Process of buying and selling secondhand car in Spain
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.
What is Trafico
Trafico is the National Traffic Authority – equivalent to the DVLA in the UK.
My difficult personal experience of trying to use Trafico
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.
- Below are 3 points on the paperwork needed and steps that need to be taken:
Car papers and documents needed when buying and selling a secondhand 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 ITV (MOT equivalent) document (Inspección Técnica) stamped and dated on passing the last inspection. Usually on this document you can check the kilometers. The ITV is however only needed after the vehicle is 4 years old.
- The road license fee (Road tax equivalent) for the current financial year, paid in full (Impuesto Sobre Vehículos).
Seller and Buyer documents needed when buying and selling a secondhand car:
- Bill of sale signed by both parties (Compraventa)
- NIE of both parties
- Receipt from the seller
Final steps in the process:
- Option to do process yourself : You will need to go to Trafico and fill out a transfer form (Transferencia)
- Option through a Gestor: However, we recommend going to a Gestoria and giving them all the documents outlined above in Points 1 and 2.
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“.
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.
Knowing that you will have to pay this amount 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. As they say, every little helps.