Buying or selling a car in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
buying or selling a car

If you are considering buying or selling a car in Spain, there are various steps you should follow to ensure you don´t end up with an unexpected fine.

If you are buying

When you have found a vehicle you want to purchase, it is a good idea to use one of the reports available from the DGT before you part with any money. A complete report is available online for a nominal fee.

After signing the purchase contract, you are obliged to change ownership of the vehicle.

If you are the buyer of a used vehicle, you have a maximum period of 30 days from the signing of the contract to make the change of ownership of it. Once the procedure has been completed, a new circulation permit will be issued. This will apply only if you have a valid ITV.


You can request a report with the public information available regarding a vehicle. There are several types of reports available. A basic report is free of charge; however, you may require more information for a small fee.

  • Reduced
  • Complete
  • Technical data
  • Vehicles under my name
  • Unregistered vehicles

Except in the case of the ‘vehicles in my name’ report, the other reports are available to anyone. For the ‘vehicles in my name’ report, you must be the owner of the vehicle, or a third party authorised to download it,

If you request a “Complete” report, it will advise of any existing loans, bankruptcy proceedings, or any fines outstanding. You must also check that the local taxes and ITV are up to date.


Before going to Trafico, you must sign the contract of sale, and pay the property transfer tax in the appropriate community area of the buyer. This is called modelo 620 or 621.

You must also request an appointment online or by calling 060.

When you have your appointment, take all the documentation to enable the transfer including the original vehicle circulation permit.

If you are selling

If you are the seller, you are advised to make the notification of sale as soon as it is sold. This will then free you from responsibilities. Do not wait for the buyer to carry out the transfer process. The Guardia Civil reminds us of this today in a Tweet. In the contract of sale of your vehicle, you must always include the day and time of the transmission. If the buyer does not make the transfer, go to @DGTes and make a sale notification. It will exempt you from possible infractions of the new owner.

There are times when the buyers are late, and this can cause problems as any fines from the fixed radars, insurance or ITV will continue to arrive as long as the change of ownership has not taken place in the Vehicle Registry. 

Remember that not being up to date in the payment of local taxes or penalties prevents you from transferring the vehicle and that the existence of the retention of ownership, embargo, or a sealing order on it may have certain limitations.

Check list

Therefore, before making the transfer or notification, you must check that the vehicle;

  • Circulation Tax of the previous year paid.
  • With the possible sanctions imposed for infractions of the vehicle paid.
  • Free of any disposition limitation (domain reservation) that was registered in the Personal Property Registry, except with the express consent of the Financial Company
  • you must sign a sales contract with the seller that includes the details of the vehicle, the purchase price, and the date and time the contract is signed. This contract must be signed by both the buyer and the seller on each of the pages.

As with most things in Spain, it is good advice to have copies as well as the original sales contract before delivering the vehicle. It is also important that you have a copy of the DNI, TIE, or NIF of the buyer.

Also read: MOT/ITV process in Spain

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