of CO2 emissions) - up to 14.75%;
  • car transfer tax (depends on the region);
  • transportation tax - 100-150 euros per year .

Which car is better to buy in Spain: TOP 5

The most popular cars on the secondary market in Spain:

  • Seat Ibiza
  • Seat Leon
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Renault Clio
  • Nissan Qashqai

Seat Ibiza

Seat Ibiza

The compact hatchback Seat Ibiza is oriented to active young people who like dynamic driving. The model is represented by 3 and 5-door modifications and is assembled on a common for many cars platform PQ24. The car body is resistant to corrosion. The interior is decorated in accordance with the character of the car. It has round, as in sports cars speedometers, air deflectors. Instrument illumination is bright red and aggressive. The Sport and FR versions have a sporty spirit. 

The luggage space is 355 liters, but if you fold the rear seats, it can be increased to 823 liters. The car is compact, so it is easy to handle in urban conditions. The car comes standard with an airbag package, stability control, emergency braking assist, tire pressure monitoring, and hill-hold system. 

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Seat Leon

Seat Leon

All versions of the 2020 generation come with five doors. The car is available with two bodies: hatchback and ST, but there is a wide choice of engines. The trim can be either very modest or sporty - it all depends on the equipment. 

The base engine is a 1.0-liter powerplant, which despite the price category works very efficiently. For fans of "helper" there is a 128-horsepower 1.5-liter gasoline engine or 148-horsepower 1.5-liter. The latter manages to accelerate the car to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds.

In the FR version, the car is equipped with a sports suspension, which is very comfortable in cornering and provides unrivaled driving comfort in all conditions. 

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Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

The Golf is Volkswagen's most successful model and one of the most popular and best-selling cars in the world. In Spain, you can buy a car in the hatchback and station wagon body. The car has a huge number of modifications with small and medium engine liter (gasoline and diesel), electric hybrid and gas/gasoline hybrids. All of them are equipped with front-wheel drive. Transmission is mechanical and robot, and the electric modification has a gearbox.

Benefits of the model:

  • numerous electronic systems and control assistants;
  • McPherson front suspension;
  • good dynamics, despite the low power;
  • very low fuel consumption;
  • great road holding;
  • ease of maintenance, availability of spare parts.

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Renault Clio

Renault Clio

For the European market Renault Clio is available in two body configurations - 5-door hatchback and station wagon. This is a stylish city car with sporty features and a bright color palette. The manufacturer offers a choice of different equipment options:

  • Gasoline power units 1 liter, 73-90 hp with MKPP, 1.2 liter - 118 hp with MKPP and robotized box, 1.6 liter - 200 hp (mechanics) and 220 hp (robot);
  • diesel: 1.5 liters, 75 and 90 hp with manual and robot, 1.5 liters, 110 hp on manual transmission.


  • a wide package of passive and active safety systems;
  • low price;
  • a wide range of modifications;
  • manageability;
  • economical operation and maintenance.

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Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

Compact Japanese crossover Nissan Qashqai combines the best characteristics of a family hatchback and SUV with good cross-country ability. The first serial production of the crossover was in 2006. In 2008, the manufacturer released a seven-seat model. The car was and is very popular in the world market and for a long time was in the top of the best-selling cars. 

 Qashqai has many modifications, equipped with gasoline engines 1.2L, 1.6L with an output of 115 and 163 hp, and diesel engines 1.5L and 1.6L with an output of 110 and 130 hp. Transmission is manual and variator, front-wheel drive.

Benefits of the model:

  • low fuel consumption (10.8 liters in the city);
  • reliable suspension;
  • good technical and optional equipment;
  • comfortable fit;
  • good noise insulation;
  • high ground clearance;
  • comfort;
  • simple but attractive exterior.

View Nissan Qashqai from Spain