We all know that your car must pass certain standards to confirm it is road worthy. In the UK this is called the MOT. In Spain, it is the ITV. It stands for “Inspecciòn Tècnica de Vehiculos”.
Renewing your ITV is very straightforward, but what if you are doing it for the first time? We have put together some of the main points you will require to know. However, you can also look at the government website ITV.com.es if you require any further information. The process is similar throughout the whole of mainland Spain.
When do you need an ITV?
It is compulsory to have an ITV for your vehicle. If you are stopped and found not displaying the ITV sticker, you will receive a fine, or perhaps your license may even be confiscated. Remember, if your car is not legally registered in Spain, there are different requirements you must meet. If you have been living in Spain for more than 6 months and driving a foreign car in the country for this length of time, then you must re-register your vehicle onto Spanish plates. You cannot simply drive back to the UK and have an MOT there. It will then be subjected to the same ITV test requirements as any other Spanish vehicle.
The ITV in Spain is required at different intervals dependant on the age of your car. Newer cars do not require an ITV test until they are four years old. Cars between four years and ten years will require a certificate every two years. And cars older than ten years must pass an ITV test every year. Mopeds and motorbikes also have different timescales.
Booking your ITV (MOT)
There are various ways to do this. The simplest way is to ask your local garage or mechanic to do it for you. Many offer this as a service usually called a “pre-ITV” check to ensure you don´t have any unexpected problems at the test. The mechanic will not only get your car ready for the ITV, but they will also take the car for you. They will, of course, charge a fee for this.
You can also book online to make an appointment. Alternatively, prior to the state of alarm, you could just turn up. This is not an option at the moment as an appointment must now be made in advance. In any case, this was not advised it inevitably meant a long wait, or in most occasions, a wasted trip as often there were no spaces available. Most testing centres open before 7am.
The cost may vary from area to area depending on which company controls the testing. You can check in advance. There is not one flat rate for the ITV test – the amount charged will depend on the size and power of the vehicle you drive. Payment may only be permitted by card.
- Ficha Tecnica – This is a blue sheet you are given following your previous ITV test. Inspecciones Técnicas or technical sheet outlines any faults found. You should bring the Ficha Tecnica from the last ITV test when your vehicle passed.
- Permiso de Circulacion – This is the registration document and is a green paper.
- Evidence that your car is currently insured with the appropriate insurance. A payment receipt with your insurance policy.
- NIE/TIE/DNI identification
What do they check?
If you do decide to go to the test centre yourself, most of the test will be carried out with you inside the car. On arrival at the ITV station, you must first go into the office and present your documentation and pay the fee. You will then be given a number to wait for your turn. You will also be given some documents to give to the person conducting the test on your car. This person testing will ask you to do certain basic tasks. Among other things, the following will be checked;
- Tire tread
- Lights and Lighting
- Wheel Alignment
- Shock Absorbers
Once the test is complete, you will be told to park your car and return to the office for the results and to collect the new paperwork. This will tell you if your car has passed or failed the test.
What if my car fails?
If your car passes its ITV, you will be given the test certificate and a coloured sticker to be displayed in the right-hand side of your windscreen. This shows the month and year of when the next test is due. As mentioned above, displaying this sticker is important, as you can be fined not only if you do not have a current ITV, but also if the sticker is not displayed.
In some cases, if your car fails, they will provide you with the certificate if it is only one or two minor issues but with the proviso that you have a limited time to rectify the issue. However, if you do not rectify it and are stopped by the police, you will receive a fine.
If your car fails on various counts, your documentation will be returned to you together with the test sheet with a stamp showing the word ‘Disfavorable’ and the reasons for the failure. You will then by given up to 30 days to make changes to your car and have it tested again. If you do not make the test again within this period, remember your car will not be legally roadworthy, and as such if you drive it your insurance could be invalid, and you could risk a fine. In addition to police stops, there are cameras that can identify vehicles with no ITV.
Most testing centres have now reopened, so you should have no problem getting an appointment, but as mentioned above, all appointments now have to be pre-booked as walk-ins have been prohibited. You are still advised to make your appointment well in advance of when it is due, as the offices are still dealing with backlogs.