Vehicles Registered Within The Community

EU residents without a residence permit in Spain may use a vehicle registered within the EU community without any formalities, and may leave their car in Spain whilst they are away without the need to have it sealed. They may then use the car again on their return visit. However, the vehicle must be legal in its country of registration, meaning that it must have insurance, be inspected (for roadworthiness) as appropriate and taxed there.

Person With Residence Permit in Spain

On the other hand, any person who has either a residence permit or is a fiscal resident in Spain must register a car staying permanently in Spain with Spanish licence plates in accordance with the stipulation of the first disposition of the Law 38/1992 which says that "a means of transport, new or used, when acquired by a person or a legal entity with legal or fiscal residence in Spain must be registered in Spain". You will be granted a period of 6 months after obtaining your Residencia to legally “import” your vehicle. In order to do so, you must have a Matriculation and ITV inspection, pay the relevant tax at the appropriate Hacienda and apply for a Spanish matriculation at your provinces’s Trafico office. This procedure is complicated and we recommend you contact a car dealer or Gestor who deals with importations.

Road Tax

Road tax in Spain is paid to the local government. The fee is related to the individual vehicle and the area. All vehicles are required to undertake an annual inspection ( called an ITV), to check the condition of the vehicle. Major towns and cities have several ITV stations to which you can take your car.


As with most other European countries third party insurance is mandatory.
If you provide proof of at least 5 years no claims from your previous insurer you can reduce your insurance premiums.

Speed Limits

Autopistas/autovias: 120kph
Dual carriageways: 100kph
Country roads: 90kph
Urban roads: 50kph
Residential areas: 20kph


No parking in spaces painted yellow or (obviously) in areas with "No Parking" signs.
Parking spaces with meters are marked in blue where a ticket can be purchased from an attendant or machine. The machine may be halfway down the block; don’t assume that because there is no meter near the car that parking is free. These spaces are usually for two hours maximum. Fines vary between areas.


Fines for speeding are paid on the spot and are calculated at 1,000 pts per kilometre over the limit. The legal drink-drive limit is 50mg per millilitre with breath test a frequent occurrence. Fines for this are very high.


It is compulsory to wear both front and rear seatbelts.