A Guide to Buying a Car in Spain: Tips for International Buyers

By Vivi Real Estate | 28 de September de 2023 |
    Vivi Real Estate is no stranger to serving international clients who are seeking to turn their dreams of owning Property in this picturesque region into reality. Once the keys to their Costa del Sol paradise are in hand, the next question that often arises is, “How do we buy a car in Spain?” At Vivi Real Estate, our sales team frequently encounters this query, and we’re here to demystify the car-buying process for you, ensuring a smooth transition to life on Spain’s sunny roads.

Navigating the Spanish Car Buying Experience

While the car buying process in Spain may differ from what you’re accustomed to in your home country, it’s not as complex as it may seem. To streamline the process and ensure accuracy, we recommend enlisting the help of a gestor or an experienced professional for handling the necessary paperwork and name change procedures.

In contrast to some countries where changing names on documents is free, Spain offsets this cost with relatively lower road taxes compared to many other European nations. With that said, let’s delve into some valuable tips for purchasing a car, whether from a private seller, small dealership, or a trusted online second-hand dealer like autohero.com.

    1. Define Your Needs and Budget

Before embarking on your car-buying journey, determine the type of vehicle that suits your needs, budget, and preferences. Consider factors such as the car’s size, fuel efficiency, and features.

    2. Source Your Vehicle

You can explore reputable dealerships or private sellers through online platforms, classified ads, or recommendations from acquaintances.

    3. Thorough Inspection and Test Drive

Once you’ve identified a potential car, conduct a comprehensive inspection. Assess the exterior, interior, tires, brakes, and engine. Taking the vehicle for a test drive allows you to evaluate its performance and handling.

    4. Negotiate and Research Pricing

Engage in negotiation with the seller regarding the price. Prior to this, conduct online research to gain an understanding of the fair market value of the car.

    5. Financing Options

If financing is required, you can explore options through banks or dealerships. Compare interest rates and terms to secure the best deal.

    6. Paperwork Completion

When an agreement is reached, it’s time to tackle the paperwork. This includes the transfer of ownership, registration, and insurance.

    7. Tax Obligations

Meeting your tax obligations is crucial. Be prepared to pay value-added tax (VAT), transfer tax, and registration fees as applicable.

    8. Obtaining Vehicle Documents

Upon completion of paperwork and tax payments, you’ll receive essential documents, including the “ficha tecnica” and “permiso de circulacion,” along with the registration certificate.

    9. Enjoy the Road Ahead

Congratulations! With your paperwork and licenses in order, you’re now the proud owner of a Spanish roadworthy vehicle. Navigate the stunning Spanish landscape with confidence, knowing you’re fully compliant with legal driving requirements.


Whether you’re reveling in the sun-soaked streets of the Costa del Sol or embarking on Spanish adventures further afield, Vivi Real Estate is here to guide you through every step of your transition. Navigating the process of buying a car in Spain is a gateway to endless exploration and discovery. As your trusted partner, we’re dedicated to making your experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

For more expert advice on seamless transitions, property acquisitions, and life in Spain, Contact us . We’re your window to a world of possibilities on the Costa del Sol.

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