January 22


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3 Recommendations when Buying a second hand Car

January 22, 2023


The process of selling or buying a secondhand car in Spain is not straight forward. Other countries have very simple systems where 2 signatures are required and the process can be completed in 2 mins. This unfortunately is not the case in Spain, where trafico needs to be informed and the process can be quite long. Below are 3 recommendations when buying a car in Spain.

3 Recommendations when buying a Second Hand car

  1. Use a Gestor to do the transfer of ownership of the car rather than doing the process your self with Trafico
  2. Know all the paper work which you the buyer should have ready as well as the seller.
  3. Understand the final steps regarding taxes and what temporary documents you need to carry in the vehicle once transfer is made. 


1. Why use a Gestor rather than go to Trafico 


Trafico is the National Traffic Authority – equivalent to the DVLA in the UK.

A Gestor is an administrative office that help with legal documents in Spain. 

I have personal experience of trying to do the change of ownership when I bought a car. After I completed the process I promised myself I would always employ a gestor to do it on my behalf in the future. The reason in my case was that Trafico was a 1 hour drive from my home and I had to make two journeys. Trafico do not allow walk ins- so appointments need to be made prior.

Make your life easier by using a Gestor to change ownership of a secondhand car

To avoid doing the process yourself you can employ a Gestor or Gestoria in any city in Spain. Even small towns will have at least one Gestor that will be able to do the paperwork for you when buying or selling a car.


The cost can range from 100 to 200 euros depending on which city you are based and whether you will need the gestors other administrative services in the future.


How to approach a Gestor:

The Best way to approach the gestor is prior to buying or selling the car you can make an appointment with them either in person or over phone. It is a good idea that both the buyer and the seller visit the gestors office together to finalise the sale. However if this is not possible I would advise asking exactly what documents the gestor needs so one party can finalise the process.


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3 Recommendations when Buying a second hand Car

2. Know what documents are needed when buying a second hand car in Spain

The Log Book (Permiso de Circulación), which is the car´s ID. It shows proof that the vehicle chassis number corresponds with the one on the vehicle´s registration document, and provides information on the car, such as the number plate, make, model, name and address of the owner when vehicle was purchased.

The Technical document of the vehicle (Inspección Técnica), stamped and dated on passing the last inspection. Usually on this document you can check the kilometers. 

The road road tax document (Impuesto Sobre Vehículos), for the current financial year, paid in full. 

Seller and Buyer documents needed when buying and selling a second hand car

  • Bill of sale signed by both parties (Compraventa)
  • NIE of both parties
  • Receipt from the seller


3. Final steps in the process of buying a second hand car in Spain


Proof of transfer

After all above is completed you will receive proof of transfer of ownership. A one page A4 document proving the vehicle is being transferred to new owner. The document is called a “Justificante de transferencia“.


It will take around 2-3 weeks until the log book is in your name so keep the justificante document when driving during this period. 



Although not common knowledge there is a 8% transfer tax which is paid on the value of the vehicle. This is usually charged to buyers personal bank account after approx 1 month.


Better position to negociate the purchase price of the car when you know what extra costs are
Knowing that you will have to pay this amount of tax is a way you can negotiate the purchase value down.  Another way to reduce the cost of the vehicle when buying it is to explain you will cover the 200 euros cost of transfer if the asking price is reduced. 

About the author

David Bloomfield - Health and Liability insurance specialist

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