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Importing a UK Four Wheel Drive to Spain

Importing a UK Four Wheel Drive to Spain

The Shogun will be the third vehicle we have imported from the UK to Spain, the process has remained pretty much the same although things are changing for future UK car owners who want to bring their vehicles with them on a permanent basis.

Search the internet and there are a hundreds of forum threads on how to do it, how much it will cost, the red tape involved and all the hiccups that people have encountered. What will be different in the future is the affect Brexit will have, up until now UK car owners could bring and register their car in Spain as an EU citizen, after Brexit this will no doubt change as the UK will essentially be out of the EU therefore making any car imported to Spain an international one – this means additional taxes and in many cases probably not worth it depending on the car.

Looking for a guide on how to re-register your car in the UK? That’s exactly what we did when we returned to the UK for good in 2023. Find out how it works [very simple] in this post on re-importing.

In the garage forecourt in the UK

Registering a car from the UK in Spain is expensive enough, free movement of goods throughout the EU seemed to apply to most things except when it came to vehicles and today you need to begin the process pretty much straight away as (at the time of writing) you have 30 days if the vehicle is intended for import.

It is also worth noting that if you are already a resident in Spain or own a property it is illegal to drive a foreign plated car on Spanish roads. They don’t exactly make it easy but this is Spain…

The best practice is to stay within the law, swallow the costs and you will eventually find yourself fully legal with shiny new Spanish plates so what is the process for all of this?

First of all if you have owned the vehicle for 6 months or more before moving to Spain to become a resident then you do not have to pay registration tax.

What you will need:

  • Vehicle V5
  • NIE number
  • Passport/Residency

Step 1: Fill in the certificate of permanent export on the V5 form and post it back to the DVLA.

Step 2: If you have a tow bar that does not conform to the new regs (ie have a certificate of conformity or sticker) remove it as it will not pass the ITV. You also need to change your UK headlights for driving on the right.

Step 3: Contact an engineer who has experience with vehicles to draw up your ‘ficha tecnica – this is required by the ITV station.

Step 4: Book your first ITV, normal ITV appointments can be made online but for your first with a foreign vehicle you need to do this in person at the ITV station – take everything

Step 5: One your car has passed the ITV take the paperwork to a gestor and instruct them to begin the process of registration with Trafico.

Step 6: Receive your new Spanish number plates, inform insurance company and away you go.

Importing a UK Four Wheel Drive to Spain – Costs:

  • Ficha Technica €140,00
  • ITV €150,00
  • Trafico €500,00+ [depending on emmisions calculation]
  • Gestor €50,00+
  • Headlights €200,00 approx
importing a UK Four Wheel Drive to Spain
Mitsubishi on green plates in Spain

(Registration tax is based on emissions/value of vehicle)

  • 0 percent tax for vehicles with emissions of less than 120 grams of CO2
  • 4.75 percent tax for vehicles with emissions from 120 to 160 grams of CO2
  • 9.75 percent tax for vehicles with emissions from 160 to 200 grams of CO2
  • 14.75 percent tax for vehicles with emissions of more than 200 grams of CO2
  • 12 percent tax for vehicles which are not rated for CO2 emissions

Update: During the task of registering the Shogun in Spain we needed a new VIN stamp on the chassis – check out the story here.

Update Update: In 2023 we returned to the UK, took the Shogun with us and re-imported the vehicle with the DVLA. The procedure is so simplistic by comparison to registering in Spain it is hard to believe. Timescale was 3 weeks, paperwork was 1 form, cost was £0.00

1800 1197 Mac


K90overland is Mac and Gayle, they lived in Andalucia for 19 years before moving back to the UK. Overlanding since 2019 the pair have built up a 'budget rig' and now enjoy a relaxed approach to discovering Scotland and the north of England.


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