Back in 2005 when we registered our first UK car in Spain it was simply a case of having the car measured and getting the ficha tecnica reducida or engineers report, the car had an after market towbar fitted and this was included in the details. Next step was the ITV (MOT) and there were no issues whatsoever – those were the days…
Since then rules have changed and without getting too complicated your towbar will need to have a certificate in order for it to be accepted. For cars that have a factory fitted towbar there is no problem providing you can get a certificate of conformity (COC)from the manufacturer – this includes a specific approval number for the towbar.
After market towbars are now problematic, unless you can produce an approval number the towbar will have to be removed. This also applies to bull bars, running boards and window tints etc. Daft I know but we live in strange and complex times.
Can I still get a towbar?
Quick answer is yes. After your vehicle has been registered in Spain you can have a towbar fitted as a ‘reforma’ and here comes the bureaucracy… The first thing you need to do is contact the vehicle manufacturer and ask them which towbar units are acceptable for your specific vehicle and get them to confirm this in writing.
Then, go to a specialist towbar fitter and ask him to fit the towbar. The fitters will (and make sure they do) provide documents detailing the approval numbers, diagrams and fitting instructions as well as another separate document stating that the towbar was fitted correctly and that they are authorised to carry out the work.
After all that you need to visit the ITV station where they will then add the towbar to your vehicle ficha tecnica.
Towbars in Spain – What else to watch out for
The process of getting a reforma also applies to bull bars, running boards and tinted windows, all accessories that you might want to fit to your overland 4×4 and there is one more that may catch out those registering their UK vehicle in Spain and that is tyres:
On a UK car you usually find some details for the car on the drivers side door pillar, these include what sizes of tyre can go on the car and also the speed ratings, any deviation on these specs and you will not pass the ITV.
Fitting a towbar in Spain
Step 1 – Contact manufacturer for approved list of towbars and get confirmation in writing
Step 2 – Find specialist fitter to fit towbar and provide all paperwork
Step 3 – Visit ITV station and have towbar added to your vehicle ITV card